The modular market remains in rude health as we close out 2019. There are over 400 manufacturers spread throughout the world cooking up new Eurorack gear at present.
The result of this is a broad range of interesting new units tempting us to empty our wallets and fill our studios, whatever shape they may take. We drew up a shortlist last month and asked you to tell us your favourite. Here we can now reveal the new Eurorack gear that you told us was the best of the year.
1. Make Noise Mimeophon
Make Noise has had a strong year, releasing an update to its much loved René sequencer, the XOH and the X-Pan dual stereo mixer. Your favourite of the year, though, has been the Mimeophon. Based on a new algorithm from Tom Erbe of Soundhack, Make Noise call the unit a "stereo multi-zone colour audio repeater", which means there's all sorts of fun to be had with it, in manipulating and spreading delay and reverb patterns. Want to travel through time and space? The Mimeophon makes it possible – and sounds great in the process.
2. Pittsburgh Modular Voltage Research Laboratory
A deserved high placing for an innovative and interesting unit. The Voltage Research Laboratory is a modular synth from US makers Pittsburgh Modular that styles itself as some lost piece of walnut-clad vintage gear, but takes its core concept from the natural world, emulating patterns from nature.
3. 4MS Spherical Wavetable Navigator
The Spherical Wavetable Navigator (SWN, to its friends) is a six-channel synth that aims to simplify the process of browsing (or navigating) wavetable oscillators, with the aim of creating a wide range of pitch and timbre. As such, it's packed full of interesting textural and melodic possibilities.
4. Erica Synths Pico System III
Latvian firm Erica Synths offered up its third iteration of its Pico System synth system. The Pico III is a sort of affordable greatest hits, combining oscillators, gates and sequencers from previous Pico modules into a single, cased unit, which is all hardwired together. The top-mounted card slot, for 'voice' or patch cards, opens up further sonic territory, particularly the ability to create DIY voice cards.
5. Dreadbox Antiphon
Dreadbox is an Athens-based brand behind a growing range of analogue synths, including the impressive NYX and Hades monosynths and its excellent flagship poly, Abyss. The firm's DIY synth voice kit, the Antiphon, has proved popular with readers this year, incorporating a spring reverb tank, opening up options for use as both a drone synth and effects unit.