Black Corporation turned a lot of heads when they launched the Deckard’s Voice Eurorack module, following their Yamaha CS-inspired Deckard’s Dream flagship. Now they’ve got one more clever idea going.
And since there are indeed a lot of integrated single voice modules around, Rachael is perhaps even more worth your attention.
Rachael (yeah, I guess Roy and Pris are on their way if this is successful) is a flexible module built around ring modulation. It can be a companion to Deckard’s Voice, but since this is the modular world, it doesn’t have to be.
The trick here is, this isn’t just an input-output ring modulation effect. There’s an onboard ADSR envelope, a reference oscillator with VCO / LFO switch, and plenty of controls and patch points.
So, you can use this different ways. You can take an external audio input and add ring modulation – either with the internal oscillator, or with a second external signal. You can use Rachael as a modulation generator for other modules. You can use it as an envelope generator, with the envelope output. And all of those scenarios are possible at once. Combined with CV input of each of the envelope stages, 1V/oct input, and CV control of the depth control, you could put Rachael at the heart of a very complex patch.
Black Corporation’s Roman Filippov says that Deckard’s Voice and Rachael will launch at the same time. Right now, though, there’s only the preorder live for Deckard’s Voice, and no pricing for Rachael.
Deckard’s Voice preorder pricing is split – you pay $199 now, then $500 when the product is ready to ship, for a total of US$699 direct before taxes/import.
That makes Deckard’s Voice, like its larger sibling, nothing if not a premium product. (You’ll see plenty of people asking about kits, since the kit version of Deckard’s Dream offers some significant savings.)
I’m a little wary of putting down a ton of money on a synth voice like that, as it does beg the question if what you really want is a desktop semi-modular with a lot of patch points.
But that means I think Rachael, by contrast, could occupy an interesting space. It gives you essentially the most out-there bit of a CS in a rack, if you want a little Deckard’s magic. And it does look like one of the more compelling ideas around a ring mod. (Maybe something like the Cwejman RM-2S is worth a look, for something focused on dialing in stereo ring modulation. There are a bunch of 1- or 2HP modules that are mostly pretty simple, beyond that.)
Rachael brings real, focused, Yamaha-style modulation and envelopes to a market that mostly seems to think of ring mod as an exotic afterthought. Now we just need someone to do a software knockoff of this for VCV Rack and call it Electric Sheep. (Wait, no, forget I said that, Roman!)