Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by feelingthin » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:44 am

I'm also having a hard time with tuning. I'm noticing some drift and only 3 octaves of precise tuning. I went through the calibration process and still no luck. Any ideas? Can someone from 4ms chime in about a firmware update? I was hoping a digital module would give me perfect tracking over 5-6 octaves.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by hawkfuzz » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:49 pm

Email the company. This isn't the fastest way to get assistance. The company should be the first place to seek help with technical issues.
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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Cosmoplast » Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:31 pm


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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by starthief » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:11 pm

I see what people are saying about phase cancellation. It depends very much on the settings, but if you monitor Out A in mono, there can sometimes be a very audible increase in level when you plug a cable into Out B. Sure enough, if you monitor in stereo and watch it on Voxengo Correlometer, there's a negative correlation. With other settings, it's a positive correlation, or near zero. This can be true with any of the stereo modes selected.

Treating it as a mid-side pair rather than L/R seems to be a little less prone to trouble, unless of course you tilt the balance such that the "mid" is very quiet.

So, when recording, be sure to check for that and reach into your bag of tricks to deal with it.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Phitar » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:20 pm

Cosmoplast wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:31 pm
Good film score material with nice creepy vibe! I always suspected the Bears would be heading up the Animal Uprising. :goo:
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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Cosmoplast » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:38 pm

Phitar wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:20 pm
Cosmoplast wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:31 pm
Good film score material with nice creepy vibe! I always suspected the Bears would be heading up the Animal Uprising. :goo:
Thanks a lot...my goal is to get inspired by ambient music in movies and tv serial.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Besfar » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:54 pm

Cosmoplast wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:31 pm
Wow, holy hell.
This is mostly the enosc with belgrad and much reverb?

Its nice to hear it doesnt have to sound sweet.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Exit Chamber » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:24 am

Besfar wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:54 pm

Its nice to hear it doesnt have to sound sweet.
I'm finding that, if anything, I'm having to work to keep it tamed. Very easy to get it sounding aggressive and harsh (in a good way!).

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by starthief » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:03 am

This is what I've found in exploring ENOSC:

- As with complex oscillators, it's good to have a basic starting point to work from. Balance in the middle, no Cross FM, no Twist, no Warp, maybe a little detuning. For super-basic, choose 12TET mode, scale 1 and no spread.

- It's very much worth playing with Warp and Twist with the spread and/or balance set to full CCW to see what you can get -- quite a lot of useful timbres just from a single oscillator or all oscillators in unison.

- The aggression in ENOSC comes from Cross FM. If you leave it zeroed, nothing else you can do will be too harsh -- though perhaps musically dissonant, fizzy or buzzy, or a warm spicy heat :)

- If you use Cross FM without Warp, generally it will be less harsh than combining both. (Segment mode is a little more forgiving than Fold or Chebyshev.)

- With Cross-FM, as with any other FM, harmonic ratios give cleaner results, while inharmonic ratios give harsher and more complex results. So the scale and spread make a HUGE difference, as does the mode. Octaves, or spread at 0, will give you the cleanest results. And of course, a stronger index gives more and stronger sidebands and thus more potential mayhem.

Think of Cross-FM as stacking 15 2op FM oscillators:

-- Up and Down modes use a single modulation source sent to 15 carriers -- each of which is going to be a different ratio (unless Spread is zero) and potentially some very wide ratios compared to how FM usually is used. But it can still feel more predictable, sometimes.

-- All mode seems like it'd be more complex, because each oscillator acts as the modulator for the next. But it also tends to give you a smaller set of ratios. With scales like the circle of fifths and Bohlen-Pierce major, each of those ratios will be harmonic, while Up mode gives lots of inharmonic ratios.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Exit Chamber » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:21 am

Great tips, thanks starthief!

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Matt_L » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:54 am

Really great tips in here.

Have folks been sequencing the scale input? I've mostly been using EnSoc as lush pads, with slow, heavily attenuated modulation on the root, spread, twist, and warp. It creates a wonderful space-like ambiance, like a very slow moving arpeggio often -- but I've been wanting to set up more complicated chord progressions by using the scale input.

I've found that it is a burdensome to do this either by hand, using a controller like LS1lightstrip, and or by using a sequencer like Rene, which seems more optimally suited for regular 1v/oct tracking (not to mention I run out of channels pretty quickly). I suppose I could use an unquantized sequencer like Muxlicer but that's a lot of hp space for this purpose. Been considering trying out the Usta, since it apparently has the option of unquantized voltage output, with the exact value of the voltage is displayed on the menu.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by erstlaub » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:18 pm

I was having fun the other day using a set of pressure points to play/sequence both pitch and scale per step, I imagine if I was of a mind to, using the ER101 would yield good results too, basically anything that has more than 1 voltage output per stage.

If you wanted to you could always make *record* the chords you wanted to use as cutsom scales from scratch and then sequence through them.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by starthief » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:25 pm

I had an unusual patch going yesterday when I was using an envelope on Scale :hihi:

I figure I'm going to be exploring the module for quite some time before I even get around to creating custom scales.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by milhousescoop » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:10 pm

First time poster, long time lurker...

I decided to purchase this module after hearing some of Umcorps patches (nice work). I've got plaits, and was looking for a chord generator with more modulation possibilities and timbre range. Was originally looking at a Harmoniag + 4 oscillators to achieve this, but this module looked interesting and compact (and Harmoniag is sold out everywhere).

After a few sessions with it, I have some thoughts to the great tips already in this thread:

-I haven't heard too much talk about how cool FREEZE is. Sending a random slowish gate of random length is fun and gives a sequence more musical variation. This is great for breaking out of simple chord organ functionality. I patched the Y output from Marbles to this directly (to approximate a random gate) and it worked well.

-Like others, despite decent music theory knowledge, reading through the whole manual, and multiple attempts--I struggled to get the Ensosc to play well (musically) with other oscillators. After re-reading the manual and thinking about what's going on some more I realized really what's necessary is multiple quantized CVs (to the same scale) going to PITCH on Ensosc as well as your external sources. I think what tripped me up before was not quite realizing what PITCH and ROOT were doing and thinking that the built in quantizer will take care of whatever I'm sending to the module. Your external quantization needs to also work well with whatever scale you've chosen: I can imagine some oscillators hitting notes outside the external scale which may or may not work harmonically with whatever else is going on. Bottom line: you can randomly get something to sound good quickly. As others have said deterministic chord progressions or harmony with external oscillators takes time to think out and set up properly (find this true with most things TBH)

-envelope modulation of WARP and TWIST (in particular) can get you in the ballpark of some classic sounds (think filter envelope on sawtooths or PWM on pulses)

-Otherwise I agree with what many others said! Interesting module!

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by starthief » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:29 am

Here's a short little bit I recorded this morning with ENOSC, Natural Gate, and Valhalla Delay.

Marbles sequences Pitch and Root (and NG's trigger), and a Stages LFO (with rate modulated by another Stages LFO) modulates Warp.



Balance is fully CCW, so we're only hearing one oscillator directly but it's using Cross FM in Down mode. There's a little bit of Twist in Pulsar mode, and Warp is in Chebyshev mode. Scale 1 in the 12TET group (octaves), with a little detuning to make the FM more fun, and Spread is at 12 o'clock.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by taotetek » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:09 pm

My Ensemble showed up yesterday and just wanted to say.. this oscillator can do so many more things than pads and chords. It's a very deep voice. I think the initial demos sold it as a kind of chord machine (and it's very good at that!) but it's very much about complex wave shaping and there's a lot of sonic territory it can cover. Really happy with it!

Some things that were non obvious to me at first but that I've figured out over the last day - just in case they are helpful to anyone else.

1. Just because it has 16 oscillators doesn't mean you have to use all 16. You can get some really fantastic lead sounds out of it by pairing down to two or three oscillators and diving into all the wave shaping and FM functionality.

2. Really small adjustments to Twist, Warp, and FM can have very large impacts, moving you from beautiful sweet spots to grating tones very quickly.

3. Don't think of it as a stereo oscillator (although it sounds fantastic in stereo with the default stereo spread). It has two outputs, and 3 routing options for what goes to output A and output B. Using the mode that splits high and low, or the mode that splits root + everything else opens up using multiple signal paths to do all sorts of fun things.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Funky40 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:18 pm

starthief wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:29 am
Here's a short little bit I recorded this morning with ENOSC,
i just wanted to post a request for more demos.
exactly in the vein of yours ;)

digital, percussive, wild......can be cold, can be harsh at moments,
interesting for me would be when the sound is MUCH changing over time and over the hits

Thanks


edit: ahh, it was really you who made me interested in that VCO. also since its in a very fair price range and Dan from 4ms is allways doing a GREAT job on the electronci side of the things.


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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by hawkfuzz » Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:17 pm

Been sending zero pitch info and just sequence ROOT and playing with the different stereo assignments with light modulation on TWIST/WARP and putting SPREAD from 0 to about 9 o'clcok. Also put the BALANCE knob off center.

I was misunderstanding SPREAD and now that I get it I've found my spots in this. I've had the manual out since I've had this and I'm still re-reading things I've read and trying to focus on small bits at a time. It's highly rewarding. The unison is a super powerful way to start off with the module.

ENOSC into OPOTOMIX into the MIMEOPHON has been the soundtrack of today.
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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by Matt_L » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:45 pm

Can anyone duplicate this?

Getting very tiny bits of noticeable static/distortion (clipping?) when Crossfading is set to sharp (so the notes don't blend together) and Root is slowly adjusted. I can even dial in some distortion if I'm careful about adjusting the knob. (To set Crossfading to sharp, hold Freeze and turn the Balance knob fully counter-clockwise).

Everything else turned down, Twist, Warp, Detune, etc. Pitch & Spread can be set to anything.

Tested with multiple different audio outputs, not running it through filters, only EnSoc.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by starthief » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:08 pm

Matt_L wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:45 pm
Getting very tiny bits of noticeable static/distortion (clipping?) when Crossfading is set to sharp (so the notes don't blend together) and Root is slowly adjusted. I can even dial in some distortion if I'm careful about adjusting the knob.
If I set the Balance and Spread fully CCW, and all the shaping and FM stuff full CCW so it's just a sine, I notice little pops when Root changes.

And yes, with very careful adjustment you can get it to remain scratchy. In fact, set it to a single oscillator and you might hear two tones -- it has no hysteresis and it's rapidly switching between notes. Which makes me think it could be fixed in a firmware update.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by hawkfuzz » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:27 pm

It's happening to me as well. I imagined this would be the only reason they put out a firmware update but if they didn't I'm sure it'll be a source of someone's song.
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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by TheRosskonian » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:09 pm

I am on the fence about this module. Sounds like it is pretty playable on it's own, but wondering how manageable it is playing with other voices. I looked at the manual and it sounds like if I was only using one oscillator on the Ensemble, it would be easier to keep in tune with other voices, but if I was using multiple oscillators from the Ensemble, I would need to ensure the Scale selected on the Ensemble would work with the scale the other voices are playing in. Is this correct?

It sounds like I would need to do some work ahead of time to program the scales in the Ensemble and then remember what those scales were when I am using other quantizers for the other voices. If I am willing to do this work ahead of time, it sounds like I could use the Ensemble to play in tune with other voices without using an external quantizer for the Ensemble itself. Anyone with experience with this module care to comment on how feasible this is in practice?

Also, all that being said, how does the Ensemble perform when using an external quantizer, especially when using that same quantizer to drive other voices?

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by pablowdadon » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:44 am

Can anybody compare this to Manis Iteritas?

I know it may sounds silly but to me this two oscillators share more than what it looks like at first view.
Of course Manis is getting sponsored to techno folks and this Enosc to make lush pads but i think Enosc could sound rad as Manis with no problems.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by starthief » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:24 am

TheRosskonian wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:09 pm
I am on the fence about this module. Sounds like it is pretty playable on it's own, but wondering how manageable it is playing with other voices. I looked at the manual and it sounds like if I was only using one oscillator on the Ensemble, it would be easier to keep in tune with other voices, but if I was using multiple oscillators from the Ensemble, I would need to ensure the Scale selected on the Ensemble would work with the scale the other voices are playing in. Is this correct?
TheRosskonian wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:09 pm
It sounds like I would need to do some work ahead of time to program the scales in the Ensemble and then remember what those scales were when I am using other quantizers for the other voices. If I am willing to do this work ahead of time, it sounds like I could use the Ensemble to play in tune with other voices without using an external quantizer for the Ensemble itself.
Kind of, and kind of not. There's a reason none of the preset "scales" are actually scales, but are instead chords or sets of non-octave interval patterns.

For instance, let's say you wanted to write something in F pentatonic minor. You could program a pentatonic minor scale into ENOSC (using the octave or 12TET setting), tune it so that the lowest possible root landed on F0, and then sequence the Root input. This would be fine, if you limited it to one oscillator or you set the spread so it happens to span octaves exactly.

Otherwise, as chords go they're going to be dissonant and almost certainly will clash with whatever actual chords you might want to use in the song. And Cross FM will be highly chaotic with those kinds of frequency ratios involved.

I personally think it's best to forget the word "scale", and the idea of trying to replace an external quantizer with its internal one, and instead:

Think of it as a chord generator. Scale CV (and possibly, programming it) selects which chord, Root selects the inversion, and Pitch transposes it. This requires a lot of preparation and a sequencer with multiple CV channels, but I guess it's doable.

Or -- and I suspect this is more what what intended -- think of it as a harmonic generator, making a single sound rather than a chord or scale. Use the Scale/Root/Spread controls to set the relative spacing of harmonics. If you do this, yes, some of the oscillators may be "off" from the key and scale of the composition, but they will still be some (possibly fractional) multiple of the fundamental and it may work well as a whole.

A subset of that approach is to think of it as an FM synth with a lot of operators, and the whole Scale/Root/Spread thing is how you set their ratios. Octaves, or keeping the Spread at minimum, is the easiest way to deal with that but the Circle of Fifths and the Bohlen-Pierce major settings also provide a consistent ratio between every oscillator in "All" mode.

The thing that really makes the module fun and unique (as well as maybe frustrating depending on your goals) is it straddles the line between music theory and additive (and FM) techniques, in much the way that Telharmonic does but it's more complex about it. It doesn't really want to be shoehorned into being only about scales, or only about chords, or only about timbre because it's all of them simultaneously. I think it's a bit more experimental than some peoples' songwriting methods tend to work with. That said... just turning knobs will get you to some awesome places.
pablowdadon wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:44 am
Can anybody compare this to Manis Iteritas?
I had a Manis for a while. It's basically a sawtooth oscillator with (a couple of kinds of distortion) and a filter. I liked it for dark and weighty sounds, though it can also get harsh. But really it's nothing at all like ENOSC, though to a very limited extent ENOSC might be able to imitate some of the sounds Manis can make.

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Re: Ensemble Oscillator from Matthias Puech & 4ms Company

Post by TheRosskonian » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:13 am

starthief wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:24 am
For instance, let's say you wanted to write something in F pentatonic minor. You could program a pentatonic minor scale into ENOSC (using the octave or 12TET setting), tune it so that the lowest possible root landed on F0, and then sequence the Root input. This would be fine, if you limited it to one oscillator or you set the spread so it happens to span octaves exactly.

Otherwise, as chords go they're going to be dissonant and almost certainly will clash with whatever actual chords you might want to use in the song. And Cross FM will be highly chaotic with those kinds of frequency ratios involved.
Thank you for the detailed response. If I am understanding you correctly, instead of programming a full scale into the Ensemble, I would be better off programming a specific chord into it and then ensuring that chord is in tune with the other voices in my system. Then, if I added the other oscillators inside of Ensemble, they would follow the "scale" of that chord I programmed in. Does that sound right?
starthief wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:24 am
Or -- and I suspect this is more what what intended -- think of it as a harmonic generator, making a single sound rather than a chord or scale. Use the Scale/Root/Spread controls to set the relative spacing of harmonics. If you do this, yes, some of the oscillators may be "off" from the key and scale of the composition, but they will still be some (possibly fractional) multiple of the fundamental and it may work well as a whole.

A subset of that approach is to think of it as an FM synth with a lot of operators, and the whole Scale/Root/Spread thing is how you set their ratios. Octaves, or keeping the Spread at minimum, is the easiest way to deal with that but the Circle of Fifths and the Bohlen-Pierce major settings also provide a consistent ratio between every oscillator in "All" mode.
I found this part of the manual/module to be easier to understand and is definitely part of the appeal for me. The additive and FM parts of this oscillator sounds like a lot of fun and I might pick one up for this alone eventually, but the usability of it as a chord/arpeggio generator in addition to this is what would put it to the top of the list for me.

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