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Newb looking for 'Patching for dummies' kind of thing
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Newb looking for 'Patching for dummies' kind of thing
bsmith
This is embarrassing to ask, but is there some kind of hand-holding how-to patch modular synths kind of reference or site or something? I think I've kind of come to a good intermediate-ish place with subtractive synthesis and am having fun with it, but have been getting stumped on what seem like should be simple stuff like - where should I patch velocity to (seems like it vca, or envelope or a combo, but I can't get it happening) or getting a trigger to Just Work restarting an envelope when I haven't released a key before hitting the next one. The CV stuff - I realize I should just look at it as a logic flow - and try to - but sometimes simple problems have non-obvious answers for me. Plenty of good reference out there on synthesis, not a lot of general help on patching modular pieces together that I've found yet.
By the way, I'm just learning all this with a kraftzwerg, and have mostly been using a cp-251 and other doodads with it. I do like the kraftzwerg alot, but kind of see how making it easier by normalizing vco - vcf - eg - vca kind of gets in the way of learning a little bit - almost wish that patching every single thing was required of me just from an 'I grok this' angle.
Looking forward to getting a rack towards the end of the month. This is as much fun as I've had in a while, and totally appreciate this site.
Babaluma
i made a post on the WOMB forum about a year ago, listing all the online docs i could find relating to synthesis, should be something here helpful:

http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=12273

Quote:
i can probably answer anything you have specific questions about. there's quite a lot of info on my modular synth in this thread on the womb:

http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=473

also, there are loads of great web sources available for free. for starters try the sound on sound magazine "synth secrets" series, available here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/search?url=%2Fsearch&Keyword=%22synth+secr ets%22&Words=All&Summary=Yes

or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmodularbook/nm_book_toc.html

also, you can find copies of the serge gold book:

http://www.carbon111.com/sergebook.zip

and the arp 2600 manual online for free:

http://www.guitarfool.com/ARP2600.html

sam ecoff also has some great free tutorials here:

http://www.samecoff.com/works.html#Tex

the buchla music easel manual is also a great read:

http://www.wavemakers-synth.com/buchla/PaMtEO.zip

if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/showebook.cgi?isbn=0390684635

another great reference which you'll probably only find second hand is the the roland "the synthesizer" boxed set of four books.

digisound modular synthesis manual here:

http://www.digisound80.co.uk/digisound/other_documents/files/Guide_to_ Synthesis.pdf

thing is, all these manuals are also great courses on subtractive synthesis itself.

another great online resource here:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~rhordijk/Proto/Index.htm

and if none of these answer your questions, then ask over on www.muffwiggler.com where you'll get a hundred different answers to your question. wink

and whilst all these texts will give you a firm basis in the theory, nothing beats twisting those knobs and hearing what they do!

and even if your synth is modern and digital (or a hardware sampler), all the old subtractive stuff is usually still the basis for the synth engine, so it's all still relevant.

hope that helped!
bsmith
Thanks for the list, more reference good.
I figured out that by sending a negative trigger down the gate signal that restarting the envelope with a key without releasing another key thing happens, and I understand why. Patching for velocity is still kicking my butt, and man I need dynamics. I'd think that just patching velocity to the kw vca's CV should work, but it ain't happening - weird behaviour ensues. Am almost thinking this may be an interface thing.
*edit* and it was, I just needed to drop the voltage way down on velocity i n silent way.
qu.one
http://www.angelfire.com/music2/theanalogcottage/patch.htm

thats pretty good all around...
xart
Don't forget the emu ... thumbs up

http://www.emulatorarchive.com/Manuals/manuals.html
toothless_wonder
nice list thumbs up
Peake
Dang- Yes, make this a sticky!
jjclark
or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmodularbook/nm_book_toc.html


An excellent manual :-) but it's about the Nord Modular, not the Nord Lead...
Babaluma
jjclark wrote:
or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmodularbook/nm_book_toc.html


An excellent manual :-) but it's about the Nord Modular, not the Nord Lead...


already posted above! Haha!
jjclark
Babaluma, I was just pointing out the mistake - its about the Nord Modular not the Nord Lead.
Babaluma
ah! sorry! my apologies.

oops
slo
A lot of patches here featuring Doepfer modules and examples of what the patch should end up sounding like.

http://www.modular-planet.de/modular-planet-survey.html

George
amsonx
Thanks for this really useful post. it's a charms for a newcomer to modular synthesis as me
ndkent
bsmith wrote:
Patching for velocity is still kicking my butt, and man I need dynamics. I'd think that just patching velocity to the kw vca's CV should work, but it ain't happening - weird behaviour ensues. Am almost thinking this may be an interface thing.
*edit* and it was, I just needed to drop the voltage way down on velocity i n silent way.


Generally, but not necessarily you need to give velocity it's own VCA to work with for each parameter you want to give a dynamic effect to. So for instance you could feed an envelope through and get a velocity adjusts envelope amount effect. Or just have it control audio amplitude using the VCA, though that's not that exciting.

Without an extra VCA an easy patch that comes to mind is you can use an attenuated velocity to open the filter a bit more. You'd lower your cutoff to start so a low velocity will have a lower cutoff than before the patch was originally.

Finally you could invert the velocity for say a shorter attack with an envelope with VC.

All these suggestions may need an attenuator if you are getting too wide a range of CV from velocity
bsmith
These are all great suggestions, thanks! As soon as they become available I'll be ordering a doepfer a132-3 and I'll be able do the amplitude thing with my non kraftzwerg modules without having to patch over to it, and just have so much more vca flexibility.
Unrelated - I wish that ignore button wasn't right next to the quote button, I've bonked clicking the wrong one a few times now.

ndkent wrote:

Generally, but not necessarily you need to give velocity it's own VCA to work with for each parameter you want to give a dynamic effect to. So for instance you could feed an envelope through and get a velocity adjusts envelope amount effect. Or just have it control audio amplitude using the VCA, though that's not that exciting.

Without an extra VCA an easy patch that comes to mind is you can use an attenuated velocity to open the filter a bit more. You'd lower your cutoff to start so a low velocity will have a lower cutoff than before the patch was originally.

Finally you could invert the velocity for say a shorter attack with an envelope with VC.

All these suggestions may need an attenuator if you are getting too wide a range of CV from velocity
johnnywoods
Quote:
if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/showebook.cgi?isbn=0390684635



I "found" a pdf version of this book and got a bound copy printed at Kinko's. Cost about $30 for the printing.

Well worth it. Amazing reference manual for all types of modular synthesis.
Babaluma
nice to know some of that $30 went to help out allen's widow.

meh

do i have to resort to guilt tripping people every time someone posts about how great it is to steal copyrighted material?

sorry, nothing personal, just evokes my ire!

Rage! Rage! Rage!
johnnywoods
Actually, I did buy the book from McGraw-Hill's website. (I can email you the receipt to prove it lol )

Digital editions are annoying to say the least. When I realized I couldn't print it via online uploading, I found the pdf so I could get a version that was printable.

I can honestly say I've never pirated music (which I am obnoxiously proud of), but when it comes to e-books and movies, these DRM restrictions are making legal copies far too inflexible to be worth the cost. I often find myself paying for materials and then having to subsequently pirate a version to do what I need to do with the files. This is probably a topic for another thread...

Anyway, I can happily say a portion of my $15 went to Allen's widow. In retrospect, I should have mentioned this in the original post.
Babaluma
well it's certainly nice to hear that!

lol

i also did the same as you (bought the official version but use the "free" version for reading and printing). i have a hard copy from mcgraw hill too, but it's falling apart it's so well used!
archetype
Thanks for this amazing list!.

I'm really into doepfer.
rico loverde
Great list, thank you for putting that up. I just recently ordered Allens Book, pretty pricey but its nice to hear it goes to his family. Theres a few youtube videos of demos of patches from the book. Ill try to find em and post links.

thanx again

rico
giorgio
if you buy the book on ebay i'm pretty sure his family doesn't get anything

is that wrong? better or worse than pirating the book?
rico loverde
Amazon had it when I looked
dan_k
Was going through my library the other day and realized I haven't seen this one come up on these lists as far as I can remember.

The Development and Practice of Electronic Music - Jon Appleton and Ronald C. Perera.

Lots of great electronic music stuff but of particular interest here is chapter 4 by Joel Chadabe on The Voltage Controlled Synthesizer.

In some ways similar to the Strange book, although not as extensive. Picked this up used for $11, ironically a dollar more than I paid for the 2nd edition Strange..

best, dan
JeffK
I'm really glad this list exists. I saw a similar list on the synthesizers.com website which was not as complete but still pretty good.

I would personally like to recommend/comment on the Oberheim Matrix 6 manual..a pretty great synth module for the price and the manual really taught me a lot about signal routing etc. I'm not sure if its as good as the other resources mentioned but it covers some interesting things about midi, ramps, and envelopes.

Just a question: So it seems the Allen Strange book is highly recommend and it will definitely be on my list of things to read however does anyone else have any favourites? Do any books cover what the allen strange does not? What do others think of the buchla and serge books? is there anything not mentioned that still needs to be mentioned.
rico loverde
Welshs Synthesizers Cookbook is gret for bread and butter type stuff. Def more Moog based patches as opposed to Buchla / Serge etc. Has things like strings, bass, bells, leads, pianos etc etc, def not as crazy as Allen Smarts...
giorgio
SOS synth secrets. do it. read em all. in order. you will be glad you did. I read that and it schooled me.
JeffK
giorgio wrote:
SOS synth secrets. do it. read em all. in order. you will be glad you did. I read that and it schooled me.



Ok , just finished reading the fist 24 Synth Secrets today and they are great! What a wonderful overview for a smart beginner or low-intermediate person.

thumbs up

Now its time to read the Allen Strange Book!

I wish there was a better way to "get into" the math of all this. I find it incredibly boring. But I love how these books are explaining the secrets of the cv modules. Before knowing all this stuff about cv I thought, as I suspect many beginners do, that the power of synthesizers lies mostly in oscillators, filters, and effects.
rkilman
Awesome list!! Thx!
cycles
I didn't see http://www.xs4all.nl/~rhordijk/G2Pages/index.htm anywhere, so maybe this is useful
diophantine
The Strange book (eBook) is no longer available for sale via McGraw-Hill. I've written to them to ask what the deal is.

I do have a PDF of the book, which I "found" after finding that the book was unavailable via McGraw-Hill. Unfortunately, besides a new table of contents, everything else is scanned in halftones and the images, along with the diagrams, are really bad quality and tough to read: either on-screen or when printed.

Does the official eBook suffer from the same issue?
infradead
i can't even find anywhere to buy it online, and it seems that paper copies are now officially for collectors confused


i did find the ISBN numbers which might help someone latter

ISBN 10: 0697036022 / 0-697-03602-2
ISBN 13: 9780697036025
spinach_pizza
infradead wrote:
i can't even find anywhere to buy it online, and it seems that paper copies are now officially for collectors confused


i did find the ISBN numbers which might help someone latter

ISBN 10: 0697036022 / 0-697-03602-2
ISBN 13: 9780697036025


Keep in mind that there are two editions of the book: the 1st from the early 70's and the 2nd from the early 80's. The 2nd edition has much more information than the 1st, and is more valuable. I just searched Amazon with the ISBN numbers you've provided above, and none of the listings for used copies of this book mentioned which edition was for sale. Sometimes a picture of the cover is shown, which helps. The 1st edition is whitish with pink wavy lines (at least my copy is):

[/img]

The second edition will look like this (and cost more):
Kent
I'll second Spinach Pizza's post. My findings are the same and I've owned both editions.
starmandeluxe
The resources everyone has posted are great for something in-depth and time-consuming, but if you want to learn quick and dirty from square one, which I did, I found this video to be very helpful:

http://youtu.be/rcWllXKMfo0

About as basic as you can get, but I loved it. I'm going to check out the books too of course.
Synthasonic
Thanks for your kind words about my books, Babaluma! I'm honored to have been included on your list!!!

Sam E.
Babaluma
No worries Sam, thanks for your excellent resources, and cool modules!
BrotherTheo
Many moons ago Paia put out a book of patches. I've been trying to find a copy for years now. Anybody have one or know where to find one?
construct09
Regarding the Allen Strange book, can anyone tell me how many pages are in the second edition?
zeta
274, according to
http://www.abebooks.it/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=4675927496&searchurl=b si%3D30%26kn%3Delectronic%2Bmusic%2Ballen%26x%3D0%26y%3D0
causticlogic
I mentioned in another post that I was reading Hal Chamberlin's Musical Applications of Microprocessors. It's pretty much just theory and historical background but enjoyable nonetheless - it's 30 years old so you have to keep some things in context, but it's still an informative read. I recommend it if you come across it.
I definitely have to look into this book by Allen Strange. It seems like a good follow-up. Plus, I've found reference books always are a good idea.
Filch
johnnywoods wrote:
Quote:
if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/showebook.cgi?isbn=0390684635



I "found" a pdf version of this book and got a bound copy printed at Kinko's. Cost about $30 for the printing.

Well worth it. Amazing reference manual for all types of modular synthesis.



Appears this book is now selling for $130+ used by private sellers on Amazon. McGraw-Hill site doesn't seem to have this available anymore, even for digital download.

Am I missing something? Anyone care to help in locating a copy of this?
hollowman
another book worth owning is Analog synthesis by Reinhard Schmitz.
Covers all the basics with a cd covering the sounds to explain it further.

cheap, well written and well worth a read. thumbs up
smetak
Attempted to legally purchase it, but never found a site that offered the book - only used copies at very steep prices.

So, yes, got hold of an excellent PDF file for the sought-after second edition from a Spanish site dedicated to all things analogue. Printed the entire thing and had it bound.

Incidentally, excellent book.
craque
Yeah seriously considering a trip to kinkos myself, it's worth printing out and I need some good commute reading.
seanpark
If anyone has a mailing address for strange's widow I would love to send a note of appreciation for her husband's work. This text is phenomenal.

I hope with all the analog love and modular accessibility brewing these days McGraw or someone else sees fit to release either an updated version or a "hands-off" reprint. It would sell! I'd pay $80 for a nice copy.
smetak
I'm new to this and have been reading through the second edition of Strange's book - I can't really figure out why this is still out of print.
seanpark
I think because the material is very dated. All references are to literature decades old. The focus is modular synthesizers which until 2000 or so were sort of enigmatic and inaccessible.

Updating this book for the 21st century would be a daunting and likely unprofitable task. However McGraw could at least offer one-off reprints or something like that.
chaosium
Babaluma wrote:
nice to know some of that $30 went to help out allen's widow.

meh

do i have to resort to guilt tripping people every time someone posts about how great it is to steal copyrighted material?

sorry, nothing personal, just evokes my ire!

Rage! Rage! Rage!
don't worry, the publishers don't want nor need our money confused

diophantine wrote:
The Strange book (eBook) is no longer available for sale via McGraw-Hill. I've written to them to ask what the deal is.
d'ja ever get a response?
snadge
I ordered a copy of the Allen Strange book quite a few years back, cost me £80 it was a photocopy of the original and was sanctioned by the publishing house, the quality was shocking to say the least I got into a bit of bother with the publishing house when I scanned and uploaded some of it to the Nord Modular mailing list, I was given a cease and desist order.

One good thing came of it though, I did get into a private email discussion with Allen and he admitted that he was disgusted by this practice of the publishing house.


He also joined the Nord Mailing list, having not known about them previously.

Quote:
The Strange book (eBook) is no longer available for sale via McGraw-Hill. I've written to them to ask what the deal is.


See above, I think there was hell to pay when Allen's lawyers took it up that they were selling photcopies at top tier prices and royalties were a pittance.
cartoonbomb
The Doepfer patch diagrams are fantastic for somebody like me, who is not new to subtractive synthesis but very new to modulars.

I have a basic question about envelope generators.

http://www.modular-planet.de/synthlead/easyreso/easyreso.html

I understand that the the EGs are modulating the CV ins on the VCF and VCA. Here is what I don't get, and the answer is probably very obvious. What is triggering the EGs? I understand EGs as "one-shot", doesn't something need to tell it when to shoot?
snadge
cartoonbomb wrote:


http://www.modular-planet.de/synthlead/easyreso/easyreso.html

I understand that the the EGs are modulating the CV ins on the VCF and VCA. Here is what I don't get, and the answer is probably very obvious. What is triggering the EGs? I understand EGs as "one-shot", doesn't something need to tell it when to shoot?


If you look at 'connections' it says; Trigger/Gate and Pitch-Voltage from keyboard.
cartoonbomb
snadge wrote:
cartoonbomb wrote:


http://www.modular-planet.de/synthlead/easyreso/easyreso.html

I understand that the the EGs are modulating the CV ins on the VCF and VCA. Here is what I don't get, and the answer is probably very obvious. What is triggering the EGs? I understand EGs as "one-shot", doesn't something need to tell it when to shoot?


If you look at 'connections' it says; Trigger/Gate and Pitch-Voltage from keyboard.


Gotcha, so I guess the Trigger/Gate from the keyboard goes to the "Gate" input on the eg, and the pitch-voltage will go to the CV in on the VCO?

Also, is it assumed that the Trigger/Gate from the keyboard is multipled to go to both EGs?

If the above things are true, I think I'm starting to get it. thanks smile
analogdata
might be handy to test things out if you don't have access to your modular.
also to try basic things you want to learn.

http://petervandernoord.nl/patchwork/
dragulasbruder
thanx for the music easel guide, i'd seen most of that other stuff and already had the subtractive basics under my thumb, but all that additive/wavefolding/crossfading buchla shit really gave me a bunch of great ideas. forever a newb, i guess.
nilt-cam
Thanks for the information.
fishdream
thanks for the great list of resources.
i was able to track down a pdf of allen's book too.
Togodumnus
Babaluma wrote:
... do i have to resort to guilt tripping people every time someone posts about how great it is to steal copyrighted material? ...


What about second-hand bookshops? No author benefits from the re-selling of their printed work. Or specialist vinyl record shops. Would you boycott these too? I'm sure this sort of thing has contributed to the demise of the High Street in recent times. seriously, i just don't get it

In my view, if a short-sighted publisher hopelessly undersells any work, leaving potential customers no choice other than to print-out "pirated" PDF versions of a much-sought-after volume, then it's their own fault!
I'm also sure that many people with facsimile versions of printed works would swap them in an instant for a legitimate copy of the same, should it become readily available.
Togodumnus
Oops! Sorry!

How do you delete a post?
construct09
You don't
jumbomonkey
this is a great thread guys, thanks for the info
Notfromearth
thanks a lot guys...very very usefull!!
AKMacAddict
Nice thread, with good resources, for someone trying to wrap their head around it all. Thanks!

thumbs up
blaerg
More gratitude for the thread.

Reading the '83 Strange now.
NoPassFilter
dimxl
Good thread!

but there are too many information woah
timmcg
Roland put out a four book package about thirty years ago, so it's long out of print but it was quite good. One of the books was theory of sound and synthesis and another was all about patching. One of the other two was about multitrack recording synths. Here's a link to the first one about theory.

http://www.analogindustries.com/b1755/

I have a couple of unopened copies in the attic somewhere which I should dig up now that I see they're going for mucho coin; like $150. Yikes, they only cost $10 new.

Timothy
Multi Grooves
Devarhi's Complete Guide to Synthesizers is a well regarded tome in this field. They're hard to get hold of and are quite expensive.
smetak
Yeah, not very cheap - the Devarhi title is selling for over US$70 at Amazon, but the review is quite positive. I'm tempted in getting it - any other opinions on the book?
Multi Grooves
I rate it highly, though I had to stop relatively early doors as I didn't have enough modules to keep going through the exercises. But it does give food for thought and a raise the will to plug and play.

I can't remember if its been mentioned on this thread but Gordon Reid has done AMAZING work with his Synth Secrets series in Sound on Sound magazine that gives excellent real world reflection of synthesis. And they're all free to read so definitely check it out.
smetak
I've been reading the Sound on Sound articles - impressive stuff (unfortunately, you can't print them due to the size of the block diagrams).
istochnikov
https://vimeo.com/83978662

Hi, I just make a small modular system but I'm very novel on that, I am beginning to patch.
I have a silly problem with the adsr, I have seen the doepfer videos about adsr and I am copying but the thing don't sounds equal.
I sent a trigger from my midi keyboard to the adsr but only heard blows instead the waves of the osc. Can you help me?
Perhaps you have been talking about this before, I'm reading the forums but,,,
Regards very frustrating very frustrating
timmcg
I don't know how you have patched it but here are a few things to know.

#Assuming you're not using a VCF, typical signal flow on a synth is VCO audio out to VCA audio in and the output of the VCA then goes to your monitors. Your keyboard will output a gate / trigger which then goes into the Gate in on the ADSR and the ADRS's CV output should go into the VCA's CV input. This will cause the amplifier to turn up when the gate goes high which is when you press a key. Also, make sure your VCA gain control (the top one on a Doepfer) is lower than 10. Turn it down to 0 and then turn up the CV coming from the ADSR. You should hear nothing if you're not pressing down a key and only hear a sound when you press down a key.

#2 If you're using a Doepfer, the ones I have used have a range switch at the bottom. May I suggest setting it to M (for medium). Then set the knobs like this to begin with: A = 0, D = 0, S = 10 and R = 0. This will output a simple on / off which will be the same as it sounds just using the Gate out from your keyboard into the CV input of the VCA. Once you get that happening, then you can start adjusting the attack and release controls. Remember also that decay only works when sustain is lower than 10. So simply turn down sustain and it should start to work.

Hope this helps.
istochnikov
Hi Tim, thanks for your help but I am doing exactly what you say and not sound good. The video I posted was already doing exactly that.
Instead of sounding the oscillator signal, a faint breath sounds.
I keep trying..
timmcg
Here's what I see.

VCO's outputs (triangle and pulse) are input to the VCA's audio inputs 1 & 2. The output of the VCA is into a mixer channel 1 and you have a CV coming from the ADSR into CV1 of the VCA. The ADSR is obviously being triggered internally by your keyboard somehow. Usually we use an exponential VCA for audio. Linear VCA's are most often used for CVs. It's not the end of the world if you use a linear VCA for audio, it's just not the norm in my books.

I would try turning the knobs up all the way for the audio inputs on the VCA. I can hear that you're getting the VCA to turn up and down but the signal is faint. Also try turning the input knob up all the way on the mixer. I see it's a linear mixer which we usually use for CVs. Audio is an exponential signal so we usually use exponential VCAs and mixers for it. One other thing is to make sure that your PW knob is neither 0 or 10. It looks like it's about 2. Try turning it to 5.

Here's what I would do if I were in your shoes. The first rule in trouble shooting is to eliminate all of the variables. So remove all your patches and do this:

Take a sawtooth (nice and bright) and patch it into input 1 of the VCA and turn it up. Turn the gain knob at the top of the VCA to 10. It should now be on all of the time. Turn down the Gain knob at the top to 0 and take a square wave output from your LFO and patch it into the CV input of the VCA. The VCA should now be loud when the LFO goes + and then silent when it goes -. Now disconnect the LFO from the VCA and plug the LFO into the Gate input on the ADSR. Take an output of the ADSR and plug it into the CV input on the VCA. If the settings on the ADSR are 0-0-10-0 then it should sound very similar to the LFO triggering the VCA although it should be louder because the LFO is bipolar and has a voltage range of -2.5 V to +2.5 V. If that works, then disconnect the LFO from the Gate in on the ADSR and plug the Gate out from your keyboard into the Gate in on the ADSR. At that point you'll be where you are now, minus the triangle / square outputs from the VCO and the liner mixer after the VCA. Let me know if this helps. All the best.
istochnikov
Hello again, I think the problem is in the VCA. Could it be that being linear not receive audio from the OSC? I tried what you told me and fail at first. When I plug the sawtooth to the VCA, don't sounds, only a very weak signal. Only a small knocks when i plug the lfo.
I've bought all these modules DOEPFER a guy and thought it was a good idea to start in the modular world. Maybe I'll have to buy one exponential vca ..What do you think?
regards
istochnikov
I've tried the same patch through the vcf and the adsr works! the problem that the audio signal is continuous, but this I think is due to not pass through the VCA, or not?
Hahaha I need to learn much yet. hmmm.....
timmcg
As I mentioned, you can use a linear VCA for audio, it's just that it doesn't behave exactly the same. It's the way it responds to the voltages coming into the CV input. Linear responds evenly, meaning that if the input goes up at a steady rate then the output will increase at an even amount. Exponential will increase a little with a lower voltage input but as the voltage increases then the output will happen dramatically. Think of the volume knob on your stereo: if you turn it up at an even speed then the volume will go up evenly but if it was exponential then it would be very quiet as you turn it up and as you near the end of the scale the volume will go up like a rocket. That's how audio works.

Yes, the audio will be continuous if you patch your oscillator into a VCF and not a VCA... assuming that the filter isn't turned all the way down so that it filters out all of the sound.

That's why we have VCAs. They will stop the sound from being on all the time and then when you apply a CV input it will turn up and you'll only have an audible sound when there is a positive voltage applied to the CV input, assuming that the gain knob on the top is turned all the way down.

It sounds like your VCA might be faulty. Did you buy it second hand? Have you tried switching the cables going into it and coming out of it? Have you tried using CV2 input with the knob turned up all the way? And one last thing; you're saying that if you patch a sawtooth into one of the audio inputs and then turn up the input all the way, the gain knob all the way to the right and the output knob all the way up that it still isn't passing audio properly? If that's the case then it sounds like it might be faulty. There was a time when Doepfer was using faulty jacks but that was several years ago... almost ten. If your unit is second hand and it is that old then it might have the faulty jacks.

I'm running out of ideas at this point because it sounds like you're doing everything properly and not getting what you should be getting. Try the above mentioned method of not using any CV's to modulate the VCA and just passing audio through it with everything turned up. It should be as loud as it would be if you were just patching the VCO into the mixer. Let me know, okay?

All the best.
istochnikov
Thanks for your time and explanations Tim, VCA is definitely broken. The audio doesn't pass through the VCA.
timmcg
Rats! That's too bad. Is it second hand or new? It's probably still under warranty if it's new and if it's used can you contact the seller and let him know that it's broken?
istochnikov
Is second-hand, I've purchased it to a friend but he didn't use it, he had also bought it to someone, in fact it is a module of third or fourth-hand,,,
Has already been too long to claim, should have learned to patch before!!
timmcg
If your unit has been through that many hands then my guess is it's old enough to have the faulty jacks from about ten or so years ago. It's a really simple fix, you just need to take the old one out and solder in a new one. It will take about ten minutes if you have experience soldering. If you have the nerve, you can always take the module out of the rack and see if anything's loose on the inside. Just make sure the unit isn't powered up, then take a small screw driver and take out the screws that hold it in place. Once you pull it forward you'll find that it's attached to the power supply via a cable with a plug. My experience with Doepfer jacks is that you can probably get it working with a small tweak. See attached diagram courtesy of Wikipedia.
By plugging a cable into the jack you should be able to see if it's making proper contact by touching the metal contacts. If not, you can try putting a little force on the top or shorter one to make so the plug will fit tighter. I've done this many times and although it's not a permanent fix, it can work and get you another half a year, dependant on how screwed up it is. It's not like you're going to be voiding warranty at this point.

If you don't feel comfortable doing this then you'll have to get someone to fix it. You can always try posting a message on this site seeing as there are quite a few people who are tech savvy. Maybe one of them can help you out, although it will probably cost you. See what they have to say. Other than that, I would try to invest in an exponential VCA at some point. You'll still want to have a working linear VCA to use for CVs. Best of luck and let me know how it turns out for you.
timmcg
One more thing I would suggest would be to contact Doepfer and see if your unit was made during the time when they had jack problems. They'll want to know the serial number found on the back of the unit. If they say that it was made during that time then you're probably going to find more and more jacks failing over time. Cheers.
kirkis
Rockin' Banana!
istochnikov
Thank you so much for the tips, I have a friend who knows of electronica, I will ask him to take a look.
all the best
Taundolin
Hey, do you have the full 10 chapters? Thanks

qu.one wrote:
http://www.angelfire.com/music2/theanalogcottage/patch.htm

thats pretty good all around...
disquiet
Adding my thanks for the list of resources. The sample patches in particular will be helpful. The bit about fixing jacks reminded me to take a soldering course.
DickMarker
Many thanks to all who contributed to this - it's a great resource for folks like me.
mwvm
Great insight.
henrybirdseye
qu.one wrote:
http://www.angelfire.com/music2/theanalogcottage/patch.htm

thats pretty good all around...


I had no idea there were any Angelfire pages still up!
Guest
Great post thanks for that ! thumbs up
HeavyElements
This post has been a great help into the crazy world of modular synthesis. Does anyone know of some good on-line video tutorials
mirf59
I'm a "noob" and I've found this series to be helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9tMFyKxbrI&list=PLa9Em_H8Xs_al-r_90xY iuiz-3N8HZyf_

I'm sure it's mopngoloid stuff for most of the power users here.

Mirf59
cpcompany
Excellent thread . Working out hot to control Vco gate was driving me up the wall until I came here
simonlubie
Excellent helpful thread, thanks all!
fifadefend
listing all the online docs i could find relating to synthesis, should be something here helpful
WytchCrypt
Thanks to all who've posted in this thread. Just got 2 semi-modulars (Korg MS20 Desktop & Roland System 1m) and am having trouble understanding what the heck to do with the patch bays d'oh!

I think the most valuable doc for me from this thread is the "Fundamentals of Music Technology The ARP 2600" by Samuel Ecoff.

http://blog.wavosaur.com/download/arp2600fundamentalsofmusictechnology .pdf

Thanks for posting a great resource applause
leighwfisher
Great List!!! It's peanut butter jelly time!
nrg242
we're not worthy thanks for this. now i know where to start.
Staticcharge
applause
Should have came here ages ago. With minimal knowledge I sometimes feel I'm in over my head but then I have a flick through some links and ...hello...I've gone off on one again with another patch.
Thanks all.
komprezzor
Awsome list!!
strawberry
AAAhhhhhh!!!! The mists are clearing oops
nickodemus
great stuff thanks
selectorsroll
great thanks
cbfishes
Babaluma wrote:

if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/showebook.cgi?isbn=0390684635


x2 for Strange's "Electronic Music: Systems etc"– a fantastic book that is really helping expand my mind in terms of how to play a modular synthesizer. Great stuff!
peanut
cbfishes wrote:
Babaluma wrote:

if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/showebook.cgi?isbn=0390684635


x2 for Strange's "Electronic Music: Systems etc"– a fantastic book that is really helping expand my mind in terms of how to play a modular synthesizer. Great stuff!


I'm a relative noob and whole heartedly agree here. I have several years experience "patching" and programming soft synths, but Strange's book is a must have resource that will really force you to wrap your head around programming concepts. And it's the kind of stuff that you are encouraged to put into practice. I found a copy at my local library.
peanut
And as someone who can attest to great writing, as well as great teaching, there are many many resources on modular synthesis that can be found quite easily, but not all succeed in making the information understandable/readable in an instructive way. Strange's primer is written extremely well, though you may need to take it slow. I would also recommend sound on sound's series on synthesis which can be found archived on their website. I'm sure someone has mentioned it already. If you don't already own a modular, get practice in with a soft synth that emulates the modular structure. Get a copy of Reaktor!
GZHN27
great list!!
Spaceship Commander
nice, thank you verry much for the list smile
snevlida14
Awesome
dune
Great links in there. Thank you.
Jesse8n
Great stuff here, thanks a lot
Cej
Awesome! Thanks!
slehar
I know you shouldn't plug outputs into outputs, but just out of curiosity, is it guaranteed to fizzle one or both modules instantaneously? Or is it only sometimes depending on circumstances? Is there a "three second rule"? How often do people do it by mistake and get away with it?

Also can I plug a VCO's output signal back into its own CV in jack? Will the positive feedback make it explode?

Perhaps the manufacturers should color-code the patch jacks to immediately distinguish inputs from outputs.
Dcramer
Hey Slehar, here's a link to a vid in which I do just that: patch an Osc into itself thumbs up

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9PK87saGYno

Usually we don't want to patch into inputs, but I think most modules have some level of protection hmmm.....

Welcome to Muffs w00t
slehar
Wow that is awesome! I will have to try that! Good idea to patch it through a mixer first, so you can ramp up the amplitude slowly in case things get ugly. Thanks!
TRA81769
applause
informative!
englishhaze
Thanks for the info.
romboy
very useful info, thanks!
jntndcrty
this thread is good stuff
danielbollweg
very helpful, glad i found this forum!
maxchiller
As a noob to the synth world this really eased my mind. Gracias!
SuburbanKillings
Nice list!
Format32
very helpful.. Even though some of the content might be outdated, it's still useful.
Supermammal
Thanks for the list
particleswillbewaves
Thanks for the list! Trial and error works but it works better after studying a little bit smile
srogers
Thanks for compiling this - the amount of information here is a bit overwhelming but this is super helpful!
yes0have0some
timmcg wrote:
Yes, the audio will be continuous if you patch your oscillator into a VCF and not a VCA... assuming that the filter isn't turned all the way down so that it filters out all of the sound.

That's why we have VCAs. They will stop the sound from being on all the time and then when you apply a CV input it will turn up and you'll only have an audible sound when there is a positive voltage applied to the CV input, assuming that the gain knob on the top is turned all the way down.


Thank you for this. I was having a hard time making this click in my head and this took care of it.
Tatam
Not sure if new link has been posted already, but this thread led me to the SOS Synth Secrets, which was moved and now all archived here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160403115835/http://www.soundonsound.com  /sos/allsynthsecrets.htm

Thanks for the tip!
arronbru
Thanks for the posts.
CycleOffset
I am brand new to modular. Just about 4 weeks in... Really appreciate all the great info on this site, but honestly, none of it made too much sense until I actually got something in my hands to work with. But, I think all the reading helped tremendously with the learning curve - at least for the basics.
rayaline
thanks for this! I am new modulars and just jumped the boat and brought like ten modulars and wondering where to start?
dlk1100
so much great info!
quixot
Exactly what I needed. Thank you for this!
stephenmendes
I have started documenting my patches with short videos on my Youtube channel .... not only may this give others some good ideas to try.... but it could also be beneficial to me, when I want to get back a patch years later.... I think a short Youtube 'walk-thru' video is the fastest and easiest way to document a patch.... no fussing with diagrams and words.... simply video the wires and knob settings and TALK the 'patch' (if the wires are looking too tangled to be clear in the image).

Let me know what you think.

Admittedly my system is small (44-space DOTCOM) with 'basic' function modules ..... but I can make loads of sounds with it.

If you like my idea subscribe to channel ..... and just wait for next video or send suggestions .... I try to put them up every week.

https://www.youtube.com/user/stephenmendes1
sam_schorb
I really liked to tuesday night patching series on youtube
keytarcatholic
Wow, so much helpful info it's almost not helpful...almost.
SonicVoltage
Hi,
I am posting here because in this latest video I show how to patch an Attenuator / Attenuverter + DC Offset to have control over Voltage Signals (LFO or Random CVs) so that you have live control over Pitch Transpose, Notes range, DSP Parameters, etc.. driving melodies coming out of your VCO.

Note: although this is a full video review of the ALM Busy Circuits ALM-010 (Attenuverter + DC Offset)... I show how to build the patch, how the patch works and you can create same type of patch using any attenuator/attenuverter/DC Offset module.

You can see how attenuation, inversion, dc offset is patched and how it affects the signal, in the video I show the waveforms (original and processed by attenuverter/offset) on a Mordax Data so you can graphically see what is happening (before and after waveforms displayed at the same time for easy understanding).

I hope this is helpful to newcomers.


Clickable Index under the video description. Simply click on Show More in the video description to show the clickable index
flipSolver
Really helpful list. Thanks for posting. I look forward to making my way through it.
Aleksi12358
Thanks for this list! I will try to read it all so that I can build good set up for me.
illnoir
Lots to read. Thanks!
sullivanmodular
I am new to this and this post was super helpful. Thanks for the links especially.

I do have one question:

How much should you be expecting to first spend for a simple build as a noob?

Thanks
chris23
As someone mentioned, buried in some deep thread here, I'm having to unlearn years of structured synthesis architecture.

Eg simply shaping a sound with an ADSR is not at all straight-forward (covered in this thread thank you). I keep finding I need to order yet another utility module for yet another $100+.

2 months of research (thanks Wigglers!) and now a couple weeks of hands-on and I'm fairly lost in the woods but having fun
Sleeepwalk
Very helpful thanks smile
Evces
Hi all. I just saw a very clear walk-through of several uses for LFOs. Sharing it here for my first post. I'll be buying my first case and modules soon pending sale of a guitar. Really appreciate this cool forum! Here's the video:

https://youtu.be/oMDnJYG1Tg4

Cheers!
dan903
Thank you! smile
Pelsea
About that don't patch outputs together thing:

(Someone posted the question why? and I didn't see an answer.)

Simple answer-- poof!
Simple answer corrected-- maybe poof!

Long winded answer-- The current pulled from an output depends on the voltage and impedance (resistance will do for now) of the thing is it connected to. In the olden days, outputs usually had 600 ohms impedance, because the phone company said so. That's not much, but will prevent damage to an output circuit if it is accidentally shorted to ground. However, if an output is shorted to another output that happens to be negative (or opposite what output 1 is) there could be twice as much current as was expected. poof.
But nowadays, folks building synthesizers realize that newbies will connect outputs together, so any designer with brains will include extra output impedance as protection. But, if you you do plug two outputs into a multiple, you won't get a mix of the two signals, you will get some sort of average (weighted by the respective output impedances). That's probably not what you want. So use a unity gain mixer instead.
buhl89
Very helpful thread. Thx.
zfealk
thanks !
stegi
Thanks, very helpful!
Pelsea
I guess I can add this to the list:



This is a compilation of class handouts I wrote over forty years of teaching synthesis at the University of Iowa and the University of California, Santa Cruz. It has been rewritten for a general audience and 21st century systems. The book breaks down into three sections:
Stuff electronic musicians need to know— mostly definitions of technical terms.
What’s in a synthesizer—descriptions of the modules and what they do.
What to do with your synthesizer—step by step patching from basic beep to music of the Krell.
112 pages, available from Lulu.com. Quickest way to find it is search on “modular synthesizer”
Schylla17
Hi, i'm quite new in this world, so this will be a noob question for sure and i'm sorry for that.

Anyways, i have recently bought a make noise 0 coast and a Mutable Instruments Ripples.

The fact is that when i patch in the waveform from the 0 coast to the Ripples and my headphones to its output, i hear a quite loud white noise in background. I was wondering where does it come from and how can i reduce it.
pichenettes
Quote:
and my headphones to its output


Just don't do that.

You can only plug headphones in... headphone outputs.
mahler007
Thanks for all this info!

Best,
Andrew
hotstepper
Thanks for all the info!!
GreenPiece
Good info, thanks.
hippasus
Quote:
This is a compilation of class handouts I wrote over forty years of teaching synthesis at the University of Iowa and the University of California, Santa Cruz. It has been rewritten for a general audience and 21st century systems. The book breaks down into three sections:
Stuff electronic musicians need to know— mostly definitions of technical terms.

Great to have you in this forum Pelsea.
Is there a way to get a downloadable version of this document from Lulu.com?
I will love to have one but a request from the otherside of the Atlantic doesn't sound like a great option. Or any European distributor? Or did I miss the download link in lulu.com?
Thanks
mister_wavey
hippasus wrote:

Great to have you in this forum Pelsea.
Is there a way to get a downloadable version of this document from Lulu.com?
I will love to have one but a request from the otherside of the Atlantic doesn't sound like a great option. Or any European distributor? Or did I miss the download link in lulu.com?
Thanks


lulu print locally in many countries. I ordered this book from the UK and received it in a couple handful of days. it is a great read.
hippasus
Ordered. Thank you.
moosey2juicy
Great info here!
Alex69
This was a great thread, thank you.
Tun
Although a lot of dead links this is a fantastic resource, thank you!
eurekaa
Thanks for the list!!
Vendy Suite
Great list!
smithie
Awesome! Thanks!
indigogogo
This is a wonderful resource Peter! Thank you for linking your book!
Branconnier
Thanks for the tips

Babaluma wrote:
i made a post on the WOMB forum about a year ago, listing all the online docs i could find relating to synthesis, should be something here helpful:

http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=12273

Quote:
i can probably answer anything you have specific questions about. there's quite a lot of info on my modular synth in this thread on the womb:

http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=473

also, there are loads of great web sources available for free. for starters try the sound on sound magazine "synth secrets" series, available here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/search?url=%2Fsearch&Keyword=%22synth+secr ets%22&Words=All&Summary=Yes

or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmodularbook/nm_book_toc.html

also, you can find copies of the serge gold book:

http://www.carbon111.com/sergebook.zip

and the arp 2600 manual online for free:

http://www.guitarfool.com/ARP2600.html

sam ecoff also has some great free tutorials here:

http://www.samecoff.com/works.html#Tex

the buchla music easel manual is also a great read:

http://www.wavemakers-synth.com/buchla/PaMtEO.zip

if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/showebook.cgi?isbn=0390684635

another great reference which you'll probably only find second hand is the the roland "the synthesizer" boxed set of four books.

digisound modular synthesis manual here:

http://www.digisound80.co.uk/digisound/other_documents/files/Guide_to_ Synthesis.pdf

thing is, all these manuals are also great courses on subtractive synthesis itself.

another great online resource here:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~rhordijk/Proto/Index.htm

and if none of these answer your questions, then ask over on www.muffwiggler.com where you'll get a hundred different answers to your question. wink

and whilst all these texts will give you a firm basis in the theory, nothing beats twisting those knobs and hearing what they do!

and even if your synth is modern and digital (or a hardware sampler), all the old subtractive stuff is usually still the basis for the synth engine, so it's all still relevant.

hope that helped!
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