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Paradox - Noise Reap

Paradox - Noise Reap

by Ian Rapp

Noise Reap has been on a tear lately. We’re huge fans of Foundation, their awesome kick drum module, and their latest, Paradox, is another keeper. A dual triangle-core VCO, Paradox, spec-wise, has each oscillator’s frequency range going from sub to supersonic with each VCO having a FREQ control and a smaller TUNE control for fine tuning the frequency. Both VCOs also have a 1V/oct input and various waveform outputs; triangle and pulse for VCO 1, and square wave output for VCO 2. VCO 1 also has an EXT FM input, while VCO 2 has a PWM input. VCO 1 has a SELF MOD control for some self modulation, while VCO 2 has an FM AMT control to introduce the desired amount of FM coming from VCO 1 and going into VCO 2. Rounding out the features, there’s a 1V LINK input at the top of the module and a SYNC toggle with a CV input for that as well.
Sometimes when we talk about modules we talk about tricks they can do, what tricks it has up its sleeves. The old gambling/card trick analogies work, but modules don’t have sleeves, and Paradox is no different. No sleeves. None. But tricks? Well, yeah. That it has. In heaps. First, each oscillator can be used separately, which is nice. Real nice. Two oscillators can come in handy for all sorts of things. Two sequences. Thickening up sounds. Annoying neighbors at twice the pace. Sync isn’t exactly what it says, as it doesn’t actually sync perfectly, but rather imperfectly in a completely interesting way. According to the manual, this is intentional and it helps to create random and interesting waveshapes.
Of course you can use both oscillators to modulate each other, and this is where the real fun begins. It's through the interplay between the two via their intertwining modulation capabilities, that I can say is my preferred usage of Paradox. While Paradox isn’t exactly the famed Buchla 259, Paradox is a cool little complex-ish oscillator. Not quite totally complex…maybe “labyrinthine” would be a better word once you dig a little deeper and patch it all up. Fine, so I looked that word up in an online thesaurus, big deal. If you want to call it a Complex Oscillator go ahead, but I’m sticking with Labyrinthine Oscillator. For now, at least.
Patching out of VCO 1’s triangle output, you can get a triangle wave [no surprise here], but do some self modulation and things can get unruly fast. I was able to get interesting, but manageable waveshapes along with some chaotic messes, and when I kept the shape less than extreme, it brought about very melodically usable tones and tracked pretty well, too. Using the two VCOs in tandem with the SYNC engaged and some modulation of the FM and SELF MOD and they were like siblings constantly at odds with one another. It can get harsh, nasty, and noisy—in a good way—quite easily, with only you assuming the parental role in which to reign it all back in and deliver both the punishment and the lesson learned. That’s a paradox! Or is it? I don’t know, but either way while this Paradox really excels at patching itself, though once a little more modulation is brought in, it shows what a powerhouse of waveshaping it can be.

8 HP +12v 35mA −12v 35mA
Price: $140

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