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TTSH Idiot Proof User Guide
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author TTSH Idiot Proof User Guide
nick_s666
Hello All,
Utter noob at this, so please bear with me...

Have acquired a pre-built/tested TTSH.
Many happy hours of fun fader fiddling, and am now ready to start doing some patching...maybe..

First question- I'd like to use my MiniBrute [MB] as a CV keyboard.
I'm assuming I should connect 'Pitch Out' on the MB to a CV input, but which one?
My guess would be the socket labelled 'KBD CV Output' at bottom right of the TTSH panel. But in that case isn't this actually an 'input' socket?? Confused..

Secondly, is there a simple rule-of-thumb about what can/can't be patched to what? Erring massively on the side of caution..
Anyone know of a basic user guide [I've downloaded the old Arp 2600 User Manual]

Apologies that this is super basic stuff but I REALLY can't afford to let The Magic Smoke out of this baby.

Thanks in advance.
sduck
nick_s666 wrote:
I'd like to use my MiniBrute [MB] as a CV keyboard.
I'm assuming I should connect 'Pitch Out' on the MB to a CV input, but which one?
My guess would be the socket labelled 'KBD CV Output' at bottom right of the TTSH panel. But in that case isn't this actually an 'input' socket?? Confused..


Yes - because the TTSH doesn't come with a dedicated keyboard like the original, the KBD CV jack is an input rather than being an output as on the original. Which is multed to the other KBD cv jacks on the device - and you can break that mult by plugging in dummy jacks into any of the KBD CVs. Likewise with the Keyboard Gate/Trig jacks in the ADSR/AR section.

Otherwise, patch away - these things are very robust, I've never heard of anyone blowing them up by patching outputs to outputs or anything. Use common sense of course - if a specific patch does nothing, maybe don't do that.

Do you have the patch book? If so, work through that.
nick_s666
Thanks sduck- very helpful!

Could you explain a bit more about the muting of the other CV inputs, please?
Do I need to do this in order to get CV from the MB to work?

And when you say 'dummy jacks'- is that just the end of a 3.4mm plug stuck in the appropriate socket?

I've found and downloaded the patch book and will have a play with those once I'm feeling a bit more confident.
jbdiver
Look for a book called "Fundamentals of Music Technology Volume One: The ARP 2600 Synthesizer" by Samuel Ecoff. He does a great job of covering all the different aspects of the 2600/TTSH both from technical and musical standpoints.

http://www.samecoff.com/works.html
sduck
nick_s666 wrote:

Could you explain a bit more about the muting of the other CV inputs, please?
Do I need to do this in order to get CV from the MB to work?


No. The KBD CV jack over on the bottom left is like the input of a multiple, that goes to the 3 VCOs and the VCF. CV out on the MB to the KBD CV jack is all you need. For pitches, that is. And remember to use the lowest transposition setting (on the MB) for the best accuracy - depending on how well it was calibrated the TTSH tracks best closest to 0 volts, so for the best tracking between the 3 VCOs use the lowest setting, and set your VCOs initial frequency to what you need.

nick_s666 wrote:
And when you say 'dummy jacks'- is that just the end of a 3.4mm plug stuck in the appropriate socket?


The dummy jack thing - or just any patch cord, that's not plugged in the other end - is just a way to break the normalization of the built in multiple in this case. It's a good thing to keep in mind with the TTSH - quite often you don't want the filter following the pitch cv for instance, and a dummy jack in the kbd cv jack of the filter fixes that.

Getting the gate to work properly is another matter - there's a lot of variation in how these are built. You may have a gate booster installed, or not. Ideally you need a 10v gate and trigger to get the ADSR to work properly, and the MB only outputs maybe a 6v gate. Plug the gate out from the MB into the gate jack on the ADSR/AR section, and see how it works for you. If you have the gate booster installed, then it's just a matter of plugging the MB gate into the appropriate jack for the gate booster, depending on which one the builder used. Uh oh, I'm getting more confusing than helpful here, sorry.
nick_s666
Thanks both- very helpful!
Dave Peck
You can also look up a copy of the original Arp 2600 user manual on line. While it wouldn't have helped with this specific question about the KYBD CV, it is an excellent resource and it should be very helpful for everything else. It's not just a reference manual with info about the various modules like a lot of manuals these days, it's a really good guide for analog synthesis in general and covers a lot of important topics. I would recommend it for anyone trying to learn about analog synthesis regardless of what kind of synth they had.
nick_s666
Thanks Dave- have grabbed a copy of that too.
nick_s666
Thanks to your pointers plus a look at suggested docs I seem to have got CV working, and now also have a 'Gate' o/p from the MB triggering the Envelope Generators [EG's].
All good so far..

However, am a bit confused [and can find no clarification in docs or online] about the difference between the two EG's. This may just be me, or because the docs I can find mainly refer to use of original ARP keyboard.

So- am I right that BOTH the AR and ADSR envlopes are triggered by an external 'Gate' signal?
If so how do they interact?
Does one 'overwrite' the other depending on how they're set?
sduck
nick_s666 wrote:
am I right that BOTH the AR and ADSR envlopes are triggered by an external 'Gate' signal?


Yes.

nick_s666 wrote:
If so how do they interact?
Does one 'overwrite' the other depending on how they're set?


It just depends on how where you send them. You could have the AR controlling the VCA while the ADSR controls the VCF. <<That one's easy, it's hardwired, but you could switch those roles with a patch cable.
nick_s666
Thanks.
It looks like both EGs are 'normalled' to the VCA [each with their own attenuation slider] so what I'm trying to get to the bottom of is how they interact with each other [and the VCA] when both of those sliders are turned up...
sduck
Although you can use both EGs at the same time at the vca, typically you wouldn't want or need to do this, unless you really wanted to sculpt the output a certain way. Remember that the EGs just output control voltages, and the two EG faders in the vca section are just a cv mixer. There's very little magic here - it's a 40 year old design.
Dave Peck
nick_s666 wrote:
Thanks.
It looks like both EGs are 'normalled' to the VCA [each with their own attenuation slider] so what I'm trying to get to the bottom of is how they interact with each other [and the VCA] when both of those sliders are turned up...



The 2600's panel graphics use arrows entering and exiting the SIDES of the boxes to indicate audio signals, and arrows entering the BOTTOM of the box to indicate control signals which modulate whatever that box is indicating (filter, VCA, oscillators etc.).

The 2600's VCA has a two-input mixer for the audio input to the VCA, (the two sliders on the left) and it has a separate two-input mixer for the CONTROL signals that modulate the VCA's level (the two sliders on the right).

If two signals are being sent to the same mixer (as is the case when you turn up both the AR and ADSR sliders in the VCA's control voltage source mixer) these signals get ADDED TOGETHER, and the result appears at the mixer's output. Doesn't matter if the signals are audio or control signals, that's what happens when two things both go into a mixer.

So if you have your two envelopes set differently and you add them together, you get a more complex envelope that is the SUM of what each of them is doing. To clearly hear this, you could set the AR envelope to its slowest settings for both attack and release, and then set the ADSR times to something a lot faster, but not instantaneous, and set the sustain level to maybe 50%. Now, you'll hear the fast attack and fast decay of the ADSR, then you'll hear the level slowly rise back up because while the ADSR is sustaining at a steady 50% level, the attack of the AR is still rising. Then when you release the note, you'll hear a quick drop as the ADSR's fast release happens, and then you'll hear a slow drop for the rest of the release as the AR's slow release continues.

But of course you can patch anything into that VCA control source mixer instead of the hardwired envelopes, and any two signals you connect to those two sliders will get added and the result will control the level of the VCA.
nick_s666
Beautifully explained- thanks!
rayzner
I just got my TTSH im guessing this is a pretty 101 type question, But I cannot get it to track pitch properly with anything I have.

I have tried my Matrixbrute, Karp, Beatstep Pro, and my q104 dotcom module.

Supposedly the version I bought has the gate booster, but I think the person I bought it from just copy pasted his specs from a prior TTSH on sale as his add stated it had a mid to cv converter... Which it does not. So im going to assume none of the specs on the build I have are accurate.

I dont really know where to start to diagnose the issue:

is it not enough just getting to the keyboard out (I've also tried going directly in to any of the kbd cv ports with the same bad tracking)

could it be bad calibration ? (I dont have and scopes.)

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to help a TTSH and DIY noob out.
SmartBits
rayzner wrote:
I just got my TTSH im guessing this is a pretty 101 type question, But I cannot get it to track pitch properly with anything I have.

I have tried my Matrixbrute, Karp, Beatstep Pro, and my q104 dotcom module.

Supposedly the version I bought has the gate booster, but I think the person I bought it from just copy pasted his specs from a prior TTSH on sale as his add stated it had a mid to cv converter... Which it does not. So im going to assume none of the specs on the build I have are accurate.

I dont really know where to start to diagnose the issue:

is it not enough just getting to the keyboard out (I've also tried going directly in to any of the kbd cv ports with the same bad tracking)

could it be bad calibration ? (I dont have and scopes.)


The Gatebooster is only used for boosting the gate signal (duh) so has nothing to do with the tracking of the oscillators. The TTSH requires a bit more voltage for the gate to trigger than what some of the Eurorack stuff provides, this modification solves that. So if your envelopes responds correctly to a 5V trigger/gate it's probably installed.
As for the pitch tracking, it is enough to patch a cv output of a controller keyboard into the "Keyboard output" of the TTSH. Just don't put a passive mult in between and you should be fine. If not, then I guess it's a calibration issue, but there are more experienced people around here than me. Maybe also post in the DIY section, there are quite a few helpful folks there. How much off is the tracking btw?
rayzner
I’d say it’s good for about half an octave.
sduck
It sounds like it's not calibrated correctly, or not at all. Properly calibrated you can get 2-3 octaves that are really good, and perhaps another 2 octaves where things get a bit more "interesting".

I'd suggest finding someone local to you who can go over all of the calibration - I'm sure there's someone in Portland who knows about this. (maybe someone will see this) If they didn't calibrate the pitch cv they probably didn't do any of the rest, and the filter and vca really need to be calibrated to work correctly. I'd be willing to do it for you, but shipping these is expensive.

By the way, you don't need a scope to calibrate these - for the 1v/oct settings, all you need is your cv source of choice and a tuner, and of course a small screwdriver.
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