Friday, 2 July 2010

Cwejman RES-4 Demo

Recordings of the quintessential Cwejman module, the Quad VC Resonator.

Download the album for €1 or more to access the audio examples.

For an overview of what the module does, read this Sound On Sound review and for some practical tips on how you might use the RES-4, read this chapter of the classic Synth Secrets series. If the formant techniques described by Gordon Reid sound too much like hard work, you could, of course, just patch a sawtooth into the RES-4, twist the knobs and see what happens.

Listen to the 'Oriental' and 'Formant' examples. The recordings not only show off the sort of vocal effects the RES-4 is capable of, but also the stereo spread caused by the phase cancellations and additions of the four filters when mixing the BP and Notch outputs. 'Voice' and 'Breathing' are similar, using higher Q settings for some resonant phasing. As you can hear, the RES-4 can be used for frequency-dependent panning.

Unlike the MMF-1, the RES-4 needs an input to start oscillating or ringing. A little white noise or short trigger impulse from Maths' EOR does the trick nicely. Listen to the 'Ping' and 'Shiftregister' examples. For me, this is the quad resonator's trademark sound. I know it drives some people nuts, but I love it. Higher Q settings will yield longer rings, using Pressure Points or an analogue shift register allows you to play four-note chords or complex cascades.

Feeding the result into a wavefolder can add bite or bring out steel string-like qualities. Tuning the resonant frequencies and adjusting the gain levels gets you into physical modeling territory. Listen to the 'TWFolded' and 'Logdrums' examples.

'Spacejam' show-cases some of all of the above. It's a single pass, live recording featuring just one VCO, the RES-4 and maybe a touch too much EHX SMMH delay. When the oscillator is slow and the Q high enough, the filter is pinged. At audio rates, the effect is similar to the first couple of recordings.

One last feature that should be mentioned is the amount of voltage control this module offers: frequency and volume on master or individual level, bandwidth per filter. As stretta expertly shows, this allows dynamic and precise settings, although so far, I've been happy enough making manual changes.

I ignored the RES-4 for many years, in part due to its price, but in the time that I've had it has become a firm favourite. The build quality is top notch and the sonic results unique. For more RES-4 examples, listen to the 'dampf', 'nutong' & 'eszieht' tracks from my Synthetic Nature EP or run this search.


NS4W said...

Thanks for the writeup! I would love to hear the samples here, but no one seems to start loading :(

Navs said...


Daniel said...

Hello Navs. Wich modules are similar to the RES-4 but other manufacturers than Cwejman? I want to spend less of 400 euros. I know the quality of Cwejman is top, but could you recommend something? Thank you!

Navs said...

Hi Daniel, I'm not sure what's available now (R*S Serge Res EQ maybe, Klangbau/Hordijk filters?) but the RES-4 is unique. It's not just the quality, it's the actual design that means it sounds different. I tried to find an alternative too when I was buying! ;)