It’s practically Make Noise week at Voltage Control Lab, as we started our Maths course last night, we posted a tutorial video using Maths on Tuesday, and now Make Noise has released a new module, the LxD! The new module comes after some teasing of a new 4HP module, which led to a great deal of speculation about whether the device would be something new or an older module that may have been hinted at in the past. But the LxD was new to almost everyone, and looks like an exciting addition to the Make Noise family.
The LxD is a 2 channel powered Low Pass Gate with different filter cutoff shapes for each channel (one 6db, the other 12db) in a tiny package. The module essentially acts as a voltage controlled amplifier with a no resonance (or slight resonance in the case of the 12db channel) low pass filter element. When the low pass filter frequency is opened, it sounds similar to an amplifier, increasing the perceived loudness of the input signal. But instead of increasing the volume when opened, the low pass filter lets more of the higher frequencies pass through until the signal is passed through completely with no filtering. Without any resonance on the filter, this can sound similar to a VCA.
The LxD has no attenuators, it relies exclusively on incoming CV signal or a Trigger to open and allow signal through. In order to properly use the LxD, an LFO, Envelope (hey, like Maths!!) or Trigger source will need to be routed to the CV or Strike inputs. CV sources can be used to open the VCA in a nuanced or controllable fashion, while sending Triggers to the Strike input will activate the built in Vactrols, resulting in a quick attack/decay envelope effect to open and close the channel.
Vactrols are at the heart of many of the Make Noise modules. A Vactrol is a combination LED/photo-resistor contained in a lightfree plastic shell. When a signal is sent to the Vactrol via a Strike input, the LED lights up and then goes dark, creating light inside of the Vactrol. The photo-resistor senses the light and opens it’s resistance, letting signal pass through.
As the LED turns off, the natural decay of the photo-resistor creates the effect of a decay on the signal, closing off the resistance and preventing any more signal from passing. This happens very quickly of course, since light travels pretty darn fast. But the effect can be used in devices like the LxD to create internal envelopes from a Trigger. Keep an eye out for Vactrols, they’re popular in the modular world!
What kind of possibilities will the LxD open up for you? Let us know in the comments!
Want to know more about Filters and VCAs? Check out our Modular 101 Course, starting tonight!