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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
Polivoks Filter
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A E J O T Z



Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 411
Location: Griffith, Indiana, USA
Audio files: 148

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Polivoks Filter Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On 6-15-17 I ordered one of the new Polivoks filter modules made by Elta. I bought it for $199.00 w/ free shipping from Perfect Circuit Audio in California. I haven't received it yet but providing it sounds good (it should. it uses the Poivoks chip) it's probably the best Polivoks filter module so far, boasting 4 filter modes (the original Polivoks only has 2), cutoff control by knob, CV or expression pedal, and an onboard noise generator with a level control. All connections are 1/4" and power is 9-15V AC or any polarity DC (internal full-wave bridge rectifier! cool!).

Why do I tell you now, when my unit hasn't even arrived yet? Because Perfect Circuit Audio just put the unit on sale for $169.15, PLUS they're offering a 10% fathers day discount. And you want a Polivoks filter, don't you?

If you answered "no" or "what's a Polivoks," you have homework to do. In brief, the Polivoks was a pretty conventional Moog imitation, until they got to the filter. The Polivoks filter is very very nasty, in the best way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polivoks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWwSf-HCSko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeawPUpTHJA

https://www.perfectcircuitaudio.com/elta-music-polivoks-filter.html

If you buy one of these rascals, tell 'em AEJOTZ sent you.
You can thank me later.

-------------

I'll post a full review after I test mine.
The original Polivoks signal path never sent its filter the kind of weirdness I have planned for it.
A fully harmonically thickened Microbrute sound plus sub-osc?
Those wacky CZ-101 digital waveforms that aren't found in nature?
Fun!

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Antimon



Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 4053
Location: Sweden
Audio files: 341
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh dear, look what you just made me do. Shocked

Oh well, I'm sure I'm getting a nice filter. Very Happy

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A E J O T Z



Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 411
Location: Griffith, Indiana, USA
Audio files: 148

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's my understanding that the Polivoks filter plays nice until you overdrive the audio input.
Then it creates a rift in the space-time continuum and lets the giant soviet space robots into our dimension.

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AEJOTZ is pronounced "A-Jotz"
retro-futurism now
electronics = magic
free albums at http://aejotz.bandcamp.com
listen to genre-defying synthetic music at http://sat-5.com
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varice



Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 898
Location: Northeastern shore of Toledo Bend
Audio files: 29
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the heads up about this filter being on sale. I ordered one on Sunday and got it in my mailbox today Exclamation That was quick, I selected free shipping and didn’t expect delivery so soon…

I’m going to use it as an external analog filter with my Nord Modular virtual analog digital synths. I have been using a moogerfooger low pass filter this way to great effect for a while now.

My first impression about this Elta Polivoks filter after testing for a short while: I LIKE IT Exclamation It can sound “normal” when you do not push the input volume much or set the resonance high. But if you do, it can start to distort in a nice crunchy way… and the more you push it, the more buzzy distortion it makes. And of course, high resonance settings will cause it to scream like a banshee! It does not sound like any of the filters in the Nord Modulars, which is exactly what I wanted. It is a unique addition to the filter sound pallet for sculpting my digital modular patches.

-------------------------------------
Some minor complaints:

I noticed that the cutoff freq control knob seems to be way too sensitive. It sweeps the filter from subsonic at full minimum to ultrasonic at about the 10 o’clock position, leaving well over half of the knob settings not having any effect. Fortunately for me, it responds much better to the freq cutoff CV I send from the Nord Modular.

Elta Music does not include a power supply… I’m using my moogerfooger supply for the time being…

The user manual is VERY sparse and does not give any specifications about I/O signal levels.
-------------------------------

Well, I'm off to do some more testing and experimenting...

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A E J O T Z



Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 411
Location: Griffith, Indiana, USA
Audio files: 148

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

O M G !!!

My unit arrived today. I plugged it into the Microbrute and proceeded to underwhelm myself with the filter's failure to be several magnitudes more raunchy than the Steiner-Parker.

After a break I re-approached the filter with more patience and less unreasonable expectations. With a little work the magic started to happen. Still, it wasn't magnitudes raunchier than the Steiner-Parker.

But then I did something life changing. I ran the CZ-101 through the Polivoks filter. All kinds of weird harmonics came out of nowhere. I tried patch after patch and each time it sounded like the CZ had been waiting for a Polivoks filter all its life.

I have run the CZ through the filters of the Microbrute, Werkstatt and Microkorg but none sounded nearly as rich as the Polivoks. Apparently, the Polivoks filter works best with very alien waveforms, like those in the CZ.

My only gripe is that connecting the expression pedal completely bypasses the cutoff knob, so I can't adjust where in the pedal's travel the cutoff occurs.

_________________
AEJOTZ is pronounced "A-Jotz"
retro-futurism now
electronics = magic
free albums at http://aejotz.bandcamp.com
listen to genre-defying synthetic music at http://sat-5.com
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3992
Location: England
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
Oh dear, look what you just made me do. Shocked

Oh well, I'm sure I'm getting a nice filter. Very Happy


Hi Stefan,

Did you order one in Europe somewhere or from the States?

Cheers

Andy
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Antimon



Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 4053
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
Antimon wrote:
Oh dear, look what you just made me do. Shocked

Oh well, I'm sure I'm getting a nice filter. Very Happy


Hi Stefan,

Did you order one in Europe somewhere or from the States?

Cheers

Andy


Hey Andy

I took it from the link A E J O T Z posted above. Pricey with the import fee I know...

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ah Ok, let me know if it's worth it when you get it.
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Messed around with it a bit yesterday, it is a curious filter. Smile It really is like there is an on/off switch on the gain knob somewhere around 8-9, where it starts freaking out and sounding distorted in a sharp but nice way. I ran it through a compressor, as I thought it was a bit too dynamic - I wanted to alternate between high and crazy high gain. I got various nice tones on different settings on all the knobs - it has a large palette I think.

It's always hard to say what's priceworthy or not... with import fees and tax this cost me more than I would normally pay for a filter, but I will definitely find it useful in various situations and then it's worth money to me.

Also one reason for the deducted price is probably that there's a new version out soon.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A E J O T Z wrote:
O M G !!!

My unit arrived today. I plugged it into the Microbrute and proceeded to underwhelm myself with the filter's failure to be several magnitudes more raunchy than the Steiner-Parker.

After a break I re-approached the filter with more patience and less unreasonable expectations. With a little work the magic started to happen. Still, it wasn't magnitudes raunchier than the Steiner-Parker.

But then I did something life changing. I ran the CZ-101 through the Polivoks filter. All kinds of weird harmonics came out of nowhere. I tried patch after patch and each time it sounded like the CZ had been waiting for a Polivoks filter all its life.

I have run the CZ through the filters of the Microbrute, Werkstatt and Microkorg but none sounded nearly as rich as the Polivoks. Apparently, the Polivoks filter works best with very alien waveforms, like those in the CZ.

My only gripe is that connecting the expression pedal completely bypasses the cutoff knob, so I can't adjust where in the pedal's travel the cutoff occurs.


Any compositions come out of this CZ+Polivoks union? It would be interesting to hear! Smile

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Posted a recording of yesterday's fiddling here:

http://electro-music.com/forum/post-429245.html#429245

The Polivoks runs a sharp sequence with a slight pause at the end for the first half, then I change to another sequence. It sticks out. Smile

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had a quick zip through the audio and I think it sounds pretty nice, definitely a bit different.

I'll give it a proper listen to tomorrow when I'm working.
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