R-56 reverb module

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Post by Yes Powder » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:54 am

luchog wrote:
Neither wrote:I've got two R-56's and they both are completely different. The 1st one is EXTRA SENSITIVE. Even just waving my hand near the tubes can change the sound. The feedback is uncontrollable even with feedback near zero but it helped when I muved my rack further from my monitors. The monitors are magnetically protected so I guess the feedback was from acoustic vibration affecting the tubes and the springs.
My R-56 is the same way with sensitivity. Even with input and feedback way down, waving my hand anywhere near the tubes causes noise and alters the sound profile. I kind of like that, actually.
When I first got mine, it would make this unbearable crackling sound, even with very low-gain signals. Two things I remember doing before the crackling was gone was changing the tubes, and installing an external spring tank.

As I have it now, it doesn't crackle at all, even at high gain settings.

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Post by snakejaw » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:15 pm

It seems like all of my modules with tubes (Trogotronic and Metasonix) sometimes pick up radio signals or something. Same things happened with my Pittsburgh Modular In/Out.

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Post by snakejaw » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:52 pm

Yes Powder, what kind of remote spring tank are you using? I've tested both the Metasonix suggested versions of the long and medium length spring tanks and found that I prefer the sound of the blue plastic tank. I'm thinking of soldering up some longer wires so that I can move the blue tank away from the modular.

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Post by metasonix » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:20 am

People wanted the spring to be "accessible", and that means no shielding....you could always put aluminum foil around the tank and the tubes.

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Post by Yes Powder » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:58 pm

snakejaw wrote:Yes Powder, what kind of remote spring tank are you using?
I'm using an 8DB2C1B tank. I've also tried a 4EB3C1B and a 9EB2C1B, but found that the 8DB tank gives the most return.

Also, make sure that you have the send/return jacks hooked up correctly. The sockets on all three tanks I own are color-coded opposite of the R-56 and hooking them up backwards makes the return noticeably quieter.

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Post by snakejaw » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:32 pm

metasonix wrote:People wanted the spring to be "accessible", and that means no shielding....you could always put aluminum foil around the tank and the tubes.
My tinfoil hat prevents extraterrestrials from influencing my thoughts. Glad to hear that the stuff can protect my modules too.

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Post by snakejaw » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:49 pm

Thanks Yes Powder. All of my external tanks (8EB2C1B, 9EB2C1B, 9EB3C1B) have an impedance of in-800/out-2575 Ohm.

Eric, is there going to be much difference between a tank with an input impedance of 800 Ohm verses an input impedance of 310 Ohm?

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Post by metasonix » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:59 pm

snakejaw wrote:Eric, is there going to be much difference between a tank with an input impedance of 800 Ohm verses an input impedance of 310 Ohm?
There is always a difference in sound details. In loudness, probably.

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Post by snakejaw » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:31 pm

Thanks Eric. Any idea which would be louder? 310 Ohm or 800 Ohm?

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Post by metasonix » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:24 pm

snakejaw wrote:Thanks Eric. Any idea which would be louder? 310 Ohm or 800 Ohm?
It's hard to say.....go with 800, then you can run it in parallel with the blue plastic tank.

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Post by snakejaw » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:40 pm

Thanks

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Post by snakejaw » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:54 pm

metasonix wrote:That is because it is feeding back, and the feedback signal is overdriving the solid-state output mixer, producing the "crackling" or "popping". Even with the feedback knob all the way down, it might do this.

People kept screaming at me for MORE GAIN, so I gave them MORE GAIN.

No, it is not a "bad tank". Do not replace the tank. Other kinds of tank will have less gain going through, so they might not do this.

Try swapping the tubes. Try putting a piece of tissue paper in the tank so it damps the springs just enough.

If that won't do it, I'm sorry, you have one that has a little too much loop gain. They vary from unit to unit, and tube to tube. Sometimes an R56 that is burned in and shipped working perfectly will develop just enough loop gain to send it into feedback oscillation. Send it in and I'll replace a resistor so it stops feeding back.
I'm getting a high pitched whine mostly(or only, can't remember) from the wet-only output of my R-56 even when all knobs are fully counter clock-wise. I've tried covering the tubes with tin foil as suggested, tried two different power supplies (RKP & uZeus with only the R-56 connected), added tissue paper to damp the springs and tried disconnecting the blue tank and connecting a "remote" tank (8EB2C1B), but the whine remains. I love my R-56, but that continual high pitched noise is really unpleasant, like getting your teeth drilled. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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Post by EPTC » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:10 pm

Snakejaw, you mention in this thread you're also getting interference on other modules. Where is the external spring located? I'd suggest a separate location in the case, or a separate case altogether for the r56. Can you try disconnecting everything other than the r56 to see if it becomes silent? (or just moving it out of the case, carefully to not touch the board, when powered, moving it out of the box to see if it dissipates?)

You can run the separate tank in parallel with the blue-box tank nicely, no need to disconnect the blue one.

The spring might be picking up a frequency from elsewhere in your studio, too.

I don't think the wet-only output is attenuated to any dial position, but only use the main mix output, myself. You hearing that whine on the other main output?

More specifically: How are you powering it? And where is the power supply in relation to the spring?
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Post by snakejaw » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:48 pm

Hey EPTC,

I have noticed that some modules pick up outside sounds. But what I was talking about in my older post didn't "seem" like system noise. In one case I was able to listen to a radio station coming in via one module. I've found that modules with tubes often are the ones that will pick up these kind of shortwave radio sounding noises. That's OK by me. These devices are living breathing analog circuits. The quirks are a feature as far as I'm concerned.

Just to be clear, it's the persistent whine I'm having trouble with (not the infrequent "radio" noise). Of course, they may be one and the same, but I "think" they sound quite different.

I've tried powering the R-56 with a Metasonix RKP PSU which puts out ~+/-5000 mA, and with a TipTop uZeus PSU which puts out +2000/-500 mA, with ONLY the R-56 connected. The R-56 requires +/-300mA. I do know that the blue tank and a second tank can be connected parallel. What I was trying to test by only using the remote tank, connected via a 5ft long set of cables, was if the noise was caused by the proximity of the R-56 or the PSU. I move the remote tank far from the R-56 and PSU and still the noise remained.

I'm going to try carefully(!) connecting just the R-56 alone to the PSU via a long cable and see what happens. I'll report back. Thanks for the help!

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Post by lisa » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:31 pm

I’d love to hear some music made by wigglers using the R-56. There are about 50 of you guy’s right? Let us hear your work!
My first modular track where I used drum modules! BIA, Entity Percussion, Chimera, Elements. There's also a ton of FM cross modulation from the Instruō Cš-L in there and the Metasonix R56 is a big part of the sound. :star:


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Post by snakejaw » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:50 pm

EPTC wrote:Snakejaw, you mention in this thread you're also getting interference on other modules. Where is the external spring located? I'd suggest a separate location in the case, or a separate case altogether for the r56. Can you try disconnecting everything other than the r56 to see if it becomes silent? (or just moving it out of the case, carefully to not touch the board, when powered, moving it out of the box to see if it dissipates?)

You can run the separate tank in parallel with the blue-box tank nicely, no need to disconnect the blue one.

The spring might be picking up a frequency from elsewhere in your studio, too.

I don't think the wet-only output is attenuated to any dial position, but only use the main mix output, myself. You hearing that whine on the other main output?

More specifically: How are you powering it? And where is the power supply in relation to the spring?
So, I connected the R-56 only to my RKP PSU via a long cable and moved it away from the PSU (about 2 ft.). No change. The sizzle is still there. With no audio input, the noise level is at about -34db. I tried putting an Ableton gate after the R-56 which works somewhat.

Can anyone recommend a good hardware or software audio gate?

I think that I'm going to send my R-56 back to Metasonix and have Eric take a look at it. It might be the solid-state output mixer, as Eric mentioned in a previous post. Either way, I'm keeping my R-56. I love the darned thing. If the noise can be lowered, cool. If not, OK, I'll live with it just fine and work around the noise. It's all just part of the joys of analog. Wouldn't have it any other way.

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Post by EPTC » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:53 pm

Ah - Dang - Sorry it didn't solve the problem.
Apologies for this question: You try another power cable, maybe? And other patch cables/audio cables? (Just being as absolutely reductive as possible, but partly curious)

So, not that Metasonix needs a referral for their own genius stuff, but I can absolutely speak to the quality of Eric's work if you send it in for him to evaluate.

Agree with you on the joy of analog, there might be a great sound in that squeal with a little isolation.

It's an incredible reverb. A simple band EQ might work better than a Gate, btw - think surgical slicing (EQ) instead of flank steak (Draping a gate over it, losing all the other signals)

If you can isolate the bands, drop those bars to zero, you can stack another cheap EQ on top of that and isolate it further; then get fun filtering. You might be able to do this with software easy.

Here's a twenty dollar two-stage behringer ($45 if you include shipping)
https://www.musicgoroundwoodbury.com/p/ ... -equipment

Could be a nice use of a fixed filter bank, too - Can you upload a sound file example of what you're hearing?
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Post by snakejaw » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:02 am

EPTC wrote:Ah - Dang - Sorry it didn't solve the problem.
Apologies for this question: You try another power cable, maybe? And other patch cables/audio cables? (Just being as absolutely reductive as possible, but partly curious)

So, not that Metasonix needs a referral for their own genius stuff, but I can absolutely speak to the quality of Eric's work if you send it in for him to evaluate.

Agree with you on the joy of analog, there might be a great sound in that squeal with a little isolation.

It's an incredible reverb. A simple band EQ might work better than a Gate, btw - think surgical slicing (EQ) instead of flank steak (Draping a gate over it, losing all the other signals)

If you can isolate the bands, drop those bars to zero, you can stack another cheap EQ on top of that and isolate it further; then get fun filtering. You might be able to do this with software easy.

Here's a twenty dollar two-stage behringer ($45 if you include shipping)
https://www.musicgoroundwoodbury.com/p/ ... -equipment

Could be a nice use of a fixed filter bank, too - Can you upload a sound file example of what you're hearing?
Hi EPTC,

I love da Metasonix too. I've tested the R-56 with different power cables and audio cables. Here's a recording of the noise I'm encountering in all instances I've tested.

https://soundcloud.com/user-53581993/r-56-noise

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Post by slow_riot » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:23 am

The search for a perfect instrument is a futile one. Achieving extremely low noise would result in a different product which had it's own flaws that could also be picked at. The R56 is a tube reverb designed to work on a +/-12V power supply in a low profile case. For reference here's what a really low noise valve reverb would look like:

http://www.tube-electronics.co.uk/valveoutboard.htm

I've owned gear by all the most interesting modern companies and sold it all in the quest for perfection, the stuff I really miss in terms of unique sonics and behaviour is Metasonix (and Livewire!)

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Post by Yes Powder » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:45 am

snakejaw wrote:Here's a recording of the noise I'm encountering in all instances I've tested.

https://soundcloud.com/user-53581993/r-56-noise
Is it always this loud, or did you turn up the gain on your recording input to make it more audible?

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Post by snakejaw » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:38 am

Yes Powder wrote:
snakejaw wrote:Here's a recording of the noise I'm encountering in all instances I've tested.

https://soundcloud.com/user-53581993/r-56-noise
Is it always this loud, or did you turn up the gain on your recording input to make it more audible?
The noise was recorded at normal levels.

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Post by EPTC » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:35 am

snakejaw wrote:Here's a recording of the noise I'm encountering in all instances I've tested.

https://soundcloud.com/user-53581993/r-56-noise
Ah - Hey thanks for uploading.

To be honest that's not that terrible a sound - It actually sounds very much like shortwave frequency noise. I notice it drifts a bit so it isn't a constant hum, either. Could be interference. Maybe the tubes are needing replacement?

It's not a mechanical fix but filtering the signal as if it's an RF transmission might be a good solution. Something like this:

https://swling.com/blog/tag/how-to-filt ... shortwave/

again, though: this is ONLY coming from the wet-only output, not the mix output?

Fun talking, E
SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS, New Releases on EPTC, Spring/Summer 2020:
"This is the TRUTH!": https://eptc.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-truth
"A Portable Paul Krassner": https://eptc.bandcamp.com/album/paul-krassner

This week's show is a tribute to David Wojnarowicz:


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Post by snakejaw » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:36 pm

slow_riot wrote:The search for a perfect instrument is a futile one. Achieving extremely low noise would result in a different product which had it's own flaws that could also be picked at. The R56 is a tube reverb designed to work on a +/-12V power supply in a low profile case. For reference here's what a really low noise valve reverb would look like:

http://www.tube-electronics.co.uk/valveoutboard.htm

I've owned gear by all the most interesting modern companies and sold it all in the quest for perfection, the stuff I really miss in terms of unique sonics and behaviour is Metasonix (and Livewire!)
slow_riot, I wholly agree. I'm not looking for perfection either. 8-) Here's an example of some truly beautiful "imperfection" IMHO.

[video][/video]

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Post by slow_riot » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:55 pm

I could tell you what is happening technically but I thought the personal advice would help more.

The funny thing is that I've got into circuit design myself, and have bad enough OCD to spend a lot of time and money on extremely low noise, and so far a lot of the feedback I've had has been that the modules are the wrong colour, or that people would prefer higher noise and lower reliability.

Life is too short to try to impose our own sense of order on the instruments we use. Do you know how lucky we are to have time on our hands to mess around with this stuff? There are millions of digital reverbs if you want no noise.

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Post by Yes Powder » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:54 am

slow_riot wrote:Life is too short to try to impose our own sense of order on the instruments we use. Do you know how lucky we are to have time on our hands to mess around with this stuff? There are millions of digital reverbs if you want no noise.
I dig what you're trying to say here, but if those are indeed the levels the noise is coming in, that's not normal. My R56 has a little bit of noise, but it's pretty much insignificant most of the time and at most settings— and it certainly doesn't do that high-pitched whine. I know very little about circuitry and electrical interference so I'm not the person to say what's causing it, but if mine were doing that I'd have a hard time putting up with it too.

Snakejaw, out of curiosity, when you said you've tried different power cables are you talking about the power-bricks you use to connect the µZeus and RKP to the wall-power, the ribbon cables from the PSUs to the module, or both?

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