SWARM: Asynchronous Gate Generator or Accidental Pattern Looper?
SWARM doesn’t really know what it’s doing and you don’t know how to use it but we all need randomly generated and unrelated pattern loops in our lives and sometimes something musical is discovered.
Moffenzeef Modular describe is as “A quad asynchronous pattern generator, square wave VCO, clock source and functionally useless.” What it does for certain is generate a load of beeps. The concept is that you have 4 channels of randomly created gate patterns. They are not related to each other and you cannot control them individually. They decrease in complexity from manic obsession to mild confusion. There is an overall speed control knob at the top that raises and lowers the overall flow of madness.
But what’s interesting here are the loop switches. If you hear something you like, or just at some random point, you flick the switch and that channel will freeze the current pattern and loop it. It’s supposed to be similar to a tape loop and it’s a bit like turn the knob fully right on a Music Thing Turning Machine to turn a random series of notes into a pattern. You can’t set the start and stop points of the loop, they are arbitrary in the gate generating equivalent of a middle finger.
There’s a square wave output and a Width control but I’m not really sure what they do.
As a source of playful randomness SWARM is pretty fabulous. It’s not the sort of module you want to think too hard about, you just go with it and see where it takes you. Or maybe leave it to its own devices.
SWARM is available now for $189.