Exploring Unconventional Envelopes: The Black EG2 Eurorack Module by Erica Synths

In the world of Eurorack modules, the Black EG2 by Erica Synths stands out as a pioneering envelope module that invites sound designers to defy conventions and push boundaries. Fitted with an array of unique features such as a GATE LENGTH setting and full exponential ADSR envelope, the Black EG2 cements itself as an indispensable asset for those striving to incorporate experimental elements in their setups.

Possessing a retrigerring option, this module allows for continuous and varied sonic exploration. Be it blips or stabs, chirps or wails, this characteristic provides an ability to elongate, shorten or completely trail off at whim, lending itself to everything from enigmatic auditory landscapes to precisely synced rhythmic patterns.

But perhaps the most defining trait of the Black EG2 is its game-changing GATE LENGTH setting. Ordinarily, compact modular systems often result in chopped ADSR envelopes due to the short duration of triggers from sequencers. However, Erica Synths ingeniously address this issue by allowing full ADSR envelopes even with short triggers, thereby expanding the realm of possibilities for those commanding smaller, compact rigs.

In addition to manual manipulation, the gate length is voltage-controlled, adding an extra level of flexibility when it comes to dictating the sonic narrative.

Switch the Black EG2 to its LOOP mode, and you will find it does more than output the customary AD envelope. In a refreshing shift from the norm, this module delivers a full ADSR envelope in this setting. Suddenly, the notion of envelope looping transforms from a looping decay to a cycle of attack, decay, sustain, and release stages - a truly innovative feat.

The envelope can also be manually controlled by external CV, providing an immersive experience and a tactile connection with the sound itself. This is especially beneficial when coupling the Black EG2 with trigger sequencers, allowing the user to directly influence the sequences' movement and behavior.

The ergonomic layout of the Black EG2, its well-spaced and robust controls, all converge to make tweaking and fine-tuning a breeze. The on-board LED provides useful visual feedback, thus assisting in setting exact parameters without relying on guesswork.

Ultimately, the Black EG2 Eurorack Module by Erica Synths is a compelling piece of technology for those looking to tread the unbeaten path. By marrying unconventional features with comfort and ease of use, this module has proven itself a reliable tool in artistic exploration, creating an unrestrained canvas repainted with every twist of a knob or flick of a switch.

Example Usage

Novice-level usage example:

To explore the unconventional features of the Black EG2 Eurorack module, let's imagine a scenario where you want to create a rhythmic and evolving sequence using a trigger sequencer. First, connect the output of your trigger sequencer module to the gate input of the Black EG2.

Next, set the GATE LENGTH manually to a short duration. This means that each trigger from the sequencer will be short. However, thanks to the optional GATE LENGTH setting in the Black EG2, we can still generate full ADSR envelopes.

Now, connect the output of the Black EG2 to a VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier) or any other module that responds to an envelope signal. Adjust the envelope's Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release parameters to shape the dynamics of the sound.

One interesting feature of the Black EG2 is its retriggering option. Enable this feature, and each subsequent trigger input will restart the envelope from the beginning, creating rhythmic variations.

To further experiment, you can engage the looping mode on the Black EG2. In this mode, the module outputs a full ADSR envelope instead of a classical AD envelope. Adjust the loop parameters to create complex rhythmic patterns that evolve over time.

Remember, you can also use CV (Control Voltage) to control the gate length. This allows for more dynamic and expressive control over the envelopes, especially when combined with CV sequencers or other modulation sources.

With the Black EG2's unconventional features, you can go beyond traditional envelope generation and bring new life to your modular setup. Experiment with different gate lengths, loop settings, and retriggering options to create unique and evolving soundscapes.

One intermediate-level usage example for the Erica Synths Black EG2 Eurorack module is creating evolving textures in a patch. By utilizing the looping feature and the adjustable gate length, you can create interesting and constantly changing soundscapes.

Connect the Black EG2 to a VCO for generating a steady tone. Set the gate length to a short duration using the manual control or modulate it using a sequencer or LFO. This will determine how long the envelope lasts before it starts to decay.

Next, connect the output of the Black EG2 to a VCA. Adjust the attack, decay, sustain, and release controls to shape the envelope according to your preference. Experiment with different envelope shapes by adjusting the sustain level and decay time.

To make the texture evolve over time, engage the looping mode on the Black EG2. This will cause the envelope to continuously repeat, creating a cyclic variation in the sound. Modulate the gate length using an LFO or random CV source to introduce further variations to the texture.

By combining different modulation sources and adjusting the parameters of the Black EG2, you can create complex and evolving sound textures that add depth and movement to your compositions.

Further Thoughts

In a techno production, the Black EG2 Eurorack Module by Erica Synths becomes an invaluable tool for crafting intricate rhythmic patterns. By utilizing its unconventional GATE LENGTH setting, you can generate unique rhythmic envelopes that add complexity and movement to your sequences.

Here's an expert-level usage example for incorporating the Black EG2 into your modular setup:

  1. Patch a trigger sequencer to the GATE input of the Black EG2, ensuring a continuous stream of trigger signals.
  2. Set the GATE LENGTH mode to manual control initially, and dial in a moderately short gate length. This will create a snappy and percussive envelope response.
  3. Connect the envelope output to a VCA controlling the level of a percussive sound source, such as a drum module.
  4. Trigger the sequence and listen to the tight and punchy rhythms being generated by the Black EG2. Experiment with different gate lengths to vary the attack and decay characteristics of the percussive hits.
  5. Now, let's explore the looping capabilities of the Black EG2. Engage the LOOP mode, and you'll notice that the module outputs a full ADSR envelope instead of a traditional AD envelope. This enables you to generate sustained notes or evolving textures by sequencing the loops.
  6. To enhance the rhythmic complexity further, utilize the voltage-controlled gate length feature. Patch a modulation source, such as an LFO, to the CV input of the GATE LENGTH. By modulating the gate length, you can introduce subtle variations, syncopations, and evolving textures to your rhythmic patterns.
  7. For experimentation purposes, try patching a random voltage source to the GATE LENGTH CV input. This will generate unpredictable gate lengths, resulting in rhythmic patterns that constantly evolve and add an element of surprise to your music.

By incorporating the Black EG2 into your modular rig, you can effortlessly infuse your electronic compositions with dynamic and ever-changing rhythmic structures. Its unique GATE LENGTH setting and looping capabilities make it an indispensable tool for pushing the boundaries of your modular music production.