Toppobrillo Sport Modulator
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.