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Polivoks VCF questions.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> The Harvestman  
Author Polivoks VCF questions.
Hi modular people.

I see many of you have the polivoks VCF in their modular.

I do own a modular, and... a polivoks, but the synth!

So I have several little questions as I'm interested in buying this year another a-100 case and maybe a polivoks VCF inside.

* Does anyone have both here? Polivoks and polivoks VCF module, to tell me about a real comparison?

* Is the module really instable? Screaming loud? [my polivoks is!]

* If anyone has the polivoks [synth], maybe you can help me with this "pedal in" plug, I'd like to know what kind of expression pedal I should use and where on the DIN to solder the thing... Even better... can I do something with this input and my modular?

Thanks if you can help!
I have the modular filter only, but yes, it's instable in a good way. it's rough sounding when oscillating. It's a really good filter. To be honest, I was a little slow warming up to it because at the time, I was having so much fun with the Livewire frequensteiner. But since, I have used it more and I love it just as much. The polyvoks has a really great sound and and character. It sounds really good when it is FM'd with an audio source.

I think it was the designer of the original Polyvoks synths who was involved in the design of the harvestman's filter too.

Not sure how it compares to a polyvoks synth, but I highly recommend the harvestman's filter.
i've never had the synth, but i did have the vcf until i was stupid and sold it! d'oh! it's a great filter and it's not that expensive. just check out the demos people have posted here and that should help your decision.
I neverplayed or have heard a real polyvoks, but the Harvestman's VCF uses chips from what once was the Soviet Union, I assume the same types of chips in the real deal. The 3 little chips on back have russian print, no idea what letters they even are (I happen to have the filter out of the rack today).
Like everyone else I've never played a real Polivoks, but I do have a Harvestman Polivoks filter and I love it. It's definitely not the only filter anyone should have in their system, but it's one of the most unique filters I've heard, modular or not. The instability and resonance of the filter combine to make for a character that you just won't find anywhere else. You'll find certain cutoff frequencies where the filter is particularly unstable, as well as certain waveform frequencies running into the filter itself which encourage this. Applying some subtle modulation to dance in and out of these unstable frequencies can make for a patch that is wonderfully alive.
computer controlled
It uses the same chips that' are inside the real Polivoks. It was made in collaboration with Vladimir Kuzmin. And it sounds wonderful! When you drive the input real hard, and crank the resonance, it gets unstable alright =o] You can also run the BP out back into the 2nd input for some nice feedback effects. And, the best thing, for me anyway, is that it doesn't lose any low end when the resonance is turned up. In fact, it seems to ADD a bit more beef to the signal. If you get one, i highly doubt you'll regret it!
i've had a polivoks synth on loan, the harvestman euro is certainly louder seemingly. the filter characteristics (esp. the self osc) sounded identical to me.
I have played with a Polivoks but not side by side with the Harvestman module. I do have the Harvestman Polivoks though. I think they sound remarkably close, at least from memory. My current oscillators (AFG, Hertz Donut, 2x A-110) don't quite match the sound of the oscs on the Polivoks but I can say that the the AFG and Poli compliment each other quite nicely. Very aggresive, unstable and brutish.

The AFG and Poli are my go to for really gritty aggresive bass sounds. I've also heard that the MFB OSC-2 is a good match. thumbs up
teenageaudio wrote:
i've had a polivoks synth on loan, the harvestman euro is certainly louder seemingly. the filter characteristics (esp. the self osc) sounded identical to me.

Excellent! Exxxcellent
Good to know, so the upcoming oscillator should be in the same ballpark as the real one. Does the original track 1v/oct pretty tight?
governor blacksnake
I serviced a Polivoks over the summer and did a deep comparison with the Harvestman module. The main difference is in the response of the manual controls - while on the Real Thing you have a limited range of the frequency control for a "regular" cutoff sweep thanks to the taper of the potentiometers use, the modular filter has the control laws adjusted so that playing with the cutoff/resonance controls is more in line with what one would expect with the ability to sweep the full audible range of the control without any log weirdness.

The filters distort in the same way - same soviet op amps, same component values in the core, but on the Polivoks keyboard it is difficult to get it to scream as much as the module unless you send a hot signal through the external input and turn up the rest of the stuff in the mixer too. The module version has more gain in the mixing section so it is easier to get the warm fuzzy sounds that the filter circuit excels at.
you'll love the filter!
governor blacksnake wrote:
I serviced a Polivoks over the summer.

Well then maybe you can help me about this "pedal input" which is supposed to play on the filter cutoff...? help me pleaaase!!! smile

And thanks everyone to confirm that this copy seems to be that good.
I'm still hesitating because since I already have this russian sound in my studio, I may want other filters [livewire and maybe a weird little one like the doepfer wasp clone...] still not decided what to do, but the polivoks vcf is pretty cheap so maybe I'll just buy it anyway. We'll see, but even if I already knew it had been designed with Vlad K. I'm glad to hear that it sounds as strong as the original.
governor blacksnake
golana wrote:
governor blacksnake wrote:
I serviced a Polivoks over the summer.

Well then maybe you can help me about this "pedal input" which is supposed to play on the filter cutoff...? help me pleaaase!!! smile

I was instructed to remove the pedal/phones jacks so I could put the CV/gate jacks on there without drilling any extra holes. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to take a good look at the pedal circuit.
Here's a question: When will these be available again?
governor blacksnake
A large quantity of filters is about to be factory-built. Early May looks like when they will be shipping.
Excellent... I should be able to buy it by then! MY ASS IS BLEEDING
So what exactly do we need to do to install the new HP output?
computer controlled
High pass out what?
governor blacksnake
The HP out is an option on the upcoming factory run of filters. It is not installed by default because it puts an American opamp go into the filter core... the standard HP/BP configuration is very authentic.

If you get one of these new filters, the instructions are there if you take off the panel. Remove six 0-ohm resistors from the back side of the board, and install them into the empty pads on the top of the board. Then, add a third jack and make a hole in the panel. I can do this for a small fee. The HP does what its says, but its resonance characteristic isn't really unique like the LP and BP outs.

Unfortunately it is not practical to modify older units for this new output.

If you need an AWESOME 12db HP filter with a ton of character, go get a Frequensteiner.
computer controlled
I just got something with a HP output =o]
Does that mean the rest will get it now also? wink
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