Your go to final VCA?

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oilpanic
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Your go to final VCA?

Post by oilpanic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:16 am

Hello. I know this is not a new topic, but now it’s 2020 and things do change. I typically use a VCA at the end of my patch and if I do processing after that, it is outside the Eurorack environment. So for me, the last step is really important in terms of audio quality.
What VCAs are you all using for this purpose?

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by chachi » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:22 am

blacet super vca.

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Swain Voorman
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by Swain Voorman » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:27 am

ALM Tangle Quartet has always been rock solid for me.

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by ckwjr » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:37 am

Veils and the Bubblesound VCA4p

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by waves_of_awesome » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:57 am

Would be very interesting if someone with a lot of vcas would do level matched comparison recordings. Kind of surprised some kind of shootout like that doesn't exist already!

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by glassofwater » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:02 am

4ms vcamatrix

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Illiac
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by Illiac » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:05 am

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Nightly Closures
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by Nightly Closures » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:40 am

My final VCA before the delays that go to my external mixer is the Erica quad VCA. I like the knobs and it doesn’t mix CV the way my veils does.

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by acidbob » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:49 am

WMD MMVCA

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racooniac
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by racooniac » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:51 am

my final one is the SSF Muton because i do not need to be careful about levels, i can go into an analog mixer that has enough headroom but the mute knobs are handy sometimes ;)

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deftinwulf
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by deftinwulf » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:14 pm

Well, currently I'm using Manhattan Analog DTA as my only dedicated VCA. (I have a few built-in VCAs in my Mutable modules, etc.) I like the sound of it but I'm currently shopping around for a Quad VCA to replace it, so I can do more of that "modulating modulators" stuff that everyone always raves about. :mrgreen:

One thing I don't quite understand is unipolar vs bipolar VCAs... People say you should have at least one bipolar VCA but I have a hard time imagining what a negative-voltage amplifier sounds like... plus they're hard to shop for because it seems like there are only a few out there, unless there are some that actually are bipolar in design but don't advertise themselves as such... Searching by name, I've only found, I think, 2? :hmm:

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by StillNotWorking » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:10 pm

MI Blinds 4-Channel VC Signal Polarizer will do negative. Usefull for CV, not so much for audio.
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by racooniac » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:21 pm

deftinwulf wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:14 pm
One thing I don't quite understand is unipolar vs bipolar VCAs... People say you should have at least one bipolar VCA
i think the right word for it is "polarizer" so you can for instance make an 0-5v lfo/envelope go from -3 to 0v.

the new doepfer A-133-2 can do this and even has a VCA for the modulation imput so it can be used as a ringmodulator, its my go-to suggestion module for this kind of job since blinds is a LOT bigger and has no modulation-cv-vca

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by kuuma » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:12 pm

i'm using Veils as my final VCA, but taking note of the others in this thread because i do find the Veils offers SO much juice that it's prone to clipping on its way out. i rarely have to turn the knobs past noon, even in near-linear response mode.

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by BaloErets » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:54 pm

(Almost) always for me it's the Verbos Scan & Pan that sits at the end of my chain.

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by Naenyn » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:30 pm

kuuma wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:12 pm
i'm using Veils as my final VCA, but taking note of the others in this thread because i do find the Veils offers SO much juice that it's prone to clipping on its way out. i rarely have to turn the knobs past noon, even in near-linear response mode.
Veils is my primary VCA also and I've been noticing this lately as well in comparison with my Befaco Hexmix VCA; sounds good, but clips easily. Hexmix VCA seems a little more gentle, but also doesn't normal the outputs like Veils does .. just the one sum output (which is good enough, most times).
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by Arneb » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:36 pm

deftinwulf wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:14 pm
One thing I don't quite understand is unipolar vs bipolar VCAs... People say you should have at least one bipolar VCA but I have a hard time imagining what a negative-voltage amplifier sounds like...
They're not really useful for end-of-chain VCA duties, methinks. When you use them like a unipolar VCA, modulating audio with envelopes or unipolar LFOs, there's not much of a difference except that the bipolar VCA is harder to use because it will bleed most of the time. Bipolar VCAs are used for modulating CV, as well as for modulating audio with audio-rate CV (ring modulation, AM).
plus they're hard to shop for because it seems like there are only a few out there, unless there are some that actually are bipolar in design but don't advertise themselves as such... Searching by name, I've only found, I think, 2? :hmm:
That's because they're also called "ring modulators" (Doepfer A-114), "four-quadrant multipliers" (Befaco A+B*C, Instruo Vinca) or "VC polarizers" (Mutable Blinds, MakeNoise ModDemix).

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sko87pro
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by sko87pro » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:04 pm

deftinwulf wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:14 pm
One thing I don't quite understand is unipolar vs bipolar VCAs... People say you should have at least one bipolar VCA but I have a hard time imagining what a negative-voltage amplifier sounds like... plus they're hard to shop for because it seems like there are only a few out there, unless there are some that actually are bipolar in design but don't advertise themselves as such... Searching by name, I've only found, I think, 2?
My understanding is that VCAs are multiplying devices so an input signal of say 3v gets amplified by a control voltage of say 0.8 giving an output of 2.4v.

But a bipolar VCA can do this “through-zero” which means an input of 3v gets multiplied by a control voltage of -0.8 giving -2.4v. So actually the bipolar VCA is the more ‘complete’ circuit, where a unipolar VCA would give an output of zero volts for any negative control voltage.

Another way to say this is that a unipolar VCA is like a bipolar VCA with a half wave rectifier on the control voltage input to force negative CV to zero and let positive CV pass. The result of multiplying by zero is 0v.

The other thing to note is that in theory the two inputs are equivalent in a bipolar VCA - the signal and the control voltage can be swapped over and the output will be the same (because 3x0.8 = 0.8x3). I expect some VCA designs do this cleanly and others may add colour.

I posted these in another thread on polarizing mixers, they’re examples of through-zero (bipolar) VCAs. The Happy Nerding Dual xFade is implemented as pairs of VCAs so it should operate as a through-zero VCA if you invert the input on one side.

MI Blinds
Befaco A*B+C
Intellijel uMod2
WMD Triple Bipolar VCA
Happy Nerding Dual xFade

Also the MN Moddemix, and the Vermona Quadropol.

HTH

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by ToddOMG » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:27 am

Malekko Quad VCA. I'm a fiend for mute buttons in modular!

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by ege.gonul » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:31 am

ADE-50 discrete OTA for final volume adjustment and then Bubblesound reducer.

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by IEC » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:00 am

i use a linix (x3) for my final output. i changed the knobs to something more wiggly tho

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by rockwoofstone » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:49 am

deftinwulf wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:14 pm
One thing I don't quite understand is unipolar vs bipolar VCAs... People say you should have at least one bipolar VCA but I have a hard time imagining what a negative-voltage amplifier sounds like... plus they're hard to shop for because it seems like there are only a few out there, unless there are some that actually are bipolar in design but don't advertise themselves as such... Searching by name, I've only found, I think, 2?
What you're looking for is a Ring Modulator. These just multiply the 2 signals together, positive & negative, doing exactly what you describe; e.g.:

Image
(Handy image to illustrate linked from Wikipedia).

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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by Foghorn » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:06 pm

I really like the Intellijel quad VCA.
It is cascaded so it can act as a mixer of 4 channels with one output.
Of course M I Veils does the same thing a well as most multi channel VCAs, I assume.
Intellijel Quad VCA on Modulargrid


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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by ersatzplanet » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:03 pm

If you have the space, a 4ms VCAMatrix id the one to use. You can use it as a standard mixer with CV stereo output control and 2 CV controlled AUX sends to external or internal modules. It is kinda large but worth it.
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Re: Your go to final VCA?

Post by autopoiesis » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:14 pm

oddly enough my go-to is the NSL-32 vactrol VCA tile by Pulplogic. it doesn't bleed, it's fast enough to track different envelope speeds more or less faithfully, and the biggest pleasant surprise for me was discovering that it opens just softly enough to minimize clicks that you'd otherwise hear from fast envelopes used with low-harmonic-content signals. I had been considering buying a WMD DVCA before discovering this.

before that it was the Malekko VCA, loved the sound of it

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