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Tracking 1V/oct ?
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Author Tracking 1V/oct ?
Jturbide
Hey guys, I just received my first modules so I'm just discovering stuff.

My question is pretty simple: is it normal that my oscillator (Q106) doesn't track 1V/oct much precisely ? When I plug my Qunexus (with 3.5mm to 1/4 cable) to oscillator 1v/oct, tune it, and then osc into filter into mixer (yeah simple as that ;P) it doesn't track particularly well. Is it normal ? Am I doing something wrong ? I mean let say I tune it to C, so when I play a C on my Qunexus it is really a C that comes out of my speakers, then I play other notes on my keyboard but the pitch isn't perfect (tend to get higher as I go up keyboard), even in the same octave it's starting to get out of tune. (Not something I would ear without my tuner but still...) when I'm let say 2 octave up it's getting a little obvious that the pitch isn't good..

Is it normal ?
sduck
No, your q106 needs to be calibrated.
Jturbide
Damnit !

maybe I don't give it enough time to stabilize itself ? (I think I've heard that before) hmmm.....

shit I have no idea how to do it or who could do it without having to spend a shitload of money (shipping etc) ... cry
burdij
If it is getting sharper (higher in frequency) as you go up the scale, for a temporary solution, you could attenuate the CV signal coming out of the Qunexus to adjust the scale to track. This will probably require going back and forth between the lowest C you can play and adjusting the fine frequency control on the oscillator to get the right pitch and the highest C and adjusting the attenuation or technically speaking, the span. If it goes flat when going up the scale, you will need to amplify the CV signal to adjust its span but it sounds like you have the easier to fix problem. A passive attenuator that doesn't load the keyboard output too much like a 100K Ohm linear pot would probably work. Put a knob on it to make it easier to adjust.
diophantine
Did you get your Q106 new, or used?

Just to make sure I understand your setup... have you successfully used your QuNexus to control any other synths, via the 1V/Oct output? I know the QuNexus has TRS output jacks that need to be split to the appropriate signals.

Before looking into recalibrating the Q106, I'd first verify that the controller is outputting the appropriate voltages. If you have access to a multimeter or voltmeter that would be pretty easy.
JohnLRice
diophantine wrote:
Did you get your Q106 new, or used?

Just to make sure I understand your setup... have you successfully used your QuNexus to control any other synths, via the 1V/Oct output? I know the QuNexus has TRS output jacks that need to be split to the appropriate signals.

Before looking into recalibrating the Q106, I'd first verify that the controller is outputting the appropriate voltages. If you have access to a multimeter or voltmeter that would be pretty easy.
+1 thumbs up
Jturbide
Thanks burdij that's a wise idea !

diophantine: I got my Q106 used. Also, it's the first thing I plug my Qunexus into, so it might be the problem. I'm using a 3.5mm to 1/4 (like this https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CMP310 ). Finally I don't have a multimeter.. it's not expensive thought so I could get one..
diophantine
Jturbide wrote:
diophantine: I got my Q106 used. Also, it's the first thing I plug my Qunexus into, so it might be the problem. I'm using a 3.5mm to 1/4 (like this https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CMP310 ). Finally I don't have a multimeter.. it's not expensive thought so I could get one..

Based on the QuNexus manual (§2.2.3.1), that cable should be fine to get CV1 output. But you would need a splitter to get both CV1 and gate. The cable you're using is shorting gate to ground - while that shouldn't be a problem, I don't know if there's any oddities with the QuNexus. Sweetwater sells a cable bundle for the QuNexus: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/QuNexusCVCab

Also the QuNexus has a few scaling options (§3.10) that can be selected: 1V/Oct, 1.2V/Oct (Buchla), and Hz/Oct (old Korg gear, etc.). Additionally there's a CV Trim (§3.10.3) which allows precision scaling and/or offsetting the CV outputs. It could be on the wrong setting(s). Looks like those are only adjustable via a computer.

IIRC the octave switch on the Q106 goes through the expo converter on the oscillator. So if your Q106 stays in tune (only changing octaves) while switching octaves via the rotary switch, it is probably an issue with the signal it is being fed.
Flareless
+1 for checking the input voltage. I've got 3 Q106s and they track very well. Sometimes not perfectly across a wide range but close enough for government work.

Temperature doesn't seem to have a huge effect on mine either.

The trim pots on the Q106 are marked with a red dot to ensure they're not adjusted outside of the factory. Make sure your dots are intact.
ranix
Alternate theory: maybe the Qunexus has a low output strength and needs to be buffered to track well. My Minibrute does this if I use it to control more than one VCO with a mult.

How well does your Q150 track if you turn the resonance up until it self-oscillates and use your Qunexus' pitch output to control the 1V/oct filter frequency? Does that track well?

If it tracks higher than it should, I'd suspect diophantine was right about the 1.2V/Oct (Buchla) scaling method. If it tracks lower than it should, the jury is out but it could be any of the other theories. I think it's possible that shorting the gate signal to ground could result in slump of the pitch voltage.
daveholiday
Yup...checking output of your device is key before fiddling with your VCO tunings. My DSI Pro2 took a fair amount of tweaking the settings to get the tracking right. A quality multimeter will be your best friend here! I have a Fluke 115 that will also do frequency which comes in handy as well!
Jturbide
Thanks everyone! thumbs up

I've tried putting the Qunexus in the Q150 (selfoscillating) and it didn't track perfectly. It was getting higher than supposed, exactly like my Q106.

But, I've tried tuning my oscillator (without que Qunexus in) and switching octaves with the rotary switch and it doesn't stay in tune either.

seriously, i just don't get it hmmm..... both are fucked ? Dead Banana
diophantine
Jturbide wrote:
But, I've tried tuning my oscillator (without que Qunexus in) and switching octaves with the rotary switch and it doesn't stay in tune either.

Since it is used, your Q106 may not have the CRS (Calibrated Range Switch) installed - at one time it was an optional add-on, now it comes standard. (It is a little circuitboard with 4 trimpots that is soldered onto one headers on the main board and sticks out to the side.)

I'd first check the scaling options on the QuNexus via a computer. If that doesn't lead to an obvious answer, I suggest picking up a multimeter (or seeing if you can borrow one).

With both Q106 and Q150 behaving similarly, it's most likely something going on with the controller.
Jturbide
Thanks diophantine , I'll see what I can do about the Qunexus but I tried to connect it to my computer earlier and it didn't recognize it hmmm.....

If I can't solve the problem I may bring it back to the seller (who build is own synths and also repair other peoples' ) so he can check it out..
sduck
Do you have the qunexus editor app? You'll need that to interface with the qunexus.

https://support.keithmcmillen.com/hc/en-us/categories/200240775-QuNexu s
Jturbide
edited: I've succeed to connect it and it was on 1V/oct. I've reset it and will try to see if it tracks better
cornutt
If you need to calibrate your Q106, that's something you can do yourself. If your ear is good enough to hear that it's off, then you can calibrate it to a close-enough-for-jazz standard by ear, with some known good instrument for a reference. It's not that hard.

One thing to watch for: when judging the scaling, make sure you have the octave switch set to 16' or 8', and don't play really high notes. If you need to calibrate, get it working in those ranges first. Then you can work on the 4' and 2' settings. In my experience, it's kind of hard to get the 2' setting to scale well, but I seldom use the 2' setting so I don't worry about it.
Jturbide
After a little test, it still doesn't track perfectly. The Q106 and Q150 (self oscillating resonance) both track a little higher than they should. (so the more I play far from the original C it's tuned to, the more it's detuned)

Also I've received a DUSG hyper (Thanks Rich) and while it's not supposed to track 1V/oct perfectly, it is less accurate than the two others but now it gets lower than it should.. The more I play far from the original tuning note the more I'm off (on the lower side)
cornutt
Once you've put a voltmeter on the Qunexus and verified that it's doing 1V/octave accurately, if you need to calibrate the Q106, the procedure is on the last page of this data sheet:

https://www.synthesizers.com/products/q106/q106data.pdf

It says to use a frequency counter, but you can do it by ear if you have something else (say, a digital synth) with known good tracking to compare it to. Just play a note and compare the frequencies by ear.
Flareless
Jturbide wrote:
After a little test, it still doesn't track perfectly. The Q106 and Q150 (self oscillating resonance) both track a little higher than they should. (so the more I play far from the original C it's tuned to, the more it's detuned)

Also I've received a DUSG hyper (Thanks Rich) and while it's not supposed to track 1V/oct perfectly, it is less accurate than the two others but now it gets lower than it should.. The more I play far from the original tuning note the more I'm off (on the lower side)


You're very welcome!

I wouldn't use it as a reference for 1V/Oct tracking though. Even Ken's docs say it isn't very close tracking. While the module does self-oscillate it's not a good substitute for an oscillator.

I think the only way you're going to get to the bottom of the issue is to verify the voltages going into the Q106. Pick up an inexpensive multimeter at Crappy and get a reading on your voltages. Until you know for sure there will be too much uncertainty.
JohnLRice
cornutt wrote:
It says to use a frequency counter,
For those of you with a smart phone or tablet device I recommend getting the Peterson iStrobosoft tuner for $10, very worth it! thumbs up https://www.petersontuners.com/products/istrobosoft/
diophantine
Flareless wrote:
I think the only way you're going to get to the bottom of the issue is to verify the voltages going into the Q106. Pick up an inexpensive multimeter at Crappy and get a reading on your voltages. Until you know for sure there will be too much uncertainty.

+1 You can also find a few cheapos for $12 on Amazon. While a nicer one is always nice, a cheap one like Flareless recommends will be enough for your needs on basic tasks like this, and still allow you to afford a nicer one when/if you eventually need one.

JohnLRice wrote:
For those of you with a smart phone or tablet device I recommend getting the Peterson iStrobosoft tuner for $10, very worth it!

Good to know of a reliable one! A couple years back I tried a few free ones, which were shit. Then I realized that my Fluke meter (which I'd had for nearly a decade) actually had a frequency counter on it! d'oh! So much for all those years of calibrating V/Oct on my analog scope! hihi
Jturbide
I've tried plugging the Qunexus into ableton and verify the pitch with the DAW tuner. While not perfect, it was way better than on my modular, and the little imperfections were both ways (sometimes a little high sometimes a little low) but as I said it tracked way better on ableton than on my modular...
defutura
cornutt wrote:
One thing to watch for: when judging the scaling, make sure you have the octave switch set to 16' or 8', and don't play really high notes. If you need to calibrate, get it working in those ranges first. Then you can work on the 4' and 2' settings. In my experience, it's kind of hard to get the 2' setting to scale well, but I seldom use the 2' setting so I don't worry about it.


Does anybody know what the range (octave) switch does, electrically speaking? Does it simply add 1v per step above 32' to the input voltage present at the 1v/oct inputs (adding no voltage at the 32' setting and subtracting for the LO setting)? Or does it manipulate something else in the circuit?
diophantine
Jturbide wrote:
I've tried plugging the Qunexus into ableton and verify the pitch with the DAW tuner..

Via the CV output, or the USB/MIDI output? If it is the USB/MIDI output, that won't tell you anything about the CV outputs.
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