Ideas for the EaganMatrix Module

Hello, everyone!

The announcement of EaganMatrix Module in September was something that made me very excited. Admittedly, the Eurorack adaptation also caused some conflicting points when it comes to my own ideas of how I would personally use it.

  • I do not have a comprehensive Eurorack system and did/do not plan to get one.

  • To use it independently in a small case would leave some of the new, built in possibilities and concepts unused much of the time. It would indeed be nice to investigate these resources and abilities.

I think many - if anything, ever - excepted or wished for EaganMatrix in a box: simple, fully featured 6x DSP with usb host capabilities. I, for one, would have found this very immediate and quite beautiful.

This is something completely different, I think. And perhaps more interesting.

The various ways the EaganMatrix Module could find a place in music creation I thought justifies a dedicated thread of its’ own. I hope for some discussion on very different ideas, comments and critiques.

After having let go of the thought of the module for some time, an idea gradually developed in my head (and I ordered it two weeks ago). I post it below. I appreciate critique on it but mostly it would be nice to broaden the scope even more. Please pitch in! :slight_smile:

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Building a hardware modular system is a bit out of my interest area, even though I find them quite fascinating. Also, there is quite some cost to it. And space. And time.

After digesting this, what surfaced was the thought of combining the EaganMatrix with another digital, modular environment adapted to Eurorack format, the ZOIA Euroburo.

I would probably not get any of the modules on their own - according to my personal interests - but I think together they make a very interesting instrument, both focused and versatile in a very small format.

Main components:

  • Zoia can provide modulation sources for the EMM bespoke controllers (‘barrels’) i-iv.
  • Zoia can provide effects and sound processing for the EMM and vice versa as both have audio i/o.
  • Zoia can drive a monophonic CV sequence on the EMM while still having 7 voices playable via midi on EMM.
  • The Intellijell Quadratt can adjust four mod sources from Zoia or just provide hands on control of bespoke controllers i-iv on EMM.
  • Zoia is an instrument in itself, thus having two independent and modular synthesisers next to each other and working together.
  • Midi to CV conversion to integrate computer/phone/tablet.
  • A mixer makes it a unified instrument, where more instruments/synthesisers can be patched in to a small ‘orchestra.’

The fundamentals can be done with a 60 hp case, Zoia (34 hp), EMM (22 hp) and a 4 hp PSU. I put them in an Intellijel Palette 62 hp case because of the 1U utilities and that I like it. It all together meant a substantial investment also, but in this context it was to me justifiable. Small size, relative focus, functions I did not have before and the idea inspired me.

I hope you find something somewhat interesting to think about here, perhaps something to develop or a path to something entirely different! :slight_smile:

Take care!

yeah, we were talking a little about this on the previous topic

for me, the thing thats a little unclear is how its going to ‘integrate’ with eurorack, as its kind of its own thing … thats not ‘bad’, i mean the Eagan Matrix in any form is good :slight_smile:

Zoia would be cool, the only thing is i wonder if you’d want more hands on control, something like Intellijel Tete/Tetrapad might be fun.

what are you going to use to drive the EMM, MPE controller?

Im still considering the EMM, but decided to leave it until the Osmose arrives… see how much I like the EM within that… also the EMM is till not available (in EU at least), so not much choice anyway :wink:

Yes, I had exactly the same considerations.

(The general trend of modulars in modulars seem to be that they may get set as a custom effect somewhere and then stay that way.)

And, well, my solution was to just hone it down to two physically small but conceptually broad units put together and making the EaganMatrix more playable and easily modulated. (And agreed, in any form is good! :slight_smile: )

I play the Continuum and I love how it can be very self contained. But I also notice that it very easily stays that way. So rather than integrating the EMM with Eurorack, I would like to integrate it more easily in a broader way: sequencers, effects, other synths, other external sound sources.

My initial idea was to use it with the Erae Touch and that is still what I look most forward to! :slight_smile: But now the idea of slightly modulating the parameters with CV and audio, and both using regularity and sequencers in combination with expressive controllers with the EMM, is something I look forward to!

I thought about the Tetrapad and Téte but came to the conclusion to keep the hands on parts as something to connect from the outside and keep this small a system as a center for many possible things. Zoia felt pretty hands on for such a vast system, though! :slight_smile:

Would your take, then, include integrating the expressive capabilities within the Eurorack system? Are there more options than Tetrapad?

Regarding ETA. I got an email from Lippold Haken today and I think that the EMM is quite a bit closer than the Osmose, just for your information. Schneider’s Laden also put in their orders at Superbooth, so EU is probably quite early in line.

Sorry about starting a new topic on this, but since I felt there were some confusion (including us both, apparently :slight_smile: ) about how to approach the EMM, I thought a specific topic on it could be a good idea!

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What is this EMM MPE controller? This is the first I’ve heard of it.

I was asking are they going to drive the Eagan matrix (eurorack) module with an mpe controller.
Note the comma :wink:

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Oops. I should be awake before I read this stuff.

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I’d keep it fairly minimal.

The EMM is a complete synth, in need of control sources.

Seaboard RISE might cover all of your needs, if you’re able to map its XY pad and sliders to control the four global parameters.

Failing that, you just want a few CV generators, to create motion on inputs i, ii, iii, and iv.

Honestly, I think you’d be happy with just this beside it:

Similarly:
https://mutable-instruments.net/modules/stages/

Or:

But tangible controls are more fun, so let’s link to a bunch…

Mutable Ears
https://mutable-instruments.net/modules/ears/

A real simple faderbank

Intellijel Tetrapad / Tete (as Mark suggested)

Intellijel Planar 2

Delptronics WiiChuck kit
https://delptronics.com/wiichuck-kit.php

Noodlevolt Fidget Spinner

Instrument of Things 2.4Sink (MoveSense)

Ribbon controller

Foot switch / expression pedal
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/A-177-2--doepfer-a-177-2-external-foot-controller-eurorack-module

Theremin-inspired

Actual theremin

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Another fun option is to go hybrid, with something like an ES-8.

Use VCV on your computer to explore countless ways of generating LFOs, sequences, functions, etc, and use those to modulate what you’re playing through MPE.

Essentially, you can hold off on spending a lot of money until you’re more sure of what you want.

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I am very happy to read these suggestions, especially the tip about the 2.4SINK. I had not heard about this one! It has some common points with the MiMu, correct? But for CV. I agree that that EMM invites new ways to conveniently interact with it physically is one of its’ most interesting aspects.

I think the thermin antenna is quite a sweet idea as well.

The hybrid model, though, I found especially interesting. I have to admit I had not thought about the idea to directly affect software with the hardware in this particular case, As in the video, just the other way around. The EMM mostly has inputs on the other hand, as you also imply. This would pretty much be the software equivalent to my intention with Zoia, I believe.

To have the EMM in a still very portable format was a strong priority when I thought about it, a center where you can plug things in and out. This, in combination with being complete in itself while retaining some modularity.

Do you have experience with the modules? 2.4SINK looks very interesting. And open to other sensors and Bluetooth devices. I have read so many good things about the Tetrapad and Tete but somehow they seem a bit fiddly to me, especially in combination. Small margins of movement and little diodes. Is it like that? Planar2 appears to be both very fun, flexible and functional! :slight_smile:

Hybrid is a great way to explore how you want to use your eurorack.
(just be aware latency can ‘complicate’ matters)

I guess the key thing is… what do you want the EMM to do?
(esp. as you mentioned you have a continuum already)

for me, central to that is … why modular/eurorack?
… how are you going to sequence/modulate it? (as you mentioned in one of your posts)

for sure, you can do this with Zoia, but its not very hands on (I think its great for the FX side though)…

for many, hands-on/tactile is an important part of modular… helps make it an instrument.
(but, of course, not for everyone… some just want to use it to combine modules they like into one box… and thats ok too !)

at Superbooth, Edmund was using a Tetrapad to add this hands-on element to it.

this is why I mentioned Tete, as its used in conjunction with it, and has things like sequencing - but you’re right its a bit fiddly from what Ive seen.

Planar 2 would be very interesting, as its can record joystick movements… and also be used to modify signals coming into it.

another interesting side, could be something like Make Noise Rene, which has really fun sequencing modes.

but thats kind of the problem with modular - there are SO many choices, it just depends what you want to achieve … what do you think you are missing… given everything else you have :slight_smile:

(going full circle, this is why hybrid is quite nice… allows you to try different ideas out in software, and find what areas excite you the most)

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Expert Sleepers FH-2 and a Sensel Morph might be a combination worth considering.

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Yes! This I think would be an interesting way to play it! But is the FH-2 something you’d prefer in the specific context of the EMM? Would not midi connection and polyphony make more sense here (the CV input in EMM is monophonic)? Perhaps yes, the interface and CV is very good in order to get immediate access to modulate inputs i-iv.

I thought directly about the Erae Touch, which I believe would be great for playing but also for other ways to interact with the EMM. This would be through midi, though, I think.

Also, I think the Expressive E Touché would be related in this approach would be worth to mention together with smaller size surfaces/grids (like Linnstrument/Sensel Morph/Erae Touch). Four CV outputs in the original one! :slight_smile:

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I agree, the best way to make the EaganMatrix module more compelling (to me) would be a USB MIDI host connector. This would open a world of existing MPE controllers that could be directly connected.
But I’m not (yet) into Eurorack, so I’m probably just not the target audience this is aiming for :slight_smile:

Yes! :slight_smile: What is missing given everything else?

And why modular/Eurorack?

Regarding the second question I actually did not come up with a very good answer, except that I am very fond of modularity in general. And when it comes to modular synthesis, I must say I prefer software environments.

Regarding the first, I don’t have many things but I do have alot in the ones I have. I have a good piano, the Continuum, three small synthesizers and the versatility of a laptop, tablet and audio interface. Nowadays, I also use the Erae Touch. (Oh, and an electric guitar, a saxophone and an oud).

I wish for more physical modularity of these things, immediate connection and interplay. When everything is connected though the computer, things easily stay as separately used instruments unless I have a specific purpose. At least for me.

What I really do not have is portability. My life partner sometimes lives in Ankara. This is not optimal in terms of moving around a Continuum. Even moving it across a room is quite enough! :slight_smile:

I think the Zoia/EMM/Erae Touch/Mixing can be very good for this. I think of it not in terms of Eurorack (which can become unportable :slight_smile: very quickly), but in terms of a mobile instrument that can also be a connection point in a more stationary environment. It can compactly do many things by itself, not perfectly but competently - like sequencing, modulation, midi, effects - and it invites connectivity and immediate experimentation both to other instruments and expressive interfaces. Both in terms of size and i/o. I like cords. :slight_smile:

I also like how the EMM can be processed through Zoia, but also the other way around. The only Haken Audio video (except for the bag pipe) about the EMM actually emphasises the ability of EMM as an expressive effects processor.

Regarding sequencers, I will probably mostly use a tablet/phone (portable) or laptop.

The René appears to be an interesting one! For a long time I researched alot of sequencers. Initially, I thought that if I would have one module, it would be a sequencer. But the really interesting ones, I found, are almost all very big!

The closest I came was the Squarp Hermod.

There has been some discussion about midi looping here, the Bastl Midi and the Midi tape recorder. The Hermod (besides sequencing) also has this functionality, which interested me. It seems very playable but I am not sure, though, about if it can handle MPE.

Also, it can work as a USB host!

indeed i think the Erae Touch + EMM + Zoia , is indeed a pretty portable/powerful setup :slight_smile:

yeah, I suspect this is partly them trying to find the niche as well…

For Haken, they probably don’t want to overplay the idea of using the EMM with another MPE control surface, as it would compete with their other offerings … and they have always said (and I agree) that the presets are quite specific to the playing surface - so whilst you can play all the continuum presets on a EraeTouch/Linnstrument or whatever , its not the same.

on the other side, they want to play to their existing customer base… who already have a continuum, so how to make the EMM attractive? offer something different? an FX module seems to do that.

finally, I think there is a lot of interest in FX in the modular world.

all that said, I think the EMM will take a while to ‘find its niche’… I think discussions here have highlighted this… we all know its powerful, it sounds great, theres a lot of ‘utility’… but how does an ‘expressive engine’ fit into an environment (eurorack) which struggles with polyphony, let alone multi voice expressive-ness :wink:

perhaps the answer is, the Eagen matrix is great for other things, other than polyphonic expressive patches… and eurorack will help demonstrate this. limitations breeds creativity.

it does not explicitly support MPE, but it can record multiple tracks at once so can kind of work - but with only 8 cv outputs (plus 8 gates) , you’re a bit limited on what you can record/playback for mpe.

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Here’s the little euro system I have planned. I will be driving the module with my Roli Seaboard 49, and my larger euro system. It will be interesting to drive some Eagan Matrix sounds with voltages from analog modulators and triggers. Frankly, I can’t wait.

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Yes. :slight_smile: But marketing aside, some more interesting presets may show up in this direction. I do find the Continuum presets very well developed!

I for sure think so. Especially since it has also made me think both outside the usual Continuum areas as well as outside Eurorack. It is still an ongoing process and still changing, and I really enjoy thinking about it (which was not the case initially).

The thought of limitations breeding creativity I think is true/‘partially’ true/not true on a case by case basis and but not as general rule - sometimes limitations are just limitations, sometimes freedom is a border - but it certainly holds true for me personally in this instance. Interestingly enough not out of a need or known limitation, but the challenge in that it was not (what I expected). That is a luxurious inspiration to have, but a driving one nontheless.

This is much speculation from me at this point, though, as very few has touched it yet! :slight_smile: But yeah, I really like thinking about it and it has made me consider and learn things I would not likely have found otherwise. That is quite a nice thing in itself, I think! :slight_smile:

(And thank you for the information about Hermod!)