This week the death of an XMOS chip spells doom for some Noise Engineering modules, Make Noise makes a new case, Tendrils get stackable, and Instruo takes us to the movies.
Diving deep into the azure tones of mythical waters, we found these pearls and treasures glinting on the sea floor.
Noise Engineering discontinues BIA
Our first point of interest is not a treasure but the passing of a legendary series of modules. The most well-known is the Basimilus Iteritas Alter; a beffudlingly fascinating source of noises, clangs, fizzing and crunches that formed the basis of many digital percussion lines.
Noise Engineering tells us that it’s all down to the central CPU going end-of-life with the manufacturer, which is always possible with these things. Other modules based on this XMOS chip include Manis Iteritas, Cursus Iteritas and Ataraxic Iteritas, which are also being discontinued. Three remaining digital oscillators based on the XMOS, Loquelic Iterias, Loquelic Iteritas Percido and Cursus Iteritas Percido, will continue while they still have stock of the processor.
While this is a sad state of affairs, it’s also quite exciting. The XMOS platform is not the friendliest in the world and suffers from not being updatable in the field or easily replaceable. Noise Engineering has done many marvellous things recently with newer and friendlier DSP platforms that have offered swappable firmware and all sorts of advantages. So, hopefully, NE will be cooking up something interesting to replace the very popular BIA and friends.
Also, Noise Engineering has been teasing something new and exciting coming very soon…
Make Noise 4 Zone CV Bus Case
A new 7U case from Make Noise could be a stylish and power-savvy way to bring together a compact system of modular with built-in utilities.
Make Noise is making a lot of fuss about the four power zones. It’s a new approach that features four isolated +12/-12v supplies with a dedicated ground plus a shared +5v supply. I can only imagine that many people have trouble with power supplies in compact systems because I’ve never encountered them myself, and I use all sorts of cobbled-together cases. However, it is possible to find that modules can interfere with each other and push noise into opposing circuits; the isolation can help with that.
What I find more interesting is that the 1U strip is occupied by the Make Noise CV Bus. It’s a great system of rerouting and distributing modulation and signals about a case. This new case uses a new version of the CV Bus that includes some modular utilities. It has a little bit of maths for shifting levels, attenuverting and voltage mirroring. There are line-level outputs and a headphone output that includes a useful limiter. On the downside, it means that there’s no room for your 1U modules, so it’s really a 6U case.
The construction is as awesome as you’d expect from Make Noise, and the lid gives you enough room to keep everything patched. It’s made from black power-coated metal and features a sturdy carrying handle. I’m a little alarmed that the power sockets are not shrouded. While the -12V side is well marked there’s far too much possibility for getting it backwards for my liking.
Looks like they had a lovely time making a video about it.
The masters of the low-profile patch cable have come up with a stackable. Stakkas patch cables are right angled with a socket built into the top of each one allowing you to stack and essentially mult in another source or destination.
These are similar to the StackCables from Tip Top Audio, but I think the right-angle format is really smart. It’s so easy just to pull off another copy of whatever is going through it.
- Tendrils website.
Instruo releases Superbooth Movie
While exhibiting at Superbooth 2023, Glaswegian modular company Instruo decided to document the adventure on film. The result will be premiering on its YouTube channel at 7 pm on Saturday, the 19th of August. It promises to give you a unique window into the messy business of getting a bunch of people to Berlin. There will be a lot of chat, behind-the-scenes drama and general larking around at the year’s biggest synth event. Following the premier Instruo will be on a live chat on DivKid’s Discord.
- Noise Engineering Iteritas discontinued: Noise Engineering
- Tendril Stakkas: Tendrils