Guillotine Manual

n.f. \gijɔtin\
“I personally – and I say so quite openly – am not against the guillotine.”


Always turn your eurorack case off before plugging or unplugging a module.

Do not touch any electrical terminals when attaching any Eurorack bus board cable.

Ritual Electronics Guillotine requires:

  • 26 mA +12V
  • 26 mA -12V
  • 0 mA 5V

You will need 14HP of free space in your Eurorack case to install Guillotine. As it’s a 1U module, you will need 1U rack space, either Intellijel format or Pulplogic format. Please refer to either manufacturer website for complete specifications on their respective format.

As the 1U series does not have a shrouded header, all the modules will be follow the RED STRIPE DOWN norm. Just align the red stripe on your power cable to the line on the module with RED written next to it. Connect the other end of the cable to the bus board connector of your case.


Guillotine is a true stereo hard clipping distortion in 1U format. Its insane amount of gain can also be used as an instrument adaptor (guitars, basses, microphones…) as it can bring line and mic levels to modular levels. Don’t expect it to be clean though…

Guillotine is two channels of hard clipping distortion with up to 25dB gain. If you process mono signals you can self patch the module to chain the two channels for 50dB gain. Insane amount of gain guaranteed.

Guillotine has an internal feedback routing allowing for two distortion colors per channel. The result is similar to a low pass filter, but not quite. The lower position gives emphasis on the low end, the middle position is straight up distortion, with no coloration & the higher position emphasizes on the high frequency content.


  • Gain knob up to +25dB
  • 3-position color switch for left and right channels

Technical characteristics

  • True stereo hard clipping distortion
  • Two internal routings for more distortion colors


  • 35 mm deep
  • 14HP large
  • 1U


A – In L / In R
If you patch a mono signal in In L it will be replicated to In R.
If you patch a cable in In R the connection will be broken for true stereo use or for serial use.

B – Out L / Out R
Both outputs are independent for true stereo.

C – Gain knob
Fully CCW the module is silent. Fully CW you go to +25dB of gain.

D – Color switches
Upper: emphasis on high freq
Middle: neutral
Lower: emphasis on low freq
The left switch is for the left channel, the right one is for the right channel.


High frequency emphasis

High frequency empasis brings a resonant peak which moves down in frequency as the gain increases. The frequency above the peak are slightly raised.


Neutral position has no emphasis. Think of your regular distortion with no tone control.

Low frequency emphasis

Low frequency emphasis gives your sound a slightly resonant bump and lower the frequencies above the bump. The bump moves down as the gain increases.

All the above illustrations were drawn using white noise from our own Krach module and Guillotine set at 25% gain.


Guillotine can be self patched in series when used with a mono input.

By reinjecting the left output in the right input you double the amount of gain (you get close to +50dB of gain) and double the tone control too.

When used in serial mode certain color combinations at low gain setting can self oscillate! 

External modules can be inserted betwenn Out L and In R for more processing in between the two distortion stages.

Out R can also be sent to In L for feedback patching… Try insering effects in there too. Play with colors. A world of weird sounds will arise!

Patch Ideas

Patch #1 – CV control!

Guillotine input is very sensitive to input levels.
As you turn the input down, Guillotine will distort less.
This means you can get pseudo voltage control over the gain of the distortion by patching a VCA between your signal and Guillotine.

Patch notes

Whatever, audio out ———— VCA In
VCA, VCA out ———— Guillotine I
VCA, VCA CV ———— LFO / Enveloppe

Of course, use two VCAs and one or more CV source for stereo gain control.

Patch #2 – Saturated channel / Distortion channel

We can take advantage of the serial Guillotine configuration trick to create a switchable gain / more gain distortion, reminiscent of the “rythm / lead” switch on certain guitar amps.
Pair Guillotine with Pointeuse, our 1U switch module to do so.
Pair Guillotine & Pointeuse with a footswitch and pretend you have an expensive amp.

Patch notes

Whatever, audio out ———— Guillotine, L In
Guillotine, L Out ———— Pointeuse, Out/In I
Guillotine, L Out ———— Guillotine, R In
Guillotine, R Out ———— Pointeuse, Out/In II
Pointeuse, In/Out ———— Audio out

Patch #3 – No input

Use Guillotine as a feedback hub.
With two stackcables or a multiple you can even have a stereo feedback patch in no time.
Insert your favorite effects in between the ins and outs.
We prefer analog effects to minimize the risk of unwanted digital clipping (it will happen) – but I’m sure some of you psychos might like that.

Patch notes

Guillotine, Out L ———— Filter, In
Filter, out ———— Guillotine, In R
Guillotine, Out R ———— Delay, In
Delay, Out ———— Guillotine, In L

Turn the knobs frantically & flip those switches!

Patch #4 – 220V synth

That’s a simple trick which will work with all distortions. Miasma users, keep an eye open.
Oscillators tend to sound a bit dull in a distortion, compared to a guitar let’s say. But if you add a generous dose of white  noise before the saturation, you will have a somehow electric sound, breaking the monotony of the ever repeating waveform of your oscillator. 

Patch notes

Oscillator, Saw out ———— Mixer, Ch. 1 In
Noise, White out ———— Mixer, Ch. 2 In
Mixer, Out ———— Guillotine, In L

Try using colored noise instead of white for 110V synths 

Patch #5 – Sub audio distortion

If you are into experimentation, try using Guillotine to distort LFOs, enveloppes, and other control signals. It does work.
If you’re using the left side of Guillotine to process the CV why not use its right side to process the related audio ?
This way you can achieve drastic changes at the turn of a knob.

Patch notes

LFO, sine out 1 ———— Guillotine, In L
Guillotine, Out L ———— VCA, CV in
Guillotine, Out L ———— Filter, CV in
VCA, Audio Out ———— Guillotine, In R


Thank you for purchasing Ritual Electronics Guillotine.
Your module has been assembled with care in Marseille, France.

You can find your module on Modulargrid:

For any remarks and informations, contact us at:

For video demos and patch ideas check:

Limited Warranty

Ritual Electronics warrants this product to be free of defects in materials
or construction for a period of one year from the date of purchase.
Malfunction resulting from wrong power supply voltages, backwards
or reversed eurorack bus board cable connection, abuse of the product
or any other causes determined by Ritual Electronics to be the fault of the
user are not covered by this warranty, and normal service rates will apply.
During the warranty period, any defective products will be repaired
or replaced, at the option of Ritual Electronics, on a return-to-Ritual
Electronics basis with the customer paying the transit cost to Ritual
Electronics. The return of your module is on us.
Ritual Electronics implies and accepts no responsibility for harm to person
or apparatus caused through operation of this product.