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VCA/Mixer recommendations?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author VCA/Mixer recommendations?
insoul8
Since I have started down this wonderful and pricey path of eurorack, I have found myself needing more VCA's. I used to primarily use my Optomix for mixer/vca duties and my Intellijel quad vca for controlling cv signals. Since I have added some more oscillators to my system and often want to use all of them at the same time (hocketing for example), i have found myself using the quad as the mixer/vca for 4 voices. So, it seems i have finally realized that you can never have enough vca's!

So, my question is, should i just grab a Tangle Quartet for use with cv signals? Seems simple, cheap, small footprint, linear. Any reason not to get it? That way i could go on using my quad for audio. Or would you guys consider something else for use with cv? Like a Linux or Veils instead? I guess I just find myself unsure of which vca's do better for certain applications but I do quite like the intellijel quad for use with audio signals. Love the boost, ability to overdrive, etc.
euromorcego
if you already have a quad VCA for audio, i would consider getting something like Blinds. Bipolar CV offer some more possibilities, but is a bit fiddly with audio signals. So a quad VCA for audio and Blinds = best of both worlds.
insoul8
euromorcego wrote:
if you already have a quad VCA for audio, i would consider getting something like Blinds. Bipolar CV offer some more possibilities, but is a bit fiddly with audio signals. So a quad VCA for audio and Blinds = best of both worlds.


Thanks. I was actually just looking at that now. Can it also act as a standard vca as well though?
redonyellow
Intellijel Quad VCA, look no further.
insoul8
redonyellow wrote:
Intellijel Quad VCA, look no further.


I already have that and like it a lot for audio. good for cv as well since i can give it a linear response but i was kind of looking for something else unless most vca's really are interchangeable when it comes to cv (blinds aside of course). In which case you are right.
VZvision
insoul8 wrote:
euromorcego wrote:
if you already have a quad VCA for audio, i would consider getting something like Blinds. Bipolar CV offer some more possibilities, but is a bit fiddly with audio signals. So a quad VCA for audio and Blinds = best of both worlds.


Thanks. I was actually just looking at that now. Can it also act as a standard vca as well though?


Second the Blinds suggestion as well. It can definitely act as a standard VCA. The bonus is that while you could easily attenuate incoming CV with another signal on a standard VCA, the bi-polar nature of blinds lets you also invert and offset if needed. Essentially is a quad thru-zero VCA or ringmod.
MarcelP
VZvision wrote:
insoul8 wrote:
euromorcego wrote:
if you already have a quad VCA for audio, i would consider getting something like Blinds. Bipolar CV offer some more possibilities, but is a bit fiddly with audio signals. So a quad VCA for audio and Blinds = best of both worlds.


Thanks. I was actually just looking at that now. Can it also act as a standard vca as well though?


Second the Blinds suggestion as well. It can definitely act as a standard VCA. The bonus is that while you could easily attenuate incoming CV with another signal on a standard VCA, the bi-polar nature of blinds lets you also invert and offset if needed. Essentially is a quad thru-zero VCA or ringmod.


Blinds is really useful and works just fine with audio - except... if it is your final output VCA (if that makes sense) you might have issue with easily finding the null point where it completely kills the output. Hence both Blinds and Veils have their place (in my rack at least).
mdoudoroff
Alternate idea: pick up a stereo mixer of some flavor to place at the end. You’d have to think through the price/size tradeoffs for voltage control and the number of channels. Here’s a handy list to get you started:

http://doudoroff.com/mixers/
insoul8
MarcelP wrote:
VZvision wrote:
insoul8 wrote:
euromorcego wrote:
if you already have a quad VCA for audio, i would consider getting something like Blinds. Bipolar CV offer some more possibilities, but is a bit fiddly with audio signals. So a quad VCA for audio and Blinds = best of both worlds.


Thanks. I was actually just looking at that now. Can it also act as a standard vca as well though?


Second the Blinds suggestion as well. It can definitely act as a standard VCA. The bonus is that while you could easily attenuate incoming CV with another signal on a standard VCA, the bi-polar nature of blinds lets you also invert and offset if needed. Essentially is a quad thru-zero VCA or ringmod.


Blinds is really useful and works just fine with audio - except... if it is your final output VCA (if that makes sense) you might have issue with easily finding the null point where it completely kills the output. Hence both Blinds and Veils have their place (in my rack at least).


Got it. That makes sense. It would primarily be for cv anyway so it sounds like it would be a good option.
robkramble
insoul8 wrote:
redonyellow wrote:
Intellijel Quad VCA, look no further.


I already have that and like it a lot for audio. good for cv as well since i can give it a linear response but i was kind of looking for something else unless most vca's really are interchangeable when it comes to cv (blinds aside of course). In which case you are right.


In my experience, VCAs are largely interchangeable. However, the Intellijel ones are my favorite, given their flexibility. So I guess I'll recommend another Quad VCA?
cptnal
I'd recommend checking out Rebel Technology's Mix range. Having a blast with the 04 these days. thumbs up
R.U.Nuts
For processing CVs I'd highly reccomend VCAs with manual controls for initial signal gain and CV attenuation. Veils and Tangle Quartet both have gain controls that turn into CV attenuators when you patch a CV into the CV-in and thus leaving you without manual gain control once you plugged into the CV in. Blinds on the other hand offers both controls. And additionally, you have all the advantages of bipolar VCAs that were already mentioned as well. Also to be mentioned: If you plug nothing into a channel input of Blinds and a CV into the CV-in of that channel, you can add (or subtract) an offset to the CV with the gain knob. -very handy.
Just as an example for how useful Blinds is: Currently I have patched Blinds like this:
Channel 1 offsets an LFO so it's unipolar.
Ch.2 ring modulates two audio sines with each other.
Ch.3 mixes the signal from Ch.2 with another waveform from a VCO
Ch.4 is used to modulate the amplitude of an envelope with an LFO.

Blinds=awesome Rockin' Banana!
@realwiggler
+1 for Blinds great utility for CV and audio.
Xtheunknown
+1 on Blinds as well. VERY flexible for CVs, ring modulation and dynamic waveform mixing. I really like routing two different waveforms from the Richter Oscillator 2 into Blinds (e.g. a normal square with the out of phase sawtooth being phase modulated by another VCO). I use another Blinds channel to modulate the out of phase wave with an envelope or LFO. All kinds of possibilities...

That said, I also have Veils and some Pittsburgh VCAs for standard audio and CV duty. The variable linear/exponential response of Veils is important, especially for audio. My next VCA will probably be the Intellijel Quad VCA. It will be interesting to see how it compares with Veils.
insoul8
So who wants to sell me a blinds now? razz
wavedepletion
Another Blinds fan, it's generally the first VCA I reach for out of Blinds, Veils, and a µVCA.

Going to build a second one soon. DIY is something to consider if you need to save cash - though only really worth it money-wise if you build at least a few things.
uebl
Have a look at the Happy Nerding 3xVCA, too, before you blindly fall for Blinds wink
insoul8
I'm actually leaning towards the WMD Triple Bipolar VCA for its functionality and small hp. 3 more vca's should be fine and 8hp let's me add it without having to shuffle everything else around. It seems very flexible.
MindMachine
insoul8 wrote:
I'm actually leaning towards the WMD Triple Bipolar VCA for its functionality and small hp. 3 more vca's should be fine and 8hp let's me add it without having to shuffle everything else around. It seems very flexible.


^ Looks like a great option. Very cool design and glad they changed their font on the newer ones.

If you ever want a different flavor of single VCA (mainly for audio) I suggest the WMD/SSF Amplitude. Tons of variation and quality.
BenJBX
I'm starting out with an FSS POCA VCA which is great as a no nonsense synth output vca. I also just got doepfer A-132.3 for control voltages, which I like for its low cost and good ergonomics.

The doepfer won't invert though, so I'm eyeing up a blinds. That happy nerding unit is a nice design too though.
Shledge
Befaco a*b+c

Acts as a dual bipolar VCA/quad mixer with DC offsets. Only 6hp.

There is also Vermona's QuadroPOL, which is a quad bipolar VCA/mixer/offset for only 10hp. Even has decent dead-zones in the middle. Pricier than blinds but the quality is much higher too.
R.U.Nuts
Shledge wrote:
Befaco a*b+c

Acts as a dual bipolar VCA/quad mixer with DC offsets. Only 6hp.

There is also Vermona's QuadroPOL, which is a quad bipolar VCA/mixer/offset for only 10hp. Even has decent dead-zones in the middle. Pricier than blinds but the quality is much higher too.


The Qadropol has no attenuvertors for the CV-/ modulator-inputs which is IMHO a major drawback compared with Blinds.
But two a*b+c are probably a cool alternative to Blinds.
And then there's also the RYO 2xVCX which has some nice tricks up it's sleeve...
js213
How is the Erogenous Tones VC8? Does it handle CV well?
ShoveCoupler
Hi, just wanted to bump (or maybe hijack) this thread, I find myself in a similar position to the OP.

I've never been quite happy with my Doepfer A132-4 quad exp VCA and assumed it was my incompetence but having watched this video https://youtu.be/yil8ALFEk0M I now see that the conventional advice to use an exponential VCA for audio is somewhat misleading, and explains why I've been having so much difficulty getting a nice clean envelope that sounds punchy without distorting.

In addition to Veils, Blinds and Intellijel Quad VCA, I have heard good things about Abstract Data ADE-50 3xVCA but worried at its complete lack of controls.

Any views on what will give the best sound quality when used as a final envelope VCA with a Maths and a brace of Pip Slopes?

Thanks for any advice.
cptnal
ShoveCoupler wrote:
Hi, just wanted to bump (or maybe hijack) this thread, I find myself in a similar position to the OP.

I've never been quite happy with my Doepfer A132-4 quad exp VCA and assumed it was my incompetence but having watched this video https://youtu.be/yil8ALFEk0M I now see that the conventional advice to use an exponential VCA for audio is somewhat misleading, and explains why I've been having so much difficulty getting a nice clean envelope that sounds punchy without distorting.

In addition to Veils, Blinds and Intellijel Quad VCA, I have heard good things about Abstract Data ADE-50 3xVCA but worried at its complete lack of controls.

Any views on what will give the best sound quality when used as a final envelope VCA with a Maths and a brace of Pip Slopes?

Thanks for any advice.


I think the general rule is you should feed an exponential VCA with a linear envelope, and vice versa. Others may be able to confirm/expand. hmmm.....
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