Our answer to modular polyphony: Supercritical Synthesizers

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cioaudio
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Post by cioaudio » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:39 am

Mine just arrived from musicstore, first listenable result:

First test

The power ribbon cable was too short for the bottom of my rack.

Not sure I figured out how to allocate voices properly so now to read all the manuals for the modules involved since this is only the second time I've used the rack.

Robrecht
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Post by Robrecht » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:39 pm

I've only had a couple of sessions with mine after I picked it up two weeks ago, as I had to leave on holiday only a few days later. Luckily, I recorded some of them, and this one happened to fit quite nicely over a time-lapse video I just shot of the view out of my window.

[video][/video]

Can't wait to get back home and really explore what this module can do.

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dooj88
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Post by dooj88 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:18 pm

wow Robrecht, killer stuff. don't normally go for that old school fat poly vibe, but this thing sounds realllly good.

versipellis
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Post by versipellis » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:25 am

Robrecht wrote:I've only had a couple of sessions with mine after I picked it up two weeks ago, as I had to leave on holiday only a few days later. Luckily, I recorded some of them, and this one happened to fit quite nicely over a time-lapse video I just shot of the view out of my window.

[video][/video]

Can't wait to get back home and really explore what this module can do.
That is one gorgeous view!

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Post by Robrecht » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:35 pm

dooj88 wrote:wow Robrecht, killer stuff. don't normally go for that old school fat poly vibe, but this thing sounds realllly good.
Thanks! That vibe is right up my alley, and I'm stoked to have it in my rack now along with my more "modern" sounds.
versipellis wrote:That is one gorgeous view!
Nice, huh? Now I really regret not having put together that small travel skiff to sit on the balcony here in the evenings and play.

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:05 pm

Ringo wrote:
Christopher Winkels wrote:Sounds lovely in the demo.

"Supercritical"?
"Demon Core"?

I guess one could say the modular industry is....



..... at a "Crossroads".
Very tempting oscillator...technically.

It's really a pity that it has a pentagram on its faceplate and a "demon core" because that way it s a no-go for me personally. And I'm generally very interested in polyphonic stuff. Recently, quite a few modules seem to be predetermind to be dark or even evil. i, personally, do not think that it is funny or stylish or meant that way in some cases. I understand that there are people who make nice dark music, but references to the devil are a red line for me. I mainly use 2xRoland 512 and 2xRoland 521 for 4 voice polyphonic structures. They are not predetermined to be evil.
I'm not going to say I'm taking offense, but I have met and chatted and worked with people who
knew Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin personally.

A sad story, no matter how you spin it.

Please be kind to their memory; they were doing what they thought was right, for a cause
that all felt was just, and they gave their lives in the process.

- Bill
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

versipellis
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Post by versipellis » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:30 am

wsy wrote:
Ringo wrote:
Christopher Winkels wrote:Sounds lovely in the demo.

"Supercritical"?
"Demon Core"?

I guess one could say the modular industry is....



..... at a "Crossroads".
Very tempting oscillator...technically.

It's really a pity that it has a pentagram on its faceplate and a "demon core" because that way it s a no-go for me personally. And I'm generally very interested in polyphonic stuff. Recently, quite a few modules seem to be predetermind to be dark or even evil. i, personally, do not think that it is funny or stylish or meant that way in some cases. I understand that there are people who make nice dark music, but references to the devil are a red line for me. I mainly use 2xRoland 512 and 2xRoland 521 for 4 voice polyphonic structures. They are not predetermined to be evil.
I'm not going to say I'm taking offense, but I have met and chatted and worked with people who
knew Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin personally.

A sad story, no matter how you spin it.

Please be kind to their memory; they were doing what they thought was right, for a cause
that all felt was just, and they gave their lives in the process.

- Bill
I was wondering when someone who knew or had a relation to those two would pop in here. :(

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missingtwin
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Post by missingtwin » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:48 am

[/quote]references to the devil are a red line for me. I mainly use 2xRoland 512 and 2xRoland 521 for 4 voice polyphonic structures. They are not predetermined to be evil.[quote]

Uh oh. I think it’s the church lady.
Satan!

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cackland
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Post by cackland » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:57 am

Robrecht wrote:Just picked mine up this afternoon, with the Expander.

Image

I was mainly interested in polyphony and wow, it doesn't disappoint -- I might be selling my Minilogue now (for my use, I don't mind sending chords through a single filter). The super fat stacked mono sounds are great as well.

Here's a quick recording of my first explorations (Demon Core through MI Ripples, the additional arpeggio's are my Mother 32).

[video][/video]

Very nice. What midi to cv module are you using?

Edit -- some more thoughts. I don't know what magic is performed on what is apparently just a single analog oscillator core, but (taking into account that the voices can't be processed/filtered seperately) it really does play like a polysynth. The clever midi implementation is certainly a part of that, with a "virtual" VCA and full ADSR envelope for each note. And it responds to sustain pedals, too, which is great.

I still have to experiment with the Time Sync thing, but it sounds very cool. Distributing the 16 available voices over unison, stacked octaves and polyphony is easy, the secondary functions of the knobs are all very logical, and there are some clever details like the led blinking to indicate tuning to C and the auto-adjusting TRS midi jack. It just feels like a very well-thought-out, completely finished product. I'm impressed.

Edit 2 -- some more noodling.

https://soundcloud.com/robrechtv/demon-core-test
The Time Sync feature is interesting. It's like because you can "position" the beating/flanging in time, the sideband harmonics due to the spread/detune almost get their own attack and decay, triggered independently for each note? Which helps to set the notes apart when playing polyphonically, almost in the way that having a separate filter envelope for each note would. Al least that's my impression at the moment.

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Post by Robrecht » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:12 am

cackland wrote:Very nice. What midi to cv module are you using?
Thanks. I was playing the Demon Core Oscillator directly over midi, through the expander, for full polyphonic control.

The shorter notes are my Mother-32 played by MI Marbles, with the Bias parameter CV-controlled by Pressure Points/Brains in four steps to suggest a chord progression. Drums are Euclidean Circles into the Delptronics LDB-2e.

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Post by Ceri JC » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:06 am

I see the expander has 4 V/Oct inputs.

Is it possible to (without using MIDI) use these to make 4 x 4 poly voices, with independent V/Oct control?

As an example patch;
Intellijel Metropolis (V/Oct pitch out)-> Elektrofon Klang (turn that V/Oct to 4 x V/Oct signals, arranged as a chord) -> Demon Core Expander's 4 x V/Oct in?

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Post by Robrecht » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 am

Ceri JC wrote:Is it possible to (without using MIDI) use these to make 4 x 4 poly voices, with independent V/Oct control?
Yes.

You won't get the internal individual VCAs for every voice that are implemented via MIDI, but in your example patch, that shouldn't be a problem. The four chord voices will change simultaneously, sequenced by the Metropolis, so you can send the entire chord through a single external VCA if you want to.

Ceri JC
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Post by Ceri JC » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:58 pm

Robrecht wrote:
Ceri JC wrote:Is it possible to (without using MIDI) use these to make 4 x 4 poly voices, with independent V/Oct control?
Yes.

You won't get the internal individual VCAs for every voice that are implemented via MIDI, but in your example patch, that shouldn't be a problem. The four chord voices will change simultaneously, sequenced by the Metropolis, so you can send the entire chord through a single external VCA if you want to.
Sweet. Thank you Robrecht!

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JES
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Post by JES » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:30 pm

Let me make sure I understand: if you use the 1v/octave ins, you do NOT trigger the individual envelopes per voice? So the only way to get that is direct MIDI in?
"Now, I'm off to hook my cat's litterbox up to an envelope follower." --Aragorn23

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Post by Robrecht » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:09 pm

JES wrote:Let me make sure I understand: if you use the 1v/octave ins, you do NOT trigger the individual envelopes per voice? So the only way to get that is direct MIDI in?
That's right. There are no gate inputs, the envelopes are only triggered by MIDI.

The typical use case for those four inputs in 1v/octave mode is Stream mode, where the module behaves more like a classical oscillator and just outputs a constant (polyphonic) drone, with the assumption that the VCA/envelope happens downstream in other modules. And then you're VCA'ing full chords, of course, not individual voices.

But with MIDI, those individual ADSR envelopes for every voice work great!

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Post by ckwjr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:06 am

First, I want to acknowledge I made some somewhat critical comments at the top of this thread.

I've been chasing Eurorack polyphony solutions for nearly a year, despite ongoing comments about how Eurorack isn't made for polyphony, etc. etc. etc., I'd suggest this was not true a year ago and is much less true today.

The Demon Core module/expansion combination at its price point is basically unbeatable. I love the way it sounds. The firmware seems pretty solid so far.

Just repeating my earlier comment: price setting for Eurorack polyphony is an interesting problem.

Here's a first take on a portable Demon Core synth:

Image

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guigui
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Post by guigui » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:36 pm

[video][/video]

That sounds awesome!
Last edited by guigui on Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sutekina bipu-on
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Post by sutekina bipu-on » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:52 pm

^ you have to remove the s in https :)

I hadn't heard of this module which is too bad because i was just recently focusing on 4 voice modules to do polyphony. Man! So mad i didn't know if this a little sooner or i would have had it ordered by now :doh:

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guigui
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Post by guigui » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:55 pm

sutekina bipu-on wrote:^ you have to remove the s in https :)

I hadn't heard of this module which is too bad because i was just recently focusing on 4 voice modules to do polyphony. Man! So mad i didn't know if this a little sooner or i would have had it ordered by now :doh:
Edited.

Thanks!

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Post by zoneswithoutpeople » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:48 am

I am hoping there is an actual demon in the module.

Hail Satan!

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Post by hzzzu » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:57 am

I just finished recording machines for my prog-metal band's new songs. I did all polyphonic stuff with the DCO.

I'm a "little bit" biased with my comment but the paraphonic use case just rules for me. I tend to run the DCO with a single filter and a single envelope via midi, using the retrig mode. That setup has replaced my Prophet 08 for most polyphonic patches. Even for keyboard playing, triggering the filter envelope on every note sounds very cool to me. The VCA envelopes might be more effective in this sense of polyphony.

But that's just me. It's very interesting to see other peoples' setups and setup ideas for the thing. Also I'm very interested in the concept of multiple outputs you've been talking about. Using all modular polyphonic chain reminds me of the old 8 voice Oberheim SEM. In a good way.

Oh yeah, we're stoked for all the sound samples you've done. It's amazeballs to hear what you are doing with our machine!

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Richard deHove
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Post by Richard deHove » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:43 am

Some of the examples above do sound very good, but in terms of multiple outputs, modulation and overall versatility, four individual analog oscillators are still a very competitive alternative.

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Post by ckwjr » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:46 am

Richard deHove wrote:Some of the examples above do sound very good, but in terms of multiple outputs, modulation and overall versatility, four individual analog oscillators are still a very competitive alternative.
Agreed. These are two very acceptable setups I've used:

Image

Image

Using the Doepfer quad VCO requires quite a bit more time for tuning, but the sounds are lovely.

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JES
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Post by JES » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:37 pm

For those that are using the module and expander for polyphony, how is it with a mono filter after. Do you miss polyphonic filtering, or is poly ADSR on the module good enough for live play?
"Now, I'm off to hook my cat's litterbox up to an envelope follower." --Aragorn23

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Post by ckwjr » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:27 am

JES wrote:For those that are using the module and expander for polyphony, how is it with a mono filter after. Do you miss polyphonic filtering, or is poly ADSR on the module good enough for live play?
You've definitely identified a weakness of the module. I've been using the Filter 8 to create multiple outs and then running it through stereo delay/reverb effects.

I love the way it sounds, but I also really like having the four independent outs of, say the Qu-bit chord in poly unison mode, and I miss that with the Demon Core.

The A/R envelope on the expander is ok. I think it's good enough for a lot of situations, but it may or may not be what you need.

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