Doepfer A-149-1 - your thoughts

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felix
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Post by felix » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:39 am

The A-152, A-149-2, and the Zorlon Cannon all have independent random gates. Actually, the A-152 isn't random, it just outputs a gate for each "active" stage, so if you put a random voltage into the A-152's CV control, you could get independent random gates.

The Zorlon is particularly fun for random gates (4 of them). Not only do you have the 4 random gates, but there's also a separate non-random clock output. The rate is also CV controllable and there's a CV'able probability control, which basically changes the seed value for the randomness of the gates. The higher the control, the more random the gates. Oh yeah, and the lower half of the module is a rad pitched noise generator.
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Post by dougcl » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:10 am

MrDys wrote:In that case, a Doepfer 186 would serve your purposes. Add in a 165, and you have your falling edge detection.
Thanks for that. The 186 looks good. If I throw a bunch of clocks at it though, it will just always be high (right?). If it also did gate->trigger conversion, it would be exactly what I am talking about. So I think the 165 does that part, but I only get two per module.

No big deal though. Playing around just now, I was able to get two VCLFOs two play well together by slewing the CV to one of them based on a patch from the Doepfer "fluctuating voltages" diagram in the pdf I posted.

I'll be damned if I can't get a decent pluck sound out of all this Cwejman gear. Pretty frustrating. I know, I know, model 15 & model 13. Just sayin.
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Post by dougcl » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:14 am

felix wrote:The A-152, A-149-2, and the Zorlon Cannon all have independent random gates. Actually, the A-152 isn't random, it just outputs a gate for each "active" stage, so if you put a random voltage into the A-152's CV control, you could get independent random gates.
The 152 is awesome, but I wish it had a trigger out that fired every time a new address is selected. If I do address selection with an LFO sine for example, I don't have a convenient way of getting at this information. I guess you could rig something up to the Common Switches section, but I'm not sure that would do it, even after all the hassle.

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Post by dougcl » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:27 am

dkcg wrote: I'm not positive, but isn't that something the Doepfer 152 can do with the T&H?
Nah, the T&H is like a bunch of S&H inputs with a common output. So one might think of instead using the SW I/O section to combine a bunch of clocks together, but that section is really just going to single-select each signal input one at a time. The gate section is awesome and could be used for all kinds of great triggering... if you could generate a single trigger signal from all the gates :)

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Post by Jari Jokinen » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:03 pm

A-149-1 and A-149-2 apparently copy some functions of Buchla Source Of Uncertainty, but I didn't like the flavour of their randomness. Once I "got" the semi-random patterns, I somehow began to dislike them:

A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random Voltages:
- N+1 output never "jumps" - it repeats the previous value or changes
to next lower of higher value.
- 2^n output never gives same value twice in succession - expect for
the lowest and and highest possible values, which it repeats quite
often.
- "Equal probability distribution" output has some "personality" too.
- "Adjustable probability" distribution output makes distinctive
patterns: For example, if D=0, then the output typically jumps up and
then settles down in succesive steps. If D=10, this is mirrored.

A-149-2 Digital Random Voltages module:
A-149-1 knobs don't affect A-149-2. Outputs 1 to 7 are "echoes" of
output 8. In this order:
8 => 7 => 5 => 4 => 2 => 1 => 3 => 6
For example, output 5 is two clock cycles behind output 8.

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Post by surachai » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:00 pm

I have the greatest affinity for random voltage gear but some reason don't own any aside from my a-155, a-154. This thread is an amazing resource for exactly what I've been looking for, so thanks for spilling some beans on these.

To Jari: You have half killed my enthusiasm for the A-149 & A-149-2! It reminds me of the apple shuffle and it's actually an algorithm rather than true random. Thanks for sharing!

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Post by wetterberg » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:36 pm

surachai wrote:It reminds me of the apple shuffle and it's actually an algorithm rather than true random. Thanks for sharing!
cough_there's no such thing as true random_cough ;)

Any attempt we'd make to "randomize" is always going to come from semi-chaotic numbers, not truely random. I think that's also the real reason behind the use of terms like "Uncertainty".

Having said that, I've owned and used the Doepfer Schaltwerk, and I've seen that they can in fact design really crappy code... maybe some of that carried over.

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Post by felix » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:46 pm

Jari Jokinen wrote:A-149-1 and A-149-2 apparently copy some functions of Buchla Source Of Uncertainty, but I didn't like the flavour of their randomness. Once I "got" the semi-random patterns, I somehow began to dislike them:

A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random Voltages:
- N+1 output never "jumps" - it repeats the previous value or changes
to next lower of higher value.
- 2^n output never gives same value twice in succession - expect for
the lowest and and highest possible values, which it repeats quite
often.
- "Equal probability distribution" output has some "personality" too.
- "Adjustable probability" distribution output makes distinctive
patterns: For example, if D=0, then the output typically jumps up and
then settles down in succesive steps. If D=10, this is mirrored.

A-149-2 Digital Random Voltages module:
A-149-1 knobs don't affect A-149-2. Outputs 1 to 7 are "echoes" of
output 8. In this order:
8 => 7 => 5 => 4 => 2 => 1 => 3 => 6
For example, output 5 is two clock cycles behind output 8.
That sounds uniquely endearing. Not a very good "random" module, but sounds really similar to what I'm looking for...a module that has a random yet "expected" output. The one thing that can be bothersome about the heisenberg is that is generally needs a considerable amount of "taming" when you (or at least me) patch it up.

I'm really curious about using one half of the 149-1 to modulate the other half. I do that a lot with the heisenberg...I'll limit the mean and deviation of the stepped half and then use the smooth ouput to modulate something on the stepped side. Sometimes I'll mult the stepped output to also use it to modulate the Chaos control.

The heisenberg is one of the modules that really makes me wish it used banana cables.
dress yourself for the public. you now must exit your home and acquire a dental mirror and lubrication!
i recommend a hat, or a helmet. if a helmet, ensure that it is both convincing and unbiased. -citizen mori
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Post by e-grad » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:19 am

Jari Jokinen wrote:A-149-1 and A-149-2 apparently copy some functions of Buchla Source Of Uncertainty, but I didn't like the flavour of their randomness.
For me it works perfectly. I never approached the module the way you did but always have liked these "not so random" melodies it gives out.

However I've learned from this threat that I probably need more random modules.

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Post by Jari Jokinen » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:35 am

wetterberg wrote:...they [Doepfer] can in fact design really crappy code... maybe some of that carried over.
I assume the (original?) Buchla Source Of Uncertainty has very simple digital circuitry. Perhaps the A-149-1 just faithfully copies it.

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Post by consumed » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:42 am

Jari Jokinen wrote:A-149-2 Digital Random Voltages module:
A-149-1 knobs don't affect A-149-2. Outputs 1 to 7 are "echoes" of
output 8. In this order:
8 => 7 => 5 => 4 => 2 => 1 => 3 => 6
For example, output 5 is two clock cycles behind output 8.
hi jari, welcome!
interesting observation, i confirmed this last night. this behavior is identical to half of the CGS gated comparator which is a wonderful circuit. the 149-2 is basically an 8-stage ASR that flows from stage 8 in the sequence; however, the gate times and periodicity of stage 8 do seem random enough for me. but i have half a mind to reorder the jacks on the front panel so the gates flow from 1-8!

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Post by amnesia » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:12 am

i have both the doepfer and the plan b. the doepfer is way more musical where the plan b is way more wild

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Post by Madcap Labs » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:09 pm

I only have the 149-1 and -2, but I recommend them highly, and use them all the time. I love random stuff - I have the Zorlon and the Improbability Drive, as well. One module with wonderful random capability that doesn't get a lot of love (in fact, it's probably the most often sold/trade Doepfer module out there, from what I can tell) is the A-117 DNG/808 source - the top half, when clocked at audio frequencies, is Zorlon/Atari pitched noise, but if you send it a slow external clock, it is the random clock generator you crave - a constantly changing, unpredictable pulse that is somehow musical and rhythmically "right". Highly recommended for all your random needs - I'm sure there's someone out there that hasn't read this that needs the 8hp and is ready to deal :-)

So, what's with the Heisenberg "smooth" output? Sounds like I need one :-)

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Post by wetterberg » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:01 am

Madcap Labs, I'm happy to hear another user that likes the DNG - clocking it from the outside is really something else.

The Heisenberg smooth is just the heisenberg output running through a slew limiter - with the kit you have I'd just use a slew - or buy one and still save a bundle.

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Post by felix » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:37 pm

wetterberg wrote:The Heisenberg smooth is just the heisenberg output running through a slew limiter - with the kit you have I'd just use a slew - or buy one and still save a bundle.
Actually, that's not entirely true, the smooth (pre-slew) runs at a different clock rate than the stepped half and, to the best of my recollection, does not follow an external clock source when the Ext. Trig input is used on the stepped half.

http://www.ear-group.net/model_24.html

Image

I use the smooth a lot actually, possible more than the stepped. It's great for filter cutoffs or anything that changes the timbre of the sound (modulation index VCAs are good too).

The other nice thing about the heisenberg in general is that it's pretty functionally dense. It can be a gate->trig converter, CV slew, digital noise source, and one or two others. The product pages has patch diagrams for the additional functions.

Sounds like the A-149-1 is just the complement that I'm looking for. I'll make sure to get one with my next AH order.
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Post by Madcap Labs » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:40 pm

Very interesting, James - you can never have too many random sources, which is why I need a Heisenberg, and you need an A-117 :-)

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Post by wetterberg » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:40 pm

ah, I love being proven wrong! :)

So this injected "chaos" into the slew, would that vary the slew rate?

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Post by Madcap Labs » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:44 pm

So this injected "chaos" into the slew, would that vary the slew rate?

That's what it looks like in the schema - wow, that'd be neat...

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Post by dougcl » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:35 pm

Madcap Labs wrote:One module with wonderful random capability that doesn't get a lot of love (in fact, it's probably the most often sold/trade Doepfer module out there, from what I can tell) is the A-117 DNG/808 source
This is a great module that I didnt understand at first. Ring mod the 808 outputs with a couple of LFOs running at audio rate from the A-143, and you have great snare and high hat sounds with low patch overhead.

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Post by wetterberg » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:59 pm

Madcap Labs wrote:
So this injected "chaos" into the slew, would that vary the slew rate?

That's what it looks like in the schema - wow, that'd be neat...
okay, so building that from "normal" modules would be: some clocked noise source ->VC slew controlled by another noise source.

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Post by Madcap Labs » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:33 pm

And y'know, I just looked at the specs on Noisebug, and it really is a very well spec'd module. Felix actually *doesn't* need an A-117, 'cause the M24 actually has a random clock out, that looks like it's awesome.

This is a great module that I didnt understand at first. Ring mod the 808 outputs with a couple of LFOs running at audio rate from the A-143, and you have great snare and high hat sounds with low patch overhead.
Thanks a lot for that - great idea!

- E

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Post by MrDys » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:57 pm

I initially got the 117 for its random clocked trigger capability. I didn't even touch the 808 outputs for months after I got it, but now it's one of my favorite sounds in my system. I really like the shimmer you can get from the 6osc output with a little LFO thrown in there. Even the top part, if clocked at audio rates can get some great timbres.

A couple complaints: I wish the rate knob worked in a more sensible manner (it makes sense if you read the explanation Dieter posted the the mailing list, but it's not a slow rate->fast rate curve). I also don't think that it uses panel real estate efficiently. This could easily be a 4HP module. If it's not going to be, throw in some knobs/CVs for the 808 section, or a CV Rate for the top section. These are minor, though, and I'm really happy with it overall.

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Post by surachai » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:12 am

I just went to Noisebug a couple days ago and grabbed a Model 24 Heisenberg while I was there. Guess what was one of the first things I did when I got back home? I watched Felix's walkthrough video. I can't give you enough credit dude! .. Then I had to use it a few hours later at a gig.

As for the Chaos controlling the slew rate: From what I gather from the signal path on the previous page, playing with it and watching Felix's video, it controls the slew rate of its own internal 'random' LFO.

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Post by felix » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:18 pm

:love: :love: :love: :love: :party:
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Post by felix » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:28 pm

The Chaos control, like Surachai mentioned, does two things actually.

1) Controls the rate of the 'clock' LFO
2) Controls the slew rate of the random output

This is done so that at various LFO (clock) rates, the appropriate slew is used. It's like having both controls under a single knob. There is also apparently some additional correction (done by the micro-controller) to the slew rate at very slow LFO rates:

http://www.ear-group.net/model_24.html
In most cases, analog synthesizers replicate smooth (interpolated, i.e.'wiggley') random events by filtering an internal stepped source through a dynamic lag processor. The slew time of these filters vary in proportion to the velocity of the root voltage shifts. There is an inherent problem with this approach, however, in that the slewing tends to smooth out the finer details when slow patterns are dialed. By incorporating the processor to generate the triggers which pace the parent voltage source, the Model 24 compensates for this anomaly. A dedicated output sends a flag on all trigger durations of less than a quarter note in duration. This signal is then used to choke the slew time as these shorter events occur. The net effect dramically increases the resolution at slower settings. The Model 24 reacts to short events regardless of the speed and slew time, it doesn't overlook them.

The "dedicated output" mentioned is an output on the micro-controller, not an output on the the module itself...just so that's clear.
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