It was the talk of Superbooth 2018 and accompanied by a fabulously slick and stylised teaser campaign. The annoyingly named BLCK_Noir 7 voice drum module is ready to bring some hybrid sound generation to your rack.
It’s a great looking 30HP multi-channel drum module for Eurorack. There’s a full analog kit in there with bass drum, snare, tambourine, closed and open hi-hats, metal bar and a cymbal. The hybrid nature comes from the band-limited digital noise and spectrum animation being injected into the analog circuits – sounds painful. But the sound generation is fully analog using indictor coils instead of op-amps.
There’s a little bit of toing-and-froing going on between the inputs and outputs. There are 5 trigger inputs, where the hi-hats double up, so do the metal bar and cymbal. These stay combined for the mixing and effects but then emerge on their own outputs. The onboard effects processor offers 8 types of effects with an auxiliary input. There is the ability to change the effects via a firmware update. The standard effects include reverbs, delays and a “Freeze” function. With Freeze enabled the audio looped by the length determined by the “Cabin Fever” wet/dry knob. There’s a special setting where the effects can be scanned through via CV – although it may contain clicks or artefacts if done too fast.
Every drum channel has a CV VCA controlled velocity input which defines the volume. If unpatched then it runs at maximum but it can be used for accenting or adding envelopes.
Then we get into some Endorphin filtering goodness:
- THROTTLE is a bi-polar DJ-isolator-style filter cut-off control that applies to the final outputs. It is a 12 db/oct zero-delay state-variable filter which is very clean when in the middle. Turn it left for low pass and turn right for hi-pass.
- FLAPS is the resonance control of Throttle and can be seen as a tone control on the output. It will happily get pushed into screaming self-oscillation.
Truth be told there’s a whole load of stuff going on inside the BLCK_NOIR. The manual is very entertaining and goes into great detail about the darkness and the potential for weird and wonderful percussive soundscapes. I think this is going to be an awful lot of fun. A bit like the Erica Synths Techno System but in a single module.
They are having a big release party tonight so expect to see it in the shops when the hangovers pass.