Monday, November 3, 2014

Ieaskul F. Mobenthey

Just spent a full day at Control in New York, checking wares against the Eurorack standard. The modules I was checking are a years worth of prototyping and design, known as Ieaskul F. Mobenthey. Ieaskul's masthead concept is that Eurorack will die along with the whole analog synthesis wave, and he is interested in exacerbating the death through the use of a paradox wave. This wave is achieved through bounds/bounce oscillators; simple triangle waves take a standard fm modulation of their slope (bounce), and also they let you control how wide and where they bounce back and forth (bounds). When bounds are set to zero or negative, the oscillator does not work in a standard way, but spirals up into the fastest signal it can make to try to resolve its paradoxical inputs. The denum, swoop, and fourses modules all exploit some version of this concept. Denum is the go-to module for versatility as monolithic oscillator; in addition to the new form of bounds modulation in exponential and linear forms, with attenuverter, it also has an exp-lin bipolar VCA, so basically you can roll your own Sidrax organ with these modules. Ieaskul offers a barre controller for playing the parameters of his modules; they are all tuned to a higher impedance for using piezos as inputs for every one. Swoop is also good with a piezo bar- it takes raw boundaries and tries to bounce between them. Like I said, it exhibits a paradox wave when no-inputted: it has zero width boundaries and thus tries to oscillate "infinitely" high. It is thus a sort of triangular filter, like a waveshaper, but it can be autonomous too.

These paradox waves reveal something about the material of the electronics themselves- the silicon layout of opamps, copper inductances, capacitance relationships.

Now, Fourses and Sprott are the two wider modules. The price is reflective of that- 222 for the aforementioned 8hp modules, and 333 for these 12hp modules- a relationship of two to three. Fourses is four bounds/bounce oscillators bouncing off of each other. It is a reworking of an old kit sold by Ciat-Lonbarde under the same name. In fact most of the year spent designing Mobenthey was tackling questions about porting this module to Eurorack. I have recently released the paper circuits I used to prototype, along with an "intersexon" paper, as a new line for solderers to make their own paper version of fourses. Note the papers run on 9 volts positive, not +12, -12 like in Eurorack, thus they retain some of the older ideas of the original Fourses, like arp-serge converters, and a jellybean quad switch, the cd4066, that became dg212 in Eurorack land.

Fourses Papers 

Sprott, finally is a modular version of J.C. Sprott's work, that I have been following for a long time. Here, paradox means, what is the relationship between a second-order resonant wave equation, and a third-order non-linear jerk chaos equation? Simply put, this module can be a simple resonant filter, or a self-triggering chaotic oscillator, but in between, in certain ranges, there is operation where it is a "hairy filter".

I hope the pricing for these modules is sweet to you. Likewise, I hope the panel appearance is just right, in its snot-colored yellow fiberglass, copper cartouches, and everlasting halloweener orange and green LED indicators that shine disperse spookily through the fiberglass. No apologies for lack of aluminum here. But note that I started a fourth company, Tocante, that explains the appeal of copperplate instruments in detail. When I visited Control in Brooklyn, they didn't really flinch about the lack of aluminum, and that surprised me. Maybe they do look good in fact? I know that I would like to have a bunch by themselves in a rack; these four do make a compleat system of control voltages, autonomous and not, oscillators, strange oscillators, filters and jerk cirques. Mr. Cortini will ask for a dedicated box of these modules (with no outside influences) and I like his instinct, however egotistical it makes me feel.

Ieaskul F. Mobenthey now Includes Paypal Buttons to Order!

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