Monday, July 16, 2007

what the frac!?

So I'm not even finished with my 2 case euro-rack modular and I already have seen some frac-rack format modules that "I absolutely must have".

Of course, once the euro-rack is finished, that might turn out to be a gross exaggeration, but as of right now that's where it stands. The modules also do not have a direct euro-rack equivalent, so that makes them all the more covet-worthy. Luckily I have not found more than 1 "frac rack" of modules that I would like, so I wouldn't be sinking a bunch of money into it like I have with the euro-rack. That's at least comforting as well as the fact that the rack/PSU for the frac format is *much* cheaper than it's euro-rack equivalent (although to be honest, looks more bulky and "janky" than the Doepfer cases).

The module that caught my eye the most was the Blacet Miniwave. Thanks to zerosum's many demos, it's the one that I'd happily buy the frac format case just to have this module. It's essentially a wave-rom lookup module but can achieve many things because of this. Quantizer, Oscillator, Fuzz, Wacky-ass-control-voltage-source, etc. There's also additional ROMs that can be purchases and each wave form is CV selectable in the bank. The only thing that comes close to this on euro that I know of is the Doepfer A-112 Wavetable Sampler/OSC and it doesn't seem anywhere near as versatile.

Secondly, the Blacet Binary Zone is a voltage pattern generator. It also has on-board lag processing and accepts internal clock. It makes some rad sounding control voltages and the only way that I can explain is it is to have you check out that product page and listen to the demos. I might be able to cook up something similar with several of my planned euro modules, but why not have one module that serves the same purpose. I love tempo-accurate random stuff so this is basically right up my alley.

The third module is the Wiard Noise Ring. This module is essentially a random voltage generator (ie sample + hold), however, it has logic to govern the frequency of drastic changes and how drastic the change is. Think of it as a more musical sample+hold. I think this would be a very interesting complement to my Plan B Model 24 (Heisenberg) as I consider it a very "musical" sample+hold.

There are also other interesting offerings particularly the Borg and Boogie filters from Wiard. These look cool and would certainly fill out the extra spaces of a frac chassis, but I'm most interested in the main three that I listed. I'm not one of those guys who needs every kind of variation of filter or oscillator, but I don't think I can pass up the unique functionality of the MiniWave, Binary Zone, and the Noise Ring. I also *REALLY* like the Wiard Woggle Bug, but that is not made in the frac format. As much as I want one, I can't justify investing in a 3rd format just for that...sure there are other rad 300 modules, but I'll just be carried away to the poor house; albeit with a fine soundtrack ;)

Either way, it's a long way out...both in time and money.


J.w.M. said...

Yeah, I'll agree with you on the Wiard modules. I'm really impressed with almost everything I've heard.

Personally, after my frac is at a good resting point, I think I'll put together a small Wiard 300 system. I'd kick myself if the 300 series was discontinued for a final time without me owning some of them.

About the Binary Zone: from what you were describing about sequencers, I think that this is the way to go for you. From what I've heard (I don't own one), it's not nearly as rigid as, say, my FR Mobius. I personally want one as a crazy modulation source for filters.

felix said...

Yeah the 300 series is very tempting, it's just hard at this point, after dropping so much $ on the eurorack to start wanting even more formats.

I've also taken a liking to the Modcan A series again. It was actually the first format I ever looked at, but it's very pricey. I did see that they MiniWave is available in Modcan A though! :D

John said...

Yeah, the Modcans have tempted me from the start also. Personally, I love the aesthetics of the B Series, though. There's something beautiful about that white color.

Like you say, they really are pricey, so I tend to put them (along with the 300 Series) in the "once I have a non-$6.50/hr job" category).

Zerosum said...

Yeah those are very worthwhile modules to have...
I still have to get a noisering, but not before I get other metasonix modules..

With the real estate of Frac racks being so cheap, you could use the 2 remaining spaces for things like multi's and attenuators saving your euro rack space for other modules...

felix said...

Ah, that's a good idea on the mults/attenuators.