ring those bells

I obtained a new low frequency oscillator module for my modular synth a couple of weeks ago. It’s called the Vilfo, from Pittsburgh Modular. This isn’t your typical LFO. Vilfo is an acronym for “Voltage Influenced Low Frequency Oscillator” and by voltage influenced they mean that it responds to CV quite differently than the normal frequency control that one would expect. This thing has a chaos streak in it that pushes and pulls against whatever you’re feeding it in an odd kind of way. My favorite use for it so far is to use it as a clock source, and then send it some other clock or sine wave. Normally, a -+10v signal would speed up and slow down a LFO. In this case it kind of makes the Vilfo hesitate some, then shoves it around a bit, then speeds it up, then stops it altogether. But not always.

So I had it drive a little sequence of bell ringing, where the bells are made with the Hertz Donut. The different bell-like tones are created by having the Z8000 sequencer ring the second oscillator on the Donut a bit differently each time the main sequence of notes repeats itself. The timing is all Vilfo, with all the hesitations and speed ups and downs caused by the aforementioned influencing, in this case by a Malekko Oscillator in LFO mode. I run the triangle wave from the Vilfo back into the sync of the Oscillator, which toys with the timing a little more. A little like a feedback loop.

I thought the result was appropriate for this holiday season…

church of donut

You know how you can spend all day tweaking and patching and after hours you got nothin. Right? Then you decide, after dinner, after tv, just before dropping off to slumberland, just to try one little thing you have in your head. Say, one little thing like driving your Hertz Donut with CV from the Noisering, kinda attenuated a bit with a Plan B mixer so it’s not bouncing all over the place. The Donut sounds great through the low pass gate, so you plug the Maths into the Plan B m13 clocked by a basic LFO pulse, which also clocks the Noisering. So just something simple like that.

And luckily you were still awake enough to push ‘record’ on the laptop so as to save the result. And damn if that’s not the best patch you’ve made in a long time. I’d been told that the Noisering is a musical kind of random, but this was the first time I really attenuated it down without quantizing it, and it’s just lovely, isn’t it? Kinda spooky lovely. The FM tones of the Donut work perfectly with the notes that the Noisering is spitting out, and then I had it all go through a Boss DD-3 delay guitar pedal with a really fast delay, so it’s more of a reverb, and then to the computer for recording.

I hope you like this as much as I do.