It took them some extra time (we first saw this module at Superbooth 2018, check our video below) but Bastl finally announced the upcoming availability of their 1983 four channel MIDI to CV interface for eurorack, with automatic tuning, creative voice manipulation andmicrotuning.
The Ultimate Polyphony and Tuning Solution? Polyphony and painless tuning might have partly been solved by some modular users thru elaborate hacks and expensive modules before but now the 1983 can simply listen to almost any analog (or digital) oscillator and even correct its tuning with simple press of one button and that is a huge deal!
Here’s the official video for the 1983 module:
On top of that it brings creative CV inputs to work with harmony, voicing, glissandos and arpeggios. It can also be used in quad performance quantizer mode in which voltages could be interpreted as and processed as defined tones. This could either be used just to correct tuning between sequencers and oscillators (no MIDI needed) or even more creatively, because the MIDI input can directly set the quantizer mask = the notes that will or won’t be used.
Because equal temperament with A tuned to 440 Hz does not suit all kinds of music and synthesis techniques, the 1983 is equipped with a microtuning feature to fine-tune each semitone in the octave.
1983 – 2019: Taking MIDI To The Next Level
You might wonder, what’s with the name of the module and its retro-futuristic design? Bastl have a clever take on this and hope this module will be a reference for future modules in terms of tuning correction.
Here’s what they had to say about the concept behind 1983: “Modular synthesizers use precise voltages to communicate pitch information (volt per octave) and such standard puts high demands on both oscillator and voltage source design and calibration while in most instances it leaves the final bit of calibration up to the user. Automatic tuning technical solutions were always used in polysynths and it was somewhat “easy” to do since they were closed systems. The open end architecture of eurorack system allows variation of the standard interpretation when it comes to in impedances or something else. I believe that in this century we should be implementing microcontrollers and create hybrid systems that solve these technical issues. This is also why we chose to use ironically a retro-futuristic design and name the module 1983 after the year when MIDI was born. I hope the LISTEN feature inspires other maker to implement tuning corrections into any module that aims to work with tonality from now on.”