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continuous arpeggios
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author continuous arpeggios
yellotron
I'm trying to achieve a cycling of continuous arpeggiation. I imagined taking one of the outputs from a cycling channel of Maths and sending it into a uScale quantizer driving an oscillator. I imagined hearing low notes stair-stepping through the chord I had typed into the uScale, so that the tones rose and then hit a highest note and then turned immediately back and fell to the bottom, only to instantly turn and rise again. Evenly. Unbroken 32nd notes, essentially.

But when I set this up what happens is not like that; the Maths output tends to be more complex. The shapes that come out of it have double dips and what not , and they speed up and slow down. And sometimes seem take a break and sit still. By adjusting the RISE and FALL knobs I can get close, but it’s just not smooth.

I then bought an LFO thinking that I could get a more predictably even curve, and thus make the experiment simpler. But this didn’t fare much better. I seemed only to get one side of the signal. A rise and a fall and then a steady, motionless tone for the other half of the curve.

How can I achieve this? Continuous, even, up and down arpeggiation from a sine or sawtooth CV.
DickMarker
I think you want to offset your initial CV signal so that it doesn't travel under 0v - think a lot of quantizers will only work with positive voltages?
cptnal
Indeed. Once the LFO enters the negative half of its phase your oscillator and/or quantizer won't respond to any change. Maths should stay positive though, if you keep the attenuverter clockwise of noon. Try using one channel's attenuated output, linear slope, and 0 rise for a falling arpeggio/0 fall for a rising one. thumbs up

I recently came across a more developed version in these pages. Apologies to the original wiggler for not remembering their name. (Substitute any sample and hold for Wogglebug if you don't have one.)

Wogglebug Clock > Maths Channel 1 Trigger
Maths Channel 1 EOR > Maths Channel 4 Trigger
Maths Channel 4 Unity > Maths Channel 1 Both
Maths Channel 1 Unity > Wogglebug External/Influence
Wogglebug Stepped fully CCW
Wogglebug Stepped > Quantizer Oscillator > VCA > Out
Wogglebug Clock (multed) Envelope trigger > VCA CV
mskala
To get best use out of a quantizer you need an offset/attenuator like the Doepfer A-183-2. You want to offset the LFO voltage so that the quantizer can handle both sides of it, and probably also to attenuate it a bit so that you can control how many octaves the arpeggiation covers.

However, this still won't give you perfectly regular timing when the notes of your chord are not evenly spaced. If the LFO voltage rises linearly, there will be wider intervals of input voltage that map to some output values than others, and so some of the notes will be longer than others as the input voltage spends more time in the wider input intervals. Maybe you don't care about that; but if you do, you're probably going to need some kind of sequencer instead of just a quantized LFO.
cptnal
Another essential tool is sample and hold, to get those notes falling where you want them.

Dug out this one that helped me a lot. It's Ned Rush, and he uses a Wogglebug, but any sample and hold will do.



But seriously! Sample and hold - just did a quick count and I have 14 of them (or at least I could muster 14 if I had a mind to). Not quite you-can-never-have-enough territory, but useful nonetheless.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
Triangle LFO into a quantizer? Clock divider to synchronize 32 divisions per cycle of the LFO...?
Gizmo
yellotron wrote:
Continuous, even, up and down arpeggiation from a sine or sawtooth CV.

You possibly mean triangle instead of sawtooth?

FWIW, the Dotcom Q175 MIDI Interface Aid "automatically cycles through notes that are held down...direction of the pattern can be selected Up, Down or Up/Down, and changed in real-time." Just pointing out an alternative approach.
Dave Peck
If you're trying to create specific patterns of arpeggiated notes that have a regular, even tempo, the best ways to do that are either using a midi keyboard that outputs an arpeggio, or a sequencer module.

If you are trying to accomplish this effect using other types of CV sources like LFOs fed through quantizer modules, you need to do two things:

1. Patch a sample/hold module between the CV source (LFO, etc.) and the quantizer. This will assure that the quantizer will switch from note to note on the beat, determined by the sample/hold clock rate. Otherwise it will just change notes whenever the incoming CV passes a 'note threshold' in the quantizer, rather than at some regularly timed interval. NOTE: Some quantizers have a 'clock input' which does this same thing, forcing the quantizer to hold each note value until the quantizer gets a new clock pulse instead of changing notes at every pitch threshold crossing.

2. If you want a regular, repeating pattern, you need to lock the CV source LFO to the clock source, but at some regular mathematical division, like running the LFO at 1/8th the speed of the clock pulse. Otherwise, if the LFO is 'free running', you will get a series of notes that fall on the quantized scale,and they will all have regular timing dictated by the S/H clock, but the up/down pattern may be slightly different with each cycle as the LFO CV source drifts in and out of sync with the clock LFO. You need them to be locked together in some particular ratio in order to get a pattern that repeats exactly the same with each cycle of the CV source.
Rex Coil 7
Dave Peck wrote:
If you're trying to create specific patterns of arpeggiated notes that have a regular, even tempo, the best ways to do that are either using a midi keyboard that outputs an arpeggio, or a sequencer module.
TOTALLY.

I'm reading these suggestions that require different modules and patch cables to do something a buck standard arpeggiator does with the greatest of ease. Hell, a flippin BEATSTEP will do that (not even the ~pro~ model ... the $100.00 version of the Beatstep).

I'm sure the Arturia Keystep will pull off doing a pendulum pattern with any chord played into it without even breaking a sweat. I know for absolute certainty that a Novation Impulse keyboard controller will do it (even the $125.00 25 note version has the exact same arpeggiator as the larger versions of the Impulse). Several patterns, number of steps, swing, and more. A used Microbrute can be programmed to do it. A MiniBrute will do it all day with it's own built in arpeggiator (my brother does it all the time with his).

I think this is being WAY overthought ... just use a friggin arpeggiator. A real arpeggiator. There are any number of $100.00 solutions. That way you don't end up using resources that could otherwise be applied to other functions instead of using them to create a simple up/down arpeggio.

cool
Dave Peck
..... BUT .... instead of trying to get LFOs and quantizers to do what a sequencer / midi keyboard with arpeggio can do more easily (repeating the exact same pattern over and over again), you can make intentional use of the lack of repeatability inherent in using LFO > Sample/Hold > quantizer:

Try setting a triangle of sawtooth LFO to run FASTER than the clock that is controlling the arpeggio tempo, and NOT locking them together at some mathematical ratio. Like setting the LFO to 53.741 Hz and setting the Sample/Hold clock to 8 Hz. You'll get a complex pattern of notes that are not a simple upward movement or simple downward movement. Now try nudging the LFO rate just a tiny bit, and the pattern changes a bit. And if you use a much faster CV source, like an audio osc running at several hundred cycles per second, then just the slightest change to the osc rate instantly creates a completely different pattern.....
BenA718
cptnal wrote:
Another essential tool is sample and hold, to get those notes falling where you want them.

Dug out this one that helped me a lot. It's Ned Rush, and he uses a Wogglebug, but any sample and hold will do.




I made it to about the four minute mark on the video and thought, well, I have to try this! I don’t have any of his kit; I used a Function, Modbox, and Dynamix. Sounds great! Awesome, rhythmic pattern with Function, Modbox, Doepfer Quantizer, Dynamix and Disting.

[s]https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting/rhythmic-quantizer[/s]
Rex Coil 7
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Dave Peck wrote:
If you're trying to create specific patterns of arpeggiated notes that have a regular, even tempo, the best ways to do that are either using a midi keyboard that outputs an arpeggio, or a sequencer module.
TOTALLY.

I'm reading these suggestions that require different modules and patch cables to do something a buck standard arpeggiator does with the greatest of ease. Hell, a flippin BEATSTEP will do that (not even the ~pro~ model ... the $100.00 version of the Beatstep).

I'm sure the Arturia Keystep will pull off doing a pendulum pattern with any chord played into it without even breaking a sweat. I know for absolute certainty that a Novation Impulse keyboard controller will do it (even the $125.00 25 note version has the exact same arpeggiator as the larger versions of the Impulse). Several patterns, number of steps, swing, and more. A used Microbrute can be programmed to do it. A MiniBrute will do it all day with it's own built in arpeggiator (my brother does it all the time with his).

I think this is being WAY overthought ... just use a friggin arpeggiator. A real arpeggiator. There are any number of $100.00 solutions. That way you don't end up using resources that could otherwise be applied to other functions instead of using them to create a simple up/down arpeggio.

cool


Dave Peck wrote:
..... BUT .... instead of trying to get LFOs and quantizers to do what a sequencer / midi keyboard with arpeggio can do more easily (repeating the exact same pattern over and over again), you can make intentional use of the lack of repeatability inherent in using LFO > Sample/Hold > quantizer:

Try setting a triangle of sawtooth LFO to run FASTER than the clock that is controlling the arpeggio tempo, and NOT locking them together at some mathematical ratio. Like setting the LFO to 53.741 Hz and setting the Sample/Hold clock to 8 Hz. You'll get a complex pattern of notes that are not a simple upward movement or simple downward movement. Now try nudging the LFO rate just a tiny bit, and the pattern changes a bit. And if you use a much faster CV source, like an audio osc running at several hundred cycles per second, then just the slightest change to the osc rate instantly creates a completely different pattern.....
Totally true ... however the OP wants a repeating 32nd note up/down pattern constructed of chosen chords.

What you're suggesting completely supports the last statement in my post above .... use of a standard arpeggiator frees up other modules to perform other functions ... such as what you've suggested here (quoted).

Arpeggiator for the win, Alex. w00t

(unsubscribed .. this thread is doing fine without any more of my wacky input ... absolutely carry on! Lots of fun stuff here. Feel free to PM if you wish to correspond re; something).
R.U.Nuts
I personally like using LFOs into a quantizer especially because they make those nice off-grid timing arpeggios. But if you want to have some exact arpeggios: Gate signal from a sequencer, keyboard, clock divider into the reset input of your LFO. So the LFO restarts its cycle whenever your sequencer advances / you hit a new note on your keyboard / etc...
Then LFO output into a S&H input and the clock signal you'd lik your arpeggio synced to into the S&H trigger in. Output of S&H into quantizer. Alternatively there are a lot of quantizers that have a trigger input that lets them sample a new note only when a trigger hits that input so you could omit the S&H. And yeah: Make sure your LFO puts out a positive only voltage. So add an offset if required.
hinterlands303
Rex Coil 7 wrote:


I'm sure the Arturia Keystep will pull off doing a pendulum pattern with any chord played into it without even breaking a sweat....

Arpeggiator for the win, Alex. w00t


The Keystep is great for arpeggios. I also really like rolling my own funky, pseudo arpeggios with Maths a sample and hold and a quantizer, but for standard, precise arpeggios just get a keystep. I find doing it with maths it's pretty tough to get the root note where I want it - I usually have to use the sum output along with some negative voltage from channel 2 or 3. Still it can be a lot of fun especially if you add a vca and another slow lfo to create an evolving range of voltage/notes. But then again the keystep is also super fun - it can sync to a clock (or not) and it's only $100.
yellotron
Thank you all for this detailed feedback.

This is wonderful. There are many ideas here that I can see will be useful for me. I'll just say as a quick follow up that while I totally understand why many would wonder why I don't just use a sequencer for this, I do believe the LFO/S&H/Quantizer route is the right one in this case. I have two sequencers in my rack, and they would both already be engaged before I pull this little stunt. This is a rig for live performance, and in the particular moment in the performance I'm thinking about in this post, I need to be able to quickly shift from a steady, clock-work, eighth-note sequencer vibe to a more frenzied, spinning out-of-control rapid cycling of the same tonality.

For the aesthetic I'm going for, it wouldn't be good just to ramp up the master tempo and make everything just speed up evenly. I need the whole thing to sort of pull itself apart and go nuts, but still along the lines of the piece's tonality and underlying rhythmic structure. The tonal voice needs to maintain the continuity of a sequencer -- that is, it shouldn't loose all metrical value; but neither should it blur into a stream that just sounds too much like a shwooshing LFO-driven effect. It needs to maintain crisp articulation even as it breaks free and spins out of the main body of the surrounding musical context.

Having said all this, it could be that my intuitions are incorrect and that I should just find a way to use one or both of the sequencers to pull off this moment in the set, but I'm inclined to explore the LFO ideas you all have taught me first.

Many thanks!
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