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High-Powered Gain Stage
The Tiptop Audio MA808 is equipped with an enhanced output gain stage capable of producing much hotter signals than the original drum machine. This addition of gain stages emulates the old practice of running original drum machines through outboard amplifiers to add gain, and passing that signal through other devices to generate additional harmonics from clipping and distortion. This expanded sound palette featured in the MA808 gives you the ability to make use of an array of harmonized drum sounds with razor sharp attack, or even heavily crushed and distorted sounds. The MA808 can even go hotter than the standard levels of modular VCOs, making it one of the most useful ways to achieve big, gritty, rich sounds from the MA808 circuitry.
Tiptop Audio have also added an in-house designed dual pulse-shaper circuit, enabling you to trigger the MA808 using Trigger or Gate signals from a variety of other equipment such as clock dividers, step sequencers, or other clock/pulse sources. This design means you get the same stable sound at its peak power regardless of differences in your pulse source without the need to shape the pulses sent to the module.
Accent & Levels
Accent is what makes a beat sound natural and full of life. The MA808 features an accent input, which is a gate/trigger signal. When this accent input is not in use, the incoming gate input is routed to both the accent input and the gate input, serving two purposes. It allows you to reach the hottest drum sound possible, even when no accent input signal is connect, whilst simultaneously utilising the Accent control knob to act as a fine control for the output gain level. However, when connecting to the accent input, the gate input routing will be broken, allowing for independent control over your desired accent regardless of the incoming gate signal. Setting the knob higher will result in large gain level differences between accented and un-accented notes, where as lower will have the opposite effect. Compared to the original drum machine which featured a global accent control which affected all of the sounds on the machine at the same time, the MA808 gives you complete independent control over the accent of your sounds without compromising your other modules, giving you extensive dynamic options.
The Attack knob allows you to transform the sound of your Tiptop Audio MA808 from a razor-sharp hi-hat tone, all the way up to a slow-rise classic maracas sound. The scale around the edge of the control knob indicates the position required to recreate the original sound from the classic drum machine. This control provides you with an excellent amount of sonic versatility from a single module, and expands on the available tonal pallet of the original circuitry.
White Noise Generator
The MA808 is also equipped with an analog white noise generator, based on the white noise circuitry from the original drum machine. This white noise is perfect as a sound source for creating your own personal percussion sounds such as hi-hats and snares by running it through filters, VCAs, and other modules in your rig. It's also ideal for use as a modulation source, or as a random source for running clock inputs for example. This modular white noise design has an almost endless list of uses.
Each analog drum module made by Tiptop audio uses a well-tuned patch that utilises a T-Network of sine generators, noise sources, VCAs, envelopes, and filter circuits designed specifically for creating incredible percussive sounds. Patching each of these modular components together, Tiptop has created a tremendous way of generating specific sounds. Only the highest quality discrete parts are used, and in a minimal fashion. Combining multiple Tiptop Audio modules gives you the option to create a truly personalised sound-set with a huge range of flexibility. Whether its just for playing a groove alongside other bass-lines and other melodies, or complex switching of trigger signals on the fly whilst having drum sounds travel through additional sound processors to create unpredictable and intricate results, Tiptop Audio's premium modular design opens the doors to a whole new world of sound.