After Later Audio, a notable name in the world of Eurorack modules, brings forth the released gem - Quarks. This 22hp marvel is none other than an essence-filled alternate take on the infamous Mutable Instruments Elements. Beloved for its functionally equivalent capacity, it embraces all the firmware options and identical sound characteristics of the original Elements. With Quarks, however, we see an impeccable compromise between the tight spacing of the Atom and the slightly imposing size of the original Elements.
Considering its petite size at a mere 22hp, Quarks makes no compromise on its functionality and sound possibilities. It inherits the palpable sound of the Mutable Instruments Elements, making it a compact sound design tool catering to a wide range of sonic territories. As such, musicians and sound designers alike can experience expansive sonic landscapes, from plucked string sounds to otherworldly percussions, without compromising on the module's size or quality.
On the technical side, Quarks operates on a 12V current drawing 130mA and a -12V drawing 10mA. The module power connector is conveniently designed to connect either way on the module side - another testament to the practical design consideration poured into this product.
When patched, Quarks emits the distinctive richness that we've come to know and appreciate from the Mutable Instruments Elements. Its versatility allows users to sculpt soundscapes that are multifaceted and engaging, whether they are creating harmonious melodic patterns or exploring the abstract extremities of their sound palette.
Despite its downsizing, there is a tangible sense of familiarity about Quarks for those well-acquainted with the original Mutable Instruments Elements. It adequately maintains the interface integrity with knobs and patch points intuitively placed, enabling a seamless workflow even in the most cramped Eurorack setups.
On the flip side, the size advantage of Quarks presents an opportunity for users new to Elements. In the blossoming world of Eurorack modules, where space is a premium, Quarks is a compact gateway into the expansive sonic world of Mutable Instruments. It offers these unique experiences in a smaller footprint, without compromising on any of the functionality of Elements.
To sum up, with Quarks, After Later Audio has judiciously taken the essence of Mutable Instruments Elements and distilled it into a compact 22hp package. This meticulously designed module caters to both seasoned Eurorack musicians looking for space economy and beginners stepping into sound design's compelling realm.
Quarks provides a robust platform for experimentation regardless of the experience level, fostering musicality and inviting limitless creativity. At its pinnacle, Quarks embodies the best of both worlds - the uncompromised power of Mutable Instruments Elements and the convenience of a compact Eurorack module - thus, helping to work a divine symphony of sounds into the fabric of electronic music. Packed into a tight, efficient unit, Quarks grandly shines as a beacon of compact excellence in the Eurorack universe.
NOVICE USAGE EXAMPLE:
Let's start by exploring the After Later Audio Quarks, a marvelous 22hp variation of the Mutable Instruments Elements in Eurorack format. This compact module gives you access to the same firmware options and amazing sound characteristics as the original Elements, all while providing a more space-efficient design.
To begin your sonic adventure with the After Later Audio Quarks, let's focus on its primary sections: exciter, resonator, and audio output.
- Exciter: The exciter is responsible for producing the initial sound source. To generate a simple and melodic tone, connect a keyboard or sequencer to the Quarks' CV input. Adjust the Exciter Level potentiometer to set the volume of the exciter signal.
- Resonator: The resonator shapes and modulates the sound produced by the exciter. Experiment by patching the exciter output to the resonator input. Twist the Resonator Frequency knob to explore different harmonic content and tonal qualities. You can also use a low-frequency oscillator (LFO) to modulate the Resonator Frequency for more dynamic effects.
- Audio Output: Connect the audio output of the Quarks to a mixer or audio interface. This will allow you to hear and record your creations. Adjust the output level using the Audio Output potentiometer.
Once you've mastered these basic functions, it's time to dive deeper into the world of modular synthesis. The Quarks offers a multitude of patching possibilities, including external modulation, audio processing, and creative sound design techniques.
Remember to experiment and have fun with the After Later Audio Quarks. Its compact size and exceptional sound capabilities make it an excellent choice for both compact and versatile Eurorack setups.
INTERMEDIATE USAGE EXAMPLE:
In this example, we will explore how the After Later Audio Quarks can be used to create a dynamic and evolving ambient drone patch. We will focus on utilizing the module's various sound engines, CV control options, and modulation sources to shape a mesmerizing sonic landscape.
To start, let's connect an LFO to the Pitch CV input of Quarks. Set the LFO to a slow rate to create subtle pitch variations. This will add movement and depth to our drone.
Next, we will use the Macro control to adjust the Blend parameter. This will determine the mix between the different sound engines available in Quarks. Start with a mix of 50% Melody and 50% Percussive to achieve a balanced combination of tonal and textural elements.
Now, let's introduce modulation to further shape our drone. Patch an envelope generator to the Structure CV input. This will alter the internal behavior of Quarks, resulting in more intricate and evolving timbres. Experiment with different envelope shapes and durations to create intriguing rhythmic patterns.
To add spatial effects, route the audio output of Quarks to a stereo effects processor. Apply subtle delays, reverbs, and modulation effects to enhance the depth and movement of the drone.
To conclude our patch, let's add some expressive control. Utilize a MIDI controller to map parameters like Macro, Pitch, or Structure to different knobs or sliders. This will allow you to perform and manipulate the drone in real-time, adding an interactive aspect to your composition.
By exploring the various sound engines, CV control options, and modulation sources of the After Later Audio Quarks, you can easily create captivating ambient drones that evolve and inspire. Its compact size and powerful features make it a perfect addition to any eurorack setup, providing a gateway to endless sonic exploration.
One of the most exciting features of the After Later Audio Quarks module is its ability to emulate various physical modeling elements. Let's explore how we can use this 22hp version of Mutable Instruments Elements to create a stunning soundscape.
To start, patch an LFO module, such as the Make Noise Maths, into the Quarks' Modulation CV input to control the overall behavior. Set the LFO to a slow, meandering waveform to introduce subtle variations to the sound.
Next, use the Quarks' Excite input to bring in an external audio source, such as a sampled field recording or a percussion loop. Experiment with different sources to find the perfect texture for your composition.
Engage the Quarks' Morph control, which allows you to smoothly transition between different synthesis algorithms. Adjust this parameter to explore the vast sonic possibilities that the module offers. From percussive strikes to ethereal pads, there's no limit to what you can achieve.
To add depth and movement, insert a resonator module like Mutable Instruments Rings into the Quarks' Res input. This will generate resonant feedback, emphasizing certain frequencies and adding an organic touch to your sound design.
To further sculpt the timbre, use the Quarks' Modal control to adjust the body resonances of the synthesized sound. This will enable you to shape the overall character and create a more nuanced performance.
Finally, patch the Quarks' Outputs into a stereo effects processor, such as the Strymon BigSky, to add lush reverbs and spatialization. Experiment with different algorithms and parameter settings to create an immersive auditory experience.
By combining the compact excellence of the After Later Audio Quarks with other eurorack modules, you can explore the vast possibilities of physical modeling synthesis and create unique and captivating musical compositions. Whether you're looking for evolving atmospheres or percussive textures, the Quarks module is a must-have addition to any modular setup.