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Enhance 2 - Joranalogue

Enhance 2 - Joranalogue

by Brandon Ivers

Belgium-based Joranalogue are well-known for making eurorack modules that are like swiss army knives for whatever function they happen to be built for. Their latest Enhance 2 module is a perfect example of this: labeled a “stereophonic enhancer,” it does so much more than simply “enhance” a stereo signal. In fact, I don’t think there’s a stereo processor in eurorack that really matches what this module can do with such little effort.
The main use for the Enhance 2 is to control stereo width. You have a width knob, a balance knob, and mid and side tilt knobs, all of which comprise a convenient way to control the width of your stereo image throughout the frequency spectrum. The Enhance 2 is able to do this in a simple manner by taking advantage of mid/side processing, which takes a stereo signal and splits it into the mid [aka center channel], and the sides [aka “just the stereo parts”]. This lets you do things like clean up your stereo image by removing bass from the sides with the “side tilt” knob, which is a tilt EQ centered on a three-way selectable band.
Also included with the Enhance 2 is a correlation meter, which lets you see if your signal is going out of phase or not. One quibble I’ve always had with recording modular synths is that when you start piling on weird reverbs, delays, granular clouds, etc, you often end up with recordings that are loaded with phase issues. These kinds of recordings can be “fixed” in your DAW or later into the recording process, but it’s very nice to just not have these issues in the first place, and the Enhance 2 gives you a very easy way to do just that. If a compressor is used to tame the dynamics of a signal, I’d like to think of the Enhance 2 as a way to tame the stereo image.
Before you start thinking the Enhance 2 is a useful but somewhat boring utility, there’s a whole other trick up its sleeve that opens up some very creative possibilities: it can also work as a mid/side encoder and decoder. What this means is that Enhance 2 can take a stereo input and split it into mid and side channels and back again, which allows you to run mono effects on your stereo signals, among other things. A common use case, for example, is to filter or distort just the mid signal and do some other form of processing to the side channel. What if you have a mono filter that you love but you never use it with stereo sources because you only have one of them? Or what if you have two mono effects to run on your stereo signal, but you hate stereo matching them? Mid/side encoding and decoding come to the rescue in either scenario. It may sound a bit awkward to patch this up in theory, but in practice it’s simple and gives you a whole other set of possibilities for using your existing effects.
I’ll be the first to admit that being really obsessed about your stereo image is maybe not the widest niche in eurorack, but for those of us that work hard to fit modular sounds into larger compositions, the Enhance 2 is long overdue. Beyond the more obvious usage, it has helped breathe new life into effects that I would never consider at the end of my signal chain, especially esoteric delays and pedal effects. Modules that serve as both utility and creative facilitator are always favorites for me, and the Enhance 2 absolutely fits that bill.

8 HP +12v 70mA −12v 70mA
Price: $195

joranalogue.com