At Machina Bristonica 2023, Play All Day PlayFader presented PlayFader, a new portable 2-channel CV performance looper with a heck of features.
One advantage of modular synthesis or hardware in general is the hands-on factor. You can touch the instrument or the effects box and interact with it. If you want to sequence notes or automate parameters the CV/Gate, the counterpart to MIDI, comes into play from the analog world.
Control Voltage is a DC electrical signal used to manipulate or even automate values of components in analog circuits. The MIDI CC of the analog and modular world. Machina Bristonia 2023, one of the biggest synth shows in the UK was last Saturday, and Play All Day presented here an exciting new standalone CV looper that is geared toward performance.
Play All Day PlayFader
PlayFader is a new 2-channel CV and gate performance looper. It comes in a striking yellow box. The interface is just as colorful with its eight color-coded buttons and two sliders. It’s a Swiss army knife for CV signals. It allows you to create various CV signals, shape them in real-time, and outputs them to your synths.
Each channel of PlayFader features CV and Gate outputs that are controlled by its Fader and Play button. By moving the fader, you can change the CV level, and by pressing the play button, it outputs a variable-width gate or trigger. The internal engine of PlayFader is always moving, either with its own or external clock via CV or MIDI (in/out).
Things get exciting and wilder when you use the looper. Here you can capture your fader playing in a buffer that repeats after any number of steps in clock sync from 1 to 64. Although the loop buffer is always synced to the clock, you can record unquantised gates, or you can switch on synced ratchets with the time button. Cool, you can also change ratchet divisions on the fly and record into the loop buffer while you play.
Then, you can punch-in recording or clear, change loop lengths, and reset the buffers independently per channel to keep playing endlessly with your loops. And there is more:
- fully customizable user scales or smooth voltage ranges 2, 3, 5 & 8v + live transposition
- each channel has two recording buffers, which you can jump, change, or copy between
- potential accelerometer in the future
Another great feature is the latch functionality. With it, you can override the CV you recorded into the buffer and output a CV value-based on the current live fader position, all while the record gate pattern keeps going.
Now the fun really begins – you can play with the Fader CV Latched on, sending out whatever note/value you want from the Fader and then simply drop back into your previously recorded pattern by switching LATCH off. A quick double-tap of LATCH will unlatch both channels at the same time for some seriously fun drops.
PlayFader has a number of button combinations that are color-coded. There are instructions for this in the manual, which is linked to a QR code on the back.
On the backside, you get two CV/gate outs (one per channel), a power supply input, and a clock in/out via CV and MIDI.
A very clever box that allows you to use a CV/gate very creatively. And not mechanically with a sequencer as usual but very organically with faders. If you want to manipulate, loop, etc. real-time CV/gate signals, this PlayFader could be interesting.
Play All Day PlayFader is available now for pre-order for 399€, and shipping starts in early 2024.
More information here: Play All Day