Exploring Dynamic Soundscapes: Unlocking the Potential of the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack Module

Step into the world of dynamic soundscapes with the remarkable Jolin Ascolta eurorack module. A truly versatile tool, it is not simply a dual high-fidelity preamp but also boasts envelope follower and peak detector outputs, guaranteeing a complex interplay of tones and elements in your synthesis.

The Jolin Ascolta is designed to amplify stereo line level signals up to modular levels – offering a 100x (40dB) gain. This feature allows you to plug a stereo cable directly from the outputs of laptops or phones and integrate these signals smoothly into your modular systems. It also significantly bolsters the audio quality from dynamic microphones and external synths, enabling you to bring an extraordinary range of sound sources into your sonic palette.

Significantly, this module is not only about amplification. Given the Ascolta's ability to extract an envelope and a peak detector CV from any given signal, this device provides an unparalleled opportunity for creative expression. The integration possibilities are numerous, allowing you to tailor-make the Ascolta's functionalities according to your unique compositional style and aspirations.

In an innovative twist, the Jolin Ascolta accommodates both side-chaining and compression through its dual audio-follower CV outputs and an external VCA/LPG. This means it can seamlessly adapt to various sources requiring dedicated gain compensation, thereby widening its range of application.

The module's backside selection options for its internal normalization behavior present additional customization avenues. The first input (I1) can accept stereo 3.5mm standard cables from any source, splitting the left and right channels in the respective outputs (O1 and O2). This negates the necessity for external splitters and allows individual gain control for each channel. Meanwhile, the second amplifier (when set to 'G') doubles the amplification of the first, resulting in a total gain range of 80dB - 10,000x.

The envelope 'E' and peak 'P' outputs correlate with the gain level of their corresponding amplifier, and will follow the dynamic of any input plugged in. This capability gives the Ascolta a responsive and adaptable character, opening up multiple artistic freedoms and enhancing the module's overall interactivity.

The final flourish of the Jolin Ascolta is its endearing practicality, thanks to the audio-graded potentiometers and the “Whatever” power connector – a refreshing dismissal of the polarity concern.

Altogether, the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack module offers a vast playground for the technologically curious, the sonically adventurous, and indeed anyone thirsty for unexplored sonic territories. Check out the demos and build documentation on the dedicated product page over at Jolin's website and their Instagram @jolinlab. Happy patching!

Example Usage

In this example, let's explore a novice-level usage of the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack module. One way you can use this module is by connecting your laptop or phone directly to it. To do this, simply plug a stereo cable from the output of your laptop or phone into the Ascolta module. This allows you to integrate your laptop or phone's audio into your modular setup.

By using the Jolin Ascolta, you can amplify stereo line-level signals from your laptop or phone up to modular levels, giving you more control over the volume and dynamics of your audio. This is especially useful if you want to incorporate electronic music or sound effects from your laptop or phone into your modular compositions.

Additionally, the Ascolta module features a dual preamp design, which means you can amplify two separate signals individually. This opens up possibilities for using dynamic microphones with the module. You can connect two microphones to each preamp, allowing you and a friend to sing or perform together while individually adjusting the gain for each microphone.

Furthermore, if you have external synthesizers with weak output signals, the Ascolta module can help with this as well. Simply connect the output of your external synth to the Ascolta module, and it will boost the signal to modular levels. This ensures that your external synths are on par with other modules in your setup and can be easily manipulated and processed.

Lastly, the Ascolta module also supports passive instruments, such as guitars. You can connect your guitar to one of the preamps and adjust the gain to achieve the desired level. This allows you to sing and play the guitar while simultaneously affecting them with other modules in your system, creating unique and dynamic soundscapes.

With its versatile features and user-friendly design, the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack module offers beginners a gateway into exploring dynamic soundscapes and unlocking the full potential of their modular setups.

For an intermediate-level usage example with the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack module, let's explore how you can use it to create a breathtaking dynamic sound collage in your modular synth setup. Utilizing its dual preamp follower feature, we'll combine various audio sources and create evolving soundscapes.

First, connect your laptop or phone directly to the Ascolta using a stereo cable. This allows you to integrate the output of your digital devices into your modular system. Let's say you have a granular synth app running on your phone - by connecting it to the Ascolta, you can now process its sound in real-time through your modular synthesis.

Next, set up two dynamic microphones and connect each to an individual preamp input on the Ascolta. By amplifying the microphones separately, you can perform vocal improvisations or collaborate with a friend, exploring the dynamics and nuances of your voices.

Now, it's time to incorporate external synths into the mix. Take those weak line-level signals and warm them up to modular levels using the Ascolta's preamps. You'll discover new possibilities for shaping and manipulating the sound from your favorite synths within your modular environment.

Lastly, let's bring in some passive instruments, like a guitar or any other sound-producing objects. By connecting them to the Ascolta, you can amplify and affect their sound with your modular setup. Experiment with wild modulation, apply envelopes and peak detection to create surprising and dynamic responses to your spaghetti monster noodling.

Throughout this process, the Ascolta's envelope follower and peak detector outputs will track and react to the dynamics of each input signal. Use these CV outputs to side-chain and compress other modules in your system, taking advantage of the audio-follower CV outs and an external voltage-controlled amplifier or low-pass gate.

With the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack module, you have a powerful tool for amplifying, processing, and manipulating various audio sources in your modular setup. Let your creativity flow and explore the endless possibilities of dynamic soundscapes with this versatile module.

Check out our website jolin.tech/ascolta for demos and detailed build documentation, and don't forget to follow us on Instagram @jolinlab for more inspiration.

Further Thoughts

One expert-level usage example for the Jolin Ascolta Eurorack module is creating dynamic soundscapes using external synths. By connecting weak signals from your external synths to the Ascolta module, you can utilize its high-quality amplifiers to warm up the signals to modular levels. This feature allows you to integrate your favorite synths seamlessly into your eurorack setup, enhancing their sonic possibilities.

To achieve this, simply connect the stereo outputs of your external synths to the I1 input of the Ascolta module. The module's internal normalization (set to "S") will split the left and right channels to O1 and O2 outputs respectively. Adjust the gain using the audio graded potentiometers to find the perfect level for each channel. The amplified signals are now ready to be processed and shaped within your eurorack system.

With the enhanced signals, you can explore a wide range of modulation options available in your eurorack setup. For example, you can use the audio-follower CV outputs from the Ascolta module to side-chain and compress the external synths using an external VCA or LPG. This dynamic interaction between the Ascolta module and your eurorack modules opens up new possibilities for creating expressive and evolving soundscapes.

Experiment with different modulation sources and effects modules to further shape and manipulate the signals from your external synths. Combine them with other eurorack modules such as filters, delays, and reverbs to add depth and character to your sound. The Jolin Ascolta module serves as a powerful tool to bridge the gap between external synths and your eurorack system, enabling you to create dynamic and immersive sound experiences.