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Signal Sounds Update and Roundup April 2020

Actually only being a week late with the mailout is pretty good for Jason Brunton and the Signal Sounds team, they are pretty happy with that result given the circumstances.

Jason wants to reach out to the reader of StrongMocha as many are also customers of Signal Sounds:

First things first – it’s very likely that we’re all in the same boat here and going through some very strange times. We wish all of you the very best in getting through it all and wanted to thank everyone who’s written some very nice and supportive emails to us in the last few weeks. Without you lot we’re just some folks sitting in a room with too many modules so it’s good to know there are so many genuinely nice and decent people amongst our crew out there, we send insanely large virtual group hugs to you all.

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Just to answer a few practical questions:

In terms of minimizing risk and staying safe, we think we’re doing everything we can and are taking a sensible approach.  Aleks and Kyle are both working from home, we’ve shuttered the retail part of the store and it’s just myself (Jason) in the office doing all the order processing, dispatch and taking in orders.  We only have 4 interactions a day with couriers and they’re practicing all the social distancing stuff well and every package that comes in is cleaned with anti-bac wipes.  Hand washing is at obsessive levels and the back of my hands look like an 80-year-old witch’ – taking one for the team as always!  I also cycle to and from work so no public transport or social interactions to worry about there either. 

In terms of shipping, it’s been surprisingly unaffected.  UK shipping is pretty much the next day as usual although there are some localized areas where Royal Mail is struggling.  Package volumes are through the roof with people ordering essentials online but Royal Mail has seer staff shortages in some areas so we have a lot of sympathy for them.  Outside of the UK, there have been some 24-hour delays on road freight due to increased border checks but the air freight is mostly unaffected.  

Obviously, with just one person in the office instead of three, things are a bit tricky so please bear with us if it takes a little longer than usual to reply to emails, we really are doing our best to keep things moving and keep you all making music.

This week we start with a funky little groovebox-synth-drum machine thing from Italy. Everything that LEP makes is a little bit unique and this is no exception. It’s packed with four sequencers, VCO’s, LFO’s, S&H, noise and so much more, all routed in complex and strange ways. Surprisingly deep and with ample connections including MIDI and CV, this is a great little live performance and inspiration tool.

Old friend of the store, Chris Carter (Throbing Gristle/Chris % Cosey) had this to say about it:

I’ve used a lot of synths over the years but this one is something different… it’s a strange instrument, part synth, part drum machine, part multi-track sequencer. I’m still figuring it all out but initial impressions are that it’s very unpredictable and slightly unstable… but in a good way.”

Here’s another odd one but just look at that panel design. soft.
Ever tried polygonal synthesis before? Nope. Us neither! But now you can with the E-RM Polygogo. With super clever wave shaping of sine waves, the Polygogo gives you several controls such as “Order” “Teeth” and “Roll” to allow you to create unique wave shapes. Naturally, you have CV control over all those too.
The visual feedback is simply stunning. We highly recommend you check out a video of this thing. It’s an art that sounds good too.

This thing is A-MAZE-ING. Seriously, we plugged it in and couldn’t stop touching it all day. Its got a pretty unusual architecture with dual independent but interconnected four-step sequencers. These can either be clocked simultaneously or separately to create wacky rhythms and ever-changing sequences. The sound ranges from acidy squelch to thumping bass with its filter being nice and resonant. On top of all that, it has clocked in and out so you can run in sync with a drum machine or other synths. Highly recommended for some inspirational fun!

Probably not something you’ve seen before…The module and pedals from Maneco Labs in Uruguay!
Maneco Labs specializes in delay and looping effects, it’s fair to say it’s their obsession with their website running to tens’ of pages of interviews with the founding fathers of Echoplex and other classic looper and delay instruments.  The Minilooper Eurorack module gives you loads of control over the effect you want. With controls and CV over “Infinite” “Reverse” and “Slow” you can bet this is going to be a fun module to play with. Also the huge 10mm LED is really cute.

Could this be the ultimate wavetable module?

The Waveplane from Dove Audio gives you an unprecedented amount of movement and control over four cv morphable waveforms. Each of the four has thirty-two selectable wave shapes from the standard square, saw, and triangle but also vocal formants, metallic twangs, and lots more craziness. With its CV controls, FM and accurate V/oct tracking, the Waveplane will generate sounds unlike any you’ve heard before.

Want to get even more hands on with your eurorack system? Then check out this little beauty.
The Intellijel Tetrapad gives you versatile touch control with four pressure and position sensitive pads. With it’s many different modes you can use it as a chord generator, drum pads, a keyboard or even just four independent LFO’s all with bright visual feedback.
For even more control add the expander, Tete. It gives you the ability to loop and record long touch sequences. Extra assignable CV outputs and inputs and even more visual feedback with its screen. Stick this pair into your rack and have the ultimate touch control system.

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