Ampersand Ampersand Wear & Tear

AmpersandAmpersand WeartTear

Creativity inspiring and musical possibility expanding product designer Ampersand Ampersand is directly taking pre-orders for Wear & Tear - announced as its inaugural Eurorack module, masterfully recreating characterful cassette imperfections inspired by the classic charm of vintage tape machines - as of May 9…

As alluded to by the STEREO CASSETTE TAPE EMULATOR ‘subtitle’ subtly gracing its no-nonsense, 14HP-wide front panel, Wear & Tear takes its inspiration from the classic charm of cassette recorders. Readily enabling users to effectively dive into the heart of sonic nostalgia with their own personal time machine to the golden age of lo-fi soundscapes, this Eurorack effect module is key to unlocking a veritable treasure trove of degraded magic. Modern musicians craving that elusive lo-fi sound should surely find that Wear & Tear offers a versatile range of effects from subtle saturation to total sonic transformation. Experiencing everything from the gentle flutter of tape warble to the gritty charm of sounds seemingly rescued from a forgotten attic tape collection can come quickly, for Wear & Tear puts the quintessential lo-fi aesthetic right at anyone’s fingertips by blending the raw beauty of vintage imperfections with the precision of modern control.

Digging deeper, dual-function knobs each support a primary and alternate setting, enabling complex configurations and interactions between effects; embarking on a journey through sound, one where users are effectively only limited by their imagination while weaving dense ambient textures, comes courtesy of the following (key) features: DUST - adds chaos to all other settings as a macro control; (tape) SATURATION - delivers a spectrum of overdriven options, ranging from just a touch of warmth to hard clipping; (stereo) LO-PASS and HIGH-PASS (filters) - tame said SATURATION, or, conversely, push it to the limit with additional RESONANCE; WOW and FLUTTER - add a dynamic layer or movement to the sound, tempo-syncable for musical cohesion; AGE - transforms incoming audio to the sounds of yesteryear as a shifting, non-resonant filter; (pure white) NOISE (generator) - can crackle and pop, while an added ENVELOPE follower allows Wear & Tear users to push the NOISE volume or duck it with incoming audio; CRINKLE - adds to the authenticity of cassette emulation with sporadic dropouts; and COMPRESS - simplifies the often complex process of compression into a single, user-friendly knob, adjusting ratio and threshold together for immediate sonic impact.

It is worth noting that the module also features a user-friendly firmware update system that uses a web-based utility in Google Chrome for easy maintenance and feature upgrades, ultimately ensuring that Wear & Tear not only keeps up with current technological standards but also improves over time.

Time, then, to consider expanding Eurorack setups with Wear & Tear to take a personal time machine-style trip to the golden age of lo-fi soundscapes, surely? Ultimately, unlocking a veritable treasure trove of degraded magic is now well within the grasp of any modern musician craving that elusive lo-fi sound characterised by cassette imperfections - and all without resorting to tricky tape machines of a certain vintage. Versatility, of course, is - given Eurorack’s inherently patchable nature - a given with Wear & Tear.

Shipping to US-based buyers from Brooklyn, NY by May 31, 2024, Wear & Tear is already available to pre-order - priced at $350.00 USD - directly from Ampersand Ampersand’s website. More retailers are coming soon.