This week’s Midweek Modular finds us modulating harmonic oscillators, cross-fading like a DJ and vintage sequencing like the old days.
Two enormous modules and a cool utility are what we have. Let’s take a look.
AtoVProject DHO – Dual Harmonic Oscillator
At 36 HP, the DHP is a monster of a module. It’s a complex analogue harmonic oscillator that feeds modulation from one oscillator to another while pulling on additional harmonics. The internal modulation engine is pretty epic, with ten LFOs and ten VCAs, but it also has an interesting macro approach. AtoVProject has used a video game algorithm to give dynamic control over ten parameters with a single knob. It’s a noise algorithm used to generate terrain and mountain ranges, and these landscapes are like lines of automation scanning through the parameters. And so, contained within itself is the possibility of amazingly animated soundscapes.
Each oscillator generates four octaves of triangle waves, giving you your controllable harmonic structure and the source of cross-modulation. The output is routed through a four-stage diode wavefolder. The DHO ships with an expander that opens up other waveforms, pulse width modulation and sync inputs.
While the oscillators are analogue, the control system is digital. For instance, you use the same VCO knob to set octaves, semitones and fine-tune, and this can often result in the interface losing a sense of where it is and what it’s pointing to. However, AtoVProject has built in some rather nifty haptic feedback to give you a buzz when an encoder returns to its correct position.
The DHO is a stunning piece of work with endless depths that manage to stay playable and accessible through its complexity. The premium nature of the module is somewhat reflected in the serious €850 price tag.
- AtoVproject website.
From the complex to the brilliantly simple, we have the MFD DJ Crossfader and Stereo VCA. You have two mono or stereo inputs that are mixed into a stereo output using a lovely big cross-fading knob. Or, of course, you can control the mix via CV.
Handy Cue controls with dedicated outputs provide preview monitoring over each input. If you unpatch one side, then you can use a single channel as a stereo VCA.
That’s all there is to it. A useful way of fading between two stereo sources. It’s also DC-coupled, so you could also use it to mix modulations.
LA Circuits EM-074 Chronograph
From the brilliantly simple to the stunningly vast, preorders have opened on the LA Circuits EM-074 Chronograph sequencer. It’s a massive 74 HP wide and offers three rows of 8-step CV generation and trigger outputs.
In many ways, it’s ridiculously basic for such a luxuriously wide module, but this is all about honouring the playability of those classic vintage step sequencers. It really gives you something to get your hands on and work into your modular.
Each row has a CV range control and portamento. Each step has a knob to control the pitch or voltage output with switches for on, off, skip and reset. Further pulses can be derived from a CV input using frequency detection and a divider circuit.
LA Circuits has been working on the Chronograph for two years and hopes to ship on the 15th of December. It’s certainly a thing of beauty for the discerning modular musician with a premium price of $1,400.