THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by TemplarK » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:12 pm

Sounding great!

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:19 pm


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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by zauker » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:34 pm

MotoModular wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:19 pm
Really impressive! :eek:

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:04 pm

Things are going quite well here.
I wanted to get another demo or two of validations up today but it'll have to be continued on Sunday or Monday.
The demos coming up will reveal other features, and will continue to be posted at least once per day. Just skipping tomorrow to recover some health since i caught something :/
Thanks for the kind words and i'm glad this work is getting heard finally. It's been quite a ride.
j

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by gentle_attack » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:27 pm

MotoModular wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:04 pm
Thanks for the kind words and i'm glad this work is getting heard finally. It's been quite a ride.
j
Big ups for the audio! This thing sounds too good!

:moneyburn:

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by nearly ghost » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:31 pm

Cant wait to see what people do with these!

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by leterell » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:42 am

MotoModular wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:04 pm
Things are going quite well here.
I wanted to get another demo or two of validations up today but it'll have to be continued on Sunday or Monday.
The demos coming up will reveal other features, and will continue to be posted at least once per day. Just skipping tomorrow to recover some health since i caught something :/
Thanks for the kind words and i'm glad this work is getting heard finally. It's been quite a ride.
j
get well soon, and take care of yourself! thank you for all the audio, and no stress for audio every day for me (as someone who has an order in).

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:45 pm

Thank you. Recovered.
Managed to get back into things all Sunday and committed that day and today to the final true electrical hurdle which was the motor control, mainly regarding the IC itself and the immediate circuit around it. I had mentioned this a couple weeks ago. Anyways, there had been a handful of IC's/designs in use over time and the performance of current draw and time/speed stability would vary among them. They all worked pretty well and could be considered viable options. The vintage IC was pretty good and was tough to beat. But one particular new/modern power op amp was proving to be solid through all the rigors so was always a leading candidate. So the task at hand was to mash up a few different peripheral circuit features from the other IC's / versions that proved best, and combined it into one, and then run comparison tests. As hoped, the new ic/circuit is now stable, responsive, doesn't overheat, has plenty of juice, and is comfortably voltage-controlled in a DC range that is preferable for what is just upstream. This is all finally a official dismissal of the vintage motor ic's, which is kind of a weird milestone. We had bought up a solid stash of them over a year ago in preparation for TE-2 production, thinking they wouldn't be beat. After all, cassette motor control did have it's heyday. They were pretty good, but had some permanent limitations due to internal features. Usable though. It was a lot of work the past couple days to draw conclusions after running lots of comparison tests, but now it's fun to finally sit back and hear the motor cruising nicely in the TE-2 circuit making echoes with fully modern electronics, aside from the heads and two fancy custom pieces. This is also preferable simply in principal that the more stuff that can be integrated into modern PCB build assembly steps, the better. Another thing that should help remove headaches down the stretch.

Will be able to post more demos starting tomorrow. Just wanted to touch base about the time in between.. Thanks!
j

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm



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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by EPTC » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:34 pm

:hyper:

wow! what impressive new demos. that precise speed control is really exciting and everything i've been missing in other sorts of looper pedals and samplers.
Last edited by EPTC on Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by mekohler » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:38 pm

Sounds awesome...do you know of any cassette brands that have high hiss? I'm looking to get as lofi as possible...

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by ookrsia » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:36 pm

MotoModular wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm

Now these are the demos I've been waiting for for years!

REALLY impressed by the low level of tape hiss even when going at super slow speed!

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by leterell » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:08 pm

mekohler wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:38 pm
Sounds awesome...do you know of any cassette brands that have high hiss? I'm looking to get as lofi as possible...
In my experience this kind of endless cassettes have been the best/worst:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/TDK-ENDLESS-CAS ... SwgYpdGVlm

they also have this massive wow/flutter at low speed different from cassettes made for musical purposes...

I also received a 20 piece package of Maxell duplicator series C30 cassettes from the previous owner of my TE-1 which are of absolutely no use/tremendous for what you're interested in.

But if the demos are anything to go by, for lo-fi the TE-2 might not even be your best bet!

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by onthebandwagon » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:19 pm

somehow reading this thread is akin to watching CNET for me
“no matter how fine you grind the dead meat, you’ll not bring it to life again“

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:13 am

leterell wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:08 pm
mekohler wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:38 pm
Sounds awesome...do you know of any cassette brands that have high hiss? I'm looking to get as lofi as possible...
But if the demos are anything to go by, for lo-fi the TE-2 might not even be your best bet!
Thank you. But don't you all go worrying about the TE-2 being able to make lo-fi. There's a whole lot of lo-fi ahead of us !! Naturally the first demos are covering basics. The age old challenge of cassette as a format is "sound quality". A lot of work has been put into making the TE-2 circuit be capable of sounding better than cassette usually does. But the other direction exists at the same time, that being going for the low fidelity that cassette inherently offers. That's the easy part.

One very fundamental principle of using a TE-1/TE-2 is that decreasing tape speed will decrease fidelity. If one were to record something at full speed and then record it again vastly slower and compare, you'd be in a whole different world. You can hear glimpses of this in some of the lower ranges of speeds in the two new demos 008 and 009.

As for wanting tape hiss too... go with cheaper brands of "Type 1 / Normal" tapes. Cheaper the better. Get them used too. Clean the heads afterwards though. If you want even more hiss, just record the music at lower levels so that the tape hiss is not as covered up. Also, by way of using the LPF just a smidge to cut some highs, it's really easy to eliminate the top part of tape hiss and retain all the music still. This was one of the reasons for putting in a 24dB/octave filter there instead of a simpler tone knob with a lesser slope. The 24dB/Octave lets us scoop hiss out without affecting the music nearly as much as something like a 6dB/oct tone pot. You can always leave it wide open and have all of your tape hiss present. But i sometimes choose to turn it down a small amount just to not have as much obvious hiss. If you listen to the #007 Low Frequency demo, the LPF is turned down a bit, which is why it's so hiss-less. The music itself is unaffected, so why not sometimes? You can do whichever you like.

Point is, lo-fi and hiss are both there at your disposal on any cassette machine, you just have to let them rear their heads if you want them to be loud personalities. The more difficult thing to achieve is a cassette machine that's not always lo-fi due to the medium. But here we have that capability and it's easy to back down from it. Use cheaper Type 1 tapes, record at quieter levels to tape so that there's poorer S/N ratio in your recording, and don't filter out anything up top with the LPF and you're on your way to obvious lo-fi. But there's a lot more to come, such as sound on sound / loop stuff which brings lo-fi stuff with it, and hitting tape super hard to overly blow out the tape so that no high frequencies even can be recorded, etc. All of this stuff will have demos soon. There's output drive as well, which involves a lot of breakup.

You also have to remember that hiss from low speed tape machines, such as half speed setting of cassette 4 tracks or other machines that have very obvious cassette/tape hiss, is present maximally during it's own standard tape speed. If you were to slow down that same tape machine a bunch, you'd automatically have a lot less hiss from the tape. That's because tape hiss is noticed as being a high frequency, and high frequencies get brought down in frequency to be lower frequencies just like the music is brought down too. You still have the hiss, but it's sitting in a lower range so you don't notice it. Then on machines like that there's probably some hiss from the circuit itself since design and components are cheaply selected. That's the only factor that the TE-2 can't recreate, the hiss and hum of the actual electrical machine itself. It was an obvious choice to steer as far away from that as possible. We still have so many ways of getting classic low fidelity with tape as a tool itself. The circuit is built to sound professional. And as mentioned before, this lets you hear more of the low fidelity stuff, since the transparent circuit lets you hear more of whatever it is you're making. The audio circuit isn't where the art should be in this unit. The tape is.

Then there's wow&flutter as just mentioned. Just like how lowering tape speed decreases fidelity, it increases wow&flutter. That's just how tape machines work. There's plenty of wow&flutter to be exploited and that will make it into demos as well.

And the loop tape situation in the world, for better or for worse, is generally wow&flutter ridden since most loop tapes don't have good internal tension control ie resistance, if any at all. All those DIY endless cassettes have zero resistance inside, so that tape is wildly flipping around all unstable unless you operate it at max speeds so that the speed itself creates enough resistance for it to not sound completely pitchy wild. But using those loosely wound endless loop cassettes at any moderate or slow speeds is just a lot of wow&flutter and could be too much for anyone sometimes. This is why I hope to some day in the future offer a new endless cassette, built with internal rollers to give the tension that's required for the best relationship with the machine itself. That would let us have stable pitch with endless loop cassettes.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by leterell » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:14 am

MotoModular wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:13 am
But using those loosely wound endless loop cassettes at any moderate or slow speeds is just a lot of wow&flutter and could be too much for anyone sometimes. This is why I hope to some day in the future offer a new endless cassette, built with internal rollers to give the tension that's required for the best relationship with the machine itself. That would let us have stable pitch with endless loop cassettes.
This makes sense. The announcement cassettes really are all over the place at low speeds...

Makes me wonder how much the performance of music tapes at low speeds could be stabilized by adding friction, and if there's an easy DIY hack for this. Maybe adding some really viscous grease to the wheels? The plastic would eventually probably fall apart tho. And not sure how pitch stability and motor life would be affected.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by luchog » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:01 pm

leterell wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:14 am
MotoModular wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:13 am
But using those loosely wound endless loop cassettes at any moderate or slow speeds is just a lot of wow&flutter and could be too much for anyone sometimes. This is why I hope to some day in the future offer a new endless cassette, built with internal rollers to give the tension that's required for the best relationship with the machine itself. That would let us have stable pitch with endless loop cassettes.
This makes sense. The announcement cassettes really are all over the place at low speeds...

Makes me wonder how much the performance of music tapes at low speeds could be stabilized by adding friction, and if there's an easy DIY hack for this. Maybe adding some really viscous grease to the wheels? The plastic would eventually probably fall apart tho. And not sure how pitch stability and motor life would be affected.
Adding friction could certainly help, but you'd have to be careful that you're not putting so much extra tension on the tape that the capstan is no longer able to pull it reliably, it stretches or breaks at higher speeds, or it causes undue strain on the drive motor (increasing heat, among other things).

The easier way to do that would be to use a slightly stiffer spring on the spindle, ideally one with graduated tension; but that gets tricky and expensive fast.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:37 pm


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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by mekohler » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:55 pm

mmm very good

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by TemplarK » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:33 pm

These demos are sick.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by Thorsday » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:28 am

Lovely :spin: :spin:

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by ookrsia » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:52 am

MotoModular wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:37 pm
What's the details of this demo? The TE-2 speed is quite low in this one, right? You can really imagine the built-in lowcut filter will be useful with sounds like these cause there is so much bass material.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:07 am

ookrsia wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:52 am

What's the details of this demo? The TE-2 speed is quite low in this one, right? You can really imagine the built-in lowcut filter will be useful with sounds like these cause there is so much bass material.
#010 here is wide open filters, with the tape hit hard enough to distort/muffle a bit. The low frequencies in the feedback also contribute to the degradation of the voice range of sound, since it's tape we're dealing with and when tape gets filled up by one frequency range it has trouble accepting other information in other ranges. You can hear that some lower mid range echo trails from previous moments get combined/mashed with new echoes and then those tones kinda dominate and the voice has trouble getting recorded with any clarity. So adding that the voice is hitting tape hard, it's a murky situation by choice. Bring down the input some, bring down the feedback some, and use some HPF, and the voice would regain a good bit of clarity. This demo is at moderate speeds that you can tell probably range somewhere around 250ms-400/450ms from beginning to end so we also start to have some EQ behaviors of have less tape passing by the heads, ie more lows and less highs.

That is correct about the High Pass (low cut).
This is the initial reason that the TE-1 had a low cut to begin with, to tame low frequency feedback. But it also was a very helpful engineering tool for removing low frequencies in general in various contexts such as tracking a simple vocal echo that you didn't want so much low end information to be part of the echoes at all. That is something I and probably many of you practice in the studio and requires external equipment usually, achieved by passing the send signal through a separate unit for EQ and then that hits the tape echo.

But even then, in the mixer/rack/studio domain anyways, most EQ's aren't 24db/oct, more of a softer shelf. The TE-2's HPF is, so it's a strong upgrade from the TE-1, and is very handy for cases like this where there's feedback buildup since we can zero in better on eliminating things down there but not losing other stuff just above it.

If a high pass had been implemented in #010 there would be a different behavior of feedback. The feedback would not have as long of trails anymore at it's current setting there, and we would need to turn it up some. Then we'd have echoes that focused on the mid range, which for voices can be dramatically helpful if you want clarity.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by MotoModular » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:42 pm



This is multi tracked, so multiple layers of TE-2.
All 16th notes are echoes, including kick. The initial high tom note echo trails for 4 bars. It's good to hear motor consistency like this.
Finally we also have some clear demonstration of breakup from hitting tape hard, on the toms in certain parts. This is not hitting the TE-2 front end hard, this is turning up the Tape In knob to hit the tape itself. We had not nearly as much ability to do this with the TE-1 due to its limited headroom. I'll further demonstrate this again with other sounds.

Yesterday was a very important day with validating some tech things, and i want to add some words together about it Monday in the buyers update. Very pleased with a couple specific long term goals that have been achieved/confirmed after all these years working with this tape circuit. Also, something physical regarding grounding was faulty during the last validation demo, the Degradation one, causing some noise and some ugly behavior of input/feedback tones. I will likely redo it since it falsely represents things, particularly regarding tonality of trails. Hence more bass buildup than usual. But the good news is that it wasn't a design issue, just literally a single ground wire gone faulty on its own and throwing off the two input vca stages :/ The TE-1 has a long history of leaning towards bass feedback, so it was easy for me to not catch this issue right away until after we had our public dialogue here about it which got me diving in.

In any case, lots to be pleased with here after this past week. More features coming up.

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Re: THE SPACE CASE TE-2 - Eurorack / Standalone Echo + Tape Unit

Post by plainofjars » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:57 pm

Is it possible—a la the RE-501—to set the TE-2 to one single echo and record the echo sound while monitoring only the unaffected (and therefore undelayed) input sound?

Ie. I’d like to record through the TE-2 for just tape saturation without echoes but obviously I’d like to be able to monitor without the latency (fine of course if the monitored signal isn’t hitting the tape).

Also, do you have any thoughts about the fidelity of the TE-2 relative to that of the RE-501, even if these are just your hypothetical/theoretical thoughts?

Thank youuu

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