ADDAC Cracklebox: What is it?
Modular synthesis offers near unlimited opportunity for expression, not just in music but in hardware tools to allow for that musicality to shine.
With the Cracklebox, ADDAC has created a Eurorack version of the classic Dutch handheld device, with some extra features to make it more usable in a modern context. The much loved original took its circuit and broke it, adding touch pads that could be used to complete the circuit, generating various tones and crackles, hence the name. It had quite the impact on the music scene but it’s rare to see one in the wild now.
ADDAC’s take on this does the same but in Eurorack format. The module itself is typical of ADDAC’s clean, clear design. The only note here is that it’s a little deeper than some modules, with a 9V battery accessible through a port on the front of the device. This is necessary to provide a voltage that suits the user and for isolating the module from the standard power of the case.
ADDAC Cracklebox: Performance and verdict
The front panel is simple. Below the battery compartment is a power switch, to prevent draining the battery when not in use, alongside a power starve control, which allows for reducing the output from the battery. This varies the output and helps dial in a tone or output CV. To the right is an output gain control and a toggle switch which boosts the output, alongside the CV output patch point.
Below this is a group of six touch pads. By interacting with these you complete the circuit, each producing different outputs. This output can be tonal, although noisy, but that’s kind of the point.
Where this module really shines is in the context of a wider system. Patching the CV to other parts of the patch becomes a real joy in experimentation and provides a fantastic method for generating both gates and modulation. While it does this well on its own, it can be better yet when run through another module to address some of the wildness produced. A quantiser is the obvious choice for this but it could just as easily be patched via a sample & hold or a simple vca.
The Cracklebox or Kraakdoos isn’t for everybody but for those who enjoy the more experimental side of modular synthesis it’s a surefire winner. ADDAC is making this a limited release though, so if it is something that looks like it could find a home in your system, get your order in fast to avoid disappointment.
MusicRadar verdict: ADDAC has done a great job of taking a much loved tool, turning it into an interactive Eurorack-compatible device to suit a modern system.
ADDAC Cracklebox: Hands-on demos
ADDAC Cracklebox: Specifications
- KEY FEATURES: Touch sensitive controls. Includes multi mode filter. External gain control.
- CONTACT: ADDAC