We all know the mantra by now: 'you can never have enough VCAs'. They may not be glamorous or exciting, but boy do we use a lot of them.
Voltage Controlled Amplifiers have a simple job: take an audio or CV input, amplify or attenuate via CV, and pass to an output. Tiptop's latest self-titled offering is designed to do this with as little distortion as possible, making it ideal for full–bandwidth audio signals. There are audio input and output sockets for your main signal and a CV input with attenuator and offset controls. The audio and CV inputs both have a peak LED to ensure that neither signal gets distorted on its way in.
The Shape control lets you adjust the VCA's response curve from logarithmic to linear and then to exponential. Having this on a variable control is perfect for dialling in just the right CV response, and makes VCA ideal for both audio and CV processing.
In practice, Tiptop's new VCA sounds superb. It doesn't let you amplify and overdrive the signal as much as some other VCAs, but that's quite intentional. This is a precision module designed to give you careful control over your signal's amplitude without any funny business, all in a space–conscious 4HP. Quite honestly, I'd like a row of about eight in my system, but it still wouldn't be enough!