Clep Diaz ideaz: a most musical modulation source!

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Clep Diaz ideaz: a most musical modulation source!

Post by Paranormal Patroler » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:21 am

You're all familiar with Noise Engineering's Clep Diaz module by now. Personally I find that it's one of the most musical modulation sources I've used. Yeah, there are a lot of clocked LFOs, and Envelopes out there, but I've never run across anything else that works so beautifully, to define the velocity curvature of a whole musical phrase.

In classical composition (re: classical notation), the composer would/can define the phrasing of a piece, which informs both the dynamics, the timing and the playing of the notes from the performer. That is something severely lacking in most* electronic music, and I'm amazed to say that NE took a step towards solving this issue in the Eurorack world.

Before getting deeper into the subject, I'd like to know, what are your experiences and use cases for the Clep Diaz?


*let's not get lost in this, I mean by mainstream standards
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Post by CaneMan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:23 am

Following. I'm curious about Clep vs, manually adjusted LFO's like a Doepfer A-143-3 and LFO's with CV over rate like Batumi.

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Post by Jason Brock » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:39 am

I've looked at Clep Diaz several times, but never bought it. One thing I can't figure out is, does it have an internal clock at all? Or will it not output anything unless you have external clock going into it?
Last edited by Jason Brock on Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by youwontsimi » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:47 am

I was thinking of getting Clep Diaz for stepped LFO modulation.

After thinking about what building blocks I already got I found a possibility to patch somethink alike:
  • One channel of Pamela's New Workout is providing a clocked LFO (say length of one cycle is 1 bar).
    That LFO is going into a sample&hold.
    Another channel of PAM's ist providing the trigger for the sample&hold.
Voila: Stepped clocked LFO. And I can even manipulate the parameters - having the LFO cycle once over 2 bars and beeing stepped in an euclidean rhythm? No Problem!

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Re: Clep Diaz, one of the most musical modulation sources

Post by starthief » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:10 pm

Well, now I'm curious how you're using it.

I can imagine a few uses, and when it was first announced I considered it.

It's not hard to replicate at least some of its function either with Teletype or a synced LFO & S&H, but I'm wondering about the subtleties and what makes its "LFO" mode special. It's more difficult to get that in a convenient 4HP package and make it super playable though.
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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:29 am

Jason Brock wrote:One thing I can't figure out is, does it have an internal clock at all? Or will it not output anything unless you have external clock going into it?
I'm not sure if the LFO mode will fire up regardless of incoming clock, but the Up/Down/Up-Down modes won't. I'll have to check about the LFO mode, although I'm inclined to say it also needs a clock input as there is no way to determine the frequency other than as a "division" of the clock.
starthief wrote:Well, now I'm curious how you're using it.

I can imagine a few uses, and when it was first announced I considered it.

It's not hard to replicate at least some of its function either with Teletype or a synced LFO & S&H, but I'm wondering about the subtleties and what makes its "LFO" mode special. It's more difficult to get that in a convenient 4HP package and make it super playable though.
I haven't owned it for that long, but I did pick it up for a gig I had last weekend, when I realized how powerfully it would influence my dynamics. It's an amazing combo to my ADDAC306 VC Transitions! I plug the output of the Clep Diaz to the ADDAC306's CV input, and from there patch to various parts of the system, including VCA/dynamics of the voices. That way I have immediate control of what goes up, what goes down, when, and the phrasing between each element. The 306 allows me to switch between direction (you can switch which element goes up, which goes down), and their range. It's super easy to go Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians using these two.

You can disengage the Clep with a press of the encoder, which for me is the only downside as I'd like it to hold the last CV value instead of going to 0V. That being said, I'm sure patching similar functionality is doable, but the module itself has some strengths that you can't find elsewhere: it's super easy to swap between Up/Down/Up-down modes, it's very easy to change the time it takes for the full cycle to take place, ... it's generally very hands-on and playable with all parameters under immediate control. The Clep, in combination with the 306 makes a very powerful modulation element in a live rack.

The reason I started this thread is because of phrasing. The CD output is based on the incoming clock, but contrary to your standard clocked LFO, the CD also outputs a unipolar output, and you can easily determine the direction, and the time it takes to hit maximum/minimum levels. This means it's super easy to change the phrasing of a sequence, from timing to direction, to range if you swap to LFO mode. In LFO mode the encoder determines the number of "steps" before the cycle ends, regardless of whether it has reached maximum/minimum. So maximum/minimum is always at 32 steps and you define if it reaches there or not. By the way, I also like how the transition between modes is flawless, as it doesn't need to recalculate an LFO frequency, as would happen in a clocked LFO module.

Things that I find are also nice: CD gives you both unipolar and bipolar outputs, and the BOC output is the cherry on top of everything, if you need other things to happen based around the cycle. The BOC and the random mode are not super easy to replicate I don't think. It would require even more modules to pull these off (e.g in Random mode the max/min is the same, but the intermediate steps are not linear, more of a drunken walk thing)

PS: I haven't tried clocking it at audio rate yet. I assume it would act like an oscillator :hmm:
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Post by starthief » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:41 am

Ah, I think I understand in terms of phrasing. That does sound really useful and gives me something else to think about... :tu:
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Post by CaneMan » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:32 am

So you see it as a playable automation tool for your macro controller? That's highly intriguing. Not sure I'm ready to buy a macro module (ADDAC306 or an 8HP Frames???), but I guess I could use my 3xMIA like a macro controller.

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Post by damase » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:21 am

nice, thanks for sharing.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:12 am

CaneMan wrote:So you see it as a playable automation tool for your macro controller? That's highly intriguing. Not sure I'm ready to buy a macro module (ADDAC306 or an 8HP Frames???), but I guess I could use my 3xMIA like a macro controller.
Yes you can! The 3xMIA can be repurposed to control the range of the CD, and also change its directory. Not as immediate as the ADDAC306 but still close enough for some patches.

And yeah, a playable automation tool for macro is a goos way of describing it. Although, even if pathed to 1 or 2 locations, the CD is so useful, as you're spreading the modulation over a long period of music, based on your clock.
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Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:04 am

This is all quite intriguing, although I’m not quite clear, yet, what Clep Diaz can do in this context that a utility sequencer cannot. I’d love to hear/see a patch example, Paranormal Patroler.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:14 am

Well, for starters, and I hope this answers your question, a sequencer would need to be able to go anywhere from 0 to 32 steps to begin with. Apart from that, it would need to be able to skip intermediate steps, as the Clep Diaz, set at 2 steps, would jump from 0 to 5V (so to be precise it goes from step 1 to step 32) immediately.

Then the sequencer would need to be able to do forward, backwards, ping-pong with a flip of the switch, and you'd also need to set all the steps to appropriate values so that it progresses linearly between 0-5V. Let's not forget that the CD also does bipolar outputs if you're so inclined.

Don't get bogged down by my suggestion of using it with the ADDAC306. The ADDAC allows me to utilize one Clep Diaz, to control up to five parameters, and to determine the range of modulation and the direction. It's a good combo, but the Clep Diaz itself is quite magical on its own.

Does that answer your question in any way? If not let me know in more detail what would help and I'll do my best to answer.

I'll try to make a video of a similar patch, but I don't make any promises. I'm really bad at following up on things with videos, although I honestly want to. :oops:
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Post by starthief » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:34 am

Yeah, I can see the real key here is hands-on control of changes to the direction or number of steps.

It really is a shame it doesn't hold when you click the encoder, instead of dropping to zero. I guess the workaround is to block the input clock with a manual switch (or yank the patch cable).
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Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:37 am

Paranormal Patroler wrote:Well, for starters, and I hope this answers your question, a sequencer would need to be able to go anywhere from 0 to 32 steps to begin with. Apart from that, it would need to be able to skip intermediate steps, as the Clep Diaz, set at 2 steps, would jump from 0 to 5V (so to be precise it goes from step 1 to step 32) immediately.

Then the sequencer would need to be able to do forward, backwards, ping-pong with a flip of the switch, and you'd also need to set all the steps to appropriate values so that it progresses linearly between 0-5V. Let's not forget that the CD also does bipolar outputs if you're so inclined.

Does that answer your question in any way? If not let me know in more detail what would help and I'll do my best to answer.

I'll try to make a video of a similar patch, but I don't make any promises. I'm really bad at following up on things with videos, although I honestly want to. :oops:
I think I understand the operational differences—and your description is very clear. I infer that the key, for you, is the live manipulation, using the switches and knobs on CD (such as skipping through the sequence at a greater or lesser rate). I can kind of imagine the use case, but I have suspicion that I’m missing some of the significance, and that’s where a concrete example would help!

I love my ADDAC306, btw.

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Post by Human Koala » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:48 am

cool module, will check this, :goo: :goo: :goo:

funny thing is i have the same process but with the
control forge + MI Frames for sequencing 4 paramaters at once.

HK

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:09 am

starthief wrote:Yeah, I can see the real key here is hands-on control of changes to the direction or number of steps.

It really is a shame it doesn't hold when you click the encoder, instead of dropping to zero. I guess the workaround is to block the input clock with a manual switch (or yank the patch cable).
The playability is what really surprised me. Being able to change the time it takes to go from min to max is so nice!

I emailed NE asking if it would be possible to change the way the CD's encoder click acts, allowing for Hold instead of 0V, but I'm not holding my breath (between you and me I've emailed them too many times with stupid ideas! :hihi:). The ADDAC306 has a slider which acts as an attenuator when a CV is plugged at the input. If the CD held the last value, that would allow me to then go from minimum to the held value using the slider. Regardless, being able to "freeze" the modulation instead of disabling it would be nice, but I guess somebody else might prefer having a kill switch instead of a freeze. It's just my personal preference for the reason I explained, but I'm glad you agree.

The downside of using a switch inbetween the clock and the CD is that you'd then have to sync the modulation up again by using the reset input on the CD, unless your timing is precise. NE have "background" clocks on modules such as the Mimetic Digitalis, so ideally, if you'd freeze the modulation, you'd be able to jump back to the appropriate value when you un-freeze it. Just an idea of course.


mdoudoroff wrote:I think I understand the operational differences—and your description is very clear. I infer that the key, for you, is the live manipulation, using the switches and knobs on CD (such as skipping through the sequence at a greater or lesser rate). I can kind of imagine the use case, but I have suspicion that I’m missing some of the significance, and that’s where a concrete example would help!

I love my ADDAC306, btw.
That warms my heart. Glad you're enjoying it!

I'll try to make a video for you. A straight example of what I'm talking about, but until that happens try to imagine this case. The CD is plugged to the ADDAC306, and the ADDAC306 is controlling two parameters only, volume of the note, and gate length.

You now have a lot of control of your sequence using only switches (thus being able to fool around with combinations) on both modules. Does your sequence increase in intensity? Does it decrease in intensity? Does it go up and down? Does the length of your notes increase as the volume increases as it would when striking a piano key? Does it decrease so that higher notes are sharper? etc etc. All that, while being able to change the rate of the cycle inside your sequence's phrase.

I'll make a video ...


Human Koala wrote:cool module, will check this, :goo: :goo: :goo:

funny thing is i have the same process but with the
control forge + MI Frames for sequencing 4 paramaters at once.

HK
Yeah, I'm sure it would be equally good with Frames! I mean, the ADDAC306 is a more hands-on version of what Frames does. And if I recall correctly Frames works with CV input as well as trigger input, so it would work nicely with the Clep Diaz.
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Post by Jason Brock » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:38 pm

Still trying to figure it out completely before I buy.

The BOC output - says it sends out a pulse at the beginning of each cycle. What is a cycle as it relates to the Clep Diaz? Does that mean the BOC just mirrors the Clock Input 1-for-1? Or does a cycle multiply depending on the number of steps? In other words, is this a clock multiplier out jack?

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Post by starthief » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:52 pm

Jason Brock wrote:Still trying to figure it out completely before I buy.

The BOC output - says it sends out a pulse at the beginning of each cycle. What is a cycle as it relates to the Clep Diaz? Does that mean the BOC just mirrors the Clock Input 1-for-1? Or does a cycle multiply depending on the number of steps? In other words, is this a clock multiplier out jack?
It's a clock divider output. If you set it to 5 steps and "up" mode, BOC will fire once every 5 clocks, whenever the output returns to 0V.
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Post by Daisuk » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:59 pm

Jason Brock wrote:Still trying to figure it out completely before I buy.

The BOC output - says it sends out a pulse at the beginning of each cycle. What is a cycle as it relates to the Clep Diaz? Does that mean the BOC just mirrors the Clock Input 1-for-1? Or does a cycle multiply depending on the number of steps? In other words, is this a clock multiplier out jack?
The cycle is defined by the number of steps in a sequence. So if you have a three step sequence, it'll cycle through step one, two, three, then when it starts at 1 it'll fire off a gate.

Edit - starthief beat me to it. :mrgreen:

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Post by pr0t0 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:22 pm

I use it as main reset source for my entire system. Multing the outs to Invy, and pairing it with Mimetic Digitalis gives one a great deal of dynamic and timbre control per step.

great design.
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Post by toonertik » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:22 pm

starthief wrote:
Jason Brock wrote:Still trying to figure it out completely before I buy.

The BOC output - says it sends out a pulse at the beginning of each cycle. What is a cycle as it relates to the Clep Diaz? Does that mean the BOC just mirrors the Clock Input 1-for-1? Or does a cycle multiply depending on the number of steps? In other words, is this a clock multiplier out jack?
It's a clock divider output. If you set it to 5 steps and "up" mode, BOC will fire once every 5 clocks, whenever the output returns to 0V.
Interesting... I don't see it so much as a clock divider as a trigger that fires at the start of the cycle.
The reason I don't think of it as a divider as such is if we use the unit and play it live, switching modes up, down or up/down and maybe cv the step count and or use the reset (which will also BOC trig) then it's not really a divisor as such.
For sure it is a fun cool module and I have found so many uses for it.

In step modes it outputs 0 to 5v uni and -5 to +5 bi... the steps divide this range... so 5 steps uni.. 5 steps of 1v etc...
It begs to be fondled during a patch ;)

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Post by toonertik » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:24 pm

pr0t0 wrote:I use it as main reset source for my entire system. Multing the outs to Invy, and pairing it with Mimetic Digitalis gives one a great deal of dynamic and timbre control per step.

great design.
:tu:
Oh yes... I got my MD about 3 weeks ago... just a Disting separate them.

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Post by Jason Brock » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:35 pm

starthief wrote:It's a clock divider output. If you set it to 5 steps and "up" mode, BOC will fire once every 5 clocks, whenever the output returns to 0V.
Excellent, thanks for clearing that up. I understand the basics now and I'm sold. This will fill the last 4hp in my small skiff and I think it will become fast friends with Maths.
toonertik wrote:Interesting... I don't see it so much as a clock divider as a trigger that fires at the start of the cycle.
Same thing basically though, the way starthief explained. The start of a cycle will be a division of the incoming clock, and the divide-by number is however many steps it is currently set to.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:13 pm

Jason Brock wrote:
starthief wrote:It's a clock divider output. If you set it to 5 steps and "up" mode, BOC will fire once every 5 clocks, whenever the output returns to 0V.
Excellent, thanks for clearing that up. I understand the basics now and I'm sold. This will fill the last 4hp in my small skiff and I think it will become fast friends with Maths.
toonertik wrote:Interesting... I don't see it so much as a clock divider as a trigger that fires at the start of the cycle.
Same thing basically though, the way starthief explained. The start of a cycle will be a division of the incoming clock, and the divide-by number is however many steps it is currently set to.
Exactly. So it will always fire off at a division of the incoming clock, but it's not always on a specific one, it depends how you change the period length, etc. In LFO mode I think it fires randomly, if I recall correctly from reading the manual.
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Post by toonertik » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:34 pm

Paranormal Patroler wrote:
Exactly. So it will always fire off at a division of the incoming clock, but it's not always on a specific one, it depends how you change the period length, etc. In LFO mode I think it fires randomly, if I recall correctly from reading the manual.
Yes, in LFO mode it is random.
To see it as a clock divider, as such, IMO is missing the point...
the BOC allows one to keep something in sync with the CD, however many steps you have... and live varying the step length ;)
I'm sure you more experienced wigglers have clock div/mults for that pure clock manipulation.
I have pammy Pico Logic and muxlicer for div/mults...
the CD's BOC is great for syncing another thingy to the steps... what ever the count.. or random in LFO mode... 8-)


BTW, there is no rule to say it has to be a regular clock/pulse that clks the steps... I often use euclidean rhythms or other such triggers to step thru the CD... ;)

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