If there’s a theme to this installment, it’s promising modules we saw previewed last year (and that we thought were going to ship last year) getting refined and re-introduced this year. I’m not complaining; all benefitted from the additional thought and user feedback. It’s not like there’s an outcry that new modules aren’t being introduced fast enough…
Ratcheting is a Berlin School sequencing technique where an individual note in a sequence has its envelopes retriggered multiple times, usually at a musical subdivision of the sequence’s tempo – such as playing 1/32 notes in the middle of an 1/8 note sequence – to create a roll. Although used since the 70s, not everyone knows how to create a ratcheting patch on their modular. In this article I demonstrate creating and performing several typical ratcheting patches.
The thought process that went into building a compact yet comprehensive starting modular synth system for my Learn Modular Synthesis course that covered a wide range of both East and West Coast techniques.
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.