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Serge Wave Multipliers (VCM) Self Patching Questions
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author Serge Wave Multipliers (VCM) Self Patching Questions
luketeaford
I love patching the VCM in feedback to self oscillate, so I wanted to share my discoveries and ask advice of other Serge players. I've been experimenting with that for about a month now-- it can do everything from drum machine patches to monosynth voices. See my Instagram for more examples of this than you can shake a stick at.

I find patching the third section's DC output (Out 2) on the Random Source version back into the third section's input is the easiest way to get a stable "oscillator" out of it, especially if you monitor Out 2. No need for any other signal to start it oscillating, it happens right away. The stable tone can be disrupted by moving knobs until it falls into a weird loop or patching into the other input or VC control.

Does anyone know a trick to get the middle section oscillating on its own? I can make it work, but it seems to always need an input to get it started. I am hoping to find a way to get each section on its own into self oscillation.

Small callout: I'm using the Eurorack versions of these in case that makes a difference.
Demi Jon
These are great, thanks! Been looking for more examples of this behaviour.

Seems like the VCM is better for rhythmic trigger-short clicks, and the Triple Waveshaper+ is better for more randomised semi-rhythms made up of various length'd individual beats. Is that your experience?
wavecircle
The middle section is impossible to make self oscillate on my 4u version, with the third section you have the nice rectification from Out2 so makes nice pulse feedback patches. The problem with patching this to the middle section is that this section works best with harmonically simple stuff. It's nice to send the out1 of the bottom section into a feedback loop on the middle section. It works with the out2 but I find out1 is a bit more interesting, more rhythms and tones.
haebbmaster
This is really funny!
haebbmaster
The middle section needs a bit of wiggling or some cv.

I got a Ken Stone version

top section also resonates, but doesn't sound interesting without complex modulation
MechaSeb
Have you tried shifting the signal a bit ?
I think i got this middle section self-oscillation working using scalling buffers (?) back in the years. As said above try adjusting your voltage within feedback loop. There might be a sweet-spot (as always with Serge !) to find or a level to not excess lowering or the loop would stop though.
luketeaford
Demi Jon wrote:
Seems like the VCM is better for rhythmic trigger-short clicks, and the Triple Waveshaper+ is better for more randomised semi-rhythms made up of various length'd individual beats. Is that your experience?


The VCM in self oscillation can be used for almost anything -- it just happens to sound really cool as a drum machine.

The TWS though is much easier to get into weird rhythms/clicks/squeals/pops than a malleable tone. If you didn't see it, here's an example of TWS as a monosynth (it's kicked into action by pinging the VCFQ).

Thanks for compliments!
luketeaford
wavecircle wrote:
The middle section is impossible to make self oscillate on my 4u version, with the third section you have the nice rectification from Out2 so makes nice pulse feedback patches. The problem with patching this to the middle section is that this section works best with harmonically simple stuff. It's nice to send the out1 of the bottom section into a feedback loop on the middle section. It works with the out2 but I find out1 is a bit more interesting, more rhythms and tones.


Can you get it to self-oscillate with an external source? (and then remove the external source?) I do this on mine, and it is very difficult-- this is the patch that inspired this post, in fact. Very often when I unpatch the starting signal (clock, a sine wave etc), I lose the entire self oscillation from the middle section.

Agreed that the third section works like a charm!
luketeaford
MechaSeb wrote:
Have you tried shifting the signal a bit ?
I think i got this middle section self-oscillation working using scalling buffers (?) back in the years. As said above try adjusting your voltage within feedback loop. There might be a sweet-spot (as always with Serge !) to find or a level to not excess lowering or the loop would stop though.


Yes, one of the charms of this is that it relies on sweet spots-- but it's very hard to reproduce because it is elusive! I'll keep working on it and see if I can come up with a reliable way to start the middle section and keep it going with source removed.
timoka
thanks for this thread, i never thought about self-patching the vcm.
it is very rewarding, strange and beautiful! now my wildlife patches have another voice!
this is the bottom vcm section in a feedback loop:

[s]http://soundcloud.com/uzala/vcm-selfoscillation[/s]
luketeaford
timoka wrote:
[s]http://soundcloud.com/uzala/vcm-selfoscillation[/s]


Cool patch -- you might also like the variety of organic squeaks, chirps, and croaks you can get from the TWS (but it's much harder and less predictable to do).
timoka
thanks @luketeaford, your beautiful patches inspired me to try this!
i had the tws, but sold it since it didn't get much usage, but of course i never tried to self-patch it...maybe i try it again smile
btw i used the new instruo tanh[3] module inside the loop, a very very useful little module for feedback patching: http://www.instruo.media/tanh3/
luketeaford
Update: I managed to find several ways to make the middle section reliably self-oscillate:

    Invert output before patching back in

    Run through an HP filter

    Full wave rectification

    Patch to middle section of Triple Waveshaper for noise
cleaninglady
Anyone care to share some patch pics of the 4U TWS ?

I'm always keen to try new stuff. Mine is in a COA Neg Slew
panel.
Avjr
I finally got round trying the VCM feedback patch and OH...MY...GOD.

I am converted, thank you very much for this! we're not worthy

Can't believe i overlooked this for so many months! very frustrating
beem
Feedback is really golden in the Serge world. What is it that actually is doing the magic under the hood? I tried a feedback patch with some of my euro gear and it mostly just turned out as a flat feedback tone...
the bad producer
beem wrote:
Feedback is really golden in the Serge world. What is it that actually is doing the magic under the hood? I tried a feedback patch with some of my euro gear and it mostly just turned out as a flat feedback tone...


I think Serge installs a Mpingo Disc in each panel, I know I do when I build Serge. It is made from a combination of Gaboon and Mpingo Ebony, treated with a proprietary process that gives the disc a unique property to regulate the resonance of any sonic component and its transmission, very important with the DTG! hihi
mestlick
Here's my favorite feedback patch.

Loop: bottom wave multiplier, smooth generator, top wave multiplier set to high, back into bottom wave multiplier.

Then send the output of the bottom wave multiplier into the middle wave multiplier, and the middle to some output (or further filtering and processing).

This is like doing just feedback on the bottom wave multiplier, but you have VC gain in the loop with the top multiplier and VC filtering from the smooth generator.

It'll get into glitchy, clicky patterns and all sorts of other weird chaos. It can get a bit quiet, so the middle wave shaper adds some VC gain and distortion to bring out what is going on.

I've patched this up with a sequencer programmer giving 4 voltages: one to each wave multiplier and one to the smooth generator.,

I have a video somewhere of me playing this. It really sounds like there is another sequencer in there causing all the chaos and glitching. I'm trying to find the video now.
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