Manis Iteritas Alia#
Gross, gritty, and dark industrial-strength voice on a swappable oscillator platform
"Tastes like paper." - Portrait XO
Manis Iteritas Alia is a 10HP voice based on the architecture of Basimilus Iteritas, but designed to be more gritty and aggressive. It accomplishes this by using only sawtooth waves that are manipulated, modulated, and distorted through a rethought interface. Manis is suitable for leads, bass lines, drums, darkness, detuned madness, or pure mayhem.
Not only is Manis an incredible voice on its own, it’s also part of the Alia oscillator platform. Use the included USB cable to connect to the Customer Portal and swap the firmware to any other Alia firmware, completely free, at any time.
The Alia functions and sounds almost identical to original Manis Iteritas. The Alia adds an envelope output and has a pitch CV range of
-2 V to +5 V; the original has a range of
0V to 8V. The other interface features of the module are the same between Alia and original, and power/calibration instructions for the original Manis Iteritas can be found in the Legacy section.
- Type: Gross, gritty, and dark industrial-strength voice
- Size: 10HP Eurorack
- Depth: 1.5 Inches
- Power: 2x5 Eurorack
- +12 V:
- -12 V:
- 5 V:
Manis - ghosts of the dead - from Latin manis
Iteritas - repetitiousness - from Latin itero "repeat" with suffix -tas "state of being"
Alia - another, other from Latin alia "other"
"Another haunted oscillator, pangolin approved"
To power your Noise Engineering module, turn off your case. Plug one end of your ribbon cable into your power board so that the red stripe on the ribbon cable is aligned to the side that says
-12 V and each pin on the power header is plugged into the connector on the ribbon. Make sure no pins are overhanging the connector! If they are, unplug it and realign.
Line up the red stripe on the ribbon cable so that it matches the white stripe and/or
-12 V indication on the board and plug in the connector.
Screw your module into your case before powering on the module. You risk bumping the module's PCB against something metallic and damaging it if it's not properly secured when powered on.
You should be good to go if you followed these instructions. Now go make some noise!
A final note. Some modules have other headers -- they may have a different number of pins or may say "not power". In general, unless a manual tells you otherwise, do not connect those to power.
- The Pitch encoder knob and CV input adjusts the pitch of the fundamental oscillator. Default is fine mode: steps are sub-perception so Manis is difficult to bump out of tune. Push and turn for coarse adjustment: each step is a semitone. CV input is a
1 V per octavestandard input. The knob sums with the CV input.
- The low-pass filter tracks pitch; fully counterclockwise only very low frequencies pass through. Turn fully clockwise to disable. Manis uses two 2-pole non-resonant filters.
- A simple attack decay (AD) envelope control that shapes the amplitude of the signal. Fully counterclockwise, the signal is a short pop. As the knob is turned clockwise, the decay increases. At about two o'clock the attack time will increase slightly as well. When fully clockwise, the envelope no longer affects the amplitude (free-running mode). In this mode, a trigger in or manual trigger will hard-reset the oscillator.
- Saw Mod
- Sounds similar to PWM or sync mod. The operation performed is \(Frac((2 * s + 1) * x)\) where \(s\) is \(knob + jack\) and \(x\) is the current oscillator amplitude.
- As the Profundity knob is turned clockwise, Manis adds additional, out-of-phase oscillators for a chorus effect and detunes the voice. This is achieved by randomly modulating the sample rate, which results in the perceived pitch becoming blurry.
- A gnarly wave-folder replacement, Smash is a modulus-function wave destroyer. The knob sets the level of destruction.
- Routes the envelope to Smash, Profundity, and LPF. This knob acts as an attenuverter where 12:00 is off, right of center is positive send, left of center is a negative send.
- Selects the synthesis algorithm. See tone generation for more information.
- Skin (left): Six-oscillator additive
- Liquid (middle): Six-oscillator additive with pitch envelope
- Metal (right): Two 3-operator phase-modulated oscillators
- Changes the pitch of the voice. Each switch position offsets the pitch by two octaves.
- Triggers the envelope. The envelope has no Sustain phase, but any sort of gate or trigger will fire the envelope. The Hit button manually activates the envelope.
- The out is a low-impedance audio source. The output varies based on parameters as Manis compensates for loudness.
- Env Out
- An envelope output that mimics the envelope shape of Manis’s internal envelope.
The type of sound Manis Iteritas Alia is known for. Patch your trigger to
Out to your mixer. Patch a pitch CV sequence to
Pitch. Sounds great tuned low or high. Add some modulation for noisy, aggressive fun.
A simple, subby bass. Always a good thing to have. Patch your trigger to
Out to your mixer. Patch a pitch CV sequence to
Interesting leads can be hard to come by. MI has you covered! Patch your trigger to
Out to your mixer. Patch a pitch CV sequence to
For extra fun, patch another trigger pattern to
Env to create accents!
MI can do interesting percussion too! Patch your trigger to
Out to your mixer. Best for industrial patches.
At first glance Manis is very similar to the Basimilus. In Skin and Liquid mode there are six oscillator/envelope pairs that are added together. In Metal mode there are phase modulated oscillator/envelope chains. Metal mode differs in Manis by having two sets of three sequentially modulated oscillators rather that one set of six. Metal mode also waveshapes the output of the oscillators by summing two sawtooths of the same frequency to give a waveform somewhere between a sawtooth and a square.
Input and output voltages#
Alia’s trigger input has a threshold around
Its modulation CV inputs have a range of
0 V to +5 V.
Its pitch CV input has a range of
-2 V to +5 V.
The envelope output has a range of
0 V to +5 V.
The audio output varies depending on settings, and can reach a maximum of about
14 V peak to peak.
Alia features an autocalibration system. The modules are autocalibrated and tested at the factory, but should you feel you need to recalibrate, just power the unit on with nothing patched to the Pitch CV input. The module will calibrate itself during startup.
Variable sample rate#
Manis uses a sample rate that is a multiple of the fundamental (lowest) oscillator frequency. This moves alias power that is a multiple of the fundamental to be mapped to a multiple of this tone, therefore making the aliasing align with the harmonics of the tone. This works well for settings with a strong harmonic structure (spread fully clockwise or fully counterclockwise) and adds unique aliasing character for other tones.
Genesis & design notes#
Manis Iteritas came of a suggestion by two friends of Noise Engineering: Matt Lange and Anthony Baldino. The original idea was for an alternate firmware for the original Basimilus Iteritas that would be unapologetically aggressive. This sounded like a fun idea and a couple days after our first chat we had enough ideas to give it a try. The first changes were simple. Move to saw tooth only, make the fold into something far more harsh, allow routing of the amplitude envelope to the tone parameters, and sample-rate modulation for a detuned sound. Another early add-on was a second distortion-like thing that would eventually become sawmod. We flashed Matt's Basimilus and gave it a spin.
This version met goal of being aggressive but lacked a lot of subtlety. Anthony made the suggestion that a filter might be a good addition to help tame the sound. We weren't convinced, but once Stephen worked through the technical details, he was was able to implement our first variable sample-rate filter.
We knew we were closer, but we weren't there yet, and so we spent considerable time working on expanding the tone space to have more variety of sounds that were more easily controlled from the knobs. The addition of the AD envelope was great fun, and based on NE user feedback, we tested out the option of removing the envelope from the amplitude. That was one of the last features we developed, but we were pretty happy with the sound (shout out to Patrik Andersson).
Many years after its original release, the processor used on the Manis Iteritas was discontinued. Manis was faithfullly recreated and brought back to life on the new Alia platform, with an added envelope output, redesigned art, and the ability to swap firmware. Most importantly, there's a cool little buzzsaw on the panel now.
No pangolins were harmed in the creation of this module.
Manis is Latin for ghosts of the dead, which is a pretty good descriptor for the sounds we get out of that beast... but it is also part of the scientific name for a critically endangered scaly mammal from Asia called a pangolin. Pangolins are threatened by wildlife poachers and traffickers. We decided this was an easy connection for us to make in our quest to support science and conservation.
Noise Engineering is proud to be a founding business partner with Save Pangolins, a globally recognized pangolin conservation organization. We've committed to donate a portion of the proceeds from every Manis Iteritas sold to pangolin conservation. That means you can pat yourself on the back for buying a Manis, knowing you're doing some good in the world! Want to know more about what you can do? Check out the Save Pangolins website: savepangolins.org.
We will repair or replace (at our discretion) any product that we manufactured as long as we are in business and are able to get the parts to do so. We aim to support modules that have been discontinued for as long as possible. This warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear, including art/panel wear, or any products that have been modified, abused, or misused. Our warranty is limited to manufacturing defects.
Warranty repairs/replacements are free. Repairs due to user modification or other damage are charged at an affordable rate. Customers are responsible for the cost of shipping to Noise Engineering for repair.
All returns must be coordinated through Noise Engineering; returns without a Return Authorization will be refused and returned to sender.
Please contact us if you think one of your modules needs a repair.
- Matt Lange
- Anthony Baldino
- Patrik Andersson
- Patrick O'Brien
- William Mathewson
- Mickey Bakas
- Tyler Thompson
- Alex Anderson
- Manis logo created by Cynthia Hitchcock
The information in this section only applies to the original Manis Iteritas hardware, not the Alia.
Manis Iteritas comes pre-calibrated and should not need adjustment. If the trimpot gets bumped and needs adjustment, follow this procedure to calibrate your module. Pitch calibration is controlled by an linear resistor-divider network. To calibrate the tuning, attach a voltmeter (preferably 4 or more digit) to the test points
TPGND on the rear panel and adjust the trim pot.
The voltage measured should be
.3125) times the input voltage applied to the CV input. A reasonable way to tune the scale is to use an adjustable voltage source to generate
4 V then adjust the tuning trim until the test points read
1.2500 V. Manis Iteritas can also be tuned using a reference supply capable of generating a
1 V difference and using a stroboscope such as the Peterson 490 to tune to an octave interval. This is method is preferred to the meter-only method.
can run its processor on the
5 volt eurorack power rail to reduce noise and load on the
12 volt bus. Gently push the switch tab in the direction of the desired rail to use.