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Hi, I’m Matt and I’m both a member of the marketing team at Keith McMillen Instruments, and an electronic musician who is involved in a number of musical projects. I’ve recently become pretty interested in Eurorack Modular Synthesizers. Every month, I’m planning on digging up my favorite recently discovered module, and writing about what I think is cool about said module.

In many cases, I’ll try to focus on a module I’ve played around with.


Noise Engineering’s Sinclastic Empulatrix

Sinclastic Empulatrix (from here on S.E.) is a neat little AR envelope and “clamping” VCA. From my understanding, the clamping VCA on S.E. adds a slight amount of distortion to a signal as the envelope releases. The module features a “Hit” button, that manually triggers the envelope/ keeps it open while this button is depressed. It also features an envelope output, as well as audio input and out, knobs for attack and release, and a trigger/gate switch. Noise Engineering claims S.E. was based on the envelope circuit in the TR-808.

Why I like it:

The envelope on S.E. is incredibly fast. There is a noticeable click when attack is turned all the way down, which I find incredibly useful when making percussive sounds. The distortion sounds fantastic on percussive sounds, and is very subtle on tonal material. Pair this module with a self-resonating 1v per octave filter and a separate pitch envelope, and you can make some fantastic and nasty kick drums. I’m also a member of the “too many VCAs are never enough VCAs” camp, and am always a fan of modules that feature a VCA built in. I’m also partial to small modules (more real estate for other stuff) and colorful modules (cool look): It’s also available in purple and only 4hp.