Support modules for Akemie's Castle

Hi!

I’m thinking about getting an Akemie’s Castle.

ALM says on the product page that is pairs well with multiple Pip Slope envelope generators and an O/A/x2 dual channel attenuverter, and that these modules were consieved to support Akemie’s Castle. The dual channel stepped voltage source and adder Beast’s Chalkboard and the quad linear VCA Tangle Quartet are also mentioned on the product page.

These are my modules, except that I have added a Shades and replaced the Happy Nerding Isolator with an Intellijel µJack:

I’m interested in what the alternatives are to these ALM Akemie’s Castle “companion” modules, and in particular what Mutable Instruments could provide.

Some questions:

  • Can Stages work as three Pip Slopes?
  • Are there any interesting alternatives to O/A/x2 and Beast’s Chalkboard?
  • Can Veils and Frames substitute Tangle Quartet?
  • Do you have any other advice or thoughts about this module?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Hello! I have an Akemie’s Castle and love it. It’s definitely a specific taste though.

  1. Yes, Stages can work pretty similarly to 3 pip slopes (in addition to being able to do a lot of other things)
  2. There are lots of alternatives to an 0/A/x2 - look at things like Samara, Miso, 4ms SISM. That said. O/A/X2 is very handy and straightforward to use. I don’t find that it’s totally critical to getting good things out of Akemie’s though.
  3. Yes, Veils and Tangle Quarter are pretty similar. I think veils can do a little bit of amplification that Tangle Quarter cannot, and tangle quartet is a lot smaller, but they are generally very similar.
  4. One thing to know about Akemie’s is that can makes a lot of static-y noise when modulated. I’ve come to love it but I was kinda surprised at first. It takes some work to get a smooth morphing tone out of it, if that’s what you are after.
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Not surprising, given the user interface of the original Yahama FM synths wasn’t geared towards real-time tweaking.

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Thanks! :slight_smile:

Some follow-up questions:

  1. How many Pip Slopes (or similar) can I expect to need in patches using Akemie´s Castle? I’m wondering whether or not it would make sense to get another Stages to drive the envelopes for Akemie´s Castle.
  2. What would I (in terms of Akemie´s Castle) be missing from O/A/x2, Samara, Miso or 4ms SISM given that I have Veils, Shades, Kinks and Stages?
  3. Great! I have a Veils so it sounds like I don’t need to consider Tangle Quartet for now then. :slight_smile:
  4. It would be interesting to hear about what kind of work you do in order to get rid of the static-y noise. Do you tweak the signals somehow, or do you avoid certain “states” in the module?

Cheers!

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Sure thing.

  1. it’s totally possible to happily use Akemie’s castle without any envelopes besides the ones you use with your vca after the output. That said you obviously get more interesting nuanced sound design by modding the FM with lfos and envelopes. you have plenty to get started with in your existing rack
  2. I think shades can give you at least a channel of offset and attenuation/inversion so you’d just be missing “more” -again I think you have plenty to work with. There’s nothing particularly special about the alm envelopes and utilities. One thing to note since you have an es-8 and yr using Ableton… The new CV tools in live10 are great and if your already sequencing in live they are worth exploring and can provide you with loads of envelopes, lfos, offset,etc.
  3. I just think of them as the character of the sound and exploit them. I tend to put the Akemie’s through an erbe-verb And get big squelchy metallic staticy echoes. It’s a very autechre-ey sound. Another thing you can do is to fade back and forth between the a and b oscillators to get a more slow evolving morphing sound. But honestly I don’t do that much.
    Good luck!
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That’s great to hear!

I have ordered an Akemie´s Castle now. :slight_smile:

I was wondering if you perhaps could share some information about how you tend to modulate your Erbe-Verb in combination with Akemie´s Castle.

I love the idea of Autechre-ey sounds. :slight_smile:

I have been thinking about whether or not I should get an Erbe-Verb (and some other effect modules). Since I’m recording into Ableton, I could add effects there. Alternatively, I could use a pedal or something (which would allow me to save some space in my rack). I’m also waiting for the successor to Clouds, which I guess possibly could provide at least some reverb effects.

Thanks!

Some examples:
• Use the same (or inverse) envelope I’m using with VCA to modulate the wet/dry mix and “space” parameter
• send fast lfos into the speed and depth
• send jittery clocks into the clock parameter to modulate the pre-delay.

Whether to get an erbe-verb? impossible to say. As with everything eurorack it’s fun and expensive at the same time. Definitely you can get very very far with ableton’s reverbs and fx. None of this stuff is necessary. Pedals are cheaper and there are a lot of amazing pedals out there these days.

It sounds like you are maybe just starting out with eurorack? You’ll have plenty to explore with the akemie’s so why not wait a bit before figuring out where to expand? But if you have the $ to burn, sure, try it out! Buy used and you can always sell it if you don’t vibe with it.

The erbe-verb is a very weird effect, it can easily sounds like you just threw your sounds in a metal hallway but it also can sound great in moderation and can do amazing mangling in ways that are not that very much like a traditional reverb.

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