Bastl Instruments’ latest Eurorack module houses four VCAs, along with two different types of envelope follower that allow signals to interact in new and interesting ways. Aikido provides users with a range of flexible sub-mix and modulation routing options, and also offers instant side-chain compression and expansion capabilities thanks to some internal normalling.
Each of the module’s four VCAs feature a clickless mute switch and a level fader that is capable of providing up to 6dB of boost. Attenuverters are present on each of the channels, and as the VCAs are DC coupled, they can also be used carry out modulation routing tasks. In addition to a main mix output, the module also provides individual outputs from each VCA that feature patch-programmable cascading mix routing.
Two envelope follower sections are present: Side Chain, and Spectral Follower. By default, the former derives its input from the input of Channel A, with its output normalled to the CV paths, allowing signals patched into Channel A to be used alongside the attenuverters to compress of expand other signals. An input patch point is also provided, allowing users to override the normalling with an external signal if they wish, and Fast, Mid, and Slow options are provided by a toggle switch at the top of the module’s panel which allow adjustment of the follower’s response time.
The second envelope follower can be used to introduce spectral compression, and is fed by the output of Channel D, which, thanks to cascade mixing, can also function as an overall mix output. Another toggle switch provides Treb, Mid, and Bass modes, which determine whether the follower focuses on high-, mid-, or low-range frequency content respectively.
Configuration & Key Specs
Some additional configuration options are provided by jumpers on the rear of the module. The direct VCA outputs can be placed either pre-or post-mute, and cascading options enable users to join two Aikidos together to form an eight-channel mixer.
Aikido is an 11HP module with a depth of 24mm. Its power requirements are specified at <120mA from both the +12V and -12V power rails.
Pricing & Availability
Aikido is available to pre-order now, and will be shipping by the end of February 2023. It is priced at €245.