Faded Instruments is a boutique builder from artist Doron Sadja, who’s making the most of 1U with cute, candy-colored, passive, and really inexpensive tools you can add to any 1U row. #1UTuesday continues –
It’s great to see artist – makers, generally, and I’m a fan of Doron’s music and curation. If you have no money at all but do have a Reaktor license, you can dive into some great free instruments for Reaktor, and a ton of wonderful software instruments. (Hard up for cash? You can appeal there, too!) Faded Instruments’ modular line is equally egalitarian.
It’s also the rare set of modules you can easily give to folks as gifts. And if you have a 1U space – or an adapter – these give you quick-and-easy tools. You just drop them into a case, no power required. I’ve got a handful of these and am thinking of picking up more or devising a simple case for them. For those of us coming from software, you get utility tools you can use anywhere with some quick swapping – some of that software convenience mixed with the satisfaction of picking up your screwdriver.
Of all of these, I think an easy favorite is the Jangler. It’s a touch-based plate that you can use for a variety of applications, though quickly cross-fading or panning – or randomly messing up patches – I found work best. Listed applications:
- A Gestural Touch VCA
- A chaotic mixer (any number of inputs/outputs)
- A touch based panner (stereo or more!)
- A weird multi-aux send for effects
- An X-Fader 3 Way
- A disorderly clock distributor (great for weird drum rhythms!)
- An expressive feedback chaos performance interface
Here’s a deep-dive demo that shows that off better (and definitely watch before buying so you’re clear on how this works – one of the few modules you really need to see in action rather than just read about):
Oh yeah, and tell me this warning doesn’t make you want it more:
Warning, this is a weird little module! It’s passive, so there’s some bleed/signal loss – though how much can depend on the weather or how sweaty/greasy your hands are. Dry hands? Just lick your fingers or swipe in a little nose grease 🙂 This can add a ‘decay’ to your touch since the signal will still connect until the wetness has evaporated! Because your entire body becomes a conductor, it’s also possible to pick up other signals from the ether~ Also, depending on what you plug into it, you might feel the sonic electricity pulse through your body! All this is to say that this module isn’t for everybody – but if you’re the kind of person who likes to experiment with different forms of interactivity, like to add a bit more chaos and expressivity to your instrument, and just generally like to stick your finger in things, the Jangler is for you!
Use at your own risk!
Don’t ask me, though; I keep a pair of scissors in my gig bag so I can run around with them as part of my warm-up.
The other utilities are a nicely balanced set:
- MULTI – 1:6 mult or 2x 1:3 mults
- SWITCHERTINE – dual switchers / mutes (with switches
- ATTENUMIX – dual attenuators / 2-channel mixer
- ATTENULOS – dual attenuators
- K4/K4+ and K6/K6+ patchbay and mults
The switcher/mute is especially handy, with satisfying toggles. The trick to the Konnekt series is, these work as patch bays and mults in varying combinations. Broken down:
So, okay, this stuff is so useful, in fact, that it seems someone ought to make a really simple 1U row you can add to whatever case you’re using, for a quick set of utilities. (Intellijel does this twice over, among some others, by putting a 1U row to add your own utilities and adding some mults and other connections above the row on their case.)
But that gives you a ton to play around with, and like I said – if your budget is zero, Doron still has some nice software tools to work with.
Good times. And if this does go well, Faded Modular plans more to come.