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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Modular Synthesis
Building an analog modular synth, need help!
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Argitoth



Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Audio files: 3
G2 patch files: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: Building an analog modular synth, need help!
Subject description: questions questions questions
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#1. Can you overload the filter to create distortion? How do you do it? Can the amplifier module be used to clip the signal?
Sound demo

#2. Is it possible for someone with no experience to build a Blacet module? I know Paia comes with instruction, not sure about Blacet.


#3. Is Paia compatable with Blacet?


#4. Can the Blacet Filthy Filtre self-oscillate?


#5. Can you control the frequency of the filter with a keyboard tracking CV input so that you can "play" the filter in tune?


#6. Is there a way to "set it up" so you can control different CVs with different midi CC?


#7. What modules would I need to create feedback like this Vember Audio Surge software synth?
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
Sound demo

#8. How do you create a legato patch in which the envelopes don't restart until you release all keys?
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1212
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Building an analog modular synth, need help!
Subject description: questions questions questions
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Argitoth wrote:
#1. Can you overload the filter to create distortion? How do you do it? Can the amplifier module be used to clip the signal?
Sound demo

Of course! There are numerous ways to overdrive a module's input. For example, on my Aries synth, the filters and amplifiers feature an input mixer stage that accepts multiple inputs. Thus, you could split a signal with a multiple (the electronic equivalent of a Y-cord) and run both sides to multiple inputs on your filter. This may be enough to overdrive the input.

In general, the VCA's are unity gain and you may not be able to overdrive a down line input from a VCA. If you have an amp with gain, then you could potentially overdrive whatever you want.
Argitoth wrote:

#2. Is it possible for someone with no experience to build a Blacet module? I know Paia comes with instruction, not sure about Blacet.

I can't speak about Blacet modules -- you may want to try your hand at a small electronics kit -- something like one of the small PAIA kits (the FatMan??) -- if you have a friend that knows how to solder, etc... get your friend to help you. If you can follow instructions and do careful, neat work then you will be able to tackle more difficult projects in little time!
Argitoth wrote:

#3. Is Paia compatable with Blacet?

Paia uses linear control voltages whereas MOST other synths use exponential control. You will need to check this.
Argitoth wrote:

#4. Can the Blacet Filthy Filtre self-oscillate?

Any module will self-oscillate -- just crank in some feedback (that is, feed the output back to the input). Most filters have front panel feedback ("Q") controls.
Argitoth wrote:

#5. Can you control the frequency of the filter with a keyboard tracking CV input so that you can "play" the filter in tune?

Yes, this is a standard feature. Again, if you are using exponential CV's, then your filters and oscillators will need exponential response.
Argitoth wrote:

#6. Is there a way to "set it up" so you can control different CVs with different midi CC?

I use a PAIA MIDI to CV converter and, yes, I can control CV's with NOTE ON, Velocity, Pitch Bend, Modulation, and other CC messages.
Argitoth wrote:

#7. What modules would I need to create feedback like this Vember Audio Surge software synth?
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
Sound demo

You would need a keyboard, oscillator, envelope generator, VCA, a filter, and some way to control the filter's cutoff frequency: an LFO, front panel knob, footpedal, etc. It sounds like the filter is at the end of the signal chain and its input stage is being overdriven to create the distortion. You may need an attenuator to control the feedback.

The point here, is that there are many ways to patch things... If I were to patch this up I would likely require the modules that I listed above.
Argitoth wrote:

#8. How do you create a legato patch in which the envelopes don't restart until you release all keys?


Commonly, envelope generators require both a Gate and Trigger to "fire". To create a legato patch, you would patch the keyboard's GATE to the envelope generator's GATE and TRIGGER input. Thus, the EG will start when up press the first note and will sustain as long as you play legato.

I use this technique on a Correlli transcription you can find on my web site:

http://www.kevinkissinger.com/ariesinfo.shtml

I hope that these answers are helpful to you. Good luck and happy synth building!

(edit)

I just revisited the Correlli transcription. The slured notes in the middle section demonstrate the legato patching technique above. Also, I use the filter to play a "tuned air" kind of sound.

However, when I play "tuned air" I don't do it all with the filter.

I modulate a VCO with noise and then patch its sine wave output to a band-pass filter that, in turn, has enough feedback to "ring" the filter. The resulting sound is a little easier to handle than the simpler noise through the filter patch.

_________________
-- Kevin
http://kevinkissinger.com
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Argitoth



Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Audio files: 3
G2 patch files: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Building an analog modular synth, need help!
Subject description: questions questions questions
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Thanks!

kkissinger wrote:
Paia uses linear control voltages whereas MOST other synths use exponential control. You will need to check this.

If this was the case, what problems would occur if I wanted to use Paia oscillators with Blacet stuff? What would I need to do to solve the problem? Or is it much more trouble than it's worth?
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ian-s



Joined: Apr 01, 2004
Posts: 2564
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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G2 patch files: 600

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Building an analog modular synth, need help!
Subject description: questions questions questions
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Argitoth wrote:
If this was the case, what problems would occur if I wanted to use Paia oscillators with Blacet stuff? What would I need to do to solve the problem? Or is it much more trouble than it's worth?


I think old Paia stuff was linear but the new synth is expo. I have read that it doesn't track very well though. To get stable, good tracking on a vco requires spending more money.

Tracking errors mean notes going out of tune as you go up and down in pitch.
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Argitoth



Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Audio files: 3
G2 patch files: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey, I figured out how to do that surge feedback thing. See, I didn't know what that squiggle in a square was, but then it clicked in my head, it's a waveshaper! I built it in the Nord Modular demo.

Also, I pretty much got all my questions answered in various ways. Thanks!


Feedback.pch2
 Description:
Play with the filter cutoff.

Download
 Filename:  Feedback.pch2
 Filesize:  1.47 KB
 Downloaded:  697 Time(s)


Last edited by Argitoth on Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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