Another year is coming to a close, and with it, lots of popular this or that lists popping up in your feed. Here at MusicRadar, we love lists, but we’re chronically unable to decide what to populate them with, which is where you wonderful Radar Readers come in.
For years now, we’ve been asking you to vote for your favorite gear, most of which we’ve reviewed (with the odd exception) in the past 12 months. So while there might be the odd item released before 2022, we didn’t get our hands on it until this year.
Excuses aside, what we have here are the results of your favorite Eurorack modules for 2022, so enjoy, or disagree, whichever suits you best. Better yet, use it as your last-minute Christmas list to make a few key additions to the ever-expanding modular system hidden in your home studio.
1. Empress Effects Zoia Euroburo
This year’s winner, by an absolute mile, needs no introduction. The original Zoia was introduced to guitarists, but soon gained a loyal following in the synth community.
Based on modular principles, it was no surprise that Empress took the natural step of repackaging its power in a “real” modular format, Eurorack. Not only that, but you can get it in 0HP/workbench/desktop format.
The Zoia is a well-thought-out unit capable of excellent results, making creating your own sound generators and processors a quick process.
Read the full Empress Effects Zoia Euroburo review.
2. Event Misha
2022 broke new ground with Eventide’s entry into the Eurorack game, which certainly got the collective synth glands salivating. Misha is an experimental dream. It forces different mindsets and approaches to play that, while they can be learned, encourage different types of creativity.
It’s the perfect tool for generative music, jam sessions, and fun explorations into new musical territories, making this interval-based instrument and sequencer a must-have for those modular setups.
Read the full Eventide Misha review.
3. Qu-Bit Aurora
Aurora is one of those mods that far exceeds its original powers. If you think you’re just getting reverb, think again. This 12-horsepower unit pulls you into a spatial vortex of inspiration and fun that can last for hours before you emerge again, oblivious to the passing of time.
So what makes this reaction so special? It’s a joy to play along with the vast array of sounds that can be gleaned from it.
Many modules of this type do not offer the same pleasant experience as Aurora. This is due in part to the lushness of the trails, which, even in their iciest, most crystalline conditions, somehow stay warm and puncture-free.
Read the full Qu-Bit Aurora review.
4. Erica Synths Black K-Phaser
The humble phaser may not get the attention it deserves, but Erica Synths is trying to get some love with the Black K-Phaser.
In keeping with its Black Series brethren, the K-Phaser dutifully follows the design stakes and adds more CV control, even allowing the LFO to be output separately, adding extra modulation to other parts of your rig or patch.
Read the full Erica Synths Black K-Phaser review.
5. Knobula Poly Cinematic
The Poly Cinematic is an 8-voice synth from Kobula that packs in just 12 horsepower and will still give you change starting at 350 lbs.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This extremely affordable polysynth module is another standout performer of 2022.
It gets even better because it’s technically a complete synthesizer and not just a synthetic sound, with filter and envelope controls all laid out intuitively to use.
Read the full review of Knobula Poly Cinematic
6. Herb and Stones liquid foam
Making the leap from tabletop to Eurorack is liquid foam from northern Italian builders Herb and Stones.
Liquid Foam is a single VCO module capable of outputting PWM, variable saw and triangle, all of which can be output individually or together.
There are a lot of quirks here, especially when it comes to the envelope generator and sequencing. It will be a lot of fun with LF once you figure out what all the features do.
Read the full Herb and Stones Liquid Foam review
7. Sebsongs Euclidean
For the faint of heart, Euclidean is a DIY module, and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it allows you to really figure out the inner workings of the module, as long as you don’t get around to soldering. iron
It is a trigger follower and clock divider, and while it may have a fixed internal clock, it can easily accept triggers from external devices.
Sebsongs Euclidean is a good option for clock and pattern building if you don’t mind building it. The LED matrix is ace and sequencing is easy.
Read the full Sebsongs Euclidean review.
8. Knobula Kickain
If there were a league table for mods that come along and make you think “damn, I wish I’d thought of that”, Kickain would be at the top. Its simplicity is only surpassed by the fact that it does its job very well.
Kickain has the perfect sidechain workflow that combines great kick drum and click instruments with one-knob reverb. A simple yet genius idea that works flawlessly
9. ALM Busy Circuits Beast’s Chalkboard
ALM Busy Circuits’ Beast’s Chalkboard is a two-channel octave controller for modular systems. Its use as an octave shifter is obvious, but of course this is Eurorack where anything can happen.
What’s worth remembering is that octave ranges are just voltages, and in Eurorack, in most cases, modules that can affect pitch voltages can be put to other uses. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how this module could find its way into other uses.
Read the full ALM Busy Circuits Beast’s Chalkboard review.
10. Befaco AC/DC
For each patch there is a final question. How to signal for exit? Use a mixer then go to desk, headphones or speakers? Multitrack into your DAW of choice. Or both?
While there are separate modular options for this, they tend to be larger, more expensive devices that may not suit all users’ equipment or budgets. Befaco’s AC/DC may just be the solution for many modulars.
For everything from simple audio I/O duties to more extravagant musical situations, AC/DC is a truly excellent module.
Read the full Befaco AC/DC review.