Two years ago at NAMM 2016, we met the lovely gang from Warmstar Electronics, who happened to be helping out at the Delptronics booth. At NAMM 2017, they were manning their own booth with classy, matching smocks, presenting their soon to be released module, The Bends! Now The Bends is available, so we’re taking a look at some of the functionality of the voltage manipulator…
The Bend is a deceptively complicated module. It consists of 4 channels, A through D, each with a dedicated input, output, inverted output and attenuator. With nothing patched, the attenuators act as DC offsets, sending held voltages from the output (and inverted voltage from the inverted output). Patching an audio or CV signal to the input on a channel, the knob controls the level of the incoming signal.
The six crossfading modulation inputs are where The Bends takes a left turn. A four channel voltage offset/attenuator is already complex. However, these CV inputs cause the input signals to be shifted between two or more outputs, allowing for incredibly intricate fluctuating voltages. Try setting two of the channels offset attenuators to different settings, then modulating the crossfade input between those channels. In the video, I demonstrate this with channels A and B, and the A<>B modulation input using an LFO from Maths.
Instead of using DC offsets, CV or audio signals can be routed to the channel inputs. Try routing a slow LFO to one channel, and a faster LFO to another, and crossfade between them. As the signals are faded together and mixed, the resulting CV signal starts to adopt characteristics of each, resulting in a more complex, modulating shape at the output. The inverse shape will be available at the inverted output (if the main output is increasing into the positive voltage, the inverted will do the opposite, decreasing into negative voltage).
The Bends is a deep device, that demands exploration with many types of signals. As the signals are modulated and faded into each other, interesting and unexpected motion tends to reveal itself. Modulation sources like the Malekko ADLFO, Voltage Block or Ornament and Crime pair well with The Bends, which can make use of all of the straying voltages.
How are you creating complex and interesting modulation voltages? Tell us about it in the comments!