The Eurorack world is changing, its going stereo. Or at least this seems to be the trend that has started to happen over the last year or so.
In this review we take a look at 3 new stereo modules released by Make Noise released this year.
QPAS is a stereo filter, then we have the Mimeophon, a stereo delay/fx processor and then we have a simple dual crossfade X-Pan.
As far as filters go in Eurorack there is a lot of choice already. QPAS takes the idea of a stereo filter and delivers it in such a way as to make you feel as though you are exploring the stereo field for the first time. Put in a simple mono input and you can create space and width with wild abandon….
The concept is very simple, take four analogue filter cores, split them two on the left and two on the right then give you a number of controls to make the cores move around each other. Hence the name Quad Peak Animation System. The interface you are given, is quite simple in its design however in true Make Noise fashion it allows you to access the full spectrum of sounds available. The controls feel very well tuned.
QPAS is a 12dB multimode filter, it has eight different outputs grouped in stereo sets of two; Low pass, band pass, high pass and smile pass. The smile pass is unique to QPAS, the topology of the smile pass changes as the cut off frequency is moved, resulting in a relatively constant output amplitude regardless of the cutoff frequency.
Personally, I really think Make Noise have done a great job here. The filter as a tool for music making is such a tried and tested thing, however they have managed to make something that is both exciting to use and can find a niche in your system.
Mimeophon is the main star of the show in this review, however that is not to say that the other two modules aren’t excellent back up singers. Mimeophon on the face of it is just a stereo delay, however I would rather think of it as a palette of time based effects. It can do almost every time based effect imaginable. It is also completely open ended, so instead of a multi effects unit that gives you presets that you can then explore the Mimeophon gives you an interface that puts it all there on the front panel, but in a way that allows you to explore the multi-effects yourself.
Again the idea here is quite simple, you have 8 different Zones (buffer sizes) you can then move around these zones freely, the sound is always being recorded into all zones, so if you’re in zone 1 for instance then zone 8 will record the repeats of zone 1. Etc etc. The smaller zones are great for short delays, chorus, flanging, phasing and even distortion. The medium sized zones cover your more standard delay settings and the larger zones cover phrase recording and looping.
Shaping the zones comes easily in the form of the colour knob, this is effectively a tilt EQ, however it is also some sort of distortion going on here, made to mimic everything from the darkest delayline to a pristine digital delay line.
We also get the HALO effect which is essentially a reverb, however it does seemed to be tied some what to the repeats parameter. Allowing you to make beautiful washes of ambience.
Now where the Mimeophon gets even more interesting is the different stereo operations it can achieve. You have skewing where you can add different delay times to the left and right, ping pong and swap. All of which allow you to create really wide sounding effects.
Overall the Mimeophon gives you everything you could want out of a delay in a nice small package. If you’re into ambient Eurorack exploration then you jst found your next purchase.
X-pan is very simple, but very useful. Two mono crossfaders with panning and a stereo VCA.
QPAS is £359ish
Mimeophon is £369
X-Pan is £239
Make Noise have done a great job with all of these modules, as always Eurorack isn’t the cheapest solution to the task at hand, however the fun you’ll have while trying to realize that solution is the one of the main reasons why you’d buy any of this stuff…
More info at Make Noise