Noise Engineering

Get out of the box

Noise Engineering is a Eurorack and 5U modular synthesizer manufacturer based in Los Angeles, California. 

Mixing for Modular: the Long-Awaited Prequel to That Other Thing

We’ve already talked about mastering in a previous blog post. There’s a lot that can be done (and needs to be done) at the mastering stage, but starting the mastering process with a good mix makes things come together much better. You wouldn’t put a bunch of fruit in a glass and call it a smoothie without blending it all together, right? The same goes for mixing a track. Who knew audio engineering could be so delicious? In this post, we’ll talk about useful concepts, gear, and techniques for mixing your patches in the rack and making them sound fantastic. In the next post in this series, we’ll do it all again in our computer.

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We have the techno-logy: building a Eurorack system for live techno

A question we are often asked is, “how do I go about building a techno-oriented Eurorack system?” Fear not, young padawan! In this post we’ll go over some important concepts for improvising, make sure we have all the staples of techno in our rack, and build a few example systems. By the end, you’ll hopefully be well on your way to making some four-on-the-floor Eurorack badassery.

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Guest Post: POB on Making Brass on a Modular Synth

If you are into modular synths, you probably already know Patrick O’Brien, or POB Energy. Patrick is a friend of NE, and he does all of our demo videos (and does a killer job!). A while back, we asked Patrick to put together a demo for our new Ataraxic Iteritas. In the process of making the jam for that demo, he dropped the Loquelic Iteritas Percido into the case and got ready to roll.

…and then a strange thing happened.


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Mastering for Modular

So. You’ve made that awesome patch, you carefully perform and record it into your daw, and you’re all ready to share it with the world. There’s just one problem: it sounds bad. The music is there, all your carefully crafted sounds are in that audio file, but it’s quiet and doesn’t have the impact of the recordings you’ve compared it to. Today we explore the dark art of mastering. The good news is that making your track sound good can be relatively simple and inexpensive. Join us in this rabbit hole.

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Starting Out In Modular

Between email and social media, we’ve been asked about how to start in modular so many times we’ve lost count. Today we attempt to demystify the basic concepts that you’ll need to know and guide you through some functions that will be helpful to have in your system starting out. Remember, eurorack is all about creating a system that works for you, and it’s all personal preference. There are plenty of popular modules out there, but if they don’t work for you, there’s no reason to have them, even if everyone says you should. We’ll be talking broad concepts as opposed to specific modules as much as possible in this post, and then showing some examples of what we’d want in our own personal systems if we were starting out again.

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Fader to Black (or silver, your choice!): We welcome four new modules to the family!

As we’re sure you’ve seen, we’ve announced four new modules: Lapsus Os, Pons Asinorum, Sinc Defero, and Roti Pola. And now they are available for preorder, shipping Dec 7!

They’re a whole lot of fun. These releases focus more on utility and expanding the possibilities of other modules in your rack with a slew of new ways to generate, modify, and control CV. Here the whole NE gang talks a bit about the history and inspiration for each, as well as some of our favorite uses and applications.

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Guest Post: Kirk Markarian talks about Reason, Synth Bundles, and makes a song.

 This week, we’re doing something a little different: we’re featuring a post from Kirk Markarian that showcases our recently released Rack Extensions for Reason. We’ve been dipping our toes into the Rack Extension world for a few months and last week released the newest installment, the Vereor series, which includes six Noise Eng oscillators with built-in low-pass gates and VCAs. Kirk was a beta tester and was kind enough to put some demos together for us, and then just kept on playing. Here we talk a bit about how he uses these and what draws him to Reason and the NE REs in particular. Think of it as sort of a written Song Exploder for Reason.

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Guest Post: Joey Blush on Making Living, Breathing Techno

This week, I got to talk (via interwebs) with Joey Blush. We met Joey at Superbooth a couple of years ago but his brand of techno is some of my favorite. If you haven’t seen his Boiler Room set you should.

I asked Joey to talk about what brought him to modular and and how he uses it to make some of the best damned techno out there.

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Modular tips: How to Succeed in Breakbeats Without Really Trying

This is part of a series of tutorials based on user questions and fun ideas. Are you new to modular and have a question about Eurorack? Are you an advanced user and have burning technical questions?  Please submit ideas here.

First, introductions are in order. If you subscribe to our newsletter, you’ll have seen that we have a new employee. Markus Cancilla (on Instagram as Deathof9). Markus will be filling in on lots of blog posts as one of his many responsibilities around here.

This week, we talk Breakbeats.

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Guest Post: Tom Hall on 5U: Using the Magnuses (Magna?)

This week we talk to Tom Hall.  You probably know him; we haven’t met anyone who doesn’t.  You may know him from his hugely diverse range of projects around the LA area, because he’s an incredibly nice guy, or simply from his most important role in life, being father to Zelda.

Tom also put together the demo videos for our new 5U series modules.  Today we talk a bit more about the jam he put together for us that uses both Manis Iteritas Magnus and Basimilus Iteritas Magnus.

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Guest Post: Rheyne Revisited -- LIP loves DFAM

If you’ve been paying attention to Noise Engineering blog for a while, you may be familiar with Rheyne. Also known as his alter ego, Jon Barbieri, he did a great guest post about a year ago and has been posting amazing stuff all over Facebook and Youtube and, well, all the places for a while. We were chatting recently and we batted around the idea for a follow-up post.

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Modular Cases! Guest post...and the Blog lives.

We talk to a lot of modular users.  People interested in modular are trying to find that first case.  People who have been doing modular for a while are always on the lookout for another case for their ever-expanding collection of modules.

We considered tackling this question but realized that our friend Shawn is a far better go-to for all things cases.  Shawn has an impressive array of cases, but most are done on a budget, as you will see. These are the ones we were particularly interested in (and that draw the most questions everytime we stand close to him at a gig).

We asked Shawn to talk a little about his custom cases, the quest that brought him to them, and how he puts a case together.  He’ll take it from here.

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Reason: From Eurorack to Your Rack. Get back in the box.

Our first journey into software products came about because of a Twitter conversation of all things. Mattias Haagstrom is one of our many fans who reach out to us to discuss our products. He also happens to be the Product Director for Reason. He suggested that our products would be a good fit for the Reason Extension marketplace. At this point we weren’t even aware that Reason supported extensions -- Stephen had been an avid Reason user from their initial beta only until version six, and Kris had never really used it. It didn’t take us long to see the advantages inherent in their system as we are a tiny company without even a single full time programmer. The reduced barrier to entry provided by Propellerhead was a huge win for getting back into the box :)

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Mimetic Digitalis: An Origin Story

In the latest NE Blog, we’ll talk more deeply about the new Mimetic Digitalis, the 16-step CV sequencer shipping May 1. Here, we’ll talk a bit more about the history of the module and the thinking behind the design as well as some of the deeper functions this beast can do.  We'll be adding MD content to our YouTube channel and social media over the next few weeks, so subscribe to those for updates!

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Noise Engineering is proudly located in Los Angeles, CA