Discontinued
modules
Elements
Modal synthesizer

Concrete sounds for abstract music, abstract sounds for musique concrète

Elements is a full-blown synthesis voice based on modal synthesis – an under-appreciated flavour of physical modelling synthesis with a strange and abstract feel.

Elements combines an exciter synthesis section generating raw, noisy sounds characteristic of bowing (filtered friction noise), blowing (pitch-controlled granular noise), or striking (stick, mallet, hammer or brush sample playback… or bursts of synthetic impulsions).

These sources, or external audio signals, are processed by a modal filter bank – an ensemble of 64 tuned band-pass filters simulating the response of various resonant structures (plates, strings, tubes…) with adjustable brightness and damping. A stereo ambience reverberator adds depth and presence to the sound.

All parameters have a very meaningful and well-delimited impact on the sound. When designing Elements, great care has been taken in selecting parameter ranges and control curves, producing a large palette of sounds – often beyond physical realism – but always well controlled and stable. The “dark spots” of noise and feedback are reached gradually, and they do still react to controls. The module is deliberately menu- and switch-free – what you dial/patch is what you hear!

34HP
25mm
+12V:130mA
-12V:10mA

Excitation signal generator

  • Three generators with mixer: bowing noise, blowing noise, percussive impulses.
  • Envelope contour for bowing and blowing.
  • Bowing noise generator: particle-like scratching noise with 2-pole low-pass filter.
  • Blowing noise generator: granular pitched noise with wavetable-like scanning between various tone colors.
  • Percussive impulse generator: interpolates through a collection of impulsive excitations – including sampled sticks, brushes and hammers, and models of damped mallets, plectrums, or bouncy particles. 2-pole low-pass filter and pitch control.
  • Internally uses 64 zero-delay feedback state variable filters.
  • Coarse, fine and FM frequency controls.
  • Geometry: Interpolates through a collection of structures, including plates, strings, tubes, bowls.
  • Brightness. Specifies the character of the material the resonating structure is made of – from wood to glass, from nylon to steel.
  • Damping. Adds damping to the sound – simulates a wet material or the muting of the vibrations.
  • Position. Specifies at which point the structure is excited.
  • Space. Creates an increasingly rich stereo output by capturing the sound at two different points of the structure, and then adds more space through algorithmic reverberation.

Designed for Eurorack

  • All exciter and resonator parameters have a dedicated CV input with attenuverter.
  • Strength input, for amplitude control of the exciter section.
  • Frequency control through a V/O input controlling the main resonator frequency, and an FM input.
  • Two audio inputs: one pre-envelope and diffuser, the other patched straight to the resonator.
  • Stereo audio output, with adjustable width/reverberation. It is also possible to output the raw exciter signal on one channel, and the raw resonator signal on the other.

Specifications

  • Input impedances: 100k.
  • CV range: +/- 8V. CVs outside of this range are simply clipped.
  • Audio input level: calibrated for modular (10 Vpp).
  • Audio acquisition and restitution: 16-bit, 32kHz.
  • Internal computations on 32-bit floating point numbers.