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TOPOGRAF is a drum sequencer with three tracks, that works with a "topographic" principle; it contains a number of drum patterns arranged in a "virtual map"; and with two knobs MAP X and MAP Y you can set a position in this map. With one knob per channel the density is defined; and a CHAOS knob brings some randomness into the whole process. All in all a few knobs for a lot of drum patterns you probably wouldn't make this way by yourself - a nice source of inspiration and alo great for playing live.

TOPOGRAF is the AE modular version of the Grids module by Mutable Instruments. It is 100% identical to Grids. The user manual for that module can be found here.

Module power consumption: 20 mA




Detailed explanations of the various controls are given in this video.

Advanced Settings and Modes

The Topograf has the exact same program as MI Grids and the manual for Grids (see above) can be used. However here is a detailed explanation of the different advanced settings and modes.

Changing the clock resolution

You can change the clock resolution on the Topograf like this:

  • unplug all CV and hold the TAP (RESET) button for a second to put the Topograph into advanced settings mode
  • the FILL1 knob changes the clock resolution which you can as a pattern on the 3 LEDs
  • 4ppqn = first LED is on
  • 8ppqn = second LED is on
  • 24ppqn = third LED is on
  • Turn the FILL1 knob to select the resolution you want
  • Hold the TAP (RESET) button again for a second to save the settings

You can experiment with 4 or 8 ppqn, but 24 ppqn is usually only useful if you wan to clock the TOPOGRAPH directly from the MIDI bus.

The following video explains the advanced configuration options.

Patch Suggestions

Gaetan from the forum suggests:

Example for a bass line

  • Trigger the envelope generator of your voice with the topograph's kick
  • Patch the same kick trigger to your SEQ16 clock
  • Patch the SEQ16 to control the pitch of your bass line

Now, every time topograph sends a kick, your sequence will advance one step.

More fun

  • AND together the kick and snare, and use them to trigger your voice's EG
  • Use the hihat to clock the SEQ16

You're going to have some pretty groovy bass lines with that

Or for a melody

  • Clock your SEQ16 with a regular clock, and send the output to a Sample & Hold
  • AND the HH and the kick, and use it to trigger both your voice's EG and the S&H
  • Use the output of the S&H as you voice's pitch

You'll have a stable melody that will skip steps according to the state of the Topograf


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This manual is a community work in progress. If you would like to help out with completing this manual please send a PM to @admin at the AE Modular Forum. The status of each page can be seen on the Trello board at

Page last modified on June 24, 2020, at 01:49 PM
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