Things i built 2013

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I just asked myself, what did i do with my spare time 2013??? Heres the answer. Some of these Modules you will see 2014 as Kits – like TRIPLES, TRIDENT, the green Sequencer to the right and of course the Bernoulli Gate – some of them will remain one offs. And most likely you will see some other Ideas in the Pipeline……

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Multistage Envelopes

I made some Oscilloscope screenshots from the enVSloop:

Supersnappy attack with less than 2 ms:

Long expo decay up to 30s :

And here are the 11 different modes – i didnt change the Envelopes settings for these:

1 – One Shot

2 – Sustain on Stage 4

3 – Sustain on Stage 3

4 – Sustain on Stage 2

5 – Sustain on Stage 1

6 – Loop (while sustained) from Stage 4 to Stage 3

7 – Loop from Stage 4 to Stage 2

8 – Loop from Stage 4 to Stage 1

9 – Loop from Stage 3 to Stage 2

10 – Loop from Stage 3 to Stage 1

11 – Loop from Stage 2 to Stage 1

Bleeps & Blurps

Quick and dirty Jam with a Mutable Instrument Braids for the Vocal Sounds, Frequencycentral Waverider for Bass, EMU Procussion triggered from a Mutable Instuments Grids via a DIY Trigger> MIDI Converter.

All Notes & Filter Modulations are made with 3 GREEN SEQUENCERs, Braids’ Timbre and Color heavily modulated with 2 RED LFOs all running tempo locked and phase shifted.

The Delay Effect for the Vocal sounds is generated by the 5 Stage Envelope, the thingie with the 4 Blue LEDs.

 

 

Envelopes

Since i have been a more or less successful Modularist, i keep asking myself something like “Hell, if modular Synths are the leading Edge of Synthesis, warumderGeschlechtsverkehr are there only ADSR or even less capable Envelopes?”.

I got so used to the more complex Envelopes found in my ESQ-1 or the Wave Envelopes from the various MicroWave Incarnations that i felt a bit limited.

Lets have a look on the traditional ADSR:

ADSR

Attack, Decay and Relese Pots have influence on the Time, the Sustain Pot sets the Sustain Level. We could label it as well like this:

3 Stage Envelope

Attack has become Time 1, Decay has become Time 2, Release has become Time 3, Sustain has become Level 2 and Level 1 is a new , you wont find any Knob for this on your Synth as this is traditionally fixed to 100% so no need for a Knob. Saves Money…

If we name the combination of a Time and a Level a Stage we can name the ADSR a 3 Stage Envelope.
Its inherited from the Loundess Curve a Piano (and most other Plucked, Hit or Blown) classical Instrument has: first it gets very loud, then it fades gradually away. But a Synthesizer isnt a classical instrument, right? So no need for a classical Curve!

Now lets add 2 Stages:

5 Stage Envelope

Here you can see a 5 Stage Envelope that Sustains on Level 3 and is animated thereafter, with the classical ADSR this wouldnt be possible. Now think yourselves what you could do if you were able to set any Stage as the Sustain Stage. When you are done we will take it a bit further:
5 Stage Envelope Looping
Theres no need to have a static Sustain Phase, why not let the Envelope instead loop between any 2 Points instead of just holding the Sustain Level?
So you can do rich textured, animated, cyclic Sustain Phases to your like. Or use the Envelope as a versatile LFO.

So i have been working a bit on a 5 Stage Envelope Eurorack Module with the following Features:

  • 5 Stages so there are 5 Pots for Rates and 4 for the Level, Start and end are always 0% Level
  • Linear Respons with an Exponential last Release Stage
  • Real Snappy with times that can be as low as 1ms
  • Sustain on any Stage
  • Loop forward between any 2 Points
  • 4 LEDs show Sustain or Loop Mode and are animated while the Envelope is playing
  • End of Envelope Trigger Output so you can chain Envelopes or just make a LFO
  • CV out from 0 – 10V and additional an inverted CV out 0 – -10V

All this has been implemented in a small PixAxe 20X2 Chip with very few additional PArts, the whole Magic is in the Software.

After breadboarding a Proto i am currently soldering a Prototype to take it to a bit more testing, it looks something like this:

 

Ill post more Pics and Scope Shots as soon as my Workbench doesnt look anymore like R2D2 exploded……

RED LFO

Being a Modularist for almost 2 Months i refined all my LFO Modulation needs into my first EuroRack Modular Module: the RED LFO.

RED LFO small

It can perform the most common Modulation Tasks:

  • Ramp Up
  • Triangle
  • Ramp Down
  • Rect
  • Sine
  • S/H
  • Noise
  • Offset Voltage

All the Waveforms can be played with 8 Bit resolution and up to 15,5 Hz which is certainly not audio Rate but best what the PicAxe chip can deliver without aliasing. There are 3 interpolated Waveform inbetween the linear Waveforms from Ramp Up to Rect. Due to the limited CPU the LFO renders the Waveforms offline when selecting another – this means it will stop for a second oscillating indicated by lighting the Mode LED red.

All Waveforms play full ±10V and can be attenuated by the Level Pot, there are 2 Internal Trimmers for Range and Offset.

Nice extra and unique Feature is the ability to sync the Tempo of a RED LFO to another Master RED LFO via an internal Serial Link – simply turn the Frequency counter full CCW – the Mode LED will light up yellow and the Module will happily follow the Masters Tempo. You can shift the Phase of the Slave LFO with the Frequency Pot. If you want to leave Slave Mode turn the Frequency Pot full CW, the Mode LED will turn off and the LFO runs free. You may chain RED LFOs for as much Rackspace you have.

S/H Mode emits the typical Random S/H Signal, Noise produces some digital Noise and turning the Mode Pot full CW emits an Offset Value dertermined by the Frequency Pot, all these Modes with Yellow/Red indication from the Mode LED.

The needed +5V for the CPU is either generated by an internal PSU or can be taken from the +5V Rail of your Rack (and then left blank on the Board). The internal 5V Rail can even be routed to the Racks +5V Rail and serve as a +5V Adaptor for other Modules. Theres also Reverse Voltage Protection.

See here for some more Pictures

The RED LFO now will go into a Pioneers Run Stage with a limited number of selected Modularists testing. After this ill have PCBs produced and prepare Kits…. stay tuned.