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Metalbox Drum Modules
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Author Metalbox Drum Modules
Muff Wiggler
(give them pics some time to load yo)

Drums!


My big Metalbox order arrived today, and I had to pull most of my Metalbox modules (all but Analog Logic and Tube VCA) to rearrange stuff, so I took some pics. I figure why not start a thread about some of the many awesome drum-useful modules Metalbox has. Their lineup is tops for modular percussion stuff in my opinion. And I don't even have a Gated Comparator, Sequential Switch or Gate Sequencer yet....

First up my 'expanded' Dual Drum - I'm really grateful to Michael for being willing to customize this and bring the extra pots to the front....





Now here's the 'expanded' Dual Chime -





Those two arrived today (along with the Digital Noise and Analog Logic), but since we are doing drums at the moment.... Here's the AMAZING 8008 Bass Drum. This little module sounds HUGE!!





Ok, can't talk Metalbox drums without talking Cynare. This thing continues to blow me away, I can get three unique drum sounds from it at any given time, and I know there's still lots of stuff I'm missing here... Thanks plord for selling me this love





OK, now moving away from strict drum modules, Metalbox has some brilliant modules that are VERY VERY useful within drum patches - first here's the Digital Noise. I used to have one of these before, but sold it. When I later received my first drum modules, I knew I wanted it back for the Binary outs - they are awesome for triggering semi-random drum hits. Yet another module that I *love* to clock with the Noise Ring....





OK, there was a thread where this one came up today - sadly it's been discontinued, but it's worth picking up if you can find one - Dual AD. Two independant AD generators, really fast for drum usage, and the Trigger 1 input is normalled to the Trigger 2 input, so you can easily fire both envelopes with one voltage if you want....





And last but most certainly not least is my Burst Generator, this one I bought from Sandy (thanks Sandy!). Super super super useful when you have a bunch of drum modules to trigger...





Ok, whew that's a buncha modules. Here they are all having a party together w00t



and here's the rack view of my 'drum strip' -



now that i've pulled myself away long enough to make this post, please excuse me while I go and make some noise hyper
Kwote
cool!

i noticed on the dual drum, there's what appears to be a resistor soldered to one of the top pots with black tubing on the bottom end of the resistor before heading to the pcb. what's up with that??
consumed
excellent lineup--looks good too. you will reaaaaly like the gated comparator when you decide to get into it.
Kwote
the more i look at the expanded dual chime the more i can't resist getting a new faceplate and some more pots.

question for Michael Ford,

i read on Ken Stone's site that he recommended 100k and 1k pots for wide range and fine tuning. on the module you did for muff you have all six pots on the front. what values did you use for each pot?

thanks.
Muff Wiggler
Kwote wrote:
cool!

i noticed on the dual drum, there's what appears to be a resistor soldered to one of the top pots with black tubing on the bottom end of the resistor before heading to the pcb. what's up with that??


Hey Kwote - saw the original un-edited post - don't know if you are still curious but the PCB is mounted with little L-brackets. If you look along the right-hand edge of the FRONT of the panels, you see the little black screws that are holding the L-brackets to the panel. The other side of the L-Bracket is attached to the corner holes on the PCB.

Basically the same thing I did with the Psycho LFO I built - see here:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=585

Let me know if you need better pics of this.

About the other question, the resistor-to-the-pot, that's common enough. Sometimes you need to change the value of the pot, but not far enough to warrant buying a different pot. Often it is done so to 'maximze' the radius of the pot's travel..... for example you may have a pot that's only useful through a portion of it's range - if you change the value of the pot slightly, you can make the same 'usuable' area become the full range of the pot.

Typically this means sending the signal on the way to the pot through some resistor. Basically you are adding the value of this resistor to the resistance value of the pot. Easiest way is to solder the resistor right to the leg of the pot, then attach your wire to this resistor, rather than to the pot's leg. That's what Michael has done here.

And when you start to put conductive materials in 'flyout' areas of your work, it's a good idea to shrinkwrap them in an insulant so they don't accidentally short aganst something.
Muff Wiggler
oh yeah, look again at this pic - it's the back of the Dual Drum:



You may notice that the 'decay a' and 'decay b' pots (lowest pots on the panel) each have a pair of blue plastic trimmers attached to them!

I acually emailed Michael about these - they are used for just what I was talking about above - to fine-tune the exact resistance and travel of the pot they are connected to (trimmers are just variable resistors)

there's lots of ways to change the value of a pot w00t
Kwote
sicc w00t

yeah i edited because after more and more looking of your pics i realized how clear it was.

i'd rather just get the exact value pots i need just to avoid the extra work for now.

but i'm definately gonna reorder a new panel and some extra pots so i can do the fully expanded chime. just can't help myself. i think it's worth the wait and the extra money. good learning experience.

anyways, where did you get your L-brackets for mounting the pcb? i'd like to pick up a couple of those. i'm guessing they came with nuts.
Muff Wiggler
Kwote wrote:
i'd rather just get the exact value pots i need just to avoid the extra work for now.


in these cases, it's not that people are too lazy (or don't have the right pot on hand)... it's a case where for example you need a 92k pot to optimize the travel of the pot, and no-one makes this. The closest you can buy is a 100k pot, which would work, but some of the pot's travel is wasted. So you add an 8k resistor in front of a 100k pot - presto, 92k pot.

Kwote wrote:
anyways, where did you get your L-brackets for mounting the pcb? i'd like to pick up a couple of those. i'm guessing they came with nuts.


I have a 15 year-old bag of unsorted washers, nuts, screws, bolts, brackets, etc etc. Just a big bag of crap. I had a bunch of them in there.
Kwote
Muff Wiggler wrote:
Kwote wrote:
i'd rather just get the exact value pots i need just to avoid the extra work for now.


in these cases, it's not that people are too lazy (or don't have the right pot on hand)... it's a case where for example you need a 92k pot to optimize the travel of the pot, and no-one makes this. The closest you can buy is a 100k pot, which would work, but some of the pot's travel is wasted. So you add an 8k resistor in front of a 100k pot - presto, 92k pot.


oh. cool. makes total sense.



Muff Wiggler wrote:
I have a 15 year-old bag of unsorted washers, nuts, screws, bolts, brackets, etc etc. Just a big bag of crap. I had a bunch of them in there.


got some to spare? lol
Muff Wiggler
if you totally can't find any I will dump out the bag again and pull some for you... but seriously you can get them at ANY hardware store, for pennies. I never even had to shop for them because somehow over the years a handful of them appeared in my 'random parts' bag. These things are all over the place. They use them in picture frames, cabinetry, all sorts of stuff. Totally common item. I didn't size them or measure them or anything, just said "huh, small L bracket, that'll work".

seriously, go to any hardware store, they will be there, you could get 100 of them for the cost of shipping a small bag from Canada....
Kwote
Muff Wiggler wrote:
if you totally can't find any I will dump out the bag again and pull some for you... but seriously you can get them at ANY hardware store, for pennies. I never even had to shop for them because somehow over the years a handful of them appeared in my 'random parts' bag. These things are all over the place. They use them in picture frames, cabinetry, all sorts of stuff. Totally common item. I didn't size them or measure them or anything, just said "huh, small L bracket, that'll work".

seriously, go to any hardware store, they will be there, you could get 100 of them for the cost of shipping a small bag from Canada....


hip hip hooray. i'm going to ACE today!! w00t w00t
Muff Wiggler
don't forget for each L bracket to also buy 2 washers, 2 nuts and 2 small bolts, (just long enough to go through the bracket, pcb, washer & nut)

add some extras because you'll drop some on the floor and lose them. there's probably enough stuff lying around the corners and underneath things in my home to build a whole module with lol

again, all very very common sizes and parts. You'll find them all at ACE.
Liquidcolor
"i read on Ken Stone's site that he recommended 100k and 1k pots for wide range and fine tuning. on the module you did for muff you have all six pots on the front. what values did you use for each pot? "

Those are 100k pots so there is the full range of travel available on the front panel. I didn't find that fine tune pots were needed here as the user isn't going to be tryng to conventionally tune these oscillators.

"So you add an 8k resistor in front of a 100k pot - presto, 92k pot. "

This is not correct. What you have is still a 100k pot but there is now a total resistance of 108k in the circuit. This extra resistance here doesn't (in this instance) mean any operational difference in the circuit except that now the minimum resistance presented to the circuit will be the 8k resistor. With a potentiometer wired as a variable resistor your minimum resistance is 0 ohms or a short circuit.

These resistors are added on modules where a potentiometer is replacing a resistor. For instance, the resistor on the Burst Generator Pulse Width control sets the minimum pulse width. A pot has replaced a PCB mounted resistor.

On the Dual Chime, this resistor is already board mounted. Notice the 10k in the oscillator blocks.

On the Dual drum, it's a little more involved but it's the same idea. The drum oscillators are classic Twin-T spiked filter. When you play with resonance on any of your filters you'll note the moment the filter breaks into self-oscillation. Usually somewhere 1/2 to 3/4 in the pots travel. In the immediate area to the left and right of this point is the usable area for ringing drum sounds. Too little and the drum has all spike/no decay. Too much and it's just oscillating. Notice on the DDrum schematic our Decay control as actually marked "resonance trim."

To replace the PCB mounted decay trim pots (which are set and forget) with front panel control there's a front panel 1k pot with trimmers on the cw and ccw lugs to preset minimum and maximum travel. This way we get a musical range out of what could be an unwieldy control.
Muff Wiggler
^^ there you see the difference with someone who actually knows his shit

that's why Michael built these and not me help

definately appreciate the extra info, always helps a lot to understand things better
Muff Wiggler
Liquidcolor wrote:
there's a front panel 1k pot with trimmers on the cw and ccw lugs to preset minimum and maximum travel. This way we get a musical range out of what could be an unwieldy control.


this worked really well too - it's a super usuable control


thanks again for your extra effort on these, I love 'em love
Kwote
thanks Mr. Ford for clearing that up. great, great info!

i'm planning on ordering the 8008 module from you once i finally get my Chime DIY sorted.

are there any expansions for the 8008 or it's just straight up what it is?
Liquidcolor
"thanks Mr. Ford for clearing that up. great, great info! "

Please, Mike/Michael. Mr. Ford is my dad !

"are there any expansions for the 8008 or it's just straight up what it is?"

I suppose somethings could be brought out to the front panel, but I'm not sure they would be altogether useful. There are already controls for pitch, decay and tone which are the fundamental things that encompass the scope of a bass drum module.

Note, these are the same sort of ringing filter percussion as the CGS drum and many, many others. It's a classic circuit.
Kwote
Liquidcolor wrote:
"thanks Mr. Ford for clearing that up. great, great info! "

Please, Mike/Michael. Mr. Ford is my dad !

"are there any expansions for the 8008 or it's just straight up what it is?"

I suppose somethings could be brought out to the front panel, but I'm not sure they would be altogether useful. There are already controls for pitch, decay and tone which are the fundamental things that encompass the scope of a bass drum module.

Note, these are the same sort of ringing filter percussion as the CGS drum and many, many others. It's a classic circuit.


so then Mike hihi

is it fair to say that a full featured Dual Drum like Muff's is sufficient for getting bass drums when tuned low enough?
Liquidcolor
"is it fair to say that a full featured Dual Drum like Muff's is sufficient for getting bass drums when tuned low enough?"

No. While they are similar Twin-T circuits, the 8008 (like the original) has extra circuitry that, among other things, enables a rudimentary pitch envelope that does that gently falling boom we all love. It isn't as "bare bones" as the CGS circuit, which is closer to the TR's toms than kick.

The custom Dual Drum will do bass drum sounds, but they will sound markedly different. And it wont go as L-O-W.
Kwote
figured as much.

my ultimate goal is to have two of every CGS drum module plus 2 8008's and 2 Sequencers so i can get some pretty varied beats out.

this thread is very inspiring.

i can't wait to get that 8008.

i'm gonna go patch up some drum sounds the best i can in the meantime.
el clon
what a beautiful bunch of modules... i hadn't even considered getting any dedicated drum modules, but you've won me over.

my only Metalbox module is a Wave Multiplier and it's my favorite thing in the world... really solid-feeling and sounds amazing.
Kwote
Muff Wiggler wrote:
don't forget for each L bracket to also buy 2 washers, 2 nuts and 2 small bolts, (just long enough to go through the bracket, pcb, washer & nut)

add some extras because you'll drop some on the floor and lose them. there's probably enough stuff lying around the corners and underneath things in my home to build a whole module with lol

again, all very very common sizes and parts. You'll find them all at ACE.


this is very sad but i didn't find em. i even got some kep nuts and some bolts just for the hell of it and as small as they were, not small enough. close but no cigar.

as for the brackets No Way Jose. total disappointment. confused

edit -- i'm getting there. finally finding something on Mouser. still poking around though

http://www.keyelco.com/pdfs/p61.pdf
Muff Wiggler
it's too bad i couldn't get better audio of this because there were some really nice sounds

pt.1



pt.2 because my crap camera..... bah, you know

Kwote
hey thanks for postin those vids.

i'd be curious to hear another patch with less filter sweep. maybe just back off the lfo with some attenuation.

i feel you on having shitty camera options. i have a digi cam with vid taking abilities too and it's ehh.

if i ever do a demo like you with it i'll probably just record the sound on my Computer and just sink up the footage to the audio.

of course adding explanations would be harder since i don't have a mic but i don't wanna do voiceovers anyways.

despite the lack of audio quality though the 8008 really shined through. i'm glad i've got it near the top of my list of next modules to get.
Muff Wiggler
Kwote wrote:
i'll probably just record the sound on my Computer and just sink up the footage to the audio.


hey that brings a question i should ask....

I know NOTHING about working with video. I can't edit video at all. I would like to at least be able to take the shitty AVIs that come out of my camera, splice them together to defeat the 3min limitation, edit out the bad parts, and also be able to mix in NEW audio in case I want to do voiceovers after the fact etc.

Any suggestions? I have no problem learning new software quickly. Every time i've looked for video splicing software though, my head starts spinning about all the different formats and codecs and there's popup banners and spyware everywhere, it's a total wasteland.

anyone have a 'video editing 101' they can suggest, and some software (cheap or free) that may be useful?

cheers
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