New Frac Items...

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!

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J3RK
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Post by J3RK » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:28 pm

One obvious way around the size thing, would be do do all of the logic (which is really 2/3 to 3/4 the space on a single CPLD. Interfacing and buffering would be simple, and then just do the VCO, VCA, and Integrator in the remaining space. Could probably interface with a higher precision DAC too that way, rather than use an R/2R network SIP. I've got the dev tools for this, but this would be my first project using them. :eek: Luckily Xilinx ISE allows you to lay the logic out like a schematic, so I don't really need to do much in the way of code (my weakest point). I also happen to know an expert with programmable logic to help if things go... ...awry... :mrgreen:

Actually, just typing this kind of made some things click. That really would solve every issue I've got with the large version BitBucket.

Time to install the tools on my new computer... :goo:
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Post by J3RK » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:12 am

I'm officially going the CPLD route. I've picked the IC, found a reasonable programmer, and have the tools installed now. I also have a little help in that department. I'll be able to do a lot in much less space now, while leaving the actual analog portions analog. (not to mention learning how to do this will be useful for more projects) :party:
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Post by J3RK » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:55 am

Just a quick note about the first four modules. I'm ALMOST done with the build docs. I apologize for being late on this. Had a bit of an emergency to take care of over the last few days. Things are leveling out again, so I'll be back to it shortly.
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Post by Milkweg » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:38 am

Very encouraging to read this! I just picked up a super cheap case, power and basic modules so will be looking for some kits to flesh it out.

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Post by J3RK » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:05 am

Hey everyone! Sorry for my absence! I think I'm pretty much back on track now. Right after the kids started school, my wife decided to start working again, so everything went to hell for a bit. It'll be a bit of a slow start, but I'll start getting the docs that I owe on the first few projects wrapped up and posted, as well as start working on the newer ones again. I'll try to check in more for questions as well. (just finished getting back to my PMs)

More soon!
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Post by J3RK » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:45 pm

A bit of news.

I'm taking things in a bit of a different direction due to life / time constraints, but the Bit Bucket or whatever it might finally be called is something that I really feel like I should finish.

I now have my own basic comparator/shift register/noise/serial bus/DAC/LED driver core that takes the place of the Noisering. It's slightly simplified comparatively. It's all still CMOS logic. (I didn't go to programmable logic as I was able to get the parts count down.)

Now I'm just working on peripheral functions like CV output scaling under voltage control, a way to indefinitely loop the shift register for non-changing patterns, a configurable XOR chain, etc.

I don't think I will do CV quantization on-board. There are plenty of quantizers out there that will handle this just fine.

I think I've got a good set of finished and projected functions that will fit on reasonably sized board now, so it looks like I'll be able to finish this up in the near future. The hard parts are done now.

Sorry for the lack of presence here as of late. Also, I will check on the build threads for the other modules that are available at Synthcube shortly, and make sure everyone has the information that they need.

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Post by a100user » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:53 pm

J3RK wrote:A bit of news.

I'm taking things in a bit of a different direction due to life / time constraints, but the Bit Bucket or whatever it might finally be called is something that I really feel like I should finish.

I now have my own basic comparator/shift register/noise/serial bus/DAC/LED driver core that takes the place of the Noisering. It's slightly simplified comparatively. It's all still CMOS logic. (I didn't go to programmable logic as I was able to get the parts count down.)

Now I'm just working on peripheral functions like CV output scaling under voltage control, a way to indefinitely loop the shift register for non-changing patterns, a configurable XOR chain, etc.

I don't think I will do CV quantization on-board. There are plenty of quantizers out there that will handle this just fine.

I think I've got a good set of finished and projected functions that will fit on reasonably sized board now, so it looks like I'll be able to finish this up in the near future. The hard parts are done now.

Sorry for the lack of presence here as of late. Also, I will check on the build threads for the other modules that are available at Synthcube shortly, and make sure everyone has the information that they need.

:party:
Dustin, can you give a breakdown of uses for us please?
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Post by J3RK » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:35 pm

a100user wrote:
J3RK wrote:A bit of news.

I'm taking things in a bit of a different direction due to life / time constraints, but the Bit Bucket or whatever it might finally be called is something that I really feel like I should finish.

I now have my own basic comparator/shift register/noise/serial bus/DAC/LED driver core that takes the place of the Noisering. It's slightly simplified comparatively. It's all still CMOS logic. (I didn't go to programmable logic as I was able to get the parts count down.)

Now I'm just working on peripheral functions like CV output scaling under voltage control, a way to indefinitely loop the shift register for non-changing patterns, a configurable XOR chain, etc.

I don't think I will do CV quantization on-board. There are plenty of quantizers out there that will handle this just fine.

I think I've got a good set of finished and projected functions that will fit on reasonably sized board now, so it looks like I'll be able to finish this up in the near future. The hard parts are done now.

Sorry for the lack of presence here as of late. Also, I will check on the build threads for the other modules that are available at Synthcube shortly, and make sure everyone has the information that they need.

:party:
Dustin, can you give a breakdown of uses for us please?
Its basic functionality will be similar to the Noisering, Turing Machine, Zorlon Cannon, etc. (pitched digital noise, random and looping CV patterns, random gates, etc.)

There will be a VCA to scale the CV output, so you can go from nothing to a very wide range of voltages in 256 steps. (8 bit DAC)

The XOR chain will allow you to change how data enters the shift register, which will result in interesting pulse patterns, Atari-esque tones etc. which if clocked with a V/Oct VCO will scale with the VCO musically.

I started this by trying to replicate some of the functions that the proposed Noisering expansion was supposed to do. Then decided I wanted to build my own from the ground up, so this is basically a rough approximation of an expanded Noisering. (give or take a few features)

I may add a VC Slew to it as well, as I'll have an extra OTA on hand from the VCA, so you could have smooth transitions between the CVs, or filter the noise output with it, etc.

I managed to shrink the core down by about 50% after doing some research, so I can use the extra space to add all of these other features in.

I've made a PCB with just the core functionality already, so that part is now tested. Now I'll work on the expanded functions, then combine it into a single board. The LED drivers are multi-state, and there is one for each bit, so you'll be able to see the exact state of the entire shift register at any time. (Red for low, Green for High)
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Post by a100user » Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:09 am

Thanks for the explanations. Sounds like it would fill a functional hole in my setup.

I think the slew function is also essential - probably to much to ask if that could have CV rate :)

Cheers
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Post by J3RK » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:56 pm

a100user wrote:Thanks for the explanations. Sounds like it would fill a functional hole in my setup.

I think the slew function is also essential - probably to much to ask if that could have CV rate :)

Cheers
Actually, the slew is voltage controlled. It's basically an OTA based integrator. (one pole filter more or less) Depending on a few component value choices you can go from no slew, to a perfect triangle, to flat within a fairly wide range. I'll need to play with it a bit to get the best range and topology. I'm not sure currently whether the slew should come before or after the VCA that limits the CV range for example. (or maybe just make them both patch points so you can do either one)

I'll be experimenting with these portions soon. :party:
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Post by Isaiah » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:43 am

J3RK
Sounds interesting! Will the Bit Bucket be a 6" wide module?

Any idea when the PCBs for the previously announced Frac modules will start becoming available?
I've seen there are a few on Synthcube already.

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Post by J3RK » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:17 pm

Isaiah wrote:J3RK
Sounds interesting! Will the Bit Bucket be a 6" wide module?

Any idea when the PCBs for the previously announced Frac modules will start becoming available?
I've seen there are a few on Synthcube already.
I've been able to cut back the PCB size quite a bit, so it may fit into a smaller module now. It's also externally clocked and fed now, so that reduced a bit more space. Adding the other functions in will bring the PCB size up a bit, but not by TOO much. I think a 3" panel will be fine, but will think about that a bit more. I may also do a controls PCB for the first time ever, so building it would be easier. I just made some panel component footprints for pots and switches. Jacks will still be flying though because I want it to work with 3.5mm or banana.

The PCBs for the first four modules are all at Synthcube, and also the panels I believe. I know they released two of the four, but not sure on the status of the other two.

I will be doing a lot less on the DIY side of things going forward. Maybe a PCB here or there, but I'm very low on time these days. I'll be putting most of my "Synth-Time TM" into building custom modules and synths when I'm able.
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Post by Bluce » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:56 pm

:yay: good job!

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Post by J3RK » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:44 pm

Thanks!

The prototype PCB is almost done being laid out. Just seeing if I can squeeze it down a little bit more.
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Post by BananaPlug » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:24 pm

Dustin,
I know you're busy and I don't want to be a pest but I don't seem to be able to resist bumping this thread. Any news on this?
Thanks
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Post by J3RK » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:12 pm

I've got the simplified version built, and so far it's working quite well. I need to feed it some more sources, and make sure the comparator range is good across the knob range. It's definitely working though. I was sending standard waveforms through it, and the shit register is working, LED drivers are working, etc. I'm going to feed it some noise next, and see how the threshold feels.

I had a few ideas for routing and looping bits back into the shift register, VCA for output CV range, XOR network, etc.

I was also thinking of having "Shift" and "Shift Lock" buttons, (after a suggestion from a friend) that would invert the shift register output bits.

So, progress has definitely been made. I've got a new schematic going for the fancier version. I'm working on a few projects at once right now, but this one is definitely a focus.

More in the near future.

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Post by a100user » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:35 am

Sounds great Dustin

I also think all synths need a shit register :goo:
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Post by J3RK » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:10 am

a100user wrote:Sounds great Dustin

I also think all synths need a shift register :goo:
Thanks! And I agree completely!

So a speck of news. Finally decided on the CPLDs that I'll be using going forward for various projects, ordered the programmer, and just installed the dev tools. A relative of mine also laid out a nice little breakout board that takes the SMT 44 pin IC, and puts everything on headers. This is going to allow me to do quite a bit more with this project and squish it into a small space. I'll probably do two versions of the BitBucket now. One that is CMOS, simpler, and one that uses the CPLD with more features. The CPLD version will be a little trickier to build (but not too bad).

I'll be able to fit a VCO on the CPLD version, have a longer shift register with movable taps and routes, etc.

Another thing is that I'll make all of the files available, so people can tweak the module, or make it do more, if they're so inclined.

Anyway, more on all of this soon.
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Post by revtor » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:52 am

Dustin, glad to hear you have settled on a CPLD and have the tools etc.. I wish my DIY chops were at that level! Looking forward to the BitBucket.

Anyone have thoughts on a "must have" module or two that would complement or be useful to mesh the BB into your average (VCO VCF VCA EG LFO etc etc) modular?

~Steve

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Post by rezzn8r » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:12 pm

revtor wrote:
Anyone have thoughts on a "must have" module or two that would complement or be useful to mesh the BB into your average (VCO VCF VCA EG LFO etc etc) modular?

~Steve

I would say a Quantizer and a bias/offset module would go well with a BB.
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Post by revtor » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:07 pm

Quantizer, yeah that sounds good indeed. Im all set with bias/offset.. I'm thinking a clock divider would be pretty awesome with this too, maybe VC.

Dustin, do you have any rough draft front panel layouts for the BitBucket that you wouldn't mind sharing?

~Steve
(A delay module still in the works?)

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Post by BananaPlug » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:59 am

I want to try Rungler inspired patches. One oscillator clocking, one oscillator being the input bit, bits from the buffer making CV for modulation.
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Post by revtor » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:47 pm

I'm going to go right for sub oscillator duties (miss my MOTM 120) and also looking forward to Sid style arpeggiatior patterns.

Bring it on

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Post by J3RK » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:16 pm

BananaPlug wrote:I want to try Rungler inspired patches. One oscillator clocking, one oscillator being the input bit, bits from the buffer making CV for modulation.
I did a few patches like this, and it was pretty cool, especially with a bit of FM applied to the VCOs.
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Post by J3RK » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:20 pm

revtor wrote:Quantizer, yeah that sounds good indeed. Im all set with bias/offset.. I'm thinking a clock divider would be pretty awesome with this too, maybe VC.

Dustin, do you have any rough draft front panel layouts for the BitBucket that you wouldn't mind sharing?

~Steve
(A delay module still in the works?)
I haven't laid out any panels yet, as I haven't quite finalized the features, but things are working. I'm juggling a few projects right now, so things are moving a little slow, but they're moving.

I was thinking of expanding on the roundish layout (but with more controls and IO) that I used for the very simple version I put in my 4U panel. (See the BitShifter section...)

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