There’s a synthesizer module called the Endless Processor made by the company Blukač, which is based in Ukraine. The Endless Processor uses various techniques, including what’s called granular synthesis, to achieve a “clickless stream while preserving the timbral and tonal character of the original” source audio that is fed into it. The result is quite beautiful. You send the Endless something and it captures a brief moment (details at blukac.com), which it can then hold indefinitely. There are numerous devices that accomplish similar end results, each with its own sonic qualities, and the Endless has caused several musicians I follow to explore and document its inherent characteristics.
A musician going by the name Olio, who is from Trentino-South Tyrol in Italy, released an eight-track set of quavering drones of varying types, simply titled Endless:
Settle into both albums and listen for the hallmarks — the watermark — of the Blukač Endless Processor. In effect, while the Endless synthesizer module was designed to identify and hold the tonal qualities of a specific moment in time, musicians like Olio and Ras Thavas are helping identify and hold the tonal qualities of the device itself.
The maximum display width of an image on Disquiet.com increased significantly with this site’s recent redesign. I figured I’d employ the capacity for the first time by taking a screenshot of the six modules that the Scottish company Instruō (instruomodular.com) made available for free last month on the free software synth platform VCV Rack (vcvrack.com) — along with, for good measure, a seventh module, the earlier Cš-L oscillator, just to max out the width. Each of these modules was ported to software from existing commercial hardware that Instruō designs and builds in Glasgow.
It’s also a good opportunity to highlight the interview I did back in January 2021 with Instruō founder Jason Lim about the process and decision-making that went into the company’s initial slate of hardware ports: “How Instruō Went Virtual.”
This week I learned that the synthesizer firms knob.farm, happynerding.com, and dnipro-modular.net are all Ukrainian, as is the music software firm sinevibes.com. Make some space for them in your rack and in your heart. (I have no idea if that is actually the Ukrainian word for “synthesizer” up there, but Google Translate tells me it is.)