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Bucket brigades for Paul.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:23 am    Post subject: Bucket brigades for Paul. Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul e. wrote:
Kassen wrote:
Boss DM-100, mostly, sometimes backed by a (tweaked) ADR-systems CS-100. In the studio I also use a Ibanez UE-405 but that one is way too large to travel with.

I´m realy into bucket brigades, fortunately some new ones are being made again these days and so I may get a fourth one some time.....


awesome...i use the 'bucker brigade' special...'yamaha e 1005' ..a fun little unit...

what about these new units you mention... ? .i suppose that should go in a new thread [sorry about the OT]


Well, I saw them at the Mess in Frankfurt. They were retro-syled large, deluxe pedals. Saw two brands, made a mental note to remember them, then forgot the brand names...

What I enjoy about BBD´s is that you can tweak the lenth while they run without them glitching (because there´s no need to change the amount of samples used due to the variable clock) and they aren´t as maintainance intensive as tape. You also get a free LP filter with them against the aliassing and because of the nature of the device the echos evolve very organicly into a pleasant mud. Unlike digital delays they all have their own character, suitable for different aplications; the Boss exceeds at echoing bass, the ADR´s grunge makes it a good match for lofi signals and my tweaks keep it very stable at high feedback rates for textures while the Ibanez is short but well defined (of somewhat dark in tone) making it good for highat shuffles.

Another thing I enjoy is that these things have their jacks on the front making them very well suited for patching up the whole studio like a modular synth.

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deknow



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
What I enjoy about BBD´s is that you can tweak the lenth while they run without them glitching (because there´s no need to change the amount of samples used due to the variable clock) and they aren´t as maintainance intensive as tape.

...unless there is something i'm missing, doesn't a digitech delay (rack or pedal), or the like fit all those requirements? bbd's have some unique qualities, but these aren't them.

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:
...unless there is something i'm missing, doesn't a digitech delay (rack or pedal), or the like fit all those requirements? bbd's have some unique qualities, but these aren't them.

deknow


True, there are some digital delays that share this quality, I have a Vesta Dig-410 next to me at the moment that does too (using a rather interesting system of 4bits to represent the differences between adjecent samples instead of absolute value, if I understand it correctly) as does my S612, I believe.

It´s indeed a quality of using variable clock rates instead of one unique to BBD´s as such. However, in BBD´s this interacts with such phenomena as the behaviour of the charges held by the buckets (who´s non-linear nature makes them into a waveshaper), the included filters (which can be quite unique in clocked analogue systems as they are in the DM-100 in ways they can´t be in the digital domain) and the compressing effect of the noise supression elements in the loops. All of those elements get expressed in a much more pure form during delay length modulations then they would be would those modulations cause the sort of artifact that systems with static clock do.

I´m not aware of how the Digitech systems work but there are indeed some early digitech delays that share some or all of these qualities but after the price of digital components went down manifacturers started to use all digital signal chains and those behave differently from BBD´s. I´ve never heard a digital dealy, soft or hard, that got it exactly right.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Bucket brigades for Paul. Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

What I enjoy about BBD´s is that you can tweak the lenth while they run without them glitching (because there´s no need to change the amount of samples used due to the variable clock) and they aren´t as maintainance intensive as tape. You also get a free LP filter with them against the aliassing and because of the nature of the device the echos evolve very organicly into a pleasant mud. Unlike digital delays they all have their own character, suitable for different aplications; the Boss exceeds at echoing bass, the ADR´s grunge makes it a good match for lofi signals and my tweaks keep it very stable at high feedback rates for textures while the Ibanez is short but well defined (of somewhat dark in tone) making it good for highat shuffles.


well described...and thanks for splitting off this topic

here is the unit i use

i would be great if anyone with technical expertise on the subject of 'bucket brigades' might be able to explain a little bit about how they work

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kassen looks like you were already posting an explanation of bucket brigades as i was posting the above...reading
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You can look at them as a chain of s&h modules based on charges. Each one samples the last one by taking it´s charge each time the clock fires. The clock is just a analogue osc, running at the sample rates. Lower clocks give you more time but less samples per second. This obviously needs a anti-alsiassing filter.

The fun bit is that there are small differences between the s&h´s (which we call buckets because it´s like puring water from one into the next in a way) and of cource some energy is lost each time we we do this. This give them their grungy and "alive" character which is missing even from digital systems with variable clocks. You can experiment with the G2´s clocked registers and see how close you can get....

Since delays are usable as a building block for other stuff you can also have flangers and choruses based on these little chips, the DM-100 can switch to chorus mode, the CS-100 has a build in chorus with it´s own chip. Ibanez included the best one I ever heard in the UE-405.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

interesting...thanks
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Maybe I'm missing something, but if it's using s+h modules to delay the signal, you would need a helluva lot of s+h modules!!

So I guess this means that when you change the delay time, you change how many s+h modules are being used... interesting...

The variable clock bit sounds cool too. Is there any chance someone could post a quick sample of theirs? I'm very much into delay effects, especially dubby over-feedback analogue delay's Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Afro88 wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something, but if it's using s+h modules to delay the signal, you would need a helluva lot of s+h modules!!

You do need a lot, just as many as you need memory locations in a conventional digital delay of the same length with the same clock rate. These bucket brigade chips were initially introduced in the 70s and quickly became eclipsed by the common RAM based systems we know today. There is no real advantage over modern systems, except for that noise Kassen mentions.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Afro88 wrote:
Is there any chance someone could post a quick sample of theirs? I'm very much into delay effects, especially dubby over-feedback analogue delay's Very Happy


occch..i'd love to...but mine is not at home with me now .. i'm looking for a nice example from a track...

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Posted a G2 example at http://electro-music.com/forum/post-43023.html#43023

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hahaha, that dreadful noise hey mosc? Wink

Thanks for the explainations guys, and the patch - makes much more sense now. And Paul, I'd love to hear it when you get the chance Smile
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Afro88 wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something, but if it's using s+h modules to delay the signal, you would need a helluva lot of s+h modules!!


Well, yeah, just like you need a lot of memory adresses in a digital one.

Quote:

So I guess this means that when you change the delay time, you change how many s+h modules are being used... interesting...


No, no, no that´s the whole point of the variable clock! changing the amount of samples in your buffer is what causes the gltiches in digital delays. Also, even if you wanted to you couldn´t do it like that because you can´t read out the chips at arbitrary memory locations, only at the end and in some cases some pre-definded taps.


Quote:
Is there any chance someone could post a quick sample of theirs? I'm very much into delay effects, especially dubby over-feedback analogue delay's Very Happy


http://www.modezero.com/boss-dm100-dm300.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
No, no, no that´s the whole point of the variable clock! changing the amount of samples in your buffer is what causes the gltiches in digital delays. Also, even if you wanted to you couldn´t do it like that because you can´t read out the chips at arbitrary memory locations, only at the end and in some cases some pre-definded taps.


Indeed, I understand now, I got a little confused between "glitches" and "pitch changes". I was trying to think of a way the delay time could change without the pitch changing, and that's what I came up with.

Sorry, I have a tendency to think about things in an obscure way first and then figure out the concept later, after working out something related but not relevant... it's either really annoying, or pleasantly suprising - I guess it was the former in this case Laughing

By the way, the DM100 sounds really nice, I'm sure you have alot of fun with it. I've been wanting to buy an analogue delay pedal for a while now, and I've always overlooked the digital ones. I'll keep a lookout for the BB style digitals...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Afro88 wrote:

Indeed, I understand now, I got a little confused between "glitches" and "pitch changes". I was trying to think of a way the delay time could change without the pitch changing, and that's what I came up with.


Yes, well, you can´t do that because "pitch" already has a time component. If that´s what you wnat you may like to look into a software "grain delay" whcih will be able to give you some of what you want but there will be side-effects. Physics, particularly time don´t let themselves be pushed around.

Of cource you could also couple a delay with a pitch shifter, trying to compensate (this would amount to the same thing, in a way)...

Quote:

Sorry, I have a tendency to think about things in an obscure way first and then figure out the concept later, after working out something related but not relevant... it's either really annoying, or pleasantly suprising - I guess it was the former in this case Laughing


Well, I suppose that my explanation could heave dealt with what problem we were trying to solve in a little more depth too. The whole thing gets quite tricky anyway because everything you try to change makes for side-effects.

Quote:

By the way, the DM100 sounds really nice, I'm sure you have alot of fun with it. I've been wanting to buy an analogue delay pedal for a while now, and I've always overlooked the digital ones. I'll keep a lookout for the BB style digitals...


I think you are a little confused here but that´s understandable; BBD´s are considdered analogue. This is quite confusing because they do sample and they do have a clock speed, they can even alias if you set the trimpots wrong but they are still analogue because of the way the values are stored inside. It took me a while to grasp it all too, these are quite unique things with a unusual mix of properties that give them a certain character. Mosc is of cource very right in saying they don´t have much on a modern delay, technologically, but there are some sounds you just won´t get out of anything but these strange little beasts.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
BBD´s are considdered analogue.


Sort of a hybrid actually, time quantized but not level quantized. Amplitude levels are passed as analogue quantities at discrete time intervals.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
Kassen wrote:
BBD´s are considdered analogue.


Sort of a hybrid actually, time quantized but not level quantized. Amplitude levels are passed as analogue quantities at discrete time intervals.

Jan.


Yes, indeed, but "quantised" isn´t the same as "digital", even if "digital inherently means quantised. With BBD´s the form of the data (reperesented as charges) is analogue to the meaning of the data which I to me is the deviding line.

Of cource it gets messy. Using -say- 128 bit floating point to describe points along the side of a matchbox it´s quite possible that your digital data is less quantised then quantum mechanics claim space to be (not sure about the details, just up the bitrate and we´ll get there).

To me BBD´s are no more digital then a synth with a s&h module but I admit that it gets blurry fast. Given enough of those nice test/educational panels with the logic gates you could build a digital caluculator out of analogue voltages.....

The names break down if you look too closely, at least it´s not as bad as the current tendency to equate "substractive" with "analogue", I see that happening lately on fora.

Afro; don´t lose any sleep over this, it´s just Jan and me being clever, just get any delay that sounds good to you.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Engineers use the term "discrete time" for such sampled analog systems. All of the Nyquist theory applies by the way. The only thing missing is quantization noise, but of course you get analog distortion and sampling errors in exchange.

Indeed, the nice thing about such systems is that the user has access to a variable clock, where in more common digital delay systems, the delay time is controlled by chaning the number of memory locations.

Good digital systems, Kyma, Eventide, and even the G2 allow one to use both methods.



This has been a good discussion. Maybe a Wiki would really be of value at electro-music.com. There a many topics like this that might be better in that format rather than as a forum conversation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yep, I'll just stick to using my ears when buying a delay pedal Laughing

Nah, I get what you're saying - there's a fine line between sampling voltages at audio rate intervals and converting voltages into the digital realm where both time and amplitude are given discrete values on each sample.

I'd probably agree with you and say that the BB delay pedal is analogue, simply because the voltages are never completely converted into digital domain of 0's and 1's, they remain as voltages the whole way through. For some reason that really appeals to me - an analogue device imitating an aspect of a digital one, even if that wasn't initially the case when it was released.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interestingly the technology did not die. Another word for BBD is Charge Coupled Device (CCD), you still find these in image collectors - but there after analg shifting the data is digitized, voltage wise, of course.

It is a compact way still to deal with information on chips, just one charge cell and some coupling to the next one vs an 8, 10 or even 16 bit memory location and some special xfer glue (or a processor).

In recent neuro chip deveolpment there seems to be some role for charge transfers through/over a chip again, in this case to model the brain's chemical reactions.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A couple of points, Digital delays don’t change time by altering the number of samples in the buffer, except for maybe a global range or max delay time. They use a constant size circular buffer and adjust time by applying fractional indexing to the head and tail. Depending on the interpolation used, this will create cumulative errors resulting in distortion and noise. There should be no difference in behaviour to a variable clocked BBD, just less distortion, clock bleed and noise.
Because you only hear the value output from the last bucket, it should not be difficult to commute the effect of 511 (or whatever) previous buckets. Statistically, what is the difference between accumulating 512 random errors and just adding 1 random error with the same average value? The non linearity should not present too much of a problem.
If someone doesn’t already do a good digital BBD emulation, it is probably due to the market, not technical issues.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have heard there might be some BBD emulations coming for the UAD-1

I have owned several of the early BBD devices. The sound was warm, full and very useful. Main problem was the noise. The usefulness was limited due to this noise. Some of the later products were far better.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The filtering you experience in a BBD boxes isn't due to the characteristics of the devices themselves, but rather the filter that the designer puts into the feedback loop. Rob explained this at EM2005 quite well in his talk describing his emulation of a tape delay unit. His tape emulation is very effective, BTW.

All of these effects can be emulated in the digital domain. You can buy whatever box you like for the characteristic sound, but keep in mind the characteristic sound is because of choices made by a human designer, not because of something inherent in the technology of the memory elements.

Most digital memories in use today are dynamic RAM. I've yet to hear people say they like the sound of systems made with static RAM better than dynamic RAM, but I'm sure there are people who will make the case.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Most digital memories in use today are dynamic RAM. I've yet to hear people say they like the sound of systems made with static RAM better than dynamic RAM, but I'm sure there are people who will make the case.


Well, a static RAM system would be very expensive, automatically making it sound better to HiFi reviewers. For the rest of us, you could never replace the dynamic quality of DRAM with the cold, precise SRAM Wink .

Seriously, the bus cycle stealing involved in DRAM refresh probably interferes with system timing very subtly but I don't know if this is a good or bad thing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
The filtering you experience in a BBD boxes isn't due to the characteristics of the devices themselves, but rather the filter that the designer puts into the feedback loop. Rob explained this at EM2005 quite well in his talk describing his emulation of a tape delay unit. His tape emulation is very effective, BTW.


His tape simulation is a amazing thing, I followed the development, he worked at it for weeks. One thing that affected it was his reverse regineering of my dm-100, actually.

Quote:

All of these effects can be emulated in the digital domain. You can buy whatever box you like for the characteristic sound, but keep in mind the characteristic sound is because of choices made by a human designer, not because of something inherent in the technology of the memory elements.


I beg to differ in this case. Bucket brigades only use positive charges and those are in a non-linear medium. This does lead to a unique type of asymetrical waveshaping. Those engineers probably did their best to hide or eliminate this but that´s very hard.

Quote:

Most digital memories in use today are dynamic RAM. I've yet to hear people say they like the sound of systems made with static RAM better than dynamic RAM, but I'm sure there are people who will make the case.


A while ago I actually spoke to a young producer who favoured early Yamaha units because the parameters would step audibly if you´d tweak them.

We aren´t trying to make something technologically perfect; we are trying to make something beautifull, there´s nothing wrong with favouting faults and liking noise.

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