New metasonix box and modules

by bdu on Jan.15, 2009, under 2009, NAMM, modular

Fresh out of the big city music booth. New Metasonix stuff: kv100 Assblaster multieffect system, R51 vacuum tube VCA/distortion, R52 vacuum tube multimode filter, R53 vacuum tube waveshaper-ringmod. Those last three are eurorack modules in yellow, sans the crazy toons, the kv100 is as raunchy as the name implies.

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Harvestman Malgorithm

by bdu on Jan.13, 2009, under acquisitions, media, modular, pictures

Toss your bits and tickle your nyquist.

I hung out with the Harvestman last night in a bit of pre-NAMM socializing as he drove through the area on his way down to southern California, and I ended up taking home a Malgorithm.

Once again, no time to fire it up yet, but have some pictures:

Full flickr set here

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More Plan B NAMM teasing…

by bdu on Jan.13, 2009, under 2009, NAMM, media, modular, pictures

Peter posted more info to the plan B group on yahoo, first a picture of the new Zero case waiting for the final model 30 prototypes:

Then he posted the following text:

Again a reminder that Plan B will be in two locations at this year’s
Namm show, first and foremost at their US dealer’s booth, Noisebug
(6108 on the main floor) and at Motu (Mark of the Unicorn). See you there!

Premiering at Namm:


The Model 32 Vector Plotter – a four-quadrant joystick controller
featuring external inputs and active kinetic sensing via four
individually decoded gate outputs.

The Model 21C Mini Milton 8 x 1 VC Sequencer – 1 bank of 8 steps with
full voltage control of stage location, the Mini Milton is design as a
compliment of the mighty Milton Venti (16 x 4)

The Model 30 Digital VCO Subsystem – Our landmark Triple Digital VCO
subsystem, with 12 internal patches including balanced modulation,
frequency shifting, FM and standard three in line ops.

The Model 30A Control Attenuators – the optional attenuator banks
which add dynamic control of the M30’s eight main VC Inputs.


The Long-awaited Model Zero case, a remake of the chassis made for the
Nine Inch Nails EAR Performance System will be available as a standard
product in Spring of 2009 and will be on display and operational. This
unique system enclosure features of 128 HP for a total of 384 HP for a
three row configuration and twice that at six, and is equipped with a
unique Power-Saver feature which turns off selected modules while
others are still powered. See the attached photo of the beast as it
awaits the arrival of the M30 (attached)

The Ringer: A cost-effective alternative to the Doepfer A3 case, The
Ringer is a single row, opened back mounting system for Eurorack
format modules powered by an external PSU which can drive up to four
Ringers at one time. We thank Chris Pitman of Guns N’ Roses for the name.


The Plan B System Performance System – Two Rows of 102 HP in a
custom-made Anvil case fit with a pair of Model 15 VCOs and Model 10
Polyphonic EGs, an Model 9 Mixer, Model 12 Multi-mode Vactrol Filter,
Model 11 Evil Twin Bandpass FIlter, Model 31 Buffered Mult, Model 32
Vector Plotter, Model 37 ELF LFO, Model 25 Model 40 Headphone pre and
output and Model 21C Mini Milton VC Sequencer.

Peter, you’re such a tease.

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New Arrivals – Quad AD and Heisenberg Generator

by bdu on Jan.12, 2009, under acquisitions, media, modular, pictures

These bad boys just arrived as part of a trade for the Waldorf RackAttack. Not much time, but I’ll at least try to get them powered up and tested before I leave for NAMM on Wednesday. In the meantime, have some pretty pictures:

Full flickr set here

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Plan B NAMM teasers

by bdu on Jan.07, 2009, under NAMM, modular

Peter from Plan B is posting on his yahoo group, getting us all drooling ahead of the NAMM show next week:

Both Plan B and Buchla will be at the Noisebug booth 6108 which is on the main hall this year in the vicinity of Moog and Motu.

Sometime this week I will be posting further details on what we’ll be showing on the Plan B Analog Blog (go to to sign up. On the module end will be the models 21C Mini Milton VC Sequencer, the Model 32 Vector Plotter and the M30 and 30A – two components of the mighty Triple Digital VCO Subsystem. There are four other products being introduced which are part of the big move into cases and systems.: The he Ringer, a single row rack frame offering a low-cost solution to a previously expensive expansion requirement, and the Model Zero, which is the same three row Zero Halibuton case used by NIN with some significant improvements, including power saving modes, top/bottom strip modules and the option of expanding to six rows. A photo has been posted in the PB Analog Blog.

The Performance System, which has it’s own case not unlike the Doepfer portable although two rows of 102 HP and eight inches deep is our fist venture into the systems arena and will also be on display and operational.

To support the Ringer, the Zero and the PS we’re introducing an external power system which utilizes two high-grade second party switching supplies as it’s engine. The supplies are audio grade and
protected to the point that key’d power connectors on the bus will not be required…the PSU will shut itself off instantly if a module is installed incorrectly.

Along with Noisebug’s, Plan B goods will be on display at a couple of other booths as well – keep a sharp eye out!

Again, when my schedule allows I will be posting more details on all this, including photos to the PBAB. Please grant me patience with this and in getting back with anyone who may need to contact me as I’m deep into
Namm hell at present and time away to post is minimal.

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you all at the show!

More on bleep’s upcoming NAMM coverage later today…

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Random gates – analog version

by bdu on Dec.24, 2008, under audio, drum machines, media, modular, plug-ins, software

Like I said in the last post, couldn’t wait to get home and try it with the modular.

In this installment, I replaced the timbres, now we have a real (distorted) 808 playing the static drum beat, and the modular being played by the midi output of my custom modules in plogue bidule. This time the pitch input of the random clock module is being fed by a short repeating sequence I played and looped into the sequencer…

The modular patch is very similar to the one used from this post, but with the self-playing part of the patch yoinked out and replaced with the gate output of the Doepfer midi->cv/gate converter module. Also, I went ahead and made the whole thing pitched, played from that same module. So yes, you can play FMed sine oscs through lowpass gates in a melodic way, and no, it doesn’t sound half bad when you do so, if you’re careful to tune things properly. Lastly, it’s slathered in reverb-ish delay courtesy of Audio Damage’s Ricochet multi-tap delay.

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pseudo-random clocking

by bdu on Dec.24, 2008, under audio, drum machines, media, modular, pictures, plug-ins, software

I spent some time in Plogue Bidule today wiring up a pseudo random clock midi note generator.

This object takes a midi clock as an input, then chooses (randomly) various divisions of that clock to output midi notes. The midi pitches are either hard-set internal to the object or with external midi input. You can weight the divisions heavier by adding that division’s number multiple times in the number text field.

In the example audio below, the notes were chosen by a pseudo-random note generator I patched up awhile back, similar in function to this random gate generator, but for notes instead of gate divisions. The resulting midi was played by the Magical 8bit Plug, with D16’s Nepheton providing the static beat underneath so you can hear the original clock speed unaltered.

I’m looking forward to letting this bad boy loose on my modular, where I was intending on using it primarily as a clock source via midi->cv/gate conversion.

It’s worth mentioning that doing something like this in a pseudo-random way is the most difficult form, once you have that, it’s mostly a matter of *removing* bits of the module to, for instance, make one that switches divisions based upon the value of a midi CC input.

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Bleeping away

by bdu on Dec.20, 2008, under audio, media, modular

Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I now have 6u of Doepfer up and running to go with the 6u of Analogue Systems I put together last weekend. This houses around half of the modules I own, which is certainly enough to have a lot of fun.

I spent the evening bleeping away in classic fashion with FMed model 15s and spiked Doepfer LPGs. Here’s a minute and a half of the self-playing patch:

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by bdu on Dec.19, 2008, under DIY, ICs, acquisitions, media, modular, pictures

The SN76477N was a TI tone generator chip intended for video games, but, of course, found new life in modules like Blacet’s Dark Star Chaos.

Recently, it’s been used in a couple of Thomas Henry designs like the SN-Voice and the Super Controller.

BGMicro put up some stock of the chip for sale, and it’s relatively inexpensive, so I grabbed a couple. I already had one for my (as of yet unbuilt) SN-Voice, but needed another for a Super Controller board to go with it. They arrived quite fast, actually…

Note that these are the “thin body” versions of the chip, some older designs may require an adaptor if they were intended for use with the wide-body version. The Thomas Henry boards have footprints for both sizes.

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Temporary Modular

by bdu on Dec.15, 2008, under media, modular, musings, plug-ins, software, video

I was really dying for a modular fix, and having just received news that my new case may not arrive until the new year, I threw a basic system together using the one 6u Analogue Systems case I have left at my disposal…

Modules used:

2 RS90 VCOs
1 RS165 Signal Mixer
1 RS180 VCA
1 RS40 Noise/ S&H
2 RS110 Multimode Filter
1 RS140 Midi->CV/Gate
1 RS270 jack adaptor

with an RS170 multiple up on top.

This more or less maxes out the power supply in the case, and definitely uses all the available power connectors on the bus board.

The patch is using midi tempo to clock the S&H and trigger the EGs. The VCA EG is decay-modulated by an LFO, the oscillators are setup as a carrier/modulator pair with sync-feedback and a bandpass filter in the feedback loop, the S&H is setting the pitch of the oscillator you hear, and the overall timbre is itself run through a bandpass filter.

The whole thing is run through an instance of Audio Damage’s Ratshack Reverb (have I mentioned lately how much I love this plugin? No? Consider it mentioned.) to give it a bit of lo-fi slapback echo.

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