NAMM 2016
  • Just getting this thread started with this awesome all-in-one voice from Make Noise, the 0 Coast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv7M9GVghc0

    This is the perfect companion for my tiny bit of modular. I’ve wanted all of these things, and there they are in one very small module!

  • Beautiful! (And predicted 2 years ago :D)

  • Really cute design but aren’t synthesis options a bit unbalanced ?

  • With a little euclidean generator and random looper it would have been the “Buchla 303”.

  • @usw: This module focuses more on adding harmonics to the oscillator instead of subtracting them. The Overtone and Multiply sections of the 0 Coast are what takes the place of the standard subtractive filter. However, the LPG at the end can remove harmonics if you want it to.

    What I love are the on-board modulation options. There is a stand alone random source with a voltage processor below it. Then there is a slope generator or “half a Maths” for an LFO or audio rate looping modulator. As you can change the time of the ramps with an external voltage, this can be used as an audio rate oscillator too. The voltage processor will help you get it tracking to 1V/Oct. Then finally a more standard contour envelope with variable slope shapes.

    As for a sequencer, I plan to just hook my Electribe to this directly with a TRS jack as they used the same standard as Korg. The didn’t mention it, but I am pretty sure there are CV and Gate converters below the Midi input.

  • Cute, and the price (US$500) illustrates the economy of scale from combining several modules into one (but that’s not the modular way, the purists will decry!). But the best bit is their use of an FR-4 fibreglass PCB material for the panel, which appears to have both ENIG gold tracing and white silkscreen for labelling, and translucent sections to diffuse what are probably SMD LEDs underneath, reducing the manual assembly costs further.

  • The new Waldorf Eurorack keyboard really outclasses every other one I have seen so far. The demos of the modules aren’t bad. The dual VCA with independent 12 dB/Oct filters and compressor with an envelope follower out sound more useful than I had initially imagined.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIbDNJCRH-Y

    Still no word on an official price.

  • It looks like Stromberg :)

  • it probably is the Stromberg they just changed the name.

  • Isn’t that a type of carburettor, like Weber, Amal or SU?

  • Did a bit of a double take with that Make Noise thing- I thought it was racked into the desk at first cos it couldn’t be that thin, surely! Good news for people who need to keep their synth buying, er….discreet.

  • Looks very nice! This also grabbed my attention>>>

    FM Korg Volca

    There are several people saying it may not be legit, but it looks real to me, we’ll find out later on in the day :)

  • Looks like we have to wait a couple of hours till the guys in Anaheim has crawled out of the bed and had a breakfast!

  • The downside of the Waldorf stuff is a powerconsumption of 450mA per module.

  • @audiohoarder, I don’t mind non subtractive approaches for timbre generation, but I have yet to hear an analog waveshaper that allows for subtle variations and doesn’t end up in a diversity of rather unpleasing and ultimately ambivalent territories :/ When Tony presents two ws circuits normaled in serie, one tame vca/vcf combo that doesn’t seem to react nicely to the “contour” modulation, and then a sine/waveshaped crossfader as effective timbral controls, I’m getting cold feet :(

  • 450mA per module?!? Have they been taking design lessons from the Roland eurorack module team?

  • Useful looking looper from TC: finally with Midi clock sync!

    http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2016/01/21/namm2016-new-tc-looper/

  • The MatrixBrute looks like an Arturia take on the Voyager.

  • I’m not sure of the thinking behind the Matrixbrute. As a proof-of-concept ‘look what we can do’ thing, fine, but is anyone really going to buy one?

  • Choosing between Steiner or Ladder Filter reminds me of a certain synth…

  • Have a little fun money coming soon, and once I saw the 0-coast, I knew that’s where I’m going to spend it. Something completely playable on it’s own (and compact for travelling) that can also interface with my modest modular system. What a great device, cheers to Make Noise! NAMM can just end now, so I don’t get tempted by other new and amazing gear.

  • The Korg Volca FM is most defiantly real, I saw it yesterday with my own eyes. I also had a go on the Minilogue, it sounds great.

  • That is great to know Rowan. However much I love the new make noise synth, my wallet will like the Volca more :-D

  • I’d like to compare the 0-coast with the Phenol. I already have a Phenol and I’m not sure if it would be an apples-to-apples comparison but I’m just curious. Nothing else I’ve seen in the NAMM reports is doing much for me, which is good news ‘cause I’m out of money anyways.

  • It’ll be an apples to silver-apples-of-the-moon comparison

  • <golf clap>

  • Strymon´s Eurorack Module caught my attention:

    http://www.strymon.net/products/generalissimo/

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  • @nightworxx
    >>The downside of the Waldorf stuff is a powerconsumption of 450mA per module.

    I don’t think that can be true. The kb37 provides 1.5A for +-12V and the nw1 module need max. 150mA. No information for the other modules on the Waldorf site.
    Where did you get this information?

  • The pocket operators are great fun. Very jammable.

  • My bad, i was confused by a thread in the logicuser forum. The powerconsumption discussed was of Roland modules. No idea how i could get this out of order…guess i’m getting old…

  • Hmmm, Modal wavetable VCO module. I thought the VCos or DCOs in the Modal synths were fairly low-spec? Maybe these are souped-up versions?

  • Qu-bit:

    2-HP VCO
    Analog chord VCO
    Ridiculously complete VC-mixer

    A bit concerned that none of these modules have full-size knobs. People, punish me if I ever release a module in which one of these tiny pots is used for something other than attenuverters/attenuators or response curve control.

  • We will ! We will…

  • Lower left: Rainmaker: 16 tap stereo spectral rhythm delay and comb resonator, note the Cylonix logo, probably has FPGA inside like Shapeshifter.

  • The year of the OLED.

  • (Breathing, because I thought “Rainmaker” was either going to kill Clouds or two of the things I’m working on)

    Notes:

    • Don’t really like the new design language.
    • Rainmaker is exactly in the same vein as the Shapeshifter – a great module if you want to achieve something very precise that you already have in mind and that you can carefully plan with it, one setting at a time (Yarns is like that too). Serendipity hidden in the menus.
    • Would there be interest for 1U Mutable Instruments utilities?

  • 1 1/2 years ago I considered to start a eurorack system with 3U 84hp. But after some readings and warnings ;-) I thought to start really big and built a 9U 84hp case. And now all these nice new modules! I have only 12hp left and need a new case! aaaaaaaargh!

    Will there be a company which will NOT sell eurorack modules in 2016? :-)

  • Jellysquasher appears to be half a Streams?

  • With CV control over everything, that’s the point…

  • Am I seeing a slight bit of influence from MI modules in terms of the buttons and panel graphic design?

  • pichenettes> Would there be interest for 1U Mutable Instruments utilities?

    Yes, especially if the power specs could be improved – the use of 3-pin Futaba connectors, which only support very thin wires designed for model aircraft servos, just repeats the mistakes of the original Doepfer standard using IDC connectors and ribbon cables. According to the “official” specs, the power cables are hardwired to each tile. A better solution is needed, that interfaces nicely with existing eurorack power distribution and/or connects directly with PSUs and provides a low impedance earth buss for proper grounding.

  • I’m on the fence about 1U modules. I do like 1U strips, such as the Make Noise CV bus or Monome’s ISMs (integrated in the case, I know). That said a row of mix/match 1U utilities to fully customize a small system, such as a portable 7U, so the 3U rows are not filled with utilities may be appealing to live performers.

    Want a 1U USB tile for a gooseneck or iPad power? Add it. Want two? Add them.

    Want a 1U simple mixer or two? Add them.

    It’s a novel concept. I beleive it would succeed or fail based on the implementation. Intellijel’s look great but I keep thinking that they are simply 3U modules installed sideways at the top. Not sure if I would find a use for them since I can add a skiff or buy a larger case and stick with 3U utilities.

  • I agree with jdk988 here. I’m also on the fence. The power connectivity needs to be addressed, and the utility needs to be there. I do think that larger, multifunction 1U “tiles” (like a 1U x 84hp/42hp/16hp strip) would seem more appealing, if they combined popular utilities. Perhaps mults & mixers, USB A connections for ipad / gooseneck is a good idea, maybe even adsr x1 or x2, or an output tile with 1/8th and 1/4” jacks and a horizontal VU meter? Side note: maybe I should start making tile modules… I think it’s all about packing utility into small spaces, but keep it simple (no need for excessive CV patch points). Anyway, just my two cents. That said, I’d bump up to 7U if Mutable came out with 1U modules. You know they’d be pleasing to the eye. :)

  • If I do anything 1U, it won’t be “tiles”, but instead larger things like horizontal versions of Links, Shades, and the few other utility things I’m going to release this year. I would use standard Euro connectors.

  • yes, 1U would be perfect for all these little modules : links/shades/branches….

    Qubit mixer looks really well thought, everything need for me in that, especialy the pre/post phone switch !

  • -1 for 1U tiles.

  • This NAMM is way better than 2015. We get an Oberheim!

    I didn’t expect Modal Eurorack, but that is very neat. The Matrix/Maxi Brute is actually a thing? For a monosynth, that thing is huge! Great CV options, but damn, that push button matrix is really the only way to make a visual mod matrix… Can’t even sit anything small on this synth…

    @usw: The 0 Coast is really more of a “complex oscillator generator”. You can easily pair it with a standard subtractive synth to get smoother tones. That is what I will be doing.

    @pichenettes: Small knobs are not as big of an issue as small sliders. On a utility oscillator like the ana, they are perfectly acceptable. The other two modules are not ones I would personally need. I do think the layout of the panel will be very cramped once all of the patch cables are connected.

    If your 1U series would benefit from the small knobs, give it a go! :) It would be even cooler if you could get the LED knobs that Korg has. ;)

  • Here is a Matrix Brute demo video. It has patch memory! :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7otjBeR0yh0

    I think that it could use a bit more streamlining. It just seems too big. I think it would have been a better idea to put the modular jacks on the front of the unit instead of on the back. Estimated price will be less than 2000 EUR/USD.

  • Yes please MI Tiles!

  • mi is one of the few manufacturers i’d “trust” to go with a 1u line – given the assumption that the power and mechanical concerns bb brought up would be properly handled and that a serviceable selection would be available. the tile offerings as of late feel a bit half baked – “want a sort of ok mixer? dodgy lpg perhaps?”, i don’t want to have to fill out a case with stuff i’m not into.

    but 1u extended versions of shades/links perhaps a quality balanced output offered by mi? thats a very different story. i would no doubt plan case design around the odd row knowing that i could fill it with the utilities that i already prefer to use anyway.

  • +1 MI balanced output tiles. I know I probably don’t NEED balanced outputs, but my mixer and my audio interface both have balanced inputs, and it just seems cooler to make use of them once signal levels have been reduced from modular levels to +4dB levels (vague hand-waving). And maybe I might do some gigs (hah-hah) and need them (p<0.0001).

  • I don’t really see the point of 1u tiles over 3u modules, personally. I imagine the fraction of euro users that have a case with a 1u row is small.

  • Thought about this issue for awhile over dinner tonight.

    Do not want sideways modules. Why? What purpose do they serve apart from making another format? 6U folding portable cases are OK. What does 7U give us? Make it 9U. Too big? OK, but why sideways modules? Just another format to argue over the power and mounting, et. al.

    The return of the thin white duke, throwing darts in lover eyes. . . . The european cannon is here, yes it’s here.

  • Video of the FM volca

    3 voices, DX-7 compatible, macro controls, but also lets you edit all the parameters directly. By the way, am I the only one who thinks Tatsuya Takahashi is a really nice guy?

  • Ok, here is the Yamaha Montage video with the “Subpah” knob. I love the way the presenter says super. :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJK-dFaY7k8

    If I ever have to score a JRPG, this would be my go-to. ;)

  • > I think that it could use a bit more streamlining. It just seems too big.

    I find setting mod matrix is the most annoying thing to do on most synths. Everything else is pretty visual. So having a synth where they have brought back the old “peg board” type of modulation matrix is a huge selling point to some. Especially given that people are now used to Euro where you can see what is connected to what.

  • 1u modules:

    i’m with dmr and jdk998 here. i don’t see any need for an additional module format.

    the original square little 1u tiles never got me interested, but at least i could see the point – how they might be useful for a very compact and mobile attaché case kind of skiff thing. but it’s such a small niche – there don’t seem to be many cases available that offer 1u space. now wider ‘sideways’ 1u modules have me baffled completely. what’s the advantage over putting the same functionality into a standard 3u module? looks like a dead end to me…

  • btw, winter namm 2016 is officially when i lost track of eurorack manufacturers and their products. :)

  • You tell me, pal…you tell me…

  • > what’s the advantage over putting the same functionality into a standard 3u module?

    It’s a question of layout… The same way you’d put your utilities between two groups of modules, you might want to have the utilities between two rows of module, so that you have a kind of “cartesian grid” of utilities between which you put groups of 3 or 4 modules.

  • yes, but is that really worth introducing a whole new module format, which none of the standard euro cases have room for?

  • Let’s see how the case market evolves…

  • You’re saying you’ll introduce these MI 1U modules together with a line of MI cases?

  • >You’re saying you’ll introduce these MI 1U modules together with a line of MI cases?

    - New ERP is operational, codename “boxes”.

    It seems so but as always I can be completely wrong.

  • what’s ‘erp’?

  • ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning. It’s special software that ensures than nothing is in stock when it is required and that people are on holidays during crises.

  • ah i see. so ‘boxes’ probably wasn’t a reference to upcoming euro cases, but to boxes full of euro modules. :)

  • 1u modules: Intellijel uses different (mechanical) specs for the tiles. Quite unfortunate since now a few manufacturers offer tiles (also Vermona, Synthrotek). The specs of Intellijel seem better motivated and more coherent, but it means that the existing tiles won’t fit (a matter of a only few mm – sufficient to be incompatible).

    Otherwise i can only agree with everything said above: It is quite useful (and very ergonomic) to have a 1u row of utilities between two 3u rows (mults, utility mixer, etc … maybe a bit format conversion and outs on the sides). Basically a mix-and-match utility bar. I see no reason why more complex modules should be 1u (including envelopes, 3u is just fine).

    MakeNoise CV bus fills a similar role (birdkids announces something similar: the Control Bus. But why a complex midi interface is included is beyond me. Tiles do have an advantage in this respect. I’d rather chose myself if and which interface i need).

    ps. The reason why many existing tiles are quite low spec (“want a sort of ok mixer? dodgy lpg perhaps?”) is because they were mainly driven by the DIY crowd/market. Not because there is something inherently wrong with the format.

  • @Benne: YMMD !!!

  • @t2k: That Tatsuya definitely seems like a really good guy. I always enjoy the interviews with him. Same goes for the fellow from Modal, he’s always a good interview too.

    Speaking of Modal, it’s definitely a surprise to see them offer Euro modules. If they can get that price to <$300 as mentioned, then they would be instantly attractive. Filter sounds really nice.

    @Bennelong: You got a couple chuckles out of me with your recent comments!

  • Also, this is technically guitar news: The GigRig Autopot
    Control any knob mechanically via midi cc. I can see this would be useful for Hans Zimmer types who need to remotely control out-of-reach knobs on their massive modulars.

  • The Modal guy is indeed great too even though I can’t remember his name right now. For me however, Tatsuya Takahashi wins because he seems genuinly excited that he has been able to get his designs mass-produced at a relatively low price so that lots of people will be able to play them.

  • @t2k agreed. And I’d go as far as to say that the Minilogue is the star of the show so far. Depends on whether you’re a modular head or not, I spose.

  • My only issue with the Minilogue is the number of voices. It would have been even more brilliant with 6 voices, even at 1.5 times the price.

  • As far as 1u modules goes, does a new panel with everything rotated 90 degrees work?

    At least for the modules that fit 1u (internals would need to fit within the 44.45mm), and would need to be rounded-up to the next hp in width.

  • I think the business model for hardware these days is start small, develop low polyphonic versions, test the water and then grow

  • The “Modal Guy” is Paul Maddox. Before Modal was formed, he made the Mono Wave synthesizer that ended up bringing us one of the best wavetables ever assembled. monowave.wav

    I can say that all of the synth legends I have met are all very very nice in person. If you’re a synth lover, feel free to meet your heroes! :D

    @BennelongBicyclist: You should consider writing a Dilbert-type web comic. I’d read it. :)

    @t2k: The pictures posted in the Minilogue thread show that the thing is crammed full of components. There is no way they could fit 6 voices in that space. :( I’m sure they will add a poly chain feature later down the line. :) Or you can use your favorite Midi Pal or open source variant to get them chained up.

  • I’ve been having a nice time here. The new Oberheim kinda sucks but Moog offerings are nice.
    Also nice to see Mutable Instruments stuff scattered about. Was surprised to see it at the Moog area!

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  • The Minilogue was developed to scale the number of voices, we’ll see bigger models with more voices….. At least that’s the impression I was given by some people from Korg at the show

  • I’m somehow strangely fascinated by the Volca FM

  • @janniz

    Me too :D

  • the Volca FM looks nice. I’m a big fan of the Volca series and totally love my Keys. Though this one seems to take “menu diving” to a whole new level! :D

  • Anybody has seen the Black Market Modular booth?

  • Clouds white LED edition?

  • The Volca FM is not something that I would have expected. I wouldn’t worry about using the unit itself to edit patches. The few videos I saw, the presenters made it quite clear that you could use standard DX7 patches and software editors.

    As far as FM, that new Montage looks to be an F1SR killer.

  • The newest thing about the Volca FM is the price. The DX200 does much the same but with a higher price tag and can’t be bought new.

  • @audiohoarder I agree about the Montage, but too bad about the form factor. I’d loved a module/rack sound module version.

  • Would be very tricky to shrink the UI down to a rack format. Few companies bother making racks now.

  • @6581punk Yes. I still think a nice desktop module would work.

  • @rumpelfilter, I was on the Black Market Moduler Booth. They were showing the new zvex modules and a desktop/pedal unit to house Color PCBs

  • @Rowan: thanks! Both things I have been working on, that’s why I asked. Let’s hope I get to see some photos soon! They keep me on needles here! :)

  • https://youtu.be/oClTaz3Cw7w

    Sounds like the Minilogue voice design will be used for future synths as well.

  • @Bjarne: I would prefer a rack too, but if the Montage goes for used Motif prices in the next two years, I think that getting a 61 key version wouldn’t be out of the question. It is definitely not a “must have” for me, but since it has the advanced FM with the nice sample libraries, it is much more interesting.

    @t2k:I would be surprised if they didn’t as Korg has made many synths based off of the same voice in the past. In the 80’s they made the DW6000, then the DW8000, then the Korg DSS-1, and finally the Korg DSM-1. Then those gave way immediately to the M1, so YMMV.

    That video definitely hints at an option with more voices. :)

  • Channelling Theodor Geisel. These make me wonder if R. Crumb could be persuaded to design some eurorack panels?

  • Here’s another Minilogue demo. I think the resonance on the filter sounds very nice in this demo.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvQSEgTJKos

  • Here is an OP-Z demo that shows the video syntheses.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ggiNEU7GYQ

    It is just running the Unity game engine which is free. It has pretty great sound support, so I am not surprised to hear that the chose that engine. However, since that is the secret sauce, I am not sure that I would choose to use an OP-Z over my computer and a tracker like Sun Vox.

  • @audiohoarder I am pretty sure the display engine is not running on the OP-Z hardware, but as part of the app you connect to.

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