Lifeforms SV-1 sounds vs. Double Helix sounds

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slentthndr
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Lifeforms SV-1 sounds vs. Double Helix sounds

Post by slentthndr » Wed May 02, 2018 1:14 pm

I realize these are very different modules designed for different use cases, but in terms of the sound itself could someone help me understand what the difference in capability would be between having a double helix (+ a filter, envelope, etc.) vs. using the SV-1? If you ignore the wavetable functionality of DH and the filter/env of SV-1, is the sound basically the same? It looks like they have the same basic waveforms and a lot of the same basic features?

Anyone used both?

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Post by andybizarre » Wed May 02, 2018 1:57 pm

I think, both modules at their core are derived from the Waveforms VCO, which introduced the blade waveform. I once owned a bunch these, they were huge, clearly vintage sounding. Which means, the waveforms weren`t pure but with lots of edges and spikes, which give it its unique character. The sine wave wasn`t at all usable. I remember them to track not all too well, TBQH.

I don`t know if this was a typo of yours, but the Double Helix has a wavefolder, not wavetables. Makes quite a difference.. :hihi:

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Post by emilng » Wed May 02, 2018 2:08 pm

If you're comparing only oscillator 1 and oscillator 2 of the double helix and SV-1. I would say they're pretty similar, but you don't get either of them just for the oscillators. How they're mixed and shaped is what determines the final sound.

This is like asking if a cake recipe uses flour, sugar, butter, and milk and a cookie recipe uses the same ingredients can I basically get the same results with the same ingredients. Well sure if you ignore everything else, but it's the everything else that matters and determines whether you get cookies or cake at the end.

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Post by starthief » Wed May 02, 2018 2:23 pm

I don't have an SV-1, but do have a Double Helix.

Its secret sauce is:

-- the built-in folder and LPG, which have their own particular character.
-- the mod bus.
-- the probably unintentional crosstalk and weirdness in the module, which adds to its character but is occasionally an obstacle.

The oscillators themselves are pretty standard, basic saw-core VCOs. There's a "blade" output on the primary, which is sort of a tri/square hybrid that is honestly not that exciting. There's no linear FM (probably because saw core) and there's no sync input (because... I don't know why, panel space maybe). There's no manual control for pulse width, so sometimes to get a good modulation range you need to patch an offset externally.

It sounds good FMing itself -- whether with the sine that's normalled to mod bus A, or with the saw and sometimes even the square output of the secondary VCO -- and the folder and LPG suit its FM character IMHO.

I have never been tempted to stick a regular filter after it and use it as a subtractive synth voice. That's just not my thing.

I use mine quite a bit, but it's also a likely candidate to give up its space if I decide on a Xaoc Odessa.
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strangegravity
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Post by strangegravity » Wed May 02, 2018 2:38 pm

I'd say the raw wave shapes from any saw core are going to be about the same.

That's why manufacturers make macro oscillators. They add their own shaping and modulation flavor.

If you are looking for a larger variety of timbres the DH is your ticket.

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Post by slentthndr » Wed May 02, 2018 8:40 pm

I'm going through a Three Sisters filter and generally looking for something more melodic and highly musical. I started getting into complex oscillators thinking I wanted more variety than I get with my Mother 32 and DFAM, but I haven't been satisfied with any of it. Is there some happy medium that I'm overlooking?

I have a deep fondness for the M32 sound for example because it's so nicely tuned and every direction you take it in is musical. Very playable. I just want something slightly more versatile sonically but no less musical, if that makes any sense?? And I have other filters, etc. so it doesn't need to be a full voice, hence my foray into complex oscillators.

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Post by leftbracket » Wed May 02, 2018 9:01 pm

slentthndr wrote:I started getting into complex oscillators thinking I wanted more variety than I get with my Mother 32 and DFAM, but I haven't been satisfied with any of it. Is there some happy medium that I'm overlooking?
What oscillators have you looked at?

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Post by slentthndr » Wed May 02, 2018 10:29 pm

leftbracket wrote:What oscillators have you looked at?
The DPO and Double Helix are what I'm working with right now. I also tried and strongly disliked the 0-coast (a great sound design tool but not a great musical instrument imho).

And then the Mother 32 and DFAM which I love. And various non-modular subtractive synths.

No other standalone oscillator modules. What would you recommend?

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Post by theelectricyouth » Wed May 02, 2018 10:39 pm

I have the Lifeforms, never had the DH, and I have to say that I like the sound of the waveforms of the Lifeforms, but more than anything else, maybe its not what you are after, but they cross modulate very well and together with the S&H circuilt, I get quite a lot of nice harmonically rich sounds going. It self-patches well and I also don't really use the filter much tbh. Probably not much help, sorry.

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Post by slentthndr » Wed May 02, 2018 11:40 pm

theelectricyouth wrote:I have the Lifeforms, never had the DH, and I have to say that I like the sound of the waveforms of the Lifeforms, but more than anything else, maybe its not what you are after, but they cross modulate very well and together with the S&H circuilt, I get quite a lot of nice harmonically rich sounds going. It self-patches well and I also don't really use the filter much tbh. Probably not much help, sorry.
That's pretty helpful actually bc I think that's something I can't fully accomplish here with the Double Helix? What is the cross modulation like? Sort of like hard sync? Or am I completely off base...
Can it hard sync the oscillators though? (DH can't)

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Post by starthief » Thu May 03, 2018 7:23 am

You can cross modulate the VCOs on the DH pretty easily -- it's just FMing the primary VCO with the secondary, and the secondary with the primary. One patch cable will do it.

Probably 90% of the time, I have a Stackable keeping the primary and secondary frequencies tracking together. Sometimes I'll go through my Doepfer PLL instead though for more interesting, less accurate tracking :)
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Post by Samwell Clark » Thu May 03, 2018 8:05 am

andybizarre wrote:I think, both modules at their core are derived from the Waveforms VCO, which introduced the blade waveform. I once owned a bunch these, they were huge, clearly vintage sounding. Which means, the waveforms weren`t pure but with lots of edges and spikes, which give it its unique character. The sine wave wasn`t at all usable. I remember them to track not all too well, TBQH.

I don`t know if this was a typo of yours, but the Double Helix has a wavefolder, not wavetables. Makes quite a difference.. :hihi:
Just as a side note, the tracking circuits have been greatly improved since launch and can be updated.

As for the question at hand, the mention of "melodic and highly musical" I think does lend itself to the sv1 because the standard subtractive voice is most often used in this context. That said, with the correct settings, the sv1 can be experimental and rough, and the DH can create nice beautiful plucks.

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Post by Pighood » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:36 am

starthief wrote:You can cross modulate the VCOs on the DH pretty easily -- it's just FMing the primary VCO with the secondary, and the secondary with the primary. One patch cable will do it.

Probably 90% of the time, I have a Stackable keeping the primary and secondary frequencies tracking together. Sometimes I'll go through my Doepfer PLL instead though for more interesting, less accurate tracking :)
This is similar to what I was inquiring about on another thread. I LOVE the DPO's hyena fart yowlings when FM is fully in battle mode between the oscillators, tracking be damned.
*phnert*

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