Exploring the Unpredictable World of Manifold Research Centre's Tetragrid: A Magnetic-Board Gate & CV Controller Module

If you're looking for a module that challenges the concept of control and generates random outputs, the Manifold Research Centre's Tetragrid is the perfect Eurorack module for you. Inspired by magnetic board games, this magnetic-board gate and CV pattern generator creates multidimensional geometry patterns with its 2D polytope core based on Ciat Lonbarde's Rollz & Roolz Gewei Circuits.

The Tetragrid is designed to give you random outputs with a touch of real analog randomness, creating unique music patches that defy control. The panel comes with 30 cross-modulation touchpoints that let you use magnetic pins directly on the faceplate to modulate different outputs between each other, producing varied outputs including gates, triggers, ramps, random CV, and occasional audio rate bursts.

The module has six LFO outputs, with four being free-running and the remaining two having speed control pots. Depending on how the connections are made, you can obtain different types of outs. The lfos output ranges from 0 to 10v, with occasional negative spikes that occur unpredictably due to the nature of the circuit. The range of outputs varies from approx. 0.2 Hz to ≈200 Hz, with occasional audio rate bursts bringing FM to your patch.

It's important to note that the magnet pins don't connect always the pads together, which adds an extra layer of randomness and variability to the outputs. Embracing this unpredictability is part of the philosophical underpinnings of the Tetragrid, which challenges the concept of control and encourages a playful and free-form approach to music production.

In short, the Tetragrid is a must-have for anyone looking to explore the unpredictable world of modular synthesis and push the boundaries of convention. Get ready to embrace randomness, multidimensional geometry, and magnetic pins as the Tetragrid leads you down a path of truly unique musical expression.

Example Usage

If you're new to using the Tetragrid module, a fun way to experiment is by using it to create random gate patterns. First, connect the module to other modules in your rack that you'd like to trigger. Then, place magnetic pins on the touchpoints on the faceplate, connecting and disconnecting them to create unique gate patterns. You can also modulate the connections between different LFO outputs by adjusting the speed control pots. Don't be afraid to embrace the unpredictability of the module, and let go of the idea of complete control over your patches. The Tetragrid is meant to be an anti-sequencer, and by embracing its uniqueness, you can create truly original sounds.

For an intermediate usage example with Manifold Research Centre's Tetragrid, try exploring the module's potential as a rhythmic gate sequencer. Use the cross-modulation touch points to create a series of random gates and triggers that can be patched to trigger drums or other rhythmic elements in your patch. The occasional negative spikes and randomized behavior of the module can add an interesting level of unpredictability to your sequences, allowing for happy accidents and unexpected variations in your rhythms. Experiment with different combinations of pins and patching to create unique and evolving rhythms that can bring life and energy to your music.

Further Thoughts

The Tetragrid from Manifold Research Center is a perfect module for those looking to explore randomness and unpredictability in their music. With its unique magnetic-board interface and six square-ish LFO outputs that can range from gate and trigger to random CV, this module can bring life and FM to your patch in unexpected ways. Although the behavior of the outputs can be unstable and may require some time to stabilize, this is part of the philosophy of the module that embraces the concept of leaving control behind and playing together with the game itself. Moreover, the orientation of the cable does not matter when using the Tetragrid's expander to connect two modules together. Get ready to explore the unpredictable world of modular music with Manifold Research Center's Tetragrid.