Exploring Natural Grooves and Soundscapes with the ST Modular Natural State: A Dual Enveloped Ducking Filter

The ST Modular Natural State, a dual enveloped ducking filter, offers an immersive foray into creating natural rhythms and dynamic soundscapes. With its dual 24db filters, CV decay envelope, and an internal LFO, this eurorack module constructs ear-friendly grooves and enriching sonic textures that truly elevate your modular experience.

One of the key features of the Natural State is its efficient filtering of two waveforms simultaneously. This is accomplished in the most audibly pleasing manner, resulting in organic and captivating soundscapes. Each of the two channels is equipped with a DECAY slider for adjusting the decay duration, an OPEN slider for modulating the filter cutoff, and a FORCE slider to manage the intensity of decay CV impacting the filter.

Consolidating convenience and flexibility, the STRIKE input feature is predisposed to accept any CV from +1 volt, triggering the decay envelope efficiently. The decay and filter cutoff may also be readily controlled via the DECAY and CTRL CV inputs. Attenuators present in the design further extend customization advantages, offering control over the strength of the applied CV. Interestingly, the decay attenuator also functions as a DECAY CV offset, showcasing the multiple duties of a singular component in this meticulously designed module.

Another intriguing aspect of the Natural State is the incorporation of a subtle internal LFO, which can be directed to the filter cutoff and regulated with the CTRL controls. The LFO range is purposely kept slow, to facilitate the creation of seamless, smooth filter sweeps that play out over time, enabling an evolution of sound that can effectively convey a sense of story or progression within your music.

For fine-tuning the resonance attribute of the individual filters, PEAK potentiometers come into play, ensuring an additional layer of depth and sonic detail. As the DUCK control element is directed to the right, the decay of the left channel progressively inhibits the signal of the right channel, bringing about a unique ducking effect that adds rhythm and an interactive play between your sound sources.

Not to forget, the dual decay envelopes are also routed to the ENV sockets, thereby providing an avenue for further external processing. Details like the dual-filter, dual-envelope, decay CV, filter CV, filter ducking, the normalized internal LFO to the filter CV, envelope output, and slider pots are elements that further promote a flexible, creative approach within this module. To prevent potential damage, a wrong polarity protection attribute helps keep the module and your investment safe.

The Natural State module comprises two boards - a front PCB panel and a main PCB, furthering the modularity and easy maintenance aspects which are cherished features on any eurorack setup.

To conclude, the ST Modular Natural State offers a multitude of control options and modular possibilities for personalized soundscaping. With its capability to create the most ear-friendly natural grooves and sophisticated sound environments, it stands as a testament to ST Modular's commitment to crafting innovative and user-oriented designs that push the boundaries of what is possible within the eurorack format. Whatever sonic journey you wish to embark upon, the Natural State finds a way to delicately weave your ideas into a coherent and compelling auditory tapestry.

Example Usage

In this example, we will explore how to use the ST Modular Natural State to create natural grooves and soundscapes.

  1. Start by patching a simple melodic sequence into the input of the Natural State module.
  2. Adjust the DECAY sliders for both channels to set the decay length of the filters. Experiment with different settings to find the desired length for your grooves.
  3. Use the OPEN sliders to adjust the filter cutoff frequency for each channel. This will control the brightness or darkness of the filtered sound.
  4. Play around with the FORCE sliders to adjust the amount of decay control voltage (CV) that affects the filter. This will allow you to fine-tune the intensity of the filter decay.
  5. Trigger the decay envelopes by sending a CV signal of at least +1 volt to the STRIKE input. This will create the rhythmic pattern of the filter decay.
  6. To add movement to the sound, route the internal LFO to the filter cutoff by adjusting the CTRL controls. The LFO range is slow, so it will create smooth filter sweeps.
  7. Experiment with the PEAK potentiometers to change the resonance of the individual filters. This will add a sense of depth and character to your sound.
  8. Turn the DUCK control to the right to enable the ducking effect. This means that the decay of the left channel will increasingly suppress the signal of the right channel. This can create interesting rhythmic interactions between the two channels.
  9. If you want to further process the decay envelopes, you can use the ENV outputs to patch them into other modules or effects.
  10. Play around with different combinations of settings, explore different decay lengths, filter cutoff frequencies, and envelope shapes to create unique and organic grooves and soundscapes.

Remember that the Natural State is designed to provide an ear-friendly filtering experience, so trust your ears and follow your intuition to create captivating musical textures.

The ST Modular Natural State is a versatile dual filter module that can be used to create natural grooves and soundscapes. Let's dive into an intermediate-level usage example to see its creative potential.

Imagine you have a drum machine module generating a rhythmic sequence, and you want to add dynamic filter sweeps to make it more interesting. Start by patching the left output of the drum machine into the left input of the Natural State module, and the right output of the drum machine into the right input of the module.

Next, adjust the DECAY slider on both channels to set the decay length of the filters. Increase the decay time to make the filter sweeps longer and more pronounced. Set the OPEN sliders to determine the initial cutoff frequency of each filter. Experiment with different settings to find the sweet spot that complements your drum sequence.

To add some variation, use the internal LFO of the Natural State module. Connect the CTRL output of the module to the filter cutoff inputs on both channels. By adjusting the CTRL controls, you can determine the depth and speed of the LFO modulation. Start with subtle movements to create smooth filter sweeps that evolve over time.

Let's explore the unique ducking feature of the Natural State module. Turn the DUCK control to the right on the left channel. As you increase the ducking effect, the decay of the left channel will start suppressing the signal of the right channel. This creates an interesting interplay between the two channels, adding an organic and rhythmic quality to your sound.

For further sound shaping possibilities, route the decay envelopes to the ENV outputs of the module. You can then use these outputs to modulate other parameters in your modular setup or external effects. This opens up a world of creative possibilities for processing your sounds beyond the Natural State module itself.

Remember that throughout this workflow, you can also experiment with the PEAK potentiometers to tweak the resonance of each filter. This allows you to accentuate and shape specific frequencies, adding even more character to your evolving grooves and soundscapes.

With its dual envelope ducking filter design, internal LFO, and CV control options, the ST Modular Natural State module provides a wealth of possibilities for exploring natural and expressive sound transformations. Let your creativity soar as you uncover unique grooves and textures with this powerful Eurorack module.

Further Thoughts

In our exploration of natural grooves and soundscapes, the ST Modular Natural State becomes an invaluable tool. By harnessing the power of its Dual Enveloped Ducking Filter, we can achieve captivating and organic sonic results.

Let's dive into a usage example to see the module's potential in action. Imagine we have a rhythmic sequence playing from our favorite Eurorack drum module and we want to add a touch of dynamic filtering to create more movement and depth to our sound.

We start by sending the drum sequence into the Natural State's left channel input. We set the DECAY slider to control the length of the filter's decay, adjusting it to our desired tempo and groove. By turning the OPEN slider, we shape the filter cutoff frequency and find the sweet spot that gives our sound the desired character.

Now, let's bring in the right channel input, which could be a melodic sequence from another module. To create an engaging interplay between the left and right channels, we turn the DUCK control to the right. As we do this, the decay of the left channel increasingly suppresses the signal of the right channel, resulting in the desired ducking effect. This effectively allows the rhythmic elements to shine through while enhancing the overall groove and rhythm.

To add more nuance and variation to our sound, we can use the internal LFO. By routing it to the filter cutoff via the CTRL controls, we can achieve smooth and gradual filter sweeps. The LFO range, intentionally slow, ensures that our sweeps are natural and organic, further enhancing our desired soundscapes.

Furthermore, we can connect external CV sources to the DECAY and CTRL inputs to introduce even more control and expression. Attenuators can be used to adjust the strength of the applied CV, offering more precise modulation possibilities.

But we don't stop there! The Natural State also provides envelope outputs for both decay envelopes. We can route these outputs to other modules in our Eurorack setup for further external processing possibilities. This allows us to explore endless creative avenues and push the boundaries of our sonic explorations.

With its dual filters, dual envelopes, decay CV, filter CV, filter ducking capabilities, internal LFO, and envelope outputs, the ST Modular Natural State truly empowers us to craft immersive and expressive soundscapes that captivate and inspire. It's a module that effortlessly bridges the gap between natural sounding grooves and experimental sonic territories, making it an essential addition to any Eurorack setup.