How do you guys tune your oscs?

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Dob
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How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by Dob » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:36 am

Or is there a topic already?

I'd also be interested in MU modules that help with tuning, like sending out a stable C?
Wasn't there something that also had a headphone out?

I've found it's hard to do it with a mobile app.

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Post by josaka » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:17 am

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Post by Flareless » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:54 am

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Rich

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wily
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Re: How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by wily » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:58 am

Dob wrote:Or is there a topic already?

I'd also be interested in MU modules that help with tuning, like sending out a stable C?
Wasn't there something that also had a headphone out?

I've found it's hard to do it with a mobile app.
Hey mate, the Synthesizers.com Q123 has a 440Hz (A) output. You could plug that into the "add input" with three semitones selected and get a C. :guinness: It's a really useful module for performance too, of course, like suddenly dropping everything a minor third.

Guitar tuners work well too, are cheap, and give you the benefit of a master mute of the oscillator.
wily

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gregae
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Post by gregae » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:04 am

The DotCom Q148 includes a tuner that offers both 'A' and 'C' tuning options:

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Post by cornutt » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:44 am

SSL for a while was producing an MU version of the Jones O'Tool, which includes a tuning function.
Sequence 15 -- sequence15.blogspot.com

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fac
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Post by fac » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:05 pm

cornutt wrote:SSL for a while was producing an MU version of the Jones O'Tool, which includes a tuning function.
I have the euro version and find it extremely useful. When I wanted an MU version, they were already out of production. :(

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BendingBus
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Post by BendingBus » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:54 pm

Peterson Stroboplus is really great; fast, accurate, and easy to do detuning/microtuning. I've had the big analog strobe tuners, and digital tuners including apps, but this blows them all away.

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Re: How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by hsosdrum » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:35 pm

wily wrote:Hey mate, the Synthesizers.com Q123 has a 440Hz (A) output. You could plug that into the "add input" with three semitones selected and get a C. :guinness: It's a really useful module for performance too, of course, like suddenly dropping everything a minor third.

Guitar tuners work well too, are cheap, and give you the benefit of a master mute of the oscillator.
I'm using a Dotcom Q113 8-channel mixer as the output mixer for my synth's four voices. I have the A=440 output of the Q123 connected to the Q113's #7 input (normally turned all the way off), and whenever I need to check tuning all I have to do is raise Input #7 and run a pitch comparison with whatever voice I'm working with.

The above is good enough for me, but would be not nearly good enough for a perfectionist like Wendy Carlos:

Wendy was so obsessive about tuning that Bob Moog made a special reference module (with a super-stable A=440 oscillator and an adjustment knob) for her that she could inject at her synth's output to check the tuning of the voice she was working with. However, even this reference oscillator drifted slightly so Wendy would occasionally check its pitch against an A=440 tuning fork and use the adjustment knob to correct the reference. Bob called that her "Truth Adjust" knob.

Of course, Wendy was working with original 901s and their inability to track properly over more than a couple of octaves drove her crazy. If she had to record a phrase that spanned a wide range sometimes she would break the phrase into sections and she would tune at a lower reference pitch and record the lower-pitched section, re-tune at a higher reference pitch so the 901s would track the higher-pitched section, record that section and edit the two sections together into the single original phrase.

Bob Moog finally solved Wendy's tuning issues by supplying her a set of custom-made 901A/B oscillators with MiniMoog oscillator cores, which she used for Clockwork Orange, Sonic Seasonings and S-OB II. Then she added a 921 and five 921Bs ganged to a single 921A. (However her Moog still has the A=440 reference module with its "Truth Adjust" knob, and I'm sure she still has her A=440 tuning fork. :hihi: )

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wily
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Post by wily » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:17 pm

fac wrote:
cornutt wrote:SSL for a while was producing an MU version of the Jones O'Tool, which includes a tuning function.
I have the euro version and find it extremely useful. When I wanted an MU version, they were already out of production. :(
In case you didn't know Elby Designs here in Australia makes a 5U version of their ED702 "Synth-a-Scope" which, as far as I can tell, is one of those JYE Tech DSO138 digital oscilloscopes and a pedal interface:

https://www.elbydesigns.com/product-pag ... -5u-module
https://www.elby-designs.com/webtek/oth ... ed702d.htm

Edit: Obviously if you used this for tuning you'd have to tune by frequency... Although it looks like there are only four significant digits so 261.63Hz might be out of the question.
wily

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Post by Dave Peck » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:49 pm

Got any digital synths? Romplers, VA synths, etc.? Set up a 'default' patch on one of those, with just a plain single saw osc and no detuning or pitch modulation and use that as a reference when tuning the oscs in your modular. Works great, and it's free if you already have a digital synth.

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Re: How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by Thalassa » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:47 am

Dob wrote:I've found it's hard to do it with a mobile app.
I don't know what app have you tried but the BOSS Chromatic Tunner is great. It's really accurate even with low notes and it's free. I've found it really easy and fast to use. It's available for Iphone and Android

[video][/video]

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fac
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Post by fac » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:18 am

Dave Peck wrote:Got any digital synths? Romplers, VA synths, etc.? Set up a 'default' patch on one of those, with just a plain single saw osc and no detuning or pitch modulation and use that as a reference when tuning the oscs in your modular. Works great, and it's free if you already have a digital synth.
This is what I do. I use my Nord Electro 4D, set up a Hammond patch with only the fundamental (basically a sine osc) and use it as reference to tune my VCOs.

Before that, I used an old cheap Ibanez guitar tuner, but it stopped working about a year ago.

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Post by Just me » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:47 pm

By ear or in reference to any of my other keyboards.
I have a Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-112a for tuning guitars and pianos.
If I have water in my ear, is it safe for me to listen to electronic music?

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Dob
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Post by Dob » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:54 pm

Well, thanks for all the responses!!

Some of the things I've been doing as well, like taking a digital synths output for comparison. Copying a track in the sequencer, make the modular run alongside.
But I really want to do it fast so I don't get out of the flow...

I used to have that o' tool :bang:

I like that Elby Designs scope!!

That small guitar-tuner-on-a-jack looks sweet to...

Hey, I'm using that Boss running app as well, but it 's very unstable on my phone, doesn't know what pitch I'm in. Even if I take off all modulation, vca, filters... i. e. a clean oscillator, with my phone next to the speaker.

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Post by hsosdrum » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:20 pm

The upshot of what I wrote earlier in this thread is that (like Wendy Carlos) I tune by ear. After all, this is music — if it sounds right, it is right. I never have any problem hearing the "beating" when something's out of tune with my A=440 reference, but unlike Carlos, I don't obsess about my tuning being perfect. (Of course, I'm not working with original 901-series oscillators.)

I've worked with a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist since the late 1980s and he has always steadfastly refused to tune using anything other than his ear. He claims (rightly, in my opinion) that the way a musician tunes their instrument is part of their style and sound, helping to make their music more of their own individual expression.

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Post by dude » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:26 pm

i use the ears

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Post by Thorsday » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:30 am

I use a Peterson StroboPlus HD.

I have a bank of oscillators. Six of them. I tune one to the lowest fundamental for the piece (sub bass), and, depending on the patch, I incrementally tune up one octave (or other harmonious interval) for each oscillator. So, polyphony and chords is enabled this way.

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Post by Flareless » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:38 am

Dob wrote: That small guitar-tuner-on-a-jack looks sweet to...
Thanks! A few years ago I found a DIY thread about modifying an inexpensive Snark tuner

The project was quite easy and the tuner is simply THE BEST.

No, I don't mean the highest-end, the most super-duper accurate, the most exotic...

It is simply awesome to be able to jam this tiny little guy into any jack and get an instant readout. I have mine lying on my work area in front of the modular and it's easy to grab, stab, read and wiggle.

Since mine is also utilizes the Snark's guitar clip to hold the jack in place it is simple to untether the Snark and provide myself with a few more centimetres of cable. This is very helpful when trying to get through a forest of cables in a tight patch.

If I were to make one in Eurorack I'd leave a lot more dangling-wire.

I also use a handheld Korg Chromatic Tuner. This one was also inexpensive and works great. Best of all it has a Through jack so you can pass your signal on to its destination instead of stonewalling it at the tuner.

Image

Since the Snark makes a great stocking stuffer I'll bet they're on sale at local music stores. Make sure to get the right model if you plan on trying. I used an SN-8.

I'm getting another one :banana:
Rich

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What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it gives forth a sound - Neil Peart

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trentpmcd
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Post by trentpmcd » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:24 am

Another one for using my ear. Quick note - I used to use a digital synth or my digital piano to tune, but since I now have a reference 440 A (won't mention the hated synth ;) ), I find it so much easier to hear the beating. Someday I may get one of the dotcom modules listed that have a reference one.

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Post by kindredlost » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:57 am

Boss tuner pedal to rough in the vco’s then tune them by ear. I use the tuner with no cv source to the vco so they are relatively in tune with each other. Then I add cv and modulation and finally tune by ear. Of course some amount of fine adjustment will be necessary after an hour or so of settling in.

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Post by DrReverendSeance » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:19 pm

Just me wrote:By ear or in reference to any of my other keyboards.
I have a Sonic Research Turbo Tuner ST-112a for tuning guitars and pianos.
When I really want to tune my VCOs I use the Sonic Research Turbo Tuner as well. It is fast and chromatic.

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Re: How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by dml » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:22 pm

Received a Q148 for Christmas. I'll be installing it this Friday. Looking forward to putting it through it's paces! Blessed 2020 to all!!
Best,

dml

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Re: How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by SynthBaron » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:49 pm

The easiest thing for me is using a digital signal generator (computer or phone app) to beat tune to by ear. You can even just use a digitally generated A440 WAV file of sufficient time length.

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Re: How do you guys tune your oscs?

Post by Christopher Winkels » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:01 pm

I have a dozen guitar-related products (mutlieffects, mostly) that all feature built in tuners, some nicer than others. I usually just sidechain those and switch it in or out to see if I'm close to target.

Two I'd recommend are the Zoom pedals (MS70 and MS50 in particular). Cheap and effective and they handle synth levels like champs.

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