This week, Feedback has a routing solution, AI Synthesis mixes the West Coast, and AMSynths tackles the System 100m. Oh, and Expert Sleepers puts a Rings into Disting EX.
Pittsburgh Modular brought us an explosion of colour and timbres in the semi-modular Taiga synthesizer. While it is all pre-patched behind the front panel as a regular synth, all the individual sections can be used as modules in a larger Eurorack setting. It’s 60 HP, and as with similar-sized synths, you can take the whole thing out of its enclosure and drop it into your rack. At £799, it’s a very cost-effective way of adding a lot of modular to your system.
Pittsburgh Modular Taiga
Let’s dive into the little bits of modular that caught my eye this week.
Feedback Modular Bus System
We love the dangle of patch cables all over the place, but sometimes you can’t see the patch for the cables. This Modular Bus system could provide a useful and efficient way to route signals behind the scenes. Great for a large case or for connecting cases together.
The three Bus modules are designed by CMS Labs and produced by Feedback Modules. The idea is that you plug things into one module, and they emerge at another module elsewhere in your case. The modules are connected at the back with ribbon cables keeping your modular clear of long dangly ones.
BUS1 has 8 patch points, and you can connect that to another BUS1 to route 8 signals. BUS2 has two banks of 8 patch points, so if you combine that with a couple of BUS1 modules, you can route 16 signals to two destinations or two lots of 8 sources to a single place. BUS3 is a useful option that has 3 outputs and 3 rotary switches that select any one of the 8 incoming signals from a BUS1 or BUS2. In there somewhere is a perfect combination for your ridiculously large modular system. At 30 or 40 Euros they are not expensive either.
AI Synthesis West Coast Mixer
This little AI106 mixer module is a modern update to a vintage West Coast synthesizer mixer design. It’s inspired by circuitry you’d find in Buchla and Serge modular systems from the 1960s and 70s and re-designed for Eurorack. It’s fully discrete using transistors rather than op-amps which gives it a unique character.
Mixers are very important in modular systems where you are blending together waveforms and building complex shapes, which is a West Coast-style thing to do. I’m not fully convinced by all the West Coast/East Coast language, but it still remains a useful way to describe the intention behind a synthesizer module.
The AI106 has three inputs to a single output. You have level knobs over each channel and a mix level output knob. As with the original West Coast mixers it’s based upon the output is inverted. That’s either very useful or a bit annoying depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
The West Coast Mixer ranges in price from $15 to $85, depending on whether you want just the PCB, kit or a fully built and tested module.
AMSynths JP06 Filter and System 100M Modules
The unstoppable AMSynths has pulled the filter out of the Roland Jupiter-6 synthesizer. The AM8060SE is a faithful replica of the circuit and includes High-pass, Low-pass and Band-pass modes.
It features two audio inputs, two CV inputs and CV control over the resonance.
Meanwhile, AMSynths has announced that in 2023 it will be producing a whole range of Eurorack modules based on the Roland System 100M. The first couple should be ready for Superbooth this year. I wonder how they will differ from the Behringer ones that, I believe, AMSynths’ Rob Keeble had a hand in.
Expert Sleepers adds Rings to Disting EX
In the new 1.18 firmware update to the Disting EX, Expert Sleepers has managed to cram in the Resonator algorithm from Mutable Instruments Rings. Rings is a classic Eurorack sound source capable of generating plucked string and bell-type sounds that sustain with up to 4 notes in polyphony and sound so good in modular.
Expert Sleepers has added the ability to mix in the dry audio signal if you’re using an input and also add some panning in the stereo mix. Otherwise, all the original controls are available and fully configurable within the Disting EX.
The firmware also includes updates to the Granulator algorithm and many other enhancements and fixes. It’s a free download for Disting EX owners.
Expert Sleepers Super Disting EX Plus Alpha
- Feedback Modules BUS: Feedback Modules
- Pittsburgh Modular Taiga: Pittsburgh Modular