Make Noise modules: design, usability, theory, philosophy, etc

Noise engineering knobs are d shaft, so you can swap right over to the same knobs as make noise easily if you so desire!

I’ve swapped them before. They’re difficult to remove, densely placed, and many of their modules have encoders where you don’t want standard pointer knobs, so I wasn’t super happy with the results.

would the “2S Encoder Knobs” from Rogan/Thonk be too large for Noise Engineering modules with encoders? I don’t have any of theirs, so maybe the medium knob would just be too big.

I don’t actually have any Noise Engineering modules anymore to check, but I do seem to recall thinking the 2S encoder knobs were going to be too wide based on the size of the 2PS knobs.

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For anyone looking for white Rogan knobs to replace their blue knobs, make sure today you’re getting the medium sized unskirted ones. The smaller ones are meant for the attenuators/attenuverters and are the slightest bit shorter than the medium knobs.

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(staff edit: to keep this thread on-topic, covering the philosophy and design of make noise modules, the lengthy discussion & speculation on the upcoming/new stereo signal processor has been moved to its own thread: Make Noise QPAS: Quad Peak Animation System. once the name of the module is known, that thread will be retitled.)

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Looks like the Make Noise crew did some cleaning on the website recently to prepare for the new module announcement, with discontinued modules like the Mysteron and MMG removed from the module list (manuals can still be found for discontinued and v1 modules in that section) and product images (except RxMx) switched to the all-white-knob aesthetic.

Possibly of interest to some of you is this little update I noticed on the QMMG page:

“We are working on being able to offer a run of QMMGs through our dealers. We have had a parts delay and hope to have these available late summer 2019.”

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Here’s a fun piece of trivia connecting the RxMx and the recently unveiled QPAS.

RxMx, which was the first Make Noise module to have a Radiate control, was originally going to be called AIM, or AnImated Mixer. The AIM itself was also referred to as AME, or Animated Mix Engine, an expander for the DPO:

The only thing that I would have liked to include will end up being offered as an expansion, and that is the Animated Mix Engine. It takes 6 waveforms generated by the DPO and allows for dynamic mixing of them using gates, triggers, pulses, clocks and control voltages.

Obviously, AIM / RxMx ended up being an DPO expander and much more, especially with the help of the FxdF and the Control File. It was nice seeing that Tony shared the story of the QPAS’ conception along with the announcement, as it’s now more than obvious just how long he’s been pondering and developing this whole “signal animation” concept.

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It was interesting to hear from the live stream that QPAS isn’t envisioned for the Shared System, as a mostly mono system. That makes sense, so I am curious what the alternative “Stereo Shared System” might look like in the future.

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The System Concrète was built around the Phonogene and MMG, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new all-black stereo System Concrète built around the Morphagene and QPAS.

Heck, I might even be tempted to buy one!

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Hearing that the QPAS wasn’t envisioned for the shared system has me wondering even more how they’re going to revise / replace the DPO if / when vactrols can’t be reliably sources.

Optomix -> Dynamix
MMG/QMMG/RXMX-> QPAS
DPO -> ???

Maybe a new system will be born out of these circuits eventually? I know those circuits aren’t directly analogous, and they’ve clearly made modules not specifically meant for the shared system before, but the QPAS seems more bold / systemic / some other adjective I can’t think of right now…

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They’ll have to give us the Echophon update first!

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I don’t really see Dynamix as a “replacement” for Optomix, but as something with an intentionally different character, a sort of hybrid between LPG and VCA which was originally designed to go along with the 0-Coast’s philosophy. It seems to me that Tony Rolando loves LPGs, but wanted AM and extremely snappy dynamics to be an option on the instrument.

Likewise I don’t think QPAS is at all an evolution of RxMx, nor MMG/QMMG.

I think in general the “phasing out vactrols” narrative seems exaggerated where it comes to Make Noise – after all they did reissue the QMMG, and have not discontinued most of their vactrol-based modules. It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t develop any new modules with vactrols. But they tend to be pretty open about the concepts behind their design.

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Good eye, it looks like RxMx is rxding off into the sunsxt.

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That’s a sad announcement. I loved that module, but it was too big for what it can deliver for me and I had some trouble with low outputs so I traded mine.
Great module :heart:

Been wanting it for a long time, especially since I have a FXDf. Wonder if they’ll replace it with something else to partner with the FXDf and DPO?

I have enjoyed using the RxMx with both the DPO and the FxDf. The Control switch module helps. Adds some nice features to all the modules. I will continue using them all. Makes me wonder where Make Noise is going next, and what will be the next module discontinued.

Make Noise might yet sort of replace the RxMx, but if they do, I expect it will be a drastically different product. I still love mine, and I’ve been neglecting it—time to work it into a patch!

I’m probably wrong, but it feels like we are going to see some changes comming. A few modules being discontinued, perhaps a sign they need to free up resources for developing\producing new modules… Or perhaps a reality of the situation with more complex versions of rene and other new(ish) modules already needing more resources.

Either way, always an interesting company to watch and the one that really lit my initial interest in eurorack.

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My Rxmx-Fxdf combo is a permanent part of my studio case. Such a lovely musical sound sending various colors of noise into it from my SSF Quantum Rainbow. Particularly fun with lots of random voltage, and really well suited for lots of further processing with other filters, wavefolders, delays, reverbs, etc. I love it for percussive sounds that feel like they are dancing across the frequency spectrum.

On the subject of what’s next, my guess is that we’ll be seeing most or all of the vactrol-based Make Noise modules on the way out. I think I’m not alone in hoping they finally make a standalone wavefolder similar to what’s in the DPO. I would also personally bet there’s a new Pressure Points coming soon or something like it to follow up Rene, but that’s just a guess.

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