The Folktek artistic Eurorack and synthesis collective has spent 2018 beavering away on a lot of new products. They seem to be working towards a complete synthesis system and I imagine there’s a lot more of these beautiful anciently futuristic, experimental modules to come. Just arrived are Root and Matter II. Let’s see what they’re up to.
At the end of July they released Matter II. I find myself having to pause just to gaze at the sumptuous front panel. The design and layout is a radical departure from the original Matter module but retains the essence of what is essentially a drum synthesizer. They call it analog drum-wave synthesis and the patching has been simplified, new possibilities added and it is slightly less crazy than the original while leaving plenty of room for experimentation.
Our attention is always drawn to the 6 pin matrix wheels that pulse with a steampunk vibe and act as a single point patchbay. No need for cables or those patch wires of the original, each pin placement creates a connection and a possibility.
The pin matrix allows access to the sound generation to create anything from beats to drone to noise and matter ii is fully capable of processing external audio with fuzz, filtering and heavy distortion. With the addition of a vactrol, these drones, noise or even processed audio can be cut or modulated with any gate, trigger or cv source.
The module is split into 3 drum wave sections, each with two 17 point matrices, a knob with CV and a trigger input. The knobs offer up a blend of sounds, drums and processing expanding the sonic potential.
Another unexpected aspect is that Matter II is designed to take expansion cards. These change or add to the functionality by fitting over the pin matrix and making connections which bringing in new technology. It’s a bit weird and very wonderful.
Check out the website for more information and images and prepare to be intrigued and delighted. There are no proper video or sound examples yet. But I did find this on Instagram which will give you a flavour of their intent. Matter II is available for preorder in copper or gold for $449.
Next up is Root which you can see flanking the Matter II on both sides in the Instagram above. It’s a simple but elegant 1in/4out audio or CV splitter. Patch either audio or CV in at the top and use the attenuator knob to fade the sound into your chosen routing. Touch the gold hexagonal pads to enable or mute the outputs. You could route one modulation source to 4 destinations. Maybe step a mono signal up to stereo or send sequences to different oscillators at the touch of a pad. The lights let you know what’s on and off.
It’s very similar in design to the Quiet 4-channel mute module they released in January and Folktek suggest they work together really very well.
Root is available now in copper or gold for $139 and takes 1-2 weeks for delivery.
According to a post on Instagram Folktek are working towards a full system. They also have a small standalone analog synth in the works that they plan to reveal in a couple of months. Definitely one to look forward to.