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RYK Night Rider

Eurorack Module By Robin Vincent
Published December 2023

The design of the aptly named Night Rider from RYK is distractingly elegant. As they scan from side to side, those four lines of pinprick LEDs are completely mesmerising. Any reference to a particular ’80s TV show is entirely intentional. The lines, the knobs and the intentions all line up with other RYK modules to give a beautifully understated retro‑futuristic vibe. Night Rider quickly becomes a focal point; it’s not the sort of module that will let you ignore it.

RYK Night Rider Eurorack module.The module is a Quad Sequential Resonator, which means you have four resonant filters that can be sequenced. The filters in question are band‑pass filters of various modes, including parallel 6dB, 12dB, variable width, Karplus‑Strong, and all‑pass filters in series. There are some layers to the navigation, but it all comes together quickly, easily, and with a lot of RYK visual flair.

The four knobs across the top do most of the heavy lifting. By default, they set the centre frequency of the four filters. With a tap, they become level control with a nice ability to push into saturation, and with a double‑tap, they control the panning of each filter for the stereo output. The LED display adapts in each case to show you what’s happening. Combined with the Resonance knob, you have great control over all the usual aspects of a band‑pass filter.

Where it starts getting creatively exciting is in the sequencing. Night Rider has six slots into which you can save the position and level of the filters. These are represented by the six green LEDs that skirt the bottom of the main display. The grey and black buttons will step you forward and backwards through the slots, or you can use the Position knob to scan from left to right. If you apply a clock, the slots will move in sequence. Initially, they lurch from slot to slot, but if you add a little bit of Slew, they morph from one position to another, which is completely delicious.

Holding one of the buttons transforms the knobs into another layer of control and lets you do things like select the filter modes, and set the sequence direction and range of slots in play. There are also a bunch of formant presets hidden away that you can load into any slot. Sequencing these while pumping through a harmonically rich bass line generates some fantastically throaty vocal effects that would bring out the Daft Punk in all of us.

You can modulate both the Position and the centre overall frequency, so it’s completely possible to add an envelope and use it like a regular filter. But in all‑pass modes, you can add some wobble and just enough movement to pull out some very vibey vintage tones. The flanging and slow sweeping is particularly thick and wonderful. Piling together the movement in the individual filters and the overall frequency shifting gives a sense of drama, of pulsing and throbbing, that is really quite tantalising.

The filters are pingable with clock signals and triggers, and with four filters to play with, you can pick out chords and note ranges with bongs and bings. A selection of preset chords are supplied under the red button. The Frequency input responds to 1V/oct when fully turned so it becomes a playable oscillator. A Karplus‑Strong mode offers some striking strings, although I found this to be the least satisfying part of the module.

Night Rider morphs from simple band‑passing duties to creative modulation and fizzing formants at the turn of the Position knob. The interface, even with some levels, feels solid and forgiving. Those LEDs are stunning, and it can’t be understated how exciting it makes the whole interaction. It’s a confident and interesting module for the discerning rack.