The Cursus was lifted; now it returns. Following their release of the 10HP Alia oscillator module, Noise Engineering is repeating the formula: unveil one new firmware release and bring back two favorites.
We’ve lost some great modules to component shortages; Noise Engineering’s update-your-own module platforms are a salve to modular lovers. Before we get to this month’s announcement, here’s a quick review of what Alia added at launch:
- Debel Iteritas Alia (new) additive phase modulation architecture (think 4-op FM)
- Basilimus Iteritas Alia (returning) drum synth
- Manis Iteritas Alia “dark, industrial” saw + lowpass filter + smash
So, what do we get this time?
Incus Iteritas (new) is a “wavemangling” FM voice meant for both instrumentation and percussion. It’s waveshaping and saturation and wavefolding, plus both FM and additive synthesis and even internal modulation, in addition to the full complement of I/O.
Ataraxic Iteritas Alia (oh my god, my tongue – uh, returning) starts with one of three bit tables, which you then can warp with amplitude modulation, wavefolding, and distortion. This was beloved for its intense metallic sounds and deep bass, and now there’s also a suboscillator (as if the original weren’t bass-y enough) and a hold button.
Cursus Iteritas Alia (returning) was sorely missed – it’s a dynamic wavetable oscillator which you can control spectrally via Fourier (sine waves), Daubechies (wavelets), or Walsh controls (via the Walsh transform, not sadly the Welsh transform – I’ll have to invent that, I guess, maybe under the hallucinogenic influence of some strong Tatws Pum Munud and whiskey). Basically, you get lots of harmonic sound possibilities, and again you get a suboscillator.
Releasing these as firmware means that any Alia oscillator can run all of them – now with a full six choices. And that especially makes sense here; these different options offer different sonic possibilities, but you’d be hard-pressed to grok all of that pre-purchase. Now, you can pick and choose in the comfort of your home/studio – and if you really need faceplates to remember the controls, you can order swappable front panels, too. And will you do this? As an owner of another swappable NE module, heck yes, you will. (The portal is great.)
And all models introduce additional features beyond the original Iteritas: encoder for easier tuning, dedicated Sub Out jack, grab the Hold button and freeze any CV modulation (cool), plus self-calibrating pitch input (-2 to +5V).
It also means it doesn’t matter which module you buy, though if you already have a favorite in mind, go for it. All but the Cursus are in stock at Perfect Circuit as I write this.
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For wavemangled and edgy bass and percussion sounds, I have to say, Alia is really now the choice. It’ll be hard to resist picking up two, let alone one.
World of Alia [Noise Engineering]
But wait there’s more!
Some great demo videos – one from Noise Engineering themselves, and a really gorgeous creation from Cinematic Laboratory: