XAOC build Eurorack modules in Poland and call it “Working class electronics” and yet they produce some of the most exquisite devices. The Tallin is simply a VCA but there’s nothing simple about the way XAOC do it.
A regular VCA would offer level control over Eurorack audio and CV signals. It’s a vital component of any modular system and the familiar forum comment that “you need more VCAs” often rings true. With the Tallin, XAOC are suggesting that tonal characteristics are actually important in VCAs. They’ve worked two distinct amplifier overdrive circuits into this module. Based on the sound of classic tube amplifiers they offer two carefully crafted distortion profiles. While a soft-clip circuit also prevents harsh clipping distortion. The VCA can push the levels up to +18dB and a multi-colour signal LED helps with monitoring.
The Tallin has two identical and independent channels built around a “modern vintage discrete VCA core with a matched transistor pair and multiple feedback topology.” The idea is to provide a “thick and charming sound” rather than sonic purity. With the CV inputs both linear and exponential are available simultaneously and affect the gain of the VCA together. You can use both, connected in series with the exponential followed by the linear, one or the other, or neither if you prefer to do things by hand.
When dealing with CV attenuation then tone is not a factor. But the combination of linear and exponential responses could create some interesting shapes.
VCAs are rarely as interesting as this. But XAOC manage to bring ideas and a feel to their modules which is uniquely them, recognisably”Eastern Bloc” and full of vintage flavour. The Tallin is available now for €160.
- XAOC Tallin webpage.