Erica Synths Pico System III

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Capt. Morgan
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Post by Capt. Morgan » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:42 pm

Capt. Morgan wrote:So I just got mine... and something is strange... my lfo on the sine out of the mod section sounds like a pulse and not an lfo... also things sound kind of dirty and distorted no matter how I patch and twiddle the knobs... help?
Also I do want to point out this is my very first step into eurorack so i very well could be just ignorant... but I feel like if I patch from some directly to the mixer I should be getting a sweeping sine wave....

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red
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Post by red » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:49 am

Image

An LFO (LOW Frequency Oscillator) is not audible. So if you patched the red version, you will hearing nothing (maybe some clicks).

The green patch is a typical use of a LFO: the sine will control the frequency of the oscillator VCO1 (the LFO produces a control voltage). Then you should hear a sweeping signal out of the VCO1 (TRI = triangle wave form).
red

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red
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Post by red » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:26 am

n e w t o y



Image


... first patch - sounds big!



8-)
red

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matttech
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Post by matttech » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:41 am

Sweet. Mine arrive Friday... Looking forward to checking them out in the flesh :goo:

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red
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Post by red » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:59 am

[ a short review ]


Image

The Pico System III is a real toy!


As big fan of Erica Synths I could not resist to buy this little system - even with a very large system that I'm already using.

The Pico System III is of high quality (case, design, package, ....) - not self-evident in this price range (400 Euro for the module, 450 Euro for the stand alone).

Some first patches result in unique and special sounds. With two oscillators, two envelope generators (with loops), two LPG, a simple sequencer and a BBD delay and three mixers you have plenty of modules and possibilities to create weird music (maybe also lovely melodies...).

The sound out of the box is very unique, sometimes rough or even a bit harsh - with all limitations it's an inspiring little tool to experiment with - it's like a basic LEGO set, you can build everything - with some simple parts.

Compared with Make Noise 0-Coast or Moog Mother-32 (I had played both) - I would say that The Pico System III is way more a real toy - in the sense of exploring sounds paired with randomness and fun. It's the right tool to get a break from the big system approach.

And there are these little cards. You will be able to store your exciting sounds by soldering the complete patch. Not tried it - but there are some "factory presets" included.

It's a good feeling to be a child and have fun with a new toy - what need I more...

vive dada!


8-)
red

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Flounderguts
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Post by Flounderguts » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:25 pm

I got mine yesterday. Played with it in my lap for hours...never thought I could have so much fun with only 4 steps. Or 2! The BBD is definitely a funky module, and in a way this setup has very counterintuitive (for me) module choices.

It's opening up my world. I'm going to mix it up with my Anookum and a dronebox tonight...

Flounderguts

blakflag
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Post by blakflag » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:52 pm

I did a quick shopping comparison and putting together the 13 Erica Pico modules that are closest to what is included here, runs about $1240 (some on sale, even). And that doesn't include power supply or the card reader. Of course there's the downside that these modules can't be separated.


But it does seem like a great way to fill out the "bread and butter" for a new rack and to learn about the basics.

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Flounderguts
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Post by Flounderguts » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:41 pm

I never would have laid a modular out like this. It's making me think in new ways. Great machine...
----------------------

Flounderguts

TehLemur
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Post by TehLemur » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:02 am

Those cards are a nice concept. They give me an idea.

If you built a device something like a patchbay, with a ton of 3.5mm jack sockets, each of which was connected to a card system a bit like this one. Then you patch every input/output from each module in your rack into it... voila, instant custom preset system for any setup.

...as long as you never removed or changed any of the connections to the patchbay, in which case all of your carefully constructed preset cards become kinda useless. :sadbanana:

gegeartist
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Post by gegeartist » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:38 pm

You can create and share your patches on this website :

https://patch-library.net/patches?device=erica-pico-iii

ronnieb
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by ronnieb » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:40 am

Has anyone noticed bleed on with the VCA/LPG section of their pico system? I know there are trimmer pots on the pico VCA modules but does anyone know if there are trimmer pots on the standalone pico system?

galaxie
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by galaxie » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:16 am

The fixed system looks nice and would save me a lot of trouble if installing individual 2hp modules. The idea of patch cards is interesting as well.

Capt. Morgan
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Re:

Post by Capt. Morgan » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:14 pm

red wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:49 am
Image

An LFO (LOW Frequency Oscillator) is not audible. So if you patched the red version, you will hearing nothing (maybe some clicks).

The green patch is a typical use of a LFO: the sine will control the frequency of the oscillator VCO1 (the LFO produces a control voltage). Then you should hear a sweeping signal out of the VCO1 (TRI = triangle wave form).
I really appreciate that! i know its been a while but I've been playing with it kinda nonstop and slowly adding to my system since then! But thank you for sending help!

tele_player
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by tele_player » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:21 pm

I got one yesterday. It's an amazing little box. A few comments:
- I'm glad it included 20 patch cables (I got the desktop version).
- I wish it included two more hopscotch cables.
- NOTE: there's at least one error in the patch notes for the presets: the LPG Techno page is missing two cables - MOD.sine to VC_EG1.trigg, and VC_EG1.trigg to LPG1.cv2. I was puzzled by how the patch worked, but solved the mystery with a multimeter.
- One real criticism - the white paint for the markings under the jacks is quite fragile. On mine, two of the letters already have a bit of paint chipped off. BE CAREFUL poking around on this thing with patch cables.

I have no Eurorack, per se. I have a Beheringer Model D (sounds great, but kind of boring on its own, (I'm no Wakeman or Emerson), a Mutable Instruments Anushri (weird and deeper than you'd expect); I haven't connected these to the Pico System III yet, but I'm thinking of getting a small rack and some modules, and maybe a 0-Coast...

tele_player
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by tele_player » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:19 am

Immediately after writing the previous post, I did some patching between Model D and Pico 3. I must admit, I like the sound of the Moog-style oscillators and filters.

And I noticed another letter where the paint is chipped off. At this rate, the panel will be quite damaged in a short time. Maybe I need to learn how to design a plastic overlay.

construct09
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by construct09 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:22 am

Just picked up a second hand unit and I'm curious if the trimmers on the oscillators have been adjusted as I cant get high pitches when I adjust the tune knobs manually (?)
The oscillators pitches do respond to cv from the lfo and seq though :hmm:

tele_player
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by tele_player » Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:00 pm

As long as the oscillators have the full range when driven by a valid control voltage, I don't see a problem. There's no reason to assume the 1V/OCT inputs have any specific voltage present when no CV is applied, though that probably would have been an easy thing to add in the design.

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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by construct09 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:30 pm

How do I get snappy envelopes without using the loop mode?

As the manual states the module advances to ASR mode when using the trigger/gate input
The random trigger in the mod section gives me the desired result ... though randomnly :hihi:

Thanks

gegeartist
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by gegeartist » Sat May 02, 2020 11:43 pm


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icondark
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by icondark » Mon May 04, 2020 12:53 pm

I'm kind of new to eurorack to this may be a ridiculous question, but I think I may have a bad VCO1 on my Pico-3. I don't know the expected behavior so I figured I would ask.

My VCO1 pulse output is always on. When no CV is applied and the TUNE knob is turned fully left, I get slow pulses. The pulses get faster when I turn TUNE to the right (obviously), but it's like the TUNE knob can't turn far enough left to fully shut it off. the only way to fully shut it off is to use the VCA and an envelope, but even then the pulsing is audible during the Release section of the envelope as it fades out (after the gate is over).

This behavior is not observed on the Triangle output of VCO1 or on either of the VCO2 outputs.

Do I have a bad unit or is this a newbie mistake?

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piper
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by piper » Thu May 07, 2020 2:30 pm

icondark wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:53 pm
I'm kind of new to eurorack to this may be a ridiculous question, but I think I may have a bad VCO1 on my Pico-3. I don't know the expected behavior so I figured I would ask.

My VCO1 pulse output is always on. When no CV is applied and the TUNE knob is turned fully left, I get slow pulses. The pulses get faster when I turn TUNE to the right (obviously), but it's like the TUNE knob can't turn far enough left to fully shut it off. the only way to fully shut it off is to use the VCA and an envelope, but even then the pulsing is audible during the Release section of the envelope as it fades out (after the gate is over).

This behavior is not observed on the Triangle output of VCO1 or on either of the VCO2 outputs.

Do I have a bad unit or is this a newbie mistake?
Both outputs of both VCOs should always be on. The triangle is pretty low volume compared to the pulse. If you have the pulse on at a low volume you probably just can't hear the triangle.

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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by HZR » Thu May 21, 2020 8:15 am

So the machine is out for quite a while, has somebody done some cool diy cards yet? I mean with potentiometers or something?

And to all owners, are you still happy with it?

hyperdriver
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by hyperdriver » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:55 am

Erica Synths Pico System III generative patch. No external CV, modulation or FX


359
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by 359 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:07 pm

I got the Pico 3 when it was released but neglected experimenting with it in much depth due to receiving the PIttsburgh Voltage Lab at around the same time. Last month, after watching a few YT videos I tried some of the featured patches and fell in love with it. More recently I picked up a 0 CTRL and it paired so strangely with the Pico 3.

ea67
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Re: Erica Synths Pico System III

Post by ea67 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:42 pm

I don't want to say I'm disappointed with the Pico System III, because I understand that it represents an effort to reach a price point that Erica Synths could not ordinarily touch, for this amount of functionality. My experience is also colored somewhat, by the fact that I purchased a returned item that had been accordingly discounted, with the full expectation that something might be broken. As it turns out, the BBD circuit is fried. And of course, here is where the value proposition of Pico III vs Pico II becomes real -- the simple fix of swapping out a toasted module isn't there. I have an original Ibanez analog delay pedal, and a newer Behringer knock-off, so I'm not hurting for the functionality, but I must say: like reverb in the studio, this box falls a bit flat without the spice added by that BBD!

Ultimately, I'm getting the feeling that the Pico III is toyish, not in build quality, but with respect to applications. It reminds me of the MFOS Weird Sound Generator.

With that in mind, I'll ask the group: has anyone leveraged the Pico III significantly, filling meaningful gaps in their setup?

Finally, I'll add, for the sake of any DIY-er's out there: I've been kicking around the idea of an Arduino-based patch manager that would interface via the card slot, dynamically making electrical contacts using an analog switch array or, perhaps, a low-level, homebrew MOSFET/JFET(?) monstrosity. If you've been having similar ideas, please drop me a line sometime.

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