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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

MU CV & The Phatt Bastard Project
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author MU CV & The Phatt Bastard Project
Flareless
For almost 2 weeks now I have been snapping up all the Moog Slim Phattys I've been able to find. My goal is to use them with their polychain feature to make a way-cool Kinda-Poly-Moog.

So far I have 4 with a Little Phatty coming to rule them all. The Slim Phattys will be mounted in a rack. Ultimately I'd like 8 voices but those of you who've come to know me will probably figure (as I do) that I'll push it to the 16 voice limit. It will be a monster once complete and I shall call it....

Phatt Bastard

Hang on mods.... please read on before moving this thread.

The Phattys each have 4 CV inputs; Gate, Pitch, Volume and Filter (starting to see where I'm going here?). I've already interfaced them to my modular with great success.

Since the device will be rack mounted I want to be able to simply patch into all the Phatty's at once with little muss or fuss. My first thought was to build a rackmount version of a multiple where I could have 4 inputs (1 per CV type) distributed to each Phatty. The Phattys would have their CV ports permanently connected to this multiple so that I could, at a whim, start connecting CVs from my modular to the system.

The rack in which I'm planning to mount the unit is a JamStands JSSRR100. I've already got one of these units holding a Mackie Onyx mixer and a pile of studio gear. I think this model will work well for Phatt Bastard's first 6 voices (12MU on top rack, 9MU vertical - Phattys are 3U each). I've also got a 1U 16 channel line mixer to install as each Phatty's output needs its own channel.

I'm just not sure what the best option is for a multiple. I've seen some beautiful designs here from some Wigglers adding 19" rack components to their cases. I'm just wondering if a passive multiple will do the job sufficiently. I've used a standard MU multiple from my modular to distribute to 3 Phattys but what might I expect when that number increases to 8? How about 16?

Is this even the best way to go about this? If it is, does anyone have a Front Panel Design for a 1 or 2U rack full of 1/4" connectors? 4 INs and 32 OUTs should cover the first 8 units but I'd also need more room to pass the 4CVs to a second multiple if I exceed 8 voices. I've never used FPD and don't want to spend a lot of time working it out for a single project. Once the jacks are in the panel wiring is no problem.

Is a passive multiple even feasible for this project? Is there a product out there I should be looking at instead? A patch-bay maybe? Something off-the-shelf would be a lot easier.

I posted this project in 5U for 2 reasons; I'm going from an MU 1/4" jack modular into this thingy and I'm not interested in hearing that Eurorack has this or that option and I've seen some very cleverly designed devices in threads here (although I can't quite recall which ones - I'm hunting around for them). Oh... and a third reason.... we're so much smarter than the Eurorack crowd Mr. Green

So.... what do you think?
gearhead61
In case you haven’t seen this already, you might want to check this article on the Moog forums concerning rack-mount & patchbays for the Slim Phatty - dummy plug requirements apply to the Little Phatty as well:

https://forum.moogmusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=14648

You’ll have a few dummy plugs to make!
EMwhite
It may not be, but you should check to see that the SP jacks are not 'normalled' before getting to carried away.

Let me explain; The Vol CV jack is great for a volume pedal but it is possible that once you plug in a jack (TRS), if you do not return voltage (preferably 5V) on the tip, you'll get attenuated volume from the LP.

The question is, in the Phatty architecture, is the manual volume pot before or after the CV attenuated volume, or for that matter, where does Midi volume adjust fall into that mix (so to speak).

Same for Filter and pitch.

I had an original Tribute with 2.0 memory expansion and CV output add and it was a wonderful instrument. I miss it. But while I had it I messed around with a Multipedial, with a walking stick ribbon controller, etc etc. Wired up FreqBox as 3rd OSC, with an LP101 and a MP-201 generated envelope.

Lots of options and possibilities with their gear.

To your other question, I'd look to wire up a buffered mult and pending answer to my question above, perhaps a hard switch to push max V to the tip of each (e.g. as if nothing is plugged in) in case something other (a default) is a problem.

Otherwise, sounds like a great endeavor. You are going to want a single 'master' LFO for vibrato and you are going to need somewhat close calibration in order to get glide and other controls close in line. Then again, some of them (glide, one) will benefit by having some slack in there (ala OBX).

You might also want an outboard Midi note distributor for more options; depending on the version of firmware, Poly chaining can be clunky.

I did something similar and collected up a bunch of SEMs on a similar endeavor (6 of them). The better news about the SPs is that they are problem more affordable now than the SEMs (when I bought them).

Looking fwd to your progress.
Flareless
Thank you both for those very insightful replies.

I have lots of research to do now. The good thing is.... I love doing research!

I've noticed a couple of things already. First off, I'm using the latest Phatty phirmware that addresses some of the polychain issues that occured in the past. Perfect? No. Workable? Totally.

For example as EMWhite mentioned; glide.

Right now I'm using a Yamaha Motif XF6 as a controller for the chain. I've set up one of my sliders as portamento time. Actually I've set up all the sliders but for now I'll talk about the portamento time.

The polychain feature works very much like the PAiA MIDI2CV8 controller in my modular when it is set up for polyphony. That is to say that each note pressed triggers the next note/gate combination. In the case of the Phattys that means the next physical unit.

Today I'm only using 3 Slims as the 4th should be here tomorrow. That gives me 3 voice polyphony.

Lets say I play a C chord (C2/E2/G2) with portamento on. Then I play an E chord (E2/G#2/B2). All three notes will glide up. Now I press E1. Phatty #1's will glide up to the high E. Now I go back to the 3 note C2 chord. Phatty #1 will glide back down over the octaves to return to the G2. It will be the 3rd oscillator in the chord instead of the first as it was when I struck the first chord (lets assume simultaneous keypresses).

This effect can actually be quite cool or it can be maddening depending on what you want to achieve. It just means that some thought must be given depending on how you want this new polyphonic synth to behave.

It's also helped me understand the PAiA better and I'm going to try some more polyphonic playing with my modular now that I'm getting a better handle on it. The PAiA can support up to 4 voices.

So now I'm going to start reading the specs of my toys and seeing how what you kind folks have suggested will affect my plans.

Oh... and I've read about polychaining SEMS - THAT IS COOL! Have you got any video/audio recording of it?

Thanks so much again for the suggestions!
EMwhite
Flareless wrote:

Lets say I play a C chord (C2/E2/G2) with portamento on. Then I play an E chord (E2/G#2/B2). All three notes will glide up. Now I press E1. Phatty #1's will glide up to the high E. Now I go back to the 3 note C2 chord. Phatty #1 will glide back down over the octaves to return to the G2. It will be the 3rd oscillator in the chord instead of the first as it was when I struck the first chord (lets assume simultaneous keypresses).


That is going to be very difficult to manage, especially if the note distributor is not starting from the lowest key each time all keys are released. In a pure round-robin scheme, if you have any more than 0 extra voices to distribute to, all bets will be off. Juno's different poly modes demonstrate this.

The OBX was the gold standard of portamento due to the variance between 'time' MC goes into this at length on his web site (click on OB-X on the left and read all about it in the context of that particular synth). http://www.retrosynth.com/~analoguediehard/

My sense is that if there is a mode that allows a reset (start with voice one as the lowest note each time regardless of what you played last or the qty. of voices) and you are disciplined at playing the triads (e.g. roll fingers onto the first, third, fifth as example), you should get some nice transitions.

Flareless wrote:

Oh... and I've read about polychaining SEMS - THAT IS COOL! Have you got any video/audio recording of it?


I'm afraid not. I had only 4 SEMs configured via MidiPal into each of the SEMs using their built in Midi interfaces but all I did was poke around (that's all I had time for after hand tuning the 8 OSCs and envelopes LOL). Today I have the same four installed into a vintage 4 voice chassis that I'm due to restore. The other two SEMs are in an enclosure that I built with a Midi->CV and a special order sequencer which I purchased from the bloke that makes Oberkorn.
JohnLRice
Flareless wrote:
If it is, does anyone have a Front Panel Design for a 1 or 2U rack full of 1/4" connectors? 4 INs and 32 OUTs should cover the first 8 units but I'd also need more room to pass the 4CVs to a second multiple if I exceed 8 voices. I've never used FPD and don't want to spend a lot of time working it out for a single project. Once the jacks are in the panel wiring is no problem.


I made a pretty fancy 1U passive mult for my main 5U system:




But, I'd strongly encourage you to just use a decent commercial 1/4" patchbay if it will work for your project since doing a custom one like I did is WAY more expensive! eek! My custom panel cost over $160 and that's for JUST the panel . . . the jacks, switches, assembly/wiring labor (and design time of course) are all extra. On the other hand the very nicely built Samson S-Patch patch bay is only $120 complete and in stock in many places like Amazon, Sweetwater etc so you could get one in just a few days. It also has normalling switches on the front panel.
http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/processors/s-class/s-patch-p lus/
Flareless
@JLR - Yep... that the one I was talking about applause

I definitely hear you about it being less expensive to buy rather than build. The Switchcraft jacks will cost as much as the panel and then, as you mention, there's time.

I think I might just go the patchbay route to start and see how that works out. I think my local music store has a used one that they'll let go for a song.

The information provided by Gearhead61 was excellent and will help cut through some of the potential difficulties.

@EMWhite - It seems you're correct about the round-robin method of assignment.

From the LP-SP manual addendum for OS3-1;

Each Phatty in the chain keeps a “round robin count” to know which MIDI note each voice should play. As long as this count is the same on all units, Poly behavior will be correct. Some actions can put this count out of sync, such as cycling the power on one of your Phatty synths, or changing MIDI channels while
playing notes.

If Poly mode gets out of sync, you may have multiple voices playing the same note, or “missing” voices. You can fix this by choosing ALL NOTES OFF from the MIDI SETUP menu of the Little Phatty, or by sending any of several MIDI messages from your controller: All Notes Off (CC 123), or any MIDI CC number in the range 123 to 127 (any value) will turn off all notes and reset Poly mode so that all voices will be in sync.


This is something that I think will take some working and tweaking to get right. I'll see what happens as the project progresses. That doesn't bother me though as tweaking and fiddling are what modular synthesis is all about.

Polychaining will go right out the window with control voltages from the modular though. At first I thought that sending the same CVs too all the Phattys would be the best way to do things but that would only lead to a massively multi-oscilator mono synth (that would likely blow the windows out of my studio woah )

Now I'm thinking that using a patch bay will offer more flexibility for separating each module (I've started to think of each Phatty as a 'module') and allowing more complex patches as Phatt Bastard grows and grows.

There's no denying one thing though.... These Slim Phattys sound freaking incredible. They're thick, fat and full of that great Moog sound. In fact, I'm ditching my Sub 37 in favour of them. It really doesn't hold a candle to their sound. Sure it's got a few more features (buried deep down in its menus) but I'm really starting to love these Phatt little buggers.

One more should be arriving today and if I can secure a deal I'm working on I should have a Little Phatty by week's end. Using the Little Phatty, incidentally, will allow me to control every parameter of the chain from a master controller so editing or altering patches is a snap. The Sub 37 uses some different CC assignments making it less than ideal for controlling a chain of Phattys.

Thanks again everyone for the input!

The adventure continues...
josaka
you maniac Rich...smile
also the beringher ultrapatch pro patchbay are oddly well made with great funtionality.. dirt cheap second hand..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BEHRINGER-ULTRAPATCH-PRO-UNIVERSAL-SWITCHABLE -PATCHBAY-1-4-FOR-SYNTHS-EFFECTS/253099698644?hash=item3aedeae9d4:g:LF MAAOSwol5Y1wNC
Flareless
josaka wrote:
you maniac Rich...smile


Yeah... a little bit It's peanut butter jelly time!

Thanks for the tip on the patchbay. I'm always a bit leery of Bheringer although I did just order one of their line mixers. It got great reviews from what I've read.

So the 4th Phatty arrived this morning...



Now all I need is my JSSRR100 and then.....



Meanwhile I'm going to play around patching them into the modular
josaka
midi through?
Flareless
Yes. Using the Motif XF (pictured right) as the controller then chained from right to left.
Ockeghem
eek! eek! eek! woah woah woah

The Phatty that ate Cincinnati!

lol
Dr Gris
Crazy Mr. Green

I was thinking of doing this myself but gave up and bought an OB-6 instead.
Still have one Slim though and really like it.
Was only thinking of midi and no cv/gate
Isn't midi enough if you're gonna use it as a poly?

Does every module take the same amount of time to be pitch stable?
Mine takes about 45 min.

If you do metal work you should consider doing your own rack mounting "thingies"
The original Moog ones are pretty expensive for my taste.
Or maybe you're getting them with rack ears when you buy them.

Don't know if it's still there, but there used to be a YouTube clip of 6 Slim Phattys polychained.
Sounded great!!!

Looking forward to hear this monster!!!

Cheers!
//Magnus
Flareless
Dr Gris wrote:
Crazy Mr. Green

I was thinking of doing this myself but gave up and bought an OB-6 instead.
Still have one Slim though and really like it.
Was only thinking of midi and no cv/gate
Isn't midi enough if you're gonna use it as a poly?

Does every module take the same amount of time to be pitch stable?
Mine takes about 45 min.

If you do metal work you should consider doing your own rack mounting "thingies"
The original Moog ones are pretty expensive for my taste.
Or maybe you're getting them with rack ears when you buy them.

Don't know if it's still there, but there used to be a YouTube clip of 6 Slim Phattys polychained.
Sounded great!!!

Looking forward to hear this monster!!!

Cheers!
//Magnus


OB-6 Drunken Homer Simpson Sweet!

I'd like to get the CVs going for when polyphony just won't do or just in case I get some whacky idea in my head that needs to be expressed from my modular through the Phattys.

They do, in fact, take about 45 minutes to stabilize for tuning. That's about the only downside but so far it hasn't been a problem. Phatt Bastard will never be gigged so it's not a concern.

The rack ears are quite pricey. Fortunately 2 of the Phattys came with rack ears and I have the last 2 on order.

I have seen the 6-Phatty polychain video. It was one of the things that got me thinking about this project in the first place. There are a few good polychain videos. I plan to add a few more once I get things put together.

ranix
Flareless wrote:

Thanks for the tip on the patchbay. I'm always a bit leery of Bheringer although I did just order one of their line mixers. It got great reviews from what I've read.


This Behringer patch bay is pretty decent, it's hard to mess one of these up. This is exactly the kind of product Behringer should be making - something that is just a metal chassis, some switches, and a ton of phone jacks. A passive component like this is where the benefits of economy of scale have no downsides.

There are two or three Behringer products that are just by far the best things you can possibly buy for the money. This is one of them, along with the BCR2000 (which sucks but is still the best there is) and the Xenyx FX 2 and 4-channel mixers.
EMwhite
What ever happened to Pete Brown anyway? He was everywhere (around here) bought a bunch of Mos-Lab, I remember. Does not appear to have been online for about 6 months, shame. Probably would have something to add to this conversation.

His video is excellent. Great choice of patches and ethereal finesse. Love it.

You really can't do better than that Phatty setup, at least for a VCO based poly in these modern times. The only thing that is really missing is a high pass filter. Congrats on taking the leap into it.
EMwhite
btw: spring for the extra $$ and get yourself the S Patch plus. I have one and it is integral to my home setup. The selector switch on the front panel is indispensable (removes the dependency to pull it from the rack or worse (to disassemble and flip individual channels like the legacy patch bays)).
ranix
I do have 2 patches in my behringer patchbay right now that don't work because they're not plugged in right - the only reason they don't work is because the switches are on the top of the patchbay so it's a huge pain to pull it out of the rack to troubleshoot what I plugged in wrong Dead Banana
Flareless
Thanks for the tip guys. The Samson S-Patch+ looks like a great solution. There was definitely someone on the design team using their brains when they put the switches on the front.

Someone should award the Bheringer designer The Bonehead Design Award for putting switches on the top. That is truly even dumber than putting the switch on the back. meh

I'm going to pick up the S-Patch+. Thanks again!
Flareless
Here is a link to Pete Brown's polychained Phatty project. It includes a cool video of polychained Oberheim SEMs.

These videos are really making me want to switch my PAiA back to 4 voice mode and get the modular going with polyphony

EDIT: Just watching the Oberheim video now. Great tutorial BTW even for modulars as the narrator explains the fundamentals of synthesis.

One thing he mentions is using pan to place each voice where he wants within the stereo spectrum. I'm going to try this using my Yusynth panning mixer and my modular (SWAN) oscillators. Since going stereo I've noticed a huge new "liveliness" to my patches but setting up polyphonic patches will soon have a whole new angle. I'll post some video once I get a chance to play around.

Another thing he mentions is losing an entire weekend programming the beast. I think if you substitute "programming" for "patching" many of you (myself included) can relate screaming goo yo
Flareless
Here's a quick video I whipped together of the chain this morning. Sorry for the sound quality, the sun glare and the lack of musicallity in some places meh

umma gumma
that is cool!!

ps great T shirt too applause
Psychlist1972
EMwhite wrote:
What ever happened to Pete Brown anyway? He was everywhere (around here) bought a bunch of Mos-Lab, I remember. Does not appear to have been online for about 6 months, shame. Probably would have something to add to this conversation.

His video is excellent. Great choice of patches and ethereal finesse. Love it.

...


My ears were burning, but only because someone mentioned this thread to me smile Thanks for the kind words.

I've been super busy at work. Whenever I checked on these forums, this site was down, so I eventually stopped checking. :( I still hang around GearSlutz, but mostly to take abuse as the resident Microsoft guy. smile

I saw a bunch of 5U/MU folks at NAMM, which was great.

The Phatty is a lovely poly. I still have on my (long) list to take the voice cards out and just make a proper synth of it. As it is, it's so big, that I didn't have room for it in my office during renovation. Building up from the cards would also allow me to do other things with the OS, and keep all the devices in the same case, at the same temp.

Also, the Behringer BCR templates and stickers seem to have disappeared from the market, so I'd have to do all that work anyway. Might as well do it right.

Now that my office is mostly usable (not finished, but usable -- at least I have some space to solder) I'll bump it up. I need to finish this SE-02 project and then do the mods to and woodwork for my Mono/Poly and Polysix, and then this. I'll be sure to make it all available on YouTube and/or GitHub as appropriate.

I keep getting distracted by new synths, though smile

I was not a fan of the Phatty as a monosynth, but as a poly, it's beautiful.

PS: the Mos-Labs sound fantastic still. I wish I had gotten some 901s before Seb stopped doing them, though.

Pete
Psychlist1972
Flareless wrote:
Here's a quick video I whipped together of the chain this morning. Sorry for the sound quality, the sun glare and the lack of musicallity in some places meh



Cool setup and video. Definitely the Slim Phatty!

Did you know it uploaded in only 360p max? I'd have mentioned it in the comments on the video, but they are disabled smile

(Love the shirt)

Pete
Psychlist1972
Flareless wrote:
EDIT: Just watching the Oberheim video now. Great tutorial BTW even for modulars as the narrator explains the fundamentals of synthesis.


The narrator in the Oberheim SEM video is Dave Spiers from GForce Software, and also sometimes from the Sonic State podcast. Super nice guy.

Pete
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