The RF Nomad, from Evaton Technologies, is a voltage-controlled sideband shortwave receiver for Eurorack modular synthesizer systems. Unlike other shortwave receivers, the RF Nomad has been designed with exemplary noise in mind. While many shortwave receivers are inherently noisy, this model kicks it up a notch, pushing the boundaries of all things squelchy, grimy, and nasty. This is due in part to the module’s lack of output filtering, a decision that ensures the availability of an abundant supply of harmonic content. Consequently, input audio can be pushed beyond the brink into full-blown distortion. Add in CV capabilities and its easy to understand why the RF Nomad is a sound designer’s dream.
While all this is certainly desirable, the thing that really sets the RF Nomad apart from the competition is its remotely controllable tuning. Apply an LFO or envelope to the corresponding input and achieve sonics that would simply not be possible with solely manual control.
RF Nomad Features
The RF Gain knob is used to attenuate the incoming RF signal prior to the RF decoder. Turn it clockwise if the incoming signal is weak. Turn it counterclockwise if the incoming signal is overloading the RF input.
The Tuning knob sets the base tuning of the module. It works just like the tuning knob on a radio.
The CV Amount knob controls the amount by which the CV Input affects the base tuning. Turn clockwise to allow the CV Input to affect tuning more.
The Audio Gain knob sets the gain of the output amplifier, after the radio decoder circuit. It is possible to go into overdrive (distortion) with this knob,which may be a desirable effect.
If no RF signal is present, the RF Nomad can also be used as a sort of noise generator. Just turn up the RF Gain and Audio Gain knobs until noise is heard on the output!
If desired, an alternate (i.e. more sensitive) antenna can be connected to the Antenna input of the RF Nomad. This can be as simple as a very long insulated wire (several feet) soldered to the center conductor of a standard RCA jack.