Midweek Modular: Oscillators, secrets and nonlinear sequencing
This week we have Three Body oscillators, Raspberry Pi oscillators, Rottnest oscillators and nonlinear sequencing in Amsterdam. Oh, and ST Modular has a secret synth.
Schlappi Engineering hauled the huge and long-awaited Three Body complex oscillator into a state of preorder. Featuring three oscillators running independently or internally mashing into one another for a smorgasbord of complex sounds. Read more about it here.
We also saw how you can build yourself a versatile VCO for your Eurorack. HAGIWO’s design uses the smallest of microcomputers running the Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip. You can pull the whole thing together for a handful of dollars. Read more about it here.
Boredbrain revealed a bunch of useful modules for connecting with the world outside of Eurorack. Monitr is a master output module with two stereo channels and great metering, UniFX is perfect for looping your guitar pedals in and Xchangr creates a send and return bus at all the right levels. Read more about them here.
Midweek Modular Bits and pieces
Here are a few more bits and pieces of modular news and coolness that I’m pleased to shine a light on for this week’s Midweek Modular.
ST Modular teases a big synthesizer
ST Modular is quite prolific in the release of Eurorack modules. This is helped along by the fact that they are only ever released as PCB/Panel sets and so the whole manufacturing gambit is largely bypassed. However, it’s been a bit quiet lately which may have something to do with a big project Stefan from ST Modular has been teasing on Instagram.
From the clips, it’s looking like a beautiful piece of work. It’s analogue and semi-modular featuring a couple of sequencers, lowpass gates, envelope and slope generators, CV wavefolders, a choice of reverbs. There are at least two oscillators and apparently, much of the inspiration comes from the Buchla Easel.
Exactly how this will be brought to market is a little unclear. In the conversations on the posts Pushman Productions who usually supply ST Modular kits says that they will be making a limited number of full kits available. But because of the nature of the beast they will be very expensive.
There are no details or specs yet but I’m very excited to see what’s going to emerge from the dimly lit demos. All signs point to it being awesome.
AMSynths Jupiter-8 Filter
AMSynths has released an updated version of their very popular AM8109 JP-8 VCF. The changes are not massive but it’s always good to see another run of this excellent filter. AMSynths has slimmed it down to 10HP and added some rather nice amber LED sliders which give it a good bit of life.
Otherwise, the AM8109 is an accurate replication of the low pass filter from the Roland Jupiter-8 synthesizer. It’s warm, gooey, can be pushed into self-oscillation and is fully compensated so you don’t get that drop in volume. You get two audio inputs and CV control that emulates the KYBD, MOD and ENV control of the original. But in modular these are only serving suggestions.
AMSynths modules are nearly always out of stock on the website so your best bet is to register interest and the company will be in touch as soon as more become available. The price is set at a very affordable £135.
Error Instruments Amsterdam
A nonlinear sequencer is a sequencer that doesn’t do what it’s told. Amsterdam has 4 independent steps which are all individually controllable. You can set the pitch/voltage for each step and then it will play whatever it wants to play according to the internal LFO and some unexplained algorithm.
You can put in an external clock if you want to bring it at least in line with your timing. An integrated light sensor will kill off that idea by pushing or pulling on the clock in response to light. Amsterdam can generate all sorts of arpeggios and patterns and watching the videos makes me think I don’t really understand it at all. But that’s why I love Error Instruments – you never have a clue.
Amsterdam is available now for €175.
This is a VCO/LFO based on the Sound Semiconductor FatKeys SSI2131. It features 5 different waveforms, adding something a bit complex to the usual suspects. The complex waveform is produced by a circuit based on the CGS52 Lockhart Wavefolder with 1 or 2-stage folding.
It offers up both attenuatable linear and exponential FM, hard and soft sync and pulse width modulation on the pulse wave. With the flick of a switch is becomes an LFO.
Rottnest is superbly versatile and gives you a lot to play with in an affordable module. You can pick one up for $179 built or $129 for the full kit.
- AMSynths JP-8: AMSynths