badger tears

It’s another post about my Eurorack gear changes, wheee!

Out: Gozinta, FX Aid XL, CVilization, Pico BBD, Loose Fruit, some minor bits I had in a drawer.

In: Mutable Instruments Ears, Befaco Crush Delay V2, and some exciting new firmware from Noise Engineering which convinced me to grab a second Versio…

Where Gozinta was boring, and not even all that useful very often, Ears is a delight. It’s great for feeding into Rings, sure, but it’s also a controller which encourages patching in ways that normally I might not think of. Injecting a little bit of scratchiness into an FM input, or a dynamic envelope into a timbre control that would usually just kind of sit there. So that’s a win.

Crush Delay can get super noisy super quick, if you set its delay time more than a little bit — like many BBDs or PT2399-based delays. There is a big golden sweet spot though where there’s just a little bit of fizzy effervescence. And there are some handy controls, including CV over the input, the internal feedback, and an external feedback loop. That loop is great for inserting a second delay for multi-tap stereo goodness, or a filter (particularly Katowice) or even something odd like Maths. This module is much more fun to me than either the Pico BBD or the FX Aid (and unlike Pico BBD, it doesn’t need a filter to stop clock whine when you slow it down).

Lacrima Versio is an auto-wah firmware for the Versio platform. Auto-wah is not something that normally gets my attention, since I’m not a 70s funk guitarist. But this one will morph from low to band to highpass, and has a nice-sounding saturation, a sort of self-mod thing that just sort of adds magic, and a Juno-like chorus switch, and it just sounds great overall. More than the sum of its parts.

Melotus Versio is a real stunner of a granular delay. Comparisons with Beads were inevitable, but it works differently and has a different character.

Beads was designed for the Curtis Roads “microsound” style of granular synthesis with very tiny grains of sound that are triggered rapidly and overlap, and it excels at that. It can also use larger “grain” sizes and manual triggering, so it’s quite versatile. It does this with one buffer, which multiple playback pointers can access simultaneously. (It also has a more traditional delay mode, though that mode still offers pitch shifting.)

Melotus is more like a Gatling gun made of delays. As far as I can tell, there are independent buffers for each grain, and it rotates through them on a smooth crossfade. By reversing the grain direction (randomly or always) and/or randomizing the time and panning, varying textures can be achieved. Also, changes in delay time have a much different result than a typical delay line, and either using sparser grain density or changes in delay time writing into the feedback loop, interesting rhythmic patterns can be achieved.

Also, Melotus has a combination filter and octave up/octave down knob (with a slight detune), which can add more gloom or shininess. Normally I am not into “shimmer reverb” and don’t particularly like it on Desmodus Versio, but I think here it really plays well.

Beads can do a wider variety of things, but I feel that Melotus sits comfortably in a role where Beads is often awkward.

Asking myself if I’d rather simultaneously have Melotus and Lacrima available, or Melotus and Loose Fruit, or Lacrima and Loose Fruit, it was pretty clear to me that two Versios was the way to go.

The album is progressing, in a sort of unassuming way — I realized yesterday I have 37 minutes of material now. Some of it might get cut, more will certainly be added, but it’s not languishing and being neglected. 🙂