Qu-Bit Surface Physical Modeling Eurorack Module – Better Than Rings?

Synthesist and sometimes Star Wars composer Enrique Martinez shared this video, demoing the new Qu-Bit Surface Eurorack module and sharing his thoughts on how it compares to the Mutable Instruments Rings.

The Surface is a physical modeling voice module in Euro format that can create sounds that recall plucked strings, piano, tuned percussion and more. Because it’s not constrained by the constraints of actual physical instruments, though, it can create sounds that go beyond the capabilities of physical instruments.

Like Rings, the Surface can do a limited form of polyphony – sustaining sequential ‘strummed’ notes so that they overlap to create chords. While Rings can only generate up to 4 notes, though, Surface can generate up to 8.

Topics covered:

00:00 Intro
01:38 The Setup
02:10 Unique Tuning
03:04 Physical Models
04:20 Voice Modes
05:25 Choking Voices!
07:09 Sound Design
08:55 DARK Mode
10:50 Modulation!!!
14:14 Techno Jam
19:54 Outro

Martinez calls the Surface “one of the best physical modeling drum modules on the market right now.”

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the Surface in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Qu-Bit Surface Physical Modeling Eurorack Module – Better Than Rings?

  1. This modular is really nice. His demo is actually horrible and doesn’t show how many nice sounds can come out of this!

  2. If you are using rings without the input, you are missing out of a lot. Many of the things that Ricky was complaining about with Rings can be remedied by that… because that’s really what it was made for. Being able to play rings without an input was secondary. I get really awesome sounds of rings by using severely bit crushed and modulated samples as input. I was kind of “meh” about rings myself until I pushed myself to experiment with it more.

    That being said – if you only play rings without an input and wish it did more, then this will maybe scratch that itch, and if all you want out of rings is karplus and bells, this will get you a bit more in a similar form factor.

    I’d honestly say that this is closer to Plaits in many ways than it is to rings – a couple of fm voices, a couple of drums, karplus and bells – these are all in Plaits, and then some, although without the polyphony or fidelity. The last model, “Prepared Piano,” does seem unique to this module, and it can sound pretty interesting.

    It’s not a bad module by any means, in fact it’s quite good. But if you already have rings and plaits and like them, you have most of the territory covered.

  3. I thought his review was very odd. You’ve owned Rings twice, but seem to know very little about it. And his examples of sounds the Surface could do sounded pretty similar to Rings, except maybe the kick drum…wow another kick drum!

    I guess besides increased polyphony, nothing about this review made me want to look into the module. But I guess I fell for the title. To each their own.

  4. i dont have rings but i would rather get that and loose voices and have attenuation and offset…this thing needs a hole another module to be able to modulate.

  5. I prefer the sounds I’m getting using rings input to anything in this video.Also in fm mode you can create great drum sounds.

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