Bastl’s KLIK is a stunningly useful little box. It takes an old-school audio click and converts it into modular clock and trigger. This means you can send a pulse out from your DAW and your modular will keep perfect time with it.
I know it’s not what I wanted. I had hoped this was going to be some kind of AC to DC coupling device for regular audio interfaces. It’s not that, it’s something just as useful that I hadn’t considered before.
There’s a growing disconnect between modular gear and the computer. Many modular users have rejected the computer entirely but as modular has become more accessible it’s finding its way to less “pure” environments. That means that people are looking for ways to use both computer and modular and have it all make sense. One of the problems is synchronisation – where does the clock come from? Even if you just want to record your modular onto a computer it’s very useful for further production to have it synced up to the DAWs grid. The DAW always wants to be the master clock and so how do you get a fully analog modular system to get in line with that?
Bastl believe they have the answer. KLIK is a little box that can take an audio pulse generated by a DAW and turn it into clock and trigger for a modular system. This doesn’t require a MIDI-to-CV interface or any magic crystals – just KLIK and an audio click from your DAW. It can handle two signals, one for clock and one for reset. There’s also a button on the top to manually reset, or re-sync your hardware or for sending manual gate signals. Because it’s audio all the latency compensation can be taken care of in the DAW which means that when recording your modular to the computer it will hit bang on the grid.
You can use any output on your soundcard – no DC coupling required.
The connection with Bitwig is that the new Bitwig Studio 2 has an audio click output device within the software. This is perfect for KLIK and sets up your sync. In Ableton Live Bastl have created a drum machine preset for sending out pulses. Theoretically, you should be able to do something similar on any DAW but they haven’t tried it out yet.
The Bastl KLIK should be available in March for €49 and they are taking pre-orders now. More information on the website.