Pizza Eurorack Module Review: Exploring the Versatile FM & Wave-Shape Oscillator

The Pizza Eurorack module by Bastl Instruments is an impressive FM and wave-shape oscillator that offers a ton of features in a compact size. It comprises three internal oscillators; the Main Oscillator, the Octave Oscillator, and the Ratio Oscillator, each with its unique waveform outputs. The Main Oscillator comes with phase modulation (FM), wave folding, and ring modulation, while the Octave Oscillator has a square-sine-saw waveshaper for independent outputs. The Ratio Oscillator allows for FM with user-adjustable ratios and square-sine-saw waveshaper.

The Pizza Eurorack module also features an FM Index crossfader that blends between the Ratio Oscillator and Octave Oscillator, an Index Mod attenuverter for dedicated CV input, a Sync input that resets all oscillators, and SHAPE section with wave-shaping of operators, two flavors of wave-folding, and ring modulation.

Moreover, the Pizza Eurorack module offers octave transposition and detune via Pitch knob, tune mode for adjusting semitone transposition and fine-tune, EXT input to replace phase modulation of the Octave Oscillator with an external signal, V/OCT input with automatic calibration and quantization, and assignable CTRL knob and CV (lin/exp FM, ratios, octave, detune, waveshaping, VCA).

The module also allows for firmware updates via micro USB, which is an added advantage for those who want to keep their oscillator module up-to-date.

Overall, the Pizza Eurorack module by Bastl Instruments is a versatile and powerful oscillator that offers a lot of flexibility and control. With its various waveform outputs and FM synthesis with wave folding and ring modulation, the Pizza is a great addition to any oscillator module setup that will give musicians a unique and diverse sound.

Example Usage

For a novice-level usage example, you can patch the Pizza Eurorack module's main oscillator to a VCA module, then use an envelope generator to control the amplitude of the VCA. You can then use the CTRL knob or CV input to adjust the frequency modulation (FM) index of the main oscillator, resulting in a dynamic and evolving sound. Experiment with the different wave shapes and wave folding options in the SHAPE section to further shape the sound to your liking. This simple patch demonstrates the versatility of the Pizza module as both a sound source and a modulation source for other modules in your Eurorack system.

An intermediate-level usage example of the Pizza Eurorack Module is to create a patch combining it with a filter and an envelope generator. Firstly, patch the PULSE output of the main oscillator from the Pizza module into the input of a low-pass filter module. Next, patch the output of the filter into an amplifier module. Finally, patch an envelope generator module into the CV input of the amplifier. By manipulating the wave-shaping and FM modulation of the Pizza module, while playing with the different filter cutoffs and envelope shapes, you can create a wide variety of evolving and expressive sounds.

Further Thoughts

One of the most creative uses for the Pizza Eurorack Module is to achieve an organic and versatile percussive sound by using its complex oscillator. Set one of the internal oscillators to a sine wave and use it as a carrier for the FM synthesis, while using the other internal oscillators as modulators. Adjust the FM index and ratio to achieve the desired sound, and use the SHAPE section to add further harmonics and wave-shaping to the sound. Patch the pulse output of the main oscillator to a VCA and use the assignable CTRL knob and CV to add another layer of modulation. This technique can result in a unique and dynamic percussive sound that can be used in a variety of genres, from experimental to techno.