Over the last few years, Belgian company Joranalogue have been steadily building up an array of indispensable, extremely high-quality Eurorack modules. I’ve become a huge fan, especially of their “utility” modules (Contour 1, for example, is insane). However, when I mention Joranalogue to folks in the US in particular, I’ve found many people haven’t heard of this company yet. So while they may lack a bit in the gimmicky marketing department, they put the rest of that energy into making great stuff, the Select 2 being a perfect example. Like so many Joranalogue modules, the Select 2 appears to do a simple utilitarian task, but when you look a little deeper, it’s capable of much more.
On the surface, the Select 2 is very similar to the middle section of Make Noise’s classic Swiss army knife, Maths. In other words, you have two CV processors that can take a signal and attenuate and/or offset it. In case you need a refresher on what ‘attenuate’ or ‘offset’ mean in this context, imagine you have a square wave oscillator that peaks from 0 V to 5V on an oscilloscope. If you attenuate that signal, you are essentially turning it up or down in amplitude, like a volume knob. On the other hand, if you offset that signal, you can shift the axis of the minimum and maximum peak values --- turn the knob to the left, and the signal will peak from -1 V to - 4V (or even lower), turn to the right, and it can peak from 1 V to 6 V (or higher).
Both channels offer a manually variable voltage output between -5 V and +5 V, even if you don’t plug anything into the input, which is enormously helpful for testing modulation on other modules, controlling multiple modules with a single knob, etc. You can also use both channels in series, which allows you to generate -10 V to +10 V, which is useful when modulating pitch or other modules that have slightly odd input ranges.
Many modules in Eurorack would be content to simply act as two channels of CV attenuation and offsetting, but the Select 2 adds a couple critical features that push it into far different territory. The simplest to understand is the ‘hold’ input, which allows you to send a trig or gate and effectively freeze the CV value at the output. This seemingly simple addition gives you two “track-and-hold” processors, which are useful for everything from extracting stable pitch CV from noise to ring-mod like effects. I end up using track-and-hold in just about every patch I do, and I really love the Select 2’s approach to it.
The second trick the Select 2 pulls is arguably the most useful: Each channel’s select input. Feed a gate here and while the signal is low (or there is no signal), the left channel’s output is used. When the gate is high, the right channel’s output is used. This might not seem that impressive at first, but it allows you to do a ton of different things: ring modulation (by very quickly cycling the signal between busses), wavemorphing (send an oscillator to each buss and the pulse of one oscillator to one of the select inputs, you’ll get a blend of both oscillators’ periods), sequence selecting, and probably some other things I haven’t discovered yet. Regardless, each one of these tricks can form the bedrock of a potential patch.
In Eurorack, it’s often the case that flashy oscillators and bizarre filters steal the show, but in my opinion, it’s utility modules like Select 2 that really make this format worth exploring. I found myself learning and trying things I wouldn’t have normally with the Select 2, and that alone is well worth it. To top it off, like all Joranalogue offerings, this module is built extremely well and feels and looks substantial. While we might not be taking much on the road these days, I have no doubt this module will be around for a long time.
6 HP +12v 25mA -12v -25mA