New Module: Rabid Elephant NATURAL GATE

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PM33AUD
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Post by PM33AUD » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:54 pm

starthief wrote:My NG just arrived and I don't think I've ever fallen in love with a module so quickly. :tu:

It's beautiful to look at, feels good to play, offers a lot of control and sounds great.

It plays well with other envelopes if you want to use them, but except for slow attacks, I'll stick with its internal envelopes. You can mult a gate to both Ctrl and Hit to get a wide variety of decay-sustain-decay envelopes.

One quirk: with no input, even with Open and Ctrl at minimum and no envelope active, it has a positive DC bias of about .072V to .108V depending (oddly enough) on the Decay slider. It can be an issue with some other VCAs and modulation inputs unless you can offset it. I think for the few times when I want to use it that way, rather than using both channels for the fantastic LPGs, I don't really have a problem with that :D
Ahh yes! CTRL 'negative' has a limitation set to how far negative it will clamp (the actual filter/closure is also clamped - off is off! - and it will not invert any input regardless of CTRL/OPEN, only attenuate). This was a touchy decision because CTRL can drastically change the way the shape comes out due to placing the 'knees' of the clipping in the hands of this little trimmer - and it could change this shape to the point where you couldn't really call it Natural Gate anymore. And so when the character of the module is somewhat compromised, you have to pull it back some!

But thanks for pointing this out for folks that would plan to use it for this purpose. We've never had an issue for all of the things we'd plugged it into (most modulation inputs have (at least) an offset control). But yes, some VCAs may only bias offset positive.

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Post by starthief » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:21 pm

I realized it when I plugged it into Hertz Donut's waveform discontinuity; the offset on there is positive only.

It's all good though :)

I've found that multing the output to an envelope follower and using that for modulation lets you exploit the "memory effect" even more... so as I play faster successive notes, not only does the gate open more but (for instance) the cloud spread on my E352 increases. :eek: Fun stuff.

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Post by igowen » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:30 pm

this module is absurdly good -- glad i was able to pick one up before they sold out. i've never really gotten along with LPGs before (despite trying a few different varieties), but as soon as i hooked this up i was instantly in love :love: the amount of control you have over the tone is just fantastic, and there are sweet spots all over.

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Post by PM33AUD » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:09 pm

igowen wrote:this module is absurdly good -- glad i was able to pick one up before they sold out. i've never really gotten along with LPGs before (despite trying a few different varieties), but as soon as i hooked this up i was instantly in love :love: the amount of control you have over the tone is just fantastic, and there are sweet spots all over.
Love is good. Thanks!
starthief wrote:I've found that multing the output to an envelope follower and using that for modulation lets you exploit the "memory effect" even more... so as I play faster successive notes, not only does the gate open more but (for instance) the cloud spread on my E352 increases. :eek: Fun stuff.
Awesome patch trick!

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Post by osyrus11 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:52 pm

Setting the kick fm (using shapeshifter's sine for the body,) with a channel of Natural Gate, until it hits the sweet spot, then the rest of the jam for context

[video][/video]
Last edited by osyrus11 on Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by osyrus11 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:01 pm

More of the same little jam. Some plucky synth lines going through a Natural Gate channel each. It's just the oscillators straight to Natural Gate. Adjusting the decay and open faders to taste.

[video][/video]

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Post by starthief » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:06 am

The first voice here (bassline) is E352 through NG, with an envelope follower on the output modulating both Z morph and cloud spread a little bit. The sequencer gate is multed to Hit and Ctrl, and decay CV is sequenced.

The second voice (cello-ish) is Mysteron through the other NG channel, which opens only partially form a gate into Ctrl so it's nicely filtered. Holding the !! input high gives it a more gradual attack and then NG gives it a quick but smooth decay.

The other pad voice is Microbrute, and the clangy FM is Hertz Donut with the mod pitch randomized by Disting, with Function and Dynamix. I still like Dynamix, but I wanted a second Natural Gate for this song :mrgreen:

[video][/video]

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Post by Funky40 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:58 am

got my module today, need infos on the PSU header/situation:

as is, do i not want to risk to put my NG into my modular rack.
i thought we would get a doepfer "compatible" header at the PSU end ?
One might consider it to be "compatible", ......"in my case" thats questionable.
even with a small lamp in one hand do i not have full control if i would stick "this" header one row postponed or not, up or down.
so: can i damage the module by postponing the header one row ? 1 row up: ok ? 1 row down: ok ?


personally i think there must be solutions to solve both, that you have "Your" powercable on it, and that "we" get a cable that we can attach without any headache.
for example add a adapter cable.
.....or at least a empty header, -moduleside-, that one can tinker his own cable without screwing your original cable.
Also could you add for exaple a piece of red shrinking tube around the end portion of the blue cables.
( the first i just did was painting the header red there )


the module itself is btw. the most Bautiful module i ever had ! congratulations !
looks super edel.

super excited to try it out later
(looong time not patched my modular btw. )
For sale:........it won´t sell, so i stopp bother you ;)

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Post by PM33AUD » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:34 am

Anyone that wants me to check they've connected their power correctly before firing it up is more than welcome to send me an image via. email or PM. I respond very quickly in most cases. Also the video link below shows in more than required detail exactly how to do it.
Funky40 wrote:got my module today, need infos on the PSU header/situation:

as is, do i not want to risk to put my NG into my modular rack.
i thought we would get a doepfer "compatible" header at the PSU end ?
One might consider it to be "compatible", ......"in my case" thats questionable.
even with a small lamp in one hand do i not have full control if i would stick "this" header one row postponed or not, up or down.
so: can i damage the module by postponing the header one row ? 1 row up: ok ? 1 row down: ok ?


personally i think there must be solutions to solve both, that you have "Your" powercable on it, and that "we" get a cable that we can attach without any headache.
for example add a adapter cable.
.....or at least a empty header, -moduleside-, that one can tinker his own cable without screwing your original cable.
Also could you add for exaple a piece of red shrinking tube around the end portion of the blue cables.
( the first i just did was painting the header red there )


the module itself is btw. the most Bautiful module i ever had ! congratulations !
looks super edel.

super excited to try it out later
(looong time not patched my modular btw. )
Hello!

Firstly there is a short video with exactly how to install so please have a look! I encourage everybody with an RE module to view this video.
SKIP TO 1:30 or so to bypass the 'why' blurb:

[video][/video]

We are looking into more clear markings on the connector for the future as many have had great suggestions to make it more clear.

In the meantime, the main thing is that BLUE wires side should be going to -12V or the 'stripe' side.

We have weeks of full-time engineering work into the whole power/power cable situation and I think the only thing I've missed is the final demarkation for the end-user somewhere on the cable itself - which we are working on now. The adapter you propose is somewhat defeating the point and adds an additional failure point and increases losses. We've tested this too. We've also tested everything - as a whole - with the 'missing parts' which include our distribution boards which are a huge step above any distro out there with the exception of the straight up busbar method Hinton uses. For those you have to wait a bit longer. But these are what will allow those that need to record to do so with less noise, less oscillator calibration issues, and fool proof connectivity to power modules (since there will be the proper connector on both ends).

But it seems marking the actual connector body is the solution for this adapter cable. I was thinking a little sticker saying "STRIPE/-12V" or just painting a red stripe on the connector end. I'm also considering removing all wire colours and making them all black. So we will be working harder on this to make it more clear for users as they bear with us as we try and make the format better and more usable in a professional context. But for now, BLUE WIRES to -12V/STRIPE side! See the video - it's pretty easy and you only have to get it right once!

In regards to whether you can damage our module. Two parts:

1) Eurorack power/distribution is a mess. There are no standards or specifications other than the power pinout and the mechanical (though this isn't really thoroughly documented either and I just go to the VME and Eurocard for specification). There are some power supplies out there that are just dangerous, forget about being clean, reliable, or that wont shoot overvoltage into the entirety of your rack and destroy every module in an instant in case of a fault. So my disclaimer always has to be that any testing I do, as thorough as it is (and it is), cannot cover all of the unknowns that 'is' eurorack. You can see our warranty policy for details. I will, however, even out of warranty, stand by what I do and work with my customers.

2) That being said, I've tested our modules on at least 8 different manufacturers PSUs ranging from some sub-80USD options all the way to my own with solid aluminum bars and 600W of total linear power. I've placed the connecter in every single conceivable position. The worst thing that happens is shorting out a PSU rail but PSUs that are worth powering 10kUSD worth of gear will have OCP and OVP. But I cannot guarantee what happens on PSU/distribution systems I have no way of anticipating or ensuring they are up to standard.

Thanks for the compliments! I had to look up edel.

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Post by BananaPlug » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:56 am

Eurorack power/distribution is a mess.
Agreed and I commend you for trying to improve things but why do you not use a 16pin header on the adapter panel? Seems preferable to risking short circuits. I also question using blue instead of red for -12. It was not the best choice originally but at this point there's a huge installed base of modules and a huge user base used to -12 being red. You are asking for trouble.
(Sounds)--> :eek:
"It's an amazing thing, whatever it may be."

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Post by PM33AUD » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:13 am

BananaPlug wrote:
Eurorack power/distribution is a mess.
Agreed and I commend you for trying to improve things but why do you not use a 16pin header on the adapter panel? Seems preferable to risking short circuits. I also question using blue instead of red for -12. It was not the best choice originally but at this point there's a huge installed base of modules and a huge user base used to -12 being red. You are asking for trouble.
What I do to be 'me' is the only way I can operate. I can't propagate 'wrong' just because other people are doing it. And while all of what anyone does is a giant compromise, my thresholds are much higher than most. And that's more of a personal decision and probably why my instruments come out the way they do.

The 16 pin header with unpopulated pins was investigated awhile ago but this cable is also for use 'the other way around' when folks want to use normal euro modules with our distribution system. And those ends very much do not have 16 pin headers and even fewer have shrouds. Most are 10 pins and no shrouds. Lack of standards. So that means I need now 3 cables instead of just 2. But it would disallow up and down misalignment and then the user would only have to worry about it being 180deg off. So I am seriously reconsidering getting these cables made. Other people have suggested this and I think it might be the best solution for 'more' of my users. Plus the other stuff isn't out yet. These cables are custom - they are not inexpensive and I have to purchase in massive quantities. So having all sorts of different configurations would really have to have impacting effects for me to spend another 3k$ on a batch of cables. But it may be worth it!

OK! Enough of the boring power talk for me.

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Post by PM33AUD » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:17 am

starthief wrote:The first voice here (bassline) is E352 through NG, with an envelope follower on the output modulating both Z morph and cloud spread a little bit. The sequencer gate is multed to Hit and Ctrl, and decay CV is sequenced.

The second voice (cello-ish) is Mysteron through the other NG channel, which opens only partially form a gate into Ctrl so it's nicely filtered. Holding the !! input high gives it a more gradual attack and then NG gives it a quick but smooth decay.

The other pad voice is Microbrute, and the clangy FM is Hertz Donut with the mod pitch randomized by Disting, with Function and Dynamix. I still like Dynamix, but I wanted a second Natural Gate for this song :mrgreen:

[video][/video]
Great! NG has a very distinctive quality - I can pick it out anywhere!

guestt

Post by guestt » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:19 am

PM33AUD wrote:...
OK! Enough of the boring power talk for me.
Um, not at all... it's great!!

I had no doubts you had explored all avenues, but hearing the details is good, at least for me anyway ;)

Please keep doing what you do!

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Post by thetaflux » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:49 pm

NewNewRon wrote:
strange tales wrote:Got to spend a short amount of time with this today (pulled a muscle in my neck so movement = pain), but this thing is wonderfully expressive. Akemie's Castle sounded so alive through this.
Mine just arrived too, but my Akemie's is awaiting a new case so instead A/B Natural gate with Optomix with DPO and STO. My expectations were high for this module and they are already surpassed. I'm actually feeling slightly sad that my 6 year love affair with Optomix may be over....
mind posting a recording of an a/b test with the optomix? I wanna see how they differ.

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Post by strange tales » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:16 pm

PM33AUD wrote:
strange tales wrote:Got to spend a short amount of time with this today (pulled a muscle in my neck so movement = pain), but this thing is wonderfully expressive. Akemie's Castle sounded so alive through this.
So glad to hear! We love the ALM voices... we have the AT and DT and love how NG processes them. The Castle is on my short list! And FYI, I did consider a personal delivery of your module but someone warned me that could come off a bit creepy :despair: :ripbanana: :miley:
Haha, not creepy but definitely would've been one hell of a surprise!

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Post by MARK27 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:21 pm

PM33AUD,

I never felt like Knobs ever quite got the recognition it deserved. I'm so glad that you seem to have a real hit with the Natural Gate.

Personally, I won't be able to scrape together the funds for a NG for a few weeks, so I will probably be buying from the next run. I hope you are producing more in this next batch. It looks like they will go fast!

Will you still be making Knobs or are you discontinuing it?

Congratulations!

Mark

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Post by Funky40 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:41 pm

ok, had a go.
the module had me smiling immediately !
Sounds awesome !
such a work of love ! .......not seen another module where it was so obviously visible

:yay:


( just had a 40 min test with not reading any manual )
For sale:........it won´t sell, so i stopp bother you ;)

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Post by PM33AUD » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:10 pm

Funky40 wrote:ok, had a go.
the module had me smiling immediately !
Sounds awesome !
such a work of love ! .......not seen another module where it was so obviously visible

:yay:


( just had a 40 min test with not reading any manual )
Wait! No! It cannot be! Is it actually possible Funky40 has been satisfied!? Higher planes of totally Funky existence *can*(!) be climbed! So happy for you. You are one extremely critical and demanding synthesist so it is awesome news! :party: :tu: :love:

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Post by SmokyClap » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:52 pm

WOW. Sounds absolutely amazing. This and Knobs are officially on my short list.

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Post by Funky40 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:53 pm

ok, offtopic !

PM33AUD wrote: Wait! No! It cannot be!
haha, i know where its coming from. hahah ;)

i´m into "inventional thinking" since young age.
soi if i see somewhere a "lack" do i automatically begin to think about solutions.
....as euroland was quite deserty when i started have i thought alooooots about module concepts and came up with VERY thought out stuff. you can bet.
that was one reason for many many of my posts that might have looked only negative to others, but were meant in constructive ways.

i´m not necessarily unhappy when i complain.....oh well, i am. i allways wanted the perfect, not able myself to build it myself.......;)
well, i think lesson learnt in the meantime.
Piano is perfect, and Pianoteq6 a "for me" perfect emulation of a Grand, so i found "my perfect" in the meantime. Piano, but has to be Pianoteq (pro) as i modifie some tones.
So i spend 99% of my music time with Pianoteq
( which unfortunately means that the computer is open ...and me going on a walk in the wild of the web :oops: muffs that is, haha)
For sale:........it won´t sell, so i stopp bother you ;)

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Post by Funky40 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:05 pm

ok, why i´m here, back on topic:

the Natural Gate is insanly cool !!
......you have me back patching my Rig . I can tell you

what i´d never thought is: how much i appreciate the faders . ( not against faders at all. jfyi )
just had a insanly cool jam. the faders make a difference, thats for shure !

also awesome how FM comes.
all in all a VERY VERY musical module, not allways sounding very natural though, haha ;) ( ---> :goo: _modulations_ :goo: )

you will sell a ton of these !
hope your ready to do so ?
when funds allow at a later stage will i get me one more or so
For sale:........it won´t sell, so i stopp bother you ;)

guestt

Post by guestt » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:55 pm

And they're all gone this side of the water... congratulations - looks like you have a winner here :banana:

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Post by nrg242 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:58 pm

just another plug to say:

OMG, this is the gate i've been looking for.

was superunderwhelmed by the Optomix v2 to the point where i sent sound clips to make noise just to make sure it was normal behavior. i guess the strike and damp just never let it ring out as much as i wanted it to.

and for a Reaktor Blocks user, the Natural Gate behaves a lot like the LPG in Blocks.

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Post by starthief » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:10 pm

nrg242 wrote:was superunderwhelmed by the Optomix v2 to the point where i sent sound clips to make noise just to make sure it was normal behavior.
When I demo'd an Optomix at Knobcon I wondered why people liked it at all, and then also wondered if there was something wrong with that particular one.

Natural Gate is most likely going to be the first module that I get a second of.

It occurred to me tonight that the "memory effect" might only be natural in a psychological sense. In drumming (at least in taiko where my background is), the closer together in time that the strikes are, the less velocity the drummer can impart; the loudest ones are when you have time to make the biggest movements and transfer body weight into the strike. Go fast enough and you just have to rely on the bounce from the drumhead.

It's still very cool though. :mrgreen:

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Post by Shwaj » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:51 am

Edit: deleted a shameful tantrum after a scary incident where I plugged the Natural Gate in wrong, partly due to the non-standard power connector.

NOTE!! Plugging in correctly requires more than remembering that the blue wire is -12V, same as the red stripe in most modules. Due to the current design of the power connector, it is somewhat easy to plug it in “off by one pin”.

The YouTube video “Rabid Elephant Connecting Power Guide” shows how to do this correctly. Pay careful attention to lining the blue wire with the correct pin, and there’s no problem. Just don’t shift it by one pin like I did (for me, the blue wire wasn’t connected to anything).

As you will see down-thread, Rabid Elephant responded to my tantrum with grace and an open mind, and committed to taking several steps to mitigate the risk of other users making the same mistake.

I wholeheartedly recommend Natural Gate as a remarkably musical and well-built module, and Rabid Elephant for their customer care and dedication to their craft and to improving the Eurorack power-distribution situation.
Last edited by Shwaj on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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