Mobenthy/Ciat-Lonbarde (synthmall) thread


That’s good news! I’m checking Modular Addict’s page every day :slight_smile:

I also had to get it on ebay (bought 3 actually), apparently the thru-hole version is discontinued for good.
Be careful when powering your Gerassic Organ, the + and - of power are reversed on the circuit/PCB.


I’m seriously considering purchasing a Sidrax for my improv stuff, does anyone have any experience with how easy it is to tune (ex. using a tuner pedal)? If the faders provide that degree of specificity I’m seriously going to consider it, the bars are so damned responsive and the sounds are so great.


It’s tunable, but can be finicky. The range of the sliders is huge, subsonic to supersonic. So getting a specific pitch can be down to really small adjustments…


I know hainbach has markings on his Sidrax for base tuning (all the same level) and then uses the voltage memory of mengqi to cycle through different scales.


MengQi’s Rollz-5 pcbs are back in stock at modularaddict :slight_smile:
I ordered mine, there is only 50 available so be quick if you want one.


If only i had time to build it. I’ve got a pile of components left over from guitar pedal building. Capacitor rich, time poor


Was it just me being mistaken or was this batch of Rollz 5 boards a bit more expensive than before?


Came without the jacks. So guess thats why its 5$ more :slight_smile: Really like the new mengqi custom banana jacks btw, allow you to patch with your fingers and cables. :smiley:


For some reason I thought the last batch were $35 or so! Was wondering if there had been some major additions/improvements. Still a good price for a PCB of that size, especially if it comes with jacks etc.


I’m pretty sure they were only around $35 last time…


Nice to know I’m not going crazy! Thanks


Why does the coco use 8bit recorders?

I’m pondering a couple of new setups for processing samples. I currently use OT and GRM plugins in Ableton. I was thinking of adding a 42hp Morphagene based setup or a Coco (partly as I use a Doubleknot).

Been interested in the Coco for ages, my only concern, is it always very noisy and grainy. Does it have a very defined sound or can you alter this?

Any Coco users, would be great to hear straight samples being processed?


The coco is always lofi, noisy and grainy, so make sure you like the texture it adds. I personally love its texture. 8 bit is the max recording quality and will be even less if you want longer recording times. From a couple of ms to a minute I guesstimate.

Morphagene and the Coco are two completely different beasts. If you want to be in control and have hifi go for morphagene, if you want and endless stream of happy accidents and an instant nice texture go Coco. Also love using the coco as a distortion/“bitcrusher” btw :slight_smile: I’m not sure how they compare (ph vs mg.) and totally personal, but I disliked the sound and functionality of the phonogene and love my coco2. If you like the double knot which is sometimes also unpredictable, I think you’ll enjoy the coco as well as they play well together :slight_smile:

If you’re looking to buy in EU, I can recommend Patch Point.


Ciat Lonbarde instruments have quite a defined sound signature in some ways. That’s not to say they are only good at one thing as they’re capable of a huge range of sounds but they do certainly have that CL something about them. Noisy and grainy could be one way of describing it although I prefer to think of it as characterful.

If you want sample processing that’s not got that (8 bit type) character then the Coco maybe isn’t for you.

It would be pretty straightforward to setup a Morphagene or similar with a minijack to banana convertor if interfacing with other banana jack instruments is important.


It’s definitely grainy, as people have mentioned.

One thing to keep in mind, that as well as using the ‘delay time’ to control the amount of graininess, gain staging has a HUGE impact on the grit and “bit crushing”. If you come into it hot (even with a bit of compression), you will have a (relatively) clean sound. If you come in to it quieter, you will hear a much more bitcrushed gate-y sound, since the lower dynamic range is where you will really hear the bit depth reduction.

In either case, it’s not a “clean” sampler by any stretch.


Would you say that the OT covers similar sonic ground. I find I always end up in that lo-if gritty world when manipulating audio. I also use the Sandman plugins which seem to be in the same territory.

I guess the difference is the hardware and the interface? I do find no menus and screens a very different experience.


They are plenty of devices, hardware and software, that can do lo-fi gritty delays type stuff as you give examples of.

Part of the fun of CL instruments is their interface, the way Peter B lays them out. Alongside the interaction of the different controls and the way that can have an effect on the sound (sometimes not expected!), that makes them pretty unique as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t know what you plan to do musically with such a device, but if you’re wanting synced, accurate, sample chopping/slicing etc then it’s maybe not the thing for you in my opinion.

If you want something to generate great textures and sounds for further sampling/manipulation or standalone use then it might be just what you’re looking for :slight_smile:


well, one answer is that cocostuber is a unique design that doesn’t use a microprocessor. SRAM is directly addressed with flipflops and counters. it’s not just a question of dropping a different ADC in there (it does use an integrated ADC - TLC0820 - but extending the capture bit depth would mean tons more circuitry for the discrete memory addressing.)

a broader answer (to the broader question of, say, “why is it hardwired into this lo-fi topology”) is that it’s a ciat-lonbarde instrument and as such, has philosophical intentions:

Immanence / Post-Modernism / Subjectivity

  • The sound of the instrument itself- the clock register of the cocolase delay, what you don’t normally hear in the symbolic abstraction is the clicking of the clock.
  • Bringing these secret sounds to the surface, instead of creating a structural solution to the need for synthetic tones/LFOs.

you get what you get with peter’s instruments. in the case of cocostuber, the discrete delay line construction (exposing clocks, FFs and internal control-feedback paths), is integral to the concept. and i’d say there’s a kind of minimalism at work that favors a smaller, relatively low-cost and low-complexity version of the discrete delay design, instead of pursuing higher bit depths.

(i’m thinking now whether a 12b or 16b version of stuber would make sense. i think it would still work, with a corresponding expansion of the addressing circuitry - the frame clock is an important part of the sound, but i don’t think there is a discrete bit clock. not sure though.

[ed] i slept on it, looked at circuit again, actually seems not very easy to twist this design away from the 1byte == 1 sample paradigm.)

the instrument’s unique qualities are certainly not just about interface, or just about sound quality. the pair of stubers implements a relatively primitive nabra (analog brain - well here kind of a hybrid CMOS/analog brain) that is still capable of producing its own musical behaviors. you get a lot of control over these behaviors but it’s not a “normal” palette.

somwhere peter had a nice essay that goes more into the dialectic of “structural solutions” (deterministic systems of action->sound mapping) vs. the holistic systems that he makes, complete with some great cartoons of pierre boulez. of course i can’t find it.

worth noting that pete doesn’t make eurorack modules, Ieaskul F. Mobenthey does.


No Pierre Boulez cartoons, so I suspect this isn’t the same page, but he talks a bit about what you mean here:

the accident is no longer to be identified solely with its disastrous consequences, its practical results- ruins and scattered debris- but with a dynamic and energetic process, a kinetic and kinematic sequence that has nothing to do with the vestiges of objects destroyed, with wreckage and rubble… a way of showing what happens in what crops up out of the blue… It would be a matter of creating a new kind of scenography in which only what explodes and decomposes is exposed. A paradoxical mise-en-scène of the obscene in which decomposition and disintegration would supersede the compositions of advertising and high-tech “design”.

-Paul Virilio, “The Accident Museum”

The shinths are intuitive electronic surfaces. They look like the shipwrecked flotsam that washes onto beaches, and they are similar electronically; their original intentions “never existed”, and now they can only be used for something else. Like a beachcomber carving a duck out of driftwood, I asked circuit benders to make sound out of the shinth. It was a collaboration: I designed an ambiguous and apparently meaningless electronic system, and the circuit benders created intuitively and spontaneously by bending or breaking the flip side.

the shinth has an interior, which is designed to criteria which are now completely unknown. No one knows in what imaginary machine it worked; no one knows if it was intended to measure or control; no one knows if it supervised navigation, communication, or waste disposal.

To make a shinth, you must eliminate all intentions or hierarchy or goals. In electronic design this is difficult because practicality has overwhelmed the field- there are no wandering paths in it anymore, just straight ones to a well defined goal. This “goal-oriented” design has penetrated the whole field of electronics, so that hierarchical thinking marks every stage of the process; the design process has a hierarchy (plan, test, build), as well as the object designed (input, process, output). In the shinth, there is no heirarchy, or at least none reveals itself, and no one process claims to structure the others. One exercise was to realize a building block I call a shircuit. Designing a shircuit, you get lost; as you experiment with the materials, they suggest their own systems, and you forget why you’re doing it in the first place. it’s like staring at an object until it becomes a non-object. The shircuits have different flavors, but they do not line up well with traditional synthesizer terms because they are created from their materials and not for their results. They owe their existence to distillations of miniature and myopic design procedures rather than a masterminded plan. The shinth is made up of a web of shircuits: non-circuits make up a non-synthesizer. I made a board of them, and then connected them until I didn’t know what was going on, just like with the nabra. when it reached the pond-animal intuitive point, I knew it could be intuitively played, because all parts were reacting somehow but no one knows how.

On the flip side of the shinth plane, any visible structure disappears, and procedure dissolves into intuition. In the intuitive plane, the intentions of the inst do not matter. The shinth will electronically decay on this side- circuit benders might be able to unknowingly break electronic systems. This does not necessarily silence the shinth, but hopefully it will make it richer.

if any metal touches the face of the shinth, there’s a chance parts of it could break. at every show where we let the locals play the shinths, we made sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn’t touch the spoons to the board. every once and a while, though, some people slipped through without the warning to never touch metal to the circuit board. in kansas city, some dude was rubbing the spoon on the circiut board for a few minutes. after, i checked the sounds of the particular shinth. it was broken, for certain, but it still made sounds. as i listened more I noticed that the sounds had mutated to a madder variety than the original ones.


from the computer music coloring book