Some modules offer cool, calm and sensible avenues into sound exploration whereas others are bonkers adventures into noise, glitch and weird modulations. Here are my Top 5 Crazy Eurorack Modules of 2020. So far, anyway…
Error Instruments Liquid Glitcher
Error Instruments could easily fill all 5 slots in this list with their roster of wonderfully weird noise-making machines. But I’m going to restrict myself to their latest offering – the Liquid Glitcher. They call it an “ultraviolence oscillator” and they’re not even pretending that it might make a nice sound if properly aroused. No, this will bite your hand off. It sounds a bit like a transistor radio that’d being actively abused in a most unsavoury manner.
It’s not fun but if noise is your thing then this will kick out great big bags of it and ties in an LPG for a rhythmic output and a clock divider to terrorise the timing. More information.
КОСМИЧЕСКИЙ ШУМ or “Space Noise”
The Hexinverter Jupiter Storm is a well known cosmic noise oscillator with complex modulation and a Noise Core Disrupter that’s capable of melting your brain with its wide-band noise synthesis generation. Space Noise from Alexey Paramonov mashes two of these modules together in a spectacular display of crashing planets and interpolated noise parties held in a bunker, under a techno club somewhere in darkest Moscow. It has 14 separate sound outputs fed by 6 square core oscillators and smoothered in pitch control that will have you trying to find the off switch. Or you could feed it back into itself and bask in the glory of having your skin slowly removed. More information.
TABØR rhythmic analogue sound and CV source
I described this as an “Analogue rhythmic car crash oscillator with a glowing orb of destruction” and I stand by that assessment. It’s based on four avalanche transistors that interact via charge and discharge to produce an unlikely amount of unpredictability that transforms into complex rhythmic sound textures. It’s chaotic and beautiful which is brilliantly visualised via the glowing and pulsing orb. Just when you think it’s going to produce something fabulous it wraps itself around your head and pulls your brains out in the most wonderful way. More information.
Schlappi Engineering Three Body
Maybe it’s the ambition of this module that puts it on the crazy side. Three Body is an FPGA based monster of a module with 3-oscillators with multiple waveforms that set the scene for a whole slew of modulation possibilities. Every path to sound is disrupted by other signals in and out of sync like some kind of cosmic complex control voltage art form. It’s like a battlefield of sonic potential that’s been fought over for years. Will it ever see peace? More information.
Softwire Synthesis Press Controller
This one is rather adorable in its quirkiness. It uses a chunky piece of wood as an expressive device mounted on the front of a Eurorack module. You lean and push against the button to produce flows of control voltage that you can patch about your modular. The idea is that it gives you a very organic and expressive way to introduce a human feel of modulation. It’s a beautiful idea if slightly bonkers. Still yet to witness one in action. More information.
Top 5 Crazy Eurorack Modules 2020
People are always looking to do interesting things in Eurorack and there’s a mindset that everything can be useful. That means that very few modules could be considered crazy in terms of being useless. Instead we have masses of creativity and a super-high threshold for noise and sonic disruption. That’s fine by me!