Frap Tools USTA

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AbundantChoice
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Post by AbundantChoice » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:29 am

closedLoop wrote:You can, with some limitations.

Each track has a single track length, and stage length for each stage within that length. For example, if you set the track length to 8 stages, and have stages 1 and 4 set to 2 clock pulses, and the rest to a single clock pulse, you will be limited to that length and stage rhythm for all CV and Gate channels for that track.
I can live with that!

I am already in my head thinking of doing some dumb stuff with the variable stage length stuff, routing the two gates from a track into the Sequential Switch Matrix to make varied "arpeggios" within a single stage. Imagine something like an e370 using the Harmonaig to tune the four oscillators to a 1/3/5/7 chord. You use the SSM to create say 1-3-5-7 / 1-3 / 1-5 / 1-7 on the outputs. You then use a ratcheted Gate A on a track to cycle through those four outputs during a stage, then have Gate B just always be a single pulse at the beginning of each stage that changes the SSM to a different output matrix (say 1-7 / 1-5 / 1-3 / 1-5 for the next one) each time you move between stages. Then just use the CV of the stage to set the chordal root of the four voices. This is probably a supremely stupid idea, but it might be interesting; the varied gate lengths mean you could have "normal" stages, then these "arpeggiated" stages when you want them and can surround arpeggios with longer, more traditional notes and whatnot. Hmm. Hmmmmmmmmm.

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Post by Gringo Starr » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:44 pm

AbundantChoice wrote:
closedLoop wrote:You can, with some limitations.

Each track has a single track length, and stage length for each stage within that length. For example, if you set the track length to 8 stages, and have stages 1 and 4 set to 2 clock pulses, and the rest to a single clock pulse, you will be limited to that length and stage rhythm for all CV and Gate channels for that track.
I can live with that!

I am already in my head thinking of doing some dumb stuff with the variable stage length stuff, routing the two gates from a track into the Sequential Switch Matrix to make varied "arpeggios" within a single stage. Imagine something like an e370 using the Harmonaig to tune the four oscillators to a 1/3/5/7 chord. You use the SSM to create say 1-3-5-7 / 1-3 / 1-5 / 1-7 on the outputs. You then use a ratcheted Gate A on a track to cycle through those four outputs during a stage, then have Gate B just always be a single pulse at the beginning of each stage that changes the SSM to a different output matrix (say 1-7 / 1-5 / 1-3 / 1-5 for the next one) each time you move between stages. Then just use the CV of the stage to set the chordal root of the four voices. This is probably a supremely stupid idea, but it might be interesting; the varied gate lengths mean you could have "normal" stages, then these "arpeggiated" stages when you want them and can surround arpeggios with longer, more traditional notes and whatnot. Hmm. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Well after all that I’d say you need to come back to this thread and post the video of that idea. :-)
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Post by closedLoop » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:16 am

After a week or so with Usta, my only gripe is with the implementation of phase shifting of the tracks. I think this is one of the biggest features, but it's buried a ways down in the long track menu.

The potential that phasing opens up is huge, and I feel like it should be a more immediate "top level" functionality, where you could potentially set the phase shift per stage on each track. I would love to set that with the stage encoders when you're in the "stage length" section. It seems like there could be at least another level of functionality to the encoders in that section, as there are the 3 aspects in each gate section: gate length, racheting, and gate off.

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Post by phonkmeister » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:12 am

Obligatory Piano Phase recreation with Usta (a bit fast, but I was excited):

[video][/video]

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Taylor Holliday
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Post by Taylor Holliday » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:43 am

Anyone have any thoughts on USTA vs ER-101? Both have the variable stage length concept. I have an ER-101, which I like, but I do find its UI a bit tedious at times. I suppose the ER will give you more steps (99).
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Post by closedLoop » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:19 pm

phonkmeister wrote:Obligatory Piano Phase recreation with Usta (a bit fast, but I was excited):

[video][/video]
Nice one!
What’s coming in the CV input that you’ve assigned to phase? An attenuated LFO?

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Post by phonkmeister » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:12 pm

closedLoop wrote: Nice one!
What’s coming in the CV input that you’ve assigned to phase? An attenuated LFO?
Actually nothing. It was there because I was trying Stage shifting when I got the idea of trying if I could make Piano Phase. Here I tried the simpler option: the tracks have different bpm (IIRC 139 and 140).

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Post by phonkmeister » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:21 pm

Taylor Holliday wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on USTA vs ER-101? Both have the variable stage length concept. I have an ER-101, which I like, but I do find its UI a bit tedious at times. I suppose the ER will give you more steps (99).
Well in the Usta you have patterns up to 16 stages because you can’t have an infinite number of rotary encoders, but you can concatenate them (up to 32 concatenated patterns, IIRC) so you can have loads of stages per track. The ER-101 was the first sequencer I truly loved for its control, but working with it looked like… ehm… work.

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Post by closedLoop » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:51 am

phonkmeister wrote: Actually nothing. It was there because I was trying Stage shifting when I got the idea of trying if I could make Piano Phase. Here I tried the simpler option: the tracks have different bpm (IIRC 139 and 140).
Simple, but effective.

I've been getting interesting results in that territory by self-patching the raw "B" CV through the CV inputs, and assigned to Phase.
Phase shift per stage!

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Post by hawkfuzz » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:12 pm

Haven't even considered self-patching
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AbundantChoice
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Post by AbundantChoice » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:28 am

Gringo Starr wrote: Well after all that I’d say you need to come back to this thread and post the video of that idea. :-)
Gave in and ordered an USTA last night and a Livestock Maze (instead of the WMD SSM). I think my dumb idea will work (i.e. use Maze to create various multi-voice combos out of my e370 "within" a chord generated by the Harmonaig, use a 2nd sequential switch to arpeggiate between four of those voice combos at a time, then use CV to switch Maze between various sets of 4 voice-combos).

Part of me thinks that I *might* be able to do most of that within the USTA itself with a combo of the randomness parameters and the cool sub-stage looping thing (i.e. "repeat the next X stages Y times before moving on with the sequence"), but if I end up not needing the Maze for this specific purpose it seems like a useful enough module i'm not going to regret picking it up.

Random Q: looking over the manual, I didn't see if there was a way to modify ratchet patterns? If you ratchet a stage are the ratchets evenly distributed only? So if you wanted to say have 2 triggers ratcheted in a stage. but do them as 0 - 1 - 1 or 1 - 0 - 1 across three ratchet timeslots (so to speak). is that possible?

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Post by hinterlands303 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:53 am

AbundantChoice wrote:
Gringo Starr wrote: Well after all that I’d say you need to come back to this thread and post the video of that idea. :-)
Gave in and ordered an USTA last night and a Livestock Maze (instead of the WMD SSM). I think my dumb idea will work (i.e. use Maze to create various multi-voice combos out of my e370 "within" a chord generated by the Harmonaig, use a 2nd sequential switch to arpeggiate between four of those voice combos at a time, then use CV to switch Maze between various sets of 4 voice-combos).

Part of me thinks that I *might* be able to do most of that within the USTA itself with a combo of the randomness parameters and the cool sub-stage looping thing (i.e. "repeat the next X stages Y times before moving on with the sequence"), but if I end up not needing the Maze for this specific purpose it seems like a useful enough module i'm not going to regret picking it up.

Random Q: looking over the manual, I didn't see if there was a way to modify ratchet patterns? If you ratchet a stage are the ratchets evenly distributed only? So if you wanted to say have 2 triggers ratcheted in a stage. but do them as 0 - 1 - 1 or 1 - 0 - 1 across three ratchet timeslots (so to speak). is that possible?
Unless I’m missing something, ratchets can’t be modified outside of how many ratchets per stage. I really wish you could set gate length and number of ratchets simultaneously so that you could have a stage length of let’s say 16, a gate length of 8, and then decide the number of ratchets for that gate length. Right now you have to use two stages to accomplish this.

On another note - what an amazing sequencer! I’m still just digging in but I’m very impressed so far.

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Post by urogijani » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:28 am

There is a firmware update for the USTA. I just found on their site.

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Re:

Post by Gringo Starr » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:03 pm

MossGarden wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:25 pm
[video][/video]


preordered :guinness:
I've been researching like crazy for the right sequencer. This video just sealed the deal. I'm sold.
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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by leeboiacid » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:14 am

Hi, please may I get some advice on externally clocking and syncing Usta? I'm running Pams as my master clock into Usta and Varigate 4+ However, Usta starts up a little behind Varigate, until it gets another reset on the next bar (or whenever). I was using a quarter note clock and dividing by 4 in both Usta and Varigate. The discussions here suggest that when using external clock 1:1 on Usta is best, so is the best thing to send say a 16th note pulse from Pams use 1:1 on Usta and whatever division on Varigate? If I do that will they start up together and be in sync (with a start pulse sent from Pams into the resets on both)?

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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by hawkfuzz » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:22 pm

Any clock input needs two pulses to get in sync. It can get weird.

Are you multing the pulse from Pam's out to the USTA and Varigate?
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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by timcross » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:57 am

Just looking for some insights from Usta users..

- How are people finding it for playing live or jamming?
- Is it easy enough to navigate around?

My plan is to prepare pieces in advance and then improvise and evolve them live.
Cheers
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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by MossGarden » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:05 pm

Usta running everything but drums.


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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by spinalbeatz » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:19 pm

timcross wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:57 am
Just looking for some insights from Usta users..

- How are people finding it for playing live or jamming?
- Is it easy enough to navigate around?

My plan is to prepare pieces in advance and then improvise and evolve them live.
Cheers
Absolutely loving mine. Once you get used to everything it's very easy to navigate. I'm currently building a live Techno set on it and I've found its really fun to jam on, with multiple ways of navigating from pattern to pattern and lots of room to improvise. I've tried a lot of sequencers and this one is def a must keep for me. Currently using it for everything from modulation to drum/bass/lead sequencing.

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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by synonymist » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:48 pm

timcross wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:57 am
Just looking for some insights from Usta users..

- How are people finding it for playing live or jamming?
- Is it easy enough to navigate around?
No observations yet. I ordered my USTA from a dealer in the US seven weeks ago, and I have yet to receive it. :|

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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by timcross » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:15 am

spinalbeatz wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:19 pm

Absolutely loving mine. Once you get used to everything it's very easy to navigate. I'm currently building a live Techno set on it and I've found its really fun to jam on, with multiple ways of navigating from pattern to pattern and lots of room to improvise. I've tried a lot of sequencers and this one is def a must keep for me. Currently using it for everything from modulation to drum/bass/lead sequencing.
Thanks very much for the feedback. Ordered one now, very excited by the possibilities. Just realising you can use the raw CV for modulation, and randomise it!!!
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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by hawkfuzz » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:10 am

synonymist wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:48 pm
timcross wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:57 am
Just looking for some insights from Usta users..

- How are people finding it for playing live or jamming?
- Is it easy enough to navigate around?
No observations yet. I ordered my USTA from a dealer in the US seven weeks ago, and I have yet to receive it. :|
This is why I was weary of preordering. I asked PC when they were going to get them in stock and it turned out they sold out due to preorders that day and suggested I preorder to guarantee myself one. I'm so bad at waiting.

I wonder if they'll be restocking more frequently.
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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by synonymist » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:43 am

hawkfuzz wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:10 am
synonymist wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:48 pm
timcross wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:57 am
Just looking for some insights from Usta users..

- How are people finding it for playing live or jamming?
- Is it easy enough to navigate around?
No observations yet. I ordered my USTA from a dealer in the US seven weeks ago, and I have yet to receive it. :|
This is why I was weary of preordering. I asked PC when they were going to get them in stock and it turned out they sold out due to preorders that day and suggested I preorder to guarantee myself one. I'm so bad at waiting.

I wonder if they'll be restocking more frequently.
The listing I bought from was not described as a preorder; rather the retailer was awaiting new stock. By then, USTA had already been sold by retailers, even in the US.

I accepted that I was ordering a backordered item, and my incentive was the low sale price. But two months? That I did not foresee.

The weakness in this arrangement is that it is no-one's fault, so it is no-one's responsibility: Frap Tools didn't promise me anything. What if anything Frap Tools promised the retailer is unknowable by me. The retailer promised me nothing but the price and, when it eventually became available, the item. I am confident that neither Frap Tools nor the retailer has any incentive to fulfill my order quickly, since for the time being they are practically assured of selling all the USTA's they can make and stock, respectively.

It's a silly game. One that I will be willing to play for a further eight days from now. If the USTA isn't in the mail to me by then, I will cancel and get a refund. No hard feelings in that case, but also no sale.

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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by hawkfuzz » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:14 pm

I said preorder but I use that for ordering product that isn't available. It's the same waiting that I can't stand for some reason.
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timcross
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Re: Frap Tools USTA

Post by timcross » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:16 pm

What a pain. Luckily in stock in Europe (just, only 1 retailer I could find). And mine is arriving tomorrow, very excited.

I'll post some thoughts once I've played with it a bit.
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