gcheliotis wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:47 pm
I'm also hoping to see more discussion here as more units make it into people's hands.
thought i'd write up some impressions on the Lubadh. i've had it a few weeks now - haven't had loads of opportunity to play with it, but enough to have some thoughts. I use it as a pretty straight two channel looper for guitar, using footwsitches through a doepfer a-177-2 to turn record on and off. There’s no full manual out so there are some things I’m still unclear about, but generally it’s very hands on and easy to get started. This turned into a bit of an essay - apologies, but hopefully it’s useful given the lack of feedback out there around the module.
Really great. The visual feedback of the loop (length, start, current location) is really useful, as well as looking great. Knobs feel good, and cv over everything is obv a plus. At first I though the capacitive touch plate was a little gimmicky, but it is quite nice for adding an interactive tactile element. The cv inputs for record work as expected with my footswitch setup.
I know Instruo mentioned that the audio path is designed to be quite warm and saturate like a tape machine. It sounds really good - I haven't tried backing it off to get a super clean sound, and I’m curious to try this as the way I currently have it set up does colour the sound a bit (in a way I like, which is why I haven't tried to clean it up). Haven't listened critically to level of noise/hiss (this isn't an issue for me, as i tend to add it anyway), so can't comment there.
People have mentioned the issues around modulating the start time. To me, I'd expect it to sound odd if you're modulating the loop start with continuous cv. I've been sending stepped modulation to start (from a turing machine) and it works well (you will get the odd pop and click, but again that’s what I’d expect). Still getting to grips with the aux controls - as someone mentioned above, I understand what they do, but haven't worked out how I'd use them in a musical context yet. The delay mode sounds good, but I don't seem to be able to modulate the time for the delay mode (to get pitch effects). Could well be that I'm doing something wrong, but would be good to see the manual on this, or hear other people's experiences. I really like the fact that it saves the loops on power down and reloads them on startup, and it will be good to learn more about what the usb stick in the back does (is it like Morphagene SD card where you can load loops or transfer them to computer?). I had a quick play with the clock out, and it works as expected - should be handy for syncing other things up, or as an additional trigger source.
Compared to similar modules
I previously used a 4MS DLD as my main looper (worth noting that obviously DLD does things that Lubadh can’t, and DLD is not explicitly designed as a looper, so I’m not knocking the DLD - I’ve even kept mine for now as it’s still great for delay stuff). For me, the Lubadh is much easier to use in pretty much every way. Ability to do one shot playback is great, and it’s much easier to change loop length and start time. Compared to the DLD, the visual feedback of the Lubadh really stands out. Ability to change pitch is obviously something that DLD doesn’t offer. Only thing I miss from DLD is the ability to toggle reverse with a gate - I need to explore to see if you can get something similar by sending a carefully tuned negative cv to the speed input (but I suspect it will slew through the speed, not sure!).
I also have a morphagene, which I’ve never really gelled with. The main thing I liked it for was pitch shifting and randomly modulating the slide, so that you can start playback at different bits of the loop. Lubadh does both of these things, so I’ll be getting rid of the morphagene. Lubadh doesn’t have anything like the morph control, but running one side into the other in delay mode should achieve something similar (until you get to high morph values)? Equally, Lubadh doesn’t have anything like the splice function in morphagene, but sequencing start time and length simultaneously will get you some of the way there. Definitely fair to say that I don't use morphagene to its full potential and as with the DLD I'm definitely not knocking it - it's a great module and people do amazing things with it, but I think the similarities between Lubadh and morphagene are worth pointing out (they're both based on tape machines, after all).
The other (final, I promise!) thing to say is that I was super impressed by all the little details not directly connected to the module - packaging was really nice, and providing screws in both black and gold (and with washers) was a really thoughtful touch.
So tl;dr is that I really like the Lubadh - people have been comparing Arbhar to Morphagene, but for my needs Lubadh and Morphagene is a more direct comparison. As a dual channel Eurorack looper, Lubadh is much more hands-on and intuitive than the DLD, and has more character to the sound. It definitely makes me want to buy more stuff from Instruo - partly based on my experience with the Lubadh, I’m planning to fill the gap where my Morphagene was with an Arbhar.