Endorphin.es Queen of Pentacles: hybrid drum module with three fat analog 909-inspired voices, 4 sample players plus filtering and effect processing
The Blck_Noir initially launched at Superbooth 2018 is a very compact, good-sounding drum module. But for some users, this is a bit too limited and simple. Good news, there is now a much more powerful drum module from the Barcelona-based Eurorack company. The Queen Of Pentacles is a complex 7 voice analog/percussive synth that fuses different analog and digital sound generators in one module.
The module offers three analog discrete TR-909 circuits voices (bass drum, snare, and clap) with advanced noise spectrum animation but also 4 zero-latency sample players. With the built-in microSD card reader, you can either use the factory library including handcrafted Paiste 602 15” and 18” cymbals, or load your own samples. All this is topped by the beloved effect processor as found in the Grand Terminal, Milkey Way, or Blck_Noir modules.
Where Blck_Noir is more your “instant” drum machine for your rack, the Queen of Pentacles is more an advanced drum synth that lets you design your own drum generators.
According to the Endorphin.es, the new Queen of Pentacles covers the range of Dance/EDM/Techno music styles and is inspired by the famous Roland TR-909 drum machine. As already said, the first 3 are generated analog and that has a reason: each sound has its own binary noise generator, and really – each time they are triggered the flavor is unique –they simply never repeat. The developers also paid attention to the sound. It will not phase out each other as in the original 909 which is great in situations when reinforcing the clap on 2nd and 4th with an additional beat of the snare.
In order to have sufficient flexibility, there are several parameters to set for each drum voice: bass drum has tune decay, drive trimmers, and tail length with CV control. Snare and Clap feature separate tune controls but share the same knob for the tail and noise spectrum animation. Besides the analog side, you have four slots for samples: hi-hats, ride, crash… There are few controls available: volume, decay, and pitch for shaping your one-shot samples. The module includes a factory library that was created in close collaboration with the Berlin-based Nicolas Bougaïeff, also known as developer of Lemur.
Like on the Blck_Noir, each voice can be triggered by a button or CV input. Additional accent or velocity inputs are available for further adjustments. The mixing section is very intuitive: each voice has an individual volume knob (samples 1&2 and 3&4 are combined) and a switch with which you can mute each track or route them into the effects bus. Talking about the effects, the onboard processor is not unknown. It’s based on the same effect power horse that comes from the Blck_Noir with 2 banks of 8 lovely sounding effects (reverbs, delays,…)
The final signal ends in the main volume section that controls the overall level and lets you add some nice “big knob” dual low & high-pass filtering and matching saturation to it. There are not only global outputs but also individual outputs for the analog voices and samples pairs (1/2 & 3/4)
- Analogue-based: bass drum, snare drum and clap
- 4 sample-based drums (e.g. hi-hats, ride and crash cymbal – or simply use your own samples via SD card)
- Zero-latency sample playback directly from SD card
- Hybrid analog sound generation: 3x band-limited LSRF binary noise generators with spectrum animation, injected into discrete analog circuits
- On-board effect processor with 2 banks consisting of 16 effects in total, including additional auxiliary input and firmware update over audio
- Master isolator-style LP/HP filter with VCA control and saturator booster
- Drums that make you dance: Fit all music styles of music – specifically tuned for EDM and Techno
- Factory sample banks by Nicolas Bougaïeff (Mute, Novamute) including processed custom sampled Paiste 602 cymbals
The Endorphin.es Queen of Pentacles is exactly the answer many have been waiting for. A much more complex, hybrid drum synth voice packed with new (samples…) and beloved features of the Blck_Noir (effects, intuitive interface…). With a price of 549 euros, it is not a cheap module but one that offers a lot of juicy-sounding features. If you put 7 drum voices in individual modules, this becomes significantly more expensive.
More information here: Endorphin.es
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