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How do you get some GNARDS out of these Q106s?
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Author How do you get some GNARDS out of these Q106s?
Rex Coil 7
I've had my bank of five Q106s (two of which are outfitted with the Q161 vco waveform mixers) for roughly five or six years now.

Wonderfully ~clean~ waveforms .... pretty much clinical grade. Top of the line stuffs, them. However, that's just it .... I brought a well bred and underfed filly who's dressed for a ballroom dance to an underground night club. Over-bred for present company ...

An uptown date at a downtown party kindof thing ... uh ... yea. Er ... sumthin'.

I've tried everything I know plus everything I've read/learned to nasty up them Q106s .... it just ain't happenin'! Hard sync, Ex or Lin FM .... all just sortof seem to sit on top of the tone .. the modulations seem to be added on instead of ~embedded~ or "biting in" to the waveforms. Oh sure, the o-scope says that the osc wave is creating/adding upper harmonics, but the ear says otherwise.

Fanstastically clinical, these vcos. But am I en route to the vco store for a less refined vco sound? Or is there something that I've missed? Is there some wavefolding, rectifying, digitizing, bit crunching thang that I've neglected to employ that will bring some dirt to the table with the Q106?

Or is it simply a case of it being a condition .... in other words "it is what it is, and that's what it is!" type of situation and I simply need some other vcos to obtain Teh Brutalz? (I'm thinkin' that's so).

I've been eyeing the Braids, Z3000 MKII, or even perhaps doing some DIY that suits my needs (for instance the chopped Microbrute that I use as a voice). Format is of little matter, as long as what's employed isn't an entire keyboard or something, I have space limitations (and a Hammond A102 w/Leslie ... aka "space limitations" ... heheh). The Blofeld or Pulse is on the list of possible suspects as well. I've even entertained the notion of using an IOS device as my VCOs, running some app that fills the need. Mount the tablet on the modular, somewhere above/away from dangling patchcords. Everwhat .....

The dot com "clipper" module is available, but what I've heard of it (You Tube et al) it seems like it creates a granularity like that of "sand" where I'm seeking something more like GRAVEL. Some digital fuzz devices like those found in DSP stompbox gear for guitarists seem to respond well with some vcos, the Q106 doesn't seem to be included in that list however.

I realize some of the units I've mentioned are DSP devices (Braids, Blofeld, Pulse, et al). At this point in my life that whole "ANALOG ONLY!!" battlecry means little or nothing to me anymore. My attitude these days is "whatever flicks yer thrillswitch, Gomer!". So digital, VA, VST, Modeling, Analog ... everwhat. If it works, it's in.



Thanks.
bwhittington
Quick thoughts you didn't mention:

-Feedback loop? If you have a Q107, patch the notch output back into the attenuated input. Adjust attenuator and cutoff for a nice sweet spot. With another filter, mult the output to feed it back through.

-Remove the clipping jumper on your Q107.

-Cross-modulate the linear fm inputs of two Q106's

-Send another waveform from the Q106 you are filtering into an attenuated exponential frequency input on your filter.

-Audio rate PWM?

-Hard sync one Q106 and soft sync another to a third oscillator that you keep out of the mix. Modulate both like crazy.

-Slightly detune one Q106 using an S&H fed by noise and triggered by whatever gate you use for your EG's. Keep the attenuator nearly closed.

-Possibly add a Zerosum Intertia Amplifryer VCA or similar. Pricy, but even my digital synths sound full and saturated when processed by it.

My grittiest tones have come from lots and lots of modulation, some subtle, some not. Lots of patch cords, lots of mixers and distributors, lots of tweaking and experimenting. I'm sure you do the same, but I'd think the tools you have can bring you close to what you want. Maybe one or two of these will be something you haven't tried yet.

Cheers,
Brian
Just me
Filter feedback
STG mixer
Waveshaper
The most out of control grit I get is feeding them through a C Lee resonant LPG or let an STG old version VCA overdrive the signal to clipping.
JohnLRice
Besides all the other good suggestions, just try mixing some white or pink noise in with the VCO outputs before your filter, it doesn't take a lot but can add some girth and magic! thumbs up

Can you post an audio sample of the sound you are getting now?
alternating.bit
Do you own the Dotcom Spring Verb?
As suggested on the site, Since reverb will add some harmonics to the waveform, try patching the waveforms from an oscillator through the reverb before going to a filter.
Or get a distortion pedal, or Oakley Overdrive?
fac
Some other ideas (depending on which other modules you have):

- Ring Modulation, especially *after* applying some other form of modulation (FM, hard/soft sync, etc).

- Run the Q106 through the dotcom Instrument Interface and turn up the gain.

- Run the oscillator through a dotcom Sample & Hold being clocked by another Q106 at audio rates

- Spontaneous hard sync: run noise through a S&H, clock the S&H using a Q106 square output and run that same Q106 through a Switch. CV the switch using the output from the S&H. The switch will sometimes output one or more cycles of the Q106 and sometimes will be silent. Use the output of the switch to hard sync another Q106.

- Same as above but use the output of the switch for FM or whatever.
MindMachine
I would second the STG Mixer damn straight.

Or add a couple of Euro processors if format does not matter (again, STG Mix or Manhattan Analog CP3, Plague Bearer, EMW Boozy, etc.).

The Happy Nerding FM Aid can be used sparingly to add a lot of variation to waveforms/tones. Available in multiple formats.

Also, the Tiptop Z3000 will be even cleaner than the Arrick VCO. Get something like the Harvestman Polivoks VCO for a bit less clinical audio source.

Maybe just a little Ring Mod here and there... or a dirtier VCA.
lvoemachine
I'd suggest getting something like a buchla 258j. They're super beefy/gnarly when you need it and synthcube will sort you out. I have them along side my dotcom oscillators and they totally growl when needed. Also, I third the STG mixer. IT's the secret sauce to getting that rich tone when needed.
Rex Coil 7
(Member BW) .... been down most of those streets already. The Q107 mods, as well as Q150 mods do, in fact, serve well. However I think sometimes a Telecaster is a Telecaster and a Les Paul is a Les Paul .... one of those ~conditions~ in life.

It's almost as if the core harmonic content just isn't there .... hold it .... what I should have said was that for what I'm wanting to extract from them, there core harmonic content simply doesn't exist. Kinda like how no matter what one does the Alesis Andromeda will never sound like a good-fat analog synth. However if you want one HELL of an analog synth doing one hell of a job of emulating a digital synth, the Andromeda is your instrument. If you expect analog type midrange content from the Andromeda, you'll be disappointed or go broke proving which one of you is the boss (you or the keyboard .... in that case it's kybd-1, you-0).

Well, I'm beginning to think the same type of situation exists with the Q106. While it can get away with modern synth tones to a degree, it's out of it's element in that role I'm afraid. It takes more than modulations to ~extract~ from the vco what simply isn't in it. If it does not contain the right type of midrange frequencies (whether fundamentals or harmonics/sidebands) it does not contain the right type of midrange frequencies ... kinda end of sentence.

What I think I'll attempt is using the pair of enhanced Q106/Q161 ensembles as added voice components to the Microbrute's single vco, then run that mix through the State Variable SP vcf onboard the micro. Perhaps the Q106's may prove to be good companion vcos to the MB. That said I'll have several lfos at disposal for audio range x-mod/fm stuff between the two Q106s before mixing them with the stock MB "super" vco.

I've also tried the same format as Arturia applied to the "single vco synth". They ran each waveform output through various processing (wave folding, frequency dividers, phase cloning/super-saw, PWM) .... all mixed together at the pre-vcf mixer. It's a very intriguing excersize, no doubt! And quite a challenge as well. What helps is the gain level of the stock vco. It seems to be pretty hot, and there's a definitive audible change in the harmonic content when any of the waveform level sliders is increased above roughly 50% gain. Sortof creating a "feedback drive" with each single waveform. And since each waveform may (or may not be) overdriven individually, the range of tonal possibilities is increased exponentially.

That said I've toyed with the idea of putting gain control (active/overdriven, not passive or "unity level" mixing) on each waveform, then mix each waveform with the Q161 output and the Ring Mod output to create a sculpted tone. Well and good, however actually going about it would become costly .... lots of vcas, lots of gain boosting modules (one per waveform). Plus whatever one chooses to control/modulate all of that. Yikes ... I mean .... YIKE$

Ok, thanks. I've aired out my skull on this now. I'll take another swing at seeing what I can do with what I have.

Be well.
Rex Coil 7
These silly pics of my living mess will help to answer a lot of questions, perhaps. seriously, i just don't get it







Pardon the nuclear fallout, I'm just getting my studio back together after over a year of being out of the picture (health crap). While I was down that space got used for everything other than making music. It is what it is. smile

BTW, things are looking a bit more organized by now.

I'm going to take the notes I've made from all of your suggestions and see what I can do tonight. My circadian rhythm is all out of whack again so it looks like I'll be up all night tonight. Thank you for everything ~so far~ ...

smile

(EDIT: Almost forgot to acknowledge the request for audio examples ..... I'm working on getting all of that set up again. We finally uprated our 14+ year old WinXP music computers to more recent 64bit Dual Core Win7 systems (wife went Arturia this time around .... Keylab setup) so we've spent the last couple/few days configuring. Remarkably so, our 12+ year old M-Audio Audiophile USB interfaces have current 64 bit ASIO drivers available (no kiddin'?) so oddly enough those old 24bit relics seem to actually be working! And well. Expecting BitWigs DAW to show up either tomorrow or Wednesday with the Keylab rig, once so I'll be able to do said recordings.)
beyourdog
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
(Member BW) .... been down most of those streets already. The Q107 mods, as well as Q150 mods do, in fact, serve well. However I think sometimes a Telecaster is a Telecaster and a Les Paul is a Les Paul .... one of those ~conditions~ in life.

Be well.


hihi hihi
Telecaster


Les Paul
JohnLRice
beyourdog wrote:
You just held me captive of over 30 minutes with this! angry we're not worthy thumbs up This is fun!
sonicwarrior
If you like nasty tones the Corsynth C104 would be my tip:
http://corsynth.com/home/modules/c104-vco

It features CVable clipping and a ring modulator.

There are several demos @soundcloud (changeling & changeling-demos are my accounts):
https://soundcloud.com/search?q=corsynth%20c104
Tronman
4th on the STG Mixer. If you were to make one change to your system, that should be it.
fac
You guys just convinced me to get an STG mixer.
dan_e10
I've had a similar experience to Rex. I have an STG mixer, I've played with overdriving the filter with the Q118 instrument interface, I've used feedback of the filter output to the input, but there is a character of the basic oscillators that it seems like you can never completely remove. It's like a tone signature that is always there to a greater or lesser extent. All the above do make a difference in getting more tone out of the sound, but it seems like the clinical quality of the Q106's is still slightly present. It doesn't bother me too much as once I've added some delay and reverb it's not noticeable. However there are still times I'd like to get just a little character that I can't seem to squeeze our of the Q106's.

I've spent some time comparing oscillators from some of my softsynths to the Q106's. A lot of the VA synths have imperfections in the waveforms modelled or sampled. Things like curves in the shape of the saw tooths and pulse wave tops. I've tried routing the soft synth oscillators into my modular. That's not really satisfying as the sound seems to get a bit flat, however that extra bit of tone from the basic waveform imperfections does add in some character to the sound. I've been thinking about trying out some other oscillators such as the Oakley 5U or even doing a DIY Moog 901 attempt since I'm ready to expand my modular anyway.
Dan
bwhittington
Licking my lips at the flood of Q106's that might be hitting b/s/t. lol
fac
dan_e10 wrote:
... but there is a character of the basic oscillators that it seems like you can never completely remove. It's like a tone signature that is always there to a greater or lesser extent.


I get the point but isn't that true for any oscillator? My Malekko/Wiard Anti-Oscillators are the opposite of my Q106s: nasty and volatile, they have internal wavefolders and embrace FM. But it's hard to make them precise and clinical. Even the triangle wave has that nasty character no filter can quite get rid of. In fact, I'd say it's harder to tame an Anti that to mess up a Q106.

So yeah, Les Pauls and Telecasters. Rockin' Banana!
fac
bwhittington wrote:
Licking my lips at the flood of Q106's that might be hitting b/s/t. lol


My six Q106s are staying right where they are.

But I'm definitely adding an STG Mixer now that I have more cab space.
arock
bwhittington wrote:
Licking my lips at the flood of Q106's that might be hitting b/s/t. lol


No kidding! I will gladly pay for each Q106! SlayerBadger!
dan_e10
fac wrote:
dan_e10 wrote:
... but there is a character of the basic oscillators that it seems like you can never completely remove. It's like a tone signature that is always there to a greater or lesser extent.


I get the point but isn't that true for any oscillator? My Malekko/Wiard Anti-Oscillators are the opposite of my Q106s: nasty and volatile, they have internal wavefolders and embrace FM. But it's hard to make them precise and clinical. Even the triangle wave has that nasty character no filter can quite get rid of. In fact, I'd say it's harder to tame an Anti that to mess up a Q106.


Yep, exactly. That's the conclusion I've come to. When I first bought my modular, I kind of thought it's going to sound just like a Moog modular just because it's analog. Instead, I've realized that each piece has its character that can never be completely removed sculped away or changed. The STG mixer and the feedback and overdrive techniques do add lots of different colors to the sound, but the Q106's are still going to sound like the Q106's to perhaps a small extent. At this point I'm happy with them as they are, I'm not parting with them. I guess my point wasn't so much that that there's anything wrong with the Q106. It's more, if you're not happy with the sound of the Q106, it might be a futile attempt to try to exorcise their Q106ness.

That said, a definite thumbs up on the STG mixer!

Dan
dan_e10
bwhittington wrote:
Licking my lips at the flood of Q106's that might be hitting b/s/t. lol


I have to say, there's been a real drought of dotcom stuff at the for sale forum. I put together a whole synth including 4 oscillators last year. This year, I haven't come across much. I missed the posting back in January for some dotcom VCA's and envelopes. d'oh!
Dan
donkey for rent
bwhittington wrote:
Licking my lips at the flood of Q106's that might be hitting b/s/t. lol


yeah, right? might as well order TWO new cabs...
Stereotactixxx
I don't have the Q106, I have Oakley VCOs with inbuilt gnards,
but sometimes even they can call for an extra ball.

For single VCO bass, I often like to add a touch square sub oscillator, not so much for the extra bass, but for the growl.

I have also found the 984 clone that Krisp1 built me, go give me an extra dimension of vintage cojones.
Turn up the inputs close to 10, experiment with the tone control, go through a filter, VCA etc,
and then back through the 984 for an extra touch of overdrive and tone control.

[insert testicle emoticon here please]
lvoemachine
I also would suggest the stg pulse divider. tossing in a sub octave definitely gnarls it up. Also, I was pressing suit hard to give me an in depth tutorial last night on his digital vcas as I wasn't completely understanding the damn side chain input so I'm going to spend all day trying to gnarly stuff with a pair of 106s and that VCA and see what I can come up with. After goofing last night with that combo and some well placed noise, I heard things I thought I'd have to have a euro system to get going.
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