new dotcom synth, need some pointers.

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new dotcom synth, need some pointers.

Post by funkymonk919 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:38 pm

I just received my first installments of my entry dotcom synth. So far I have the instrument interface (I use the guitar as a controller rather than a keyboard) and an oscillator. I know it's alot to ask, especially given there's only one oscillator, no filters or EGs, but can anyone offer me any "blueprints" for some cool sounds to make with the given set up? I've gotten some basic synth sounds out of the q118, but I'm really interested in getting the auto-wah effect among others, but I have a feeling that I'd need an envelope follower, or the equivalent of a EHX Tubezipper for that job. And when I patch the Inst. Interface through to the oscillator it appears that the output only responds to my playing dynamics, and not the pitch or note that I'm playing, is there any way to, for instance, play an A note and have the oscillator do what it does in the pitch of A? Also, this may be a dumb question but is it ok to just send the signal through my guitar amp (I've been using my Fender Frontman just in case, that way if it blows it's not a big loss), I read somewhere that you shouldn't use a guitar amp for this kind of stuff. Finally, I can't seem to upload any pictures with my postings, any suggestions? Lots of questions I know, I'm working my way through a few books and pouring through various online synth archives for learning purposes. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


Post by sandyb » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:51 pm


what you are describing is pitch to voltage. this isn't what the q118 does. it simply amplifies the guitar signal to modular levels and provides a gate and envelope that correspond to the dynamics of the guitar signal.
pitch to voltage produces a cv that corresponds to the note you play on the guitar. you can use this to control for example the pitch of an oscillator. off the top of my head i can't think of a pitch to voltage module in 5U but i'm sure somebody will have a suggestion on that one.
as for patch ideas, you could try using the envelope output of the q118 connected to the v/oct or one of the fm inputs of the oscillator and play around with using the dynamics of your playing to vary the oscillator sound/pitch.

i'll check if picture upload has been enabled for you in the admin panel in a minute and do so if it hasn't yet.

also - i'll move this thread to the 5U forum. it'll get more notice there.


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Post by bwhittington » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:12 pm

There isn't any pitch-to-voltage option in 5U that I know of. The Analogue Systems RS35 does the function, but the demo I saw leads me to expect good results only in a limited pitch range (though for me that would be fine). Pitch-to-voltage is apparently a hard trick to manage reliably. I hope we didn't steer you wrongly on that score. A MIDI guitar would be one of the more reliable ways to communicate pitch data via a guitar controller. I believe paults has mentioned some guitar-oriented pitch-to-voltage options in pedals that might be useful to achieving what you want.

As far as an interesting patch ideas for the Q118 and Q106, you will be a little bit limited in scope but can use the Envelope output on the Q118 to modulate the Q106 linear and exponential control. Or you could see what happens when you run the amplifier input into those inputs. The set you have seems basically equivalent to a Moogerfooger FreqBox, which also only responds to dynamics. You're going to need another module or two to do much more than that.


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Post by drewtoothpaste » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:30 pm

The Q118 goes a long way into wrangling just a couple of modules.

You can send the AMPLIFIER output into the HARD SYNC input of the VCO, and send the oscillator output (whichever wave you like) through an attenuator into your guitar amp. The pitch won't track perfectly, because you aren't doing a pitch-to-voltage conversion - just resetting the oscillator whenever the amplified guitar input passes a threshold - but it creates an interesting distortion sound.

If you want it to respond to your playing dynamics, set the "WIDTH" control all the way to zero. Patch the ENVELOPE output of the Q118 into the pulse-width input on the oscillator, and send the PULSE output of the oscillator into your guitar amp. At zero pulsewidth the oscillator isn't sending any AC so it's silent - as the signal coming out of the envelope of the Q118 increases, the pulse-width of the oscillator increases, and the volume likewise.

This isn't perfect by any means but you can definitely play around with these two modules to get some interesting results - and of course as you get filter/amplifier modules, you can set the envelope output of the 118 to open the filter/amp, send a sine out of the oscillator at low frequencies to an amp for tremolo, etc.

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Post by jackastro » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:05 am

Here is something else you could try.

Start with Drew's patch, which it a very good suggestion, but plug the Q118 Amplifier to the Q106 Exponential Frequency. Tune the Q106 to the root of some key and play pentatonic in that key. Tune your guitar and the Q106 as close as possible. If you can, use the neck pickup on a hard tail guitar.

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