September 10, 2015

Stereo Effecting...

by Chris Randall

Yeah, long time no post. I know. I'm a terrible person. Email me if you need my lawyer's address. Extra super-duper busy around here this summer, as we prep for our fall releases. We have several hardware products coming out before the end of the year, and it doesn't leave me much time to do the interesting things that I normally talk about here.

Speaking of, we're pleased to announce the release of ADM10 Kompressor and ADM11 Dimensions. These are interesting inasmuch as they are the first direct ports of our plug-in products to hardware; previous releases have all been sort of based on various aspects of our plugin line, but these two are the first to basically go whole-hog. Kompressor contains the entirety of our Rough Rider plug-in, while Dimensions contains the entirety of Fluid. Both have extra hardware-appropriate features, but the DSP code is almost verbatim.

These also mark the debut of our ad-ab-03 platform, which is the replacement for our initial ad-ab-01 platform (from which all of our 3-knob effects were derived.) We have ceased manufacture of the -01 based products; they are still readily available in various retailers around the world, and we have enough stock on hand to honor warranty replacements and what-not, but we won't be making or shipping any more.

ad-ab-03 is far superior to the -01 models. It has, as you can plainly see in the above picture, four panel-bolted BI 100K-turn pots, custom Rogan knobs, and a USB port for firmware updates. We've double-stacked the boards so we could squeeze 2HP more out, resulting in a 6HP module. All in all, this new platform shows everything we've learned about making hardware in the last couple years, and is a sizeable improvement.

Some products from the existing line will be ported to the new system. Some will not. We haven't come to a firm decision in that regard. We'll keep you informed, though.

In any event, both Dimensions and Kompressor are available for immediate shipment from the Audio Damage store, as well as many of our retail partners. If your favorite store doesn't carry them, be sure to ask, and they'll contact us directly. We also have Sequencer 1 back in stock for direct orders.

In other news, yes, we have several more hardware releases before the holidays. At least one of those will be a Eurorack module. Read that however you want. I've been working 12-hour days for the last week, and I'm going to take the evening off to try out this new version of Reaktor.


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Sep.16.2015 @ 4:56 AM
raoul duke
Fair points.

I was thinking more for the analogue processors rather than DSP stuff (eg. the Hex Inverter hot glue could make a great analogue drum buss processor).

Are eurorack supplies generally noisier because they are switch mode (not sure if the API stuff is linear or not)?

I would assume that the higher operating voltages would be better for SNR.

Although you would need to amplify up to eurorack levels going in, and attenuate going out. There are some cool modules out there already that do that.

Sorry to ramble on... I just think there could be another market other than synthesis guys for Eurorack stuff.

Sep.16.2015 @ 7:18 AM
@raoul duke

That kind of stuff is already here. The new Colour Palette euro module is a euro port of the 500 series DIYRE platform. Just saw this at Knobcon. They have new euro specific stuff for it but all of the usual 500 series boards that were designed for the Colour Palette will work with this new module.

It was interesting.

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Sep.16.2015 @ 11:57 AM
Chris Randall
Okay, I thought you were talking about our modules specifically, most of which have direct parallels in our product line.

I don't usually use my Euro for processing; I think of it as an instrument, not an effect. But if I was going to make a processing rig, I still don't think I'd do it with Euro. For instance, my system, which is pretty middling as such things go, retails for about $14K all in (this is including modules I don't actually have racked, plus the racks and cables). For the same amount of money you could have a pair of H8000FW units, with enough left over for a pretty decent pair of buss compressors and a summing mixer, all of which are actually designed for outboard.

I just don't think it's the best solution, given the options, is all. But that said, don't let me stop you, and I'll be very happy to sell you some modules. :-)


Sep.16.2015 @ 1:16 PM
i think people can do a fun processing rig for $2k to $3k-ish that interfaces w/a patch bay or has input/output modules for proper gain relations. all depending on module selection of course.

audio rate modulation of FX and some wavetable wave shaping etc and something like a Zdsp w/a bunch of the FX carts (3 new ones coming soon from tiptop) is a fun thing to do.

it only really makes sense though if the person has some hardware in the first place for patching into it.

i do know an engineer who uses a small euro system on lot's of records for doing all kinds of filtering and mangling of tracks at various stages of production. i'm sure he's not the only one.

but it of course is a workflow type of question that is answered differently by everyone. shrug.

Sep.16.2015 @ 9:26 PM
mike kiraly
Boobs has spoken, so I shan't say too much more on the matter. I'm a sound designer by trade and originally got into Euro with the intention of building a small processing rig. 30U later and my system is obviously much more complex.

But if I isolated and sold the modules I use specifically for processing I could definitely take a bite out of the kind of rig that CR's talking about. However, I don't know if I'd want to. I think I can get more interesting sounds out of a combination of modules like Erbe-Verb, Echophon, Z-DSP, Modcan Dual Delay, GrainShift, Freqshift, etc. Obviously the Eventides would sound my god it's full of stars. But give me 5 minutes, 10 fingers and some mod sources and I could coax out sounds from those modules that would never come out of an H3000 without spending 43 hours of menu diving. Throw in a Craigslist score of a Lexicon PCM box for under $500 to handle clean reverb duties for good measure.

I guess I was wrong about saying too much more on the matter.

Sep.17.2015 @ 10:07 AM
Chris Randall
That's a _very_ good point, though, Mike. The nature of Euro (and modular in general) trends to direct control, which is I guess the entire point of the matter. With an H8000 et al, you are presented with (literally) thousands of presets, and you just surf through them until one is in the ballpark, then adjust. Using a modular to process is a much different animal. I think we're getting in to apples:oranges territory, honestly.

I think we could all agree, though, that the following is true: if you're doing sound design/pre-production, a big Euro processing rig will not only be handy, but actually preferable, since the results are more likely to be unique, and eminently controllable. But if you're doing post production/mixing, the Euro rig will get in the way of your work, and probably be more trouble than it's worth.

Since electronic music production tends to conflate pre- and post-production (I'm not aware of anyone that doesn't at least pre-mix and produce while they're writing/recording) it becomes a matter of personal taste. But for the other aspects of our business, I think it may be something worth exploring.


Sep.18.2015 @ 1:02 PM
mike kiraly
All that being said: Sequencer 1 form factor. Stereo I/O. Loaded with AD FX. Per-step sequenced parameters. Internal mod sources. A box of Hostess Apple Pies. And........go.

Sep.19.2015 @ 6:08 AM
Out of my wheel-house here, but I seem to remember that 7 or 8 years ago Electronic Musician magazine had an article from a dude who was building a small modular rack (not sure it was Euro in specific) to use in addition to/in place of his API lunchbox rack. Considering the source, I remember finding it a pretty inspiring idea that there was no way I could afford.

This is a good conversation to hear to update those half-baked notions.

Sep.22.2015 @ 12:57 PM
I will say that I often use my Euro as a sound design aspect for many of the libraries I work on. that being said I still end up with a final stage of "dedicated" outboard units. The sound sculpting and color of euro is great though even with the high noise floor. (hell I run things through a ms20 and that thing is noisy as shit lol.)
But its certainly an aspect you have to keep in mind. I also think smart power and distribution greatly reduce the noise floor.

Sep.23.2015 @ 1:34 AM
Them's purdy... happy equinox, all!

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