April 6, 2011

adm02 - 2io...

by Chris Randall

Since the intrepid sleuths over at the Muff Wiggler forum essentially deduced what it is, and in order to at least have the facade of a certain amount of control over the information, we've gone ahead and released the highlights. That being the case, there's no harm in doing a "coming soon" kind of thing.

As most of you have figured out by this juncture, Audio Damage is about to wade hip-deep in to the Euro Rack modular market. The reason for this is that we wanted to start releasing hardware as the next logical step in the progression of the company, and the infrastructure provided by the existing Euro-Rack market makes an entrance in to hardware releasing less risky than, say, making a Jupiter 80.

Anyhow, market-speak aside, we've designated a new catalog line, adm (which is obviously "Audio Damage Modular"), and the first product released will be adm02, the 2io module. This is a USB1.1 class-compliant audio interface with two inputs and two DC-coupled outputs. Its main claim to fame is that it will be fully compatible with the iPad, enabling you to use any CoreAudio-compliant iPad app in a Euro-Rack modular environment.

Next, our reasoning was that in a Euro live performance rig, you might want to use plug-ins as send effects, and this would enable you to use a netbook or whatever, and a simple ASIO host, and have low latency insert effects or audio sources with your modular. (We might have a plug-in or two to recommend in that context.)

And finally, with DC-coupled outputs it can work with Volta or Silent Way as a method of controlling a modular. With only two I/O, this isn't its prime directive, but it'll work in that context, should you need it to.

Here are some pictures of the prototype:

It is a 4HP module, and is just shy of 40mm deep. And that's about all the info I have at this time. When we have panel art and videos and more pictures and all that, I'll drop info bombs left and right.

A couple points. First, you'll note that this is adm02. Yes, there is an adm01. Due to this being somewhat easier to make, it is coming out first. Second, this shouldn't affect the software side of things. We're not giving up plug-ins to make hardware. We hope to develop the two side by side, with a mind to eventual complete integration (and independence.) And finally, we don't know the price yet, nor the availability date.


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Apr.07.2011 @ 2:15 PM
I haven't found Eurorack to be as bad a habit as some folk make it out to be. Just takes restraint and discipline.

Now is a great time to get into it if you're so inclined, there are a bunch of options when it comes to power, racks, and cases that didn't exist five years ago. With the TipTop Happy Endings kit, you have everything you need to get started for $150, which would be an ideal way just to dabble in the format.

Apr.07.2011 @ 2:45 PM
Chris Randall
I concur with shamann. It's much, much cheaper now. When I first was building a modular (c. 10 years ago now) I went with the Frac format because it had the weirder shit, and the racks were so much cheaper. But now, the Euro-Rack format has blown by it (and all the other manufacturers combined.) It's actually to the point where it's somewhat difficult to put together a bog-standard 3-osc synth, and you have to do quite a bit of research to figure out what is what, exactly. Some stuff is completely oblique at first glance, like the QMG or some of Scott Jaeger's modules. Without a fair amount of research and question-asking, you wouldn't know what they did.

That said, the format has an extremely robust and helpful userbase centered around the MuffWiggler forums, so help is never more than a forum post away.

@myrnaloy: We will be selling through AH (and, I assume, all the other retailers, although I haven't pursued that to this point) as well as direct through the AD store. We initially thought about going through AH exclusively, but the numbers weren't very favorable, and everyone who has ever run a small business knows that the more you're able to vertically integrate, the better off you are. We're perfectly capable of doing mail order here, so we'll do so.

A side benefit of this is that we'll also begin stocking other merchandise in the AD store, like t-shirts and such. If I have to do mail order every day anyhow, we might as well add that to the mix. If this side of the business really takes off, we'll look at getting a commercial space here in Phoenix, and actually having a retail location. (Because yeah, Phoenix is a real hotbed of modular synth use.)


Apr.07.2011 @ 5:34 PM
@chad: Winners Don't Use Food.

- William S. Sessions, Director, FBI

Apr.07.2011 @ 5:39 PM
"I haven't found Eurorack to be as bad a habit as some folk make it out to be. Just takes restraint and discipline."

Some people say the same thing about heroin. :P

Y'all make a good case, though. I've never even considered the modular world before, but here I am, getting my ponder on.

Apr.07.2011 @ 7:33 PM
I have been planning a modular since I saw the Tip Top Happy Ending.

I'm really impressed with the idea for this. The class compliant USB interface is ace. My camera connection kit gets so much use these days. StepPolyArp->Meeblip(patched for a lead) synced with background Modrum and Bassline. mmmph

Apr.07.2011 @ 7:42 PM
As an audio damage fan, I hate to bring up other companies, but it struck me as on topic:

link [www.sonicstate.co...]

Sorry if this was already mentioned ...

- djp

Apr.07.2011 @ 8:30 PM
Chris Randall
It's mentioned in the original post, fifth paragraph, and about 5 other times in this conversation. Apples / Oranges in any event, and our product is designed to work with the Silent Way software.

Os is a good friend of ours, and he's known about this module for some time now. We worked with him to ensure that we wouldn't be stepping on his toes and vice versa.


Apr.08.2011 @ 9:41 AM
I agree with shamann in that it just takes discipline to keep the modular rack in control. I'm constantly keeping a 2 row (6U) setup that sometimes has only a couple of modules and sometimes full of stuff. Right now I think I have like 3 or 4 modules since I've had little use for the modular lately and sold most of the stuff (except DIY) off.

Chris, a stupid question about the I/O: will adm02 stomach and spit approximately Euro level voltages, or would one require to use an attenuator and an amplifier in conjunction not to overload the inputs or have weak'ish output signal?

Apr.08.2011 @ 9:57 AM
RE: an AD hardware store - That's great news. I have new HW at home that is in need of a "Full of Techno" sticker.

Apr.08.2011 @ 11:06 AM
Chris Randall
@vae: It is designed for the Euro environment, so its input and output are 10V peak-to-peak max. The LEDs show clipping, and it's always a good idea to have attenuators handy, but it is designed to work in that environment, so it should be good to go out of the box.

We're still working on the exact combination of components on the input stage to get the highest input level in before saturation/clipping, but it can already take quite a wallop as-is, which is what sets it apart from your average simple little USB interface.

@fussylizard: each module will ship with a new sticker. So save some room.


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