5 Ways To Use The Percussa mSSP Eurorack Module

Percussa has shared several new videos, demonstrating a variety of ways in which you can use their upcoming micro Super Signal Processor multi-function Eurorack module.

The Percussa micro Super Signal Processor (mSSP) can be used in many ways – as a synth engine, wavetable oscillators, granular synth, sampler, effects processor and more.

The above video demonstrates an 8-voice wavetable synthesis patch, controlled via MIDI. Each voice consisting of a wavetable oscillator with 3D morphing, ADSR envelope, input modulation, MIDI module, and a bus module. The patch also has a delay and reverb module before going to the output module where the signals are routed to the output channels.

The second video, above, explores 4-voice sequencing with the mSSP, with per-voice step sequencer, microtonal quantizer (jazz scale from the SCALA archive), sine osc, envelope, bus routing, global stereo delay & reverb and frequency modulation of all sine oscillators via the input module.

The next video explores subtractive synthesis on the mSSP. It uses 32 modules total, 2 oscillators + SVF + 2 ENVs + MIDI per voice, including an FX chain built into the patch and external SVF cutoff and FM modulation.

This video explores granular synthesis, using a choral sample. It uses an mSSP granular patch, with input (start/length) modulation, and a delay and reverb processor, right before the output module.

The final video explores live stereo input granular synthesis with the mSSP.

The patch in the mSSP consists of a granular module, 2 LFOs for start and pan modulation, an SVF before the granular input, and a delay and reverb module after the granular.

The mSSP will ship with 50 modular synth patches, covering a wide range of synthesis and audio processing techniques. A Mac and Windows editor is also planned, which will give users the ability to do full patch creation and editing.

Pricing and Availability

Production of the Percussa mSSP is being funded via a Kickstarter project. The mSSP is available to project backers for US $549.

36 thoughts on “5 Ways To Use The Percussa mSSP Eurorack Module

  1. Can the mSSP be used as a straight-up effects processor? If so, I’d be very interested in seeing some demos of this.

    At $549, the mSSP is at the top-end of the Euro market. But if it can do delays like the EuroDDL or the 4ms Tapographic, or reverbs like Z-DSP, then I’d lean towards it over a dedicated effects module.

    1. I’d say L-1 24-band Vocoder is at the top-end actually, at $1720 at AH. 🙂 $549 is not quite peanuts but well within ‘affordable’, I mean we still have Frap Tools Fumana & Schippmann for when we think of expensive fx!

      1. Or the Prcussa SSP at $2000. From an admittedly brief glance, it seems like this is most of the SSP with half the I/O and a smaller display. With that in mind, it seems like a pretty good deal.

        1. Aren’t the guts of the module essentially the same?

          It looks like the biggest differences are the screen size and connectivity.

          1. there is a comparison table on the mSSP kickstarter page that shows the differences between the SSP and mSSP.

    2. You can load any VST but you have to be able to code in Linux kernel or something like that. They talk about it on the Kickstarter page. It seemed out of my technological purview.

      1. you can load VST plugins that have been compiled for Linux/ARM. Some VST developers have started compiling their plugins also for Linux, so at some point we’ll see more Linux/ARM plugins (most smartphones and tablets use ARM CPUs).

    3. Bert here from Percussa. The answer is yes, you can use it as a straight up FX processor. We have a delay and reverb module. There is no specific reverb / delay demo, but all demos have some delay and reverb on them. I’ll see if I can shoot a demo with only delay and reverb processing the signals of other modules in my rack.

      1. Bert

        Thanks for answering questions!

        I’d second AnalOG’s request. I think if you could demonstrate that this could do high-quality reverbs – like a Valhalla plugin or really any decent reverb – then the module could be a no-brainer purchase for some Euro users. Because your module is about the same price as a good Euro reverb module, but looks like it could do a lot more.

        Same thing with digital delays – the good ones are very pricey in Euro.

        I’d also have to agree with one of the other commenters, though, your demos don’t show off your module very well. i don’t think you want to hype it, but you do want to show the module doing things that will ‘wow’ people.

        1. Like I wrote elsewhere I’ll work on a demo where we just show the reverb / delay, if time allows.

          You are right that it can do a lot more: the kickstarter page lists about 25 DSP modules that we already have, with more to come, spanning classic subtractive synthesis, granular, sampling, wavetable, modal synthesis and physical modelling, etc etc. So it’s not a reverb or delay processor but actually a “modular in a module”. The mSSP will be shipped with 50 patches so you don’t have to build any patches to use it.

          I personally think the above demos are quite impressive, but if you want to see other demos then please suggest what you want to see and I’ll consider doing a few different ones.

      2. Bert

        One other thing that I think would be really interesting is if the mSSP could run the open source Mutable Instrument modules.

        I don’t know if that would even be possible, but I know that I’ve got about $1,500 in MI modules in my system and several of them take up a lot of HP, and they have kind of clunky UI’s. It seems like your module could probably run several MI apps at a time, and your interfaces seem way better. Having one module that could run run multiple instances of Braids and Rings would be insane.

        1. Should be perfectly doable to compile mutable instruments’ code to run on the mSSP and SSP, since the ARM processors share most if not all of the instruction set (i.e. NEON SIMD etc) but that is a project for an independent developer or perhaps mutable instruments themselves… we have an SDK and an example VST plugin (source code is on github) and all the info is available to get started developing stuff for the SSP and mSSP.

  2. £26,326 of £94,994 goal with just 9 days to go…

    It doesn’t look like it will make which is surprising given the power of this module Vs the cost…
    Perhaps launching just before Xmas wasn’t such a good idea….or maybe people just don’t want ‘computers’ in their Eurorack?

    Personally I would be more interested in this if it was (fopr the same cost) ‘in a box’ with a PSU and 1/4 inch audio I/O as well as CV jacks (synth input, guitar input, output to mixer etc)….I could justify it then as a synth, sequencer, fx module away from the modular (which only gets used occasionally as it is)

    1. SSP/mSSP seem like the sort of thing that could ramp up based on a small initial following. Once there’s more available stuff in the firmware, a library of plugins developed by users, etc. it’s the sort of thing that could start gaining momentum. Kickstarter is the exact opposite of that — you have to show the potential right away and convince a large number of people to invest in advance.

      I think Percussa’s not good at marketing. In forum posts, they come off as a computer company more than musical instrument builders. They have this expectation that everyone will get excited about the hardware specs and that what you actually use it for is secondary to that. Literally the first thing they started talking about when they hit the scene was specs before they decided “I guess it can do wavetables or something”. This ties in with their lack of compelling demos.

      Most people into Eurorack are interested in:

      – What a module does
      – How it sounds
      – Width and depth
      – How the interface feels
      – Price
      – *sometimes* with digital modules, sample rate or bit depth are of interest.

      What people into Eurorack mostly don’t care about:

      – What chip is behind the panel

      1. There is already a wide collection of videos and info available but you have to take the time to watch them. Coming across one video does not mean you’ve seen them all.

        Just FYI – We do care about making musical instruments rather than just “technology”, I played the piano for years and have a classical music education background besides going to one of the top DSP labs in the world for my post-graduate degree.

        The point I’ve made with the mSSP and SSP is that processing power and audio converter resolution and sample rates matter a lot if you want great sound and creative possibilities / flexibility.

        When we developed the SSP, we already had a wide collection of DSP modules. The wavetable oscillator and granular processor was developed and added during the launch of the SSP kickstarter.

      1. we didn’t cut all the functions, the comparison table between the SSP and mSSP, listed on the mSSP kickstarter page, shows you exactly what you get for your money and how the SSP is different from the mSSP.

    2. there is already a standalone version of the SSP called the Percussa Remote/Engine. You can see it on our website and order it there.

  3. “Support to develop and load your own Linux/ARM VST plugins (requires linux knowledge and compiling code for Linux/ARM)”

    Does anyone know if this is how it works on the SSP proper, which according to this previous synthtopia post:

    https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2018/07/30/percussa-ssp-lets-you-host-vsts-in-your-eurorack-system/

    “lets you host vsts in your eurorack system”

    Is it the same function or does the mSSP require more technological skill than the SSP?

    1. the mSSP will be shipped with a collection of 50 patches, ready to go, without requiring you to build anything. You switch it on, choose the patch you want, and tweak the knobs. If you want to edit or build patches you use the software editor we ship it with (UI mockup on the KS page).

  4. While I can see what Starthief is getting at here, I think this is a dangerous attitude and mindset that is great for many eurorack manufacturers. Ignorance about how DSP works and how many modules in the eurorack world are using it and cost just as much or more is something I think many people are not connecting the dots on here. An e-370 (or 353 or whatever) costs nearly as much as a SSP ($2k). Is a fourth of the processing power, and also 56hp. Yet it only does wavetable synthesis. Using DSP. So a powerful DSP workstation is important because for example, one mSSP ($599) can run 4 e370s just based on processing power. Coupled with the way the platform is designed to let you use this DSP potential and is expandable with an open platform and community involvement I just really don’t understand all the hate the SSP and mSSP get. I mean this is literally a revolution in the modular world. $600 for a module that can do everything your digital modules do, but can do it better because of the quality of the components.

    To answer some other questions, the mSSP (as detailed in the kickstarter) uses the exact same hardware that the SSP uses. This means anything software wise possible on the SSP is possible on the mSSP, to include custom VSTs. It is literally a SSP with half the I/O and at a fourth the price. 26hp versus 60hp. So reee is absolutely wrong. Of course the kickstarter would have cleared that up as well.

    The value proposition here based on what is already possible with the platform is insane. Factor in the potential from community involvement and I just don’t think it’s possible to find any better deal in eurorack period.

    1. I agree with a lot of what you say, but it seems to me like the mSSP ‘screams potential’, but much of that potential is to be demonstrated.

      There are lots of digital modules that are very popular, and probably none of them are as powerful as this. But you can go onto YouTube and find good demos of the ornaments and crime, the e370, the Braids, the Rings, the Audio Damage modules, 1010music modules, etc. The only modules out of the bunch with close to the power of the mSSP are the e370 and the 1010 modules – and they are both more expensive.

      If the mSSP could run Valhalla’s vst effects, or something similar, I’d buy two of the modules in a heartbeat. And probably a lot of people would. Same with Sinevibes plugins.

      I hope the mSSP is viable – it does seem like a platform with a ton of potential.

      1. @Hialdo most eurorack modules, including the e370, mutable and 1010 modules, are based on a cortex M4 or M7. The M7 is the more powerful processor in the M-class, with a maximum of 462 DMIPS of processing power for the STM32F7 series.

        In contrast the (m)SSP delivers 20,000 DMIPS, which is about 40x more, because it is a quad-core A17 processor at 1.8GHz (=1800MHz). The A-class is used in laptops, smartphones, etc.

        So you see, the (m)SSP is far beyond the processing power of most eurorack modules. Keep in mind that the (m)SSP also uses 32-bit ADCs and DACs, supporting sample rates 48kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz, with DC coupled inputs and outputs, which is unheard of in eurorack. We use AKM chips which are used in the most expensive pro audio equipment out there.

        There are good demos of the mSSP (see above) and SSP (see kickstarter updates of the SSP as well as our youtube channel, etc). But you have to take time to watch them. The demos are not full on musical performances, because that is not our job. We develop the product, we show the features. The rest is up to the musicians.

        The demos we posted have already showcased the power of the (m)SSP, for example the 8-voices wavetable demo, with 3D morphing, including a delay and reverb FX chain, with MIDI MPE support, all done in 1 patch on the (m)SSP. And that is just one patch, there are several other demo videos including a granular demo. We will be shipping 50 patches like that with the mSSP.

        The mSSP is a kickstarter project which means we give you the opportunity to be part of the development, manufacturing and delivering of an exciting new eurorack module. It’s not a product for which all the work has already been done. The SSP was not done either when it was launched on kickstarter, but we did deliver the SSP on time, and we worked really hard to keep everyone informed throughout the process, posting 1 update per week (see the SSP KS updates, more than 50 of them), taking the backers through the process from A to Z, and taking into account their personal wishlist and preferences. We’re a small company and committed to delivering on what we do and to make you happy.

        The complexity of the design of the mSSP is far beyond anything in eurorack, just like the SSP was. That is why we can’t just do all the work up front and buy all the parts. That is what a kickstarter is for, to raise the funds necessary to do all this. People don’t just buy a module but are there on the front line every step of the way with us to make history.

        To come back to your question whether the (m)SSP could run Valhalla’s effects – the Z-DSP uses the spin semi FV-1 which has a 6 MIPS performance (see datasheet). That is far below what a modern ARM processor in the M-class can deliver and nowhere close to the 20,000 DMIPS of the A17 we use. So yes, I’m pretty sure Valhalla’s effects can be run on the (m)SSP, and probably several of them in parallel. The (m)SSP is an open linux platform and we don’t limit anyone from developing software or plugins for it. Our forum has all the info needed for a 3rd party developer. We already have a linux/ARM VST plugin example with source code posted on github. The example is a quad-VCA.

    1. various changes to the PCB schematics and layout, purchasing of parts we wouldn’t need for the eurorack version, changes to the input and output stages to accomodate different voltages, changes to the front panel layout, ordering of 2 different front panel batches, one for eurorack and one for 5U, etc.

    2. In short, to do a 5U version we have to make changes to the PCB schematics and layout, including to the input and output stages, and then we also have to make a variety of mechanical changes, and finally we have to buy parts specifically for the 5U version … and then we have to deal with 2 different batches of PCBs to be assembled, etc etc.

  5. Since you announced there will be full patch editor on PC/Mac ä, I’m suddenly very interested. This was what initially turned me off, may be I’m not the only one. I’m considering backing it now and highly suggest you announce it at Nord Modular forum as the next G3, market it so. This has been missing so much. Maybe as a separate project by you or some open collaboration could aim for loading G2 patches? Maybe a bit tricky because of 24bit fixed point 96 kHz rate processing. You would have a major hit at your hand. As a former DSP developer, I would probably jump in to support this.

    1. we can’t join that forum and write what you suggest since we are a manufacturer, but you as the user can do whatever you want, so anything you can do to help us spread the word is highly appreciated.

      some people have suggested support for reading other file formats, like you do, and we’re happy to extend the SDK to make it possible to build your own import tools for other patch file formats.

      The mSSP and SSP support 48khz, 96khz and 192khz sample rates and work at 32-bit resolution at all times, so there is no problem from a DSP perspective to support other file formats. All that is needed is a set of DSP modules that are similar, and we already have most of what you need (more than 25 modules at the moment).

      The ARM world is really exciting right now because it’s being supported and developed by many different industries needing DSP tools and libraries, so from a DSP developer point of view things have gotten better than they were years ago.

      The mSSP and SSP are open linux platforms and we provide access to the linux serial console and any information you need to build your own application. You can even replace our application with your own entirely if you want.

      If you want an I2C bus to connect to other modules or devices, that is available as well. The mSSP and SSP have expansion connectors on the back which you can access via the linux OS to hook up other stuff.

  6. I hope there’s a big push on this one. It’s a nice device and the SSP kickstarter was the smoothest running best kickstarters I’ve every seen.

    1. We can only do the mSSP if the kickstarter goal is reached. We need to buy parts in large quantities to be able to do this for $549, and the work to be done is substantial. You can help us reach the goal by sharing the videos of the mSSP and the URL for the mSSP kickstarter page.

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