This week Fizzle Guts is looking for old Casio filter chips, XODES takes some acid, Frequency Central gives us a Horror Show and Ziqal enters the third Dimension.
The theme for this week appears to be visualisation and pretty lights. Firstly we saw the extraordinary Molten Motion Meter. It’s a 3-channel visualiser of voltage that also mixes, attenuates, inverts and generates. It’s a useful thing in any patch for monitoring and controlling modulation or metering audio. Read more about it here.
Secondly, Andrew Huang and MyVolts have got together to produce the perfect light-up patch cable. They are calling them Halo Candycords because of how the light works around the plug. Beautiful things that are trying to tempt you on Kickstarter. Read more about it here.
What else can we find in the depths of Eurorack and modular synthesis that might be worth your time this week?
XODES AXX Acid Series
Another Kickstarter but this time for some rather adorable 1U drum modules. These came about through an intention to build 1U modules of drum sounds from the Roland TR-808. Through various challenges, Covid and other shenanigans XODES has decided to focus on the first four of what’s called the Acid Series.
It kicks off with the ABD Acid Bass Drum, followed up by the sizzling ASD Acid Snare Drum, the comforting ticking of the AHH Acid Hi-Hat and the clonk of the ATC Acid Tom/Conga. They are not exact replicas; they are adaptations based on what XODES could do in-house while sticking as closely to the original designs as possible.
They are deliciously simple, with a trigger input and audio output. The ABD and ASD get some tone control and Decay or Snap. The AHH gets a second trigger for the open hi-hat and a Decay knob. The ATC was a late addition to the lineup and will have different panels for the low/mid/high ranges. No additional CV control; they are what they are.
Busy Circuits Fizzle Guts
ALM has pulled the filter out of the Casio FZ-1, literally. Fizzle Guts is a eurorack version of the FZ-1 filter, but in order for it to work, you’d have to steal the MB87186 filter IC from an existing FZ-1 or FZ-10M. I’m sure it felt like a great idea at the time and an excellent way of resurrecting a part of a dead synth.
It was one of the first modules ALM made, and there were only about 30 ever put together. So to celebrate the 10th-anniversary Busy Circuits are making the design open source so that anyone can build their own or modify the design.
So, really this doesn’t apply to anyone at all, but I thought it was quite fascinating.
Frequency Central Horror Show
That’s a great name for a module, especially for a ring modulator, noise generator and sub-oscillator. Horror Show combines these features in one disappointingly plain-looking 4hp module.
At the top, you’ve got the noise generator with frequency control. It’s normalled to the outputs of the other parts, which all experience it differently, giving up to 5 noise variations at the same time. The ring modulator is digital and comparator based. Plug in a couple of things and see what comes out. It can also handle a bit of pulse width modulation if you plug in some audio and a controller waveform. Lastly, at the bottom is a sub-oscillator with -1 octave square, -2 octave square and -2 octave pulse outputs.
It sounds pretty crazy and lives up to its name to some degree. Check it out.
Horror Show is available as a built module or DIY kit for around €110.
Ziqal Dimension Mk3
And finally, we have the epic 24-voice Dimension Mk3 wavetable oscillator. I’m not really sure what to do with 24 voices in modular but just imagine that stack of oscillators in unison. It’s compatible with Serum and Vital wavetable formats and uses an engine of 2048 samples per waveform with up to 256 waveforms per wavetable.
You can run it in Chord, Unison, Dual voice or Polyphonic modes. Polyphony is really down to plugging in a MIDI keyboard. But there’s plenty to do over CV with morphing between 8 wavetables and assignable modulation inputs.
The Mk3 update essentially gets around the chip shortage, but it also improves the MIDI compatibility and some display adjustments. It’s quite an extraordinary thing.
- Ziqal website.