Joranalogue CONTOUR 1 - Slew Limiter/Function Generator

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Joranalogue CONTOUR 1 - Slew Limiter/Function Generator

Post by joranalogue » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:21 am

Slew without limits

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For decades, the voltage controlled slew limiter has been a staple of modular synthesisers. With its extreme versatility, it can be used to slew control voltages (CVs), create envelopes, as a low-frequency or audio oscillator and much more.

Today, Contour 1 brings a fresh approach to this classic circuit. It delivers much improved performance and control by incorporating modern design techniques.

At its most basic, a slew limiter slows down the rate of voltage change in a signal. On Contour 1, the rising and falling rates can be individually set using sliders and CV modulation.

The gate and trigger inputs allow the module to be used as a function generator: create snappy attack-release (AR) and attack-decay (AD) envelopes, with slope times ranging from 500 µs to 30 seconds. The dedicated gate input makes it easy to generate +10 V envelopes from any signal source. Using the large tactile push button, AD envelopes can be manually triggered. A trigger will also reset the output voltage.

When set to loop mode, Contour 1 will continually re-trigger itself. In this mode, it fulfils the role of a variable-shape low-frequency oscillator (LFO) or temperature-stable voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) in the audio range.

Both the rising and falling slopes can be individually bent, from concave through linear to convex. While doing so, the deviation in slope time, and thus oscillation frequency, is kept to a minimum. Since the bend parameters are separately voltage controllable, boundless modulation possibilities present themselves.

Explore anything from shape-shifting envelopes to rich VCO timbres: Contour 1 will make you re-think what a slew limiter can do.

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Available now!

More info: https://joranalogue.com/contour-1
ModularGrid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/joranalog ... -contour-1

Pricing: €195 / £175 / $195 (MSRP)
8 HP, 30 mm deep
Last edited by joranalogue on Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:30 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:34 am

Gorgeous! I have high expectations for this design, well earned.

I presume the RISE and FALL outputs are EOR and EOC? Are these flip-flops, gates, triggers?
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:36 am

Nicely done!
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Post by joranalogue » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:46 am

mdoudoroff wrote:Gorgeous! I have high expectations for this design, well earned.

I presume the RISE and FALL outputs are EOR and EOC? Are these flip-flops, gates, triggers?
They are gates, so the rise output remains high during the rise stage, and fall during fall stage. This gives you more versatility over simple end of stage triggers, for example they can be used as pulse wave outputs in VCO mode.
Paranormal Patroler wrote:Nicely done!
Thank you!
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Post by miles_macquarrie » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:53 am

Looks great. Will make room for this

peripatitis

Post by peripatitis » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:05 am

Looks lovely!
So while gated, a trigger will retrigger the envelope?
And what exactly happens with the hold input?

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Post by CaneMan » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:05 am

That is an impressive amount of functionality in 8Hp. I see you even added a hold input. Is that the same circuit from the Select 2?

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Post by joranalogue » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:09 am

peripatitis wrote:Looks lovely!
So while gated, a trigger will retrigger the envelope?
And what exactly happens with the hold input?
CaneMan wrote:That is an impressive amount of functionality in 8Hp. I see you even added a hold input. Is that the same circuit from the Select 2?
Yes, a trigger (via the trigger input or push button) will reset the core to 0 V and trigger a one-shot (AD envelope). While the hold is high, the slew core is slowed down so the output voltage is effectively frozen (no track-and-hold circuit like S2, but functionally similar).

Lots of these little details will be explained in the user manual, which will be ready by the time the module is released.
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Post by starthief » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:21 am

Rise/fall gates are nicer to work with than EOC/EOR, and that extra gate input instead of relying on the voltage of the slew input, is a nice touch. :tu:

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Post by Hooft » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:33 am

Is this basically half a Serge DUSG in 8HP? Because if so, sold!

https://randomsource.net/serge_eurorack?mod=RS_DSG_E
Yup.

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Post by joranalogue » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:44 am

starthief wrote:Rise/fall gates are nicer to work with than EOC/EOR, and that extra gate input instead of relying on the voltage of the slew input, is a nice touch. :tu:
Indeed, plus the gate input doubles as a gated loop input in loop mode!
Hooft wrote:Is this basically half a Serge DUSG in 8HP? Because if so, sold!

https://randomsource.net/serge_eurorack?mod=RS_DSG_E
While the circuit is indeed based on the classic Serge slew limiter, it's been rethought from the ground up. The changes range from core stability and accuracy improvements, to added temperature compensation and voltage controlled slope bending, to completely redesigned trigger/loop control circuitry.
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Post by cackland » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:22 am

Impressive. Looking forward to the demos.

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Post by Hi5 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:36 am

This may the slew I'm looking for
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Post by spinalbeatz » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:42 pm

Very impressive! Beautiful design also, as with the rest of your modules.

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Post by monads » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:05 pm

Looks well designed and excellent job!!! I'm curious how users will compares to the WMD/SSF Mini-Slew. Maybe I have room for both :hihi:

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Post by cg_funk » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:18 pm

2X Contour1 with a Compare2 would be a ridiculously powerful combination.

Although.. I'm not sure I could personally justify using 3 power headers to form a super Voltron-Maths... it's tempting! Somebody should build one and demo it so I can GAS at it.

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Post by cloudleft » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:25 pm

This looks amazing!
To what extent is the rise and fall time affected by the Bend CV? I notice that it's kept to "a minimum", but are you able to share more specific details on that at this time? No worries if not.

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Post by joranalogue » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:35 pm

cg_funk wrote:2X Contour1 with a Compare2 would be a ridiculously powerful combination.

Although.. I'm not sure I could personally justify using 3 power headers to form a super Voltron-Maths... it's tempting! Somebody should build one and demo it so I can GAS at it.
Be careful what you wish for! :goo:
cloudleft wrote:This looks amazing!
To what extent is the rise and fall time affected by the Bend CV? I notice that it's kept to "a minimum", but are you able to share more specific details on that at this time? No worries if not.
The maximum deviation (that's at around 50 % bend in either way) is less than a whole tone in audio mode, so around 10 %. That's the best achievable using linear compensation; to compensate it perfectly would require ridiculous complexity, calibration and introduce lots of things to go wrong. Yes, I tried. ;)
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Post by vibralux » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:42 pm

Man I dig Joranalogue design so much. Its just so slick and elegant.
Can't wait to play with it. Congrats! :hail:
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Post by joem » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:12 pm

Wow, this just might end up displacing my current favorite function generator, the MN Function. Excited to see some videos or try this out sometime.

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Post by cackland » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:06 pm

Wondering if a dual Contour could replace maths, without the attenuators.

May be tempted to get 2 of these if the price is right ;)

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Post by cloudleft » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:47 pm

joranalogue wrote: The maximum deviation (that's at around 50 % bend in either way) is less than a whole tone in audio mode, so around 10 %. That's the best achievable using linear compensation; to compensate it perfectly would require ridiculous complexity, calibration and introduce lots of things to go wrong. Yes, I tried. ;)
Cool, thank you! I love that you tried that anyway.

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Post by OIP » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:12 pm

this is excellent, really love all these designs. wish they were available for DIY!

voltage control over shape is an interesting option for sure, same with the gate and hold inputs.

agree that two of these plus the compare and some mults would be a whole world of entertainment.

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Post by Pighood » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:34 pm

joem wrote:Wow, this just might end up displacing my current favorite function generator, the MN Function. Excited to see some videos or try this out sometime.
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Post by mdoudoroff » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:38 am

On paper, this bops MN Function on the noggin, starting with the 1v/o tracking. In practice, we’ll see. Price is TBD, but Joranalogue modules are aggressively priced, and I’ll be surprised if this isn’t competitive with the $165 Function.

Two of these plus Joranalogue’s Select 2 would get you into Maths territory, but assuredly at higher cost, and you’d still be down at least a couple attenuverters. (Maths remains a leading value in Eurorack.) It would take some analysis to work out which patch programming techniques would be gained and lost with each approach. But two (or four!) of these, a couple Select 2s and a Compare 2 and I’d think you’ve got your Super Maths.

One detail I would point out is ergonomics. I consider Maths (and Function) to be ergonomic masterpieces. Not everyone will agree with me, but there are strong arguments in my favor. Mainly: while the distribution and spacing of jacks and knobs on these two MN modules seems random at first glance, in actual use it just works: there’s seldom any spatial challenge to patching and tweaking the module, and doing so generates little interference with neighboring modules. By contrast, Contour 1 adopts the common, hyper-rational tightly-spaced-grid-o-jacks. Those tight jack grids make it harder to patch based on spatial memory (you have to actually check the labels more because of how our brains work), and they can quickly get packed with a wad of cables that obscures the rest of the module or nearby modules. (Which is when some folks start reaching for cable ties.)

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