Kilpatrick Audio K4816 Pattern Generator


Buchla-format CV and MIDI Pattern Generator

Building on the success of the K4815 Pattern Generator originally designed for Eurorack, the K4816 offers Buchla users this amazing module with a design optimised for this high-end format. The K4816 Pattern Generator by Kilpatrick Audio packs incredible power into a single space module. The K4816 can produce notes and varying control voltages for a wide range of musical and experimental sound applications. Its unique approach to music creation is sure to have you finding new melodies and rhythms never heard before. Unlike a step sequencer, where the player picks each note in a sequence, the K4816 creates sequences by combining a scale, a visual pattern (as shown on the display) and a sequence playback motion to determine the rhythms and notes that are actually played. Other parameters can adjust the note and sequence length, as well as the transposition, direction of playback, and so on.

In addition to features found on the original K4815 Pattern Generator, the K4816 adds new CV inputs: Pattern Type, Motion Start and Motion Length. These allow unprecedented real-time control over the playback position and currently enabled spaces on the grid. The Offset In allows for easy mixing of an external voltage with the CV output for FM and other effects. And the clock Start, Continue and Stop jacks provide pulse inputs for controlling the clock and resetting playback position. You can even control the internal high-stability clock generator via analog pulses or MIDI.

The K4816 is also fully MIDI compatible. With a built-in MIDI interface and extensive MIDI implementation, the K4816 can bridge the gap between analog and MIDI control. For instance, clock control pulses generate MIDI clock messages automatically. And the Motion Start, Motion Length and Pattern Type inputs generate MIDI control change messages on the MIDI out jack, and these parameters respond to MIDI too. You can also use a MIDI keyboard to start, stop and transpose the patterns in realtime and reverse the playback direction. In X/Y output mode you can generate control change messages and stepped voltages instead of notes.

Pattern Generation Concept

New ways of creating melodies and control signals help to break new ground in music and sound. The K4816 helps you explore new melodies and rhythms using a unique concept of generating patterns. Unlike random pattern generators or ones based on various mathematical concepts, the K4816 bases its music-making foundation on simple scales, visually-designed patterns, and intellectually-designed motions. These three elements can be controlled by the player in realtime to create an enormous variety of sounds. And it is done in a visual way that is fun to use. Everything happens on the 8x8 LED matrix, which is both a visual indicator and a conceptual view of how the system works internally. Scales, patterns and motions are all mapped to points on the matrix, which show in realtime exactly what is happening.

The K4816 concept can be thought of as three distinct layers:

  • Scales - Underneath the 8x8 LED matrix are the notes which are assigned to each of the 64 points on the grid. The selected scale can be major or minor, large or small. These are selected with the maj/min and large/small switches. Only four choices might seem like a limitation, but what happens on the other two layers ultimately affects the rhythms and melodies that are produced.
  • Patterns - Patterns are visually designed icons, symbols and patterns which define which notes will play. They are shown in the background at all times. There are 32 patterns which can be selected with the PATTERN TYPE knob or an external voltage. If a point on the 8x8 LED matrix is lit, the underlying scale note is active. If the playback ball lands on that point, its note will play.
  • Motions - Motions define how a sequence is played. Each motion defines up to 64 steps in a sequence. Each step can land on any of the points on the 8x8 LED matrix. If a step lands on a point which is lit, a note will play. There are 64 different motions, some sequential and musically-designed, and others more abstract or geometrically-designed. By using MIDI it is possible transpose the scale, and also to start and stop motion playback with note commands, changing the K4816 into a special type of auto-arpeggiator.

The K4816 Pattern Generator is only available for a limited time. Special thanks to Hugh, wizard Buchla user and collaborator who encouraged and helped to make this special module possible.

Features and Specs

  • Buchla form-factor with 7" height, 1 space (4.25") wide
  • Musical note, control and clock signals generated using unique methods
  • 64 LED (8x8) multi-brightness grid to show patterns and status
  • Clock control via internal clock, or external MIDI or analog clock
  • Clock, Direction, Start, Continue and Stop inputs (10V pulses, or 10V held for Direction)
  • Motion Start, Motion Length, and Pattern Type CV inputs (0-10V range)
  • Offset Input actively mixes (analog) with CV/X output for transposition or modulation
  • CV/GATE or X/Y analog outputs (0V to 10V range)
  • CV is 1.2V/octave - 8 octave range
  • GATE supports Buchla-style trigger pulse / sustain waveform for controlling 281e, etc.
  • Built-in MIDI input supports note, CC and clock control over MIDI
  • Built-in MIDI output to drive synths and sequencers, and use as a CV to MIDI interface
  • Comes equipped with a Buchla power cable - requires +15V, -15V and +5V for operation
  • Designed and made in Canada using high quality parts.
  • Warranty: 1 year from the manufacturer