CASE 1 – The Assimilator Cube

Case ONE of the Cinematic Sound Laboratory is called the Assimilator Cube¬† and has only a few components. Here’s a list from left to right, top to bottom.

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Error Instruments Tropical Noise
The Tropical Noise is a weird piece of eurorack, clearly handmade in the workshop of Paul Tas. Its core is a noise generator, but what makes it truly unique is the use of two ‘tropical fish’ capacitor patch bays, generating crazy, unpredictable sounds from the past, the present, the future and the far regions of outer space. The Tropical Noise is great fun combined with a Phonogene or Morphagene (see CASE 3), where we can explore the microsounds hidden in the noise. I am going to do a post about this one soon. It’s currently a ‘guest’ in this case to sample some cool lucky accidents.

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More Brains than you’ll ever need.

Squarp Instruments Hermod Sequencer
The Hermod is an 8 channel sequencer with USB and Midi connectivity and SD card storage. Squarp promotes it as a ‘modular brain’, because it’s capable of driving a big eurorack system. Unfortunately, the Hermod will be limited to its next door neighbor, the equally powerful Assimilator who ‘owns’ this case.

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We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is Futile

Rossum Electro-Music Assimilator – The Emulator 5.
The Assimilator is a true sampler with the genes of the legendary Emulator on board. It provides eight channels of sound, and each sound has three assignable controls (e.g. for pitch, pan, volume, etc). It should be possible to emulate the Morphagene very closely. Or eight strips of TR-808 sounds. Or a symphony orchestra.  It can play a full song from an SD card, or loop between grooves. The Assimilator is my core module and it helps me to save the sounds I create for later use. The SD card can be used to import the samples to the PC/DAW for further editing, cutting and mastering.

Erica Synths Drum Mixer
The drum mixer is a simple mixer with four stereo ins and a stereo out. I use it as a ‘mult’ to gather all imputs from various sources and hook it up to the Mixology ‘master out’.

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Big module. only four channels. Would be cool if the MK2 could be switched to four stereo inputs. Could have been a lot smaller.

Qu-Bit Mixology
The Mixology is a four channel mixer with CV control for level, panning and FX sends. This is just enough to handle the Morphagene’s and Assimilator’s stereo outputs. However, there’s not enough HP available to add something to control all the CV inputs as provided by the Assimilator and the Mixology. Only the Morphagene has a dedicated controller (the Pressure Points) and is capable of firing an event at the end of a splice playback. So we need another case because the next row is full.

ROW 2: 104 HP

Lights up like a Christmas tree

TipTop Audio Circadian Rhythms
Yes, another sequencer, but this one is dedicated to gates. This means it only sends on/off messages, it can’t play melodies. It’s first use is to send clock signals to the rest of the modules in the system. Both Brains and Rene need a master clock otherwise nothing moves. The CR provides 8 channels of gate, which is a perfect match for the 8 channels of the Assimilator. So the combination basically provides me with a TR-8S drum computer where it’s possible to load your own drum sounds. Using Rene’s melodic sequencers it’s possible to create an endless stream of music ranging from all night techno to ambient tingles. The CR is – just like Rene – designed to play live and provides a huge 64 button matrix for on the fly changes.

TipTop Audio Z-DSP Effects Processor
Finally, there’s the awesome Z-DSP for echo’s, reverbs, feedback networks and the sound of infinite space. Matches very well with the FX/Send IO from the Mixology. 

End of Case 1