by Robin Vincent | 4,5 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
Midweek Modular

Midweek Modular  ·  Source: Gearnews


This week Helical gives us autoregressive polyphonic wavetables, Stoel turns to the Dark side and we sit in Traffic under the Jasmine & Olive Trees.


Midweek Modular

Rummaging around the biscuit barrel of modular, I came up trumps with a synthesized bourbon and a pair of pre-patched custard creams.

Sdkc Instruments Helical

Helical is a 16-voice polyphonic autoregressive algorithmic synthesizer. It’s wavetable based and has an envelope and VCA built in for each voice. You’d think it was controlled via MIDI like the Knobula Poly Cinematic or OXI Coral, but instead, it self-generates chords and phrases using a weird autoregressive algorithmic sequencer.

The autoregressive synthesis/sequencer is an original idea (or so they say) that uses past parameters to determine the next parameters but not in the way you’d expect. The past pitches are used to control the future duration. The past durations are used to influence future pitches. So instead of being random, it’s actually an organic evolution that maintains a relationship to itself. That sounds really interesting.

In practice, you have control over scale, glide, spread of pitches, wavetable morphing and more. Check out the video below for a glimpse at the possibilities. It sounds pretty wonderful to me.

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Stoel Music Systems

A whole bunch of Dark Mode modules just appeared from Stoel Music Systems.

First of all, there’s the Standard VCO Dark Mode, a surprisingly wide oscillator with more outs and ins than you’d normally expect. It has your regular sine, triangle, pulse and sawtooth outputs but also two subs and an additional pulse wave sub oscillator which, apparently, is a nod to the SH-101.

There are inputs for PWM, hard and soft sync and linear FM. There are three annoyingly unnamed CV inputs. It says that CV 1 goes to the pitch and follows 1v/oct, but there’s no mention of what CV 2 and 3 are normalled to. I guess you’ll have to suck it and see. Maybe that’s what the dark mode is all about – being mysterious.

Stoel Modules

Stoel Modules · Source: Stoel Music Systems

Also in Dark Mode is a Vacuum Tube Ring Modulator. It couldn’t be simpler with the two inputs for the combatting signals and a single output. The impressive tubes add a lot of harmonic rich and complex tones to the unpredictable Ring Mod output.

Next up is the simplest Quad VCA you’ll ever see, with just four lots of audio input and CV control and a mix output. Very useful in the right situation.

And finally, we have the Dark Mode Spring Reverb, which will require a reverb tank (not included) and has a handy feedback loop that you can process with other things. And a Dark Mode mini speaker for getting sound directly out of your Eurorack.

Jasmine & Olive Trees

The delightfully named Jasmine & Olive Trees have three new modules to woo us with; Traffic, Light and Water.

Traffic is a trigger-based CV controller that likes to dabble in randomness. It’s like a three-channel CV generator where a single output is fed from three CV controls that are sent to the output by three triggers. You could use it to hold three preset CV positions for another module and move between the settings in a sequence. There are three lots of these triple CV generators tied to the triggers giving you a lot of scope for macro-controlling modules. Think of it as pulling different sounds from a percussion module or oscillator with every trigger.

The randomness comes in via a switch to work the outputs outside of the triggered order. A Groove option keeps CV 1 and 2 constant while spinning CV 3 into a loop of changes.

It’s a really smart idea.

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Light is a forthcoming expander for Traffic that adds manual trigger buttons, accents and gate-trigger conversion.

Water looks suspiciously like Traffic. It is, in fact, an alternative firmware for Traffic but with different labels on the front panel. Water is a three-phase 8-step sequencer. Each output is running the same sequence but in different phases giving you a really interesting interplay of melodies or modulations. It comes with an overlay for Traffic.

It’s a cool little module.

Midweek Modular

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