It makes perfect sense that the latest must-have module from Rossum Electro Music would be a sampler. Founder Dave Rossum and knows a thing or two about samplers: He started E-mu systems in 1971 in Santa Cruz, California, with longtime collaborator Marco Alpert (more recently of Auto-Tune fame) joining soon thereafter. Long before the company made the machines that became synonymous with sampling, it built a premium microprocessor-controlled (but analog) modular system as well as the unicorn known as the Audity, which was commissioned by Tangerine Dream for the then kingly sum of $70,000.
Those talents find expression in the Assimil8or Eurorack sampler, which features eight independent channels of multi-timbral sampling; extensive CV control of parameters such as level, bit depth, phase modulation, pan, scrubbing through the waveform (!), start time and length, looping, and much more. Samples can be loaded from a Micro-SD card, and of course you can roll your own. Used to resample other parts of your modular synth in real time, it could act as a mega-looper on enough steroids to disqualify the entire Tour de France. I could go on, but I was lucky to have the man himself on camera to explain it himself. Price: US$899.
Dave goes on to show all the modules in his current lineup, including the Morpheus Z-plane filter, which is actually multiple complex filters visualized as being at the corners of a cube. Moving a "puck" around inside the cube morphs between the filters, allowing frequency transforms so complex they're tantamount to a method of synthesis in themselves. Then there's the Control Forge event generator, its Satellite adjuncts, and the ever-popular Evolution, Rossum Electro's first module based on Dave's improvements upon the Moog-style ladder filter.
But it was clearly the new sampler that was the star of this NAMM show. Resistance is futile. You will be Assimil8ed! (Actually resistance is essential to synthesis, not to mention capacitance, and I'd better stop with the puns now.)