Announced at NAMM 2020 the ZOIA Euroburo from Empress Effects will finally be ready to ship over in the next week or two. Place your orders now please!
The Euroburo is, of course, based on the ZOIA pedal which contains a whole universe of modular effects and synthesis accessed via a colourful button interface. This Eurorack version loses the stompbox switches but gains 4 assignable CV inputs and outputs and a headphone socket. It has over 90 modules packed into its DSP engine ranging from audio effects and oscillators to CV utilities and modulators.
I’m really appreciating the 8 dedicated buttons for the CV routing. The idea is that you can quickly patch the modules to the physical ins and outs of the module without having to menu dive or switch between pages – they are right there on the front panel. Otherwise, most other functions are dealt with via the buttons and a lot of encoder action via the small OLED display.
I’ve not tried a ZOIA myself but the interface looks a bit boggling. However, people say that it’s actually quite easy to navigate and patch and there are plenty of tutorials out there on YouTube of creative people showing you how. There’s no doubt that it’s phenomenally versatile and could bring a vast array of possibilities to your modular.
Empress Effects also offer a version with a case and power supply so that you can use it standalone without having it using up space in your Eurorack. That way you wouldn’t even need to have any Eurorack to use it in a desktop setup – that’s really nice.
We’ve seen a similar idea recently with the Hector from Poly Effects but that has a large touch screen interface. In both cases, you’re bringing a lot of functionality to your modular setup but one that sort of works against the grassroots manual patching ethos of modular and gives you a digital experience in an analogue space. While the versatility is amazing I’m not sure that everyone wants to return to that experience. I’m looking forward to seeing it used in a modular context and how well the workflow keeps things hardware-focused.
Preorders are open now and they hope to ship by the 17th of September. $649 for the module, $748 with the case and power supply.