Superklein – R606 MkII: TR-606 Drums im 4HP Eurorack

DSP r606mk2

Kleiner geht es wohl nicht mehr. In 4 HP verpackt ist eine komplette TR-606 in ein Modul „gequetscht“. Der Name ist R606 MkII. 

Samples oder Simulation?

DSP Synthesizers ist eher eine Art Lieferant von Chips, die eine Menge machen können. Die Mk1-Version dieses Moduls hatte vier Sounds, die neuere hat jetzt sechs Sounds aus der TR-606. Es ist eher zu vermuten, dass das Samples sind als eine Rekreation der TR-606 in diesem Chip, denn das wäre nicht weniger als eine weitere Sensation. Samples sind leichter zu machen und somit wäre der Chip eher ein Abspielchip.

So gesehen könnte man sicher auch einen Erica Pico Drum nehmen, der immerhin 2 Samples abfeuern kann. In diese Richtung geht es auch bei DSP, nur dass man sich eben für bestimmte Maschinen entscheiden kann. Wirklich? Nein, die Sounds sind tatsächlich virtuell analog, also eine Simulation! Das sind also keine Samples. 

Neu ist aber auch, dass man das nicht selbst zusammenbauen muss, denn bei nur einem Chip ist das eigentlich nur etwas für Bastler. Deshalb gibt es auch ein R606 MKII Modul, das man fertig kaufen kann. Hier zu sehen ist der Prototyp noch auf einem sogenannten Breadboard. Neben den Sounds selbst gibt es einen 6dB Boost als Accent zur Betonung von Sounds.

Der Preis liegt bei 149 US-Dollar. Das wäre sogar irgendwie teuer für einen Chip, aber da es eine Simulation ist und das ein vollständiges Modul ist, muss man sagen, dass es günstig ist. Heute sind gute 50 bis 99 Euro ein sehr günstiges Angebot, das unter dem Durchschnitt liegt. Mit bis zu 200 Euro muss man meist rechnen, weshalb dies ein „nomales“ Angebot ist.


  • Die Produktwebsite und weitere Information gibt es hier: DSP Synthesizers Webshop.


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Erica Synths made a modular techno system called Techno System

What if you had all the modules you need to make techno and industrial in one rack? Meet Erica’s line of drum and synth modules. They seem to know their market.

Now, it’s meaningful this is coming from Erica. The Latvian-based company with some ex-Soviet Polivoks lineage has a knack for making simply mental boxes that bring that grimy, dirty industrial sound straight out of the actual post-Communist industrial landscape of Riga. If I had to sum up that user experience, it’d run something like this: turn knob, machine screams.

But that’s saying something. Making wild sounds intuitive is a feat. And Erica have earned their reputation by putting those sounds into boxes that are reliable, easy to understand, and deliver a punch without hitting the high end of the cost spectrum.

Running down these modules, you just have to keep nodding – yes, that’s what I want out of this module, and yes, that’s the sensible way to lay out these controls. I can’t really judge sound quality at a trade show, but the sound was good enough that it actually blew me away over the din of Superbooth, out of some small monitors – and that’s saying a lot. We’ll get to check out Erica’s crew at a club tonight here in Berlin, and this is one I think we’ll need to give a full review.

(Bonus: they’re also coming with the effects collaboration they built with Ninja Tune. I’m keen to see that, as well.)

I also think it’s totally reasonable to build systems around musical applications like techno. Plenty of modular instruments have morphed into particular configurations to make them musically accessible. And then since this is still patchable, you don’t have to make this sound like techno you’ve heard before – you can push that flexible sequencer and patch things together to bend something into your own genre and voice. Or, this being modular, you also have now a big line of components that could fill gaps in whatever setup you choose.

Here’s a look at those modules.


Sample slicing and triggering, WAV file (even imports CUE points), with assignable CV inputs. Actually, there’s nothing to say this has to be a drum module – it’s also a general-purpose sample slicer/module.

microSD for loading sounds.

Dual drive

Well, here’s your distortion. Three dedicated modes for each side, cascaded in series for extreme distortion. This is really the heart and soul of the Erica Techno System sound, and even if you didn’t get the rest of the line here, this one could be a must.

Dual FX

Built on the Spin FV-1 chip – a custom reverb platform – the dual FX has a set of custom mono and stereo effects from Erica’s in-house musician-madman KODEK.


It’s all about the bass – and here, those basslines will be more than a little acidic. Erica’s Acidbox proved how crazy their filters can be. It apparently inspired the filter here – so expect really aggressive, terror-inducing acid.


Full analogue circuit
BBD-based VCO detune emulation
Built in VCF and VCA decay envelope
External VCO FM and VCF cutoff CV inputs

Of course, what keeps this compact is, the sequencing all falls to the dedicated sequencer unit (or a sequencer module of your choice – Superbooth has had a lot of them).


Toms can easily be a throwaway, but here there was a lot of attention to detail. Toms has dedicated controls for low, mid, and high, and promises 909-inspired tom sounds. Erica says they built this in collaboration with e-licktronic – that’s the boutique/DIY maker who’s perhaps best known for their Roland clones and custom kits.


Erica are actually introducing three different hat/cymbal models. There’s an analog module (“A”) with accent and individual CV controls of everything, also made with e-licktronic. There’s a digital sample-based “D.” And there are sample-based cymbals (“Cymbals”).


It’s easy to overlook this one. But when you’re actually in the heat of the moment playing live, you need that ability to just reach over, twist a knob, and add in a particular part.

And the Drum Mixer looks just about perfect. It boasts vactrol-based compression to keep everything properly loud and intense without losing clarity, plus a stupidly easy setup for controlling compression and the various parts, with seven inputs and both main and aux outs.

Erica also plan a more compact 6-input “Lite” version of the same, and a 4-channel Stereo Mixer.

Oh yeah, and if you’re not into the black craze, they plan to release everything again in white.

Lastly, the sequencing here comes from the Erica Drum Sequencer. Announced in January, it debuted in March – but now it has some modules to sequence:

Features of that are numerous:
12x Accent outputs

1x CV/GATE track
2xLFO with independent or synced to the BPM frequency
Time signature per track
Pattern length per track
Shuffle per track
Probability per step
Retrigger per step
Instant pattern switching
Solo/Mute tracks
Step/Tap record modes
16 Banks of 16 Patterns
Instant pattern switching
Pattern linking
Midi sync in with start/stop
Track mode
Firmware upgrade via MIDI SySex


The post Erica Synths made a modular techno system called Techno System appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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