by Brandon Ivers
Belgian company Joranalogue make high-end, utilitarian appearing Eurorack modules, and so far, the Filter 8 is among their most highly regarded. However, I have to admit to being a bit skeptical regarding the online fervor over this particular module. What could possibly be so interesting about yet another OTA-style filter? It turns out, quite a bit. After a couple hours into playing with the Filter 8, I realized how many things it brings to the table that I wish other filters of its type had.
Before getting into the unique functional aspects of the Filter 8, I should note that this module is among the most dense, well-constructed electronics I’ve seen to date in Eurorack. Not only does it sport an impressive weight for its size, but the actual guts of the module are clearly built to last. This is one of the few modules I wouldn’t be afraid to take on the road.
Functionally, the Filter 8 has an obvious primary purpose: it’s a classy sounding multi-mode filter with eight separate outputs, one for each filter type. But perhaps less obvious, yet equally useful, is how easily it can shift tasks to being a beautiful sounding analogue oscillator, an LFO, or a percussion module. This is aided largely in part to several extra inputs and/or controls that make these additional functions more convenient.
So far, my favorite thing to do with the Filter 8 is make feedback patches. Joranalogue have made this just a bit easier by providing two main inputs to the module, eliminating the need for an external mixer. This might seem like a small thing, but I found myself patching a lot more feedback loops than I usually do just because of that extra input.
Self-patching the Filter 8 is similarly convenient. High resonance values on the filter will allow for self oscillation, and with accurate pitch tracking you have a clean and accurate sine wave oscillator at your disposal. However, with some clever self-patching you can also generate saw waves by using the BP4 output to modulate the Filter 8’s exponential FM input. Using the other outputs results in rectified or curved variations of saws, which is also quite fun to experiment with.
Another clever feature of the Filter 8 is the “ping” input, which allows you to excite the filter core with a gate or trigger to make simple, snappy percussive sounds. Using cutoff and resonance as amplitude and decay, you can get all manner of bass drums, toms, and more. For example, subby bass drums can be had by simply using the filter’s low pass outputs; if you’re looking for a higher pitched or more mid-range sound, go for the bandpass output. This is all possible because the Filter 8 includes a simple transient generator that is triggered by the ping input.
Overall, my favorite thing about the Filter 8 is how Joranalogue recognized a lot of “typical” filter tasks people do in modular [i.e., feedback loops, ping sounds. FM, etc.] and made them easier and more space efficient without sacrificing modularity. As a result, the Filter 8 is hardly just a filter. I found myself using it equally as an oscillator or a percussive source, and that kind of flexibility is part of what makes modular so fun in the first place.
12 HP 75mA +12V 75mA −12V