Acoustic instruments for modular setups – Plonk utilizes Physical Modelling to generate sound. The module comes equipped with two editable exciters and a multitude of flexibly shapeable resonators. Potentiometers with routing options allow users to directly adjust arbitrary synthesis parameters. Control voltage inputs can not only be used for modulations, but for switching / morphing between presets as well. Thanks to the circuit’s two-voice polyphony, sounds don’t get choked when a new trigger signal is detected. – Unless you’d like it this way. Plonk was primarily designed for generating drum and percussion sounds. The module is able to create kicks, snares, toms, hi-hats, cymbals, claps, congas and much more. Pitched instruments like marimbas, guitars or strings are part of Plonk’s repertoire as well. Furthermore, users can generate a wide range of downright obscure sounds, which heretofore never existed. 128 presets are storable inside the module.
Plonk is the result of a collaboration between Intellijel and Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS). The synthesizer voice utilizes Physical Modelling to sculpt sounds. In detail, a virtual resonator gets excited by a mallet simulation and / or a white noise source. Pitch, trigger and velocity inputs allow users to play sounds dynamically. Furthermore, there is a trigger button on the front panel. The pitch can be adjusted in octaves and semitones. Alternatively to quantized fine tuning, it is possible to freely regulate the pitch in the range of plus / minus two octaves. The decay of sounds can be edited via a potentiometer. Two other knobs (X, Y) are assignable to a multitude of synthesis parameters. A total of four control voltage inputs with bipolar attenuators can be employed for modulations. Some of them are able to process CV as well as trigger signals. Decay, X and Y channels influence the parameters which are also editable via the corresponding potentiometers. The Mod input can be routed to either another synthesis parameter or one of the module’s special functions. They include choke, random, preset step and morph options. The two last-mentioned functions make it possible to switch or crossfade between two presets via a control voltage. Plonk is two-voice polyphonic, meaning a sound will continue to decay even though a new one was triggered already. Of course, it is also possible to use the module in a monophonic mode of operation. The resulting choking effects are great for simulating the natural behavior of hi-hats.
Plonk features two virtual exciters, which can be used individually or in combination. The first one is a mallet simulation with variable stiffness. The other exciter is a white noise source with variable clock rate. Its signals can be shaped via a low-pass, a high-pass filter plus an AD respectively AHD envelope.
The resonator can be a string, one of two blocks, a circular respectively rectangular membrane or a plate. Its properties are definable via decay, tone and inharmonicity parameters, a high pass filter plus a pitch envelope. As a result, it is possible to simulate materials like wood, metal or plastic. Furthermore, users can determine where the exciter signal is applied to the resonator.
Plonk offers storage space for 128 sounds. Using the module’s mini USB connector, data can be imported and exported.
Pitch, trigger and velocity inputs
Decay, Mod, X and Y control voltage inputs
3U Eurorack module, 12 HP wide, 44 mm deep
Power consumption: 170 mA at +12 V and 6 mA at -12 V