Ratchet is the first module from Lia Harmon of Schottkey Modular and it’s an impressively deep dive into the nature of beat making and rhythm composing in Eurorack.
It looks quite imposing in 20HP of black festooned with glowing buttons, a retro LED numerical display and a shed load of patch points. It definitely means business.
Ratchet is a 12 channel drum machine and rhythm sequencer that offers 64 steps per channel. Each step can be ratcheted into 16 divisions giving it a high resolution of creative triggering. Each step can have a different gate length, you can tie steps, dial in some swing and randomisation along with multiple direction play modes. Each channel can have its own pattern length and random intensity.
There are some performance features in muting channels either on purpose or randomly.
The front panel of buttons is repurposed depending on the mode you’re in. These include Tempo, Drum, Pattern, Steps, Ratchet, Random and Swing. You’ve got to keep your wits about you to ensure you’re doing the right thing in the right place but I’m loving the depth and complexity and how hands-on it is. There are CV inputs on Start/Stop, Reset, Pattern selection and level of Randomisation. Patterns are saved to an included MicroSD card.
It has some similarities to the Varigates 4 and 8 from Maleko, or maybe it’s just the style of the buttons. But with Ratchet the Step, Pattern and other information are always there displayed on the buttons which I much prefer to the ever-changing sliders on the Varigate. Check out the video below for how interesting this thing gets in performance.
Ratchet is on its way to the shops now and is priced at $299 and I’m going to have to get more drum modules. This is only Lia’s first module and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to come up with next.
- Schottkey Modular webpage.