The aptly named Evil Drum Oscillator from Error Instruments is a possessed, vactrol controlled, fierce little module for Eurorack. The man in the video suggests it could add spice to an 808 type of sound. I think it’s more like the sound of an 808 that’s fallen through seven layers of hell and is emanating from the arse of a firey demon – but in a good way!
Evil Drum Oscillator
They describe it as being able to generate beautiful glitches, laser drums, sparkle and the “most bizarre sweeps”. All I know is that it’s deeply horrible in the most deliciously noisy way. I’m not certain as to what is going on but it appears to have two sides, a drum side (for short sounds) and an oscillator side. You can mix between the two, there’s a button to trigger it and an intriguing “Glitch matrix mixer” for generating “mad sounds”. The idea is that you turn it on and fiddle with the knobs and switches in an experimental-discovery sort of way.
The unique sound comes from the leaking of capacitors. The module was designed to maximise that sort of sound of dying electronics. It apparently uses a vactrol to achieve the desired effect.
A lot of the action comes from the LFO patch at the top. This is also the trigger and gate input. An LFO is an easy way to get a rhythm going and then you play with the controls until the madness takes you. At slower rates you get this weird sweep going on. The sound sort of builds and then empties itself, letting everything go in that “dying radio” kind of way and then it picks it all up again as it ramps. It’s pretty fascinating.
Your best bet is to experience it for yourself in the video below. And you’ve got to enjoy the passion of creator Paul Tas in the video. He’s obviously loving the noises coming from this thing. After an initial adverse reaction, I like it more and more as the video progresses.
The Evil Drum Oscillator should be available by the end of September. He’s taking preorders now for €149 (usually price €189). More information (although not a lot) on the Error Instruments website.