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  • Alex Tebeleff

Saturation w/ a SSF Eurorack Voice

I've been experimenting with expanding my tonal palate in regard to the most recent chain in my eurorack modular system, a voice focused around the SSF Zero Point Oscillator and SSF Dipole Stereo Filter. My recent addition to the voice chain, that also includes a WMD/SSF Spectrum Oscillator for FM and a SSF PTG for envelopes and audio VCAs, is the WMD/SSF Amplitude VCA.

Back a few years ago when I was still living in DC, I used to be frequently up in NYC to play shows and visit friends. I always made a point to visit the electronic instrument store CTRL to try a few things out firsthand (this was before Chuck Levin's in nearby Wheaton, MD started carrying modular). While there, I distinctly remember how organic that Amplitude VCA made everything I ran through it sound. With a simple wave-folded lower register sound source, I was able to get as close as I think I could imagine to an upright bass, and further experimentation showed it could move from subtle and very natural-sounding enhancement to aggressive distortion that reminded me a little of the Thermionic Culture Vulture.

Recently, I finally bit the bullet and bought an Amplitude VCA to complete my "SSF voice." While getting ready for a set this Sunday night in LA at Echo Park's Little Joy for the monthly Triptronics Research series, I decided to put it through it's paces, originally to help create a Tanpura-esque sound to accompany my collaborator on sitar for the evening Evilartform, but of course it didn't stay so subtle over time.

Here I use the Intellijel Planar 2 to pan the SSF Voice in the stereo field, and to affect the frequency of the Dipole Filter simultaneously. The real key that unlocked to this harmonically reach tone was having the ability to apply saturation pre-filter via the built in function on the Dipole, and post filter saturation via the Amplitude. This module really brought the power of this voice together! The percussion voices are courtesy of heavily processed SSF Entity Bass Drum and SSF Percussion modules, and a Mannquins bass voice. I'll post some more subtle applications in the future, as certainly this would be a little extreme when I need to leave some space in the mix for my collaborator on sitar, but really had fun exploring this side of the patch.

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