Designer Eric Pitra – creator of the Landscape Stereo Field and the Human Controlled Tape Transport – let us know that he’s introduced a new instrument, the Noon Passive Drum/Synth.
The Noon is an 8-channel, passive (unpowered) instrument that is activated and modulated using voltage from external sequencers.
“It’s the only instrument of it’s kind, in that it uses CV/Gate voltages from sequencers as it’s simultaneous power and control source,” explains Pitra.
Each of the eight channels uses a unique analog circuit that is triggered and powered individually from incoming gates or control voltages, provided by voltage sequencers or modular systems. Pitra notes that this approach increases instability and magnifies the organic aspects of traditional analog electronic instruments.
Here is an in-depth demo of the NOON from synthesist Sarah Belle Reid:
- Each channel has dynamic and organic response to different gate lengths. Each channel responds differently to gate lengths due to power loading characteristics of each circuit type.
- Each channel will respond differently to an assortment of control voltage types. Short envelopes sound very nice and you can even send LFOs or more complex voltages for highly textured results or droning behavior.
- Each of the 8 channels feature a unique analog circuit which is powered and controlled directly from its gate input.
- Each channel can be treated as a “drum voice” or a “synth voice” but more likely somewhere in between.
- Each channel features three slider controls: 1. main pitch/tone/texture 2. secondary pitch/tone/texture 3. volume
- Each channel has a latching Mod button which changes the sound and response of the channel.
- Eight CV Mute buttons allowing for muting or unmuting of incoming CV from the Even or Odd CV inputs.
- Even/Odd CV Inputs are a summed to even and odd channels respectively when CV Mutes are unmuted.
- Each channel can link to the neighboring channel via a link button. The two link buttons at either end (of channels 1 and 8) allow the channel links to wrap back around, 1 ? 8 or 8 ? 1
- All eight Gate Inputs can be powered by control voltages of any kind for widely varying results.
- Individual audio output per channel. These outputs are DC coupled to allow each channel’s behavior to double as a modulation source for modular synthesizers.
- Individual volume control per channel.
- When an individual output is used, the channel will be removed from the main outputs.
- Main Even & Odd channel audio outputs (AC coupled) with a singular volume control. Even and odd channels are summed to these two outs.
- The Even Output normals to a mono mix of all 8 channels when no plug is present in the Odd Output.
- If using the main outputs while Channel Link buttons are engaged, strange stereo-esk imaging can occur because of shared characteristics and cross talk created by modulation and voltage sharing of Even & Odd Channels.
- The passive mix of the main outputs can create competition between channels resulting in compression effects.
- When a channel is treated as a “synth voice” incoming CV will not create a volts per octave or a 12 tone response. Instead expect microtonalities and depending on the channel, large shifts in texture from note to note. Each channel will track pitch differently based upon its slider settings. Pitch CV can also be used in the Gate inputs for additional behaviors.
- When utilizing incoming CV along with gate signals a singular voice can at times achieve the illusion of multiple rhythm elements.
- Voices can achieve somewhat normal analog rhythm machine sounds when fed short gates or triggers.
- Varying gate length sequences can achieve movement and textural complexity normally associated with modular instruments and feedback patching.
- An external Audio Input is activated via the DOT/DUAL link button. This allows the link button to behave as a mute for incoming audio. External audio will mainly feed into the DUAL channel which can behave as a chaotic filter-feedback-distortion-vca type effect. The rhythm and tonality of the effect will vary greatly depending upon what method or methods of voltage you’re sending to DUAL and to a lesser extent DOT.
- In additional to being processed, the external audio can at times behave as a modulation source due to the additional voltage fluctuations provided by said audio.
- The Audio Input can be used to feedback any channel into channel 2/Dual.
- Each of the eight dual color Mute buttons will illuminate when a gate or voltage is received. When active it will illuminate yellow and when muted it will illuminate red. The intensity of illumination will changed based upon how much voltage is being received.
- The eight Mute buttons are post gate inputs which allow the channel to continue to effect or voltage share with a neighboring channel while they are linked.
- Eight pairs of 16 Touch Plates. Results will vary based upon incoming voltages, gate duration and control settings. They are designed for fingers to span two at a time for modulation but they can also send modulation between channels through skin when more fingers are utilized. At times touch modulation between channels will also be sending audio content to each other blurring the lines of what you are hearing.
- One audio touch point per channel and main outs. Touching the main outs will let you listen to the ground hum of your environment. Touching the small individual output points (along the top edge) simultaneously to various touch plates along the bottom edge can at times create modulation or volume changes depending on incoming voltage and control settings.
- The vertical row of CV/Gate input touch points along the left edge add the possibility to intermingle incoming voltages and rhythms across channel touch plates (results vary based upon incoming voltages and their duration).
- Active CV inputs can engage drone behavior in some channels, this drone behavior can grow in texture, movement and complexity as Link buttons are engaged. Use CV mute buttons along the top row to turn CV on or off.
- Interplay between linked channels can vary widely based upon how they are being activated, their slider settings, and at what intervals.
- When linked, powered channels will sometimes share voltage and thus partially activate unpowered channels. In this way, linking to unpowered channels can provide changes/modulation to the powered channel.
- Linked channels can be mutually responsive creating movement and modulation between one another or, depending on use, become more than one directional. For example, one voice may simultaneously be acting as an independent drum sound and a bubbling filter, feedback or distortion in the next instance “processing” its neighboring channel. At times the “processing” aspects from one channel will coincide with the modulation of another. In this way the two channels can become intermingled and contain both rhythmic and textural similarities of each other.
- At their most extreme settings voices can emit pops, clicks and random noise allowing you to sequence sounds normally associated with malfunctioning electronics.
An extensive collection of audio demos are available at the Landscape site.
Pricing and Availability:
NOON is available now for $770 USD.