Endorphin.es Grand Terminal

The slogan used by Endorphin.es for this module is: Life is a trip and we could not agree more! As a live performance driven eurorack user I love the brand, the quirky panel designs and features Endorphines modules have to offer for musicians.


The slogan used by Endorphin.es for this module is: Life is a trip and we could not agree more! As a live performance driven eurorack user I love the brand, the quirky panel designs and features Endorphines modules have to offer for musicians.

There's plenty to choose from looking at the Endorphines range, from diverse Milky Way FX Processor to some of their most popular modules such as the Golden Master. Most modules come with a black panel, golden panel or their new and re-designed silver panel. The re-design didn't stop at the panels but also includes new knobs for some of the modules.

Recently Endorphines has extended their line-up with 1U modules such as the Cockpit2 module in 1U, which are compact and able to link up to all of your other utilities by simply daisy chaining them from the back.

Enough about all the options, why choose Grand Terminal you might ask? I'll tell you why it was the first module I picked to own myself.

Meet the Grand Terminal

Grand Terminal - Life is a trip

Our eyes are instantly drawn to the beautiful designed knobs and funky screen printed logos on the panel. Grand Terminal is one of those modules that are exceptionally pleasing to the eyes.

The illuminati style logo that is iconic for most of the Endorphin.es modules is present at the top, with the wording 'Follow me'. It's barely impossible to resist pressing some button located next to the lit up LED so we did. More about this adventure can be found below.

Besides all of the aesthetic features descibed above we can see there are plenty of CV inputs and the ability to modulate the exponential and logarithmic responses of these.

The Grand Terminal is a real power house, by only taking up 26HP of your valuable space it features a Dual 8 mode VCF / VCA, dual voltage controlled AD/AR/looping envelope and 16 algorithm stereo FX processor.

In other words, it is all you need (and more) to set up a full synth voice behind your oscillator which would normally easily cost you twice or triple the price and most definitely more HP.


The multimode filter

Did I tell you there is a illuminati style icon on the top with irresistible buttons? Yep, we pressed them and this is what happened.

Illuminati style - Follow me

Pressing the button gave us the opportunity to filter through at least 8 different styles of filters in one module! Yes they're digital but the choice of the filter type depends on the type of music you like to perform and – of course – what fits best to your taste and needs.

A short breakdown of the filter features can be found below:

  1. TRANSISTOR LADDER FILTER is a 24 db/oct low-pass filter, modelled after the famous Minimoog filter. It has a rich slope and deep bass sound. It self-oscillates at full resonance with the recognizable chickens peep timbre when being modulat- ed. Suites well for every kind of sound. Frequency response up to 16 kHz.
  2. DIODE LADDER FILTER is a 18 db/oct low-pass filter, inspired by the Roland TB-303 and EMS Synthi A filters. It gives a distinct ‘acid’ feel and suites very well for all that techno arpeggios, bass sounds etc. Frequency response up to18 kHz.
  3. VACTROL LO-PASS GATE is a 12 db/oct modelled after Buchla's LPG and was used in it’s traditional way (with an analogue Vactrol) in the Endorphin.es TERMINAL a few years earlier. That filter type simulates non-resonant vactrol filter models, however instead of the resonance, we can control the DECAY time (closing resistance) of the vactrol. We all know, there are different types of vactrols – ones are fast, other are slow. Slow ones – when ‘pinging’ them with a short pulse of CV – give that distinct ‘Buchla Bongo’ sound (passing a small 1ms trigger immediately opens the gate but the gate itself will be closed much slower giving a so called musical natural response). Adjusting the Y control of that filter, adjusts the decay – from short decays around 120 ms (full CCW) to long ones with up to 4 seconds duration (far CW). Frequency response up to 17 kHz. Trivia: The Vactrol Lo-Pass Gate simulates the behaviour of an opto-coupler (called ‘Vactrol’) in a Sallen-Key filter topology. Applied CV (or manual offset) lights up the LED and the LED with its light affects the coupled photo-resistor. The photo-resistor changes its resistance and as a result, the filter cuts more or less frequencies.
  4. RESONANT VACTROL LO-PASS GATE is a variation of the previously decribes vactrol filter model, however instead of adjusting the decay time, we now control the resonance. The decay is fixed in this filter type and is set to approximately the response of the mostly used standard (fast) vactrols. So we don’t lose dynamic, but still have a distinct lo-pass sound. The resonance of the sound is ringing, just as it may be expected from a normal lo-pass gate. Frequency response up to 17 kHz.
  5. STATE VARIABLE LOW-PASS FILTER is a 12 db/oct filter. Unlike ladder or diode filter types, its sound is probably less harmonically rich, however is provides a cleaner sound because of a flatter cut-off slope. That type of filter was used first in Oberheim SEM, Korg MS-10/20 and many more other synthesizers. That filter also features a resonance loudness compen- sation, because usually with more resonance the amplitude decreases. Frequency response up to 16 kHz.
  6. STATE VARIABLE HIGH-PASS FILTER – same as the previous state-variable filter, but this one passes the high frequencies and filters the lower ones. Be aware: At minimal resonance (Y) and full open cut-off (X) it cuts the low frequencies up to a full silence.
  7. STATE VARIABLE BAND-PASS FILTER – same as the other state-variable filters (5 & 6), but passes only a defined band of frequencies. X defines the band’s centre point and Y defines the width of the band. It doesn’t have a resonance control since the band is always on one level. Keep in mind: The amplitude of the resulting waveform changes within altering the band width.
  8. COMB FILTER It recreates a series of harmonically related amounts of notch filters. In static state, it sounds similar to a phaser, but with modulation applied to the frequency it comes closer to a flanger. With resonance set to full CW it becomes a resonator.

In addition to that there are three different modes how the filters/gates/channels may be routed to the final stereo out. By pressing the two MODE buttons simultaneously for approx. 1 second, it will change the filter’s routing.

  1. PARAL.LEL (standard: dual mode): Filters A and B are independent and both are summed together at the output with FX applied to the mix. In that mode the ‘Follow me’ LED is off. Press the TYPE button for a moment to bypass the Cabin Pres- sure processor for Gate A, so you may use Gate B with effects applied while Gate A will always be fully dry (Basslines often seem muddy with reverb).
  2. STEREO mode: Filter A and B are linked together. The X/Y knobs and the MODE button of filter B are inactive and the X/Y knobs of filter A control filter A and B at the same time. Both filters share the same filter type and by default are put in spread pan (filter A far left and filter B far right – altering the panning under secondary function from L to R shifts the panning vice-ver- sa for both channels). In that mode the ‘Follow me’ LED shines RED. Pressing the TYPE button for a moment in that mode immediately spreads Gate A to the far left and Gate B to far right in the panorama no matter which panning was set before.
  3. SERIAL mode: The audio inputs of Gate A and B are summed together and pass into filter A first, and then into filter B. Press- ing the TYPE button for a moment in that mode swaps the filter types selected for A and B with one another (you will notice that by watching the LEDs).

Stereo FX

The black knob in the top middle of the module adjusts the volume (amplitude) of the final stereo and mono outputs. The Stereo output is a true stereo line-output with enough current to drive headphones or record into sound-card directly (approx. 1Vpp or 0dBu at normal level and approx. up to 3Vpp or +4dBu at maximal volume level) and the mono output is a modular level (approx. +/-5V) output where left and right channels are mixed together.

With every Grand Terminal we supply a stereo to two separate Left and Right mono channels adapter so you may use conve- niently route its output into other modular gear:

There are 8 effect types which recreate different ambient spaces and they are more or less arranged in a size-wise order – going from bigger spaces (like halls) to smaller ones, finishing with a chorus (very short ambiences). Again as with the filter types, the choice of the effect is entirely based on your musical taste. The effects Endorphines has picked suit a wide pallet of musician’s needs: from small rooms for Techno up to infinite spaces of experimental Avant-garde drones, but who says one cannot use a hall in Techno.

There are 2 banks of effects, the Airways bank is the first one we approach and features the following presets:

As you can see, plenty of options but there are 8 more presets in the Darkwaves bank. To keep things interesting we won't go through all of those and I will let you explore them yourself once you get the module. There are some amazing effects such as a peak compressor, ring modulator and gated reverb.

Envelopes or Airplanes?

Tested for years, with its unique no-time stretch algorithm when adjusting the shapes of the slopes, the airplanes provide all necessary functions that an envelope may have in a modular setup.

Airplanes are transient function generators that generate control voltages after an incoming trigger/pulse. Each Airplane has two phases: take off (a.k.a. attack, ascent, climb, rise, upward, up) and landing (a.k.a. release/decay, descent, dive, sink, fall, downward, down), and features separate bi-polar (-5 ... +5 volts) and uni-polar (0 ... +8 volts) outputs (exits) as well as end of current, Airplane’s stage trigger outputs (zero or +6 volts). The relative brightness of LEDs under each exit shows the current amplitude and help to monitor the output voltage polarity: red when the voltage goes below 0 volts and green when the output goes higher than 0 volts. At calm both Airplanes stay on hold waiting for an upcoming launch signal (at the check-in jack). There are 3 different modes in which the Airplanes can fly:

Cruise mode (a.k.a. sustained, AR/ASR, on hold, long-haul flight) mode (trip selector in far right position) the Airplane takes off to the highest level after receiving a triggergate (higher than approximately 0.65 volts constant signal) and stays in cruising mode as long as the gate signal remains high. At any moment the gate signal drops, the Airplane performs the landing. During landing the Airplane will immidiatly gain altitude (so called going-around or aborted landing) when a triggergate arrives.

Transient mode (a.k.a. AD, shorthaul flight) mode (trip selector in the middle position, the Airplane performs a take off after an incoming trigger signal (may be short trigger or constant gate higher than 0.65 volts). Reaching the top of the ascent level, the Airplane immediately performs a landing. Same as in Cruise mode, during a landing the Airplane will immidiatly gain altitude after reciving a trigger or a gate signal.

Loop mode (a.k.a. cycling, nonstop flight, LFO) (trip selector in far left position) enables the Airplane to take off. Reaching the top of the ascent level, the Airplane performs a landing. At the lowest descent stage the take off immediately begins and gains altitude again and so on up to infinite. In this mode it will function as an LFO.

The duration of take off and landing stages are separately voltage controlleable and may be controlled manually with the ac- cording knob or via incoming control voltage (the amount of CV is defined by using the knob as an attenuverter). When nothing is plugged into the CV and key inputs, take off and Landing knobs vary the duration time of corresponding stage from 1 milli- second to 10 seconds. When no control voltage plug is inserted into the appropriate CV IN jack, each attenuverting knob defines bending of the according curve of the certain slope: either to exponential shape (knob is in far counterclockwise position), to linear (knob is in centered position), or to logarithmic (knob position is far clockwise).

The knobs have exponential char- acteristic for turning them in both sides from the centerposition – i.e., the control changes slightly when the knob is close to the middle position and more dramatically when the knob comes closer to its far left and right positions.

Adjusting the linearity doesn’t change the duration time of the according stage, as it’s usually expected in analog envelope generators. Altering the shape of the stage may obtain continuously variable responses that require precise shape, as example ‘vactrol’ ones.

About Endorphin.es

ENDORPHIN.ES | ɛnˈdɔː(r)fɪnz | is innovative brand specializing in breaking age musical technology - manufacturer of eurorack modular synthesizers - electronic musical instruments.

It was founded in 2010 by Andreas Zhukovsky: engineer, designer, and hardware developer of all Endorphin.es products.

The company takes its beginning in Kyiv Ukraine where Andreas was born. Having electronic music production skills and mathematical master background, since 2009 he started to sketch his own synth DIY designs in his 23 square meters flat.

On 23rd of November 2010 he registered ‘endorphin.es’ domain name and @endorphin_es twitter account which defined the beginning of the company’s name.

The first synth prototype became of now-famous Furthrrrr Generator. The VCO in its design initially was inspired by famous Buchla Programmable Complex Waveform Generator Model 259. This vintage modular synthesizers were not accessible in a post-soviet environment, so the idea of Andreas was to bring newly accessible technology to himself in the rising eurorack format to make it more affordable for musicians and sound designers.

In 2011 Andreas moved to Vienna where next year in 2012 he finally makes the Furthrrrr Generator fully working and also meets like-minded people who helped him to understand the value of his project and inspired him to develop further new ideas.

Furthrrrr Generator is the signature product that combined two analog triangle core voltage controlled oscillators (VCO): modulator and carrier. Modulator is able to modulate the carrier by 4 modulation types: amplitude, balanced or ring modulation, frequency and waveshaper, along with hard and soft synchronization possibility.

In 2013 Julia Bondar joins forces with Andreas and they register this activity officially in Kyiv, Ukraine with the company Endorphines and Associates Ltd. Since then the company started to manufacture and distribute Furthrrrr Generator to the music stores all over Europe and the rest world.

From 2013 to 2016 the company was located in Kyiv, Ukraine and continued to mix analog and digital approaches in the modules with the usage of ARM DSP processors to keep creating quality and unique sounding instruments. That was relatively new approach for the eurorack modular niche in that time. It permitted to pack more functions in a smaller hardware form factor.

In 2016 the company moved to Barcelona, Spain, where they opened their first office / taller in Mallorca 636 str. and registered a new company with legal name Furth Barcelona, S. L. with officially registered trade mark doing business as Endorphin.es ®.

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