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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Metasonix
Wretch Machine - Waveshaper Problem
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REwire



Joined: Dec 06, 2006
Posts: 56
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Wretch Machine - Waveshaper Problem
Subject description: Waveshaper not seeming to work right
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I've been using my Wretch for a few days (a Midi Model) and one thing concerns me:

In the Waveshaper section, if I turn the switch to "Bypass," the sound cuts out, as if the OSC's are no longer going to the filter. It works, though I can't hear much difference, in "Flat" and "Flat + pulse" Mode.

Something seems wrong here. That should not be happening and I feel the waveshaper should be doing something intense. Could my unit be broken?

Dan

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REwire



Joined: Dec 06, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, Eric confirmed it's broken.
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Mohoyoho



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's too bad. It looks like such an original retro-innovative device. Hopefully it will be repaired in short time.
By the way, why is your EB Voyager not in service?

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REwire



Joined: Dec 06, 2006
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Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

New info. I don't know if Broken is the operative word here. I compared mine to another and they are different. Here's what I found:

I had assumed no sound was getting through in Bypass mode but it does, just at real low levels. There's a humongous level difference between Bypass and Flat that I kept the volume down. The new one operates at a lower overall level and the levels between Bypass and Flat are nominal. What that means is you have to keep the volume down on the old one or else you will blow out speakers when you go to Flat or Pulse. The new one needs to be turned up louder to hear it in bypass mode but does not blow out when switched to Flat, so it's more useable. Now I wouldn't say the old one is broken, it just is set way off and maybe needs adjustment. I also heard a third one that was on demo and that one was a mess of hum and noise (beyond what is wanted).

What this goes to show is that there are extreme differences in these tubes that change levels and tolerances. Luckily, I found the second one acceptable and kept it.

BTW, my Voyager is now back on rack as I sold my Matrix-12. I'm still not a big fan of the Voyager.

Dan

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thermionicjunky



Joined: Dec 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you have the means , you can compensate for this volume discrepancy by mixing the oscillators externally and manually patching the signal either into the waveshaper or the filter {or the vca}. It's only marginally more time-consuming than turning the knob ... and it encourages interfacing with modular equipment. Also, the waveshaper's behaviour is very much dependant on the vco level , waveshape and range. The TS-21 and TM-1 have an input stage vca because of this characteristic. This is yet another reason to interface with external equipment. I hope this helps.
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cx47



Joined: Oct 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:50 am    Post subject: Same problem with Waveshaper? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just got my S-1000 (MIDI, too) and I have the same problem with the Waveshaper: when I bypass the Waveshaper I get continuous noise which is not effected by the VCO setting; and I cannot hear any difference between the Flat and Flat+pulse. I tried to modify the Waveshaper via external LFO as well but I couldn't. You would consider it broken? What would be the appropriate test?
I also get more dramatic LFO modulation when I patch the LFO out to let's say Filter CV in than if I use the modulation bus. Is it normal?
Anyway, it is a great instrument. I have sold one of my Voyager signature edition to finance it.....
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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I never use the bypass. Using patchcords should drastically improve this problem. Also , where is the pulser tune knob when you switch the effect in? I keep mine hard right and turn it counter-clockwise to induce the effect.
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REwire



Joined: Dec 06, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Did you turn the VCO's levels off and take the resonance below 50% on the filter? In Bypass, there should be a clean signal getting through and when you turn to Flat, the level should shoot up a number of Db. Are you saying that noise only is introduced in Bypass mode but goes away in Flat or Flat + Pulse? See if you can isolate and test the various parts of the system and see where this noise is coming from. Any noise going through Bypass mode should be in the others as well. Maybe you aren't noticing it with all the other racket.

Interestingly about the waveshaper: the manual even says this is the most unpredictable part of the Wretch and that seems to be true as every one I've heard had different characteristics.

I'd say every single Wretch will be different and you just gotta roll with the weirdness, that's why we got it.

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cx47



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, I tested it. In Bypass the signal goes through cleanly. When I switch to Flat I got the effect (much louder signal, which is normal). I cannot hear any difference if I switch it to Flat+Pulser. The Pulser tune knob has no effect on the sound whatsoever. If I add LFO to the mod bus (LFO to B; B to Pulser) I hear no modulation (If I add the same to pitch it is quite obvious). If I add external LFO has no effect either. Does it mean that the Pulser is not functioning? The other parts are fine and I have a lot of fun with the Wretch thus the last thing I whish to do is to send back.
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REwire



Joined: Dec 06, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you turn off the Osc volume and just have the "Flat + Pulser" switch on you should hear a buzzy low level square wave alone. I tried and tried and could get no modulation on it using the Mod Bus but could get LFO if I patched it directly. Eric said that the CV input on the Pulser needs a strong signal to get it to move that the Mod Bus does not provide. I asked if it could also be pitched at the same Hz/volt as the Oscs and that's not gonna happen either. It's just a buzzy effect you can choose to have in there or not. I noticed it varies in volume between different units.

Dan

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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I can't stress enough that metasonix users should have some kind of dc amplifier. Increasing cv levels by 50 to 100% can open up a new world. But it sounds like you may have a bad tube if you can't hear any difference. As for the noise ... I'll say it again ... patching the vco signal where you need it will improve the signal to noise ratio.
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cx47



Joined: Oct 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

REwire wrote:
If you turn off the Osc volume and just have the "Flat + Pulser" switch on you should hear a buzzy low level square wave alone.

Dan



I tried but I got no sound. I guess there is something wrong with the waveshaper, but of course I will ask Eric.
I patched the Pulser directly without success.
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REwire



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You can't actually patch the Pulser anywhere, it has no output. Also, run up the volume of the resonance while it is on and twist the pulser knob up and down to see if it comes through and change it's pitch then.

But......I wouldn't sweat it if that Pulser sound doesn't come through. First off, it's just a low buzzy sound. Second, it's pitch is not really CV controllable so I can't see any reason to have it in there. It would be better if it tracked long with the Oscs or was an FM source to the Oscs but it's lack of output either can't patch it around.

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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Listening to the self-oscillation of the pulser tube alone without driving it with the oscillators doesn't really give a clear indication of the effect produced. The pulser attempts to sync to the oscillator pitch. At certain settings , depending on pitch , waveshape and volume it will sync at unison , sub-octave or in more chaotic ways[particularly with oscillators unsynced]. If it won't do this while passing a signal , then it is not functional. I believe that the cv input controls feedback in the circuit. If it was a stable oscillator, it wouldn't produce the effect that it was designed to produce. When functional , it responds best to a dynamically varied input. Audio signals to the cv input can also produce great results. But these effects are never automatic. Where you find the greatest variation from unit to unit and tube to tube is at which point in the knob rotation [combined with a particular cv range] the most vivid waveform modifications occur. Using the pulser and squarer cv inputs satisfactorily may require a dc amplifier.

Eric is very good about supporting his products. If you don't wish to send the unit back , try a replacement tube. These particular tubes , like the thyratrons , seem to vary a great deal. But considering that these units were surely tested before shipment , there may have been some kind of damage. I had a broken resistor in my tm-3 that was screwing up one of the oscillators. Eric fixed it in a blink of the eye.
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cx47



Joined: Oct 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks guys for the help. I am out of my studio for a month but when I return I will re-check it.
I know that Eric is very good at supporting his products, he helped me already in the past. I hope it is only a bad tube (altough it is warm to the touch) thus I can fix it myself. We will see.
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