Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

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patched
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Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by patched » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:20 pm

Hi!

As I don't have a sequencer yet, I have tried to get something of the same effect from the modules I have.
I found a solution that turns out to be pretty versatile, so I thought I'd share it!

What you'll need is a clock divider with gate outputs (like a plain binary counter) and a mixer. Simply mix together the gates
of some divider outputs, and you can get a pretty nice sequence! Since I found this way of getting sequences, I've
been using it in maybe 80% of my patches. The sequences are even kinda musical. So useful!

If your divider has different settings for divisions, also try them out. 2/4/8/16/... tends to give very predictable, "traditional" melodies.
Using 2/3/4/5/... or 2/3/5/7/11/... gives more random-y sequences, but it still feels sounds it got structure.

The simplicity of the patch makes it super easy to just throw together some arpeggios or a glitchy melody. So gud :tu:

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by rec.Koner » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:23 pm

Would you record examples of what you got?
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by patched » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:43 pm

rec.Koner wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:23 pm
Would you record examples of what you got?
Sure, I don't have a good way to record yet but I recorded a bit with my phone. I play around a bit with the divisions, the clock rate, and the
mixer levels:
sequencer.mp3
(1.03 MiB) Downloaded 9 times
The patch:
patch.jpg
patch.jpg (5.03 MiB) Viewed 876 times
LFO -> Clock divider
Three outputs from clock divider -> Mixer
Mixer -> VCO
VCO -> output

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by rec.Koner » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:34 am

Nice! Thanks for both audio and photo/explanation.
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by electricanada » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:07 am

You don’t even need a clock divider with this method. Any set of overlapping gates or slow square waves into a mixer will give up a sequence. Just the other day I was doing this with a Takaab lfo into a Takaab mixer.
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by MarilynMonroe » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:32 am

patched wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:20 pm
Hi!

As I don't have a sequencer yet, I have tried to get something of the same effect from the modules I have.
I found a solution that turns out to be pretty versatile, so I thought I'd share it!

What you'll need is a clock divider with gate outputs (like a plain binary counter) and a mixer. Simply mix together the gates
of some divider outputs, and you can get a pretty nice sequence! Since I found this way of getting sequences, I've
been using it in maybe 80% of my patches. The sequences are even kinda musical. So useful!

If your divider has different settings for divisions, also try them out. 2/4/8/16/... tends to give very predictable, "traditional" melodies.
Using 2/3/4/5/... or 2/3/5/7/11/... gives more random-y sequences, but it still feels sounds it got structure.

The simplicity of the patch makes it super easy to just throw together some arpeggios or a glitchy melody. So gud :tu:
Nice workaround if you have no sequenzer! Well done :sb:
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in Love
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by mookmoof » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:24 am

Add a quantizer before the vco for even more musical results and the option to pick the type of key. In the audio example it seems there's no vca or envelope involved which you could use the same clock with to enhance the rhythmic aspect. Add a switch and you can have ratcheting/rhythmic variation in the sequence.

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by patched » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:49 am

mookmoof wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:24 am
Add a quantizer before the vco for even more musical results and the option to pick the type of key. In the audio example it seems there's no vca or envelope involved which you could use the same clock with to enhance the rhythmic aspect. Add a switch and you can have ratcheting/rhythmic variation in the sequence.
Yeah, the technique is pretty versatile. I will definitely play around with ratcheting when I have soldered up my switch :)

Some other fun things you can do:
- Have an LFO control the amplitude of one gate. This can create a "vibrato" effect, but only for some of the notes
- Have a slow gate control another gates amplitude via a vca. This also creates some ratchet-y type of rhythms and melodies.
- Blend in some other CV, such as from a VCO, kick, S&H, or other gates as electricanada mentioned. Letting the amplitude of these other "mixins" be controlled by one of the clocked gates can give some really interesting glitchy sequences.

All of these are very similar in patching, but can give tons of different cool results. Really nice when you already have a patch going, to just try throwing together one of these and experiment with stuff to control. It can almost always make stuff sounds more interesting.

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by joncharliefeathers » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:03 pm

Lovely! A patch that is clever and yet easy to understand.

I put the LFO signal into mordax data. Then added the mix output of three different divisions to see what was happening.

By attenuating each division at the mixer, you control the 'pitch voltage' thus can scale each note to choice.

Also, I took a copy of the mix output, look like pulse waves, and used them to fire an envelope which when applied to the VCO filter output gave clean notes rather than notes plus core VCO running as a drone.

This patch has so much potential. Thanks for sharing @patched

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by rec.Koner » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:18 pm

Have a slow gate control another gates amplitude via a vca. This also creates some ratchet-y type of rhythms and melodies.
Could you go a bit in details with this? I'm always curious how to do ratchet-like or shifting rhythm while sequencing without sequencer.
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by mookmoof » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:26 pm

rec.Koner wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:18 pm
Have a slow gate control another gates amplitude via a vca. This also creates some ratchet-y type of rhythms and melodies.
Could you go a bit in details with this? I'm always curious how to do ratchet-like or shifting rhythm while sequencing without sequencer.
For example, let's say typical divider has 8 outs and your mixer has 4 inputs. You can send 2, 3, and 4 to the mixer and send 1 to the input of a vca and out to input 4 of the mixer. Whenever you trigger the vca with a slow gate you will get a "burst" of increased voltage to the mixer for the duration of that gate (because 1 is not divided and so is pulsing faster) which would create a ratcheting melody if you want to call it that. Or combine the original output 1 with whatever gates you are controlling the final envelope/vca for the whole sequence and get rhythmic ratcheting, or of course both.

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by bwhittington » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:39 pm

That's great! It's so rewarding when you figure these sorts of work-arounds out for yourself! This particular one is one that I've enjoyed a lot. I even ditched my fancy sequencers for a spell because I was enjoying using this and other techniques. You can also use VCA's to attenuate the gates so that you can change the pitches at times. Works really well in conjunction with a quantizer so that the changes are musical intervals, if that is what you are after. Such a powerful concept! It is fun to think about what these circuits are doing at a basic level and come up with workable equivalents using what we have.

There is a fair amount of hands-on changes in addition to modulation in some of these, but here is an example with a Moon Octal Divider (a delay is a big part of this one as well):


And one with the CGS Subosc/Divider, which is an amazing tool for creating unexpected but repeating sequences, with related harmonic parts:


This one uses a trigger sequencer's individual outputs attenuated manually or with vca's, which is the most like a traditional sequencer but with a few cool advantages (also utilizing a lot of delay):

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by patched » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:24 pm

bwhittington wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:39 pm
That's great! [...]
Nice tracks! Yeah, I'll definitely play around with a quantizer. As soon as I have one... :hihi:

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by electricanada » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:20 pm

If you want to make it interesting, add some feedback: clock the divider with a VCLFO, and use a mixer out or a divider out to VC the lfo. Attenuate (or modulate) the feedback loop to taste.
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by 3hands » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:46 pm

This is awesome!!! Playing with it now. I’m using the RCD just to add a bit more complexity to it, and it’s pretty bloody awesome! Thanks tons for this idea!!
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by 3hands » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:16 pm

3hands wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:46 pm
This is awesome!!! Playing with it now. I’m using the RCD just to add a bit more complexity to it, and it’s pretty bloody awesome! Thanks tons for this idea!!

I played with it a bit more and I ended up running a clock from the 909 into the modular, and multed it out. It was feeding the input on my RCD which was then sending gates to the 4 channels of the Quadra function generator. From there it went to the 4 channels on my VCA Which had inputs from the AFG so it gave it this kind of wavetabling. Started playing with the pitch of it using a clocked sample and hold from the MS20 and a wogglebug and started getting very cool sounds firing with it. Will try to get a video clip up today! Also want to try the lfo feedback trick as well.
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by patched » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:18 pm

electricanada wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:20 pm
If you want to make it interesting, add some feedback: clock the divider with a VCLFO, and use a mixer out or a divider out to VC the lfo. Attenuate (or modulate) the feedback loop to taste.
Tried this, sounds sooo good when you make it play really fast on the "on" gate with prime divisions. Like a quick musical burst!
3hands wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:46 pm
This is awesome!!! Playing with it now. I’m using the RCD just to add a bit more complexity to it, and it’s pretty bloody awesome! Thanks tons for this idea!!
Aah I need to make the rcd for those rotating gates. Would like to try this if I had the modules for it:
Master clock -> clock div
Master clock -> rcd
div -> sequencer clock
div -> rcd reset
sequencer -> rcd rotate

And then use the gates form the rcd for the musical sequence. This would make the sequencer control which melody would be played in a given bar. Could get some interesting results, like having a melodic variation every four bars!

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by 3hands » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:21 pm

patched wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:18 pm
electricanada wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:20 pm
If you want to make it interesting, add some feedback: clock the divider with a VCLFO, and use a mixer out or a divider out to VC the lfo. Attenuate (or modulate) the feedback loop to taste.
Tried this, sounds sooo good when you make it play really fast on the "on" gate with prime divisions. Like a quick musical burst!
3hands wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:46 pm
This is awesome!!! Playing with it now. I’m using the RCD just to add a bit more complexity to it, and it’s pretty bloody awesome! Thanks tons for this idea!!
Aah I need to make the rcd for those rotating gates. Would like to try this if I had the modules for it:
Master clock -> clock div
Master clock -> rcd
div -> sequencer clock
div -> rcd reset
sequencer -> rcd rotate

And then use the gates form the rcd for the musical sequence. This would make the sequencer control which melody would be played in a given bar. Could get some interesting results, like having a melodic variation every four bars!
Absolutely! It’s an incredibly capable module! Playing with it with the wogglebug is lots of fun. And the fact that you can trigger or gate, means I have a seriously random voltage source. Couple that with a switch, and it’s a ton of fun.
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by naos » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:47 pm

electricanada wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:07 am
You don’t even need a clock divider with this method. Any set of overlapping gates or slow square waves into a mixer will give up a sequence. Just the other day I was doing this with a Takaab lfo into a Takaab mixer.
amazing! just 3 mixed square LFOs makes super-complex, jazzy sequences.
lots of microtonality too when you have no quantizer :cry:

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by Jazz-Circuit » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:58 pm

Some other fun things you can do:
- Have an LFO control the amplitude of one gate. This can create a "vibrato" effect, but only for some of the notes
- Have a slow gate control another gates amplitude via a vca. This also creates some ratchet-y type of rhythms and melodies.
- Blend in some other CV, such as from a VCO, kick, S&H, or other gates as electricanada mentioned. Letting the amplitude of these other "mixins" be controlled by one of the clocked gates can give some really interesting glitchy sequences.
This is very cool! I am new to this so excuse me if these are basic questions, but how do you control the amplitude of a gate with an LFO? Do you do this with a VCA and then input the LFO in the CV In of the VCA? Also, what do you use to blend multiple CV sources like you mention in number 3? Can I use the Sum inputs on my Neutron to do that (as soon as write this patch I have set up down, I'm gonna try ALL of this stuff, trust me!). I just started putting together an Intellijel 4U Palette case to go with my Mother 32, Crave and Neutron. My first module is a RDC. I play a lot of odd meter with bands on my electric bass so this module is great because I am able to make some really interesting evolving poly-rhythmic grooves on my 3 different sequencers I am using. But I still have so much to learn. I start down a path and then I end up way out somewhere on some wicked groove for hours lol.

Are you using the RCD in Down counting or Up counting mode btw? I am using it in up counting mode because when I bought it that jumper was removed and laying in the box so I decided to try it in that mode first. I don't know if it was supposed to be in that mode by default or if the jumper just fell off somehow. Anyway, I am still not certain of what the behavioral difference would be in practice in the other mode because I have to actual do things to understand them when it comes to this stuff. But I've made it work for me so far in this mode to get interesting results. I guess I'll have to try the other mode soon. It seems like the breakout module for it would be a good addition. Thanks again so much for all this info. I really look forward to getting deeper into this stuff, particularly clocks.

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by patched » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:58 am

Jazz-Circuit wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:58 pm
This is very cool! I am new to this so excuse me if these are basic questions, but how do you control the amplitude of a gate with an LFO? Do you do this with a VCA and then input the LFO in the CV In of the VCA? Also, what do you use to blend multiple CV sources like you mention in number 3? Can I use the Sum inputs on my Neutron to do that?
Yes, putting the LFO as the CV in a VCA will do the trick. As VCAs simply control the amplitude of any signal, both CV and audio rate, you can control a gate level with an LFO as CV. Best way to get a good grasp of VCAs in my experience is simply to experiment with different inputs for in and CV, and see what happens with the output. Try audio sources, CVs, gates, triggers, or any combination thereof.

I haven't personally used the Neutron, but a sum would work to blend in other CVs. I just use a regular mixer. Anything that adds multiple signals will work. Mixers will however give you greater control over over the CV levels, so more room to wiggle :nana:
Jazz-Circuit wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:58 pm
Are you using the RCD in Down counting or Up counting mode btw?
The difference between up and down (I think, I don't have an RCD yet :^) ) is whether the triggers/gates will be on during the on or off beat. I'd just experiment and see what I find the most useful.

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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by 3hands » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:40 am

Jazz-Circuit wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:58 pm
Some other fun things you can do:
- Have an LFO control the amplitude of one gate. This can create a "vibrato" effect, but only for some of the notes
- Have a slow gate control another gates amplitude via a vca. This also creates some ratchet-y type of rhythms and melodies.
- Blend in some other CV, such as from a VCO, kick, S&H, or other gates as electricanada mentioned. Letting the amplitude of these other "mixins" be controlled by one of the clocked gates can give some really interesting glitchy sequences.
This is very cool! I am new to this so excuse me if these are basic questions, but how do you control the amplitude of a gate with an LFO? Do you do this with a VCA and then input the LFO in the CV In of the VCA? Also, what do you use to blend multiple CV sources like you mention in number 3? Can I use the Sum inputs on my Neutron to do that (as soon as write this patch I have set up down, I'm gonna try ALL of this stuff, trust me!). I just started putting together an Intellijel 4U Palette case to go with my Mother 32, Crave and Neutron. My first module is a RDC. I play a lot of odd meter with bands on my electric bass so this module is great because I am able to make some really interesting evolving poly-rhythmic grooves on my 3 different sequencers I am using. But I still have so much to learn. I start down a path and then I end up way out somewhere on some wicked groove for hours lol.

Are you using the RCD in Down counting or Up counting mode btw? I am using it in up counting mode because when I bought it that jumper was removed and laying in the box so I decided to try it in that mode first. I don't know if it was supposed to be in that mode by default or if the jumper just fell off somehow. Anyway, I am still not certain of what the behavioral difference would be in practice in the other mode because I have to actual do things to understand them when it comes to this stuff. But I've made it work for me so far in this mode to get interesting results. I guess I'll have to try the other mode soon. It seems like the breakout module for it would be a good addition. Thanks again so much for all this info. I really look forward to getting deeper into this stuff, particularly clocks.
Hey! Welcome!

I’m using it in up mode, so it triggers on the beat.

I would recommend you try and find the breakout box for it if you can! It’s very useful and allows you to do a lot more with it, without having to pull it out of your system and fiddle with jumpers! It’s a great little module, and one that I had wanted since my interest in modulars began!
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Re: Making a "sequencer" with a clock divider and mixer

Post by Jazz-Circuit » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:28 pm

Thanks for the info, guys. I definitely want that breakout box for it. I can't wait to try all these tricks when I get my Quad VCA.... hopefully by this weekend. I kind of went nuts this last 2 weeks on modules and it's been a blast. I'm about ready for a new case lol. I pretty much have what I want for live performance, for now at least, but i could definitely use some envelopes and filters that are independent of the Crave/Mother 32/Neutron/Microbrute setup I already had going. I imagine this is going to be a nice long journey down the road of... who cares it's only money and you can't take it with you anyway.

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