This week in Midweek Modular Befaco gives us a cool little power supply, Noisy Fruits packs Dexed into Eurorack, and we explore 32 steps of Crazy Chicken eye sequencing.
Here are the highlights from the world of Eurorack and modular synthesis this week.
Power supplies in Eurorack can be a bit frightening to the inexperienced user. They seem to require a degree in engineering and are usually messing around with mains voltage. And yet they are the first thing you need to sort out when building your first modular system. Getting a case with it all built-in is certainly a good option, and there’s a lot more choice these days. But that also tends to be expensive. If only there was something simpler, obvious, less dangerous and doesn’t require too much in terms of electrical skills or carpentry. Well, Befaco might have the answer for you – behold, ChikiPower.
The name could mean something deep and interesting in Spanish, or perhaps it’s more along the lines of offering you a “cheeky” bit of power. What’s important is that ChikiPower is a cool little Eurorack power supply that will run off USB and power a handful of modules with no mess or fuss. Well, there’s a little bit of fuss and possibly some mess because ChikiPower is currently only available as a kit. So there is a bit of soldering involved but it’s only really a couple of LEDs and some headers.
Once you’ve built it, you’ll have a little USB-powered Eurorack power supply that has 3 ports and can come up with 400 mA per rail. It’s important to note that USB power is best served via something like a 20W phone charger rather than a USB port on a computer. With a bus cable, you could run a handful of modules in a little modular system. It’s great for building a little lunchbox synth or as a desktop power supply for testing and running modules outside of a regular case.
- Befaco webpage.
- More from Befaco.
Noisy Fruits Lab EuroDexed
How about cramming a Yamaha DX7 into your Eurorack? How about a drum machine, sequencer, multiple oscillators, virtual analogue synths and a sampler? The MicroDexed Touch is an open-source project that runs the Dexed FM Synthesizer plugin, the Mutable Instrument Braids and a few other synth engines on a Teensy microprocessor. Noisy Fruits Lab has taken the hardware and reworked it into a Eurorack module. It keeps the touchscreen interface and pulls out a couple of CV ports for modulation and control.
Noisy Fruit Labs stress that this is a prototype and the plan is to evaluate, take on feedback, collect improvements and maybe even find some collaborations. It’s a very interesting project that could put a very powerful synthesizer engine right in the middle of your modular.
Crazy Chicken Six Eyes
Yes, that’s a chicken with six eyes, so you can appreciate that it might feel a little bewildered. What the people at Crazy Chicken have done is create a 32-step sequencer with 6 knobs. Apparently, it’s based on an “interesting algorithm” which has me very intrigued. There are no videos at the moment so all we have to go on is the description on an Instagram post.
What it says is that knob 1 sets an initial CV value and acts as an offset, and is always on, denoted by the open eye graphic next to it. Knob 2 is another offset which is added to the first one only when it’s awake for one step and then alternates with being asleep for a step. Knob 3 does something similar but is awake and asleep for 2 steps. The 4th knob takes 8 steps, the 5th 16 steps and the 6th 32 steps. Some kind of summed version of all of that falls out of the Out.
It’s quite fascinating, but I’ve no idea what sort of sequences could actually emerge from it.