bye to Peaks! I love it when projects finish or ideas are “done” and always support the next thing.
as someone who has used most of the available and some of the DMC modes in Peaks, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to think of how I’d best accommodate the “loss” of this module (lol it’s not going anywhere soon). no restrictions on this as I don’t think there is something else at 8hp and <$200 that would do it for me.
I think the most immediate answer is Batumi, as I initially used Peaks a lot for slow modulations pinged (or not) by Tides hi/lo. over time, that changed and Peaks gave me some new tools (arguably the greatest strength of the design). to replicate everything I’ve stuck with Peaks for, I’d have to add a Ladik burst and a basic AR/AD generator. (the combo I have Peaks on now).
Since you gave me the suggestion of using Peaks as a burst generator earlier, this prototype Befaco Burst seems like it could be very interesting to you. Their ADSR also seems like the most interesting voltage controlled EG I’ve seen (those state gate outs are super cool). Doing a kit of that one is on my list when I get some free time.
I’ve always used Peaks for drums, either the 808 models or the bonus FM drums. I’m no good at remembering the functions of the knobs in the other modes.
I’d always found that the LFO and envelope things I tend to reach for are: Synth Tech E355, Maths/Function, and the Doepfer ADSR module. (I have a Tides, but I actually tend to mostly use it as a straightforward VCO+wavefolder.)
I guess if my peaks went missing, I’d either get another Braids, or I’d build another couple of old-analog-drum clones modules like the Falafular ones (I already have the 808 hi hats one.) Though I have enough things that can be patched into to various forms of percussion anyway.
I have two (yes, TWIN) Peaks in my 3U, and while I would never replace either I would probably go Batumi and Function if they disappeared and no direct replacement were available. Some folks would see this as healthy, because my 104 HP case is all Mutable except for my Rosie. I don’t feel over invested in MI though, due to the versatility in 3U, which was a major factor for me and my budget… Basically explaining why I have two Peaks in a small case.
Here’s what I wrote on FB as a comment on the Peaks end-of-life announcement:
I understand why Olivier is doing this. Although I love Peaks and use it all the time (I have quite a few), I don’t like the UI - too much functionality represented too implicitly. Of course, DMC makes that much worse, and I hate using DMC, even though I also use it all the time.
However, I think the contributions Peaks has made are substantial.
It demonstrated the utility of small, relatively cheap, multi-functional modules, even if the user interface (necessarily and unavoidably) left a bit to be desired. Everything involves a trade-off, and I still think that Peaks got the utility versus usability trade-off right, even if the usability was less than optimal.
Peaks has also contributed code to several other modules. Two in particular spring to mind: Ornament & Crime builds on and extends quite a lot of Peaks code (the envelope generators, the bouncing balls Easter egg, the LFO tap-tempo facility); and the XAOC Batumi firmware borrows heavily from the Peaks code base (if you know your way around the code for the Peaks firmware, then the code for the Batumi firmware looks instantly familiar). There may be others which have (perfectly legitimately) re-used or leveraged Peaks code, and I’m sure more use of the Peaks code base will be made in the future in other hybrid and mash-up modules.
Was about to say the same. the O_C does so much, it’s good that it at least sticks to modulation only.
Yeah the UI is a big compromise, as you say, if you want to squeeze in a lot of stuff in a small and compact module there’s tradeoffs. I remember that I had proposed to put all the functions for the 4 knobs on the panel at one point… but the panel would have been plastered with text
I must admit though that I got quite used to the UI, the secret is to pick the functionality you really use and just ignore the rest. So I never use the drum modes, and even less the alternate functions. I just use the envelope and LFO. ADSR is pretty simple to remember… the LFO always has me hunting for the right wave, but I almost have it in memory now, and the Tap LFO is very similar to the normal LFO, so no big memory acrobatics needed there either.
One might wonder, why make a module that has 8 functions when one can really only use 3 without having to look up the manual? There’s two reasons I think: one is that you have choice, even if you don’t use all the features, you can choose which ones you want to use. The other is that if one day you really need that trigger delay thing, you have it and it might be worth the extra look on the manual.
the UI is a compromise but Peaks was so key for me when I was working in 3U. I think “learning” the functions you need makes Peaks a valuable 8hp - if you aren’t willing to learn the module a bit, yeah, it’s gonna be a pain. most of the time I’d have Peaks set to the functions I needed and I’d let it run, I didn’t need to be tweaking on it, and didn’t really miss having CV inputs for parameters. I DID really like having the trigger delay and burst generator 1.5 years later!
Ah, being a FaceBook refusenik, I didn’t grasp the significance of this thread until just now. Now I understand…
Late to the party, as ever…
For LFO duties, there are several DIY modules based on the same TAPLFO2D firmware by Electro Druid, that has some cool features.
I used to have the Frequency Central Ultra Wave LFO module, which was pretty good, did tempo-syncing and a range of LFO types (though not as many as Peaks), and had the advantage of CV control over most parameters.
I’d probably go for Ginko Synthese’ version, if I needed another tap-tempo LFO now, mostly because it has a (much) nicer front panel, and I’m shallow like that
Sonic Potions’ Mal might be a good alternative source of smoothed random LFO waveforms, and is also DIY.