System 80 have released their second Eurorack module while annoyingly not giving us any news on their long-awaited TR-808 clone. But as with their JOVE Jupiter 6 filter, the “850” multi-functional modulation source looks fabulous and has a lot of great stuff to distract us from the 808.
It’s a utility module but with a bunch of useful and creative stuff built into a lovely looking package. It’s fully analog and brings together a voltage controlled LFO, Sample & Hold (S&H), Noise and a Slew Limiter. The S&H is normalised to Pink Noise or any of the LFO outputs that aren’t patched and so can use them as a source. Or you can use an external source. The S&H output is routed to the Slew Limiter allowing for a bit of glide to be added to the signal. The LFO features an adjustable delay circuit triggered by an external rising pulse allowing for a gradual increase in amplitude after a reset pulse.
In the Noise department, you have both pink and white noise outputs. Lastly, there’s a triangle waveform output that runs at the same speed as the S&H clock.
The 850 is open source hardware and the design files are available on Github.
This is all well and good and if the response to the JOVE is anything to go by then the 850 should be a remarkable utility module. But where is the Rhythm Composer?