The long-awaited CVilization module from software synth specialists u-he is a glorious display of colour and possibility but what does it do?
It was at Superbooth 2018 that Urs Heckman of u-he first tried to explain his new Eurorack module. At the time he called it a “polymorphic CV mangling tool” and that’s as good a term as any for what appears to be a pretty deep utility module.
In an introductory video (below) we get a great deal of explanation of how it works but very little on what it actually does. We’ve learned that it’s digital in nature, has 4 high-resolution inputs and outputs that can handle both CV and audio. It also has two control inputs that can take modulation, triggers or gates. There are 4 modes which I guess means that it essentially has 4 functions and everything is controlled by the 8 wonderfully coloured rotary encoders which also have a pushdown action.
The encoders have variable colours and brightness and these are used as indicators to function and level/amount/intensity. Each mode has various pages starting with the “Performance” page. Navigation is done via short and long presses of knobs and you can always come back to the Performance page ready for action by pressing the “breathing” encoder. There’s mention of a configuration page where you can enable Quantization, Sample & Hold and Glide for each output but for what purpose is a little unclear.
Although the introductory video includes no examples or CV processing of anything at all the description includes reference to the 4 modes and a promise of further explanation in videos to come.
The modes are a 4 x 4 Matrix Mixer, 4 x 4 Sequential Switch, Quad Mucorder and Quadraphonic Panner. The first two seem straightforward enough, the second two a lot less so. Searching through the comments on the video I found that “Mucorder” is a cross between “mutation” and “recorder” where it can record steps into a sequencer and then mutate them in interesting ways.
CVilization is a fascinating module that’s visually exciting and potentially awesome if only we can figure exactly what it could offer for your rack. The modes give us a clue but until more videos arrive we’re just going to have to ponder the possibilities. I’m also keen to hear about the Wiretrap module they were planning to show at Superbooth 2020 – no news so far.
According to a forum post in August they are hoping to release CVilization in October so more information and videos should be along soon.