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Sample and hold still needed in modern polysynth design?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Sample and hold still needed in modern polysynth design?
lebowski
As the title suggests. In modern polysynth design, and with the advent of much higher clock speeds in today's microcontrollers, is sample and hold circuitry still required to maintain control voltages?
It would be interesting to see some modern poly schematics. Alas, these seem pretty thin on the ground.
Thanks!
latigid on
Good question! I'm not sure, but the S&H chips I've seen are quite expensive, so it might be fast switching indeed.
pre55ure
I would think so?
As far as my understanding goes, the S&H circuits were less about the speed but more about maximizing the amount of simultaneous CV that could be output given a set number of pins on the microcontroller.

But, I really don't know. Would love to see some schematics for any of the newer polys that have come out recently.

Edit: Just had another thought - the schematics for the Ambika are available. Not sure if this is *quite* what you had in mind - but it is a modern polysynth. Anyway, it does not use any S&H to generate CV, but rather each voice has it's own microcontroller. IIRC it uses a 2 channel 12bit DAC for the more precise CV stuff and then just uses filtered PWM from the microcontroller's pins for the less precise CV.
guest
DACs can be pretty cheap, so you could skip the S/H, which was meant to reuse a single DAC, which was expensive back then.
latigid on
guest wrote:
DACs can be pretty cheap, so you could skip the S/H, which was meant to reuse a single DAC, which was expensive back then.


True! DACs are essentially S&H anyway.
lebowski
thanks guys, I'll take a peek at the ambika.
I am starting to sketch out an idea for an analogue poly with (a lot) of voices, While I have quite a clear picture of its architecture the digital control side of things is an area I need to research quite a bit.

yeah I have seen some (very expensive) multi channel (30 channel) Sample & Hold ICs Maxim, AD etc but as I said, I was starting to wonder if they are even needed. a simple uController per voice does sound like an elegant solution especially considering their cost these days.
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