Get Six Channels of Clean Sound with the Zlob VnIcursal VCA: The Smallest VCA in Eurorack

The Zlob VnIcursal VCA has become a favorite among Eurorack enthusiasts due to its compact size and versatile capabilities. This 8HP module is unique in that it offers six channels of OTA-based DC coupled linear VCAs that can be used for audio or CV purposes. This feature makes it the smallest VCA in the Eurorack market.

In addition to its VCA function, the VnIcursal VCA can also double as a voltage-controlled mixer. The six VCAs are summed together, and each VCA out is normalled to the SUM out, which allows for individual removal and separate use. The potentiometers control the amount of gain, acting as attenuators when a voltage is inserted into the CV. It is worth noting that with a control voltage of 5 volts, the VCA will read as unity gain, and anything above 8 volts could cause the input to clip.

One of the best things about the Zlob VnIcursal VCA is that it provides constant LED feedback on each channel's amount of gain. This feature allows for precise and accurate monitoring, even with or without a CV input.

The latest version of the VnIcursal VCA, the version 666, includes mostly resistor arrays, simplifying the build and reducing building time by 30-40%. The upgrade to resistor arrays allows for less troubleshooting and reduces the potential for mistakes when building the module. Additionally, version 666 reduces bleed and crosstalk issues that were sometimes present in previous versions. However, like all analog VCAs, the VnIcursal VCA still experiences some bleed or noise in certain situations. It is important to note that higher frequency signals above 1K Hz may experience more bleed than lower frequency ones.

Overall, the Zlob VnIcursal VCA is a highly DIY-friendly and capable addition to any Eurorack setup. Its small size, multiple channels, and LED feedback make it a favorite among many Eurorack users, particularly those looking for a versatile module that can handle complex mixes and precise audio control.

Example Usage

If you are new to using VCAs, the Zlob VnIcursal VCA is a great option for getting started. With six individual VCAs in one module, you can control the volume of multiple audio or CV signals all at once. Simply plug your audio or CV signals into the inputs, adjust the potentiometers to set the amount of gain, and use CV signals to control the level of each channel. If you want to mix all channels together, use the SUM output. If you want to use an individual channel, you can use its corresponding output. With LEDs to provide constant feedback, you can easily keep track of each channel's gain level.

An intermediate-level application of the Zlob VnIcursal VCA could be using it as a mixer in a live performance. With six channels available, you could use one channel for a drum machine, another for a synth lead, and the remaining four for other sound sources. By controlling the potentiometers and CV inputs, you can adjust the gain and blend of each channel in real-time. And because the VCA is DC-coupled and linear, it will preserve the tonal characteristics of each source without coloration or distortion. The LED feedback for each channel is also helpful in keeping track of the levels and avoiding clipping. Overall, the Zlob VnIcursal VCA is a versatile and compact module that can add clean and precise control to any Eurorack setup.

Further Thoughts

The Zlob VnIcursal VCA is an ideal choice for anyone who needs to mix multiple audio sources seamlessly. With its 6 OTA(LM13700)-based DC Coupled Linear VCAs, it provides clean, noise-free audio signals that can be easily adjusted using its potentiometers. You can also use the VCA as a voltage-controlled mixer and adjust the amount of gain using the control voltage. The LED brightness, with or without CV in, provides constant feedback of each channel's gain. This makes the Zlob VnIcursal VCA one of the most versatile and easy-to-use VCAs on the market today.