Jam Jam: so good we named it twice
Last week, we released two new modules. They’re a pair of unique utilities, and they’re shipping now. Today, we’ll be chatting about Jam Jam, a four-channel trigger, gate, and clock processor. Next week, we’ll be chatting about Quantus Trajecta, a polyphonic envelope generator. I’m quite excited about Jam Jam, personally: Clock Phase mode in particular was a gamechanger for my patches. In this post we’ll be going over the three modes, chatting about features, and showing off a few interesting patches along the way.
Add probability to a gate or trigger sequence
Or, randomification: it’s a technical term
One of the most fun ways to mix up a patch is with probability. Jam Jam can process any gate or trigger signal and change the probability that each gate passes through, and it can do that to four signals with different probability amounts per channel.
And since the probability can also be adjusted with CV, you can do things like change the likelihood that a note will fire based on what measure of a song you’re in using a clock divider or a sequencer. Or, you can use a controller like Lapsus Os to adjust probability manually. I like doing this since it can act like a mute switch at the bottom and top position, but there’s space in between where notes start to get cut out.
Clock Phase: getting things out of sync
Jam Jam’s clock phase mode is probably its most unique: it takes in clock signals and adjusts their timing based on the input period. The clock that’s output is the same BPM, but it will have different timing than the input – and you can change that timing with CV.
Clock phase mode is different from a simple pulse delay since the phase adjustment is relative to the clock period: if the incoming clock slows down or speeds up, the outgoing clock will be off the grid the exact same amount relative to the incoming clock period.
That’s a whole lot of words to say that you can use CV to take a sequence out of sync, and then bring it back in. It’s a great way to add swing and off-grid flair to a sequence (or four).
Gate and trigger delay
Gate and trigger delays are an unusual but useful utility in modular. Long delays can be used for creative things like creating strummed chords or simulating echos, and short delays are useful for fixing timing issues in a patch. And Jam Jam can do both, with delays from .05 milliseconds to 15 seconds! Here’s a patch showing off delay mode to sequence a few different voices from a single trigger source.
A brief history of Jam
We love to hear from people about how they use our products and how they use things, what they think is missing, questions about modular, you name it.
So when JJ Abrams emailed us about how he might do clock drifting, our interest was piqued. Kris asked an absurd number of questions and consulted with the whole team; what JJ was looking for didn’t seem to exist. We got to work and had a schematic in a couple of days.
This was, however, in the depths of the pandemic as parts shortages were just starting to ravage the industry. We had, at that point, three CPUs that new products were designed around, and two of them dried up. We had a handful of the one that this product was based on, but we had also released Fractio Solum at the exact time we were having this conversation, so they were spoken for. We also had about five other products slated for release in 2021 on that same processor. So we twiddled our thumbs and made lead-time buys on parts that were over a year. And then canceled some of the modules as others beat us to cool ideas and we didn’t think we had anything interesting to add. And waited.
When our manufacturer let us know that the processors were finally heading our way, we were thrilled. Our first order of business was to put Jam Jam into production. We were thinking about only Quantus Trajecta for this launch, but since JJ had been ready for so long, we made it happen.
JJ is of course named in honor of its ideological progenitor, but also in honor of just how much fun we had jamming out with it while we were making it. How much fun is it? It’s so fun you’ll Jam Jam. Okay okay, it’s early as we write, but seriously, JJ is a blast.
Get your jam on
Jam Jam (and Quantus Trajecta) are shipping now, so order yours today from our webshop or pick one up from your favorite retailer!