From beautiful toms to alternate LFO modes, here are two Eurorack modules that shine in multiple applications. Take a video tour of the Dead Man’s Catch firmware for Peaks and variations, and Noise Engineering’s Tymp Legio.
I’ve been loving both these modules for their sheer versatility. Modular makes the most sense for most of us if you can get a module to adapt to your particular compositional idea or live performance need – rather than having to buy something new. (Fun as it is to unwrap/unbox those things!)
Tymp Legio: Toms to bass to drums to sidechaining
First up, Noise Engineering’s Tymp Legio. This is already a series that allows you to load alternate firmwares – in case you suddenly decide you need an oscillator in place of this percussion module, for instance. Or at least that was the feature I touted about this series, and part of what I had in mind when I picked up this module. There’s just one problem: there’s way too much you can do with the Tymp Legio, including even basslines.
Noise Engineering made a nice tour of some of those possibilities last week. Even this just scratches the surface – they go fairly grungy with those toms, but a lot of crisper, cleaner sounds are possible, too.
In keeping with the “every module now has sidechain in it for some reason,” you get that, too. (That’s fairly useful with any module that has trigger sent to it – see also Knobula’s excellent Kickain for a similar feature. I have these two next to one another in my rack, and somehow I used each to sidechain at different times.)
They’ve got a nice jam with this going, as well:
And yes, sure, you could accomplish this with software plug-ins, but there’s something really nice about being able to patch modulation, patch effects, and tweak dials – as this is even more hands-on than a lot of the hardware drum machines out there.
Baker/Rainier: all the modulation, envelopes, and percussion you can handle
Speaking of percussion, the other module I really appreciate for its percussion skills, even if I bought it as an envelope and modulation generator, is the 6HP After Later Baker. This module is essentially a remix of the Mutable Instruments Peaks. The features it adds, though – CV inputs and attenuvertors for each of the four parameters – make this interesting to me in a way that honestly the original Peaks was not.
After Later also makes Rainier, which adds attenuvertors for each output, and is a little wider at 8HP. I decided to save the 2HP, but I will say I might recommend Rainier instead – not only are the output controls useful for mixing, but the additional space makes it easier to hit the buttons. (Whoops.)
With the Dead Man’s Catch firmware for the Mutable Instruments Peaks series and variations, you get all of the original Peaks features and a lot more. That means this module is full of LFOs, envelopes, bass, snare, toms, hats, FM percussion, and even some alternate sequencers.
After Later has done a handy walkthrough of all these features. I bring it up now as the combination of a Peaks variant and Tymp Legio gives you a complete drum kit – one that doesn’t sound like every other drum machine out there.
Even the original firmware is already impressive in its capabilities – and if you don’t know the vanilla Peaks features, you might want to start here:
Read the manual on these, for sure:
Plus the original:
I will say that cycling through features with those blinking lights does my head in – that’s a feature of the mod; the original had just four modes. But once you have the module set where you need it for a set, it’s massively useful. It’s nice enough that I’m starting to think about getting a second one.
It’s great that After Later is keeping the Mutable Instruments line alive and riffing on the original designs.
And I’m sure I’ll see both of these modules in a lot of setups.