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In our 4th episode of our Pulse Tips series of short, Eurorack focused video tutorials, we explore pitch modulation with a popular percussion module, the Basimilus Iteritas from Noise Engineering. Commonly employed for percussive sound design, the Basimilus is a versatile instrument that exceeds the expectations of most drum modules. With some modulation of the pitch CV input, the module can take on different roles, as an aggressive bass or lead synth or an even more powerful drum generator.

The Basimilus Iteritas is designed around a bank of 6 oscillators and one noise generator, which are mixed and frequency-modulated depending on the panel settings. The built in amplitude envelope makes it easy to quickly shape a sound. One important aspect of drum synthesis is left to the sound designer: pitch modulation.


One way to use the Basimilus, is to send a sequence of 1 volt per octave voltages to the pitch input, from a keyboard or sequencer. If the module is calibrated (there is a pot on the back of the module for this purpose) and the sequence is pitch quantized, Basimilus will play back the melodic sequence as any other oscillator would. Of course, with this module, we get the added bonus of the complex sound design controls on the panel. The timbre can range from smooth and silky to dark, noisy and in your face.

Swapping the sequence out with an attack/decay envelope like Maths can help to add that missing pitch envelope element to the Basimilus routing. The new Basimilus Alter, announced at NAMM 2016, includes a pitch envelope. But us early adopters can inject this function with any external function generator. A fast attack and decay yields an added punch and accent to drum sounds, an aspect to the sound that is critical for recreating the effect of stick making contact with a drum head.

Noise Engineering has captured something special with this module, and just a bit of modulation will take things even further.

What are you doing with the BI? Let us know in the comments!

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Pulse Tips #4 – Pitch Mod With Basimilus

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