Distortion in music is all about deliberately saturating or clipping the signal to add warmth, edge, and character. Originating in the raucous world of rock ‘n roll, the effect is also widely used in the inventive realm of electronic music, adding much needed warmth to electronically generated sounds.
While guitarists have been spoilt for choice when it comes to distortion pedals, modular synthesists have not been so lucky. To change this, we at Animal Factory Amplification bring our signature blend of harmonically rich signal destruction, constantly refined over the last 10 years, to the Eurorack world. In this article, we’ll show you how you too can bring out the grit in your synth patches with four of our ferocious beasts, some of the best Eurorack distortion modules on the market today.
Eurorack Overdrive/Distortion/State Variable EQ – Pit Viper
The term “overdrive” originated in guitar amplifier terminology, originally referring to the act of boosting the input signal in-order to “overload” the amplifier’s input-stage into clipping, causing distortion. Later, solid-state distortion circuits were developed to re-create this effect at lower signal levels. The Pit Viper pedal is a favourite of legendary producer Alan Moulder and guitarist St. Vincent (among many others). The module version retains its classic distortion circuit and also includes a state variable filter-based EQ for complete control over the signal’s character. CV controls allow you bring your patches to life, while dedicated wet/dry outs allow for parallel routing. The Pit Viper can help you create texture, add dimension or simply help an instrument cut through in your mix.
Pit Viper – Buy Now on the AFA Modular Synth Store
Fuzz Gone Insane, In Eurorack Format! – Baron Samedi
Fuzz originated in the 1960s and is characterized by a thick, heavily compressed, sustain heavy tone with a large amount of harmonic content. The Baron Samedi takes our iconic fuzz pedal recipe and turns it up to eleven – to an absolutely bonkers CV controlled monster that kicks, screams, and transmutates your signal with straight-up voodoo magick. Numerous control options such as attenuators for modulation, a dry/wet control, “life”, “death”, and “burial” knobs allow you to have your best shot at summoning this sonic deity, invariably with frightening, unexpected results, as is to be expected when dealing with the occult.
Baron Samedi - Buy Now on the AFA Modular Synth Store
Extreme Low-End Saturation – The Godeater Bass Distortion for Eurorack
Based on the iconic bass guitar distortion pedal of the same name, the Godeater Eurorack module provides complete CV control over almost every parameter, while maintaining the signature sound that put Animal Factory Amplification on the map. The Godeater is the perfect way to conquer the low-end in your synth-patches, and then set it free with downright bestial snarl.
Godeater – Buy Now on the AFA Modular Synth Store
Real Tube Distortion on Eurorack – The Orobas Tube VCA/Saturator
Solid-state technology may have come a long way in the past couple of decades, but when it comes to warm, soulful distortion, the vacuum tube is still king. The Orobas brings that eternal magic of vintage tube equipment to your modular synth setup with two EF86/6J32P VCAs that can be connected in parallel/dual mono, or series configurations. CV control over screen and suppressor grids allow for creative modulation possibilities. A CV-controlled feedback loop can evoke oscillations and crossmodulation. Keep the gain low for a quintessential warm tube sound or crank it up for harmonically rich aural blasphemy and absolutely brutal sine wave abuse.
Orobas II – Buy Now on the AFA Modular Synth Store
Bring Out the Grit in Your Synth
Whether you’re looking to add sustain and emphasis to your drum sounds, harmonically enrich your synth voices, or create experimental soundscapes with grit and texture – Animal Factory Amplification has you covered with our range of Eurorack modules that can help you shape your synth sound with creative overdrive, distortion, and fuzz effects.