Toppobrillo Cluster

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toppobrillo
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Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by toppobrillo »

Hi ya'll . Pleased to announce my newest forthcoming module- Cluster... blurbage below..

Cluster is our take on the workflow of the versatile Buchla 200 series control-voltage processor- model 257- with some marked improvements and options. Missing is the cool equation, but I kept some arrows and replaced the variables with LEDs :) I also added a voltage-controlled “polarizer” (4 quadrant multiplier), an extra processing / mixing channel and routing options that make it an extremely flexible and more compact tool for the dense eurorack environment..

Cluster is a precision 8HP processing toolbox that can sit anywhere in a system. It has 3 independent sections that can be used individually or taken as a whole. Up to 4 signals can be mixed and there is also a complementary sum output. Potentiometers are center-detented for easy tactile centering. Signal path is high bandwidth, low noise and low offset- and is well-suited for both audio and control signals.

Each section can be used independently- vis-a-vis independent outputs and normalization. This means if you need to grab a crossfader (or just use it as a VCA/ ducker) it’s there, and you’ve still got the polarizer (XY) and another processing channel (Z)/ mix to work with.
Screen Shot 2022-09-21 at 4.10.21 PM.png
XY (polarizer channel)
The top section is a voltage-controlled “polarizer” or more accurately, a four quadrant multiplier.. It multiplies two signals, “X” and “Y” . The X(Y) output is the product of these two sources. Unpatched, the Y input is normalized to an offset voltage, and thus will act as a standard processing channel when unpatched, giving X*1 when fully CW and X*-1 fully CCW. Patching a source into the Y INPUT defeats this normalization, and the “Y AMT” knob will now scale (multiply) the source patched into Y, giving Y*1 when fully CW and Y*-1 fully CCW. This is useful in that it allows the top section to be easily patched as a standard VCA with a positive going CV.

A->B (crossfader channel)
The middle section is a linear crossfader. The knob and A->B CV input sum, and select A to B and anywhere in between.
The ‘REF’ toggle, when engaged, routes a selectable offset to input A’s normalization- This allows you to use the crossfade channel as a voltage "mirror" , for instance..

Z (attenuverter/ offsetter channel)
The bottom section is simply another processing channel with an offset normalled to it’s input, acting as a manual offset control when unpatched. Patching into Z defeats this normalization, and Z AMT knob will now multiply the Z input, giving Z*1 when fully CW and Z*-1 when fully CCW. An LED indicates output amplitude and polarity.

SUM OUTPUTS
There are two SUM outputs, “∑” and the complementary “-∑” . The SUMs are a summation of the three processing sections. Patching any of the three sections’ outputs independently *removes* them from the SUM outputs. This scheme allows for flexibility using the channels independently, for example, using Z as an offset voltage someplace in a patch- as well as prevents loopback issues when patching Cluster back into it's self- if, say, for instance you wanted to use XY as a ring-mod and send it to one of the crossfade inputs to have a VCA'd ringmod, or vice-versa, you won't be adding XY to the SUM twice...

There are many patches you can do with this module! Hopefully many of them seem obvious and not complicated. There are some perhaps non-obvious ones. I've been wanting this for a while now and I'm stoked that I just got the prototype boards in, will be building it up this weekend.

I will probably run a pre-order for this one for no other reason than gauging production volume to allocate chips- which, are still, scarce! Thanks for lookin!
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by Durdee »

I’m down. Just built a new case and it’s got some empty space!
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mdoudoroff
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by mdoudoroff »

Very nice! I’m probably in. (silver)
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LordKrud
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by LordKrud »

Looks real cool. Some straightforward looking parts with explorable depth.

I think I can wrap my brain around it.

What’s the price point aiming to be?
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vidret
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by vidret »

Stop it, I don’t have any space left :lol:
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WetSoul
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by WetSoul »

This looks really cool. Count me in!
moogah
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by moogah »

Darn you. This is the kind of module I impulsively buy multiples of.. because it's just a good idea and I've actually never regretted it.
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wrecksmoondee
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by wrecksmoondee »

Really handy looking voltage processor! Nice work. Always worthwhile to have these functions ready to hand, and this is a clever mix.

For the up-to-4-signal sum outputs, do I understand correctly that the X input would not be included?
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greyscales
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by greyscales »

I was just about to start looking for some interesting utilities and voltage processing! Some interesting combinations here.
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malnourish
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by malnourish »

Love this. Smart and thought out but not overwhelming to look at.
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toppobrillo
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by toppobrillo »

wrecksmoondee wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:21 pm Really handy looking voltage processor! Nice work. Always worthwhile to have these functions ready to hand, and this is a clever mix.

For the up-to-4-signal sum outputs, do I understand correctly that the X input would not be included?
thank you all for the comments! A,B,X(Y) and Z are your four inputs when using it as a mixer.. :party:
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by jD »

Very cool! Will these be ready the same time as the minimix’s ? Or any time frame for both modules ?
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closedLoop
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by closedLoop »

I'm loving all of these new modules, and their artful take on sheer utility. This seems a great pairing for the SM2.

Each of the 4 quadrant multipliers I've used has had a different ring mod flavor. I have no idea what's under the hood of each of them (my current favorite is the Befaco A*B+C), but do you have a sense of where in the ring mod spectrum Cluster would fall?
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by transistorresistor »

are the pots going to be panel mount?
AnalogDigits
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by AnalogDigits »

Interesting!!

<raises hand, black>
Last edited by AnalogDigits on Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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*Bear*
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by *Bear* »

Very much looking forward to this. Thanks for all your hard work Josh, it’s appreciated!
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MossGarden
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by MossGarden »

Super tidy!
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nectarios
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by nectarios »

Very interesting. Do you have an EU dealer that will stock your new batch of modules?
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drxcm
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by drxcm »

I’d buy one if it comes in Silver !

S
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Raymond
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by Raymond »

Yep it looks like my 208hp is going to have 3 Toppobrillo’s module in it which are never going to leave it !

I swap some modules in and out of it but the SM2 and Multifilter 2 are permanently screwed in it. As Generate 3, Orbit 3, Hermod, Quadrax, Polaris, L1 quad Vca/mixer. And my beloved Octatrack in front of all that.

Let us know once the preorder link is out !
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mikelaranburu
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by mikelaranburu »

Looks great, mr Toppobrillo, a silver one for me!
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efluon
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by efluon »

silver please. a little unfortunate that Tiptop is doing the 257t now.
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mdoudoroff
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by mdoudoroff »

efluon wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:52 am silver please. a little unfortunate that Tiptop is doing the 257t now.
Interesting comparison. The 257t is a “dual” module, with each channel enjoying up two circuits (attenuverted, crossfaded) that are summed with a manual offset. Cluster is a “single” module, but also a 3-in-one, depending how you look at it, making the three circuits (attenuverted/4-quad multiplied, crossfaded, attenuated) independent, while also offering the sum.

Hypothetically, one or the other could be more attractive depending on your use cases. I’m sure the 257t will sell just fine, particularly to those who think they’re building a Euro Buchla on the cheap (I have my doubts). My immediate impression is that Cluster’s 3-in-one design is a more compelling (and compact) design for a Eurorack system, in general. For me, the 4-quadrant multiplier is particularly attractive.
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informationsource
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by informationsource »

This is very tempting. Although if it doesn't come in silver, my other silver Toppobrillo modules won't be happy about it.

It is a great take on the 257 without replicating the 257. Looks ergonomic without taking up as much space as the 257t (or Verbos CVP for that matter). Small enough to dot multiples around, too.

edit: yes, the 257t has two channels in 14hp, but each only has a single output as opposed to the per-section outputs here.
Last edited by informationsource on Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bhmcc
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Re: Toppobrillo Cluster

Post by bhmcc »

mdoudoroff wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:37 am
efluon wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:52 am silver please. a little unfortunate that Tiptop is doing the 257t now.
Interesting comparison. The 257t is a “dual” module, with each channel enjoying up two circuits (attenuverted, crossfaded) that are summed with a manual offset. Cluster is a “single” module, but also a 3-in-one, depending how you look at it, making the three circuits (attenuverted/4-quad multiplied, crossfaded, attenuated) independent, while also offering the sum.

Hypothetically, one or the other could be more attractive depending on your use cases. I’m sure the 257t will sell just fine, particularly to those who think they’re building a Euro Buchla on the cheap (I have my doubts). My immediate impression is that Cluster’s 3-in-one design is a more compelling (and compact) design for a Eurorack system, in general. For me, the 4-quadrant multiplier is particularly attractive.
I was just thinking along these same lines as I am on the Tiptop Buchla bandwagon. No idea yet on the cost difference but you only need to sacrifice 2hp more for 2x Clusters over a single 257t. This definitely gets you extra goodies as mdoudoroff has pointed out.
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