FORGE - TME

VHIKK X


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Vhikk X is finally ready. Thanks so much to those who took the leap on Vhikk V1, and thanks for everyone's support and feedback!

[work in progress...]
Last updated May 6.
Get in touch at contact@forge-tme.com for any specific inquiries, otherwise check back on this page for general updates about availability and distribution.

[I really really appreciate everyone's enthusiasm but I'm a little bit swamped by emails asking about how/when to buy! All the up-to-date details will be posted here]

I have now closed the waiting list. So many people have expressed interest that by the time I get near the end of the list, Vhikk X will be available via normal distribution - so I don't think that practically any time will be saved.
I capped the waiting list at 300 people, but will continue making more after the list has been exhausted while there is still demand.

The initial Aus-only pre-order batch is underway. Thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered! We have filled up this first small batch from Australians on the waiting list.
Currently waiting for everything to arrive and will then get busy building and testing modules.
Payment and shipping will be handled by Found Sound.

I won't have a concrete date for international availability for a while still.
Once I've ironed out the assembly/test procedure - and the initial modules have been out in the wild for a little while - I'll be pushing forward with bigger batches to send for international distribution. More specific details to follow, currently in talks with ditributors in EU/UK/US.



A sound demo video can be found here, to be followed in a little while by a deep-dive video manual.
Some details/wording on this page and the algorithm reference may still change.
Vhikk X on Modulargrid


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As I've mentioned previously - the price has seen a bump from V1 due to parts costs and bigger size / more features / better hardware components. The pricing [TBC!] will be around $750AUD but I'm hopeful that all the upgrades will make it worth the new price.

The initial launch firmware will have 9 algorithms which are an extension of the algorithms in V1, however I'm hoping by the time international orders are ready I'll have polished and tested the remaining 27 modes as well. That said, the firmware update procedure is pretty easy - but ideally they will ship with the new firmware.

I want to mention as well that while the launch algos will be similar in function to Vhikk V1, many of the upcoming algorithms are fundamentally different - and closer to the deeper identity which I've been trying to push towards with Vhikk.
There is this ideal which I'm aiming for.. entirely new parameterisations and signal structures - taking advantage of the abstract parameter names rather than them providing the cognitive load of maintaining an approximate mental 'vhikk parameter' to 'normal parameter' mapping. Something about categorical/etymological surfaces and imagining parallel planes of development/history.
I'm slowly getting there but I'm excited to eventually share the.. final form.. of Vhikk X.
Exploring machine-trust, architectural morphing, alien radio channel-surfing, environmental synthesis, infrastructure and ultrastructure, etc.


The vhikk twists, convulses and wails in a vortex haunted, spitting dirt and dust and time and raw energy.
Rapid shadows, alien physics, pulsating artefacts, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes possessed.
A window to an alternate reality. Engine room communications network phreak, phase splitting in the teardrop orbifold.

The vhikk is a multi-algorithm sound source and processor capable of traversing sonic planes complex, raw, dense, electric, erratic, dynamic.

The vhikk trades standard control and comprehensions for a [hopefully fertile] dialogical experience and breadth of sonic palette.
It is designed to encourage exploration and [tele]presence - with low cognitive overhead.
The vhikk rewards lateral theory and lateral practice, with its own unique operational modes and interwoven parameterisations.

The vhikk is happy alone but thirsty for voltages. The produced output can be quite spectrally and temporally full and doesn't necessarily require [but certainly appreciates] further processing to synthesise musically/experientially useful material.


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Vhikk X is a multi-algorithm experimental synth workshop specialising in [but not limited to] complex drones/basses, rich textures, dynamic sfx, and warped signal processing. It combines sound generation and effects processing into one module with multiple different algorithms.
The nature of Vhikk X makes it suitable for situations where a compact, ergonomic, and self-contained sound source/processor would be welcome - for example smaller modular systems, or large systems where a self-contained sound island with minimised cognitive overhead would be desirable.

Each combined position of the two toggle switches is a different algorithm, giving 9 in total per bank.
There are 4 banks as indicated by the 3 red lights between the toggle switches, giving 36 total algorithms.

Vhikk X expands on the original Vhikk technically and ideologically by offering more parameters, more algorithms, more CV inputs, and continuous control over architectural morphing and internal randomisation - all while retaining the ergonomy and interactive experience of Vhikk V1.

Vhikk X also introduces:
24bit inputs and outputs
stereo inputs for audio processing
VCA input for amplitude shaping without requiring an external stereo VCA
Continuous control of input/output volumes with soft clipping and lots of gain on tap to drive next-in-chain modules and boost lower level input signals. [can also take line level in and produce line level out]

The improved signal path allows for Vhikk X to expand into cleaner and more dynamic sonic territory, while still providing means to twist and crush itself into dirty saturated mayhem. There have also been stereo imaging improvements, with algorithm tweaks to run in true stereo end-to-end.

Vhikk X has the ability to do firmware updates via the USB-C port on the side, supporting USB Mass Storage drag and drop [UF2 bootloader].


USING VHIKK X:


[POWER / IO]:

The Vhikk X power connection is side-entry with a cutout in the main circuit board for cable clearance. Ensure the red stripe [-12V] is closest to the 'RED' label on the rear of the circuit board [red stripe down as viewed from behind]. The power input is reverse polarity protected.

Vhikk X has stereo outputs on the bottom right labeled L and R for left and right. The L output is normalled to the R output so patching a single cable from R will provide a mono sum. The stereo inputs at bottom left are normalled in software, so patching into a single input [either L or R] will work for mono signals. The long LED windows above the input and output jacks are for level-monitoring and display their respective signal levels - white for left [L], red for right [R]. The signal path for the audio inputs is algorithm-dependent and is detailed in the algorithm reference.


[ENCODERS]:

In addition to the parameters present on the fixed-function knobs, the two central encoders can target a number of different parameters dependent on the current MODE. The active encoder target is denoted with white text labels, while the inactive labels glow red.
The most-used encoder target parameters [BASIS, TIME, SEED, SCAN] have associated light windows which give a visual representation of their current values.

The top button [MODE] will toggle between the two main encoder target states - BASIS + TIME, and SEED + SCAN.
The bottom button's function is dependent on the current encoder target state:
When the encoders are targetting BASIS + TIME - the bottom button engages encoder volume [VOL] control.
When the encoders are targeting SEED + SCAN - the bottom button changes the currently selected BANK.
[Note: the release firmware only contains a single bank of algorithms, so BANK selection is disabled until future firmware updates]

In volume control mode [VOL], the left encoder controls input volume, while the right encoder controls output volume. The text labels are disabled, since the lower LED windows are used to show current in/out volume levels and the upper LED windows are in/out clipping indicators.
The volume gain ranges are detailed in the specifications below, but are suitable for use with many different signal levels, both in Eurorack systems and directly with line level equipment. The signal path has plenty of headroom and is designed to soft-clip at each gainstage.


[STATE-SAVING]:

The encoder-targeted parameters are all saved internally to retain their values through power-cycles. There is an internal delay for wear-levelling, so any parameters which are unchanged for approximately 30 seconds are saved.
SEED and SCAN are saved per-algorithm, and volume levels [VOL] are saved globally. BASIS and TIME can be selectively saved globally or per-algorithm.
Holding down the top button [MODE] while powering on the module will enable per-algorithm saving, while holding down the bottom while powering on button will enable global saving. This selection will be remembered until the next time it is changed. Global saving is enabled by default.
Global saving is intended for situations where it is convenient to retain e.g. tuning and synchronised delay times across different algorithms, while per-algorithm saving allows for each algorithm to retain its own copy of these parameters.


[VCA / CV NORMALLING]:

The CV input ranges are detailed in the specifications below. The 5 CV inputs in the bottom centre have their own associated attenuverters, while the remaining CV inputs are summed with the value set by their associated panel control.
The VCA input targets an internal stereo VCA for amplitude control without requiring an external stereo VCA. This also allows for the VCA to e.g. be placed before delay/reverb sections. The location of the VCA in the signal path is algorithm dependent and is detailed in the algorithm reference.
With nothing patched to the VCA input, an offset equivalent to +5V is present. A +5V external CV will open the VCA fully - voltages above this will overdrive whatever is following the VCA in the signal path.

The VCA input and the CV inputs with attenuverters have software controlled normalling to allow for flexible CV control even with minimal physical patching.
If a CV is patched into the MORPH input, it will be normalled to the 4 other inputs [BASIS, FIELD, TIME, FORM] which will then pass through their respective attenuverters.
If a CV is patched into the VCA input, it will be normalled to the 5 other jacks, overriding the above normalling.
If nothing is patched to both VCA and MORPH, a small offset will be normalled to MORPH, BASIS, FIELD, TIME and FORM to allow the use of the attenuverters as fine-tune controls.

All physically accessible parameters have CV inputs except for the volume controls and SEED - SEED is intended to be a very wide-ranging parameter designed for manual control. In testing, the VCA input proved more useful than a SEED CV input.


[FIRMWARE UPDATES]:

The USB-C port on the right side of the module is for firmware updates. This can be plugged in without Eurorack power applied. More details on update procedure, and change-logs/.uf2 files for future firmware will be provided here when updates are ready.


ALGORITHM REFERENCE



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Specifications:

24HP, 15mm depth below panel [power header is side-entry with a cutout in the main PCB]
Current draw: +12V: 100mA, -12V: 10mA

The audio path and all processing runs at 96kHz. Audio inputs and outputs are 24bit. CV inputs are 16bit scanned at 24kHz.

CV/signal input voltage: 20Vpp - full param range clipped in software
CV input impedance: 200kOhm

Audio input clips at 20Vpp, gain from -inf dB [silence] to +30dB
Audio input impedance: 30kOhm

Audio output voltage: 18Vpp full scale with volume control [which silences the output at minimum value]
Audio output impedance: 1kOhm

Reverse polarity protected
Both USB and Eurorack power can be connected concurrently


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Vhikk X is covered under warranty for two years following the purchase date. The warranty covers any defect in the manufacture of this product and does not cover any damage or malfunction caused by incorrect use - such as, but not limited to, power cables connected incorrectly, excessive voltage levels, or exposure to extreme temperature or moisture levels.
The warranty covers replacement or repair, details about shipping and warranty applicability will be determined upon contacting us at contact@forge-tme.com.