more about donuts

The Hertz Donut VCO has become my favorite source of noise and tones. At one moment nice and calm and soulful, the next minute with a few tiny knob-twists or introductions of voltage, it rips your head off. That’s a good thing, and surprising to me since the main reason I like synthesizers is distinctly not for the head-ripping-off that they’re capable of (re: blinky boopity subtractive synths).
I spent an hour the other night working on variations to the church donut sequence I posted previously. The main difference is in the use of the Noisering as the clock source, and to a lesser extent, modulation of the FM index of the Hertz Donut’s second oscillator. These three sequences were outtakes from that hour of recording. On a synth forum I frequent, I was informed by James Cigler that when nothing is plugged into the clock-in jack on t he Noisering, the randomness of the clock is controlled by the EXT RATE knob, which leaks the random signal from the 2nd output into the clock. The EXT RATE knob basically attenuates this signal, allowing for full-on crazy clock, or when turned counter-clockwise, barely any random signal. This is great, and turns the Noisering into a very useful clock source for me. The only problem with it that I see is that the randomness isn’t voltage controlled, and when something is plugged into the CLK IN jack, it breaks the connection. It would be the monkey’s uncle if somehow the source plugged into the CLK IN somehow controlled the amount of that randomness. Instead it’s the other way around, the EXT RATE attenuates whatever signal is plugged into the CLK IN. Both are useful, but I suppose it would take a second jack and knob to make this work.

In any case, this first sequence is the Noisering clock being rate-controlled by a slow LFO sine wave into the CLK IN jack. (When a trigger source is plugged into the CLK IN, that becomes the source of the clock. This merely controls the rate of the internal Noisering clock).

This next one has nothing plugged into the CLK IN jack. About halfway into the sequence I start turning the EXT RATE knob which adds the random signal to the clock.

And this last sequence is longer at eight minutes. It’s also clocked by the Noisering, with some randomness in the signal. In this one there are a lot of different kinds of tones with various modulations being applied to the Hertz Donut and to the Maths, lengthening and shortening the envelope (which for you non synth-heads, means shortening and lengthening the note itself). Near the end the Plan B model 10’s ramp output is all over the second Hertz Donut oscillator, which adds that audible rise in the tone behind the decay of the sound itself. I love that.

All the delay is provided by the Boss DD-3 pedal. It’s convinced me that I need a voltage controlled delay like the Flight of Harmony Sound of Shadows real soon…

model 10 tweaks

I keep the “record” button close by when I’m working with the modular. I don’t really know yet exactly what I’m doing and I never know when something surprising and great will get spit out. These two files are cases in point.
They’re both caused, for lack of a better word, by the Plan B model 10 Polyphonic Envelope. The first one is using the m10’s End of Attack output to send a second trigger to the envelope that is opening the VCA. Because the rise, or attack of the envelope is quicker than the release, it gives it this little swinging feel.

The second one here happened when I was cross-modulating the frequency of the sine output on an A110 oscillator with a LFO as well as the model 10. The LFO was, I believe, sending the triangle wave out, and I was fidgeting about with the ‘fall’ knob on the model 10, as well as a little bit with the time base. It caused some great bubbling.

I’m trying to take time to explore each of the modules I have one by one and really understand what it is that they do. I suspect I’ll have more module-centric posts here coming along. I just bought a couple more pieces — a voltage controlled switch, a low pass gate, and a sequencer — as well as a larger case, so… lots to play with.