Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer module from Pittsburgh Modular
Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer with other modules · Source: http://www.lifeformsmodular.com/percussion-sequencer
The first thing to know about the Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer is that it doesn’t have any sounds. Instead it creates percussion out of whatever audio you want to run through it. Why be stuck with a couple of sounds or samples – anything can be a drum.
Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer
This is a 4 channel programmable drum controller for Eurorack. It has many drum-machine-like attributes but its sound generation gives it quite a unique edge. Each channel has an analogue envelope and VCA to shape any audio source into a percussive instrument. The envelopes are tuned for percussion, with a steep attack and variable delay/release. The module has 4 channels for your typical kick, snare and hats arrangement, and 32 steps to play with, but of course the sounds can be anything.
The interface is very obviously a drum machine. There’s 16 “pads” or buttons for the first 16 steps which you can then switch to steps 17-32. Choose your channel and light up the steps that you want to play. There’s quite a bit of functionality behind those pad/buttons which you can access via the buttons above. Patterns can range from 1-32 steps and are created either on the fly or step by step. There’s room in the memory for 32 sequences and patterns can be copy/pasted to easily create multiple versions of your beats.
The Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer has 6 pattern altering effects to give you a wider scope for accidental creativity. The Shift effect creates a delay trigger for stuttering, the Glitch reigns chaos on the gate times, Density doubles up the triggering for roll effects; Morph adds and removes steps by a probability algorithm; Swing, umm, swings; and Add/Drop is similar to Morph but it doesn’t evolve, it stays anchored to the original.
They’ve packed an amazing amount of functionality into a 24hp space. The biggest disaster at the moment is that there are no videos or audio examples of the Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer in use (update – see below). So I’ve no idea how effective the envelopes are in turning audio into percussion. It all looks simple enough and the feature set is really interesting – I just want to hear what it does! Someone out there must have one – get your finger out Pittsburgh!
The Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer has a retail price of $349, should start shipping at the end of the month and more information can be found on the Pittsburgh Modular website.
Pittsburgh have posted some video on Instagram – hooray!