ACL Sinfonion

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Clumsy
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Post by Clumsy » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:22 am

My Sinfonion arrived today and either I got a defective module or I'm missing something obvious. Even after a factory reset all of the CV outputs are putting out about 8.45 volts (according to my O'Tool+). The tuning mode works, and I can plug an offset from Maths into the Transpose input and bring the voltage down. When I do that the chord generator and arpeggiator seem to work and the buttons on the quantizers change the pitch but they don't seem to respond to varying CV. Anyone have any ideas?

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Post by mdoudoroff » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:50 am

castano wrote:I’ve been using the sequencer and it’s awesome!!
does anyone know where I can purchase the sd card reader that is used to update the module, when there is new updates?
ACL hasn’t really documented that, so it’s probably best to hold off until they do.

Clumsy wrote:My Sinfonion arrived today and either I got a defective module or I'm missing something obvious. Even after a factory reset all of the CV outputs are putting out about 8.45 volts (according to my O'Tool+). The tuning mode works, and I can plug an offset from Maths into the Transpose input and bring the voltage down. When I do that the chord generator and arpeggiator seem to work and the buttons on the quantizers change the pitch but they don't seem to respond to varying CV. Anyone have any ideas?
You’re seeing a fixed 8.45v out of CH1 OUT, CH2 OUT and CH3 OUT? Nothing else is plugged, the knobs are all in their default positions, and you’re not in SEQ mode or TUNE mode?

I’d shoot a detailed, stripped down situation report to support@audiophilecircuitsleague.com

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Post by MossGarden » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:51 am

Clumsy wrote:My Sinfonion arrived today and either I got a defective module or I'm missing something obvious. Even after a factory reset all of the CV outputs are putting out about 8.45 volts (according to my O'Tool+). The tuning mode works, and I can plug an offset from Maths into the Transpose input and bring the voltage down. When I do that the chord generator and arpeggiator seem to work and the buttons on the quantizers change the pitch but they don't seem to respond to varying CV. Anyone have any ideas?
Power cable defo plugged in correctly?

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Post by second_breakfast » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:05 am

Is this thread the main community hub for Sinfonion users or are there other groups/forums?

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Post by mdoudoroff » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:24 am

second_breakfast wrote:Is this thread the main community hub for Sinfonion users or are there other groups/forums?
Good question. As far as I know, this is the most trafficked discussion of the Sinfonion. ACL has a Facebook presence, but it seems pretty quiet over there. Mathias—the module’s designer and programmer—participates here, but not on a daily basis.

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Post by Clumsy » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:32 am

So I contacted ACL and it has to go back. Bummer. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

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Post by nano_granny » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:23 am

Clumsy wrote:So I contacted ACL and it has to go back. Bummer. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Bet you're gutted. All the way back to Germany from Australia. I'm surprised quality testing didn't identify that issue.

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Post by second_breakfast » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:38 pm

Spent my first couple hours last night getting familiar with my Sinfonion. I figured out how to sequence a chord progression using the built in sequencer. This is a fantastic and powerful feature. However, I still don't understand how to set it up so that I can improvise chord changes within a given key. Here's what I'm wanting to do, if someone who is more familiar with the Sinfonion would be so kind to help: I'd like to pick a key, C maj for example. Then send cv into the Sinfonion with something like Planar 2, Tetrepad, Pressure points, etc. I'd like one cv to sweep me through the diatonic chords of the scale only- c maj, d min, e min, f maj, g maj, a min, b dim. Then I can have other cv control of parameters for individual channel characteristics. Is this possible? All I could figure out how to do was to control the root and type separately, which didn't lend itself to improvising with a single key. Thanks in advance for you help.

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Post by Clumsy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:34 am

nano_granny wrote:
Clumsy wrote:So I contacted ACL and it has to go back. Bummer. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Bet you're gutted. All the way back to Germany from Australia. I'm surprised quality testing didn't identify that issue.
A little, yes. I'm more anxious that I'll get a repaired or new module and the same things happens again and it's something I'm doing or something wrong with my power supplies or whatever.

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Post by nano_granny » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:43 am

Clumsy wrote:
nano_granny wrote:
Clumsy wrote:So I contacted ACL and it has to go back. Bummer. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Bet you're gutted. All the way back to Germany from Australia. I'm surprised quality testing didn't identify that issue.
A little, yes. I'm more anxious that I'll get a repaired or new module and the same things happens again and it's something I'm doing or something wrong with my power supplies or whatever.
Did you make note of the revision number on the PCB? Bet you get a Rev1.2 one. I'd like to know what actually changed, and more to the point if a bigger issue was uncovered on the 1st revision

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Post by cioaudio » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:36 pm

Clumsy wrote:
nano_granny wrote:
Clumsy wrote:So I contacted ACL and it has to go back. Bummer. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Bet you're gutted. All the way back to Germany from Australia. I'm surprised quality testing didn't identify that issue.
A little, yes. I'm more anxious that I'll get a repaired or new module and the same things happens again and it's something I'm doing or something wrong with my power supplies or whatever.
May be worth checking your -12V power rail is present and correct. Often only opamps use the -12V rail and if it happens to be near 0V opamps tend to generate positive voltages when they shouldn't. This could also explain how it passed QA. Just a thought

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Post by Clumsy » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:35 am

nano_granny wrote:Did you make note of the revision number on the PCB? Bet you get a Rev1.2 one. I'd like to know what actually changed, and more to the point if a bigger issue was uncovered on the 1st revision
It's Rev 1.2. That's the new one isn't it?
cioaudio wrote:May be worth checking your -12V power rail is present and correct. Often only opamps use the -12V rail and if it happens to be near 0V opamps tend to generate positive voltages when they shouldn't. This could also explain how it passed QA. Just a thought
The only way I have to check my -12V is to plug in modules that require it. All my other modules that use -12V are working. I tried the Sinfonion in both of my cases and today I tried it in one case after unplugging everything else just in case I was overloading my power supply (although the numbers suggested otherwise). Just bad luck I guess.

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Post by f33d » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:51 pm

Just spent my first hour getting to know the Sinfonion.
I was surprised that there are no "obvious" Scales, like I am used to from the other quantizers.
I guess the 88 Scales are hidden between the "Mode" & "Degree" - Interaction, right?
It is a little harder for a harmony-noob without any common names like "Pelong" or "Wholetone", "Blues" or "Hungarian" :hihi:
I also didn't manage to get that "aha"-emotion, like the definitive "other feeling" from a new set scale. Every Mode & Degree - Combination sounded kind of similar. I am pretty sure it is user error. I use the Sinfonion with Assimil8or (1v/oct setting), so there should be no tuning problems.
Somebody has any tipps for a total noob, how to get different scales? (probably a stupid question, lol).
Btw, I watched the vids & read the old manual and skimmed through the new.
I kind of understand the technical side.

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Post by -S.L- » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:11 pm

Stupid question bue did you layer at least 2 or 3 voices together ? Did you used the chords ?

If you only use only one channel, then chances to be dissapointed are huge. That module shine by making 2 to 8 voices together sounds like harmony and organized mess (jazz :party: )

It's not a one channel quantizer and you probably notices that appart from channel 2, you won't be able to select the all the note from a chromatic scale, but only just a few (root, 3rd, 5th,7th, 9th, 11th, 13th)

The scales and mode and definitely not all the same, when using few channels, but using only one, yeah, you might end up with the same result no matter what you do

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Post by mdoudoroff » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:40 pm

Put another way: there are only twelve notes, so they will all appear in most of the scales. Which isn’t to say the scales aren’t different—they’re all different in some way. Lots of little differences. Sinfonion makes it easy to manage all those differences (and there’s quite a bit to manage!) but you still have to make the music. I’m still working on figuring that part out, myself! :deadbanana:

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Post by second_breakfast » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:41 pm

I'm still new to Sinfonion but I come to it with an decent understanding of music theory. Here is what initially threw me off because it's different than other "smart quantizers" I have (Instruo Harmonaig and Qu-bit Chords 2). In those two modules you pick a single scale and then feed the module v/oct cv and the quantizer automatically creates diatonic chords for all the different scale degrees (for a major scale: I maj7, ii min7, iii min7, IV maj7, V 7, vi min7, vii dim7).
This makes for idiot proof harmonic chord changes. Just pick a single scale and you're good to go. This is all good unless you want to implement chord substitutions from other modes or scales, which you can't do in the automatic harmony mode.

As far as I can tell so far (please let me know if I'm wrong), while Sinfonion is able to keep many voices in harmony within a single scale, it's not setup for automatic diatonic chord changes in the same way as Harmonaig or Chords 2. You have know a bit of functional harmony and manually program your chord changes by hand using the sequencer or setting up a group of presets. The flip side of this is that it's very easy to substitute chords from other modes/scales for added effect whenever you want.

TLDR - you need a small amount of music theory knowledge to unlock the harmonic power of Sinfonion.

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Post by nrg242 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:14 pm

i had to send mine back to Perfect Circuit as the input jack on Channel 1 had a loose connection. Hopefully it doesn't have to go all the way back to ACL.

tis a shame as just patching nearly every oscillator i own to the remainder of the channels led to tons of fun for the brief time i had it. somehow i never got along with Harmonaig driving the E370 so hopefully this will fit my use.

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Post by Dark Barn » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:45 pm

second_breakfast wrote:I'm still new to Sinfonion but I come to it with an decent understanding of music theory. Here is what initially threw me off because it's different than other "smart quantizers" I have (Instruo Harmonaig and Qu-bit Chords 2). In those two modules you pick a single scale and then feed the module v/oct cv and the quantizer automatically creates diatonic chords for all the different scale degrees (for a major scale: I maj7, ii min7, iii min7, IV maj7, V 7, vi min7, vii dim7).
This makes for idiot proof harmonic chord changes. Just pick a single scale and you're good to go. This is all good unless you want to implement chord substitutions from other modes or scales, which you can't do in the automatic harmony mode.

As far as I can tell so far (please let me know if I'm wrong), while Sinfonion is able to keep many voices in harmony within a single scale, it's not setup for automatic diatonic chord changes in the same way as Harmonaig or Chords 2. You have know a bit of functional harmony and manually program your chord changes by hand using the sequencer or setting up a group of presets. The flip side of this is that it's very easy to substitute chords from other modes/scales for added effect whenever you want.

TLDR - you need a small amount of music theory knowledge to unlock the harmonic power of Sinfonion.
Is there a way to CV address the root note of the quantizer though? That’s been my only quandary so far. I’m pretty new to this module.
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Post by second_breakfast » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:06 pm

Dark Barn wrote:
Is there a way to CV address the root note of the quantizer though? That’s been my only quandary so far. I’m pretty new to this module.
You can cv the root note via the "root" input jack. I'm going to test this out tonight to see if the chord degree automatically changes as well. If this is the case then this is how to make the Sinfonion behave like the Instruo Harmonaig.

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Post by Dark Barn » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:16 pm

second_breakfast wrote:
Dark Barn wrote:
Is there a way to CV address the root note of the quantizer though? That’s been my only quandary so far. I’m pretty new to this module.
You can cv the root note via the "root" input jack. I'm going to test this out tonight to see if the chord degree automatically changes as well. If this is the case then this is how to make the Sinfonion behave like the Instruo Harmonaig.
Ah thanks! I’ve avoided that input because I thought it affected the other quantizer sections like a transpose function. Guess I should bear down on the manual some more. :guinness:
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Post by Dark Barn » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:16 pm

second_breakfast, I’ve been playing around all morning and finally figured out how to transpose the chord quantizer diatonically, for starters you must be in one of the final 6 modes (I think! I only tested this in major and minor) then you must have DEGREE knob fully CCW, and assign a CV input to modulate DEGREE. Then if you send v/oct to the assigned DEGREE CV input of voltages/notes equal to the intervals of the scale you’ve started in then you will diatonically transpose the chords in scale. It’s easiest to start with a C major scale and send major scale notes to the assigned DEGREE CV input to get started, if you send non scale intervals to the degree input you get non scale chords though, so some thought is required to stay in key especially in more esoteric scales.
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Post by guigui » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:03 pm

Dark Barn wrote:second_breakfast, I’ve been playing around all morning and finally figured out how to transpose the chord quantizer diatonically, for starters you must be in one of the final 6 modes (I think! I only tested this in major and minor) then you must have DEGREE knob fully CCW, and assign a CV input to modulate DEGREE. Then if you send v/oct to the assigned DEGREE CV input of voltages/notes equal to the intervals of the scale you’ve started in then you will diatonically transpose the chords in scale. It’s easiest to start with a C major scale and send major scale notes to the assigned DEGREE CV input to get started, if you send non scale intervals to the degree input you get non scale chords though, so some thought is required to stay in key especially in more esoteric scales.
Would it be stupid to suggest using one of the other channels to quantize to the scale you want your chords to stay in?

Edit: It's a nice suggestion for an update to include easy diatonic chords selection.

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Post by Milanski » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:45 am

@jdee I just bought a General CV based on your post describing the ability to send 4 cvs to generate 4 midi notes from the chords section. Would you be willing to share your preset for this at all? I haven't got a clue how to configure the General in this way and the manual somehow doesn't explain how to reconfigure the default CV to MIDI settings (though I realise I'm probably not understanding properly).

Edit: Spent more time with the General CV and think I'm nearly there!
Edit 2: Can't for the life of me get any MIDI out of the breakout. Have posted in the General CV forum but if you can shed any light in the meantime (perhaps by DM) @jdee, it would be very much appreciated. Can get some cool sounds out of the module itself in the meantime tho!

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Post by Milanski » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:16 am

Update: MIDI signal now present but am not getting chords out of the module, only arpeggios. Currently messaging Os over on the General CV forum about this but if anyone in the meantime can shed any light, that would be ace.

I think (when it works) this will be a great way to use the sinfonion/modular in combination with external synths, for anyone that is interested in doing this, but for now I'll shut up on this thread about it as it's not 100% about the Sinfonion (which is working brilliantly so far!).

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Post by guigui » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:46 am

Milanski wrote:Update: MIDI signal now present but am not getting chords out of the module, only arpeggios. Currently messaging Os over on the General CV forum about this but if anyone in the meantime can shed any light, that would be ace.

I think (when it works) this will be a great way to use the sinfonion/modular in combination with external synths, for anyone that is interested in doing this, but for now I'll shut up on this thread about it as it's not 100% about the Sinfonion (which is working brilliantly so far!).
I'm really interested in the outcome of that, because that may be the perfect polyphony solution for me.

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