It’s a modular in a modular. It’s a multitrack recorder. It’s a multi-channel audio interface. It’s a hub for CV. And now it does 3D graphics – and a plugin SDK has attracted well-known developer TheTechnobear.
The Percussa SSP bolts serious computational and signal processing power into your Eurorack – so it’s any MPE-equipped polysynth, sampler, granular sound-maker/mangler, CV dicer-slicer, multichannel audio device you like. It’s just generally kind of insane – the sort of thing people dreamed about years ago, or that you’d find in some archaic and mind-bogglingly expensive black box in a research facility. (Hey, not everything about the future sucks.)
The Percussa page does a nice run-down of all those possibilities. So let’s talk about what’s new, which is what Percussa will be sharing at Superbooth this week.
There are now 3D graphics on this beast, with GPU-accelerated raytracing. That’s not just so you can gaze at spheres – they’ve created a new “3D wave scanning oscillator to match the fancy visualization. Basically, think wavetable oscillator with morphing across X, Y, and Z axes.
So sure, you could use a computer for some of this – physical modeling membranes, live granular FX, layered sampler, and whatnot. But the SSP is also a multichannel audio interface (24-channel USB in this latest update to be exact) for your computer, and on top of that you can use channels for CV/gate/trigger. In other words, it’s a mini-computer in your rig, and it’s a gateway from your rig to your computer – both.
They’ve also updated their plugin SDK, which also supports 2D/3D graphics via OpenGL ES.
Developer TheTechnobear has been at this for some time. That began in summer of 2020 with an adaptation of Mutable Instruments’ Rings to the SSP control layout and UI and platform (pictured). In recent days, Mark announced he’s got a batch of tons of new plugins and will be at the Percussa booth here in Berlin. He’s also contributing to the core software. So, Percussa, we better come pay you a visit.
See the full multi-year thread on his progress:
Note that while TheTechnobear has done a lot of open source work, Percussa is a closed-source project.
Mark does a great explanation of what this whole thing is about:
It’s a good time to catch up with Percussa generally, because we still weren’t up to full international attendance in the fall Superbooth, and they’ve been quite busy.
So, to recap:
- New graphics rewrite
- GPU acceleration
- Plugin SDK support for OpenGL ES
- Improved memory management and other fixes
- 3D wave scanning oscillator with GPU-acclerated raytraced 3D graphics
- Step sequencer, sampler, and direct-to-disk recorder improvements
- 10 new plugins from TheTechnobear (performance mixer, matrix switchers and mixers, sample and hold modules, utility modules, and ports of open source modules such as Clouds, Rings and Plaits, for starters)
Beta by end of June; on display at Superbooth.