Midweek Modular: DXG bongs, Prizma complexities and pulling on Strings


midweek modular 90 128x71 1Midweek Modular: DXG bongs, Prizma complexities and pulling on Strings

Midweek Modular

In Midweek Modular this week we’re bonging with the DXG, sequencing with the Prizma MkII and pulling strings of modulation out of our Eurorack.

Midweek Modular

In a moment of clarity, here are this week’s intrusions of modular innovation into real-world space.

Nervous Squirrel String Thing

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, Nervous Squirrel comes along and hands you a ring-pull with a string attached. As you move the string about in three-dimensional space, everything changes. The string is not just plotting XY movement like a joystick but also Z movement in the amount of string you unravel from the module.

You can imagine using a pair of String Thing modules to turn your modular into an experience that feels like flying a stunt kite. You could use it for modulation, use it for Theremin-style and melodies, or use it to control whatever you like.

Here’s a video that focuses on the 5U version that Nervous Squirrel have been using for some time, but the new version is available for Eurorack.

  • Nervous Squirrel website.
  • More from Nervous Squirrel.

Make Noise DXG

The arrival of a new Make Noise module is usually a bit of an event. However, the DXG is more of a stereo expansion of an existing idea found in modules such as the Optomix and so finds itself in the category of useful utility rather than an essential mind-blowing exploration into modular innovation.

DXG is a Dual Stereo Gate, or more accurately, a two-channel stereo low pass gate and mixer. It has that very familiar bouncy and organic sound of a triggered low pass gate opening and closing in response to the LED inside a vactrol.  You have a certain amount of control over the response of the “strike”, giving a wide variety of percussive and bongy sounds. Unlike the Optomix it doesn’t have a “Damp” input for sidechaining, instead the room is used to make everything, including an auxiliary input, stereo.

The DXG is a very fine low pass gate and perfect for a system following the stereo-module trend.

  • Make Noise website.
  • More from Make Noise.


Prizma is a generator of complex melodies and rhythms. It’s a 16-step sequencer with all sorts of possibilities behind the scenes to add difference and spice to the proceedings. All of it is controlled via a simple and visually engaging interface. The only question being whether a couple of encoders and 16 LEDs is enough to enable you to be creative without getting bogged down in the layers.

Inside the Prizma MkII are two channels of CV and Gate outputs. For each step, you can set a Note or CV amount, step length and “odds”, which revolve around the concepts of probability and unpredictability. In most cases, the first encoder selects the parameter, and the second encoder changes the value. Once your notes are set, you can then apply per-track parameters such as probability, random steps, glide, shuffle and so on. You can mess with your sequence further by applying an auxiliary sequence to your sequence.

The manual is well illustrated and goes into lots of detail about what on earth is going on. The video seems to suggest a certain amount of ease when it comes to editing things, but I get the feeling you might need a cheat sheet nearby to remind you of what all the colours mean.

I am very taken with the Prizma MkII. I like how compact it is and I appreciate the light show and the way it can generate interesting pathways through your sequence. It’s available for €99 as a kit or €199 fully built. If you’re into DIY then that’s got to be very tempting.

  • Doboz website.

XOR Electronics NerdSEQ 2.0 update

The ultimate tracker-based Eurorack sequencer has received a nice and chunky update and officially moves to firmware version 2.0.

Many of the new features focus on controlling and incorporating more MIDI and input/output options. This includes a new Multi-IO expander module which I’ll come onto in a moment. There’s a new Mapping screen where you can route modulation from and to whatever you like. You can control everything via MIDI including transport, pattern launch, mute and solo as well as recording MIDI control data.

The Multi I/O Expander brings additional MIDI connections and I2C that all get integrated with the tracker. You can plug in any controller, including a SEGA gamepad. And also make full use of the 100 virtual patch cables via any I2C-capable device.

Other updates include a new Scale screen with 90 presets and new conditional functions for creating scripts such as a bouncing ball or Turing machine. This thing is far too deep for its own good. It often feels like the best rewards will only be found by the most dedicated.

  • XOR website.

GregsBrain xVox hits VCV Rack

And lastly, just to say that Greg got in touch to point out that the xVox harmonic Pitch Shifter module that I’ve talked about before is now available as a virtual module on the VCV Rack platform. So, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s all about, you can now go and try it out for yourself.

  • vVox on VCV Rack.
  • More from Gregsbrain.

The post Midweek Modular: DXG bongs, Prizma complexities and pulling on Strings appeared first on gearnews.com.

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