It’s the unsung software modular platform – Voltage Modular has an eminently usable interface and now some 1500 modules. And now a bunch of rare Moog-derived effects, oscillators, filters, and vocoder they created with MRB arrive where they belong: natively in the Voltage Modular platform.
Cherry Audio just celebrated blowing past the 1500 modules mark, thanks to contributions from developers PSP Audioware, MRB, Collider Modular, Benard, Vult, Andrew Macaulay, Planet.6_, Weevil, Dome Music Technologies, Nrgzr78, Monkey Business, P.moon, Playertron, Insomniac, Waverly Instrument, and others. Some of those developers are pursuing multi-platform support in environments like Reason Rack Extensions and VCV Rack; some are Voltage-exclusive. But the normal principle is true here: developers of music tools like to have individual choice, and they don’t just all choose one platform. Music dev is more tropical rainforest than it is monoculture agriculture. (Berlin feels a bit tropical at the moment, but I digress.)
Through the end of June, you get up to 75-90% off prices, in case you want to go on a Voltage Modular shopping spree:
The big news this week is that Rackmode Modules for Voltage Modular is here, recreating some classic vintage Moog modular effects. Rackmode Signal Processors was originally released in plug-in format, as a series of useful effects and a vocoder. And that was cool enough.
I mostly ignored it, personally, because where I really wanted was to have these modules in a complete modular environment. (That also gives them an edge over other self-contained recreations, like Arturia’s Modular V — if you want to mix and match classic Moog modules with other stuff, that is, and I sure do.)
So here we are – Rackmode Signal Processors brings all the Moog-style goodness to the Voltage Modular environment, with new additions that make sense in that context (like separate oscillators broken out from the vocoder).
What’s special about these is that they’ve made a greatest hits list of modules from all the most exotic, rare stuff, focused on processing instead of still-more-subtractive synthesis. I love vintage Moog, but to be honest, at some point you run out of ideas with the bare-bones vanilla Moog modular. This isn’t that: it’s all the wild stuff. It’s the Moog equivalent of Bitches’ Brew instead of Kind of Blue.
They also some from a special developer collaboration, as Cherry teams up with Mark Barton (MRB). And if sometimes it seems like we get multiple developers treading the same ground, well, this is what always keeps it interesting – music developers do all find their own idiosyncratic approach.
Here’s what you get:
16 Channel Vocoder, based on the 1978 Bode module 7702, but now with stereo operation! From the vocoder, you also get –
Vocal Source Oscillator, which is what it sounds like – a vocal-style oscillator, very cool (especially if you’re a bit bored with the vanilla oscillators). There’s a polyphonic variation, too.
Phaser: 12-stage style, onboard LFO, modulation ins.
Ring Modulator: Bode frequency shifter emulation, always good.
String Filter: 36 high-Q parallel bandpass filters.
Frequency Shifter: +/- 5000 Hz or both at once, onboard LFO – more Bode goodness.
Ten Band Graphic EQ. With Drive and Gain, so you can also overdrive those bands, crucially.
… and Three Band Parametric EQ with same.
Oh yeah, Bode what now? That’ll be this beautiful 1630 module:
You can also buy these a la carte if that fits better with your existing module creation. If that does sound interesting and you can’t be bothered to deal with another modular environment, it is still totally worth considering the Rackmount Signal Processors plug-in version, which is also on sale. But I’d still encourage you to give this a try; it’s really not that hard to switch between the various hardware emulation environments, anyway. (Reaktor Blocks, VCV Rack, Reason Rack Extensions, Cherry Audio Voltage Modular … it’s a little bit like going from one wall of a big modular studio to the other wall, really.)
But this is great; there are some unique processing and sculpting tools here that could break anybody out of a creative rut.
And don’t forget, recently Voltage Modular 2.5 introduced a bunch of patching and bussing features, new integrated high-quality recording, tons or workflow features, variations, and lots more (native Apple Silicon) – time for a full refresh review soon.
Happy patching & processing, y’all. Gonna be a hot Bode summer. Or I could say it Bodes well or… god sorry, it’s too hot in Berlin, actually, going to leave it there and get underwater.
Plug-in version, not modular, but you get the idea (ooh, okay, okay, maybe I can screencast something soon, if you make me):