Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

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akavalve
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Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by akavalve » Thu May 07, 2020 1:08 pm

I've got the Dual Contour Generator and the Transistor Ladder filter and am really enjoying the sound of both.
I have a number of analog oscillators and a uVCA I'm currently using with them. Thinking of getting another Mini Mod module to sub into part of that chain.

For people who have a more complete Mini Mod system, which do you consider to be the more significant component to the overall sound, the Cascaded VCA or the VCO?

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mdoudoroff
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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu May 07, 2020 1:22 pm

I love the oscillators and filters, but don’t have the VCA yet, either, so I’m curious about the answer, too. I would definitely go ask the DreamsOfWires guy on YouTube (dunno if he hangs around here) for his opinion. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulSmG ... DZr13VuVPg

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by akavalve » Thu May 07, 2020 2:07 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 1:22 pm
I love the oscillators and filters, but don’t have the VCA yet, either, so I’m curious about the answer, too. I would definitely go ask the DreamsOfWires guy on YouTube (dunno if he hangs around here) for his opinion. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulSmG ... DZr13VuVPg
Thanks. Will check with him. What do you love about the oscillators in comparison to equivalent ones in terms of waveform outputs?

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by mishka » Thu May 07, 2020 2:21 pm

Hi! Also check

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCEfYyYez ... feA/videos

Lots of ajh modules. Also interested but no hands experience. Good luck :)

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu May 07, 2020 2:59 pm

akavalve wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 2:07 pm
Thanks. Will check with him. What do you love about the oscillators in comparison to equivalent ones in terms of waveform outputs?
Well… I do like the sharktooth wave. I mainly use it and the saw. I should probably use the square more. I probably will. I love the octave switch. But to a large extent, a square is a square and a saw is a saw, no matter what oscillator it comes from. These are pricey oscillators, in part because there’s a meticulously reproduced Moog circuit surrounded by additional circuitry to address the difference in power and the difference in output voltage range. I think the essential detail is how they pair with AJH filters, and probably to some degree, how they respond to FM. I can’t quantify that, or even particularly qualify it. It’s the “vintage thing”, and AJH seems to have done a great job of making it just work. It’s a bit of a luxury product. After all, you can buy an entire Behringer D for less than the cost of one AJH Mini Mod VCA, and the Behringer D delivers disturbingly well.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by mishka » Thu May 07, 2020 4:03 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 2:59 pm
Well… I do like the sharktooth wave. I mainly use it and the saw. I should probably use the square more. I probably will. I love the octave switch. But to a large extent, a square is a square and a saw is a saw, no matter what oscillator it comes from. These are pricey oscillators, in part because there’s a meticulously reproduced Moog circuit surrounded by additional circuitry to address the difference in power and the difference in output voltage range. I think the essential detail is how they pair with AJH filters, and probably to some degree, how they respond to FM. I can’t quantify that, or even particularly qualify it. It’s the “vintage thing”, and AJH seems to have done a great job of making it just work. It’s a bit of a luxury product. After all, you can buy an entire Behringer D for less than the cost of one AJH Mini Mod VCA, and the Behringer D delivers disturbingly well.
sorry to disturb this thread but maybe it also helps? you already mentioned that the ajh modules are not the cheapest. i don‘t care when the quality is in accordance of. something that irritates me is reading this:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=220598

do you have any dificulties relating tracking stability? for a good osc i‘m also looking for a synthtech e300.

https://synthtech.com/eurorack/E300

i think in this range there are so many great options and posibilities where dicisions are very dificult and dependent on opinions where only you can decide what fits.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu May 07, 2020 4:36 pm

I haven’t personally experienced stability issues with my AJH VCO that I have noticed. But I also don’t try to use it for anything and everything.

Look, the E300 is going to run circles around the AJH VCO. They are designed with very different goals. The E300 aspires to be the best performing basic analog oscillator ever, and it probably achieves that distinction. These oscillators simply cannot do the same things. The FM on the E300 is going to be a whole different world than on the AJH. Meanwhile, the AJH VCO is meticulously recreating a transistor core oscillator from 1970, quirks and all. The AJH is probably loads more stable than the actual Model D oscillator it recreates.

I have a couple Pittsburgh Waveforms oscillators in my rack, which are the ones I pair with the AJH when I want Moog-ish layering of oscillators. When funds permit, I intend to replace the Pittsburgh modules with two more AJH VCOs. Will it dramatically change the sound? No it will not. The square and saw from the Pittsburgh oscillators work just fine with the AJH filters. That’s why I’ve been slow to replace them—it’s lowest priority. But I will eventually enjoy having a trio of AJH VCOs sitting next to each other. And I do really like the octave switches.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by akavalve » Thu May 07, 2020 4:51 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 2:59 pm
Well… I do like the sharktooth wave. I mainly use it and the saw. I should probably use the square more. I probably will. I love the octave switch. But to a large extent, a square is a square and a saw is a saw, no matter what oscillator it comes from. These are pricey oscillators, in part because there’s a meticulously reproduced Moog circuit surrounded by additional circuitry to address the difference in power and the difference in output voltage range. I think the essential detail is how they pair with AJH filters, and probably to some degree, how they respond to FM. I can’t quantify that, or even particularly qualify it. It’s the “vintage thing”, and AJH seems to have done a great job of making it just work. It’s a bit of a luxury product. After all, you can buy an entire Behringer D for less than the cost of one AJH Mini Mod VCA, and the Behringer D delivers disturbingly well.
That's very helpful. Thanks. I was kind of surprised at how much I preferred the Dual Contour Generators to my other envelopes. It was an 'oh, that's what I've wanted my envelopes to feel like' experience. The pairing comment makes good sense. Also, yes...one of my band mates uses the Behringer D and in most contexts you wouldn't be able to distinguish.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by akavalve » Thu May 07, 2020 5:17 pm

mishka wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 4:03 pm

sorry to disturb this thread but maybe it also helps? you already mentioned that the ajh modules are not the cheapest. i don‘t care when the quality is in accordance of. something that irritates me is reading this:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=220598
I had read this thread and it gave me some concern. It hasn't seemed to be a broad issue and in my opinion AJH has responded appropriately. I don't doubt the users experiences but given my personal satisfaction with AJH to date but I don't have any reservations about their products.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by lohacker » Thu May 07, 2020 5:35 pm

I have a simple AJH voice (VCO-VCF-VCA-ENV), the VCA overdrives nicely when pushed hard and having a mixer and 2 vca in series is great. In the VCO the triangle sounds very good with its little spike in the waveform, it sounds more present than other vcos with a more precise waveform and I think I'll add another one in the future.
I agree about the dual contour is a pleasure to play with!

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by Ceres » Sat May 09, 2020 9:34 pm

I have a full Minimod set plus a few additional AJH modules. I would probably go with the VCA over a single oscillator. That gives you a strong backend voice with lots of color. You can also get or DIY the overdrive switches for both modules for more color options.
If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by akavalve » Sat May 09, 2020 9:37 pm

Ceres wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:34 pm
I have a full Minimod set plus a few additional AJH modules. I would probably go with the VCA over a single oscillator. That gives you a strong backend voice with lots of color. You can also get or DIY the overdrive switches for both modules for more color options.
Good to hear. Thanks! Just ordered a VCA before the weekend.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by akavalve » Thu May 14, 2020 7:30 am

mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 1:22 pm
I love the oscillators and filters, but don’t have the VCA yet, either, so I’m curious about the answer, too. I would definitely go ask the DreamsOfWires guy on YouTube (dunno if he hangs around here) for his opinion. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulSmG ... DZr13VuVPg
Just got mine. It's about exactly as you'd expect given experience with other AJH Mini Mod pieces. Fairly subtle but has that 'could listen to it for hours' quality. For minimal stuff it's definitely worth it and I'm glad I got it. I'd guess the busier or more dynamic the mix is the less that subtlety is going to be key. Also, I didn't consider the CV arrangement before I ordered it because I was mostly going for sound character but I found I really like it. Same experience with the Ladder Filter. I didn't really care about the multiple inputs because I've got plenty of mixers but they're so convenient and I use them all the time now.

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Re: Mini Mod Owners - Cascaded VCA or VCO

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu May 14, 2020 7:37 am

Thanks for the report. I suspect the mixer on the VCF will distort in a bit different a manner than another mixer might when you bring in multiple sources and crank them up.

Having both the VCA and ladder filter, I guess it might make sense to get one of these damned things, so that one can conveniently toggle the different gain combinations: https://ajhsynth.com/Gain_Switch.html

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