Sunday, June 16, 2019

XAOC Zadar - experience

So, I had 10 hp left in my Living Room Modular, and I really wanted some envelopes. I'd been using an Intellijel Quadra, but after getting a 1010 Music Toolbox, I'd run out of space. One of the things I like about the Quadra was that each envelope could double as an LFO, but I wasn't happy that any voltage control required the 12 hp expander and it was too big anyway. So I starting fishing for options, and ran across the Zadar.

I loved the look of it, but wasn't too jazzed on the idea of menu-heavy functionality. I also couldn't tell - no matter how much I watched videos, read the mini-manual or read online postings - whether you could make the envelopes act like LFOs without triggering them. Nevertheless, I decided I had to go this way for maximum flexibility, and thought that I could used LFOs from the Toolbox to trigger LFO-like action if I had to.

It came in just before I headed out on vacation, and I was blown away. I spent the evening searching stuff out, to find:

- If you set the repeat count of an envelope to infinity, it knows that you want and LFO and just starts running. YOU READ IT HERE FIRST, APPARENTLY!
- The module doesn't save its state on power down. You can force a save by pressing and holding the menu button; it works, but you have to remember to do it.
- The controls that they chose to put on the four knobs are brilliant. Within 10 minutes, I was intuitively reaching for the right thing quite naturally.
- The warp control for curve manipulation provides way more flexibility that I would have expected. When I was researching the thing, I was obsessed with the waveforms that it implemented. But with the warp control, even the simplest triangle wave can provide a ton of modulation-worthy fun.
- The menu use is less invasive than I thought it would be with one exception: that LFO thing. Having to jump in to spin the repeat level up is a drag.
- I wish there was a bipolar output option (especially for LFOs), but maybe that is for V2?
- The single incoming voltage is pretty easily routed to the right place; super-intuitive.

There's more for me to explore - there's some sort of chaining system that might allow me to make that one-button-symphony I've always longed to make. But generally, I'm loving this little module, and having envelope times approaching 30 minutes (with only a few spins of the wrist) is brilliant fun.


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