The inventive makers at Endorphin.es nail it again reimagining a drum machine in all-black and gold 30 hp Eurorack fashion with their latest and greatest – Queen of Pentacles.
The Queen of Pentacles packs a punch with 7 voices: 3 drums are analogue (bass drum, snare drum, and clap) with 4 sample-based slots (hi-hats, ride and crash cymbal – or simply use your own samples via SD card) to transform with additional modifiers (volume envelope, decay and pitch control) and a built-in effects processor.
- Analogue-based: bass drum, snare drum and clap
- 4 sample-based drums (e.g. hi-hats, ride and crash cymbal – or simply use your own samples via SD card)
- Zero-latency sample playback directly from SD card
- Hybrid analog sound generation: 3x band-limited LSRF binary noise generators with spectrum animation, injected into discrete analog circuits
- On-board effect processor with 2 banks consisting of 16 effects in total, including additional auxiliary input and firmware update over audio
- Master isolator-style LP/HP filter with VCA control and saturator booster
- Drums that make you dance: Fit all music styles of music – specifically tuned for EDM and Techno
- Factory sample banks by Nicolas Bougaïeff (Mute, Novamute) including processed custom sampled Paiste 602 cymbals
Honoring The Past
For new and more seasoned modular heads alike, the QofP is optimal for producing unique flavors and new forms of experimentation, elevating the tradition of its predecessor TR-909.
Officially released in 1984, the TR-909 was Roland's first drum machine to integrate both analog and digital becoming a staple in electronic music production for emerging pioneers in techno, house, and dance circuits. The TR-909 was also Roland’s first MIDI-equipped drum machine enabling the 909 to sync with external instruments. These innovations were pivotal in empowering artists to transition from the studio to the stage and access sound-shaping controls to humanize drum patterns.
In With The New
And now Endorphin.es carry on this legacy with a modular twist. In terms of the design, it's incredible to see the legacy of the TR-909 honored in an entirely new and sleek format & form factor.
QUEEN OF PENTACLES is a complex 7-voice analog drum/percussive synthesizer module based around:
- 3 analog discrete TR-909 circuits with advanced noise spectrum animation
- 4 zero latency microSD card sample players – including a set of freshly recorded samples for modern electronic music using handcrafted Paiste 602 15” and 18” cymbals
- Effect processor as found in famous Grand Terminal/Milky Way/Blck_Noir
So what did Endorphin.es do differently?
They collaborated with Berlin-based techno producer Nicolas Bougaïeff, the co-founder of Liine Lemur and close collaborator on Endorphin.es' editor for SHUTTLE CONTROL – one of the most famous USB-MIDI-CV interface/converters on the modular market.
Nicolas created the factory sample bank for the new drum module with his own samples with the creators at Endorhpin.es recording their own cymbals samples. Nicolas then processed them from scratch to add proper grittiness and punch for techno-ready tracks. The cymbals were the original handmade Paiste 602 15” HH and 18” cymbals – the same model of cymbals, which were used by Roland sound engineers to sample the cymbals for TR-707 and TR-909 models.
Also right off the bat, the new aluminum knobs bring a contemporary feeling and aesthetic that makes our fingers tingle with temptation.
There's no doubt that the Queen of Pentacles is a beauty and a beast in an all-in-one drum machine module and will be gracing Eurorack systems for the formidable future.
Stay tuned for an in-depth review.
In celebration of this momentous launch, watch this groovy performance from synthfluencer Andrew Huang jamming out with the Queen: