The Eurorack bubble has shown no sign of bursting over the past 12 months. Indeed, we’ve started to see even more manufacturers vying for a slice of the modular pie.
The market is so diverse that it’s hard to say that one product is better than all others, but we invite you to take a look at the list and see you have voted as your favourite.
The MusicRadar Best in music tech awards 2017 are brought to you in association with Softube - Tools for the Audio Professional
What we said: “The Oscitron sounds great, is full of grit and character and is surprisingly flexible. If chiptune sounds are your thing, you need this in your life. Certainly a worth addition to your rack!"
Noise Engineering Loquelic Iteritas Percido
What they say: “Loquelic Iteritas Percido is an extension of the original Loquelic Iteritas. Like Loquelic Iteritas, it is a digital VCO with interpretations of three classic synthesis algorithms involving dual pitch control parameterized by four tone controls. LIP adds an envelope that can be shaped and routed to pitches and tone controls, making it into a free-standing voice.”
Eventide Euro DDL
What they say: “Designed for performance, the EuroDDL features external control of every feature and function. It also has been designed to sound less digital than the average delay. Eventide’s old school design strictly limits the amount of digital circuitry to only what’s required for delay.
“Soft saturation clipping, low pass filter, feedback, insert loop, and +20 dB boost are all analog. Once you hear it, you'll know why this is the ultimate, most musical, Eurorack delay. To be a true performance instrument, all the controls of the eurorack module must be remote controllable.
“The EuroDDL does just that with jacks to accept control voltages and triggers. It’s designed to be played as an instrument. And, it’s designed to ‘play nice’ in the rack with Return/Send and Clock In/Clock Out.”
Expert Sleepers ES-8
What we said: “The ES-8 is a 12-in, 16-out, DC-coupled interface that claims an impressive CV range of ±10V on both inputs and outputs, and all in an unassuming 8HP unit with eight inputs and eight outputs on 3.5mm sockets plus an additional 8-in/outs available via the ADAT connectors.
“For serious modular users (running OSX) the ES-8 would make a great purchase, and with decent expansion potential.”
What they say: “Plonk uses a technique known as physical modelling to synthesize, with great realism, the way in which sound is produced by acoustic instruments. The Plonk module is, itself, focused primarily on creating percussive sounds - both pitched and un-pitched; natural and unnatural; acoustic-sounding or totally electronic.”
What we said: “The kb37 is a very nicely designed piece of kit and helps turn a bunch of modules into a self-contained playable synthesis system. However, at nearly £800 - before even beginning to add any of the all-important modules to the bill - it represents a serious investment.”
Erica Synths Pico System 1
What we said: “As a portable modular starter system Pico definitely fits the bill. However with limited control and CV inputs it won’t be long before you’re heading out for more modules.”
What we said: “At its core, the Field Kit is fantastic for experimentation and fun, and adding a few simple components turns it into a great tool for creating unusual sounds and textures from the world around you.
“If you ever wanted to try building a spring reverb, mic up a cutlery draw, or create a musical automaton, then the Field Kit is for you.”
Winter Modular Eloquencer
What they say: “The Eloquencer is a powerful and versatile eurorack sequencer that can be used both as a performance and a composition tool. It’s designed to be intuitive, easy to use, and quick to edit.
“It has been built around the “controlled chance” concept. This means you can decide when and where there will be randomness and how much this randomness will affect your sequences.
“It features 8 tracks of CVs and Gates in a 16 step disposition, but with the ability to define larger bar counts or chaining patterns to build multiple song parts of 256 steps each.”
Dreadbox Hades DIY kit
What we said: “For the more adventurous DIY enthusiast, the Hades is offered as an unbuilt kit, with all the parts required to complete the synthesizer supplied aside from a power supply. However, should you not feel like you’re up to the task of building it yourself, it is also offered as a pre-built instrument, which does include a power supply.”
XOR Electronics NerdSeq
What they say: “The Nerdseq is a tracker based cv and trigger sequencer module (32HP) for Eurorack systems. It consists of six tracks for the CV/Trigger/MOD generation of 18 outputs. Four User assignable inputs, clock and reset in/outputs and 2x2 sample tracks for sample sequencing. The tracker sequencer allows straightforward and fast editing and has great live playing abilities.”
Make Noise Morphagene
What they say: “The Morphagene is a next generation tape and microsound music module that uses Reels, Splices and Genes to create new sounds from those that already exist. Search between the notes to find the unfound sounds.
“A few of the Morphagene's most basic uses: Splice recorded audio and jumble it using Organize. Manipulate playback speed and direction with Vari-Speed. Granularize with Gene-Size and Slide. Layer or Stagger Genes using Morph. Undertake iterative music processes by recording manipulations and overdubs into new Splices, like having two machines.”
Winner: Synthesis Technology E352
What they say: “The Synthesis Technology E352 combines the latest 200MHz 32-bit ARM DSP with SynthTech's Cloud and Morphing algorithms found in the legendary E340 Cloud Generator and the E350 Morphing Terrarium.”