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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

What does a Lowpass Gate do?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author What does a Lowpass Gate do?
GCF
Have been looking at the Plan B M13 Dual Timbral Gate, and cannot comprehend exactly what it's uses are.

Is it a filter? Can it be used as a VCA, of sorts? I really don't get it.

Thanks.
-GCF
Cat-A-Tonic
It can be a filter or a VCA, or both at the same time.
The vactrols give it a unique tone that other VCAs don't have.
GCF
Thanks, Cat-A-Tonic. Is that what the "plucky" sound they talk about?

So if I were in the market for some VCAs, would this be recommended? I don't want to sound like I am looking for people to tell me what to buy. But more so, would this make a good VCA in a modular that is currently lacking VCAs (the closest to a VCA I have is the STG Wavefolder, which does sound pretty good as a VCA).
Cybananna
someone will have more details than me, but it's like a VCA most commonly. It uses vactrols which it seems "close" slower than a VCA with out vactrols. I think the filter is what causes the closing (which stops the sound) as a result, there is a "ringing" sound that trails as the sound is being stopped through the VCA.

simply, it functions like a dual VCA, but has a distince and characteristic sound which typically is kind of plucky.

I have one and I love it love love love

I use it all the time. It makes a really nice VCA.

It has 3 modes, normal VCA, filter (VCA) and both together.

I guess if you opened the offset up it in filter mode, it filters, but there's no usual filter controls.

I can't recommend it enough. SlayerBadger!
Cybananna
the STG wave folder, to me is a great VCA. However, is sound is about 100% different than a LPG.

I have both and use them very differently as VCAs. Both would be welcome in a system.

The wavefolder is obviously harsh sounding as a VCA and the LPG is very smooth and pretty.

Oh yea, I have Doepfer, Blacet, Plan b M13, and STG wave folder in my system and the M13 is used most, followed by the STG.

The price of the M13 is worth it because you get dual LPGs (or 2 VCAs).
parasitk
It does wonderful, magical things!

I often use both my STG Wavefolder and Wiard Borg 2 as VCAs in series for some really amazing timbres. The Borg is a wonderful LPG. I can't wait to have more in my system!
Muff Wiggler
it's sort of a filter, sort of a VCA, sort of different from both...

most (but not all...) LPFs can be used as a VCA. When they are fully closed (freq at lowest) no sound passes through. When the freq is raised, sound starts passing through.

Of course it won't sound the exact same as a clean VCA, as there is high frequency loss at the same time as the gain is lowered (since it is an LPF and not a VCA)

anyway, you can use a LPF as a VCA in this fashion. You can also use it for filtering

A Low Pass Gate also works in a similar way, however unlike a filter it typically does not self resonate. Also, while many filters allow for precise v/Oct CV control over the cutoff frequency (making them useful as sinewave VCOs when they are oscillating), LPGs usually do not.

Now for the big difference, we look to what seperates a LPG from a VCA.

The VCA's job is to pass the signal as cleanly as possible, while adjusting the amount of amplitude (volume). So it's not like a frequency-affecting filter. The LPG also affects frequency (thus the "LP" in the name "LPG"). But, LPGs are traditionally made with an opto-coupler (a vactrol), which causes an interesting distortion in the TIME (as opposed to frequency or amplitude) domain - the vactrol responds slowly, so the audio signal is slewed as it passes through the gate. This causes the signature "plucky" sound of the LPG, also sometimes heard as 'delayed response'. The attack and the decay/release are affected, leading to a plucky impact sound that can 'ring out' as it decays.

so that's something you don't really get in a LPF or a VCA. The LPG is a bit of both, but also different.

You can see LPFs, VCAs and LPGs as all tools that can do a similar job of the same task, each with their own special take on things, as well as a tool that can typicaly do something unique that the other cannot do.

Also mixed into this are lag/slew processors. They can also be used (with the right settings) as LPFs and as VCAs.

All our 'different' voltage processors seem to have more in common with each other than one would initially think. The VCS taught me this little factlet.
GCF
Thanks Cybananna. It sounds like it is what I could use.

In terms of application, if I fed some gates from the Zorlon Cannon into the VC in of the M13, would this open and close the LPGs with the a "plucky" sound described above? Or is the "plucky" sound achieved better using an env. generator?
Muff Wiggler
I haven't used an M13 but gates should work fine, as should clock pulses
Gordon Cole
Ghost
parasitk
Definitely everyone needs VCAs and Mixers... but let the LPGs have a little love too!
Cybananna
About the Zorlon, not exactly. An AD envelope or ADSR with SR at zero sounds more plucked than the zorlon directly gating the LPG.

The Zorlon will certainly gate the LPG and it will sound different than a regular VCA, but not quite the typical pucked sound.

Gordon Cole does bring up some good points about standard VCAs, but I prefer the LPG for audio note on / off.
dkcg
GCF wrote:
Thanks Cybananna. It sounds like it is what I could use.

In terms of application, if I fed some gates from the Zorlon Cannon into the VC in of the M13, would this open and close the LPGs with the a "plucky" sound described above? Or is the "plucky" sound achieved better using an env. generator?


The M13 is awesome for gating audio, but it adds a lot of color and the slowness of the vactrols adds some lag too. I haven't tried running control signals through it, I could swear Peter telling me they don't work with anything but audio (which is why he has a VCA too). Cool thing about the M13, as many have mentioned, is that you could put a square, or even a pulse, and it will have a natural decay, that sounds a lot like a plucked string instrument, or with a ring modded signal going through, starts to sound a lot like drums. 99.9% of my audio goes through the gate at some point. And usually using a pulse and then out the M13 into a filter.

The VCA (at least the PlanB one, I never used any others except the ASys EMS Trapazoid Gen which has no CV input) will control CVs too. So you can use an envelope to raise and lower the CV signal. I only have one, and feel I'm in need for at least 2 or 3 more for bigger patches. But you can also use mixers with CV control as a VCA of sorts. I have a Model 14 CV processor that has mix between two channels, CV (including envelopes) can be used to fade between two channels, so if one isn't being used, I can use it as a VCA for audio or CV (it handles both audio and CV).

I say ignore the labels, and see what any module can do. Afterall, there are no hard fast rules in art, except don't blow a module or shock yourself in the modular arts. spinning

My apologies if I'm being redundant. d'oh!
dkcg
Cybananna wrote:
About the Zorlon, not exactly. An AD envelope or ADSR with SR at zero sounds more plucked than the zorlon directly gating the LPG.


Running it through a filter after the LPG sounds nice too and helps soften up the edges.
wetterberg
what I don't see mentioned here is the use of LPGs as vca _replacement. I've heard of several people who are now using only LPGs for amplitude control - it can definitely be done.
D/A A/D
LPG samples:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1350&postdays=0&post order=asc&start=0
chinard
wetterberg wrote:
what I don't see mentioned here is the use of LPGs as vca _replacement. I've heard of several people who are now using only LPGs for amplitude control - it can definitely be done.


yea it can be done, and i do it all the time. I do have a couple of VCA's in my frak system that i use on occasion, but i frequently find myself using my model 13 more as a VCA than as a filter.
the only thing to be wary of is that it does add a few miliseconds of extra decay (ringing) that wouldnt be there with a traditional VCA, so you might not want to use it if you wanted to use really snappy envelopes.
Personally i like the sound but it is not suited to as many applications as a proper VCA.

Gordon Cole wrote:

Want to FM your sound on cue? BANG! VCA!

Want to add wobble to your bass 2 seconds after the note on, without a slow build up? BANG! THATS A VCA!


havent tried this with my LPG yet, but if this did work then i could defintitely see the vactrols introducing some lag into the signal.
Might be interesting as a variation tho.
thermionicjunky
I believe that the Cyndustries LPG is the only one that will gate DC. It's also a Grenader design, but he redesigned it for Plan B. The Doepfer uses very fast vactrols and can resonate.
REwire
I did a little test with My Model 13 a while ago showing the straight VCA mode compared to the Filter Mode:

http://www.REwireMusic.com/Audio/Demos/REwire_-_Plan_B_Model_13_Test.m p3

It starts with the regular VCA and then flips into filter mode at 6 secs then back at 14 then back and forth.

I make sure everything is going through my two Model 13's, that punchy bassy sound is addictive.
GCF
Thanks guys for all the help and sound clips.

I am pretty sure I will pick up this module sometime soon. The problem with getting new modules is that you can always use a couple more to get slightly more use out of the others.

But I figure I'll pick up the M13, some envelope generators, and maybe a mixer module. That should keep me good for awhile. At least until Mid-November.
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