September 13, 2013

Flipping The Script...

by Chris Randall

I think that picture tells far more than a thousand words could. After two years of R&D (a sentence fragment that in no way conveys the experience we've just been through), and coincidentally during the week of Audio Damage's tenth anniversary, we have succeeded in releasing a hardware platform for our DSP effects, and are ludicrously proud to unveil the first three Audio Damage hardware products: DubJr, Grainshift, and Errorbox. You can read about them at the Audio Damage site.

All three are 8HP Eurorack modules with ARMv7 CPUs doing the dirty work; they all retail for US$179.00, and all three are now available at Analogue Haven for immediate purchase. Analogue Haven will be the exclusive U.S. distributor for our hardware products; they will not be available via the Audio Damage website. We're currently in negotiations with a couple other distributors; we expect to have product at EquinOz within the next couple weeks. If you'd like to see Audio Damage Euro products at your favorite (non-U.S.) modular synth store, tell them to drop us a line, and we'll try to get it sorted.

We'll be rolling out audio samples in the next while (although if you're familiar with our products, you know what these sound like for the most part already) and videos in a few days. I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank Shawn at Analogue Haven, who bootstrapped this whole operation, and my lovely wife Elle, who made boxes and power cables, tightened knurled nuts, and packed hundreds of modules. Hundreds. She is, if I'm not putting too fine a point on it, the shit.


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Sep.15.2013 @ 11:56 AM
dj empirical
holy shit. very very cool. congrats all around.

you may have figured out from twitter that my purchasing of modular synth components has been imminent for a while; this helps tilt the scale.

thanks a bunch, and best of luck on the future mods! i'll leave room in my (soon to be purchased) rack. :)

Sep.15.2013 @ 12:07 PM
I will be buying one or two of these, but all three of them look good.

Sep.15.2013 @ 2:44 PM
Congrats, those look nice/tempting.

Are they all the same hardware running different firmware?

Sep.16.2013 @ 8:57 AM
So this looks like the same identical hardware for each with just the panel labels and ROM different. So your job to add more modules is a matter of figuring out 3 knob + 3 control input of your various sound processing gizmos?

Could you do a version with a rotary switch to choose between multiple effects?

Did you find out which parameters of your software processors go insane when fed with arbitrary audio-rate modulations?

Sep.16.2013 @ 9:01 AM
I think an obvious addition to this line would be a filter. Modulate Frequency, Resonance, and Filter type.

Of course I'm not sure about that last modulation. It would be sweet to smoothly crossfade between the dozen or so different AD filter types. But that would present a processing challenge, since you'd pretty much have to run all the filters in parallel so they could be available for mixing into the output.

Sep.16.2013 @ 9:43 AM
Congratulations Chris and Adam! The new modules look and sound awesome. I am proud of you guys. And more than a little jealous.

The nice things about these modules:

- they aren't going to show up on the file sharing websites
- Apple, Avid, Steinberg et al can change their standards/OS all they want, while those 1/8" jacks will keep on working
- 3 knobs. FUCK YEAH. Minimalist UI for the win.

Sep.16.2013 @ 11:06 AM
I'm not a modular guy ( can't spend every dime on gear !)
, but none the less I'm excited for you and wish you well on the evolution of your biz !

Sep.16.2013 @ 3:08 PM
I just ordered a Grainshift and also considering a pair of dubjr.
I'm curious... How well do the CV inputs handle audio rate modulation? Are the CV ins using the same kind of ADC as the audio in, or are the CV ins sampled at a different rate? Forgive me if the question has already been addressed.

Sep.16.2013 @ 4:27 PM
Chris Randall
Adam or Eric would probably be best to answer this, as I tend to gum up these sorts of things. So don't take this to the bank. The audio input and output have their own codec chip that operates at 48/16. The CV (and pot) inputs are handled by the CPU, an STM32F4 (which is an ARM Cortex-M4) and are sampled at 12 bits and at some division of the clock speed of the CPU; this is still quite high, but is not quite as quick as the dedicated audio codec.

I've tried audio rate modulation in the controls where this would be interesting, and it is, in fact, interesting, but not the clear-as-a-bell FM type stuff you'd get with analog hardware. It is, to my ears, slightly buzzy compared to the input source. Your mileage may vary, of course. I'm a musician, not an engineer. Adam or Eric can talk about it using, you know, math and stuff.


Sep.16.2013 @ 6:45 PM
Chris Randall
If you're not following the excitement on Twitter or Muffwiggler's, I've made a couple videos. The first one is a Nagra tape loop through all three effects, just fooling about.

link []

And this second one is some 909 samples from a prototype module through all three, a bit more obviously.

link []


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