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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » NM Classic (NM1 or G1)
Tips for nailing the Mini Ladder Filter?
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Tusker



Joined: Feb 03, 2005
Posts: 110
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

tim wrote:
So, maybe, cascading 6dB filter modules with shapers inbetween might be something to try out.


Wow, most of the math went over my head. But I will try the 6 dB modules. Maybe quanity and arrangement of shapers will provide that 3D sound I am looking for. Thank you.

tim wrote:
For me, it's ultimately a moral choice. Do we accept the copy as equal to the original? Sure, one can argue that "it's only a tool" and hence it doesn't matter. But where do you draw the line? If someone manages to pefectly replicate a Stradivari violin, is it as good as the real one? Think about it. --Sorry for the OT, I got carried away, but I think about this kind of thing very often.)


Like you, I enjoy the sonic attributes of both analog. I do enjoy some digital timbres, but am enthralled by analog. I find myself patching digital machines to sound analog. Laughing

I am amoral when thinking about copies versus the original instrument. This is how I address the morality argument. All sounds carry intrinsic meaning and referential meaning (my terms). The referential meaning is more primal and evocations of human noises appear to trigger the most synaptic response. Therefore if I take a "wah" for example. What matters most is not whether it is created on an analog synth, a digital synth, a guitar with a wah pedal, or a trumpet. What matters is the emotional connection it makes with the audience. However, good intrinsic sound quality is an aspiration for most musicians. So when I find a sound that has good intrinsic properties (e.g. the minimoog filter) I like to explore what makes it intrinsically desirable. It may be faster to simply use a true mini filter, but it will certainly be more expensive, because after the mini filter, I may "want" something else.

If there is "a real thing" it's the human voice, which has eons of coding to give it intrinsic value. There also other "natural" sounds with high intrinsic meaning. Musical instruments reference these sounds, like the thunder of timpani. Over time, they develop their own intrinsic value, as the electric guitar has done. I have no qualms about creating a strad electronically. However, it seems practically impossible. I do enjoy creating synth sounds that caress the listener with vibrato the same way an artful violinist might. After all one factor which made the solo violin so evocative was it's ability to "sing".

<shrug>

So I am amoral and pragmatic about sound. I realize that puts me squarely in the post-modern camp. Art aware of it's artifice and all that. There are other things that I am moralistic about. Sorry for diving off the deep end. But it's a fun conversation. And a legitimate one. Thanks Tim. I would love to hear what you think.

Jerry

Last edited by Tusker on Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:02 am; edited 2 times in total
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Tusker



Joined: Feb 03, 2005
Posts: 110
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

davep wrote:

Similar patching to above, but connect the unshaped signal to the crossfader's MOD input as well, and set both crossfader controls straight up. This causes the audio signal itself to control the output of the crossfader at an audio rate, which makes only the top half (or bottom half) of the wave distorted - the wave goes positive & the 'shaped' signal passes to the crossfader's output, the wave goes negative and the clean signal passes to the output. You can use the crossfader's controls to dial in the effect. The point is it sounds different if the distortion is asymetrical (different on the top & bottom halves of the wave).

DP


That is a very interesting technique. Somebody had did a patch with a logic test to shift the positive component of a signal through a waveshaper once. It was very effective at creating a throbbing guitar amp quality in the mid-range.

You technique would be more elegant (fewer cables). I'll try it out. Thanks,

Jerry
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Lots of very interesting tricks and techniques presented here. I will certainly experiment with these too, but not to get a great analog so-called Moog sound, but to explore new sounds (to me). Simulating some other synth is a lot of hard work.
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Tusker



Joined: Feb 03, 2005
Posts: 110
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So um, I am gathering that no-one hear actually creates parallel filter structures (apart from possibly processing different frequencies differently) to create the moog magic?

I've tried introducing additional phase shifts through slightly detuned filters in parallel to make things more colorful, but always lost definition in the process.

Jerry
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davep



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tusker wrote:
So um, I am gathering that no-one hear actually creates parallel filter structures (apart from possibly processing different frequencies differently) to create the moog magic?

I've tried introducing additional phase shifts through slightly detuned filters in parallel to make things more colorful, but always lost definition in the process.

Jerry


I've tried something similar to parallel filters a few times, when working on various distorted filter sounds. I noticed that some types of distorted filter patches tend to sound really nice at higher cutoff fcs but turn into a mess when the filter starts to close, causing sudden jumps in volume and erratic distortion behaviors. So I set up two filters, one that is more distorted, one that is less, in parallel, and used a crossfader to determine the mix. This crossfader is controlled by the same signals that are controlling the filter cutoff frequencies, so you hear the distorted filter at higher cutoffs, crossfading to the cleaner filter at lower cutoffs. Much smoother. You can also just control the Mod input on the distortion module, but you get a somewhat different effect.

Also, you can get some interesting 24dB filters by combining two 12dB filters in SERIES and adding various distortions or other effects BETWEEN the two filters. I made some patches that demonstrate this. Check the NM1 archives for "24dBFilterFlavors.pch" or something like that.

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varice



Joined: Dec 29, 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmmm... I haven't heard of running classic filters in parallel slightly detuned - what is the theory about how this makes them sound more Moogy?


I only have a couple of tricks to recommend for better classic filter sounds:

1. Be sure to drive the classic filter with a hot audio signal - the filter has some built in harmonic distortion which appears to increase with drive level.

2. Use some added distortion *before* the filter - I normally use the G2 Saturate module for this.


BTW, check this out:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-12266.html

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varice
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Tusker



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

varice wrote:
Hmmm... I haven't heard of running classic filters in parallel slightly detuned - what is the theory about how this makes them sound more Moogy?


I have two theoretical reasons for attempting this, and I have some success with the first, not the second. Both of them are intuitive (hunch) not fact based:

1 - The bandwidth of the resonant peak appears wider in the Moog lowpass than it does in the Nords filters under high resonance. (more gently sloped). Two filters slight detuned appear to approximate this more closely, providing a less shrill resonance with more body.

2 - The human ear tends to like phase shifts caused by the filter. More phase shifts may make the filter appear more lively.

Thanks for your tips, I hadn't studied the effect of gain staging. Very cool.

varice wrote:
BTW, check this out:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-12266.html


Thank you. I'd love to hear any audio examples, as well as what you are hearing differently with the moogfooger filter. You seem to be scary good with a soldering iron. Have you done any other DIY things?

Thanks for your comments,

Jerry
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Tusker



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

davep wrote:

I've tried something similar to parallel filters a few times, when working on various distorted filter sounds. I noticed that some types of distorted filter patches tend to sound really nice at higher cutoff fcs but turn into a mess when the filter starts to close, causing sudden jumps in volume and erratic distortion behaviors. So I set up two filters, one that is more distorted, one that is less, in parallel, and used a crossfader to determine the mix. This crossfader is controlled by the same signals that are controlling the filter cutoff frequencies, so you hear the distorted filter at higher cutoffs, crossfading to the cleaner filter at lower cutoffs. Much smoother. You can also just control the Mod input on the distortion module, but you get a somewhat different effect.


Wow, that opened up a new world of thought for me. Thanks for sharing that tip. It appears the challenge is one of control of the dsp, rather than the dsp itself. BTW, I am thinking of using audio rate crossfades as well. What are the issues that lead to aliasing when using this technique? Are there workarounds?

Jerry
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davep



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tusker wrote:

BTW, I am thinking of using audio rate crossfades as well. What are the issues that lead to aliasing when using this technique? Are there workarounds?

Jerry


I haven't run into any aliasing problems doing this. it works great for creating asymetrical waveforms (different ont he top & bottom halves). One thing to watch - using a wavform that has sudden jumps and transients to control the crossfade will impart these characteristics onto the audio passing through the crossfader, which can sound harsh. Try controlling the crossfader with a phase-locked (hard sync'd) sine wave to avoid this.

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varice



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tusker wrote:
varice wrote:
Hmmm... I haven't heard of running classic filters in parallel slightly detuned - what is the theory about how this makes them sound more Moogy?


I have two theoretical reasons for attempting this, and I have some success with the first, not the second. Both of them are intuitive (hunch) not fact based:

1 - The bandwidth of the resonant peak appears wider in the Moog lowpass than it does in the Nords filters under high resonance. (more gently sloped). Two filters slight detuned appear to approximate this more closely, providing a less shrill resonance with more body.

2 - The human ear tends to like phase shifts caused by the filter. More phase shifts may make the filter appear more lively.


Interesting, thanks for the explanation.



Tusker wrote:
varice wrote:
BTW, check this out:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-12266.html


Thank you. I'd love to hear any audio examples, as well as what you are hearing differently with the moogfooger filter. You seem to be scary good with a soldering iron. Have you done any other DIY things?


I have uploaded a few sound clips - would have uploaded more but I hit my limit!

I think in general that the G2 classic filter does not sound too bad, but it does not handle high frequencies and/or high resonance settings as well as the analog ladder filter. The classic starts to get what I describe as a "digital grit" to it's sound. With low frequencies and a little overdrive it can sound pretty Moogy!

My moogerfooger LPF sounds excellent! It definatly is a Moog. It sounds warm and phat. High freqs sound silky smooth and sqeaky clean. It has a mellow and round overdrive sound with moderate drive levels, but will start to bite when driven hard.

Well, I have modified just about every piece of analog gear I gotten my hands on. I used to build those PAIA kits. What a blast! But my hands and my eyes are not as good as they used to be. Those surface mount parts like the ones in the G2X are too damn small. It was a bit scary to wave an iron around in that thing.

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monobass



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

varice wrote:
Those surface mount parts like the ones in the G2X are too damn small. It was a bit scary to wave an iron around in that thing.


Razz

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varice



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tusker wrote:
(OT) I find that detuning oscillators more in the lower pitch ranges (and having them come together in the higher pitch ranges), allow for more of that musical analog quality. I haven't studied the pitch tuning and power supplies to know if this is a function of the actual tuning of the mini or whether people playing it in lower ranges simply detuned it more.


Something that I do to get this effect on the G2 is to use an oscillator with an FM input - set the FM mode to FM Lin with a FM modulation amount of 1. Then connect a Constant module (set to bipolar) to the Oscillator FM input. The Oscillator can now be finely detuned with the Constant module setting - lower notes are detuned more than higher notes.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Maybe related, maybe not, but good piano tuners stretch the octaves in the higher and lower registers. Low notes are tuned a little flat and high notes are tuned a little sharp. The good ones only use the electronic tuners when tuning the middle octave. They call this laying in the bearings.

This certainly doesn't have anything to do with Moog filters, but it is interesting nevertheless.

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Tusker



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great thoughts on tuning guys. FM is an elegant way of keeping the patch cables down to a minimum. That should reduce the spaghetti in my patches. BTW, here is a little Moog Phatty video by Brian Kehew. Somewhere in the middle he demoes the little filter with the big sweet spot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gQqaBn4MGY

Best,

Jerry
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