Carp Lust: Exploring Nonlinear Circuits' Karplus Strong-inspired Eurorack Module

Stepping into the world of Karplus Strong synthesis is venturing into a landscape of oscillatory chaos, string-emulation ecstasy, and controlled digital mayhem. Among the mavericks of this intriguing frontier is the nonlinearcircuits' black-panel beauty epitomized by the quirky-yet-profound module, Carp Lust. This analogue module garners inspiration from this beautiful chaos and takes you on a thrilling sonic expedition, from harmonious plucked string sounds to gloriously glitched out exploits that would make even the most stoic synthesizer enthusiast take note.

Like the might of its name implies, Carp Lust is not your average Eurorack module - it’s a wonderfully fat, tumultuous dive into creative synthesis with a healthy dash of irreverence for tradition. You could say it’s a euphonic tribute (and a comical jab) to its predecessors - a module turned satirical homage to the concept of Karplus Strong synthesis.

This offbeat module operates loosely based on the Karplus Strong algorithm, producing sounds ranging from algorithmically precise plucked string nuances to erratic, glitchy whirls. Its tonal range is expansive, covering the spectrum from the delicate, resonating sequences that resemble a real plucked string, to the unpredictable oscillations that embrace the very definition of experimental synthesis.

However, Carp Lust is not just about emulating the traditional string sounds using the Karplus Strong synthesis. The module houses an underlying potential for creating intricate patterns and glazing them with a thick layer of digital distortion, resulting in a rubbery glitch mess ready to take any performance to unparalleled heights. And whether that harmonious mess results in an aurally pleasing outcome, a perturbed audience, or potentially even a carpark brawl with Karplus and Strong themselves, is entirely up to the individual behind the controls.

And therein lies the beauty of Carp Lust. This module is not a nod to the mainstream. It is not a conventionally neat and tidy box of predictable sounds, nor is it yours to master in a day. It is as much a pioneering tool as it is a tribute to the complexities of synthesis techniques. Every twist, every turn, every contact with the modulating knobs uncovers a new mystery, a new melody, a new thematic exploration within a jittery-electronic setting of your choice.

Carp Lust is therefore not just a Eurorack module—it is an unconventional tool to indulge the curiosity of both novice and veterans of the synthesis world. It encapsulates the very essence of nonlinear circuits, the beauty of Karplus Strong synthesis, and the joy of stumbling upon new sonic texture through seemingly chaotic experimentation. So, whether you're after the subtlety of plucked string sounds or daring to embrace the wild charm of glitchy experiments, Carp Lust stands as a dynamic tribute to the power of Karplus Strong synthesis - and to the inexhaustible possibilities of electronic sound design that challenges and rewards the bold.

Example Usage

Novice Level Usage Example:

Let's dive into the whimsical world of the Carp Lust Eurorack module! This module, inspired by the Karplus Strong synthesis technique, offers a unique twist on traditional plucked string sounds. Even though it might seem intimidating at first, fear not, as I will guide you through a basic setup to get you started on your nonlinear circuit journey.

To begin, patch the output of the Carp Lust module into a mixer or an audio interface. Next, take a signal from your preferred sequencer or keyboard and connect it to the module's input. This input will act as the "pluck" control for generating sound.

Now, adjust the "String" knob on Carp Lust to create a resonant frequency for the plucking action. Start with lower values and gradually increase to discover the range that suits your desired sound. Experiment with different plucking frequencies to create interesting tonal variations.

As you twiddle the "Lust" knob, you'll notice how it bends and transforms the sound. This control introduces a sprinkling of glitchy, rubbery goodness to your plucked string timbres. Don't be afraid to explore extreme settings to unleash the full potential of nonlinear sonic possibilities.

To further shape the sound, engage the module's onboard filter. Try adjusting the cutoff and resonance parameters to sculpt the resulting tones. Using external effects, such as delays or reverbs, can also enhance the overall character of your Carp Lust creations.

Remember, experimentation is key here. This module is designed to push the boundaries of traditional synthesis techniques. So, don't be afraid to embrace the unexpected and let your creativity flourish. With Carp Lust, the only limit is your imagination!

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the nonlinear wonders of Carp Lust in future articles. Happy plucking and glitching!

In this intermediate-level usage example, we will explore how the Carp Lust module can be used to create evolving, glitchy textures within a modular synthesizer patch.

  1. Patching: - Connect a CV sequencer output to the V/Oct input of the Carp Lust module. - Take the audio output of the Carp Lust module and patch it into a mixer or audio interface. - Patch a clock signal into the trig input of the Carp Lust module. - Connect the trig output of the Carp Lust module to the clock input of a sample and hold module.
  2. Settings: - Set the Decay knob to a medium value to control the duration of the generated sound. - Adjust the Density knob to set the density of the glitchy textures. Experiment with different settings to find the desired level of complexity. - Set the Range knob to a higher value for more extreme glitchiness, or lower for a subtler effect. - Fine-tune the V/Oct input to achieve the desired pitch modulation.
  3. Experimentation: - Start by creating a simple melodic sequence using the CV sequencer. This will serve as the basis for the evolving textures. - As the sequencer triggers the Carp Lust module, observe how it generates Karplus Strong-inspired plucked string sounds mixed with rubbery glitch artifacts. - Experiment with different clock rates and densities to create rhythmic variations and evolving glitch patterns.
  4. Additional Modulation: - Use the sample and hold module triggered by the Carp Lust module's trig output to randomize the CV signals controlling other parameters of your patch. This can add further unpredictability and texture to your sound. - Patch an LFO into the Density or Decay CV inputs to create evolving, rhythmic changes.
  5. Sound Design: - Explore different combinations of modules, such as filters and effects, to further shape and refine the generated sounds. - Experiment with applying modulation to these additional modules to create dynamic and evolving textures.

By following these steps, you can unlock the creative potential of the Carp Lust module and dive into a world of glitchy, nonlinear sound design.

Further Thoughts

One of the most fascinating uses of the Carp Lust module is its ability to create unpredictable and glitchy soundscapes. By exploring the nonlinear circuits reminiscent of the Karplus Strong algorithm, you can dive into a realm of sonic experimentation like no other.

To demonstrate this, let's imagine a scenario where you want to create an eerie atmosphere in your track. Begin by patching a triangle wave from your oscillator into the Carp Lust's input. Adjust the damping and feedback controls to emphasize the resonances and create a sense of tension within the sound.

Now, here comes the nonlinear magic. Patch the output of the Carp Lust into a voltage-controlled filter. Play around with the filter's cutoff frequency and resonance parameters to sculpt the tonal character and further manipulate the timbre of the sound.

To enhance the unpredictability and glitchiness, use an LFO to modulate the filter's parameters. Experiment with different waveforms and rates to add movement and complexity to the evolving sound.

To take it even further, patch the output of the filter into a delay module, such as the popular Mimeophon, and adjust the delay time and regeneration to create haunting echoes and repetitions of the processed sound.

Finally, twist and tweak the controls on the Carp Lust module in real-time as you record or perform. Embrace the unexpected results and allow the nonlinear circuits to lead you into uncharted sonic territories.

Remember, the Carp Lust module's true beauty lies in its ability to defy expectations and push the boundaries of traditional synthesis techniques. Embrace the glitchy, rubbery mess it can create, and you might just discover a world of unique and captivating soundscapes.