Exploring the Versatility of SLOPES: A Quad Slope Generator for Eurorack

The ST Modular SLOPES module is a quad slope generator with a gate divider that can simultaneously generate eight control voltages. The primary controls are the potentiometers RISE and FALL, which change the duration of each slope. Turning RISE clockwise makes the slope take longer to reach its maximum voltage, and adjusting the FALL slider potentiometer makes it take longer for the slope to return to 0V. Each slope can be triggered with a trigger or gate signal and outputs a voltage from 0 to +10V, with an attenuator available for each slope to provide lower voltages if required.

SLOPES outputs a mix of slopes 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 on outputs 1 / 2 and 3 / 4, but the mix can be changed by inserting an inverted signal of one slope with the "1 INV" or "3 INV" switch and the SHAPE 1 / 2 and SHAPE 3 / 4 potentiometers, which adds an additional triangle LFO to the two signals. The RATE knob changes the rate of the LFO, and also the rate of an internal gate that is divided by 2, 4, 8, and 16 and fed to the four slope gate inputs.

To synchronize SLOPES to external modules, a clock or trigger signal can be inserted into the CLK input. The internal gate generator is overridden, with the gate divider triggering the four edges according to its division. The inserted clock or trigger signal is buffered and passed to the THRU output. The RST/DIR input jack can be used to reset the gate divider or change its direction.

SLOPES is a versatile tool for creating organic and moving changes that match the rhythmic pattern of a patch. With its eight CV outputs and internal gate divider, the module provides a range of possibilities for modulation and rhythm generation. The ability to synchronize with external modules makes it an invaluable addition to any eurorack setup.

Example Usage

If you are a novice to using SLOPES, a simple usage example would be to use it as an envelope generator to modulate the cutoff frequency of a filter. Patch one of SLOPES' outputs to the cutoff frequency input of a filter, and use a gate or trigger signal to trigger the slope to rise and fall over a specified time using the RISE and FALL potentiometers. Adjusting the attenuation of the output signal using the attenuator can help to achieve the desired cutoff frequency range.

An intermediate-level usage example for SLOPES involves using it to create an interesting filter effect. Connect SLOPES's gate input to a sequencer's trigger output and its clock input to a clock source. Patch the output of SLOPES to a filter's cutoff input. Set the slopes' rise and fall times to create a slow and steady envelope. As the sequencer triggers SLOPES, the filter's cutoff frequency will change according to the slopes' varying voltages, resulting in a rhythmic and dynamic filter effect. Adjusting the slopes' shape and mix can add variety and complexity to the effect.

Further Thoughts

One way to use SLOPES is to create a dynamic filter sweep effect on a bass sound. Patch a Saw wave from an oscillator into a low-pass filter, then patch the SLOPES output 1 to the cutoff frequency input of the filter. Turn the RISE and FALL knobs to set the envelope shape to your liking, and adjust the attenuator to control the intensity of the effect. Trigger the envelope with a gate signal from a sequencer or keyboard. By changing the RISE and FALL settings, you can create different filter shapes and make the bass sound more expressive and interesting.