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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » WREN
Beginner sounds with Wren
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wakyct



Joined: Dec 30, 2020
Posts: 77
Location: USA
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:40 pm    Post subject: Beginner sounds with Wren Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello! I discovered this forum (and synthesis, and modulars, etc.) a few days ago. Thank you for a cool software instrument.

I'm learning from all the threads and examples here and I want to contribute something that might be helpful to someone like myself (who knows nothing). Hopefully others can add to this thread in the same spirit.

So these will be patches with a few modules where it's simple to see what is affecting what.

This first one is a two voice sequence on one channel using the 8 note MIDI in. Each voice is an oscillator plus an envelope, and one LFO modulates. Output runs through the 8 channel stereo mixer to audio out.

I'm using Orca (https://wiki.xxiivv.com/site/orca.html) to sequence, it's a random pentatonic solo over a Euclidian rhythm, I'm fiddling with the wave shapes live, and it sounds like this:

https://chrisbeckstrom.com/noisecloud-dev/public/sounds/123


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Airlock



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice one!

Noisecloud is your website?
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Airlock wrote:


Noisecloud is your website?


No, I randomly found it. The person who made it has some cool diy synth pages on their main site though, https://chrisbeckstrom.com/projects/the-modular/
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had a go with a snare drum sound. A LFO triggers the Euclidean rhythm module, which triggers an envelope modulating a basic noise generator. I added a resonator to give it a little more impact.

Sample mp3s attached. The brush sound is the basic snare with the LFO doing a little more work and me changing the speed of the envelope live.

You can have some fun using the LFO in this one Smile.


basic_snare.wren
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wren_brush.mp3
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ah, good to see you discovering things Cool
_________________
Jan
also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes it's a lot of fun Smile

Also at the risk of repeating the obvious, I wanted to mention to people new to Wren, there is a zip file of over a thousand examples at https://bluehell.nl/wren/patches/forums.html. Download that and sort the extracted folder by size. I've found that the smaller patches (for example 'kickbassdrum_126.wren' is 13 KB) are easier to understand than the big 50 KB+ ones.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Like I guess many people new to synths I've been looking for examples of how to patch to get different sounds. I read about this idea,

Quote:
A cool way to get lots of complex patterns that always repeat exactly, like a sequencer, is to
connect two (or more) LFOs to a mixer, then send the mixer to a S/H in, then send the S/H to
a quantizer to derive exact notes. Use a clock divider to retrigger both LFOs after every 8
S/H steps. Now just mess around with the various LFO rates and the mixer levels. You'll get
all sorts of complex patterns, but each pattern will repeat exactly every eight notes until you
change the LFO frequency & mixer level settings. add a noise source (or two) to the lfo's and
you'll have a huge range of variations. the trig for the s&h is the rhythmic part of it. if you
want tonal and can trigger the quantizer (like with the doepfer) you could skip the s&h as a
seperate module.


An LFO triggers a sample and hold which gets a sine oscillator input. The S&H sends to a note quantizer, which controls the frequency of a tri oscillator. The tri goes through an envelope and low pass filter to audio out.

Originally I had two LFOs triggering the S&H and a clock to sync the LFOs, but I removed them from the attached patch to make things simpler to look at.

That's related to one thing I haven't yet figured out how to reproduce from the quote above, which is dividing the S&H into a set of steps and then resetting to get a new pattern.

What is a 'clock divider' in Wren?


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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wakyct wrote:
What is a 'clock divider' in Wren?


It's called Divider and can be found on the Logic tab.

Using CTRl+F you can search for modules in the module selector and in the patch (and when that is not working use F3 to go to the settings page and in the leftmost column find the checkboxes for 'search works on patch' and/or 'search works on selector'). Then use F2 to go back to the patch.

Using CTRL+F and then type div you'll find a bunch of dividing modules, the ones on the Logic page all being clock dividers of some sort.

To clear the search you can use CTL+F and then ESCape.

_________________
Jan
also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
wakyct wrote:
What is a 'clock divider' in Wren?


It's called Divider and can be found on the Logic tab.


Cool thanks, I got it working! One thing that threw me off before was that it's called 'frequency divider' in the module pane.

Also one thing I just realized is that to edit values in modules I need to press Ctrl and Enter simultaneously. The right-click menu says "Ctr+Enter" and I was used to either holding Ctrl and pressing Enter, or pressing Ctrl and then Enter from other programs (neither of which seem to work in Wren). Also selecting in the right-click menu appears to work inconsistently -- sometimes you can set the value but the value will reset once you edit it.

However pressing Ctrl and Enter at the same time seems to be consistent.

Here's a revised patch with the clock divider resetting two LFOs which drive the pattern through the sample and hold.


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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wakyct wrote:
Also one thing I just realized is that to edit values in modules I need to press Ctrl and Enter simultaneously. The right-click menu says "Ctr+Enter" and I was used to either holding Ctrl and pressing Enter, or pressing Ctrl and then Enter from other programs (neither of which seem to work in Wren). Also selecting in the right-click menu appears to work inconsistently -- sometimes you can set the value but the value will reset once you edit it.

However pressing Ctrl and Enter at the same time seems to be consistent.


The shortcuts that always work are <ctrl+(left-mouse-)click>, or (after clicking in it) just <enter> .. it is a bit messy indeed.

There are some different kinds of editable values ...

The ones associated with knobs don't work properly (these are the ones that will lock a knob after a manual edit), and I really should disable editing for those .. except that it's on my todo list still to make it work Laughing

And then there are some that want you to enter a free format text value (or a file name),that is working as expected.

But <ctrl+enter> never works I think Confused I've changed the shortcut in the popup menu to just show <enter> .. for the next release .. I can not make it show <ctrl+click> though ... which is the thing I always use ...

Edit: and then there are single line values and multu line values .. the single line ones can be acknowledged by using <enter>, as those do not allow for line breaks in the text, but the multi line ones want <ctrl+enter> to actually make the value work.

Last edited by Blue Hell on Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That makes sense, thanks for the explanation.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've added an extra edit: section for single/multi-lined edit thingies .. for in case we cross posted ... Wink
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Jan
also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was messing around with hihat sounds, and added a random generator for variety. That gave the idea to use a logic module, a logic selector, as a really basic sequencer, and the result is this cymbal and kick drum demo.


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wakyct



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just found a neat resource, http://www.modular-planet.de/modular-planet-survey.html, which among other things has a lot of example patches using Doepfer modules. This is a try at creating the 'Little Bird' in Wren.

http://www.modular-planet.de/nature/littlebird/littlebird.html

I'm not sure but it seems like the audio source here is the LPF self-oscillating at max resonance/Q? This doesn't seem to behave the same way in Wren so I had to patch the output of the LFO to the input of the filter to get sound out. Still, the examples are very easy to follow so it's a nice learning tool.


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wakyct



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here is a slightly more complex patch again imitating a patch from modular-planet (http://www.modular-planet.de/texture/pulssweep/pulssweep.html). It uses a sequencer with quantizer to drive the VCO's frequency. I'm also starting to see the utility of assembling basic math (like constant and multiplier) and mixer modules to fine tune the signal.


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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm starting to explore multiple voices that respond to each other in some way and this is a basic 4 step lead part with a following bass, keyed to the first step.

One funny thing about this patch I don't understand is that the lead part will play multiple notes on a single step. I would have thought the sequencer would send one signal to the quantizer which would produce one note. But maybe if the sequencer stays on a step the signal changes? Maybe this has something to do with the cross-fader output?


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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wakyct wrote:
IOne funny thing about this patch I don't understand is that the lead part will play multiple notes on a single step. I would have thought the sequencer would send one signal to the quantizer which would produce one note. But maybe if the sequencer stays on a step the signal changes? Maybe this has something to do with the cross-fader output?


Yes, that is due to the cross fading, the rightmost column of outputs (above the X (for x-faded)) is crossfaded, the one left of that (above R (for raw)) is not cross faded.

When cross fading is in effect the X outputs will try to interpolate between the current and the next step, so they will glide. The amount of glide is determined by the xfade knob (and it's modulation input). So when cross fading the quantizer will see a hit on a couple of in-between values. The glide will only be perfect when the sequencer is stepped with a constant rate, as the glide time is being calculated from the time betweensteps .. which can only be known after one step completed.

You can set the cross fading to zero, use an output from the R column or use an extra sample&hold before the quantizer.

Or when you like it to do steps, you could time quantize those steps by using a s&h directly before the quantizer and trigger that one from a faster clock .. say directly from the clockgen output or with an extra divider by 2 or 3 or so.

_________________
Jan
also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

After hearing more about generative stuff I had a go with mixing multiple square LFOs to control the step of in this case the random note sequencer SeqRandom.

It made me wonder if there's a good way to visualize (or conceptualize) the mixing of the LFOs? Setting the input levels of the LFOs in the mixer to produce interesting patterns is something of a guessing game (or I'm not a very good guesser yet Smile....)


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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Embarassed

You found a bug in the SquareLFO module ... it has an internal 'Warp' parameter that should be set to 0.5 .. but it is never initialized .. so it is zero .. meaning .. only an occasional spike comes out ...

So yeah, that will not perform very intuitive.

I'll fix that for the next release, meanwhile you can use the regular LFO set to run with a square wave output.

This will of course kill the pattern you now have ... but it really is bug based as is Confused

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Jan
also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well you found the bug, but at least I made the noise that scared the bug from its hiding place Wink

As it happens two LFOs into the mixer made a nice pattern too, with a kind of call and response by doubling a channel with a reverb.

https://soundcloud.com/ergodicbreak/2lfos-into-seqrand-with-reverb
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah wel, I'm glad you are trying things with it ... like .. erm .. like refreshing the parts other beers can't reach.

A brilliant slogan that, even when I prefer "real" beer Laughing

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also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That is why you don't Patch and Drive Wink...

Coincidentally (bad pun ahead) I was messing around with velocity. I don't have it quite right -- I am just controlling the envelope gain with a VCA (simulating loudness with random signals). So sometimes, depending on the timing, the volume will fade in and out.

Ideally, the tone will just be loud at the beginning of the sustain, if that makes sense? I haven't figured out the right way to modulate the envelopes yet.


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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

May I suggest the following ... (I've simplified it a bit too .. )


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Jan
also .. could someone please turn down the thermostat a bit.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
May I suggest the following ... (I've simplified it a bit too .. )


Yes that works much better thank you! I like that use of the S&H. Also I notice the result is the same if I route the audio from the filter directly to the VCA and control the VCA with the envelope.
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wakyct



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

With the velocity patch I was kind of crudely dividing the clock with the interrupt input (I think that's what it is anyway) of the envelope module, but then I realized you can just mix divider modules to get patterns.

Combine this with the random velocity, also clamping the minimum velocity with a constant and min/max module (perhaps there's a better way to ensure a minimum gain?). Modulate the oscillator frequencies slightly with the dividers too to make the tone a little more interesting.


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