One thing that became evident while participating in Roma Modulare 2022was that, beside big companies with large catalogs and extended organizations, there were small brands whose activities are carried out by a bunch of passionate stakeholders willing to leave their fingerprints in the world of electronic music.
Table of Contents
Clank is one of them. It is a small two-headed company founded by Andrea and Emanuele. It’s based in Prato, a city near Florence, Italy, where the Tuscan hills blend with the noise of weaving machines and the aromas of Chinese cuisine.
Clank is the physiological consequence of the 10-year experience matured with Hope Custom Lab, a brand involved in the production of the finest guitar & bass cabs, electric guitars and basses, stompbox pedals and valve amplifiers.
The designers take their inspiration from Don Buchla and Serge’s works being fascinated by the huge possibilities that Eurorack can bring to music.
Each design is the result of hours of brainstorming, trials and discussions.
To keep the details level on the high side Andrea and Emanuele prefer to avoid mass-producing their units. That’s why they try to make most of the process by themselves in their own lab.
Clank is all about craftsmanship even if electronics mostly means automation and robotic production and as craftsmen they care about details. The Cases are all hand-made one by one.
Front panels are CNC milled and then hand brushed.
The aluminum is anodized in black and graphics are laser etched.
That gives a cooler aspect and a deeper layer of details but also a virtually indestructible surface that can last years and years of intense usage.
There is no distribution, they personally sell and ship all the products after a deep test phase.
A full worldwide warranty service is also provided by the brand.
The new products: Thererec movement recorder
At Roma Modulare Clank introduced two new products that were, at that time, at the prototype stage. The first one was Thererec.
Thererec is a multi-functional dual channel movement recorder based on latest generation proximity sensors: a fusion between THEREmin gestural expressiveness and a tape RECorder, where the user can capture and mangle her/his hand movements to create syncable complex voltages patterns.
Chaining multiple units together expands this concept way beyond, creating a sequenceable “keyboard” where every key can be a static voltage or a sequence of voltage itself.
Thererec helps to explore and interact with a modular system in a more physical and complex way.
The module is about to be released. It works as follows.
Thererec sensors will track finger movements to generate a voltage flow, the LEDs and the CV outputs will reflect those movements.
To arm a channel press the loop button. Entering in the sensor field (4-5cm) will automatically start recording.
Press the loop button again to stop the take, double tap it to clear.
Playback has two operation modes, indicated by the LEDs color:
White: the playback can be started by hitting the sensor or with an external gate. It will be played once.
Blue: the recording is played in a loop. To sync it to a rhythm, re-trigger it as in the white mode.
In both modes, from the gate outputs, Thererec will generate a short pulse at the end of the reproduction and a variable gate when you hit the sensors by hand.
Hold down the loop button to cycle between modes. Keep it pressed to save the recording into the memory (the LED will blink in purple).
Playback speed can be altered dramatically with the speed control.
Turn the knob CCW to make it slower, CW for a faster reproduction and half way to return to the original speed.
Speed can also be changed with an external CV, the speed knob will now work as an attenuator of the applied voltage.
Thererec CV outputs have a 8 Volts range, use the range knobs to scale them down.
The new products: Axis dual VCA and Function Generator
The second module is Axis. It is a dual VCA capable of generating complex waveforms to be used, if needed, as complex LFOs. A cross fader allows to further complicate things by combining the contributes of the two channels.
Everything can be controlled by CVs, triggered and used with the typical features of the function generators.
Signals can be triggered, cycled or put on hold.
The development of this module seems to be in a less mature status if compared with the previous Thererec, so we expect better information to be released soon.
We shall keep you updated on the proceedings.
Other products were at the show and can also be found at the Clank’s website.
Chaos is the hidden force that moves everything around. It’s a random stream of events, whose correlation is impossible to understand.
With Chaos the user can generate a continuous stream of gates and voltages. The module uses a sophisticated random engine controlled by a series of parameters that can be set to define its acting behavior.
Chaos is a six-channel aleatoric brain where a random generator helps you quickly finalize musical ideas.
SUM is a 4hp, 6 stereo channel, unity gain summing mixer expressly developed for the audio path.
Clank also produces Eurorack cases made of 9/6mm Baltic birch plywood to ensure strength as well as transportability. Some specs follow:
- black tolex skin
- black rails w/ sliding nuts (3mm pitch)
- 90hp -> XPSU Coreboard (16IDC)
- 104hp -> XPSU Coreboard and Busboard (32IDC total)
- XPSU outputs 3,5A +12v / 1,5A -12V /-1A 5V
Thumbs up for Clank. Andrea and Emanuele have been able to share with us their passion and their ability to design and realize very interesting modules, or, as they say: Italian crafted Eurorack gear for weird noise enthusiasts.