A favorite “West Coast” module that synthesists of all tastes should check out is the LPG: the low-pass gate, which acts like a VCA but with a filter element that also dampens the high frequencies. A new “hybrid” application I’ve found LPGs to be useful for is to process the output of dedicated percussion modules. An LPG naturally damps both the amplitude and harmonics of the input to mold most sounds into a typical percussive shape, freeing you up to dial in the initial noise and harmonic mix you like without worrying about the original sound ringing out too long or taking up too much room frequency-wise in a mix.
I’m spending all four days at NAMM this year in hopes of seeing as many modular companies as possible. The following few days I hope to share my impressions of what I found interesting at this show, with a liberal dose of personal commentary thrown in. In this installment I cover 2hp, Pittsburgh/Lifeforms Modular, Verbos Electronics, and some musings on formats.
Different oscillators and MIDI to CV converters may have varying ideas of what voltage a given note produces, and what pitch should you hear as a result. If there is a difference, in most cases it can be dialed out with a pitch knob or transpose switch. However, there are occasions when you need the assistance of an additional module to settle these disagreements.
I intended to visit the remaining modular manufacturers on my last half day at the show and cover all of their new releases, and fell woefully short – that’s a testament of how many manufacturers and new modules there are these days. Fortunately, there are others who report specs and prices; I’m going to focus more on my own impressions and reactions to some of the new and recently released modules I did get demos of.