Pitch Fluctuation with ES-1

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Project
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Pitch Fluctuation with ES-1

Post by Project » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:01 pm

Ho, I've just got my ES-1 and I started using it, but after having calibrated I've found that the pitch of my VCO is fluctuating, like a sort of random LFO applied. IF I switch back to my old Kenton PRO Solo the pitch is steady, so it seems that there's some problem with the ES-1.
I'm using an RME HDSP 9652 on a PC running windows XP with Cubase 5.1.
The first ADAT output of the RME is connected with and ADA 8000 with a db25 cable going to the ES-1.
I've used only the pitch cv, did no tried the other CV yet.
I did not calibrate the ES-1 module, I just mounted it in my Doepfer case. Maybe I should measure the voltage coming out of the pitch cv output, but I'm pretty sure is fluctuating, because the pitch is not steady; this changes from note to note and from moment to moment.
Any help would be really appreciated

regards

Project

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bsmith
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Post by bsmith » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:07 pm

Sounds like you aren't inserting the ac encoder plugin or not activating it.

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os
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Post by os » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:37 pm

Indeed, are you using the AC Encoder plug-in?

The ADA8000 does work fine with the ES-1 - in fact it's what I test them with. You should get about 0-5V with the ES-1 at factory settings. -/+10V is possible if you change the trim pots appropriately.

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Post by Project » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:54 pm

I'm using the AC Encoder, in fact, if I deactivate it the VCO pitch remains fixed. I really can not explain this pitch wobble thing. Do you think that my module could be faulty? I can't do it now, but I think that if I'm going to measure the CV output with a voltmeter I'll see it varying rapidly instead of being fixed on a voltage for every given note....

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os
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Post by os » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:47 am

OK let's try some simple tests.

1. Use the Silent Way DC plug-in and the AC Encoder plug-in. Set the AC Encoder to unipolar mode, and vary the DC plug-in's "Out 0->1" knob. You should get 0V to about 5V out. If you don't have a voltmeter handy, connect a 1V/oct VCO and count octaves.

2. Does each ES-1 channel behave the same?

3. Do the ES-1 channels correspond to the audio channels in the expected order?

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bsmith
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Post by bsmith » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:51 am

I'm wondering if the plug in chain isn't correct. The ac encoder should be the last plugin you have inserted in the plugin chain, so it can actually encode.

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os
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Post by os » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:56 am

@Project - feel free to send me your Cubase song file, or post a screenshot here.

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Post by Project » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:19 pm

Thanks a lot for your replies; I think I've found the source of the problem. I had a strange routing made ages ago with my RME Matrix Mixer, and that I totally forgot. that made everything coming out of my Cubase Master Output also go out of the first two ouputs that I'm using with the ES-1.
When I heard the pitch wobbling i was playing the Sylent Way voice controller and a VST synth at the same time. What happened is that the audio of the synth was going to the ES-1 together with the pitch CV. I was not aware of this because when i wanted to hear my System 100 VCO alone I muted the Cubase output on my external mixer, so I was hearing the VCO alone and his pitch was wobbling but it was still receiving the audio from Cubase. Today I realized this removed the routing and now the VCO pitch is steady!
Also i did not put the ac encoder in unipolar mode, but it seems that this is what I'm supposed to do, right?
I've noticed that if I calibrate the VCO with 8' pitch it will track from g#1 (with C3 being Middle C) to about C7, so the first 8 keys of my 61 notes keyboard will not track correctly, is this normal?

Unfortunately, I don't have too much time for making other test right now, and I'll not have for a few days, but at least it seems that the module is working

thanks again for your help

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os
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Post by os » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:28 pm

Hurrah!

I suggested unipolar mode to make the test I suggested simpler - what you use will depend on what you're doing with any given channel. For the pitch output you probably want to use bipolar mode (since the voice controller's pitch output is by default a bipolar signal); for gates and envelopes you'll likely want unipolar mode.

That said, if you recalibrate your ES-1 for bipolar operation (it ships as unipolar) then you'd want to run every instance of the AC Encoder as bipolar too.

Sounds like you're getting about 4 octaves of calibration, which is OK for the voltage range you have available.

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