For this post, we turn our attention over to Twisted Electrons, purveyors of fine noise devices such as the wonderful TherapSID synth, which makes use of the coveted Commodore 64 chip. Every time they release something new, my bank manager wakes up in a sweat.
We’re going foray into the Eurorack world and take a look at the Octopus module from Twisted Electrons, which is an 8-step matrix sequencer/switch module. Read on to find out exactly what the hell that means.
Let’s be honest, Eurorack fans are suckers for lights, and the Octopus doesn’t disappoint in that regard. It’s a stunningly impressive looking beast; the clean red-on-black design evoking futuristic alien spaceship vibes. Although, if this is an indicator of the level of tech that the little green men have, we’re screwed.
I adore the matrix display, and it’d be a total lie if I said that the design of this module wasn’t one of the main reasons for buying it in the first place. It was. Luckily, the features don’t disappoint either…
The Octopus has two main functions: acting as either a sequencer, or a switch. In other words:
As a sequencer, the mini pots control the pitch of each step, with the ‘pots’ output sending the CV to your oscillator (for example).
As a switch, the sockets underneath each pot act as inputs, and the matrix corresponds to which is then routed to the output (perhaps a bit confusingly labelled ‘CV’). This can obviously be whatever you want to send into it… whether that’s audio, CV, etc. Some cool uses are to switch between different FX of the same audio signal, or different waveforms of an oscillator.
Control wise, the top left knob selects the active row, and the top right knob controls which column is selected for that row. Each of these can be modulated using trigger and CV signals respectively.
There is remarkably little information out there on what the Octopus can do actually do, which can mean that the potential is a bit confusing; a bit of a travesty given how awesome a module it is. The official Twisted Electrons demo video is beautifully put together, but scant on detail. So find the NoisePedals video below…
You can see that there are a bunch of different possibilities – especially on the switch side. As is always the case with modular, it’s just a matter of getting creative. One setup that wasn’t demonstrated in the above video would be switching between different sequences on other modules.
Okay, geez it!
As mentioned above, I love the design of the Octopus. It’s one of the nicest looking modules in my rack, and I’m really happy that it also packs a punch feature wise.
If I had to criticise anything, I would probably say that it takes up quite a bit of rack space for a sequencer/switch combo… but you do get the matrix in exchange, which is a pleasure to use. It would be nice to have multiple CV outs for each step as well, but that might be getting a bit greedy.
I’m a big fan of the Octopus. It’s a module that really makes you want to touch and interact with it, which is half the battle… You can grab one from the Twisted Electrons website, or if you’re in the UK, from SignalSounds.com.