Gristleizer Eurorack Module Now Available For Pre-Order

the-gristleizer-eurorackEndangered Audio Research has announced that they are making Throbbing Gristle’s Gristleizer available as a Eurorack module.

It will be available preassembled, kit, and as a PCB. It’s already available as a 5U module from Analog Craftsman.

The Gristleizer was an analogue special effects unit used by industrial experimental band Throbbing Gristle during the 1970s & early 1980s. The original Gristleizer unit was designed and made by Chris Carter.

It was based in part on a DIY construction project by Roy Gwinn that was published as the ‘GEP’ (Guitar Effects Pedal) in Practical Electronics magazine (July 1975 issue).

The Gristleizer Eurorack Module is available for pre-order now, in several different formats. See the Endangered Audio Research site for details.

Note: Gristleizer creator Chris Carter left us feedback via the comments that he is not associated with this module in any way:

“I can categorically state that the use of the name ‘The Gristleizer’ is not condoned or endorsed by me and/or Throbbing Gristle. Of course they might sound fabulous… or complete shite. But I wouldn’t know as I haven’t heard them.”

We’ve followed up to Carter to determine if this module is infringing on a trademark and will update this post as is appropriate.

23 thoughts on “Gristleizer Eurorack Module Now Available For Pre-Order

  1. hah, for real this time?

    Those modules and kits (possibly earlier versions) have been up on their site and listed as “sold out” for over two years now.

  2. Being completely unaware of these new modules from Endangered Audio Research until I saw them here I can categorically state that the use of the name ‘The Gristleizer’ is not condoned or endorsed by me and/or Throbbing Gristle. Of course they might sound fabulous… or complete shite. But I wouldn’t know as I haven’t heard them.

    However, a new official TG Eurorack format Gristleizer is most definitely in the works – right here in the UK! Watch this space…

    1. Hi Chris! We talked a long time ago when I first worked at EAR. Charlie is going to be emailing you soon (he still works here!) but if you’d like, you can read this response I made over at Muff Wiggler.

      I can assure you they sound amazing – video and sound demos are coming very soon. This is essentially the same circuit board as the tabletop version 3, but it has expanded CV capabilities.

      Not only did we fix all the problems with the original circuit (which we did in version 1, which you authorized), the new version includes a more musical filter (less sci-fi sound effect and more Leslie cab).

      I think our issues in the past came down to a fundamental miscommunication: Charles Howes did not design the Gristleizer (you have him on your website as the designer). Todd Kelley did all the work on The Gristleizer. Charlie brought the idea originally to Todd, but he did not have anything to do with its R&D. When you were talking with him at first, a lot of what you conversed about was really stuff you were talking about with Todd – you would write Charlie, Charlie would show the email to Todd, Todd would respond, and then Charlie would write up that response. He was a liaison, not a designer.

      We would like to offer you a free new version of the Gristleizer eurorack (prebuilt or kit). Other than acknowledging its history in the documentation, we do not plan to use TG’s name or yours or claim this is an authorized version.

      It is, however, the best sounding Gristleizer ever made, in my opinion! And like I say in the post at Muff Wiggler, there’s room for multiple Gristleizers to exist. If you, reader out there, want to wait to see which one you like more – Chris Carter’s or EAR’s – then by all means, please do! Just as there are many different choruses and reverbs and flangers, there are now many Gristleizers, and that’s nothing but a good thing for everyone. In all honesty I will probably be buying a CC Euro Gristle myself!

      That said, please don’t walk away from reading this post from Chris and think that we’re somehow taking advantage of them. We have made no mention of him or TG other than in the documentation for quite some time. It’s its own effect at this point – no one cares that The Beatles haven’t endorsed flanger effects, even though they created that and many other effects themselves.

      If you’re a collector and you care about having the official TG, then by all means, please do wait for CC’s version. He’s a lovely person and I really enjoyed talking to him when I worked at EAR, and I’m sure whoever he’s working with will come up with an awesome Gristleizer. To be clear, however, we are not taking advantage of TG or CC in any way. I hope the post over at Muff and the upcoming personal communication that CC will get from Charles Howes (who still does assembly at EAR) will clear this all up.

      Mark Boyd

      1. Mark

        If you are going to call it ‘The Gristleizer’, that means something very specific, both in people’s minds and legally. It’s not like making a generic chorus or a reverb, it’s like releasing a reverb and calling it ‘Lexicon’, when you’ve got nothing to do with Lexicon.

        You should work out a licensing arrangement with Chris and make that clear in your marketing. Otherwise, you may sell some modules, but get a reputation as a douche.

        It’s not about who’s Gristleizer sounds better, it’s about being respectful and following the law.

        If you can’t be bothered to do that, at least do what Behringer does and give it a different name, like the Grizzlizer or something! Otherwise, you’re ripping off Chris and lying to your customers.

        1. We did work out an arrangement with Chris years ago – he got his own tabletop versions as payment. Chris “pulled” his endorsement over miscommunications we are hoping to clear up here – check out my post under new synth modules -> eurorack in Muff Wiggler for complete details.

          We are 100% lawfully, legally allowed to use The Gristleizer name, which Chris Carter explicitly gave us permission to do.

        2. Furthermore, electrically, it is exactly like making a generic chorus or reverb – the version of the Gristleizer we make is radically different than the one Roy Gwinn made. It’s more different than most fuzz pedals are from one another. Point remains that Chris gave us the rights to use the name, and furthermore, he doesn’t challenge other companies using the name Gristleizer – he merely points out that they’re not authorized versions. If that matters to you, even though Roy Gwinn was the one who originally made the effect, then by all means please do wait for his version! I’m sure it’s going to be awesome as well – can’t wait to see what it looks like. I like our look but always thought CC had a great design sense, even with the very first TG.

            1. I think the title of “innovator” in this context might be stretching it. No disrespect towards CC of course. He himself admits the Gristleizer was largely of somebody else’s design:

              “The original Gristleizer unit (including the name) was designed and made by me and was based on a DIY construction project by Roy Gwinn that was published as the ‘GEP’ (Guitar Effects Pedal) in Practical Electronics magazine (July 1975 issue).”


      2. CORRECTION: I didn’t have my facts straight – Charlie *did* do the initial prototypes for The Gristleizer and was indeed a larger part of the early company (before I was hired) than I knew. I apologize for misrepresenting his role, that was from my ignorance.

  3. Hi thanks for posting this on Synthtopia! Was going to send it to you but seems you already scooped it up. Much appreciated – I’m here to answer any questions people may have.

    Mark Boyd
    Endangered Audio

    1. They’re coming – Todd is sending me a v3 Tabletop, which doesn’t have as many bells and whistles, but is the same basic board. We don’t expect everyone to get on the preorder train, this is just for the people who know and love this effect and want a great compact Euro version! We’re almost sold out of special price kits and the modules are going fast too!

      Thanks, will keep you updated – check out @EndangeredAudio on twitter for more 🙂

  4. I’m going to steer clear of the fray, but just want to give Chris a HUGE thank you for helping warp my mind as a teenager in the Midwest in the 80s. It was a very normal and soul killingly dull part of the country to grow up in, TG and the rest of the Industrial folks opened me up to just how truly bizarre the world could be.
    Here’s a fun little story to tell your friends, one day I was relaxing in my basement bedroom in my folks house listening to D.O.A. and my step-dad comes barreling down the stairs, the most freaked out look on his face, tears open the door that lead to the water heater/furnace area and then just stood there, puzzled as hell. He thought the droning sounds in Hamburger Lady was the furnace tearing itself apart.

    thank you for that, it is one of my fondest memories.

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