Casper Bastl Aikido, new quad VCA mixer with side-chain and spectral goodies

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Casper Bastl Aikido is a new performance quad VCA mixer module with flexible submix routing and integrated side-chain and spectral envelope followers.

You can never have enough VCAs in your modular system. In addition to giving audio signals more level, they can also be used to generate advanced modulations. Just as important in a large setup is a mixer that brings signals creatively together.

The latest Casper Bastl module takes these two ideas and merges them into a new performance quad VCA with intriguing mixing extras.

Casper Bastl Aikido front

Casper Bastl Aikido

Aikido is a new 11HP performance quad VCA mixer with flexible sub-mix routing and two styles of integrated envelope followers. It consists of 4 VCA channels with independent controls. Each channel has a clickless mute with light indication, a level fader with a 6dB boost, and a dedicated CV input with advenuverter.

The input and output of each channel are DC coupled, while the mix output is AC coupled. Interestingly, the output of each channel also has a cascaded mixing option. So far, it’s more or less a classic quad VCA mixer. Casper and Bastl are both developers known for the special things in their module designs. Aikido also has this twist, or, let’s say, more than one.

Side Chain & Spectral Envelope Followers

Aikido also hosts two built-in envelope follower types for creating instant side chain compression and other unique effects without detours. You get a side chain envelope follower and a spectral envelope follower.

Casper Bastl Aikido

The side chain envelope has three different response curves follower input is normalized to the input of Channel A. Alternatively, you can override it by plugging in any external signal. Its output is normalized to the CV paths, so you can start compressing instantly—a different story with the spectral follower.

The latter listens to the channel D output (also mix output), you can then select with a switch whether it focuses on high, mid, or low frequencies. With this, you can patch unique spectral compressions.

On the backside, you can find jumpers with which you can modify the module’s behavior (direct VCA outputs are pre or post-mute…). There is also an option to daisy chain multiple units so you can get 2 Aikaidos forming an 8-channel mixer or pair it with the Buddy cascading stereo mixer.

An exciting Quad VCA mixer that can do not only standard mixing tasks but also extra cool side-chain and spectral stuff. And you can never have enough VCAs

Casper Bastl Aikido is available now for $270 or 294€ including tax.

More information here: Bastl Instruments

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