by Jason Degelman
In 2012, Pulp Logic created a new standard for a sub 3U modular format known as “Tile.” Like the original Moog CP subformat, Tiles were conceived as ‘helper’ modules, supplying basic functionality to augment larger flagship modules, and to allow for greater density in small systems. Multiple manufacturers have adopted the Tile standard, which includes specification for power input and vertical and horizontal sizing, though several other manufacturers have since developed other 1U formats. Tiles are presented in multiples of 6HP, and usually provide a utility function—level shifting, mixing, multiples, etc.—thus freeing 3U rack space for more complex or esoteric functions. Tiles are also inexpensive, with many available for under $50. Pulp Logic is especially adept at creatively utilizing unusual components in their designs.
One of these unusual components is the dual concentric knob,which is put to excellent use in the Attenuator-Offset tile. Resembling two knobs stacked atop a postage stamp, the Pulp Logic Att-Off features attenuation on the smaller knob and bias [voltage offset] available on the larger knob. Attenuation is a critical function for almost every modular system—even more so in the current era of heavily parameterized digital modules—and the Att-Off supplies both attenuation and offset in a compact 6HP x 1u package.
The Breath Control tile is a unique ‘double wide’ tile, occupying 12HP, and is supplied with a rubber tube and mouthpiece to facilitate futuristic saxophone patches and other dynamically interesting techniques. Breath velocity is transmuted directly into control voltage, with the Velocity -> CV value of that conversion regulated by the “sensitivity” knob. Patching one of the CV outputs of Breath Control to a VCA or filter cutoff input is a great starting point to explore electronic wind instrument techniques; however, much unexplored patching territory exists with this control technique.
Another double wide tile, Selecter, utilizes a five position blade switch [a more “ruggedized” version of the switch found on many Fender Stratocaster guitars] to choose between three individual inputs and two blended inputs. A, B, and C inputs are provided, which correspond to switch positions 1, 3, and 5 on the blade switch. Selecting one of these inputs sends that input directly to output. Positions 2 and 4 sum their neighboring inputs together and present that sum at the output, much like the “in between” pickup selections on a Stratocaster. Unlike the Strat, however, any signal in the modular domain can be sent through Selecter, though it excels at switching between CV sequences and patterns. With nothing plugged into inputs A or C, those inputs normal to a precise +1v and -1v respectively, thus allowing positions 2 and 4 of the switch to apply a 1 octave offset to the CV passing into input B, which is great for use with quantized CV.
One of the most popular tiles, the FSR [or Force Sensing Resistor], allows finger pressure to be harnessed as a performance element within a patch. Each FSR tile is 6HP and provides a circular control pad [this is the Force Sensing Resistor itself], a pressure CV output that responds directly to the force applied to the control pad, as well as a Gate output that goes high whenever the control pad is pressed. The FSR is supremely useful for unique pitch bends and vibrato, triggering events in a patch and generally adding a human flourish to performances.
Price: from $35