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Signal Sounds Roundup – Mid May 2020




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Signal Sounds Roundup – Mid May 2020

We’re back again, two weeks, regular as clockwork for a change. This time around we’re got some new desktop synths and sequencers to go along with the usual hp munching modules which is a nice change. 

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Signal Sounds Roundup – Mid May 2020 8

Couple of HEAVY HITTERS from the big names in synths, Moog and Make Noise, some excellent new bits from Rare Waves out of Texas, new gear from DPW Design, and the welcome return of the Unsung Heroes feature (which we might rename “Forgotten Heroes” as we forgot to put it in the mail-out last time around).

Hope you’re all keeping safe out there.

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First seeing the light of day as a DIY project at Moogfest a couple of years ago, the Subharmonicon now gets a proper release and it’s important in a few different ways.

Firstly, it’s a really interesting synth – based around the idea of subharmonics and with a strange dual 4 step sequencer with very cool inter-step rhythm generators, it’s not really like too many other things out there.

Secondly, it shows that Moog is happy to do things a little different now and again and not just resting on their laurels by making yet another MiniMoog style synth

Thirdly it really rounds out the Mother32/DFAM family nicely – a three-tier rig with Mother 32, DFAM, and Subharmonicon is a force to be reckoned with and would make a superb compact synth with a lot of flexibility

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Holy macaroni!  We had an idea that Make Noise was going to release something new at the sadly canceled Superbooth earlier this year but they are very tight-lipped about future projects and we didn’t know what it as going to be. Turns out it’s something very, very cool indeed – The 0-CTRL Sequencer.

A stand-alone patchable sequencer with touch-capacitive controls galore, it works equally well with 0-Coast or the rest of your Eurorack system

The first person to ask “can i put in in my rack?” gets a pole in the eye with a sharp stick. Just put it on your desktop people, it won’t kill you.

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All hand built in Texas, the Rare Waves stuff is a treat, ranging from weird drone stuff with the Drone Commander to the more acidic bent of the Harmonium and the analog domain formant synthesis of the semi-modular RA-99

Their ethos is summed up nicely here:

“How can a circuit transcend its own simplicity to become a captivating musical instrument? This question underpins the Rare Waves philosophy of research and design. Ten years of laborious hand-built prototyping and evaluating new circuits in live performance has begun to yield fruit”

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Everything is hand-assembled with love by pedal enthusiast and one-man powerhouse, Dan Wahlbeck in Sweden. DPW modules focus on various methods of dynamics control within your eurorack synthesizer. A fast way to nice (or nasty!) up your sound!

Arriving with us very soon!

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Launched a little later than the Z8000 the Trigger Riot seemed, at the time, to be a natural companion to the matrix sequencer we mentioned in a mailout a few weeks ago. Again, it’s a matrix of 8 different sequencers but it outputs clock/gate/trigger patterns rather than variable CV sequences. The most interesting thing I’ve found with it on my rack for years now is how effortless it is to create seemingly complex rhythmic sequences.

The Trigger Riot lets you write patterns over the top of patterns that interweave to give you a wonderfully intricate web of rhythms that all work together with one another. I’ve often looked at other trigger sequencers to see if I can replicate what Trigger Riot does in a smaller form factor but I’ve never found anything that could replace it. For me, it is, without doubt, one of eurorack’s unsung heroes.

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