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Controller patch thread, let's Sack them Buts!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Controller patch thread, let's Sack them Buts!
Let's start a thread showing patching setups for controllers!

Hugh LeCaine, Inventor of the Electronic Sackbut, designed a very interesting left hand controller section for the instrument. It allowed the player to change several key timbre parameters at once while playing. Really amazing stuff given how early in synth development he was working on this.

I patched up something similar simply to demonstrate all the timbres possible from the TElharmonic Osc from Make Noise.
This got me thinking about the patching that goes into creating musically useable control in modular synthesis.

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This is a live take with an AFG and polaris creating the bassline which is a Brainseed sequence, being punched in on the fly.
The tElharmonic is used as the solo voice, no filtering, just tElharmonic's Harmonic Osc and PM Osc patched to a reverb via a switch, vca and simple envelope. Another switch controls the depth of the Osc detune while a joystick controls the Centroid and Flux parameters.
A Qunexus is used to play the lead part with one hand, including pressure sensitive vibrato, while my other hand was busy with the joystick, two switches, wheel, and antenna.
This patch started with me trying to create a synth string sound and soon grew from there. Tons of timbres can be had with the tElharmonic! This is fun!
All of the sweeps and filter sounds are from the joystick controlling the tElharmonic.
Cmon folks This is fun!
don't have any patching to share, I've just got a simple midi keyboard but I wanted to say that was really fab
DIY Piezo controller with aftertouch:

I took a gel wrist-rest (for a mouse) and used two-faced foam tape to mount 4 piezos on the hard plastic bottom side.

The piezos go into four Braids' FM input - this accomplishes 2 things:

- it triggers Braids' internal EG
- putting pressure on the piezo acts as a pitchbend/aftertouch. The FM input attenuator controls the amount of pitchbend and helps eliminate piezo-crosstalk.

In addition, I'm using the built-in Turing machine in the Bees-in-the-trees firmware, creating the pleasant arabesque sequences. The FM input is also sent to the timbre/colour in this example.
we're not worthy that's awesome! Do the piezos need any kind of amplifier? hmmm.....
Yes I would like more information about this piezo controller. I want to build a little section of switches, mults, etc into the lid of my case. Some of these or some fsr's (if I can figure that out) would be sweet.
Your piezo guy
I want your piezo!
I use a lot of the products I make of course and since we make primarily controllers (and some utility modules) they are always controlling something.

The latest favorite combination is a PGM-4X4 Four by Four Programmer/Sequencer controlling four of the parameters on a Qu-Bit Nebulae. One row for pitch, one for speed, one for loop start and the last for loop size. You can choose parts of loops to play and go from completely different sounding places and return where you started. I typically leave one column for live tweaking and the other three for "presets" Since I have two of them in my controller skiff, the other one drives a ADDAC101 in music the same way.

I also have a favorite "Rayguns from Mars" patch that is commonly set up on a FSR-4 Quad Force Sensing Resistor module. The first sensor providing the initial pitch on the VCO, the second driving the VCF and giving the gate to the EG running the final VCA, the third setting the modulator frequency and the forth controlling the VCA the modulator is plugged into to provide a LAF depth control. With one hand you can have a rather HUGE range of sounds all the way from ray gun warbles through whale sounds.

The SP-4DP Quad Dual Slide Pot Module has lately be used to run the post processing of the Nebulae with one slider running the VCF cutoff (no reaching through the wires for me) and the rest controlling the parameters of a MakeNoise Echophon. I used to have 3 Echoplex (now just one) and used to "play" them a lot, running up into feedback and moving the heads to change pitch and make different tonal structures. The Echophon can come REALLY close to doing that also when controlled vis a slide pot. The SP-4DP can do Attenuation, Pan-pot, Segue, and DC control voltage production and since it uses dual sliders, two of those effects at the same time for each of its four sliders.

As one can guess, controllers are a big thing to me. I have 3 joysticks and 5 MIDI>CV controllers along with a full skiff of Synthwerks controllers for my rig. Controllers are the last thing people seem to buy and are willing to reach through the wires to turn one knob at a time. With controllers, you have multiple things affected with controls right at your finger tips.

This is my current controller skiff. It sits in front of my rig and always goes with whatever cabinet I take with me when I leave the studio/man cave.

The Electronic Sackbut was not particularly an elegant instrument either:

In case a person might not know, a Sackbut was a medival instrument similar to a modern trombone.
The piezos go directly into the Braids FM inputs. No amplification.

Larger piezos often deliver higher voltages. Furthermore, hitting a piezo with a stick can sometimes generate a 50V spike. In other words, it's recommended that the piezo goes through a buffer or a module that's properly buffered.

That said, tapping with fingers should be relatively safe.
Great thread Dcramer. Beautiful tune too. The Teleharmonic is a mystery to me. I played one at Perfect Circuit for about 15 minutes and it just left me scratching my head. I guess it has a learning curve?

I love the control of the ARP 3620 keyboard. I am no keyboard player but the 3620 has the delayed LFO plus the super cool momentary button for the portamento. It is a super expressive controller. I think the Korg MS series are the only other synths with momentary buttons. They are great.

I also use the Serge TKB along with the 3620. The TKB or any programmer like the Synthwerks models are great for making group changes to various parameters as you are playing. I can have the 4 channels of the TKB controlling various filters, waveshapers, vca's, vco's etc. It has 16 steps so you can get very gradual or abrupt changes. It is a huge great left hand controller (and a nice sequencer). It's pressure sensing is a plus too.

I also use the super deep Planar by Intellijel and some other trigger/gate buttons. I am still considering the Doepfer Wheels like Dcramer has.

I have been using more pedal controllers with modular lately too. They have always been a no brainer on mono or poly synths, but for some reason I never used them on modular before. Im making myself use them more now. Very handy with my live tweaking.

I wonder if anyone has made a stressball controller? That might be 'handy'.

The new Arrick Synth dotcom controllers are really something. I like the looks of the bar option for some reason.
We'll I'll be damned! I just plugged one in and tried it out. I had no idea that would work. I know what I'll be building.
Thanks for the idea!
Great to see my little thread is finally getting some love!

I was hoping hoping you'd chime in James!, yes the Sackbut didn't look like much but very innovative for its day.

I find controllers to be very important as my rack is big enough I can't get to everything fast enough. I've got a ribbon and Qunexus, along with some controller modules but plan to move it all to skiffs and some of those awesome Synthwerks designs. we're not worthy

I've also been fiddling with Ladik's Synare modules, and with the use of and old practice pad with a trigger mounted in it, have been able to setup a little electronic drum thingy...Booo Boooo Be Boooo This is fun!

MindMachine, the Telharmonic is def a weird one but is capable of some great sounds beyond just the simple to use chord modes. It's weird how it has two ways to control pitch, and I wish it had a finer tune control, but a great design!
Crossposting by request. w00t

This is just a demo using an Eowave Ribbon - which gives up midi and CV simultaneously - to see if I could talk myself out of buying a Roli Rise.

I decided to stick with this.

Thanks Umcorps!
Great patch thumbs up
IMO good/many controllers with a small system is better than bad/few controllers with a big one. Many with a big one and you never need to leave the house. Guinness ftw!

Here's my current setup, which I'm digging on very much:

Planar: Duh. So useful
FSR-1T: Super useful for purcussion (and more, of course). With the right patch, I can play it like a tabla/bayan.
LS1: Like an extra 1-axis joystick, but with memory. Magic.
PP&Brains: Does what it says on the box
Switch: The Malekko switch has a button, so I usually patch the 2 rows on PP into it where I can do things like trills or key/octave jumps.
Trogo M11: Sometimes manual gates, sometimes sequencer resets... anything that needs a big fat button. Also useful for trills and whatnot when plugged into an FM jack.
Brainseed: More magic in 4hp.
A183-2: IMO the best (as in easy to control and get what you expect) attenuvertolarizers. In this patch it's padding the output of the LS1 for input to the Brainseed.

The ribbon is a Doepfer R2M, which I chose over the regular analog version for the built in quantizer and presets (Trautonium mode for the win).

Keyboard on the bottom is an 80's era Roland MKB-1000 (88 wood keys - don't make 'em like that anymore). Used for... notes and stuff. It goes into a PGH MIDI2 and is also hooked up to the computer for standard MIDI duties.
Keyboard on the left is a Samson Graphite 49 that I got specifically to control an Expert Sleepers FH-1. It's a pretty deep setup and am just starting to explore that (I hate menu diving).
Not shown is my Etherwave Plus (Therimin w/CV) and some expression pedals (run through a pair of ALM SBGs). Modularing can be a full-body experience! MY ASS IS BLEEDING
I have a spare Cell90 skiff that I keep meaning to put some more sliders and whatnot (Synthwerks!), but am having a bit of a real estate problem. zombie
You might say controllers are important to me. heh.
sneak-thief wrote:
I took a gel wrist-rest (for a mouse) and used two-faced foam tape to mount 4 piezos on the hard plastic bottom side.

I may have just bought a handfull of piezo's to cop this idea. SlayerBadger!
Great thread this - I'm surprised it hasn't generated more interest. Only found it via Umcoprs' crosspost.

This is my new case for played and semi-sequenced parts. Sorry its a bit obscured by wires but I'm currently setting it up for a live show.

Pressure points are sometimes used as a keyboard, either to play or to transpose a sequence. My favourite use for them though is in conjunction with the sequential switches.

I set up chords on the three voltages, a different chord for each pad. I then use a trigger sequence to switch between the notes - gated by the PP - for instant arpeggios. I also use it in conjunction with sequential/vc switches and the OR combiner to gate/sequence different trigger sequences or clocks.

The manual gate is used as another option for gating sequences/clocks or to control the sequential switches.

Joystick is either used as voltage source or to to fade in/out another part - often a drone set to the root note of arpeggios.

The idea is to be able to 'play' a simple melodic piece on it live.
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