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Happy holidays! Please see the year-end funding drive post in the Announcements subforum. Thanks and all my love to you beautiful people.

Birdkids ”Raven” ?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next [all]
Author Birdkids ”Raven” ?
MaartenV
j_dowe wrote:
MaartenV wrote:
Getting to try out and demo the raven, it really sounds amazing, also as an owner of the bataleur, i must say, it sounds quiet different, even more expressive and musical, it has his own character (crunchy organic sounding) compared to other high end dual oscillators i played with, really worth it. It's peanut butter jelly time!


i would love to hear more on how it's different sounding from the bateleur? i like the bateleur, but trying to figure out if i'd like this even better. i probably can't afford to own both ($$ & hp), but i could potentially sell the bateleur+expansion to fund a raven.


Crossfading or mixing two oscillators (thats already 1 more then bataleur wink) trough the filter is magic, it lifts the sound up makes it very musical and can be really thick but also very versitale for experimental sounds together with the fm possibilities. For me personally, the sound can be very direct (like the bataleur) but also quiet more airy/gritty/organic due to the dual functionality. The vactrol vca implemented sounds different from the bataleur ofcourse, this west coast implementation is really a cool feature as well.

It also has a external input which is really cool for processing other sources trough it (see mike's post above). The separate filter output is also very handy if you want to use 3 voices at the same time.
As a cellist i am always looking at modules that blend well together with the organic sound of the cello, in this case, it did very well.
birdkid
j_dowe wrote:
MaartenV wrote:
Getting to try out and demo the raven, it really sounds amazing, also as an owner of the bataleur, i must say, it sounds quiet different, even more expressive and musical, it has his own character (crunchy organic sounding) compared to other high end dual oscillators i played with, really worth it. It's peanut butter jelly time!


i would love to hear more on how it's different sounding from the bateleur? i like the bateleur, but trying to figure out if i'd like this even better. i probably can't afford to own both ($$ & hp), but i could potentially sell the bateleur+expansion to fund a raven.


Dear j_dowe, additionally to what Maarten has said, personally I was always a huge fan of early sequential oscillators in combination with a mellow 24dB LPF. Those served as sound reference (not schematic reference).
RAVEN is wide-range - 8octaves are the absolute minimum we're aiming for.
It is a saw-core, also transistor based design, but entirely different to TheBateleur oscillator. They're much more responsive to external modulation sources as well, as this was the basis for "infinitebly flexible" withing modular workflow claim we had.

TheBateleur VCO is based on a compensated UJT design that builds on 901A/B principles, it's inherently unstable and very hard to spread over a convincing range, it took us 2+ years to get efficient with it (about 6octaves). Mr. Moog managed to coax 3.5 octaves on a good day as far as we've found out.

I share Maarten's requirement of modular being part of the musical instrument, having response within every touch and tweak is the basic fundamental principle in everything we design. If it's not playable in the most essential components, we don't do it.

I'm not a musician (though I come from production) but you can hear some noodling, using the proof-of-concept here:

etherline
I'm up for a bit of that. Haven't had much time for Eurorack recently but I have confidence in birdkids to build something exceptional.
Leverkusen
I just had a look at the kickstarter site. I did not find the smart third batch option though. Did I already miss it?

On a side note, and I know it is none of my business but I wondered if the price policy is a good idea.

Who will buy it for the full price after one year of existence and three batches of massive discount?

hmmm.....
visible cow
The demos of this are right up my alley, it sounds fantastic!

Any chance you could get an image up on modulargrid?
etherline
Leverkusen wrote:


Who will buy it for the full price after one year of existence and three batches of massive discount?

hmmm.....


Either everyone or no-one if it doesn't fund. eek!
birdkid
Leverkusen wrote:
I just had a look at the kickstarter site. I did not find the smart third batch option though. Did I already miss it?

On a side note, and I know it is none of my business but I wondered if the price policy is a good idea.

Who will buy it for the full price after one year of existence and three batches of massive discount?

hmmm.....


Dear Leverkusen, you're right, the "Smart Saver" option is not visible, we've addressed it in the FAQ:

I cannot see the 3rd batch possibility titled "Smart Saver" (50% Off MSRP) among the pledges.
The "Smart Saver" pledge category is scheduled via the campaign editor to begin on the 28th of November. Kickstarter apparently keeps those hidden until the scheduled date.

Why the pledges cannot be simply "greyed-out" is beyond my understanding. But we don't have control over said provider of service.

As to the question re price policy, I totally understand what you mean, the idea is to give early adopters and backers first pick so to say, not just as buyers but more like equal partners.

We tried to explain that in the "Why Kickstarter?" section. thumbs up
birdkid
visible cow wrote:
The demos of this are right up my alley, it sounds fantastic!

Any chance you could get an image up on modulargrid?


Great idea, will do ASAP. thumbs up
j_dowe
Many thanks Maarten and Birdkids. I am finding myself persuaded. I appreciate the detailed responses.

thumbs up
brickman
Mike, what are the plans if you dont hit the kickstarter goal ?
Leverkusen
birdkid wrote:
Leverkusen wrote:
I just had a look at the kickstarter site. I did not find the smart third batch option though. Did I already miss it?

On a side note, and I know it is none of my business but I wondered if the price policy is a good idea.

Who will buy it for the full price after one year of existence and three batches of massive discount?

hmmm.....


Dear Leverkusen, you're right, the "Smart Saver" option is not visible, we've addressed it in the FAQ:

I cannot see the 3rd batch possibility titled "Smart Saver" (50% Off MSRP) among the pledges.
The "Smart Saver" pledge category is scheduled via the campaign editor to begin on the 28th of November. Kickstarter apparently keeps those hidden until the scheduled date.

Why the pledges cannot be simply "greyed-out" is beyond my understanding. But we don't have control over said provider of service.

As to the question re price policy, I totally understand what you mean, the idea is to give early adopters and backers first pick so to say, not just as buyers but more like equal partners.

We tried to explain that in the "Why Kickstarter?" section. thumbs up


Ah, I see - Thanks for pointing me there! I Have to admit that I hardly ever read the whole kickstarter descriptions...
birdkid
brickman wrote:
Mike, what are the plans if you dont hit the kickstarter goal ?


Well if we can't find even 50 people out there in the world who would wanna have one after ringing pretty much every bell imaginable and going towards a 4-year track record of building very special gear, it would be time to call it quits.
brickman
birdkid wrote:

Well if we can't find even 50 people out there in the world who would wanna have one after ringing pretty much every bell imaginable and going towards a 4-year track record of building very special gear, it would be time to call it quits.


Well let's hope it doesn't come to that . You're over half way to 50 people already.
If it counts for anything, I think Birdkids are the best out there for vintage analogue tone.
chaosick
Howdy, I talked with you quite a bit at SB at your booth about jazz and other thing when you were demoing that crazy euro programmable controller (what happened with that?)
This sounds great, but I don't really understand..where's uh, envelopes/function generator??
birdkid
chaosick wrote:
Howdy, I talked with you quite a bit at SB at your booth about jazz and other thing when you were demoing that crazy euro programmable controller (what happened with that?)
This sounds great, but I don't really understand..where's uh, envelopes/function generator??


I remember having that jazz conversation with you smile

You're referring to CROW Intelligence, we've received amazing feedback about that from the Media Artist and Hacker community, but nearly 0-understanding from Modular people, hence we've decided to make it an open-source environment and supply some extremely simple, minimal hardware solutions in the form of a tiny I/O box as we're fully aware that each performer in a cross-media scenario would need a completely different setup.
So it would be best if people use their dedicated MIDI or DIY controllers and we provide the connectivity to the outside world.

As to the RAVEN, it's a 100% analog, synthesizer voice.
We've done envelopes, and they ARE offered as bundles as well on the Campaign site, and each of the oscillators or VCF can be used as an LFO or looping faux-envelope, there's also External signal input and Noise generator. We focus on what we do best, and make it the best sounding, best quality, fully analog, synthesizer voice our faculties allow.
brickman
Any chance you could get the module up on Modulargrid....please!
birdkid
brickman wrote:
Any chance you could get the module up on Modulargrid....please!


RAVEN on Modulargrid

w00t
brickman
Cheers!

Curious, how do you control the pitch of osc 2 ?
Fayette
brickman wrote:
Cheers!

Curious, how do you control the pitch of osc 2 ?


There's 2 1v/oct inputs

Edit, nevermind, I think I understand why you ask... curious about this as well...
birdkid
brickman wrote:
Cheers!

Curious, how do you control the pitch of osc 2 ?


Excellent question!

Here's a general overview of how we wanted to approach the matter:

A RAVEN VCO core should operate over the minimum range of C0-C6 in a linear manner, and then some on top and bottom depending on what we can coax out.

In terms of engineering, two separate coarse tune situations are the easiest to implement, but seeing as modular people, usually have more clout in terms of control faculties and sequencing - having the token 1v/oct per VCO was a no-brainer. What we really wanted to focus on was the, so to say, alternative semi-modular sceanrio, of someone seeing the RAVEN as an entity, with the Oscillators being in a dual configuration.

For that we have two scenarios implemented in the currently presented product.

scenario 1:
Oscillator I = coarse tune varies the frequency in an absolute manner, with middle potentiometer position equaling C2 (C0=-2V, C4=+2V, C8=+6V). Bypassed upon incoming 1v/oct signal.
Oscillator II = fine tune offsets relative to Oscillator I by +/- octave.

scenario 2: Jumpered
Oscillator I = coarse tune is relative to incoming 1v/oct signal (C0=-2V, C4=+2V, C8=+6V).
Oscillator II = fine tune offsets relative to incoming, normalized 1v/oct voltages by +/- octave.

Most CV inputs for the oscillator settings are normalized to simplify patching, only sync is separate per oscillator for obvious reasons.

This way, people who'd like to enjoy a completely modular workflow can have a blast with completely standalone oscillators and standalone outputs, and those who want a dual oscillator situation have it implemented in the UI directly with two options, relative and absolute coarse tuning. So everyone's included in a way.

Hope that make sense?
brickman
Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation thumbs up
birdkid
brickman wrote:
Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation thumbs up


Absolutely, any questions you boys & girls have, throw them at me!

Regarding the VCF section and the semi-modular possibilities of organizing the signal-flow.

1. We have a transistor-based noise source, which can feed directly to the VCF, the noise source is present also standalone as an output.
2. An external input present at ext.in will bypass the noise source going into the VCF.
3. Removing a Jumper on the 2nd PCB will allow to re-route the noise/ext.in to VCA directly.

Why point 3 might be of importance, in case one uses the VCF as a 3rd voice, it might be good to know, that it's possible to route it directly into the VCA by taking the filter out to ext.in and using the noise/ext.in potentiometer to set the amount of incoming VCF in self-oscillation signal.

There are three VCF modes:

1. VCO I+II+noise/ext.in to VCF to VCA.
2. VCO I+II to VCA, noise/ext.in to VCF.
3. VCO I+II to VCA, noise/ext.in to VCF which tracks 1v/oct.

After the deployment of the engineering prototypes in the next weeks we will investigate the possibility of re-routing noise/ext.in to VCA on setting 3.
Needless to say when having a fully analog conglomerate of circuits, things we take for granted with digitally implemented designs like re-calibration of a potentiometer range are not really feasible, so most controls are WYSIWIG and that's also the beauty in simplicity - if it's well thought out, you end up having to do less during a performance to get instant feedback.
We're so grateful to have had 3 years of learning with engineering TheBateleur VCO, it teaches you to really think ahead, like analog photography, every function has to serve a clear purpose, no fluff. Rockin' Banana!
beem
Interesting! Looks and sounds really nice!
beem
@birdkid Are you scheduling time for doing product adjustments between 1st and 2nd batch? June-july feels so far away, but in theory there might be flaws that are fixed in the later batches.. whistlin'
birdkid
beem wrote:
@birdkid Are you scheduling time for doing product adjustments between 1st and 2nd batch? June-july feels so far away, but in theory there might be flaws that are fixed in the later batches.. whistlin'


We're already at rev 3.5 internally at this point, the issues we're encountering are of minor cosmetic nature - but wherever we can improve we do, not that we expect it will be noticeable superficially, but totally worth it for us.

The batches should be virtually identical in sound, build and function regardless of shipping time, the reason for the delay is that we're hoping to mount a larger quantity for the 2nd batch and optimizing the testing procedure.
Batch 1 will be tested completely by hand, hence the tiny quantity.
Mind you, all units are assembled and calibrated by hand in any case. Testing refers to signal-flow and values across all TP points on the PCB and standby in case of debugging.
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