Harmonic Carousel: Unmasking the Echoes of Oberhausen, Black 3109 and Fold Processor

The Erica Synths Black 3109 VCF/VCA is a stellar representation of a modern evolution to the vintage IR3109 chip, renowned in classic Roland synthesizers. Among the notable inbuilt features of this combo module are a volume drop compensation, a 24dB/oct lowpass VCF, and an integrated VCA. Such additions effectually counter significant drawbacks of IR3109 based units, epitomizing a volume drop during resonance surges. The added value here is the 1V/oct track that facilitates impeccable use for VCF keyboard tuning and VCO applications.

Enters the St Modular Oberhausen, a CEM3340 based Dual Voltage Controlled Analog Oscillator that prides itself on generating a broad spectrum of complex waveforms. Its two main oscillators and two modulation oscillators offer as many as five different waveforms, each accompanied by a dedicated volume control to navigate the sonic landscape. A notable innovation on the Oberhausen module is the blend mixer, allowing manual or CV controlled blend between OSC1 and OSC2 – an ingenious functionality that hints at the myriad waveforms waiting to be discovered.

The Tiptop Audio Fold Processor is a creative's dream designed as a voltage-controlled wave multiplier and sub-octave generator. Its operation bases on a time-tested diode design that gratuitously adds odd harmonics through folding the incoming signal. This vintage approach of wave manipulation results in pleasingly animated folding sounds with a provision for voltage-controlled adjustments. The charm of the Fold Processor lies in its ability to create anything from discordant swarms to harmonic oscillations - a tempting promise in modular synthesis.

The Atovproject cDVCA introduces an innovative class-D inspired concept, creating distinct distortions with a defined character akin to class-D amplification technology. This module stands out as the world's first VCA that tracks 1V/oct. An innovative PWM frequency manipulation technique allows for creative waveshaping. Notably, this compliments the inbuilt 1 pole VCF/tone circuit, controlling the harmonics this module generates. With versatility at its core, the cDVCA can generate a basic square wave, doubling up as a simple synth voice.

The Big T Music Rangoon is a charming rendition of Mutable Instruments' Rings. Its layout mirrors beautifully with Monsoon's layout, forming an impressive 12hp companion module. This synergy holds the reputation as the ideal 'Rings into Clouds' pair in the Eurorack landscape. Its design takes inspiration from the cinematic Blade Runner universe, featuring high-quality anodized aluminium knobs and bipolar LEDs to indicate input CV voltage. With a gorgeous black and gold panel design hinting at sophisticated sub-panel illumination, the Rangoon module is an eye-catcher in every Eurorack setup.

In conclusion, these Eurorack modules grant unparalleled freedom and capability to manipulate and craft unique electronic sounds. The combination of these units promises a harmonic carousel, offering a diverse spectrum of sonic possibilities - whether you desire the sweetest harmonics or the grittiest glitches - propelling the world of electronic music production.

Example Usage

To start, you might initialise the patch with the ST Modular's Oberhausen complex oscillator which offers a variety of waveforms. You could blend its two main oscillators using the dedicated blend knob on the module. This leading sound source can add several layers of texture to the patch with combined waveforms which become even more complex with Oberhausen's built-in modulation capabilities. Feed the triangle waveform from oscillator 2 into the Tiptop Audio Fold Processor. This module adds a different type of harmonic alteration to your sounds by multiplying or 'folding' your incoming waves. You could introduce voltage control to the fold depth for a constantly evolving timbral shift.

Now cable the result from the Tiptop Audio Fold Processor's output into the Erica Synths Black 3109 VCF/VCA for shaping. Adjust the cutoff frequency for spectral content transformation, controlling the resonance for feedback and creating unique, EDM-suitable "squelchy" sounds.

Innovative use of the VCA can enable dynamic volume changes synced to modular sequences or the rhythmic elements of your performance. Remember, the built-in VCA also doubles as a secondary oscillator tuned at 1V/Oct making it possible to play melodies when self-oscillating, by just sending it votage from a sequencer or a keyboard.

Feed the resulting sound through the Atovproject cDVCA. Here, you could advantageously manipulate the unique class-D amplifier to introduce clipping and overtones into your sound. Lowering the pulse-width modulator's (PWM) frequency into the audio range can transform the sound drastically.

For processing external signals, the Rangoon module from Big T Music will give you a granular reverberation effect that can add an organic element to the output. Utilize the damping and texture knobs to add timbral variations and multiple layers of color. Experiment with the module's resonator types to generate a diverse palate of sonic results, ranging from plucked strings and wind instruments to membranes and plates.

As a quick tip: as you explore the capabilities of each module, subtle adjustments can lead to dramatically different results. With a bit of creativity and experimentation, this combination of modules offers a rich toolset able to produce a deep and spacious sonic journey. Remember, Eurorack rewards the experimentally inclined! The interplay between these modules can offer infinite sonic possibilities, making it a dynamic powerhouse for both studio productions and live performances.

Allow me to guide your auditory journey into the harmonic carousel comprised of Echoes of Oberhausen by ST Modular, the Black 3109 VCF/VCA by Erica Synths, the Fold Processor by Tiptop Audio, cDVCA by Atovproject, and some finishing touches with Rangoon by Big T Music.

Step 1: Let's start by unifying the complex power of ST Modular's Oberhausen to Erica Synths Black 3109 VCF/VCA. Use the rich blend of principal oscillators and modulation oscillators, then channel that complex waveform into the Black 3109 VCF/VCA, the warmth and richness of the iconic AS3109 filter really begins to make its presence felt.

Step 2: Generate deeper harmonic layers by employing the Fold Processor from Tiptop Audio. Fuel it with the blended output of Oberhausen and Black 3109 VCF/VCA. Adjust the fold control along with the inject bias to find a sweet spot of additional wavefolding resulting in a harmonic symphony your ears will relish.

Step 3: The obscure magic begins with Atovproject’s cDVCA. Use the cDVCA's creative PWM capabilities to modulate the resulting signal, creating an overtone landscape that while seemingly chaotic, follows your melody seamlessly. With the drive control, you can explore a whole new world of active clipping that levels up the harmonic flavor.

Step 4: To finalize our sound, let’s give the signal a cloud ambiance with Rangoon by Big T Music. Based on Mutable Instrument's Rings, Rangoon will give our sound spectral echoes turning briefly into a choir of ghostly reverbs.

In conclusion, this combination is a real journey into an unlimited amusement park of sound. With Oberhausen's unique timbre creation and blending, Black 3109's signature filter coloring, the active wave folding of Fold Processor, the innovative sonic taste of cDVCA, and the cinematic reverbs of Rangoon, you'll be cutting original, creative swathes through the dense thickets of the ordinary. This is unmasking the deeply harmonic, endlessly entertaining carousel - always in motion, always mesmerising, yet accessible and fathomable once the echoes are unmasked.

Further Thoughts

Initiate the patch by routing your main oscillator's output, preferably saw or consequential waveform, into the CV input of the Erica Synths Black 3109 VCF/VCA. This combo, with its 24dB/oct lowpass filter and a unique volume drop compensation, provides a solid foundation by shaping the frequency content of the sound while simultaneously controlling the amplitude. Vary the cutoff and emphasis to taste; for a thicker, more animated sound, consider utilizing the 1v/oct tracking on the filter and feeding it the same sequence as your oscillator.

Next, let's process the filtered output through the ST Modular Oberhausen, a complex oscillator with numerous waveform possibilities. It will receive and process our input to generate a plethora of different harmonics. Make use of the various waveforms found in both principal oscillators, and take advantage of the ability to blend between OSC1 and OSC2 to create an ever-evolving sonic palette. Don't shy away from activating the sub-octave waves or messing with the timbre generator for some unexpected results.

Now, it's time to introduce the Tiptop Fold Processor. Send the oscillator mix output from the Oberhausen into the input of the Fold Processor. This module, a voltage-controlled wave multiplier and sub-octave generator alters the harmonic content of our now complex waveform. Tweak the folding amount using CV, giving life to static signals. The subdivide output could then be mixed back into the OSC1 or OSC2 inputs of the Oberhausen to generate further sonic complexities.

Having manipulated the timbre and frequency elements, the patch can be further processed with an ATOVProject cDVCA. This module allows you to modulate the amplitude of an ultrasonic PWM signal using a CV input which can track melodies at 1v/oct, perfect for rhythmical alterations or sequencer-driven patterns. This also introduces the potential for more delicate or atormentingly aggressive harmonic distortions.

Lastly, the Big T Music Rangoon, a reworked version of Mutable Instruments Rings with a novel Blade Runner-inspired design, serves as the perfect encapsulator for the rich harmonic material generated by previous modules. It provides a resonant model of the complex signal produced, offering a range of tonal and modal resonances that subtly echo the initial waveform, amplifying its harmonic content, and presenting the aural illusion of a larger, multidimensional sounding system.

In conclusion, the combination of the five modules, each contributing a unique layer of sonic complexity, culminates in a multifaceted soundscape filled with harmonic carousels and echoing timbres. By delving into the Echoes of Oberhausen, Black 3109, and Fold Processor, one can discover a vast realm of eurorack possibilities. Unmasking these modules and other related ones can provide a rich source of inspiration for your next eurorack patch.