Why not filter after VCA/dynamics?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., analogdigital, infradead, lisa, parasitk, plord, sduck

Post Reply
User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Why not filter after VCA/dynamics?

Post by Bath House » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:56 am

I ended up doing a few “filter last” patches recently and was surprised that it didn’t really make a difference or even gave an interesting new flavor since the filter was now working on different dynamics and doing things like resonating differently depending on the dynamics of the incoming VCA output. In 20 years of modular I’ve somehow never explored this.
Catholic Roland Modular New Age Acid:
www.goodglassrecords.com

User avatar
sduck
experimental use of gravity
Posts: 13276
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:03 pm
Location: Vortepexaion, TN, USA

Post by sduck » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:39 am

Of course! Why not? That's the beauty of modular - you can put anything anywhere.

ranix
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1637
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:39 pm

Post by ranix » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:48 am

I do occasionally. It's good to have a gate or a second VCA after the filter since filters are noisy. Also, you'll get a DC component in your output signal when using a low pass filter as the final module in your signal chain. It's actually just very slowly oscillating, but it looks and acts like DC and can wreak havok when mixed with other signals.

jakobprogsch
Common Wiggler
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:48 pm
Location: Switzerland

Post by jakobprogsch » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:32 pm

I guess this will become more common with the recent proliferation of stereo filters. Having one VCA in front of the filter is easier than having tow after. QPAS even has a VCA built in like that.

User avatar
Taylor
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Post by Taylor » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:21 pm

The modular filter I use most is a DIY Polivoks, which has a very nice distortion character to my ears. I put the VCA before that filter all the time, since it sounds very different with a dynamic input.

User avatar
Blairio
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1663
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:50 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Post by Blairio » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:24 pm

I have a TipTop Z2040 Eurorack filter. Mine is the V2 model. Earlier or later versions may differ from what I describe below.

Aside from being a great sounding filter with resonance-gain-compensation, my Z2040 has a built in VCA. Three three jumpers on the rear of the PCB determine its behaviour.

1.Removing jumper 1 disables the VCA.
2. Depending on the positions of jumpers 2 and 3 the VCA stage is placed before or after the filter,

Note that with the VCA configured to come after the Filter, unless you apply a CV to the VC-Gain input, no sound comes out of the filter. This caused me much puzzlement until I RTFM.

So TipTop fully understood the value of giving the user the choice of whether the VCA stage should sit before or after the filter stage.

User avatar
MindMachine
weekend warrior
Posts: 6539
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:45 am
Location: Santa Susana Field Lab

Post by MindMachine » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:04 am

I like to put a staccato voice via VCA into my EMW Triple VC Bandpass Filter and sweep each BP channel's CV input with three different LFO speeds.
FS: A-140-2 Dual VC ADSR, Erica VCA 2, SP-555 Sampler and more - CHEAP!!!
viewtopic.php?t=222871&highlight=
WTB: Kurzweil Rumour (or trade for Mangler)

User avatar
Dcramer
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 5390
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:11 pm
Location: Canada

Post by Dcramer » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:17 pm

I do this fairly often to get some range and control of the filters drive characteristics. :tu:

R.U.Nuts
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1784
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:43 pm

Post by R.U.Nuts » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:17 pm

You can also ping a filter by applying a very short envelope to the VCA in front of your filter. With a voltage controlled envelope you could then sequence the envelope lenght and thus switch between filtered audio and pinged filter.

User avatar
tito_tunes
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 289
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:33 am
Location: San Franpsycho

Post by tito_tunes » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:04 am

The reason why it’s not typically done is that if you have high res on your filter it’ll just drone on and not be gated with the notes. That said I like to use filters on almost everything when mixing, not just synth sounds, but I won’t go into self oscillation with the resonance
danielriera.bandcamp.com

User avatar
chvad
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3276
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:23 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by chvad » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:45 am

this is generally my preferred way to patch!

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:37 am

tito_tunes wrote:The reason why it’s not typically done is that if you have high res on your filter it’ll just drone on and not be gated with the notes. That said I like to use filters on almost everything when mixing, not just synth sounds, but I won’t go into self oscillation with the resonance
I actually thought this was cool on a recent patch - like a guitar feeding back when not played. You’d articulate the notes and then let it ring until the next notes.
Catholic Roland Modular New Age Acid:
www.goodglassrecords.com

jorg
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:38 am
Location: East Coast USA

Post by jorg » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:14 am

I usually put the filter last. My VCAs tend to distort and I'm not a big distortion fan. Plus, pinging is very useful to me. With my Doepfer triple filter I can get some nice drum/percussive sounds.

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”