Tube-driven Chaos: Orobas meets Ctrl, Midi, UGrids, and Xer Mixa!
In this article, we explore the exciting possibilities of combining the Orobas dual tube amplifier with the Ctrl module, Midi Thru, UGrids, and Xer Mixa. The Orobas, with its unique routing capabilities and control voltage inputs, allows for the creation of a wide variety of sounds. The Ctrl module offers four independent stages for generating adjustable voltages, making it a versatile tool for controlling other modules. The Midi Thru module provides MIDI connectivity and multiple outputs, while UGrids, a micro version of Mutable Instruments Grids, adds rhythmic patterns and variations to the mix. Lastly, the Xer Mixa is a summing mixer with ten stereo-paired inputs, tactile controls, and a 100% analog signal path, perfectly complementing the other modules in this setup. By combining these modules, musicians can unleash tube-driven chaos and explore new sonic territories in their Eurorack builds.
The Orobas, manufactured by Animal Factory Amplification, is a limited edition dual tube amplifier that brings warmth and character to any Eurorack setup. With two identical units, each featuring two audio inputs with dedicated gain controls and one output volume control, the Orobas offers flexibility in signal routing. The channels can be connected in parallel or series, allowing for different routing options and the creation of feedback loops. The control voltage inputs of the Orobas determine the gain and sound characteristics, offering modulation possibilities and tonal variations. The Plate Bias switch on the Orobas controls the headroom, providing three different settings from subtle fuzz to full distortion. With its tube-driven goodness, the Orobas adds a unique sonic flavor to the overall setup.
The Ctrl module, created by PH Modular, is a versatile unit that adds control voltage capabilities to the setup. With four independent stages, each featuring a potentiometer to generate adjustable voltages ranging from -5V to +5V, the Ctrl module provides precise control over other modules in your Eurorack system. Use the Ctrl module to check CV inputs of modules that don't have them, group together module controls scattered across your system, or generate continuous GATE signals. The Ctrl module is skiff-friendly and features potentiometers with central detents for easy control and precise adjustments. With its compact size and intuitive design, the Ctrl module is a valuable addition to any Eurorack build.
The Midi Thru module, developed by Manikk, enhances connectivity and expands the MIDI capabilities of the setup. Featuring both DIN and TRS jacks, the Midi Thru module offers MIDI input and multiple MIDI Thru outputs. With four MIDI TRS Thru jack outputs and four buffered MIDI serial Thru outputs on the backside, this module provides extra Thru options for MIDI signals. The LED indicator for incoming MIDI activity ensures that you can easily monitor your MIDI connections. The Midi Thru module is a reliable and essential tool for integrating MIDI devices into your Eurorack system, allowing for seamless communication between your modular gear and external MIDI instruments.
The UGrids module, brought to you by After Later Audio, is a micro version of the retired Mutable Instruments Grids module. Despite its compact size, the UGrids module is an identical functional clone of the original Grids, offering the same behavior and compatibility with any firmware that runs on the full-size version. The UGrids module is a rhythmic powerhouse, providing a wide array of rhythmic patterns and variations to add depth and complexity to your music. With its intuitive interface and powerful functionality, the UGrids module is a must-have for creating intricate rhythms and evolving sequences in your Eurorack builds.
The Xer Mixa module, designed by Noise Engineering, is a summing mixer that perfectly complements the other modules in this setup. With ten stereo-paired inputs, three stereo-paired output buses, and tactile controls, the Xer Mixa provides a versatile and expressive mixing experience. Its 100% analog signal path ensures low noise and crosstalk, pristine sound quality, and ultra-high headroom. The Xer Mixa also features a built-in analog leveling amplifier, adding punch and dynamics to your mix. The digital control interface of the Xer Mixa allows for state save and recall, per-channel pan law and pre/post send settings, and multichannel editing. Additionally, the MIDI I/O offers even more control possibilities. Compact and customizable, the Xer Mixa is suitable for any studio or performance system, providing a hands-on mixing experience for your Eurorack setup.
By combining the Orobas dual tube amplifier, Ctrl module, Midi Thru, UGrids, and Xer Mixa, musicians can unleash tube-driven chaos and explore new sonic territories in their Eurorack builds. The unique routing capabilities of the Orobas, the control voltage generation of the Ctrl module, the MIDI connectivity of the Midi Thru module, the rhythmic possibilities of the UGrids module, and the summing and mixing capabilities of the Xer Mixa module create a powerful and expressive modular setup. Whether you're experimenting with warm tube sounds, creating intricate rhythms, or sculpting your mix, these modules offer unparalleled versatility and creative potential for your Eurorack adventures.
In this example, we will explore how to use the Orobas, Ctrl, Midi, UGrids, and Xer Mixa modules to create a tube-driven chaotic composition.
Step 1: Connect the Orobas module to your audio interface or mixer using the audio outputs.
Step 2: Take your audio sources and plug them into the audio inputs of the Orobas. Experiment with different sound sources like synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers to create a diverse sonic palette.
Step 3: Set the gain controls on each channel of the Orobas to adjust the input levels of your audio sources. Start with low gain settings and gradually increase them to add more distortion and saturation.
Step 4: Use the Ctrl module to generate control voltages that will modulate the Orobas. You can connect the control outputs of the Ctrl module to the control voltage inputs of the Orobas to create dynamic changes in gain and sound characteristics.
Step 5: Experiment with the evocation potentiometer and the Plate Bias switch on the Orobas to shape the feedback and distortion characteristics. These controls will allow you to achieve a wide range of tube-driven chaos.
Step 6: Utilize the UGrids module to create rhythmic patterns and trigger sequences that interact with the audio signals processed through the Orobas. Connect the gate outputs of the UGrids module to the control inputs of the Orobas to generate rhythmic variations and cut-offs.
Step 7: Connect the Midi Thru module to your MIDI controller or external synthesizer using the MIDI input. Use the MIDI Thru outputs to send MIDI data to other modules in your Eurorack system, allowing for further modulation and control possibilities.
Step 8: Connect the Xer Mixa module to your audio interface or mixer using the stereo-paired output busses. This will allow you to mix and process the chaotic audio signals generated by the Orobas.
Step 9: Experiment with the tactile controls on the Xer Mixa module to adjust the levels, pan positions, and send settings of each audio channel. The built-in analog leveling amplifier can add punch and dynamics to your mix.
Step 10: Use the digital control interface on the Xer Mixa to save and recall presets, customize pan-law settings, and configure MIDI control routing. This will give you precise control over your mix and allow for creative automation possibilities.
By combining the Orobas, Ctrl, Midi, UGrids, and Xer Mixa modules, you can create a unique and expressive tube-driven chaotic composition. Explore different audio and control sources, experiment with modulation and sequencing, and let your creativity run wild in the realm of eurorack modular synthesis.
To create a chaotic and expressive sound patch, we can combine the Orobas dual tube amplifier with the Ctrl manual control module, Midi Thru module, UGrids micro Mutable Instruments Grids, and Xer Mixa summing mixer. Here's an intermediate-level usage example using these modules:
- Connect the output of your Eurorack audio source (e.g., VCO, sampler, etc.) to one of the audio inputs of the Orobas amplifier.
- Take another audio source or modulation signal and connect it to the second audio input of the Orobas amplifier. Adjust the gain controls of both channels to achieve the desired balance between the two signals.
- Utilize the Ctrl module to generate modulation voltages. Patch the outputs of two Ctrl channels to the screen control voltage inputs of both Orobas channels. Adjust the potentiometers to provide modulation to the screen control, which influences the gain and sound characteristics of the tubes.
- Connect the Midi Thru module to your MIDI controller or computer via MIDI input. Use the DIN or TRS jack outputs of the Midi Thru module to send MIDI data to other Eurorack modules or external synthesizers.
- For rhythmic variations and trigger patterns, patch the MIDI output from the Midi Thru module to the clock input of the UGrids module. Set the UGrids module to generate complex trigger patterns and control voltages based on the MIDI input.
- Take the output signals from the UGrids module and route them to various modulation inputs of the Orobas amplifier and Xer Mixa mixer. Experiment with different combinations to create evolving and unpredictable audio effects.
- Finally, connect the output of the Orobas amplifier to one of the inputs of the Xer Mixa mixer. Use the Xer Mixa to combine and shape the audio signals from the Orobas amplifier and other sources in your modular setup. Adjust the faders and pan settings to blend the sounds and create a balanced mix. You can also use Xer Mixa's analog leveling amplifier to add punch and character to your final mix.
Remember to explore different parameter settings, modulation routings, and experimentation to fully exploit the potential of these modules. Let your creativity flow, and embrace the chaos that this combination can bring to your sound palette.
One captivating way to harness the creative potential of the Orobas dual tube amplifier is by combining it with the Ctrl module, Midi Thru, UGrids, and Xer Mixa. This modular setup opens up a world of tube-driven chaos and dynamic sonic exploration.
Begin by connecting the audio outputs of UGrids to the audio inputs of Orobas. The intricate and rhythmic patterns generated by UGrids will be intensified and transformed by the tube-driven amplification process.
Next, use the Ctrl module to manually control various parameters of the system. The four independent stages of Ctrl allow you to generate adjustable voltages that can be sent to different modulation inputs of Orobas, influencing the gain, feedback, and overall sound characteristics. This gives you the ability to sculpt and shape the chaotic output of UGrids with precision and finesse.
To expand the control possibilities even further, use the MIDI Thru module to route MIDI signals from an external controller or sequencer to other modules in your system. This enables you to synchronize the rhythmic patterns generated by UGrids with other MIDI-capable modules, adding another layer of complexity to the sonic landscape.
Finally, route the audio output of Orobas to the stereo inputs of Xer Mixa. The summing mixer capabilities of Xer Mixa allow you to combine multiple audio sources, including the amplified output of Orobas, with precise control over levels and panning. Experiment with sending different audio signals through Orobas and blending them together in Xer Mixa, taking advantage of the analog leveling amplifier to add punch and character to your mix.
This combination of Orobas, Ctrl, Midi Thru, UGrids, and Xer Mixa offers a unique synthesis of chaos, control, and sonic manipulation. Let your creativity run wild as you explore the limitless possibilities of this modular setup, creating textures, rhythms, and atmospheres that push the boundaries of electronic music.