Mind Music Labs ELK - Rack Extension Hardware

Not the first to do this, but interesting. Amusing that he refers to Tides as an analogue module (well, it does have an analogue interface). However, they haven’t thought it through, because: no dynamic labelling of the real-world controls and I/O.

Polymorphic hardware synth modules without dynamic labelling are always going to be highly sub-optimal (O&C is a prime example). Positioning controls and jacks around the perimeter of a squarish LCD screen used to label them is one design pattern, but it is limiting and feels clunky.

Multiple little OLED displays, or even e-paper, seem like a better idea. Far more expensive (to manufacture and assemble), but cost doesn’t seem to be a huge constraint these days in eurorack.

1 Like

Hahaha tides, the ultimate analogue module.
Let me just go patch up my analogue rings and marbles! (Marbles is connected to a room-size analogue computer with a 24pin cable)

I totally agree with you, i also dont get it at all. Why not make a well-integrated, fun to use product instead of a platform which will have no connection interface wise to what is actually going on in the code except for having enough buttons to control most parameters.
Misses the point of eurorack entirely imo. If i want to control a vst, i patch up my expert sleepers es-6.

Haha, that’s funny! It’s actually my Tides module (I work at Propellerhead), I think he just misspoke and meant analogue as in “normal Eurorack”.

The point of this video is not that this is a product, but rather to show that the technology works and runs well. This is just a prototype and the panel layout was put together as a “catch all” demo for whatever we decided to run on the module.

The point is that Mind Music Labs have technology that allows a developer to code something and put it on any type of hardware they’d want with a general purpose processor (no dedicated DSP) and use it with less than 1 ms of latency.

The Rack Extension part of it is also cool as it’s a future proof format. I’m no developer though, so here’s a video of one describing the point of the Rack Extension format (keywords: LLVM bitcode, platform agnostic, sandboxing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcV9zLFzt4s

In other words: this is all just a demo of possibilities. Maybe we should’ve made that way more clear. This is no way an announcement of a module or a catch-all “Eurorack platform”. It’s not about controlling a VST, as DonKartofflo put it, any more than a digital Mutable Instruments module is about controlling a VST. It’s simply a tech platform with upsides (and downsides, depending on your needs) that could be great for some manufacturers. :nerd_face:


Okay this makes a lot of sense and is way more exciting :grimacing:

So youre looking to cooperate with some smaller designers and get some digital modules on the market?

Kind of, we’re just looking to see if any kind of company is interested in the technology. Big or small products: modular, pedals , hardware synths, drum machines, hardware effects etc.

Anything goes really, we just felt Eurorack was a nice example next to the stand-alone synth and the bass amp. :slight_smile:

1 Like

i think you could really be onto something, a lot of programmers probably struggle with the hardware end of the endeavour and would be relieved to have access to such a platform.

This could be interesting if you put it like that.
If the hardware is a dedicated one, and is specifically designed to run a certain code (and I think that’s mostly a UI thing here), then this could open up a lot of interesting possibilities. Of course this also depends on the cost involved with producing this type of hardware I guess.

The point of ELK, in a way, is that it’s designed to run on different kinds of hardware. To quote Mind Music Labs website: “For the low-latency mode, ELK can run on any embedded X86 SoCs from the last 5 years, plus some ARM SoCs (NXP i.MX7/8, TI AM355X). With higher latency and lower performance, it can run on pretty much any CPU that runs Linux.”

I’m no engineer so I’m not gonna talk more about that part of it, but I think the promise of ELK is that you’re less tied to specific, dedicated hardware and thus can build products for any number of different hardware things. And with Rack Extensions, a number of different software things too. :slight_smile:

We’ll see where it goes, at this point we don’t quite know. Both companies just want to get the tech out there.:space_invader:

1 Like