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IF or WHEN do you use noise as a CV signal
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Author IF or WHEN do you use noise as a CV signal
stephenmendes
Hey folks,

I have postulated that noise is not particularly useful as a CV signal because it is changing too rapidly.

I made a video so you can hear it for yourself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwmIeI_8LRU

You may also read my reply to the comment posted about the BOOK.... on that video.

However, many of you guys are far deeper into this than me.... and way more creative..... so would you be willing to share ?..... when and how did you use noise as a CV signal..... and what were your results ?

Best Wishes
SB-SIX
Several. Use it in combination with sample and hold to get random values that are only changed when you want to. Add a little noise to filter fm for a bit of character, use it as input for a resonator, etc
Carrousel
A tiny bit of noise into the FM input of an osc can give the output a 'reedy' quality. Useful for synthesising flutes. If you pass the noise through a VC slew on its way then you can use voltage on the slew rate to morph between this reedy quality and a slowly, randomly wavering effect on the pitch. Both very nice.
EPTC
Fun question!

Noise can completely transform a rigid voice into something really wild and organic. Find an OSC with 1v/oct and place noise into that input. Can redefine how you view a module.

I notice you're trying that trick in your video - What's missing is modulating that affect with an additional VCA or envelope. Even without it, though, your example sounds much more textural and interesting with noise than without.
bwhittington
Like most people have commented, HOW seems to the critical question, and in little smidges is the best answer to me. Attenuated way down (1 or 2 on the knob dial), it can add a little color to any parameter. I like small amounts of noise into a sample and hold into a VCO cv in and triggered by the note gate to very slightly detune a patch with each note played. I also might mix a little fluctuating noise in with an EG or something.
RussiaZero23
Also different types of noise will give different results when fed into Sample and holds or used for CV modulation. White, Pink, Blue and many others can provide much life.
Stereotactixxx
In addition to what others have said, I sometimes feed the PWM input of a VCO with noise and experiment with different amounts and PW. I also like synching VCOs to noise, but that is not really using it as CV, I guess.
diophantine
Stereotactixxx wrote:
In addition to what others have said, I sometimes feed the PWM input of a VCO with noise and experiment with different amounts and PW.

The ARP 2600 was normalled so that noise was the default CV going to VCO2's PWM. It always struck me as an odd choice until I got to play one... it's great!
EPTC
RussiaZero23 wrote:
Also different types of noise will give different results White, Pink, Blue and many others can provide much life.


TOTALLY agree. Certain Red noise sources can sound like a thunderstorm. I love the gloss of Blue or Purple. Grey is a lot of fun. Pink's the most useful, while White is fairly unimpressed (by comparison, at least)

The Red output on Quantum Rainbow is fairly restrained but this is a terrific 5U piece for all the other colors: http://www.noisebug.net/site/freestatefx/index.cfm?ID=9
milkshake
stephenmendes wrote:
Hey folks,

I have postulated that noise is not particularly useful as a CV signal because it is changing too rapidly.

I made a video so you can hear it for yourself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwmIeI_8LRU

You may also read my reply to the comment posted about the BOOK.... on that video.

However, many of you guys are far deeper into this than me.... and way more creative..... so would you be willing to share ?..... when and how did you use noise as a CV signal..... and what were your results ?

Best Wishes


Everywhere you'll want something random happening, you can use noise.

There are 2 things that are important:
1 The spectrum of the noise. Colors of noise. You can use filters to change the spectrum of the noise. Example: Put white noise through a lowpass filter with the cut off quite low and you'll get a nice slowly changing CV voltages.
2 The amount of the noise. Lots of examples already given.
Rex Coil 7
Funny, anytime I think of ~Sample/Hold~, I always think of noise as the ~Sample~ source. This is because I learned about synths through the ARPs. About six months before I ever even saw a synth in real life I was wearing out the David Friend book "Learning Music Through Synthesizers" which exclusively uses the Odyssey as it's example. There was another book centered around the Arp AXXE at that time which I was wearing out as well. My very first synth was an AXXE. (all of this going on in ~ahem~ cough 1977-1978 my senior year in High School .. cough cough .. I'm old as Methuselah .. cough .. home/family life sucked so those books were my ~escape~ .. cough)

That having been said, Arps call Sample/Hold "Random Sample Hold" and use noise as the CV source. So I always connect the two together any time I see/hear the acronym "S/H". It's always the same response in my mind .... "well of COURSE noise is used as the CV source with Sample/Hold ... duh!".

That is even referred to as "Random Sample Hold" in the Rush song "Vital Signs" from the album "Moving Pictures". Ironically that song uses a sequenced synth as the bass line during the verses.

Circular Universe, this is.

The things that become ingrained our minds ... wow.

seriously, i just don't get it
kindredlost
If you have a voltage controlled delay like the Synthetic Sound Labs digital delay then a bit of noise to the time is essential to make a single tap chorus effect. As others have pointed out, a slew or filter roll-off helps tremendously.
ranix
filtered noise is good as a trigger source, a few weeks ago I was experimenting with using band-pass filtered white noise to generate triggers for raindrops. Rain is always fun because you're not just synthesizing the rain but the entire 3d environment and everything the rain is landing on
beatcleaver
try noise into the sync input of your favourite oscillator and use as a snare. I find wavetable oscs particularly good
trentpmcd
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Funny, anytime I think of ~Sample/Hold~, I always think of noise as the ~Sample~ source. This is because I learned about synths through the ARPs. -snip-....

Funny, I just picked up a (K)ARP Odyssey about 3 weeks ago. One thing that impressed me is the sample and hold. For a non-modular, it is pretty flexible, allowing a mix of two different sample sources each with a choice of two (VCO 1 square, VCO1 saw/ VCO 2 square, noise), two triggers (keyboard and LFO) and a slider for amount of slew/lag. You posted a video a week or two before I picked it up were someone showed some great uses of the S&H in creating a bass sound and I've used that as a jumping off point.

Back to more on topic, I do want to play with noise more. Currently my noise sources are a Moog CP-251 and the VX-351 Expander for my Voyager. The two sound very different so I am assuming one is white and one is pink, but I haven't taken the time to tell which is which. I do want a module,though.

That Quantum Rainbow module looks great, but I'm not sure I can justify almost $300 on Noise. The dotcom is about a third the price. Could I get similar results using different filters? Maybe using a FFB?
RussiaZero23
trentpmcd wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Funny, anytime I think of ~Sample/Hold~, I always think of noise as the ~Sample~ source. This is because I learned about synths through the ARPs. -snip-....

Funny, I just picked up a (K)ARP Odyssey about 3 weeks ago. One thing that impressed me is the sample and hold. For a non-modular, it is pretty flexible, allowing a mix of two different sample sources each with a choice of two (VCO 1 square, VCO1 saw/ VCO 2 square, noise), two triggers (keyboard and LFO) and a slider for amount of slew/lag. You posted a video a week or two before I picked it up were someone showed some great uses of the S&H in creating a bass sound and I've used that as a jumping off point.

Back to more on topic, I do want to play with noise more. Currently my noise sources are a Moog CP-251 and the VX-351 Expander for my Voyager. The two sound very different so I am assuming one is white and one is pink, but I haven't taken the time to tell which is which. I do want a module,though.

That Quantum Rainbow module looks great, but I'm not sure I can justify almost $300 on Noise. The dotcom is about a third the price. Could I get similar results using different filters? Maybe using a FFB?


If you start a small euro system or port your self the Quantum Rainbow the Euro rack version is $149. Yes making a small euro system will cost more then $300 but it will open up for a lot of CV control or CV to Midi control.

This is coming from some one that would like to port all my eurorack to 5U but can not.

Aside from Analog noise lets not forget the Digital Noise out there. Those have tons of great usage, from video game drum making to arcade sound FX. Some nice examples that are non modular are the noise from the NES Nintendo system and the Commodore 64 system (Sid Chips).
MindMachine
Adding low freq noise through a VCA via a delayed envelope while hitting a big slow low bass note voice on a keyboard can add great grit and texture. Either using the noise for FM modulation or just mixing in to the voice note swell.

edit - I cheat and use my EMW Noise Station (Euro) with my MU for this.
MindMachine
Rex Coil 7 wrote:


Hey Rex Coil 7 - is that a 1975 YZ 250 that you are sporting there?

They made some pretty good noise too.
Rex Coil 7
MindMachine wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:


Hey Rex Coil 7 - is that a 1975 YZ 250 that you are sporting there?

They made some pretty good noise too.
1974 175 MX. I was 14 and raced it in the 250cc class against grown men on YZ250s, RM250s, and CR250s. I wore the ~red plate~ (points leader) for two straight years. I did all of the suspension mods myself with an Oxy/Acet torch in my driveway .... laid down the rear shocks and extended the front travel ... it had a whopping 6-7 inches of wheel travel on both ends. I made the downpipe exhaust out of a Suzuki "Git Kit" pipe and a Bultaco weld on silencer.

Believe it or not this is me and the 175 during my first season in the 250cc class (pic below) ... I trophied six times in six weeks when that picture was taken by my mom (four 1sts, two 2nds) ... obviously, I was very small for 14 years old, I was even protested a few times ... "that kid is too small to race in the 250cc class!!" ... but the protests were just sour grapes by men that didn't like getting their asses kicked by a little kid every Saturday night. I had to put a milk crate under my right foot at the starting gate just to reach the ground. I earned the nickname of "HOLESHOT", (which I had stitched on the back of my red Bates leathers) because I nearly always was first to the first turn. That bike didn't even know I was on it! In one of the AMA membership newsletters, there was a picture of me on that bike during one of the races airborne with the caption "Flea on a missile".

Here's the flea .... and the missile .... lol





(below) picture shot at the precipice jump of a downhill during "45 minute open practice" in the late afternoon (hence the "Olympia Beer" t-shirt) racing motos started after Sundown ......



In 1976 I switched to the 100cc class, took 4th in the Can-AM nationals that year. That 100 was my first Yamaha "Monoshock" ... the faster you hit the roughs, the straighter it went ... you took 3rd gear stuff in 4th gear ... damned scarey beast!

I started AMA District 38 Desert Racing in the late 1980s in the "Open Class" on a Yamaha Banshee ... this was a 200 mile race near El Centro California called the "King of the desert" ... I won my class by eleven minutes, clocked on a radar gun at 107mph on the dry lake bed section. I'm taking a quick look at the checkpoint list taped to the gas tank while in a high speed section at about 70mph.



Glory days! (sorry for the thread disruption) thumbs up
RussiaZero23
MindMachine wrote:
Adding low freq noise through a VCA via a delayed envelope while hitting a big slow low bass note voice on a keyboard can add great grit and texture. Either using the noise for FM modulation or just mixing in to the voice note swell.

edit - I cheat and use my EMW Noise Station (Euro) with my MU for this.


I cheat as well, I have 18 different types of noise in my Euro system (just because it says white noise it does not mean they all sound the same and that goes for all the colors as well). Best Noise still comes from the SH-3a in my studio but the 5U does not have any dedicated noise yet, but I would say the Euro side of things has me covered for a while.
stephenmendes
I had no idea.... obviously I need to experiment more .... my thinking on what to plug into what is far too simplistic and rigid..... with respect to colored noise.....

If all the colors can be got from white noise using a low pass filter...... what would be the order of the colors as I slowly close the filter (by reducing the frequency) until I hear nothing.... does the resonance control play a part in the colors or is that left at zero for all the colors ?
toobdude
Putting noise through a fixed filter bank can selectively "tune" bands of the noise for S&H triggering or for CV.
Rex Coil 7
stephenmendes wrote:
I had no idea.... obviously I need to experiment more .... my thinking on what to plug into what is far too simplistic and rigid..... with respect to colored noise.....

If all the colors can be got from white noise using a low pass filter...... what would be the order of the colors as I slowly close the filter (by reducing the frequency) until I hear nothing.... does the resonance control play a part in the colors or is that left at zero for all the colors ?
When using ~color~ to describe noise, compare the brightest color with the brightest noise, and the darkest color with the darkest sounding noise. The darker the ~color~ the more the top end is rolled off (cutoff freq reduced).

However consider that there are noise types that also have their lower freqs rolled off. There's a lot of opinion within this subject.

This can become a little weird sometimes. For instance, the very midrange heavy guitar distortion sound that was used by Eddie Van Halen in most of his recordings with Van Halen, was described by Eddie himself as "the brown sound" due to it's reduced low end and somewhat reduced upper frequencies.... not super bright, not super dark ..... just brown. When his guitar sound is listened too, ~brown~ suddenly makes a lot of sense. That said, a band pass filter would be used to create a "brown sound", not a low pass filter.

Resonance has no bearing on the technical use of ~color~ when describing noise. You may use resonance, but resonance is not used in (for instance) pink, red, blue, or white noise in the ~technical~ use of the word "color" to describe the differing shades (if you will).

However ... white noise = all frequencies of audible sound ..... white light = all frequencies of visible light .... that remains fairly true.

The only colors I've ever heard used to describe noise in music synthesizers were White, Pink, Red, Blue, and maybe Brown.

Now that I think of it, the statement "All the colors of noise may be had by using a low pass filter to make them" is totally incorrect. For instance, brown requires a band pass filter to access it, since "brown" typically describes midrange biased sounds. As I think more about this, it will come down to the type/brand/configuration of the filter used which will have a different affect on the frequency content of noise that comes out of it. It's more alchemy than science, that is the one thing that I am willing to say is anything even close to an absolute fact in this topic. That said, loosen up a bit, forget about absolutes or frequency charts and so on ... use differing filters to remove various frequencies from white noise, and see what the results provide you with. It's TOTALLY all about empirical testing and satisfying your own ears.

EDIT: I edited/chopped the living HELL out of this post after I read the post by Member *ranix just below this one .... thanks once more *ranix for boiling my novels down to sensible wordings. thumbs up
ranix
Wikipedia has an article on it, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colors_of_noise

I have the impression that only white and pink noise is well-defined, and the other colors of noise are less strictly defined and context-dependent.
Rex Coil 7
ranix wrote:
Wikipedia has an article on it, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colors_of_noise

I have the impression that only white and pink noise is well-defined, and the other colors of noise are less strictly defined and context-dependent.
There we are .... *ranix fixed it with just a few words. (thanx ... you've fixed my overly wordy posts once again!). thumbs up
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