Discover the ALSTADEN Eurorack Module: An Analog Waveshaping Oscillator, Waveshaper, and VCA All Rolled Into One

The ALSTADEN Eurorack Module is a versatile tool for creating harsh and harmonically rich sounds. It is an analog waveshaping oscillator, waveshaper, and VCA rolled into one. This newly developed waveshaping tone generator resembles the secondary oscillator of the semi-modular synthesizer "EUPHORIA". The ALSTADEN produces five different waveforms: WAVE A, WAVE B, PULSE, SUB, and SINE. Each waveform can be further adjusted with sliding potentiometers, allowing for control over the levels of individual waveforms.

The ALSTADEN's waveform generation is achieved through a combination of diode clipping and folding of the waveform, which creates high harmonics and interesting timbral variations. The two waveshapers, WAVE A and WAVE B, add harmonics through wavefolding, which can be controlled by the SHAPE A and SHAPE B knobs. There are also CV inputs, CV SHAPE A1 and CV SHAPE B1, with attenuators for voltage-controlled wave folding.

The pulse width of the PULSE waveform can be changed manually with the PULSE PWM knob. There is also a CV input, CV PWM, with its own attenuator to control the pulse width via CV. The SUBOCTAVE has two stages of -1 and -2 octaves, which can be selected using the SUB -1 and SUB -2 on/off switches.

Unexpectedly, the ALSTADEN has a TONE control that equalizes the output of the oscillator, accentuating either low or high frequencies of all waveforms before they are fed into an internal VCA. The internal VCA can be controlled via the ENV IN socket. Patching any CV into the ENV IN socket changes the level of the oscillator's main output.

The ALSTADEN also features a FM input, providing linear and exponential FM by feeding any voltage into the FM input. Users can select the FM type with the EXP/LIN switch. Additionally, there is a V/OCT input for the application of pitch CV, which can be controlled manually with the PITCH and FINE potentiometers.

The ALSTADEN has two audio inputs, EXT IN A and EXT IN B, which allow external signals to be routed through the module's functions, effectively turning it into a waveshaper. When a jack is connected to these inputs, the corresponding internal waveform is switched off. The external signals will also be routed through the level potentiometers, EQ, and VCA.

Overall, the ALSTADEN Eurorack Module is an excellent tool for sound designers and musicians who want to explore harsh and harmonically rich sounds. Its waveform options, wavefolding capabilities, FM and pitch control, and external input options provide a lot of creative potential.

Example Usage

If you're new to the ALSTADEN Eurorack Module, a great starting point is to explore the five different waveforms that it offers. Each waveform can be adjusted using sliding potentiometers, but be careful not to set the gain too high as it can cause distortion. You can also experiment with changing the pulse width of the PULSE waveform using the PULSE PWM knob, or controlling it via CV with the CV PWM input and its own attenuator. Try changing the harmonics of the waveforms by turning the SHAPE A and SHAPE B knobs, or even voltage controlling the wavefolding with the CV SHAPE A1 and CV SHAPE B1 inputs. Lastly, play around with the TONE control to accentuate either low or high frequencies of all waveforms before they are fed to the internal VCA. Happy exploring!

An intermediate-level usage example for the ALSTADEN Eurorack module is using it as a waveshaper for external signals. When patching an audio input to the EXT IN A or EXT IN B, the corresponding internal waveform is switched off and the external signal is routed through the level potentiometers, EQ, and VCA of the ALSTADEN. This creates unique timbral variations and adds a layer of complexity to the output sound. Using the CV waveshaper and VCA, the user can shape the external signal in various ways and manipulate its amplitude. This feature makes the ALSTADEN a versatile module that can be used creatively in a variety of sound design and music production contexts.

Further Thoughts

To create a unique sound using the ALSTADEN Eurorack Module, start by setting the SHAPE A and SHAPE B knobs to their lowest setting and adjust the levels of WAVE A and WAVE B to your desired mix. Then, slowly increase SHAPE A and SHAPE B until you begin to hear the harmonics being added by the wavefolding. Use the SUB -1 and SUB -2 switches to add or remove sub-octave frequencies, and experiment with the TONE control to equalize the output. The ALSTADEN also features an FM input, so try patching in a high frequency voltage and experimenting with the EXP/LIN switch. Finally, use the ENV IN socket to control the output level with a CV. With these features, the ALSTADEN is perfect for creating harsh, gritty, and unique sounds for your electronic music productions.