Intellijel rainmaker

seriously considering adding a rainmaker to my set up for complex ambient patches, any thoughts, experiences, or videos you guys can share before i pull the trigger ?

Does it speak i2c? :joy:

1 Like

Mylar Melodies has an extensive video.

I had one in its early days and while I loved the sounds it made, it was basically a set and forget machine, because everything you touched risked to ruin the sound.
Every little turn of a knob, every little cv offset risked to clip everything. It goes without saying that I sold it as soon as I could because I ended up using it as an end of chain plugin with a large sign DO NOT TOUCH on it.
Then a couple of months ago Danjel said they finally corrected the issue in a new firmware but I won’t get another one just to try it.
On paper, it’s an awesome machine though.

4 Likes

It’s incredible to me:

You described, to last detail, my own experience with the Rainmaker. Exactly.

3 Likes

yeah it was the sounds it was creating from rings at around 36 minutes in that appealed to me

1 Like

Have you checked out the 4ms DLD or Tap Delay? There less HP and fantastic. But the Rainmaker is also great if you have the cash and space.

2 Likes

I only have 20HP left in my current case but have been really tempted by the Tapo. wish there were more demos, though at this point I’m probably waiting to see what the new Mannequins module is.

Had the same experience and sold mine as well. Very interesting module, but not what I want from a modular synth at all.

1 Like

I’ve had the Rainmaker for about 2 weeks and so far I’m loving it. I’ll agree with two of the previous comments about the interface being surprisingly easy to navigate and the fact that it can be overly sensitive to small changes. I’d prefer “exercise in restraint” as the term I would use for the module. It can do some extreme textures, especially if you use Random: ALL. I sat there for a long while with a Sine out from the STO into the Rainmaker while randomizing all of the parameters and was blown away.

I’m not sure I will be a huge fan of the regular firmware updates, since it means we’re all beta testers for a while, but the support for the module has been good from what I’ve read on the MW post. I also couldn’t believe that sitting on the back of the board is a consumer FPGA, Altera DE0-Nano. Laborcamp joked about speaking i2c but if Intellijel was kind enough to share the source code then you could access the pins directly. I haven’t seen that on a Eurorack module before.

That Mylar Melodies video is a great representation of the module. It is great with simple sound sources. It can sound digital when using pitch shifting and it reminds me of the Echophon’s pitch shifting. Without pitch shifting it can blend in the with sound nicely if you don’t go overboard. I think it would add an interesting texture to your ambient focused system.

I’ve never had the module myself, I love the sound, but have a grudge against that kind of interface. I’d jump on it if it had Verbos-style tilt, scan and width controls plus an offset and random variation amount on the parameters that are represented as parallel bands. When working with arrays of parameters, I find grouped control just much more powerful. Speaking of i2c, I’m fantasizing about a knobby expander for it, or a Grid controller with Teletype…

Thanks for the suggestion, did a bit of research on the DLD, liked what I heard, will pick one up this week !

1 Like

I spent a long time thinking about whether I wanted a delay in Euro, having used lots of pedals as end of chain. Finally jumped on the tapo last month and haven’t been disappointed. So far it’s always very involved in patches in terms of clocking and modulation. I also figure recently that if I’m going to get a physical object (euro) then it’s great to be able to interact with it physically in some significant way, in that sense the tapo feels like an instrument for me, it’s as synced or as ‘human’ as you want. I’m pretty wary of ‘end of chain euro’. Sorry to derail the thread but i think someone above asked. I should post some examples…

1 Like

As far as I know the only Eurorack modules using FPGAs are the 4 Cyclonix/Intelijel ones, Cyclebox, Cyclebox II, Shapeshifter and the Rainmaker. Those were all coded/designed by JJClark (a clever chap). The other company using them is Mungo, I believe all of his modules are using them too.

I own a Cyclebox II and a Rainmaker. I would really like a Shapeshifter (especially now that chord is CVable).

The Rainmaker is amazing, the UI is really well done (was that you @kisielk?), so it’s easy to get at things quickly. I use the comb section a lot more than I thought I would. But I still only ever feel like I scratch the surface of it.

The only thing I get a bit frustrated with on the UI is setting up the internal routing, levels and dry/wet of the delay section. Those things I wish I had more instant access to.

I did own a Mungo D0 at one point, but I hated it. I could just about cope with the zoom controls… but the fact that it lost it’s settings on power down meant that I kept have fight with the zoom to dial my delay back in again and again and again. Luckily I found someone interested in a straight swap for a Modcan Dual Delay (I went out of my way to check they knew the deal with Mungo modules and the controls as I would have felt far too guilty making such a swap, luckily they already owned a G0).

The Dual Delay is probably my favourite delay mainly because when it’s in resample mode and clocked with a sync signal, the delay CV controls the division and is quantised. So under CV control your delay can switch between 3/16 and 1/4 (or whatever else) instantly and without missing a beat. It’s magical.

1 Like

Yes, a lot of the UI is my design. I started on the project when it was about half-way complete though, and if we were doing it again from scratch I think we’d do a lot of things differently. In the current incantation, the FPGA handles all of the IO and button controls, and then just sends a parameter structure to the display periodically. The display just takes care of rendering that parameter structure, and is otherwise hands off (except when used in the special preset mode where it becomes the I2C master and does USB MIDI… that was a whole other tricky thing to implement!). If it was a totally greenfield project, I’d have the ARM processor handling all of the front panel controls and then communicate the parameter changes to the FPGA. It would be a lot more flexible that way and also save a ton of space on the FPGA that could be used for more DSP…

As for the earlier comments about feedback and the module being touchy… the latest FPGA firmware improved that a lot. There’s now a form of automatic gain compensation that keeps the feedback from clipping the output, and a bunch of other things too.

6 Likes

That’s the way I’d assumed it worked…

In hindsight though, I remember discussing the UI for the Shapeshifter with JJClark on MW ages back. I asked if he was using an MCU or a soft-CPU for it and he told me he wasn’t and it was all done in logic on the FPGA… so I guess he has MO on that front. Maybe you should buy him a Zynq or similar for his birthday…

The next project is using an FPGA with a built in ARM core :slight_smile:

3 Likes

that was me, and yes, I would love to hear some examples!

I’m away until the weekend but I’ll try and upload some tapo goodness as soon as I’m back with it. I should probably start a new thread? Maybe a general euro delay thread might be interesting. Wary of derailing this very specific one and causing confusion. Cheers

2 Likes

If I were running for (modular) office of any kind, this would be my platform issue!

:blush: :smile: :sunglasses:

1 Like