Warps… what shall I say of you? Warps is probably the most conflicted I’ve been about a module. I bought it on a deal and a whim. I’m a sucker for a deal. But as great as it sounded in the demo’s I just didn’t quite find the magic. But now it’s back in the rack, and I think it’s time we talk about it. So, lets get warped!
First a few general thoughts on the function of Warps stock firmware:
- Have at least two modulation sources you can dedicate to it. Without something to move the parameters around its just… boring. (This is a big part of what ruined my initial experience with Warps.)
- Give it a light touch. You can crank it to eleven if you want to, but I find I prefer the results when I don’t go too bonkers on the timbre knob. But bonkers is right there waiting for you if you want it.
- Play with the input levels. It’s easy to overlook the input levels in favor of the algorithm or timbre, but don’t. Even if you don’t modulate them (and you should) you should definitely play with the built in trimmers and see how they alter the sounds you have available. They also can make modulation of the timbre knob a little more tame (or wild.)
- The internal oscillator is handy, but you’re much better off sending it two individual oscillators. (You can’t change the level on the internal oscillator when you use it.)
- With all the waveform mangling going on, remember to keep your waveforms simple going in. Warps will do the mangling.
Anyhow, two good reasons for Warps… It’s all about the Parasite baby. The Parasite firmware, as a whole, is great. But there are two modes that really stand out:
- The Binaural Doppler Panner. It’s a real beauty of a mode. I’d buy a module that only did this. It takes a mono signal and then pans it in three dimensions. With a good stereo system (a pair of headphones is wonderful) the sound all around you. To my knowledge, there’s nothing else like it in eurorack. The only caveat is that it can really smear transients. For percussive material you’ll want slower modulation (if you’re using LFO’s for example). Though, after playing around with the stepped random voltage out of Peaks, I do believe that a pair of sample and hold signals sent with each strike would sound pretty sweet. Long story short, you really have to try this mode to believe it. It’s excellent! Here’s a track I made a while back. There are two layers. One is a more or less constant background sound. The second is the same sound through the Binaural Doppler Panner. It’s a Super Mario ghost house kind of thing.
- The Variable Rate Delay. Unlike the whole Binaural thing, delay’s are a dime-a-dozen so to speak. There are a million out there to choose from. Full disclosure, I don’t have a ton of experience with delays. I haven’t “tried them all”. But this a great delay. The parameters are readily accessible, ready to accept CV’s, and it just sounds great. I’m particularly fond of the ping-pong delay mode. It gives me this drops of water in a cave feel, especially when you send it out for a little reverb after the delay. It can also do some crazy stuff to depending on how you modulate it, for example, the thundery sounds here:
So, if you have a Warps and you haven’t played around with these two modes, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. A personal invitation perhaps? Ok, I personally invite *your name here* to check out these two awesome effects from Warps Parasite. So get on it! Get wiggling! And have some fun!
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