Are modular rigs too pricey for your budget? Hate the thought of all those patch cords, and wish you could just have everything at the ready on your laptop? DopeMatrix might just be for you.

That’s “Dope” as in “Doepfer,” and they aren’t just making something modular-ish here. They’re actually giving you a set of sounds from popular Eurorack synth modules – think A-110, Plan B, Cwejman, and Piston Honda.

Those four oscillator modules are coupled with twelve effects modules and a step sequencer with matrix controls. Built in Max for Live, you can add the modules (and dozens of presets) as-is, and experiment with external control, your own tweaks, and drag-and-drop placement of routing order.

Thinking of this as a modular “clone” probably misses the point. You can’t route audio between modules with the same level of flexibility as a modular – you’re limited to dragging and dropping the order of the individual modules in Live. On the other hand, what you do get is actually a lot easier to control in live performance. The folks at Sonic Faction have thoughtfully included a step sequencer and a matrix module that does on-the-fly patch control. That in turn is mapped to common controllers like Ableton’s Push, the AKAI APC, and the Novation Launchpad.

With the matrix, any oscillator or effects parameter is a button-push away.

In fact, this as much about their clever step sequencer and its matrix controller as it is about the modular business. The new step sequencer adds additional controls missing in Push’s built-in functionality. And the matrix is even smart enough to update if you drag and drop effect order.

With the controllers, you can punch in sequences of notes, manipulate effects and oscillators, and transform pitch and other parameters. The result is something dynamic, combining some of the sounds associated with modern modular rigs with rapid-fire, grid-based control. The output: flurries of notes and spacey effects for a sonic good time.


And they have a cute video to go with it. (See the teaser, with animal mask action, at top, plus a tutorial below.)

I’m playing more with this; hope we look in more depth soon. If you toy with it and make something interesting, let us know.

Price: US$40 – a good buy, if you have one of the supported grid controllers.