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converting between minijacks and bananas on 200e
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Author converting between minijacks and bananas on 200e
franzschuier
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Parallel Worlds wrote:
.
in detail: i tested the 250e cv1 out, stopped in a step with this step knob turned all the way to 0volts. my analog voltometer showed 0volts
(my voltometer being a Doepfer A-197 module).

also tested the cv out of an AD from an 281e, without it being triggered by anything. again 0volts.

so, no offset in the Buchla 200e banana outs.
(unless there is offset in the 259e and 261e mod osc banana outs?)

...the weather for cross-patching seems fine....

also, no module of mine has been damaged so far, from today's crosspatching...
(but cross-patch at your own risk of course...)


We should have a buchla sticky with voltages and infos like this!

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dougcl
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Parallel Worlds wrote:

btw, in that sense, many serge NTO/PCO waveform outputs have offset (as they are not Bipolar, apart from the sinewave), various euro modules lfo outputs have offsets, etc, etc... but there is nothing stopping anyone to use these as audio sources of course.


In general for euro, no. This is surprising to hear about in Serge-land.

The Buchla does seem to tolerate negative voltages into the CV jacks, they are however simply ignored. So if you run your euro LFO into a Buchla banana, only half the signal will do anything unless you employ some kind of offset manually.
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Parallel Worlds
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

dougcl wrote:
Parallel Worlds wrote:

btw, in that sense, many serge NTO/PCO waveform outputs have offset (as they are not Bipolar, apart from the sinewave), various euro modules lfo outputs have offsets, etc, etc... but there is nothing stopping anyone to use these as audio sources of course.


In general for euro, no. This is surprising to hear about in Serge-land.

The Buchla does seem to tolerate negative voltages into the CV jacks, they are however simply ignored. So if you run your euro LFO into a Buchla banana, only half the signal will do anything unless you employ some kind of offset manually.


yep, the doepfer lfo's have some waveforms that are bipolar and some unipolar, (and maybe that is true for other lfo modules from other euro makers), so, there's the offset you mention...
also some waveforms of the Serge vco's are unipolar and the sinewave is bipolar.
but, in a system with a single nature of sockets that is no problem really. you use the offset in some cases as you like and, in other cases, you just add some negative cv offset and make the offset-ed wave bipolar... smile

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What might perceived as a limitation today has obviously historical reasons. To understand why CV and audio signals are seperated you'll have to keep in mind the electronical constraints in the 1970s. Regarding the 200e: Don wanted to keep the standard he has established in the 1970s.

What is called a repeatedly a limitation is none from the point of view by someone who wants to mix and match both a 200 system and a 200e system.

Quote:
Electrical compatibility is also important, and our last power supply revision was in 1970. The 200e provides highly regulated supplies at plus and minus 15 Volts (not the 12 Volts of the external power supply), a fact easily confirmed with a little probing of the innards. Only two older modules, again the 212 and 275, require an additional voltage (24 Volts).
Signal, control voltage and pulse levels are another aspect of compatibility. Once again, our last revision was in 1970 — all 200 modules, including 200e versions, have followed suit. My conclusion is that the 200e series modules maintain their intended compatibility with their predecessors, with the aforementioned rare exceptions.

Don Buchla http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar06/articles/crosstalk.htm


Quote:
The early Buchlas utilized several power supplies of different voltages, there were no LEDs at the time so incandescent lamps were used all over the front panels and these had their own power requirements. Also the control voltage were a mighty ten or even more volts in the system, while the outside world was using the standard one volt peak to peak audio line level and Don adapted his audio chain to those levels. The simplest way to keep all of that isolated was to use separate connectors. It was probably this necessary isolation between control and audio that lead to exploration with opto-isolators and the rest is Low Pass Gate history.

From: Cynthia Webster
Subject: Re: [sdiy] to banana or not to banana
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 10:00:29 -0700

Quote:
The Buchla philosophy here is that by having a different connector, the audio can travel safely on shielded wires at line level, and the audio paths are visually distinct from the control paths. The visual distinction is not to be sneezed at. I find that when tracing a control path, I don't really even see the mini cables carrying audio.

Having system audio running at line level means that tapping an audio signal at any point in a patch and sending it to an external processor is a simple matter of mini-plug to 1/4" cables. Buchla systems also tend to have mini jacks for FM/AM where needed.

From: Chris Muir
Subject: Re: [sdiy] to banana or not to banana
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 10:16:32 -0700

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Lyonel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Quote:
The Buchla philosophy here is that by having a different connector, the audio can travel safely on shielded wires at line level, and the audio paths are visually distinct from the control paths. The visual distinction is not to be sneezed at. I find that when tracing a control path, I don't really even see the mini cables carrying audio.

Having system audio running at line level means that tapping an audio signal at any point in a patch and sending it to an external processor is a simple matter of mini-plug to 1/4" cables. Buchla systems also tend to have mini jacks for FM/AM where needed.

From: Chris Muir
Subject: Re: [sdiy] to banana or not to banana
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 10:16:32 -0700



Yes, Yes and re-Yes !

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Parallel Worlds
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

of course, i totally understand that Don had specific reasons for doing what he did. i do not doubt that at all.

but, it does not hurt the artist to experiment and crosspatch bananas to minijacks... smile

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dougcl
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Parallel Worlds wrote:

yep, the doepfer lfo's have some waveforms that are bipolar and some unipolar, (and maybe that is true for other lfo modules from other euro makers), so, there's the offset you mention...


I don't know what you are talking about. Perhaps there is one on the A-145? They are all bipolar. That's why they require offset before running to the A-156.

Quote:
also some waveforms of the Serge vco's are unipolar and the sinewave is bipolar.

Again, this is really surprising, to the extent that I am am skeptical about the truth of it.

Quote:

but, in a system with a single nature of sockets that is no problem really. you use the offset in some cases as you like and, in other cases, you just add some negative cv offset and make the offset-ed wave bipolar... smile


Unipolar to bipolar is handled automatically in AC coupled circuits, which is probably the most common scenario.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Unipolar regarding the Doepfer lfo's: the unipolar pulse output of A146 and the saw output of the A147 (and maybe there are more in other lfo modules...?) i do not have the time to measure all of them....

Unipolar regarding the Serge: the Saw and Triangle output of the Serge PCO for sure, and (most probably) the saw and triangle output of the NTO. also, for sure, the Blue banana outputs of the DSG and the DTG. and maybe more. again i do not have the time to measure everything.

i work and use my modulars almost daily, for the last 9 years, so, i really work with them a lot.

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Parallel Worlds
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:

Unipolar to bipolar is handled automatically in AC coupled circuits, which is probably the most common scenario.


of course! but i was talking about the situation that you want to make bipolar a cv source that will go into a cv input, then you have to add the cv offset yourself.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

just quickly checked a few more things:
the Doepfer A100 and A111: all waveforms are Bipolar. (ok, i expected that as, IIRC, their outputs are all ac-coupled...)

and, all the other waveforms of all other Doepfer LFO's are Bipolar...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Parallel Worlds wrote:

Unipolar regarding the Serge: the Saw and Triangle output of the Serge PCO for sure, and (most probably) the saw and triangle output of the NTO. also, for sure, the Blue banana outputs of the DSG and the DTG. and maybe more. again i do not have the time to measure everything.


It is really surprising to me that DC coupled outputs exist on Serge waveform generators. I am apparently in need of some education about Serge AC and DC coupling. It seems you can (or were able to) order your Serge panels either way? Are the jacks color coded to indicate? Is there some way that the user knows what to expect from a given output? I think this is a great example of how separation of signals makes patches simpler to work with. It certainly is easier to successfully patch the 200e than eurorack.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

dougcl wrote:
Parallel Worlds wrote:

Unipolar regarding the Serge: the Saw and Triangle output of the Serge PCO for sure, and (most probably) the saw and triangle output of the NTO. also, for sure, the Blue banana outputs of the DSG and the DTG. and maybe more. again i do not have the time to measure everything.


It is really surprising to me that DC coupled outputs exist on Serge waveform generators. I am apparently in need of some education about Serge AC and DC coupling. It seems you can (or were able to) order your Serge panels either way? Are the jacks color coded to indicate? Is there some way that the user knows what to expect from a given output? I think this is a great example of how separation of signals makes patches simpler to work with. It certainly is easier to successfully patch the 200e than eurorack.


Basically black outputs are AC Coupled. Blue outputs are DC Coupled. That's it. Color coded is here to indicate what kind of output you're using*. Don't need any separation in signals at all. It's possible to ask Rex about changing AC mixers into DC mixers etc. but i don't know for generators (NTO/PCO etc.). The cables colors doesn't indicate anything but the length.
(Gray 4” - Green 8” - Yellow 12” - Red 18” - Blue 24” - Violet 36” - Brown 48” )

* from the Creature Manual :

Black—Bi-polar AC-coupled voltages
and signal (voltages that may swing between positive and negative, as in an audio signal)

Blue—Unipolar DC-coupled voltages
(usually positive-only control voltages)

Red—Logic (triggers, gates, and other positive-going pulses)

Violet—Synchronization,
currently found only on voltage-controlled oscillators so that one master oscillator may “retrigger’ the waveforms of slave oscillators and help eliminate unwanted “beat frequencies.”

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MechaSeb wrote:
dougcl wrote:
Parallel Worlds wrote:

Unipolar regarding the Serge: the Saw and Triangle output of the Serge PCO for sure, and (most probably) the saw and triangle output of the NTO. also, for sure, the Blue banana outputs of the DSG and the DTG. and maybe more. again i do not have the time to measure everything.


It is really surprising to me that DC coupled outputs exist on Serge waveform generators. I am apparently in need of some education about Serge AC and DC coupling. It seems you can (or were able to) order your Serge panels either way? Are the jacks color coded to indicate? Is there some way that the user knows what to expect from a given output? I think this is a great example of how separation of signals makes patches simpler to work with. It certainly is easier to successfully patch the 200e than eurorack.


Basically black outputs are AC Coupled. Blue outputs are DC Coupled. That's it. Color coded is here to indicate what kind of output you're using*. Don't need any separation in signals at all. It's possible to ask Rex about changing AC mixers into DC mixers etc. but i don't know for generators (NTO/PCO etc.). The cables colors doesn't indicate anything but the length.
(Gray 4” - Green 8” - Yellow 12” - Red 18” - Blue 24” - Violet 36” - Brown 48” )

* from the Creature Manual :

Black—Bi-polar AC-coupled voltages
and signal (voltages that may swing between positive and negative, as in an audio signal)

Blue—Unipolar DC-coupled voltages
(usually positive-only control voltages)

Red—Logic (triggers, gates, and other positive-going pulses)

Violet—Synchronization,
currently found only on voltage-controlled oscillators so that one master oscillator may “retrigger’ the waveforms of slave oscillators and help eliminate unwanted “beat frequencies.”


exactly. thumbs up

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Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Not to stir the pot, but (OK, in fact, only to stir the pot -- hey, we haven't had a thread this potentially polarizing since Christmas!),

I've always felt that separating the "audio" and "control voltage" functions on Buchla equipment was a needless limitation, if not an outright design flaw. (But, then again, Buchla always did seem to want to exert a certain amount of control over what artists did with his gear.) After all, it was none other than Moog who pointed out that CV was just audio slowed down, and vice versa. I don't see what the advantage of keeping audio at line level is either, since one has only to convert it at the end of the signal chain. Plus, sometimes, switching these two functions really leads to interesting results. Recent case in point: Danjel van Tijn's demonstration of the new Intellijel uFold (a wavefolder based, incidentally, on the Buchla 261) in which, halfway through, he put LFO into the audio input and audio into the CV inputs, and obtained shockingly new and infinitely more interesting timbres than doing it the "right" way round.

To me, the most interesting thing about Buchla systems is how defensive all the fanboyz get when anyone dares to criticize them. Yes, they're awesome, but jeez, get over yourselves already!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Not to stir the pot, but (OK, in fact, only to stir the pot -- hey, we haven't had a thread this potentially polarizing since Christmas!),

I've always felt that separating the "audio" and "control voltage" functions on Buchla equipment was a needless limitation, if not an outright design flaw. After all, it was none other than Moog who pointed out that CV was just audio slowed down, and vice versa. I don't see what the advantage of keeping audio at line level is either, since one has only to convert it at the end of the signal chain. Plus, sometimes, switching these two functions really leads to interesting results. Recent case in point: Danjel van Tijn's demonstration of the new Intellijel uFold (a wavefolder based, incidentally, on the Buchla 261) in which, halfway through, he put LFO into the audio input and audio into the CV inputs, and obtained shockingly new and infinitely more interesting timbres than doing it the "right" way round.

To me, the most interesting thing about Buchla systems is how defensive all the fanboyz get when anyone dares to criticize them. Yes, they're awesome, but jeez, get over yourselves already!


agree. Mr. Green

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
I've always felt that separating the "audio" and "control voltage" functions on Buchla equipment was a needless limitation, if not an outright design flaw.

Design decision? Yes. Flaw? Maybe to you. This was clearly a conscious decision that allows for optimizing the design for audio or DC, as appropriate.
Do you ever optimize your designs by using op amps that are better for audio than DC? (or vice versa) Do you ever AC couple your inputs? Outputs?

Quote:
(But, then again, Buchla always did seem to want to exert a certain amount of control over what artists did with his gear.)

Citation needed.

Quote:
After all, it was none other than Moog who pointed out that CV was just audio slowed down, and vice versa.

While that's true as far as it goes, it glosses over the practical differences between the two. An op amp that has great DC specs might not be the best choice for noise specs. The Moog ladder filter is AC coupled, making it fairly useless for filtering CV sources? Is this a design flaw? I think not. It is not designed for that.

Quote:
I don't see what the advantage of keeping audio at line level is either, since one has only to convert it at the end of the signal chain.

"End of the signal chain" – what is that? That's the beauty of keeping audio at line level in a modular system. Your signal chain can include all sorts of things in the middle. Want a delay / reverb in feedback with the filter? OK. Want to put a phasor/flanger on the oscillator output? No problem, patch it up. If you are thinking of modular voices as osc->filter->vca, then yes there is a clear "end of chain," but if you want to expand that vocabulary, the line level thing is a boon.

Quote:
Plus, sometimes, switching these two functions really leads to interesting results. Recent case in point: Danjel van Tijn's demonstration of the new Intellijel uFold (a wavefolder based, incidentally, on the Buchla 261) in which, halfway through, he put LFO into the audio input and audio into the CV inputs, and obtained shockingly new and infinitely more interesting timbres than doing it the "right" way round.

In general I agree that the happy accident can be interesting. In theory, being able to patch anything to anything is great, but in practice, the Buchla has a pretty wide palette without being able to easily patch anything to anything. It's one of the most audio-rate-modulation-heavy systems I know of. Jacks of the appropriate type are available most places you'd want them. When going from an audio source to a CV input, in the rare-ish case that this isn't already accommodated, a simple adapter cord to go from banana to tini-plug will suffice, at least in every case where the 4v peak to peak audio signal level will do the job.

Quote:
To me, the most interesting thing about Buchla systems is how defensive all the fanboyz get when anyone dares to criticize them. Yes, they're awesome, but jeez, get over yourselves already!

Whatever. If you set out to stir the pot, I don't see how you can be surprised when the contents are stirred.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I made a few of these recently to use with my Buchla system:




The socket is Tiny-Jax. Works great.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've made a few of these, although I don't need to use them very often.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

cbm wrote:
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
I've always felt that separating the "audio" and "control voltage" functions on Buchla equipment was a needless limitation, if not an outright design flaw.

Design decision? Yes. Flaw? Maybe to you. This was clearly a conscious decision that allows for optimizing the design for audio or DC, as appropriate.
Do you ever optimize your designs by using op amps that are better for audio than DC? (or vice versa) Do you ever AC couple your inputs? Outputs?

Generally, there's no need to AC couple my (audio) outputs, since none of the outputs on my module designs drift, and AC coupling outputs often only complicates matters downstream (by not providing a path for DC from, say, high-impedance opamp inputs, which can actually cause those inputs to hit the rails). I wouldn't want to AC couple my inputs, since this precludes feeding them CV sources.

Quote:
Quote:
(But, then again, Buchla always did seem to want to exert a certain amount of control over what artists did with his gear.)

Citation needed.

Yeah, I was just kidding about that (see the part where I wanted to stir the pot). I'm not even going to comment on the delicious irony of using custom phone-to-banana converter cables to "override" Buchla's beautiful system, given everything that has been said so far.

Quote:
Quote:
After all, it was none other than Moog who pointed out that CV was just audio slowed down, and vice versa.

While that's true as far as it goes, it glosses over the practical differences between the two. An op amp that has great DC specs might not be the best choice for noise specs. The Moog ladder filter is AC coupled, making it fairly useless for filtering CV sources? Is this a design flaw? I think not. It is not designed for that.

I believe that the ladder filter must be AC coupled to keep it centred. Otherwise, it would drift and clip all over the place. This simply isn't a necessity with most opamp-based designs.
Concerning noise specs, the opamps in most Buchla designs are nothing special -- TL082 in the oscillators, RC4136 inputs (basically a quad 741) and LM380 outputs (a cheap-as-chips audio amplifier IC) on the output module. I don't know how Buchla spent all the money he made on those modules, but it sure as hell wasn't on fancy parts.

Quote:
Quote:
I don't see what the advantage of keeping audio at line level is either, since one has only to convert it at the end of the signal chain.

"End of the signal chain" – what is that? That's the beauty of keeping audio at line level in a modular system. Your signal chain can include all sorts of things in the middle. Want a delay / reverb in feedback with the filter? OK. Want to put a phasor/flanger on the oscillator output? No problem, patch it up. If you are thinking of modular voices as osc->filter->vca, then yes there is a clear "end of chain," but if you want to expand that vocabulary, the line level thing is a boon.

Fair enough.

Quote:
Quote:
To me, the most interesting thing about Buchla systems is how defensive all the fanboyz get when anyone dares to criticize them. Yes, they're awesome, but jeez, get over yourselves already!

Whatever. If you set out to stir the pot, I don't see how you can be surprised when the contents are stirred.

Who said I was surprised? lol But, seriously, Buchla systems are beautiful and awesome (and, yes, overpriced as well). I'm just trying to have a little fun on a dreary Monday.

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Oxix52
Ultra Wiggler


Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Last Visit: 27 Jan 2015

Posts: 799
Location: El Paso, TX, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I do have to say that, like Chris, I rarely use my banana converter cable. At the time I made them, I was anticipating buying a couple of Serge modules thinking I would convert the serge banana audio to Buchla Tiny-Jax, but I spent the money on more Buchla instead hihi
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