Unlike most of the Sonicstate team, I did not go gallavanting off to Anaheim last week, due in part, to the arrival of a baby girl! Still, I watched from afar and have been asked for my take on this year's exhibitors. Here are my thoughts, starting with purveyors of Eurorack modules.
Modbap - Meridian
Modbap make deep yet immensely performative and "tweakable" modules and this approach continues with Meridian. Meridian is a 14hp digital dual multimode stereo filter array, designed to offer users a choice between 4 selectable filter types per side and 4 selectable filter modes per side, plus 2 effects.
You'd think that a digital filter module might be a hard sell; surely analogue filters are the most desirable in Eurorack setups? Well, I believe that Meridian has a number of unique things going for it. Firstly, it sounds lovely - always important! Secondly, it has great flexibility, with Ladder, OTA, Comb, and vocal formant varieties, plus drive (with crush) AND a phase shifter - of great use in smaller racks then. Thirdly, I'd say that the control options are very appealing; that macro frequency knob in the centre and plenty of jacks! I'm looking forward to hearing more from this one.
4ms - Catalyst Sequencer
I love quirky sequencers and anything with "blinkenlights" - so 4ms's new sequencer really appeals in that regard. The sequencer has 8 channels(!) and each has the following parameters: length (1-64 steps), quantizer, transposition, clock, divider, randomization, voltage range (max -5V to +10V), and selectable CV (16-bit resolution) or gate mode.
Among these features is "phase-based" sequencing. Steps are apparently selected by CV, exciting!
Morphor - Plectrum
I love me a bit of Karplus, so the idea of using a 1024 BBD chip in such a synthesizer circuit appeals to me. Bucket brigade devices naturally attenuate the high-end of subsequent delays, which should lead to to sharper attacks and muted tails - and a pleasing option (in theory) for plucked bass sounds. Our footage of the Plectrum, and Morphor's own video, don't necessarily show anything ground breaking synthesis-wise, but the device does have a pleasant tonality and I imagine, can be pushed in exciting directions depending on which modules you pair it with. That's the beauty of modular I guess, things become more than the sum of their parts.
Stay tuned for more of my picks, thanks for stopping by!
Posted by MagicalSynthAdventure an expert in synthesis technology from last Century and Amiga enthusiast.
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