They are calling it the NiftyBundle and it consists of a NiftyCase and two modules called Chipz and Cellz. It has built-in power, MIDI, USB and an audio output plus some MIDI-to-CV conversion to two lots of CV/Gate, modulation and a clock. That’s quite nifty! I had a sneak preview of this at Synthfest but was sworn to secrecy but now it’s here.
The NiftyCase is quite clever. Eurorack is crying out for affordable case and power supply solutions and NiftyCase is certainly that but they’ve gone a step further with some very helpful additions, particularly if you are new to Eurorack and are looking for a way in. The case is 84hp wide with threaded rails and a power supply that offers 2.5A total power and 10 flying bus power connectors. That’s nice but the clever stuff is that they’ve also included a MIDI interface, a USB interface and a regular audio output. The MIDI input is converted into 2 lots of CV/Gate a modulation output and a clock which are all revealed along the top of the case. This means that you can plug in a MIDI keyboard or run it directly with your computer without any additional hardware or worry. That’s pretty awesome.
The first module is called Chipz and it’s got two regular oscillators and an LFO or two in a 12HP module. It’s “Chiptune” inspired and so you can expect a lot of great lo-fi tones and wobbling noise. All three oscillators have sine, triangle, sawtooth, square and noise wave shapes. The first one appears to have a filter, the second appears to have pulse width modulation and the LFO appears to have 2 outputs.
Next up is Cellz which is a nifty (!) 12HP little touch-pad voltage controller and sequencer. Feed it into the Chipz and you can play notes with your fingers. You can set each of the 16 little pads to two 12-bit values and then cycle through them if you plug in a clock. So can take that from the MIDI input or from the Chipz LFO making it nicely self sufficient.
The NiftyBundle consists of the NiftyCase plus the two modules and a bundle of cables. It’s basically everything you need to get started with Eurorack including something that makes sound, something that controls and triggers sound and a way of connecting it to your computer or MIDI keyboard. The modules were, I believe, developed by the people behind Twisted Electrons so they shouldn’t be half bad. All the bits will also be available separately.
The individual prices are around $199 for NiftyCase, $99 for Chipz, $99 for Cellz and $15 for the cables. The NiftyBundle is really where the fun begins because they are going to knock those out for $269 for the lot. The NiftyCase by itself is good value with the closest thing to it being the TipTop Audio Happy Ending Kit that’s just rails and the power supply for around $160. The extra little bits really do make a significant difference to someone starting out or for someone looking for a simple portable solution for a bunch of modules that’s ready to go.
In handling it I thought the build quality was pretty good for the price, lightweight perhaps but it will soon bulk up once you install some modules. Should be available now through dealers.
- Cre8audio website.