Quad+ VCA, but fun?

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joskery
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Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by joskery » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:44 am

Hi,

I need a quad VCA, primarily for audio duties. As they’re not very fun on the surface, I’ve been thinking of ways to make it interesting. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
  • Intellijel quad VCA - the plain jane. Very usable, takes up 12HP which is more than I’d like.
  • Intellijel dual VCA 1U - not exciting, but utilitarian, and takes up no 3U space.
  • Doepfer A-130-8 - the OCTAL VCA. moar VCAs, not very versatile. Only 6HP.. That’s 1.3 VCAs per HP.
  • 2x Meng QI DPLPG - interesting, small space. Might not have uniform response across channels. Not sure if I should sometimes favor VCAs over LPGs for, say, CV duties.
  • Some smallish matrix mixer w/ VCAs - would be cool, not sure if exists.
  • Some other solution haven’t thought of.

Any ideas? I know this is, in a way, violating the sanctity of the mighty VCA, but I’m determined to make everything dense. :despair:

Thanks for any thoughts.

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cackland
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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by cackland » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:02 am

Whats your max desired HP?

joskery
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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by joskery » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:04 am

Well, depends on the functionality - if it’s also a matrix mixer, 18 is doable, if it’s going to be vanilla VCAs, it’s probably getting relegated to the 1U row :) so I am flexible. Good question, thanks.

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starthief
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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by starthief » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:18 am

joskery wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:44 am
[*]2x Meng QI DPLPG - interesting, small space. Might not have uniform response across channels. Not sure if I should sometimes favor VCAs over LPGs for, say, CV duties.
You can use DPLPG with CV signals.

The thing about passive LPGs is they don't respond well to lower control voltages -- so if you want a slow attack, you're going to get silence and then a sudden jump upwards when the CV crosses some minimum threshold. I would add a DPLPG to other VCA options.

I really like my Xaoc Tallin. For tiny minimal VCAs I think Zlob Dual VCA is excellent. At this point though I'd probably be inclined to go for Veils or the Intellijel quad for the convenience of having both bias and CV controls.

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lohacker
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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by lohacker » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:28 am

For me it can't be any better than the Intellijel Quad VCA in terms of usability and features (even if I don't own one yet, I still have uVCA II and Linix), but if you want save a couple of hp there's the Bastl Quattro Figaro with some other useful tricks like inverted cv outs in 10hp.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by joskery » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:02 am

Yes, in terms of having a usable quad VCA I think it’s hard to do much better than the Intellijel Quad, but for me, VCAs haven’t traditionally been very tactile modules, so I’m thinking I could probably be happy with some novel solution, sacrificing quick and precise control for more versatility.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by nrrrd » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:20 am

My Eurorack modular is 95% Make Noise and I have an Optomix and Moddemix in 14hp. Both are VCAs with character.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by closedLoop » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:28 am

joskery wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:44 am


Any ideas? I know this is, in a way, violating the sanctity of the mighty VCA, but I’m determined to make everything dense. :despair:
It's hard to beat the Quad VCA (I have 2).

The only others I would consider would be the MI Veils (nearly identical to the Quad VCA, but with more gain), or the ALM Tangle Quartet (smaller at 8hp, but only a linear response, I think).

I also like the overdriven character of Tallin, but it seems to need a strong CV signal. I haven't had it racked in a while.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by jube » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:04 am

I have the Nano Modules Alt quad VCA. It’s 8hp but I can reach most controls fine, so it isn’t that cramped. My angled patch cables are a bit too snug though.

I chose this one over a MI Blinds because of the smaller size. So on paper pretty great. But I’ve send it in for repair because one channel’s pot would short circuit or something.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by adaris » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:29 am

This probably doesn't meet your space requirements, but I made the Seismic Industries Quad Mixer/VCA fun by pre-patching each channel to one of their volt meters, which turns the thru outputs of the meters into individual VCA outputs. Not a good way to save money or space, but I've taken advantage of the shallow depth to mount it on the wall, so space isn't really an issue, and it is fun. I especially love the knobs on it:

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by Best_Ghost » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:03 am

Not sure if it's mentioned but AfterLater Audio does a 1u dual VCA that is more fully featured than the Intellijel 1u VCA: https://afterlateraudio.com/product/dua ... el-format/

Got one recently and I'm quite happy with it. That and a couple of the intellijel VCAs and I'm happy

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MARK27
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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by MARK27 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:46 am

The 4MS VCA Mixer eats a lot of hp, but offers as much fun as you could possibly have with four VCAs. Matrix mixing, CV control and muting! It is really addictive once you start exploring all the ways it can be used to dynamically route your system.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by joskery » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:16 am

Wow, the Tangle quartet is a good shout, I fidn’t realize it’s that much more compact. I also like the After Later Audio 1U modules.

I also bounced around ideas like a Disting Ex, but that’s only 2 VCAs. As is the Planar.

And yes... the VCA Matrix. I’ve been postponing a look into that one, looks terrific :)

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by jingo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:31 am

Erica Synths Quad VCA in 10 hp, does the job, i like it

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by TheNthMan » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:49 am

When you say fun/interesting and willing to go up to 18hp for a matrix mixer, were you thinking of the 4ms VCAM Matrix, or were you thinking "fun" like a MI Frames?

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by starthief » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:54 am

Rebel Technology MIX 04 is a 4x4 VCA matrix in 10HP, but it has no panel controls. Whether it's useful depends a lot on how you patch.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by transistorresistor » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:06 pm

the intellijel 1u vca is super clean but would recommend it to anyone, really great module.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by Cpaf » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:09 pm

joskery wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:16 am
Wow, the Tangle quartet is a good shout, I fidn’t realize it’s that much more compact. I also like the After Later Audio 1U modules.

I also bounced around ideas like a Disting Ex, but that’s only 2 VCAs. As is the Planar.

And yes... the VCA Matrix. I’ve been postponing a look into that one, looks terrific :)
I remember Colin Benders praising the VCA Matrix as a real standout live performance tool. If only it was a bit smaller :p not sure if it would make sense with the same functions though. I have been looking into the Moddemix and Talin as some fun VCA's but they won't spare that much HP compared to e.g. The tangel quartet

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by everythingcontinues » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:15 pm

If you're at all flexible on the number of channels, I'd highly recommend the Happy Nerding 3x VCA.

I was also optimizing for VCA density but still wanted bipolar CV attenuation, level control and cascading mixing. 3x VCA has three channels of that (as the name would suggest) in 6 hp. You could have 50% more VCAs in the space of an Intellijel Quad VCA. I was between that and the Nano Alt and figured I could do with one less channel, get 2 hp back and have full control over each VCA.

It is a bit cramped, but I usually take a dial it in and leave it approach to my VCA-ing.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by miles_macquarrie » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:22 pm

I like sliders, so the new Michigan Synth Works QVCA looks pretty cool in 8hp.
https://michigansynthworks.com/products/neutron-sound-qvca-quad-vca
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scragz
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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by scragz » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:24 pm

Happy Nerding 3xVCA is hard to beat for that size, bipolar, mixing. Also the Dual XFade is underrated as a dual VCA in 4HP with optional linked stereo operation.

For spicier options, that new Vertex Stereo VCA from WORNG looks fun.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by Cpaf » Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:08 pm

miles_macquarrie wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:22 pm
I like sliders, so the new Michigan Synth Works QVCA looks pretty cool in 8hp.
https://michigansynthworks.com/products/neutron-sound-qvca-quad-vca
Oh that looks nice! I also really like sliders, but they can be less precise to work with albeit quick! Wondering if I would miss the option of continously varying the response instead of with a switch like here. But really nice design too, has a cool vibe and the mixing is great too!

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by joskery » Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:58 pm

TheNthMan wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:49 am
When you say fun/interesting and willing to go up to 18hp for a matrix mixer, were you thinking of the 4ms VCAM Matrix, or were you thinking "fun" like a MI Frames?
I was thinking of almost anything, really – the VCA Matrix was one option. Frames is a good call too, have to think about that one! Glad I started this thread, there's a lot out there.

EDIT: Oh, right, there is no traditional VCA use of the Frames.

EDIT2:

This might be a winner: http://www.doepfer.de/a1352.htm

Four linear VCA's with input level attenuation and CV level attenuation, two different mix outs, in 8 HP.

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by Cpaf » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:24 pm

joskery wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:58 pm
TheNthMan wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:49 am
When you say fun/interesting and willing to go up to 18hp for a matrix mixer, were you thinking of the 4ms VCAM Matrix, or were you thinking "fun" like a MI Frames?
I was thinking of almost anything, really – the VCA Matrix was one option. Frames is a good call too, have to think about that one! Glad I started this thread, there's a lot out there.

EDIT: Oh, right, there is no traditional VCA use of the Frames.

EDIT2:

This might be a winner: http://www.doepfer.de/a1352.htm

Four linear VCA's with input level attenuation and CV level attenuation, two different mix outs, in 8 HP.
Super packed yeah! Great for a small live system, but it is tight patched up isn't it? Looks like it anyways. The attenuation options are really nice. Though if you got something like Zadar for envelopes you don't need them as it has attenuation in-built

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Re: Quad+ VCA, but fun?

Post by cptnal » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:33 pm

The FSS Gristleizer is a fun VCA. You put a sine wave in, but it's not a sine wave when it comes back out. :flamey:
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