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Built by Robots, Loved by Humans
Make Noise modules leave such pretensions as “plug and play” behind and challenge their users from the first bout of voltage to cross their twisted and tangled wires. Make Noise is a Eurorack Synth module maker that revels in the quirks of techno-centricity, unapologetically weird and intimidating at first pass. Their synth modules are dense and powerful, beasts that require dedication to tame. Founder and inventor Tony Rolando has a penchant for putting Voltage Control on every parameter, even the ones that don’t initially seem to need it because it encourages experimentation and innovation. Modules like the René and the Wogglebug use the Cartesian coordinate system and vactrol-based low pass filters to bring hitherto unthought of sequences and control equations into the world while modules like the Phonogene and MATHS combine historical ideas and modern circuitry into rare noise machines. Make Noise celebrates the beauty of technology and the electricity that connects us to it, featuring circuits on the faceplates of their instruments and including ‘Touch Plates’ that make the player a part of the circuit by passing a small amount of electricity through them. The addition of a Make Noise module to any rig brings both an unparalleled level of control and an unquantifiable amount of chance, two factors that can help leave the “plug and play” world behind and break through the noise.
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REVIEW – Echophon ($399)
If an inspiring delay is worth its weight in gold, the Echophon might as well be made of platinum. This pitch-shifting echo comes with smooth time modulation, tempo sync, and saturating feedback, using a unique pitch-shifting algorithm inspired by the classic Springer Tempophon; it packs an arsenal of effects into its small Eurorack frame. Coded by legendary DSP guru Tom Erbe (of Soundhack fame), the Echophon pitch shifts two octaves up or down and can be tempo-synched to an external clock. It has two internal digital feedback loops and an external analog feedback loop for filtered and processed echoes. It can delay a signal up to 1.7 seconds and has a FREEZE button for hold, stutter, and sampling techniques. Like most Make Noise modules, it includes Voltage Control over all parameters and has an all-analogue dry signal path.