Mod­u­lar Monthly

Top­po­brillo Sport Mo­du­la­tor

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

A short while af­ter we got into the sec­ond wave of mod­u­lar synths (headed by Doepfer in the mid ’90s) and the world of Euro­rack, there were three ‘must haves’ in terms of mod­u­la­tion, con­trol and sig­nal gen­er­a­tion. Those were the Make Noise Maths, the 4ms PEG and the Top­po­brillo Sport Mo­du­la­tor. The Sport Mo­du­la­tor is a patch-pro­gram­mable, de­cep­tively sim­ple unit that of­fers end­less func­tions. The sig­nals you put into it and the two but­tons per chan­nel move be­tween states of sig­nal cre­ation, pro­cess­ing or sam­pling. Heav­ily in­spired by Serge sys­tems and how mod­ules such as the Smooth Stepped and Ran­dom Source could be a mul­ti­tude of dif­fer­ent things depend­ing on how they’re patched, Top­po­brillo brought that cre­ative ap­proach to Euro­rack. It’s a mod­ule on which to re­ally learn what mod­u­lar syn­the­sis is about. As the Top­po­brillo site states, “it can be dif­fi­cult to de­scribe what it ‘is’ ex­actly, be­cause that de­pends on how it’s used in your sys­tem”. Any­thing that en­cour­ages learn­ing and ex­plo­ration gets a big tick from us. So let’s ex­plore cre­at­ing and mod­u­lat­ing au­dio, CV sig­nals, gate de­lays, sam­pling (in the sam­ple-and-hold sense, not MPC-style au­dio chop­ping) and cre­at­ing feed­back sys­tems for in­sta­bil­ity, life and unique sig­nals for our sys­tems. To make the most of the Sport Mo­du­la­tor we’ll be us­ing an os­cil­lo­scope so we can mon­i­tor and vi­su­alise our sig­nals – and a wide range of au­dio, CV, se­quenc­ing and gate sources – to bring it to life and ‘patch pro­gram’ into var­i­ous states.

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