LA Circuits, a new Eurorack Manufacture debuts with Chronograph, a new tasty vintage-inspired analog sequencer, and four new modules each designed with great attention to detail.
Eurorack is big, probably one of the fastest-growing markets within the music tech market. Many come, others leave. In order to survive on this one has to be innovative, different, and stand out from the mass of modules. Whether with beautiful designs, new features, or completely own ideas, you can succeed as a Eurorack company in 2021. But it has become more and more difficult. LA Circuits is a new company from Los Angeles that has been on my radar for several months.
Mainly because of their extremely beautiful designs that have elements of classic modular synths but also Buchlaresque elements topped with their own ideas. So far they only showed mockups of upcoming modules. But now the company seems to have started their Eurorack journey and the first modules are available.
LA Circuits Chronograph Sequencer
The flagship product is already an eye-catcher. Chronograph is a three-channel vintage-inspired analog step sequencer module. It features three rows of 8-step CV generators with individual CV ranges and CV outputs for each row. Each step position and trigger status has LED lamp indicators that complement the sequencer visually well and helpful. You can operate it with the big, illuminated start/stop, skip and reset buttons including independent CV inputs.
The sequencer is either driven by an external clock with manual step functionality or by the internal. The latter has an additional external CV input and clock output. Also onboard is a pulse output that expands the sequencing functionality more. Then, Chronograph also has a versatile frequency detector and divider circuit onboard, as well as a clock divider section. This has five outputs and five corresponding LED indicators for visual representation of the output rhythmic patterns.
Further, you have a sequential switch that allows you to select a specific input to be routed to a specific module chain. You can achieve this via clock or via manual switching. A very helpful addition.
Four Modules To Start The Eurorack Adventure
The EM-201 Moon Jock is a four-stage ADSR envelope with a very snappy attack response time of 0,4ms. It provides individual CV outputs for the attack, decay, sustain, and release stages. The level knob under each output acts as an attenuverter (attenuation + polarity inversion in one slider). The module also offers expansive voltage control for trigger, gate, decay, and release parameters.
Then it has a trig-retrig input, a super useful auto-repeat function where the module acts as an LFO, and a gated repeat mode. Here the envelope only repeats when gate signal is presented to the gate in. Plus, you have a big red manual push button that offers a momentary sustain hold and a dedicated hold functionality. All in all, a very versatile and flexible ADSR envelope. It’s very nice that you rely on slider design here rather than knobs
EM-301 St. Tropez is the place to be on the French Riveria. In Eurorack, however, it’s a new VCA module without the luxury and exclusivity. St. Tropez is based on a classic dual input modular amplifier. It features both linear and logarithmic CV functionality. Also onboard is a bias knob that sets the initial level and a LED indicator for the load and overload. Very useful.
Machinist & MX
EM-802 is a multi-functional module or a Machinist for modulation sources. It features three individual circuits: voltage-controlled sample/track & hold, a noise generator, a voltage-controlled clock generator. The S/T & H section can be manually engaged using the manual trigger push button. And of course very striking, this time in blue. The noise generator, located at the button of the module, has 5 different noise flavors to choose from. Including violet, blue, white, pink, and red noise. Plus, it has an onboard cv-controllable slew limiter that provides further patching options.
The Mx is versatile but simple switch multiple. The developer says: “each jack toggled to bus “1” connects to one another. Likewise, each jack toggled to bus “2” connects to one another. The center bus “0” indicates no routing connection”.
But it’s only the beginning. Many other exciting modules are in full development. Some highlights, in my opinion, are the EM-604 Glitch which is a multi-stage stutter delay, the EM-605 a very versatile BBD echo but also the EM-5A Atomic Meddle. This is a complete VCF processing station.
LA Circuits has officially started, and I’m happy about that. The modules look damn tempting, as well as how they sound. From the designs, you can tell that a lot of knowledge and craftsmanship has flowed into these releases. We’ll certainly hear more from the company in 2021.
The new modules are available now for the following prices: LA Circuits EM-6A Chronograph ($1800), EM-201 Moon Jock ($295 USD), EM-301 St. Tropez ($205 USD), EM-802 Machinist ($300 USD), and EM-801 Mx ($79 USD).
More information here: LA Circuits