by Robin Vincent | 4,3 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
AFA Tannhauser Gates

AFA Tannhauser Gates  ·  Source: Animal Factory Amplification


Animal Factory Amplification takes inspiration from both Buchlas and Bladerunner in the Tannhauser Gates. An interestingly designed 4-channel mixer and VCA that you can expand to 16 channels.


Tannhauser Gates

I’m not sure whether there are C-beams glittering in the dark in this expression of the Tannhauser Gates, but it’s a terrific name for an experimental, sci-fi styled trigger sequencer. Except that’s not what this is. The delectably named Tannhouser Gates is, in fact, a stereo mixer and 4-channel VCA. In this case, the functional inspiration comes from the Buchla 100 series Gates. However, the back of the module includes a quote from Roy Batty and his likeness, which is always going to be awesome.


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Anyway, back to the Tannhauser Gates. What we’ve got is four mono channels of mixing with panning to a stereo output. Each channel has a single knob tilt EQ to seesaw the low and high frequencies. What makes this a VCA is the inclusion of a CV input and offset knob. There’s also a Master CV input, so you can control all four channels at once – that’s very cool. Each channel has a soft mute button that is stored off to the side, which is a little odd. A full stereo effects send and return finishes off the module. What you don’t get is a master level control, although you could use the CV for that.



One great feature that I certainly appreciate is the ability to expand your channel count with more Tannhauser Gates. You can connect another 3 to the back panel with a ribbon cable to give you 16 audio channels; all summed to a single stereo output. At 20HP each, that’s a whopping 80HP worth of mixing in your rack, but if you’ve got 16 sound sources, then space is not your problem.

Tannhauser Gates is an interesting-looking mixer. Animal Factory Amplification always have a different take on this and doesn’t shy away from unusual front panels. I like the larger gain knobs that make sure your fingers fall onto the most useful control. The website talks about there being lots of different expansion possibilities, so I hope they offer additional 4 channel modules that don’t have the master section. This would be much more space-efficient. Another expansion option could be for individual channel sends.

The introductory video below takes a little while to get going, but if you skip to nearer the end, it does get quite exciting. Tannhauser Gates is available now for £343.88.

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AFA Tannhauser Gates

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One response to “Tannhauser Gates: Buchla inspired expandable mixing from AFA”

    Vincent Vice says:

    This product is labelled “Tannhäuser Gates”, full stop. (Same w/ “MFB Tanzbär”, etc. etc.)

    If you are too lazy to pick out the correct characters w/ diacritics -and this is very easy on a proper software touch keyboard-, use at a minimum their two-character ASCII representation in case of Umlauts..

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