My long awaited Buchla Quad Low Pass Gate from Cyndustries finally arrived. What’s a Low Pass Gate you ask? It’s a low pass filter and amplifier that can be used independently or in combination, and are attenuated by a vactrol. What the hell’s a vactrol? A vactrol is essentially a photocell: light bulb and then a light sensor. The reason you’d want to use one is the gradual brightening and dimming of the bulb – even when it is switched on and off quickly – adds an organic trail, or “ring” to the sound. Optical compressors use this same trick.
Here’s a sound sample I made last night. I use my Q960 sequencer to play a series of notes and trigger an envelope generator that is wired to the Low Pass Gate. The sequence starts using just the gate, then the low pass filter, then both. Since I have four gates on the module I added noise to a second gate and had the Q960 trigger it on a single note in the sequence. It’s interesting that the white noise thru the gate in combo mode sounds like it has reverb on it – though none was applied.
So what do I think if Cyndustries implementation of this module?
- The over all build of the module is very nice and it seems to work great.
- I really wish it has resonance on the low pass filters but the original Buchla design didn’t so I can’t really expect it.
- I ordered it in DOTCOM format and the front panel is DOTCOM, but the power plug in the back is MOTM. Annoying, but I have a spare adapter so not really a problem.
Ultimately I think this is a great module to use in conjunction with the Q960. Can’t wait to brew up some songs with them.