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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Thomas Henry designs
simple Sine-only VCO with good tracking needed
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Funky40



Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 875
Location: Swiss
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject: simple Sine-only VCO with good tracking needed
Subject description: any recommendations from the TH designs
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Hi,

I'm looking for a VCO that should be quiet simple.
The main goal would be best tracking, and a acceptable sinus Waveform.
I just need the sinus Waveform and no modulation inputs exept 1V/Okt.
It should act mainly as a _good_ FM modulator, but also as a Bass-subbass voice.

The Goal is to build a simple modul, but with very accurate tracking on 5 Octaves



Is there one Thomas Henry schematic that would be recommended for my needs ?
Or should i go for something more complicated ?
The TH VCO Cook Book is here allready Smile

I thought one of all that thomas Hernry Designes would be perfect, as he goes for simplicty and good tracking. ( so far i understand )
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Tim Servo



Joined: Jul 16, 2006
Posts: 924
Location: Silicon Valley
Audio files: 11

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Re: simple Sine-only VCO with good tracking needed
Subject description: any recommendations from the TH designs
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Funky40 wrote:
Hi,

I'm looking for a VCO that should be quiet simple.
The main goal would be best tracking, and a acceptable sinus Waveform.
I just need the sinus Waveform and no modulation inputs exept 1V/Okt.
It should act mainly as a _good_ FM modulator, but also as a Bass-subbass voice.

The Goal is to build a simple modul, but with very accurate tracking on 5 Octaves

Is there one Thomas Henry schematic that would be recommended for my needs ?
Or should i go for something more complicated ?
The TH VCO Cook Book is here allready Smile

I thought one of all that thomas Hernry Designes would be perfect, as he goes for simplicty and good tracking. ( so far i understand )


Hey Funk,

My best bets for a Thomas Henry sine VCO with decent tracking, I'd go with the XR-2206 VCO (detailed in Thomas' "VCO Chip Cookbook" and "An Analog Synthesizer for the 21st Century"), or the Mankato VCF from Magic Smoke Electronics. PLEASE NOTE: I and half of the Magic Smoke team, so I do have a bit of an interest here.

Advantages of the XR-VCO:
-Other waveforms available (tri/sine/ramp, and square).
-Sync input.
-Linear FM input
-Nifty "skew" waveform mod input.

Advantages of the Mankato VCF:
-Functions as a 1v/oct sine VCO when the resonance is turned all the way up.
-Produces eight sine outputs, each 45 degrees apart. Use two outs for "bounce" panning, or four outs for "in the round" panning.
-VERY wide frequency range, from about 1 minute/cycle to 22kHz.
-Functions as a great sounding VCF, with 6dB, 12dB, 18dB and 24dB outputs.
-Functions as a voltage-controlled glide/slew limiter for control voltages.
-Commercial doble-sided PCB available.

Like I say, I'm part of Magic Smoke so take that into consideration. That being said, I have three Mankati in my setup and have all sorts of fun with them. Also, there have been a fair amount of good reviews for the Mankato. Thomas' XR-VCO is also a great design and has other waveforms available. Finally, Thomas also has a voltage-controlled Quadrature Function Generator design that works great as an LFO, although I haven't heard any reviews of its behavior as an audio oscillator. There are more details and reviews of the XR-VCO, the Mankato, and the VCQFG in other threads here on E-M. I'm sure you'll get some other opinions here, just thought I'd throw my two or three cents worth in here. Wink


Tim (has at least two cents last he checked) Servo
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Thomas Henry



Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 298
Location: Southern Minnesota
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think Tim Servo's appraisal is right on. But don't forget the 8038 VCO as well; I believe Fonik has been dinking with that lately. The sine is very nice, and it's easy to get the desired 5 octaves out of the thing. Contrary to what you might have heard, the 8038 is very useable for electronic music production.

But if sine purity was the number one consideration, then the Mankato unit is probably hard to beat. Then again, my aging ears can't really tell the difference between 1% THD and 0.1% THD in a sine wave, so maybe the point is moot...

Thomas Henry
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Tim Servo



Joined: Jul 16, 2006
Posts: 924
Location: Silicon Valley
Audio files: 11

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: simple Sine-only VCO with good tracking needed
Subject description: 8038 VCO
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Thomas Henry wrote:
I think Tim Servo's appraisal is right on. But don't forget the 8038 VCO as well; I believe Fonik has been dinking with that lately. The sine is very nice, and it's easy to get the desired 5 octaves out of the thing. Contrary to what you might have heard, the 8038 is very useable for electronic music production.

Thomas Henry


D'oh! knew I forgot something. And yes, the 8038 VCO is also detailed in the VCO Chip Cookbook. There's also a link to a PCB layout in another thread here if you want to etch your own PCB.


Tim (Sir Forgetsalot) Servo
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Funky40



Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 875
Location: Swiss
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you Thomas and Tim ( with three Mankati ).

in this case the Goal is to have a simple VCO which should go as the Third one on a multi VCO Panel.
so the Goal is to have it space saving instead of having a full featured one.
i'm sorry for not posting this.

the 2206 is anyway planned to be built, but then with all functions brought to the Face panel.
From the Mankato i have allready two boards waiting ,
and those will also be built with all the Features .

so i'm glad to hear that the 8038 is a good one for my wish.
1. because fonik allready has designed a PCB
2. because i then get another interesting VCO
3. We have a little groupbuy running for the 8038 chips


I had the 8038 VCO in mind wehn posting this.
But i was curious what you recommend, especilally thomas.
again thanks, i will give a try to the 8038.
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