Since the beginning of time, performance has been the most important factor for making music. Often though, when it comes to electronic music, we don’t see much attention paid to it.
Melodies, harmonies and beats flow without significant dynamics that would enhance the emotional impact on the listener.
Thankfully, modern tools such as Ableton Push, ROLI Seaboard, Roger Linn Linnstrument, etc. have helped a lot in this regard, but integrating them in a modular synth setup can be complicated and/or expensive (we’re looking forward to Arches, the standalone ‘super controller’ announced by Soundmachines a few months back, but it will take some time before it’s available).
This is why we find products like Tetrapad, the newest module from Vancouver-based Intellijel, a potentially killer addition to the Eurorack world. While it’s certainly not the first multi-touch Eurorack controller module, it likely raises the bar for everyone.
What Is Tetrapad?
In the company’s words, Tetrapad is a 20hp “versatile, multi-dimensional, touch-sensitive control surface for Eurorack. Each of its four pads use force sensing resistors to respond to both the vertical position of your finger and its pressure. Four push encoders and a shift function give you even more tactile control over your modular system.”
You can use Tetrapad in different ways. The module can emulate a bank of faders; a voltage storage device; a finger drumming surface; a chord generator; an 8-key keyboard; four independent LFOs; or an 8-switch panel.
The chosen mode determines what type of signal (CV, note, trigger, gate, etc.) is sent from each of Tetrapad’s eight independent outputs, while its multitude of multi-colored LEDs keep you informed of exactly what’s happening within each mode.
Tetrapad was made with performers in mind: it automatically remembers how you’ve configured each of its modes, and retains these settings when powered off.
Versatile also mean complex – Tetrapad relies on a series of combinations that the user needs to memorize, but that’s probably an acceptable price to pay for those who want to get more control on their performance. We’ll have more on Tetrapad soon, stay tuned.
Price and Availability
$299. You can learn more about Tetrapad on the Intellijel website. The module is going to be in stock in all major Eurorack retail stores in the next few days.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.