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Big Kommander problem... help!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> KOMA Elektronik  
Author Big Kommander problem... help!
I picked up a Kommander based on the following Koma demo. In it it shows a nice smooth filter sweep, then smoothly changing pitch example, then a quantized pitch example. When using the exact same modules and patches, my Kommander can not correctly do any of these things, but makes everything sound noisy. As a test, I set it sideways so that it reflects of the stationary wall, recorded the CV, then looked at the waveform, which ends up looking as if it is being modulated by an LFO, up and down in a repeating pattern. And it is fast and deep enough that even through the same quantizer as used in the video, it sounds like noise. I tried triggering the quantizer with a clock, and even with the Koma stationary reflecting the wall, the sampled notes are all over the place. Clearly in the video it works, so I tried other power supplies, other wall outlets, etc. trying to pinpoint what the difference was. I even went back to the store and tested it next to another Kommander, and both operated exactly the same. Any ideas of what would cause this? It has such promise (and looks freaking cool! That artwork is awesome!) which makes it all the more disappointing that it doesn't appear to work as shown.

Oh also, I noticed that the gate sometimes seems to trigger more than once when triggered, so I tested it by plugging it into an A160 clock divider to count triggers. Amazingly it was triggering between 1 and 64 triggers each time I moved my hand once! I discovered that it must be the same modulated signal, because if I put my hand in just the right place I can get infinite triggers on the gate out. It does work normally if I put my hand in from the side down lower, but if I put it straight down to trigger it, I get the extra triggers.

Also, I tried adjusting the sensitivity and voltages on the back, but it doesn't remove the problem. Thanks for anyone help!
Hey cgorsu, I am very sorry to hear about your problems with the Kommander. You say that you had the same behaviour with another Kommander that you also got from the same store?

It can happen in some situations that certain lamps emit a modulated IR signal at the same frequency that the Kommander works (above 24kHz) which can cause the situation that you describe. The easiest way to test this is to switch off any light sources in the room where you are playing with the Kommander.

Let me know if that helps in your situation.
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I tried it in a completely dark room and no change. I also tried it with an entirely different synth in another room (also dark) and I had the same problem... hmmm.....
What kind of power supply are you using?
It's a guitar pedal power supply, says 9VDC 500mA, and is center neg. It also says INPUT: 120V 60Hx 12W. I don't know what power supply at the synth shop was, but in both places both Kommanders tested had the modulated-sounding output. I know little about electricity, could the electricity in an area cause noise/modulation? I've seen videos of others using their Kommanders and they seems really smooth, I just can't pinpoint what could be the source of mine's non-smoothness.
Thanks for all your help!
Thanks for the info. This sounds quite confusing... the mains power in your area shouldn't affect the wall wart adapter all too much, also because there is usually quite narrow tolerances on the "mains signal" (at least here in Germany...) to make sure appliances keep running at all times.

So but when you tested your Kommander in the shop again next to another Kommander, they both behaved this way? And also this was another setup then, right? Or did you use your modular to test these two Kommanders? Can it be something like the cables or your modular?

It could have happened of course that something broke during shipping but it would be nearly impossible to test two broken-while-shipping Kommanders next to each other. But at the same time I can't really make rhyme or reason of it...
Yes, it was a totally different modular and power cord, I just took the Kommander itself in. Oh well, even though it doesn't have a very clean output, I discovered that in noisy-type patches it works ok and can still do interesting things in that context. Thanks for spending so much time trying to help me out.
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