Traffic: An Innovative Trigger-Based CV Controller for Eurorack Modules

The Traffic, a powerful trigger-based CV controller, offers users an innovative way to effectively control multiple sounds from a single oscillator. Designed to take your macro oscillators to the next level, Traffic lets you effortlessly generate rhythmic complexity and tonal variation with just a handful of modules.

Imagine the scenario where you want to employ your Plaits or Basimilus for a kick sound, but you know it has the potential to deliver so much more. Previous solutions were to use conventional step sequencers to set the CV values to cycle through different modes or sections of the module. The drawback to this method is the lack of control and flexibility, especially when creating performing live changes like muting a particular sound.

Traffic revolutionizes this approach by using triggers akin to preset selectors, enabling you to instantly set your oscillators into specific modes. A sequence of triggers is translated straight into CV values, dynamically altering the behavior of the oscillator in real-time in response to the trigger signals.

The controller is efficiently set out with three rows of three potentiometers, each accompanied with an output. The pots determine the CV values, which are selected via the trigger inputs. Three concurrent outputs make this a versatile 3 channel controller.

Traffic also integrates a global trigger output. This thoughtful inclusion synchronizes your CV actions with the trigger sequences – pivotal for rhythmically aligned modulations, such as employing various modules towards a coordinated drum set.

Given the single-voice nature of oscillator-based synthesis, simultaneous trigger signals could pose a problem. But Traffic's solution is built around a priority system revolving around the rising edge and the state of the input, efficiently accommodating the possibility of swung notes.

Random modes offer a refreshing note of spontaneity. In the center position of Traffic, a random rearrangement of the skills crafts new sound combinations. Meanwhile, the ‘Groove’ mode maintains sounds in triggers one and two while creating a random 16-step sequence in trigger three. Notably, trigger two input can be configured as a reset input.

Finally, Traffic houses a delightful bonus - an alternate firmware called Water that can be activated via the back of the module. It's yet another example of how this module was designed with a genuine understanding of musicians' needs.

With tools like Traffic, the possibilities to explore new sonic territories and create complex, uniquely varied sounds from usual modules become endless. So, let's continue to push the boundaries of what's possible with our modules and keep the spirit of electronic innovation alive.

Example Usage

Here's a NOVICE-level usage example for the Traffic module:

Let's say you have a Plaits oscillator module and you want to use it to create a versatile drum set in your Eurorack setup. With Traffic, you can easily accomplish this without the need for a complex sequencer or multiple modules.

First, connect the Plaits module to Traffic using patch cables. Traffic has three rows of knobs, each representing a different drum sound. In this example, we'll use the first row for the kick, the second row for the snare, and the third row for the hi-hat.

Next, send triggers to the trigger inputs of Traffic. Each trigger will correspond to a specific drum sound. For example, a kick trigger will set the Plaits as a kick drum, a snare trigger as a snare drum, and a hi-hat trigger as a hi-hat.

As you play a drum sequence, Traffic will translate the triggers into CV values and send them to the Plaits module. The CV values will change in time, ensuring that the Plaits is set to the correct drum sound when the trigger comes.

Since Traffic has three trigger inputs, you can create up to three different drum sounds from a single oscillator. This allows for easy sound exploration and quick changes during live performances.

Additionally, Traffic features a global trigger output that sends a trigger whenever there is a trigger in any of the inputs. This ensures seamless synchronization between triggers and CV values, keeping your drum patterns tight and precise.

With the analog multiplexers inside Traffic, you won't experience any step-like changes in CV values when adjusting the knobs. This provides smooth and continuous control over your drum sounds.

To add some variety to your drum patterns, you can switch Traffic to the middle position. This will create a new random rearrangement of the knobs, giving you a fresh set of three drum sounds. It's perfect for instant breaks or exploring new sonic possibilities.

If you switch Traffic to the Groove position, it will keep the sounds from triggers one and two, but introduce a random loop of sounds in trigger three. This mode adds an element of surprise and musical coherence as the loop progresses.

If you want to loop a different number of sounds in the Groove mode, you can configure the trigger two input as a reset input. Simply move the config switch number two on the back of the module. Remember to power cycle the module for the changes to take effect.

Lastly, Traffic comes with an alternate firmware called Water. You can activate this firmware by changing the configuration switches on the back of the module. This allows you to transform Traffic into a completely different module without the need for cables or computers.

In conclusion, Traffic is a powerful trigger-based CV controller that opens up new possibilities for your Eurorack drum setup. Its intuitive interface, smooth CV control, and multiple trigger inputs make it an essential tool for creating diverse and dynamic drum patterns.

In this intermediate-level example, let's explore how Traffic can be used to create dynamic drum patterns by controlling multiple sounds from a single oscillator using triggers.

Begin by patching a Basimilus Iteritas Alter (BIA) as your main oscillator for creating drum sounds. Connect the trigger outputs from Traffic's three trigger inputs to various drum modules such as a kick drum, snare drum, and hi-hat.

Next, set up Traffic's three rows of knobs to correspond to different parameters of the BIA. For example, row 1 can control pitch, row 2 can control decay, and row 3 can control timbre. Adjust the knobs to find the desired settings for each drum sound.

Now, program a drum pattern by sending trigger signals to Traffic's trigger inputs. As each trigger is received, Traffic will send the CV values of the active row's knobs to the corresponding drum modules. This means that as a kick trigger is received, the BIA will be set to produce a kick sound according to the CV values of row 1. Similarly, the snare and hi-hat triggers will activate the corresponding CV values of rows 2 and 3, respectively.

Experiment with different trigger patterns and adjust the knob values to create unique drum patterns and variations. You can easily change rhythms or perform live changes by manipulating the trigger inputs and adjusting the knobs in real-time.

To add more flexibility, you can engage Traffic's Groove mode. In this mode, trig 3 will output a new combination of CVs in a loop of 16 steps. The sounds from the previous mode will be inherited, ensuring musical coherence. This creates an exciting element of randomness and variation to your drum patterns.

If you want to explore new sounds or create instant breaks, switch Traffic's middle position to activate a new random rearrangement of the knobs. This allows you to quickly generate fresh sets of three sounds for further experimentation and creativity.

Lastly, if you prefer a different number of sounds in your loop or want to introduce resets, you can configure the trigger 2 input as a reset input by adjusting the configuration switch number two on the back of Traffic. Remember to power cycle the module for the changes to take effect. This customization only affects the Groove mode.

With its intuitive design and dynamic triggering capabilities, Traffic opens up new possibilities for creating intricate and evolving drum patterns using a single oscillator. Explore its potential and unleash your creativity in eurorack music production.

Further Thoughts

In this usage example, let's explore how the Traffic module can be used to create dynamic and evolving drum patterns in a eurorack setup.

Imagine you have a drum module like the Basimilus Iteritas Alter (BIA) and you want to go beyond its typical kick drum sound. By using the Traffic module, you can transform the BIA into a versatile drum machine capable of generating different sounds like kicks, snares, and hi-hats all within the same patch.

With Traffic, you can use trigger inputs to control the CV values of the BIA. By setting up three triggers, each corresponding to a specific drum sound, you can achieve seamless transitions between kick, snare, and hi-hat sounds. The CV values on the BIA will change in sync with the incoming triggers, effectively creating a switchable drum machine.

The Traffic module features three rows of knobs, with each row having its own output for CV values. By selecting the active column of knobs using trigger inputs, you can control the CV values sent to the BIA. Additionally, the module includes a global trigger output to ensure synchronization between triggers and CV values.

The innovative priority system of Traffic guarantees that only one sound triggers at a time. This ensures accurate timing and maintains proper sound priority when using swing in your drum patterns.

One of the standout features of Traffic is its ability to generate random rearrangements of the knobs. By switching to the middle position, you can instantly create a new set of three sounds, ideal for exploring new sonic possibilities or creating sudden breaks in your compositions.

The Groove mode, accessed by switching to the last position, introduces a random loop of sounds to trigger three while keeping triggers one and two consistent. This mode allows for unique and evolving drum patterns with musical coherence.

For those who prefer different loop lengths, Traffic offers configuration options. By moving a switch on the back of the module, the trigger 2 input can be configured as a reset input, enabling you to loop a different number of sounds. It's worth noting that any changes made to the configuration switches require power cycling the module for the changes to take effect, and this switch only impacts the Groove mode.

As an exciting bonus, each Traffic module comes with an alternate firmware called Water. Activating this firmware from the configuration switches completely transforms the module into an entirely different entity, expanding its versatility even further.

Overall, Traffic revolutionizes the way you can interact with your eurorack drum modules. It opens up a world of creative possibilities, allowing you to easily control multiple sounds, create dynamic drum patterns, and explore new sonic territories, all from a single oscillator module.