This glossary should provide a solid foundation for beginners in the world of Eurorack modular synthesis. It’s important to note that modular synthesis is a highly creative and experimental field, so don’t hesitate to explore and experiment with these concepts to create unique and innovative sounds.
A module that reduces the strength of a control voltage, allowing for precise modulation control.
Analog voltage signals used to control and modulate parameters in modular synthesis.
A module used to divide or multiply clock signals for synchronization and creating complex rhythms.
A module that adds audio effects like reverb, delay, or distortion to the sound.
A module that shapes the amplitude of a sound over time. Envelopes are typically used to control the loudness of a sound (ADSR – Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release).
A module that alters the frequency content of a sound by attenuating or boosting specific frequencies. Common filter types include low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass.
A control signal used to trigger events or actions, often used to trigger envelopes and sequencers.
HAGIWO is the japanese synth enthusiast that started to build his own DIY modular synthesizer during the corona lockdown and inspired us to make the modules available to the community.
The measurement of the width of a Eurorack module in horizontal units (1 HP ≈ 5.08 cm).
A module that generates low-frequency waveforms used to modulate other modules, often for creating rhythmic or evolving effects.
A module that converts MIDI signals from external devices into control voltages for use in a Eurorack system.
A single functional unit in a modular synthesizer. Modules can generate, modify, or process sound and come in various types, such as oscillators, filters, and sequencers.
A module that duplicates a signal to send it to multiple destinations, useful for routing and modulation.
A Noise Source module generates various types of noise, which can add texture, randomness, and complexity to your modular synth patches. Here are some creative ways to use a Noise Source module:
Use the noise as a source for percussive sounds. Patch the noise into a VCA and trigger the VCA with an envelope or sequencer. You can create snare drum-like hits, hi-hat sounds, or even experimental percussion.
Mix the noise with other audio sources to add grit, warmth, or unpredictable elements to your sound. For example, blending a noise source with a sine wave oscillator can create interesting textures.
Use the random nature of noise to generate random control voltages. These can be patched into various parameters in your Eurorack setup to introduce controlled randomness into your patches. For instance, modulating the cutoff frequency of a filter with random voltage can result in evolving and unpredictable filter sweeps.
Combine a Noise Source with a Sample and Hold module. The noise signal can serve as the source of randomness, and the Sample and Hold module can sample the noise and output stepped voltages, which can be used to modulate parameters like pitch or filter cutoff.
Create ambient soundscapes and drones by running the noise through a filter and modulating the filter cutoff with an LFO or slow-moving envelope. Experiment with different filter types to shape the character of the noise.
Trigger short bursts of noise with a sequencer or envelope to add percussive or glitchy elements to your compositions.
Experiment with feedback loops, where a portion of the noise output is fed back into the input. This can create chaotic and evolving textures.
Send the noise through a wave shaping module to sculpt its timbre. You can create a wide range of sounds from gritty textures to metallic tones.
Use noise as a trigger source for drum modules. Depending on the noise’s intensity and the trigger settings, you can generate unpredictable and evolving drum patterns.
The noise source is a playground for experimentation. Try different types of noise (white, pink, or colored) and modulate its parameters to create unique and unexpected sounds. Combine noise with other modules like filters, delays, and effects for further experimentation.
A module that generates audio waveforms (e.g., sine, sawtooth, square) that serve as sound sources in the synthesizer.
A section on the Eurorack case where patch cables are inserted to create connections between modules.
Cables used to connect modules and route control signals and audio between them.
The frame or case that houses the Eurorack modules, which can vary in size and capacity.
A module that records and plays back audio samples, allowing for sample-based sound manipulation.
A module used to create and control melodic or rhythmic patterns by sending control voltages to other modules.
A module that performs basic functions like mixing, offsetting, or inverting control voltages.
An amplifier that can be controlled using voltage, allowing for dynamic control of sound volume.
A filter that can be controlled using voltage, enabling dynamic frequency modulation.
An oscillator that can be tuned and controlled using voltage, allowing for precise pitch control.
A method of sound generation that uses a series of wavetables (sampled waveforms) to create evolving and dynamic sounds.
Remember that Eurorack modular synthesis encourages exploration and experimentation. Don’t hesitate to patch and repatch to discover new and innovative ways to use the Noise Source module and other modules in your setup. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity and willingness to explore.