Every time Bastl Instruments and Casper Electronics collaborate, something special happens – so it’s no surprise a mixer/VCA is going to come with tasty fixin’s, too. The concept has roots in Casper concept module”Party Mix” and … it’s a party and a martial art.
Before we get into normal Eurorack modular chat, let’s completely trip out to this animated video!
And damn, this sound & music is hot, Oliver. This is an art video soundtracked by our friend, spiritual inspiration, and teen idol Oliver Torr and animated with powerful clarity by Pipe & Pallet.
Casper Electronics is Peter Edwards, whose Party Mix first appeared at Superbooth 2018. And I sort of wondered what happened to Bastl’s quad VCA Quattro Figaro.
Well, with apologies to the used market for Quattro Figaro, here’s our answer.
It’s a quad VCA mixer, with submix routing.
It has integrated envelope followers, which you can use for compression, expansion, sidechain compression, and some other cleverness.
The envelop followers have multiple modes: Side Chain with 3 response curves, and Spectral Follower with treble / mid / bass frequencies. (Hey, someone might even use this to feed visuals with an analog control input – they don’t mention that, but I’ve definitely been blinded by Peter doing weird things with flashing lights before, so just sayin’.)
Every module now seems to offer some kind of sidechain compression (kids today – we used to have to sidechain compress uphill both ways through the snow). But it’s nice that this one is uniquely controllable, with attenuverters, and the possibility of expansion.
And it’s got clickless mute buttons. (“Mute” is probably the single most underrated and invaluable feature on all modular systems.)
I really appreciate that you can use this as a powerful mixing hub (for audio or CV) and as a quad VCA – but also as a “patch stuff and experiment” toolkit that is really neither of those things.
In fact, this might be a rare case of Bastl underselling their hardware. This to me looks like an all-powerful envelope follower hub as much as everything – a chance to patch stuff in and transform dynamics and/or control in lots of different ways. It also comes with Bastl’s signature staggered pots and Peter’s love of faders. Our tired, knob-blistered fingers salute you! No, the other finger!
On top of that, you can combine this with BUDDY and hack some settings with jumpers on the back. Full specs:
- 4 VCA channels, each with:
— clickless mute with light indication
— level fader with 6dB boost
— CV input with attenuverter
— input (DC coupled)
— output (DC coupled) cascaded mixing
- Mix output (AC coupled)
- Side chain envelope follower
— input (normalized to A input)
— output (normalized to CV inputs)
— switch to select response time
- Spectral envelope follower
— input taken from Channel D output
— patchable output
— switch to focus the follower to low, mid, or high frequencies
- Backside jumpers
— select whether direct VCA outputs are pre/post Mute
— cascaded mixing input and output (joins 2 Aikidos to 8 channel mixer)
— main mix input and output (for chaining the normalized MIX outputs), chainable with BUDDY