Modor For­mant Fil­ter £265

From the fiery pits of Mor­dor – sorry, Belgium – comes this Euro­rack mo­d­ule based on Modor’s NF-1 for­mant fil­ter

Future Music - - REVIEWS | MODOR FORMANT FILTER -

Modor, a new synth de­vel­oper from Belgium have taken the for­mant fil­ter from their flag­ship NF-1 synth and pro­duced their first Euro­rack mo­d­ule.

What’s a for­mant? The dic­tio­nary de­fines it as ‘each of sev­eral prom­i­nent bands of fre­quency that de­ter­mine the pho­netic qual­ity of a vowel’. Ba­si­cally, a for­mant fil­ter sim­u­lates the hu­man vo­cal sys­tem. This ef­fect is cre­ated by four-band pass fil­ters work­ing in par­al­lel; the fre­quency of these bands can be ad­justed with the four knobs (though this is de­fined as an ‘ex­pert level fea­ture’, for the be­gin­ner, pre­sets are avail­able). What sets the Modor fil­ter apart from other quad-band­pass fil­ters is the abil­ity to smoothly morph be­tween three of these set­tings us­ing the sat­is­fy­ingly large knob or the two-CV in­puts (with at­ten­u­a­tor). Twid­dling the Morph knob ac­ti­vates one of the three LEDs in­di­cat­ing left/mid/right po­si­tion and the vowel but­ton is then used to tog­gle through the pre­sets. Sadly there is no in­di­ca­tor. With a slow LFO into the CV in­put, a good ap­prox­i­ma­tion of speech is achieved.

The shift but­ton is used for fine tun­ing of each fil­ter’s level and the over­all vowel level. Cau­tion must be ex­er­cised here; if the lev­els hit too high, the built-in com­pres­sor will kick in to save your ears and the sig­nal be­comes a burst of white noise. This fea­ture could cer­tainly cause is­sues in a live con­text. Care­ful prep is es­sen­tial with this one. If you do suc­cess­fully ad­just the pre­sets, one set of 10 can be saved be­tween power cy­cles

So, how does it sound? Pretty great ac­tu­ally. The fil­ter needs a lot of har­mon­ics to bite into to make it re­ally shine, so saw waves or white noise are rec­om­mended. Dub­step basslines are eas­ily pro­duced by feed­ing in a low oc­tave saw but sub­tler string like tones can also be achieved with dif­fer­ent in­put sources, and I coaxed some clas­sic ’90s IDM sounds out. You can also cre­ate a plethora of spooky voices.

Un­like its pre­de­ces­sor on the NF-1 there’s no ded­i­cated pres­ence con­trol to ad­just the level of fil­ter­ing ap­plied to the sig­nal. This is a shame but I found us­ing a dual low/ high pass fil­ter with plenty of res­o­nance be­fore the Modor fil­ter gave a lot of ex­tra con­trol.

This is a dual fil­ter with two ins and outs and two CV in­puts; these can be used to­gether for a stereo ef­fect or in­di­vid­u­ally for two-voice polyphony, though both fil­ters share vowel se­lec­tion and morph con­trol.

As is of­ten the case when synth mak­ers move into Euro­rack there’s a short­age of CV con­trol. A ded­i­cated pres­ence con­trol with CV in­put would’ve been handy but it’s a mi­nor quib­ble on a great sound­ing fil­ter.

How does it sound? Pretty great ac­tu­ally

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.