Exploring Movement and Sound: The Thererec Eurorack Module

The Thererec Eurorack module, a dual-channel movement recorder developed by Clank, is a revolutionary addition to the realm of electronic music. It leverages cutting-edge proximity sensors to create a unique blend of THEREmin-like gestural expressiveness and a good old-fashioned tape RECorder. By capturing and contorting your hand movements, Thererec transforms them into intricate voltage patterns that sync to your rhythm.

The mechanism of this module is not only innovative but also intuitively interactive. Thererec's sensors actively detect and track your movements, turning them into a voltage flow directly mirrored by the LED's and the CV outputs. Activating a channel is as simple as pressing the loop button, with the recording process automatically kicking into gear the moment you enter the sensor field. Pressing the loop button again halts the recording process, with a double tap clearing the captured pattern.

Playbacks on the Thererec offer two distinct operating modes, identifiable by the LED's calming spectrum of colors. In white mode, the playback is initiated by the sensor or an external gate, with the recording playing out just once. The blue mode, however, presents a musically mesmerizing loop of your recorded movements. This mode can be synced with your rhythm, being re-triggered as simply as the white mode. Under both modes, Thererec emits a short pulse from the gate outputs towards the end of the playback. There's also a variable gate that activates when the sensors are manually hit.

To freely weave between modes, all you need to do is hold down the loop button. Keeping it pressed can save your recording into memory, signified by the LED emitting an enchanting purple blink. The speed control, another notable feature of Thererec, lets you alter the playback speed drastically. Twist the knob counterclockwise for a slower playback, clockwise for a faster rendition and halfway to revert to the original speed. You can even utilize an external CV to change the speed, in which case, the speed knob functions as an attenuverter for the applied voltage.

While Thererec is plenty potent as a standalone unit, its capabilities become almost exponential when paired with other units. By chaining multiple modules together, Thererec morphs into a programmable keyboard of sorts. Each key can either represent a static voltage or a sequence of voltage itself, significantly broadening the scope for sonic exploration and artistic expression.

The Thererec offers an 8Volts range on its CV outputs and includes range knobs to dial-down as needed.

What truly sets the Thererec apart is its seamless blend of physical and complex interaction with your system. It breathes life into the spontaneous movements that we, as human beings, produce naturally. Now, with Thererec, those simple hand motions can be captured, manipulated, and incorporated into the rich tapestry of your electronic music, opening up unprecedented avenues for creativity and exploration.

Example Usage

Novice-level usage example:

To start using the Thererec Eurorack module, follow these simple steps:

  1. Connect the Thererec module to your Eurorack system using patch cables.
  2. Arm a channel by pressing the loop button for the desired channel. This prepares the module to record your movements.
  3. Stand within the proximity sensor field (around 4-5cm) to automatically start recording.
  4. Move your fingers or hands in different ways, and you will notice the LEDs and CV outputs responding to your movements.
  5. Press the loop button again to stop the recording. If you want to start over, simply double-tap the loop button to clear the recording.
  6. Playback can be done in two modes, indicated by the color of the LEDs: - White: In this mode, the playback can be triggered by hitting the sensor or using an external gate. It will play the recorded movements once. - Blue: This mode enables loop playback. The recording will continue to play repetitively. To sync it to a rhythm, re-trigger it as you would in the white mode.
  7. When the playback ends, the module will emit a short pulse from the gate outputs. If you hit the sensors by hand, a variable gate will be generated.
  8. To cycle between playback modes, hold down the loop button. If you want to save the recording into the memory, keep the loop button pressed until the LED blinks in purple.
  9. Experiment with the speed control knob, which allows you to alter the playback speed dramatically. Turn it counterclockwise (CCW) for slower playback, clockwise (CW) for faster playback, and set it halfway for the original speed.
  10. You can also change the playback speed using an external CV signal. In this case, the speed knob acts as an attenuverter, controlling the amount of influence the CV has on the speed.
  11. If the CV outputs of the Thererec module produce voltages that are too high for your system, use the range knobs to scale them down within an 8V range.

With these basic instructions, you can begin exploring the Thererec Eurorack module and its capabilities for generating complex voltage patterns based on your hand movements. Let your creativity flow and connect yourself to the environment through sound and movement.

Intermediate-level Usage Example:

One creative way to use the Thererec Eurorack module is to create dynamic rhythmic sequences by manipulating your hand movements. Let's say you want to add some interesting percussion elements to your track. You can connect the Thererec module to your Eurorack system and arm one of the channels by pressing the loop button.

Next, position your hand within the sensor field (4-5cm) to start recording your hand movements. Start by tapping your fingers on different parts of the proximity sensor, experimenting with different rhythms and intensities. As you do this, the LEDs and CV outputs of the module will reflect your movements, allowing you to visually and audibly perceive the voltages being generated.

Once you have recorded a sequence that you like, press the loop button again to stop the take. The playback mode of the module can be set using the color of the LEDs. In this case, let's set it to white mode, which means the recording will be played once. You can trigger the playback by hitting the sensor with your hand or by sending an external gate signal.

As the sequence plays back, the Thererec module will emit a short pulse at the end of the reproduction and a variable gate each time you hit the sensor with your hand. This adds organic and unpredictable variations to your rhythmic patterns.

If you want the recorded sequence to loop continuously, switch the playback mode to blue. In this mode, you can sync the loop to a rhythm by re-triggering it using the same methods.

To add more dynamic variation to your sequences, you can experiment with the speed control knob. Turning it counterclockwise will slow down the playback, while turning it clockwise will speed it up. For a more precise control, you can connect an external CV signal to the speed input, and the speed knob will act as an attenuverter for the applied voltage.

Remember to use the range knobs on the Thererec module to scale down the CV outputs as needed. This will allow you to fine-tune the voltages and integrate them seamlessly into your Eurorack system.

By exploring the Thererec module's multi-functional movement recording capabilities, you can bring a tactile and physical dimension to your electronic music production, creating intricate rhythmic patterns that evolve and interact with your system in fascinating ways.

Further Thoughts

One way to creatively use the Thererec Eurorack module is to explore the concept of "humanized" sequences. By using the Thererec's dual channel movement recording capabilities, you can capture and manipulate your hand movements to create unique voltage patterns.

Start by arming one of the channels and placing your hand within the sensor field. As you move your hand, the Thererec will track your movements and generate a voltage flow. The LEDs and CV outputs will reflect these movements, providing immediate feedback.

Record a short sequence of hand movements that you find interesting. Once you've finished recording, press the loop button again to stop the take. Now, switch to the playback mode with the LEDs set to white. This mode allows you to trigger the playback either by hitting the sensor or with an external gate.

Experiment with triggering the playback in different ways, exploring the variations in timing and rhythm. The Thererec will emit a short pulse at the end of each reproduction and a variable gate when you hit the sensors by hand. This adds a touch of human expressiveness to your sequences, making them feel more organic and alive.

To further enhance the playback, try adjusting the speed control knob. Turning it counterclockwise will slow down the playback, while turning it clockwise will speed it up. This can dramatically alter the character of your sequences and create interesting time-based effects. You can even use an external CV to control the playback speed, effectively turning the speed knob into an attenuverter of the applied voltage.

Additionally, don't forget to make use of the range knobs to scale down the CV outputs if needed. This allows you to fine-tune the voltage range to suit your specific setup and requirements.

With the Thererec module, you can delve into the realm of humanized sequences, exploring the intricate relationship between movement, sound, and musical expression. Let your body and imagination guide you as you create captivating and unique electronic music compositions.