@erstlaub: If there was a Mutable Modular Module in the works, that would expand the use of the Mutable dev environment. It would be a great educational tool for universities too.
I think Olivier has expressed negative opinions about generic modules in the recent past - and I understand why - thus I doubt we’ll see a generic MI module any time soon, if ever. But a digital mixer, oh yeah, and a module that controls CV and gate/trigger routing, distribution and attenuation /voltages supplied to and between other modules, quite possibly. And a next-gen sequencer. May those last two are the same module - sequencing settings/routings, not just notes?
@BennelongBicyclist … like some sort of digital LFO and/or complex env generator (or sequencer) interfacing directly with named modules avoiding analog CVs? Is that what you mean?
This seems unlikely to me. Proprietary interfaces kinda go against the whole ethos of the Eurorack format, I’d have thought.
If you want to connect all your modules up digitally, then you may as well just use a computer, or some kind of ‘virtual modular’ hardware like the Nord Modular, or Axoloti.
Having said that, of course, there have always been sound commercial reasons for inventing new formats, that are incompatible with anyone else’s. Doesn’t seem like Olivier’s style though.
I like how quite Olivier is right now, makes me think he’s hard at work, getting the next round of brilliant MI modules ready for the world We wait with baited breath…
My first thought is that “Braids, Tides, Rings, Elements and Warps” are all oscillators or sound generation modules (Warps contains an internal oscillator) so perhaps the new development is something specific to that. Maybe it’s some sort of preset manager, but I very much doubt it, there doesn’t seem to be anything about the listed modules that would necessitate presets any more than other MI modules.
I think he is referring to a sequencer - melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, timbral, or all of those. I suspect that it is a generative sequencer - in other words, you only need to provide sequence parameters, or only partially specify the sequence, and it does the rest. However, that may, like most of the speculation in this thread, be pure projection on my part, because I am interested in generative music. I suppose most modular synthesists share that interest (note the rarity of piano keyboards intended for live performance sitting in front of modular synths these days), albeit implicitly.
Another thought, somewhat analogous to a preset manager, is some sort of polychain capability. Rings started to explore polyphony, perhaps a digital polychain feature could allow multiple modules of the same type to share a single UI with voice stealing, etc.
I still think some form of sequencer much more likely that something that connects existing devices together using some none-Euro-standard connection protocol.
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but if you want a ‘preset manager’, just use an integrated synth, or a computer. That’s not what Euro is about, in my book.
I’m probably being needlessly dogmatic, though.
Modular synths allow almost unlimited combinatoric variation in how they are configured. But they can’t be swapped between any of these configurations in real-time. Real-time reconfiguration of patching is of interest to performance artists, and may have creative potential (eg META mode in Braids).
Frames was a first step in the direction of real-time switchable or sequenced configuration. Frames can store a sequences of signal mix settings, it can store sequences of fixed voltages, and a sequence of CV attenuations (it’s VCAs are DC-coupled). But it doesn’t do routing. Think of a Frames that also does switchable routing between, say, 4 inputs and 4 output channels. Maybe with more CV control and a more extensive interface. That would be a sequenced patch switcher, would it not, that can operate in real-time under CV, trigger or maybe also menu or push-switch control? It also could be described as a digital mixer for both audio and CVs.
You’ve essentially just described a sequential swtich, for example the Ryo Paths does 4 x 4 routing under CV control https://www.modulargrid.net/e/ryo-paths
I’m with DMR. There are already several modules that do this. Crucially, they do it without introducing a whole new type of patching hardware/protocol, and they do it in the analogue domain.
No, I meant more like the 4ms VCA Matrix, but with Frames-style digital control overlaid on it. No new type of patching hardware or protocols required. For audio signals, such a thing looks a lot like a digital mixer. But if it is DC-coupled and also provides internal fixed voltage sources, then it looks like a real-time configurable patch router. Of course, you might want more than 4 input and 4 output channels on such a beast, maybe via expansion modules, which may well talk to the master module digitally, not via analogue patch cables. And digitally-controlled VCAs are overkill when just switching clock, trigger and gate signals.
Now, if, instead of digitally-controlled analogue VCAs (as in Frames), banks of ADCs and DACs are used, then all manner of digital magic can happen internally, far beyond what is possible with analogue routing. Some of those ADCs and DACs could be DC-coupled, some might be high bit-rate and high bit-depth audio codecs, and there could be simple digital (gate/trigger/clock) on/off inputs and outputs as well. And there could be CV inputs and trigger inputs to steer the digital magic going on internally, of course, making it entirely consistent with the modular analogue CV and gate/trigger/clock paradigm.
Ah, I understand now. That seems similar in function to how the Arturia MatrixBrute digital patch panel was described, though I’m not sure if that is implemented as digitally controlled analog VCAs or ADC / DAC, though I would think the former.
MatrixBrute has an analog signal path, I suspect. But that isn’t scalable - you need a lot of VCAs - the product of the number of input and output channels, in fact. The hardware needed for an all digital approach only grows as the sum of the number of input and output channels, not the product. And a lot more than just linear or exponential amplification/attenuation (as provided by analog VCAs) can happen inside the MPU chip…
Any chance one of these small utility modules might be some type of mini mixer/adsr/vca? Some compact modulation source would be cool too. Or should utility be understood more as something in the vein of Links plumbing? .
I wrote this a week or two ago (honestly, I did!) , but for some reason it failed to post in this thread. Anyway, it was still in the edit buffer (the Vanilla forum platform automatically saves drafts of your posts), so here it is, to which I’ll add a postscript.
I’m a bit of a sucker for tear-downs, and I was interested to see what was inside the Waldorf Streichfett string synth. Here’s the tear-down by Markus Fuller:
It turns out there is remarkably little inside it, beyond one of the lower-end STM32F3 chips (which is an ARM Cortex M4 class MPU). It seems to use the on-board ADCs and 12-bit DACs for just about everything. Which made me think: how about an updated version of Edges, using an STM32F4 processor? I don’t think Edges was ever very popular, which is a shame, but a 2nd gen Edges, still 4-voice), that covers the Streichfett territory, but for eurorack, might be quite a hit.
Subsequently, the Rings drawbar organ/string synth Easter egg has come to light, and the following discussion ensued in a MW thread:
pichenettes> This was a 2-day coding romp but I’m seriously considering turning this into its own module. Who’s in?
jcn7> I’m loving this mode…my question would be if doing a new module based on this mode (organ)…would it be able to be played poly phonically from a keyboard just as a real organ would?
pichenettes> You’d need some kind of MIDI input - which is bulky and ugly. Maybe I’ll get into this “MIDI on minijacks” things.
pichenettes> Yeah… But what I love about these string synths is actually not playing the chords with all fingers at the same time… Adding one note at a time, rhythmically removing/retriggering one note from the chord. So many keyboard techniques work well on these instruments, not just pressing all the keys at the same time!
pichenettes> I think this would need further development to become a module on its own:
- More control of the chord voicing.
- Some sequencer mechanism to create movement in the chord - kind of like a polyphonic arpeggiator.
So, an Edges-on-steroids, or a eurorack Waldorf Streichfett type of module might be on the cards. Bring it on! Harmony is the new frontier for modular synthesis.
Chord sequencers are definitely desirable, although programming explicit chord changes in a traditional step sequencer is likely to be both tedious and need a sprawling and expensive UI with a zillion illuminated buttons etc, or an LCD or OLED screen with an encoder and menus, neither of which are Mutable’s style, I would venture to say.
The chord arpeggiator, with the ability to rhythmically or cyclically add and subtract notes to and from a chord, is certainly an intriguing idea. Sort of a meta-arppegiator. Hmmm…
Edges’ purpose was to be a sound source for “chiptune” music - square waves, LFSR noise, and this odd NES triangle. This is a job it does very well, but not many people need that! It’s the most unpopular module and is probably going to be discontinued after the current batch is sold.
A module with a focus on chords and organ/string sounds (and thus other waveforms than 1-bit or 5-bit stuff) would be a very different thing - I wouldn’t call it Edges…