Review: Endorphin.es Grand Terminal Eurorack Module

 It takes only a glance at their website or any one of their products to realize that Endorphin.es has a distinct and unique sense of style. The panels of their modules are a striking golden yellow, with red, blue, and black knobs. They call themselves Endorphin.es Airways and list their company on Facebook as a cargo and freight company with the tagline “life is a trip”. The Grand Terminal fully embraces the retro airline aesthetic and even opts to label its features with thematic terminology. Endorphin.es was kind enough to lend me not only their Grand Terminal, but their Furthrrrr Generator and Shuttle Control as well. Therefore, this will be the first of a three part travelogue. So buckle your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to take off with Endorphin.es Airways.

Getting Started

The Grand Terminal is a multifunctional digital powerhouse in 26HP. It provides two filters with eight selectable types for each, two envelope generators, and eight selectable effect types. Additionally, the filters can be run in parallel, stereo, or serial configurations. Combining the Grand Terminal with the Furthrrrr Generator oscillators creates a full synth voice with two oscillators. Endorphin.es offers these two together as part of their preconfigured 84HP system called the Shuttle. It’s worth mentioning this because these units are intended to be part of their own ecosystem as well as standalone modules.

My maiden voyage with the Grand Terminal spent some time stuck on the tarmac before it was able to get airborne. To be honest, I couldn’t figure out where to plug in an input signal. My first guess was that “Check-In” must be the main audio input. After perusing the manual I learned that this was actually the gate input, and “To The Gates” was the audio input for the filters. The obtuse panel labels will undoubtedly direct users to consult the product manual, which may be frustrating for those eager to start patching. However, I realized this is probably intentional, considering their manual starts with “First things first RTFM”.

While most people loathe manuals, a better understanding of a product can be instrumental to its long term use and enjoyment. Furthermore, the Grand Terminal has enough complexity that it requires repeated referral to the manual during the first use or two (or four). Thankfully, Endorphin.es provides a thorough and educational manual along with a tutorial video.

Don’t let all this talk of manuals scare you off. The learning curve is not unduly steep, it’s just a matter of learning what refers to what, and how to use some of the features accessed by held or combined button presses. Endorphin.es has managed to pack a huge selection of features under the hood without any tedious menu diving. For example, underneath the two red knobs in the center are a set of eight LEDs. By using the two red buttons in the top center, you can toggle between the eight filter types for each filter. Because each filter has only four LEDs, they display brightly for the first four filters and dimly for the other four.

Pressing the top left red button toggles between the eight effects, which is also indicated by the filter LEDs momentarily after the button press. Four of the labels indicating selected filter types are obviously recognizable as low pass, high pass, band pass and comb. The other four are less obvious. The bull represents a MiniMoog-inspired transistor ladder filter, perhaps referring to the Taurus? A steaming beaker stands for the acid sound of the diode ladder filter made legendary by the Roland TB-303. Next are a couple djembes indicating Buchla style vactrol low pass gates, one of which is resonant.

 

Read the rest and hear some samples here: https://ask.audio/articles/review-endorphin-es-grand-terminal-eurorack-module

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