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Proposed Sequencing Panel - Comments?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Fractional Rack Modules  
Author Proposed Sequencing Panel - Comments?
Babaluma
Hey all,

Speaking to Cat-A-Tonic today got me all fired up about the Hex Zone again...

For analogue style sequencing, I've only ever used a Frostwave Fat Controller (sold it ages ago), and a Future Retro Mobius. They are both excellent at what they do, but I'm fed up of not having a sequencer that can be clocked via an analogue trigger source, and I want at least three channels of CV sequencing.

I am thinking about selling the Mobius, and replacing it with the following Frac sequencing panel:

Left Ear: Oakley Lag
Main Rack: Blacet Hex Zone 1, BLANK, Blacet Hex Zone 2
Right Ear: Metalbox Slope Detector

How does that look to you? It will certainly be way more powerful than the Mobius on its own. I'm pretty sure I will easily be able to patch program the Accent and Glide functions which don't come as standard on the Hex Zone, but are essential for the way I work, right?

Bear in mind that what I generally use sequencing for is Techno acid lines and Berlin School sequences.

What would be a good module to put in the middle BLANK position? I'm toying with the idea of a Binary Zone, but I just can't really see how I would utilise it. Any other great Frac suggestions? Would you swap out any of the Frac Ear modules for others?

All help and suggestions gratefully appreciated!

All the best,

Gregg
Adam-V
The Binary Zone does make for a great sequencer on it's own but what about a burst generator?

Cheers,
Adam-V
Babaluma
Maybe a good idea, but I am not sure. I just checked out the Metalbox Burst Generator. Why did you suggest it? Like the Binary Zone, I can't really get my head around it. How would it help me with my "style" of sequences?

Bear in mind I already have a heavily modded TR-606, with trigger in and out for every sound, which should make a great partner with the Hex Zone's sequential switch function.

I'm probably going to start small, with just a rack, PS500 and one Hex Zone.
Adam-V
The burst generator will output a burst of x number pulses every time it is triggered. This could obviously be used for drum rolls but another use could be as a clock gate before a sequencer. Select the desired number of pulses, plug the pulse output into the clock input of a sequencer and the sequencer will advance by the selected number of steps each time the burst generator is triggered.

Edit: Here's the blurb from Ken's site, he describes it much better than I can...
Quote:
This module is a rhythm and timing accessory. It generates a burst of gate or trigger pulses at various speeds as set from a front panel control.

At higher speeds it can be used for washboard, maracas or similar rapid-burst percussive effects when connected to the appropriate sound generating device such as a ringing oscillator.

At lower speeds it can be used to step a sequencer a certain number of steps or retrigger an envelope shaper. The output pulses are quite narrow when the specified component values are used, and would best be described as trigger pulses in synths that distinguish gates from triggers.


Something else that might be worth considering doing is a passive "or" gate or two for mixing trigger signals.

Cheers,
Adam-V
tuj
Binary zone, seriously. Even for an acid bassline it will find you new gate patterns you hasn't thought of before, or you can run it to the filter and get the filter in a slightly different pattern (or to the EG for the filter).
Babaluma
adam and tuj, thanks, that certainly makes things a bit clearer.

i hadn't considered the idea of using the burst generator for triggering the sequencer itself. wink

the idea of using the BZ for slightly different sequences on the slews, or cutoff, or envelope decay times etc., is VERY appealing! wink
tuj
The other fun one to do, if you are clocking the HZ's from midi, is to use a note pattern in your midi sequencer, then use the gate from the notes as the seq. clock. This gets you funky clock timing depending on how you structure the rhythm of the midi notes. You can get some really cool variations this way.
Cat-A-Tonic
It just occurred to me that you can use the trigger outs of the 606 to step sequence the clocks of the Hex Zones instead of using dividers.
Since your 606 can be slaved to MIDI/Din Sync this also takes care of that issue.

The Binary Zone is great for stumbling upon patterns,
but with more control & predictability than a Noise Ring.
It is just really fun and immediate.

For the way I work, a divider with odd divisions is essential.
The MetalBox one is awesome, but the Logic section might not be essential for your purposes & with consideration to your space constraints.
Babaluma
thanks for the further comments.

yeah, with two hex zones, i had intended on using one of the CV channels for crazy timing control.

trouble with using the 606 as a trigger sequencer, is that i'll very often want to use it as a drum machine at the same time.

i am definitely leaning towards a binary zone in the middle position for a sequencing powerhouse!
darenager
BZ is the don for wonky acid stuff, I used to use mine with the Miniwave in quantizer mode, it works especially nice with an irregular clock - like from one of your 606 trig outs doing some odd rhythm.

I'd keep hold of the Mobius, there is not much else out there with the acid centric feature set and they seem quite hard to find for sale so you may end up wanting another, I have often thought of selling mine but always change my mind.

If you have the Micro LFO it is quite good fun to CV and gate it whilst using it as a clock source for say the BZ, so you can make the BZ speed up and slow down for some nice weirdness.

Tons of options with just those 3, but add some logic, dividers etc and you can make some crazy stuff.
thumbs up
Babaluma
yeah getting rid of the mobius is gonna be HARD! but i don't have space for it and another 3u of frac. i'm thinking i should be able to do everything with the hex zones and a slew and vcas, regarding accent and slide. i am slightly worried about loosing the authentic 303 glide style though...

i guess if i really miss it i could replace it with the orb, which there might be room for, as all the extra features on the mobius (sync24, hz/v, gate type switch, trigger, clock and reset outs) usually go unused by me.

i don't have a quantizer, so how is the BZ for screwing with timings, pitches and cutoffs etc., without one?

to be honest, i'm not really into crazy timings and stuff. it's all pretty much standard time signatures and western melodic temperaments. i like the idea of the binary zone more for introducing some synced and subtle randomness in the timbre. and possibly timings... ha ha!

lol
Adam-V
Sounds to me like the BZ is going to be best option for what you want to do. I've been considering adding another one to my system but it's way down the list at the moment. Too much DIY in the pipeline!

Cheers,
Adam-V
darenager
lol

The BZ is pretty usable without a quantizer as long as you don't care about tuning to something else with great precision.

Point taken on the size of the Mobius, that is my main beef with it too (as well as the archaic way of entering notes)

Oh yeah you can use the 606 trigger to reset the BZ too, good fun!
Cat-A-Tonic
Taking the middle road might be a good way to go.

If you get one Orb, and one Hex Zone you'll have your 3 CV outs
and the Orb will cover the glide per step
leaving the sequential switch of the Hex Zone open for other crazy duties
like wave sequencing and additional trigger sequencing.

This would also leave you with more room in the Frac rack to add more sequencing helper modules.
Binary Zone is an obvious choice.
With the 4FU left over you could ask MetalBox to build you
a custom panel with Pulse Divider & Logic + VC Divider with no mult.
Or maybe a Gated Comparator.
Babaluma
Good ideas! I'm actually now thinking of going with the original proposed setup PLUS a little Orb which could sit on top, or in front of the main modular, that I'd probably get last of all.

That would give me three completely separate sequencers, two of which would have two CV outs. I am presuming you can NOT set separate loop points for each of the CV outs on the HZ?
Cat-A-Tonic
Babaluma wrote:

That would give me three completely separate sequencers, two of which would have two CV outs. I am presuming you can NOT set separate loop points for each of the CV outs on the HZ?

That is correct sir.
You can chain sequences of different lengths though.
Then you can chain the chains.
Sir Ruff
Babaluma wrote:
i don't have a quantizer, so how is the BZ for screwing with timings, pitches and cutoffs etc., without one?


Dunno if you have a miniwave, but there was a quantizer/scale EPROM made for it that would lock everything coming from the BZ into something nice and neat.
Norman_Phay
Pretty mundane, but I'd stick a mult/att and a DAD in there.
Babaluma
thanks for the further suggestions.

i've recently got rid of the miniwave, as it was taking up valuable space, and the quantiser function was the only thing i ever used it for. i do, obviously, miss that though, especially with noise ring patches!

i'm all set for multiples, i have 11 already. the dad is a good idea. i've also toyed with the idea of something more "bread and butter", like a pair of micro lfos, or another EG1. or go REALLY nutty and put a pair of Bar Graphs in there. wink

i guess it's all a bit academic at the moment, as i am likely to start with a single hex zone, then add the frac ear modules, then add the second hex zone, so i am sure my thoughts as to the final BLANK space will change as time goes on.
Adam-V
Not a bad idea to wait until you have all the other bits you want before deciding. That way you'll know what you really need rather than speculating.

Cheers,
Adam-V
Babaluma
Adam-V wrote:
Not a bad idea to wait until you have all the other bits you want before deciding. That way you'll know what you really need rather than speculating.


definitely agree with you adam!

well, the mobius is up for sale, and as soon as that goes through i'll be ordering another frac rack, power supply and the first hex zone...
DGTom
The only thing that would get LCDs in my modular would be a HZ.

I bet it'd make the 606s trigger outs way more usefull as well, using the SW I/O bussing to "remix" the patterns being used in the 606.


I'll (re)echo the suggestion for a BZ. Having quantized sequences going into 1 CV in on the Blacet VCO w/ the BZ set to 1V controlling either the 2nd CV input or the +/- Octave control is awesome for transposing sequences. Makes a great tempo sync LFO as well.

Do you have a sub-oscillator at all Babaluma?
Babaluma
Yeah, it really seems like the Binary Zone will fit the best in the middle! wink

I am hoping that two Hex Zones, a Binary Zone, the Wiard controller, a slew, a slope detector and the 606 (with all trigger ins and outs) will make for an insanely cool controller, sequencing and drum sub section.

Don't have a sub oscillator at all, but have three Blacet VCOs, which is usually more than enough to satisfy my oscillator requirements. Why do you ask?

Just can't ever seem to FINISH my bloody modular, or get rid of that annoying GAS.

lol
Cat-A-Tonic
Babaluma wrote:
Why do you ask?

Because the Binary Zone's /2 & /4 knobs are quite useful for sub-octaves.
...when you are not using it for other things that is.
Send your sound source to the Clock In and get sub-octaves from anything.
The longer divisions are not as useful for audio unless your initial sound is quite high in pitch.
Babaluma
Cool, similar to the Frequency Divider I used to have.
DGTom
Just didn't think I'd seen a sub-osc in your set-up. Totally not needed in a "fattening" sense with 3 VCOs but there are some really nice sync & Filter sounds you can get & the great thing about using the BZ at audio rates is you have control over +/- sides of the output & it can take a VCO signal into LFO ranges - fantastic for bubbleing filter cutoff stuff.

Sounds like an awesome set-up to me!
johnnymad
another vote for a binary zone. i use the hex and binary zone together all the time.
Babaluma
Coolio, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be ear slew, HZ, BZ, HZ, ear slope detector, with an FR Orb at a later date then. Should be pretty powerful.

Yeah, I used to like the sub osc functions of the FD.

If I can sell my Mobius I'll order the first bits!

Thanks for all the help, advice and great suggestions!

johnnymad, what kind of crazy stuff do you get up to with combining the HZ and BZ?
johnnymad
nothing too crazy honestly. i just get them both playing in the same key and use each as a separate part of the arrangement. i use the hex as a sequential switch to program drums constantly though. it's very handy for that. i like to use the pair to make "songs" in one take. with two hex zones and a binary, you could have five voices going on at the same time. that makes me want another hex. help
rezzn8r
Cat-A-Tonic wrote:
Babaluma wrote:
Why do you ask?

Because the Binary Zone's /2 & /4 knobs are quite useful for sub-octaves.
...when you are not using it for other things that is.
Send your sound source to the Clock In and get sub-octaves from anything.
The longer divisions are not as useful for audio unless your initial sound is quite high in pitch.


hmmm..... I thought this sounded like a great idea, but I can't get my BZ to do this. how do I patch up sub-octaves? if I put a VCO to the clock in on my BZ, I get no signal from Out, or InvOut, and only a constant tone from either clock out regardless of /2 & /4 settings.
DGTom
check the lag. With 0 lag you should get a squarewave - or low freq. clicking at LFO speeds. Use 2.5 or 5V modes. The constant tone at the clock / trigger outs should only correspond to the VCO, not any of the BZ settings.
rezzn8r
DGTom wrote:
check the lag. With 0 lag you should get a squarewave - or low freq. clicking at LFO speeds. Use 2.5 or 5V modes. The constant tone at the clock / trigger outs should only correspond to the VCO, not any of the BZ settings.


spot on, DGTom. I think it was the lag setting that was confusing me. works like a charm now!
thanks Guinness ftw!
Babaluma
i'm gonna go ahead and order two hex zones pretty soon.

i am wondering how i will be able to achieve per step lag/slew/portamento (a la 303/mobius etc.) with the hex zone and a) an EG1 b) a VCS or c) an oakley lag.

will it be possible to get per step portamento with any of the above? or will i have to wait until i can afford an orb?

i am still trying to decide what to put in the centre and ears of my proposed sequencing panel. at the moment i'm thinking:

hex zone, vcs, hex zone (and the ears are still undecided, possibly analogue logic and slope detector).

i'll replace the blank left by the current vcs with another blacet EG1.
DGTom
EG1 is how I patch it.

ADSR mode
Hold the gate on with a static +ve voltage
Patch seq. CV into Sustain CV In
Decay all the way down
gate into Decay CV in

Process the gate before it hits the decay CV in, the level of the gate will be your portamento time thumbs up
Babaluma
thanks DGTom, i'm still not sure i really understand it, but it will probably become clearer once the hex zone arrives! do you think that would also be possible with the vcs or oakley slew? probably not, right?
DGTom
The EG-1 patch is just a variation on the VC Slew, so the VCS will be able to do something similar.

Basically you are patching in a 0% slew then sending events into the VC input to increase the slew rate a certain times. I only use the EG-1 over the VCS because the VCS is usually busy & because the EG-1 patch has a few bonus features, like the sustain knob acting as an offset - awesome for driving stacked VCOs

With the crazy ass mo-fo switching power of Dual Hex Zones I bet you could set-up a patch with the Oakley - maybe running parallel CVs, one straight, one slewed, then switching between them. The only problem I'd imagine with that is cutting the slide off mid way thru... which may actually sound cool with some lines SlayerBadger!

I should get over my LCD-phobia & get a HZ one of these days.
Babaluma
Thanks for the info DGTom, sorry not to reply sooner. I think I get the EG1 as "per step slew" patch with the Hex Zone, but I won't actually be able to try it for a while, and I'm hoping I'll be able to do it with the VCS instead of an EG1.

I am not sure what you mean about using the Sustain pot on the EG1 as an offset to drive stacked VCOs, but I am intrigued, please explain further!

Well, anyway, things are moving along. I now have another Blacet EG1, so the Serge VCS will be "relegated" to the middle spot on the sequencing panel.

I received the first hex zone today, and the VCS is also waiting to go in, but I am still waiting for the new Frac Rack and PS500.

So it'll end up being:

Hex Zone - VCS - Hex Zone

with two spare ears. (Michael Ford from Metalbox has suggested two of his little ADSRs, I am waiting to hear back to see if they will actually fit. Apparently the Slope Detector should fit if I forgo the LEDs, but I'm kinda off the idea of that one now anyway. The Analogue Logic won't fit. The Oakley Lag is also still a possibility.)

The Oakley Lag brings me back full circle, as, trawling the forum earlier, I came across this post from Nathan Kirchner explaining yet another way to get per step Glide from just a Hex Zone and ANY available slew module:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4421#4421

Quote:
It doesn't have glide - the idea was to supply two CV outputs (settable for each step) and to use one for GLIDE or VCF or VCA or whatever control on another module. Or you can connect say CV1 to switch input 1 and CV2 to a Slew Limiter and then to switch input 2. Then connect the Switch output to the CV control of your VCO. Then use the Hex Zone sequencer to set the active switch to 1 for normal notes and switch 2 for GLIDE notes.


Seems like I'll really enjoy spending a lot of time getting to know this combination!

Another thing I dig up was about patching the Gate out of the Hex Zone into the Switch In, to Multiplex the Gate. I really have no idea what this means or how I would use it, but it sure does sound exciting!

Will it also be possible to send one of the CV Outs of the Hex Zone to the Clock input to adjust the time of each note, like people do on Serge TKBs?
Cat-A-Tonic
Babaluma wrote:
Another thing I dig up was about patching the Gate out of the Hex Zone into the Switch In, to Multiplex the Gate. I really have no idea what this means or how I would use it, but it sure does sound exciting!

Will it also be possible to send one of the CV Outs of the Hex Zone to the Clock input to adjust the time of each note, like people do on Serge TKBs?

The gate multiplexing thing is what makes it awesome for drum/event sequencing.
The power is in the switch routing per step(something that no other seq. switch has).
So steps 3, 7, 12... can all fire switch 3 while steps 4, 5, 8... are firing switch 4 and so forth.

I haven't tried clocking it with it's own CV, but I've advanced the sequencer via microphone signal before among other things.
You could advance a second seq. with one of the the multiplexed gates of the first.

Modulating a VCO with audio-rate sequences is good fun.
DGTom
Babaluma wrote:
Hex Zone - VCS - Hex Zone


That seems to me a really nice seq'ing panel. Using the VCS as a VC divider to clock the 2nd Hex so that it plays complex polyrythms over the top of the first love

Babaluma wrote:
Will it also be possible to send one of the CV Outs of the Hex Zone to the Clock input to adjust the time of each note, like people do on Serge TKBs?


Doesn't the HZ have a per-step settable gate length? Or am I remembering something totally differant hmmm..... This kind of differant to what you want tho isn't it? Isn't the TKB trick to send a CV to the VC Clock? This is something the VCS will excel at... with Rise & Fall acting as "variable funk controls"

Oh.. w/r/t the EG-1 & Sustain control as offset. The way it works is when you are using the EG-1 as a VC Slew the gate input is held high, that way the Sustain stage is always on so the sustain level will set a voltage, which your incoming CV will be added to... basically, in use its like having a +ve only version of the lower section of the Mixer / Processors Bias pot.

Argh! all that super controlled switching / multiplexing.. I really do want a HZ Dead Banana
Cat-A-Tonic
Yes, the HexZone has excellent gate-per-step programming: 0-99% gate-width, hold, and reset.

Send a pulse from a VCO or MicroLFO to the clock in for VC clock.
Babaluma
cool ideas! hadn't even considered the VCS subdivider patch with the HZs...

yeah gate time is programmable on the HZ, but not the step time. i think that's what people do with their TKBs for funky riddims.

i'm wondering specifically about the "gate multiplexing" patch listed in another thread, which i think involves patching the HZ "gate out" to the HZ "switch in". what does this do exactly, and why might it be useful?

can't wait to get the panel up and running!
Cat-A-Tonic
Babaluma wrote:
i'm wondering specifically about the "gate multiplexing" patch listed in another thread, which i think involves patching the HZ "gate out" to the HZ "switch in". what does this do exactly, and why might it be useful?

It allows you to sequentially route the gate to different places for triggering drums or envelopes.
It's just a different approach to what you can do with your 606 already.

You can of course use it the other way around, and send different sound sources through the switches to be selected at the common.
Having multiple noise sources makes this fun.
Babaluma
thanks dude, that makes more sense! so you can basically use it as a fully featured gate/trigger sequencer, and a regular CV sequencer, independently, but at the same time? that's pretty cool.
werock
Just wanted to say this thread has given me some ideas. I've got 2 of fonik's VCPS PCBs to make up, and was wondering how best to incorporate them (or at least 1) into my current setup.

Reading through this has convinced me to have a separate sequencing panel too!

I'm undecided whether to keep it as 2 VCPS sequencers, or maybe just keep 1 and get a Hez Zone for a bit of variety. But either way I'll add something like a Metalbox Pulse Diver/Logic.

But I can't do anything for a few months, so I've got plenty of thinking time.

But thanks for the inspiration Guinness ftw!
Babaluma
cool, no worries!

i just ordered the second hex zone, and have asked metalbox if their adsr will fit in a rack ear. if it will, it's gonna be:

adsr - hex zone - vcs - hex zone - adsr

trouble is, i am still waiting for my new ps500 and frac rack, so can't play with it yet!
Adam-V
I hate waiting for the boring stuff like frames and supplies, it's so tedious. It's going to be worth the wait though; that is one funky sequencing setup.

Cheers,
Adam-V
Babaluma
still waiting for the case and psu, but have one hooked up to another psu, it's great! can't wait to get both of these rocking together. have a FR orb on the way too.

i have now decided on a slope detector in each ear, mainly on cat-a-tonics recommendation for use with the pair of joysticks and JAGs in my wiard controller, for deriving gate signals.
Babaluma
quick pic, the orb is hiding!

anyone have any crazy ideas on what to do with this setup?
dude
beautiful!!!!
werock
Babaluma wrote:

anyone have any crazy ideas on what to do with this setup?


Send it to me? hihi

Looks very cool, I bet you'll have plenty of fun with that.
Adam-V
Some seriously good sequencing power there.

Can't help with suggestions though, I don't own a hex zone yet.

Cheers,
Adam-V
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