Add some genuine grit to your Eurorack system with the ERD/ERD. 

The language of the earth is widely used to describe sounds. Words like “dirty”, “gritty” and “grimy” are go-to terms when getting across the character of waveforms and distortion, but rarely are they used in a literal sense.

One manufacturer of Eurorack synth modules wants to change that. Martin Howse – responsible for the Black Death and Noise Interceptor modules – has created the ERD/ERD module (“Earth Return Distortion”, if you’re wondering), which uses a box of actual dirt from the ground to add an earthy character to incoming sound.

“All world electricity travels through the earth and nearly all electronic circuitry and devices are extracted and refined from the earth,” Howse writes. “ERD/ERD puts a small block of forest earth into the Eurorack circuit, allowing control and audio signals to be distorted and amplified as they pass through the earth block.”

Though the module has a knob for amplification, Howse explains that local electrical and atmospheric signals have a bearing on the distortion of the signal. If you don’t want to use the dirt you’ve been given, two jack connections let you route the signal through “local earth piles and forest sites.”

As well as the ERD/ERD, Howse has created the ERD/SIR, a module with its philosophy rooted in a “vampiric earth plague.” What that means in real terms is a module that generates patterns and waveforms, using an onboard chip that  simulates a plague.

These models aren’t all Howse has planned for the ERD series. Also in the pipeline are the ERD/γ, a radioactive source and true random voltage generator, and the ERD/WORM, a speech synthesizer and vocoder.

If you want to get your hands on one, they cost €165 for the ERD/ERD and €145 for the ERD/SIR, and are available in very limited numbers from Howse’s website. You can listen to sounds from both modules below, and he’s even offering discounts if you send him your own dirt. [via Synthtopia]




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