One of the most creative modular and software makers at the moment, Noise Engineering has two very desirable-looking modules hitting today. And there’s a new “platform” concept behind them, too – one that might help you keep your modules fresh.

Plenty of modules are now built on digital firmware. Here’s the twist Noise Engineering is offering: if you use any Versio or Legio module, you can swap the firmware to any other firmware for that platform, via their just-launched online portal. It’s a bold move, but could help the longevity of your modules and real ownership and control of gear.

Okay, firmware swapping or not, what really matters here is whether you want one of these modules in the first place. And NE is living up to expectations here. And listen – I am especially excited about that unique percussion module.

New modules

Poldactyl Versio is their stereo multiband dynamics processor – and they say they envision both as something you might use on one instrument to shape timbre or as the “clean up your mix” module at the end of the chain.

It’s not only “transparent” multiband processing, but also multiband saturation, plus noise gate and limiting, all in 10hp. Suggested retail US$355.

Tymp Legio is a new 6hp percussion module, and not the “let’s cram a bunch of samples into a module” sort that we frankly have too much of. No, they really tried to fit a bunch of interesting digital percussion into a compact module.

And it’s a beautifully economical design – with a clever “Wackitude” parameter. It’s just something that begs to be tweaked and patched, as you’d want in a module. There are three unique modes, “Boing / Cat / Boot.” From there, you get “Tang” control, and then Pitch, Hit, Wack, and Decay patch points.

List: US$279

Preorders start now; modules ship starting August 25.

More links:

Summer lineup:

Modules you can swap to whatever you want them to be

So what about all this firmware business?

Well, there’s Versio:

Versio is a shapeshifting effects platform. Turn your Versio into a clocked delay, ADSR-controlled VCA, or something completely different! Our firmware is always free for Versio owners, so change your Versio module whenever inspiration strikes! Forget menu diving. Say hello to a whole new building block for modular synthesis.

And Legio:

Legio is a stereo oscillator/effects platform. Turn your module into a unique dynamics processor, a stereo multi-algorithm oscillator, or something completely different as new firmwares are released. Firmware is always free for Legio owners, so change up your module whenever you want a new function in your system. Legio is a 6HP transformable powerhouse.

What’s beautiful is that you can swap in different firmware when you need them.

Wait, but what about the labels? They’ve got that covered, too – print out panel overlays or use an SVG template to make your own.

And then you can also develop your own modules with LibDaisy, their modular library – a hardware abstraction library that gives you access to audio, MIDI, and peripheral devices. So you can build your own interface elements, support connected hardware of various types, and reprogram the sound engine, too.

It’s really the post-PC age of modular, now that you can get custom modules, swappable firmware, modules running Pd and SuperCollider and Csound and custom DSP code – all alongside unique analog-only modules, too. I also love that this means you could build a really tiny rack with some focused capabilities, not the budget-busting, back-breaking, airplane-and-bus-incompatible racks of old.

But more on all that soon.

Now diving into these latest NE creations, or possibly just getting distracted and messing around with the Ruina plug-in yet again.

Have a jam: