The ALM Akemie’s Castle is slated for release next month, and the demonstration videos would suggest that it is going to be an FM monster. ALM announced yesterday on Twitter that the device they have been teasing via Instagram will finally hit shelves in September. Already notorious in the modular community for their unique selection of current products, ALM is looking to fill a gap (a 38 hp sized gap, in fact) in the market with Akemie’s Castle.
The full panel view tells us much of what we need to know about the module. Aside from it’s considerable footprint, the module appears to be a digital frequency modulation-focused dual Oscillator. ALM elected to include 4 additional “Operators” (oscillators in FM-speak) and an internal routing matrix indicated by the Operator Algorithm section. Each main Oscillator can receive modulation input from up to 4 Operators at once, allowing for some extremely complex variations in sound.
Each Operator includes Wave shape selection, output Level and what appears to be relative tuning with the Multiplier function. All of these inputs have dedicated knobs and CV inputs with attenuvertors for the Level and Multiplier for each Operator. Modulation of these functions is critically important to producing interesting FM textures, so users will need some extra Envelope sources to really get the most out of Akemie’s Castle. Also notable, is the Chord control on Oscillator A, which may at first seem reminiscent of the recent Make Noise Telharmonic. However this function could significantly alter the resulting tonality in an FM routing.
Of course, ALM has carved out a niche for themselves in recent years. Two of their modules, Dinky’s Taiko (a 3 voice, modulation-friendly drum module) and Pamela’s Workout (a programmable clock source) seem to stir the passions of many in the modular community. ALM seems to focus on less common module functions, which has allowed them to find a unique place in the market.
Want to learn more about FM Synthesis? Check out our Sound Design 101 course!
Check out Akemie’s Castle and the rest of the ALM module line as well as some modular artist performances from Rodent, Patrick O’brien, Voltagectrlr and more tonight in Santa Monica from 6PM to 12AM at Analogue Haven.