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A new Oakley Sequencer project?
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Author A new Oakley Sequencer project?
Synthbuilder
Just a quick bit of news on a new board set coming in the next month or two. This is a eurorack sequencer - a 960 type thing with individual step skip/reset switches but it also has parallel loading like the Turing Machine and Klee.





Sorry for the picture quality - it's a screen grab which is then converted to JPG.

Mostly surface mount. Two boards; one UI, one main control fitted back to back and parallel to the front panel like the ASV. The two 16-way headers on the main board will connect up to some as yet undesigned expander modules. All discrete 74 logic gates for that 'analogue' sound. hihi

Tony
Leverkusen
Synthbuilder wrote:
Just a quick bit of news on a new board set coming in the next month or two. This is a eurorack sequencer - a 960 type thing with individual step skip/reset switches but it also has parallel loading like the Turing Machine and Klee.

Mostly surface mount. Two boards; one UI, one main control fitted back to back and parallel to the front panel like the ASV. The two 16-way headers on the main board will connect up to some as yet undesigned expander modules. All discrete 74 logic gates for that 'analogue' sound. hihi

Tony


Hm, I am sure it will be great - but I am a bit afraid that it won't fit in the same case that is housing the ASV? Is it that 5U is selling that bad?

waah
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
Hm, I am sure it will be great - but I am a bit afraid that it won't fit in the same case that is housing the ASV? Is it that 5U is selling that bad?

The key reason for any new Oakley project is because I want one. I've been building up a small 6U 19" rack of sequencing modules and I wanted a more traditional Moog 960/962 set up. I don't really have a lot of space so a more compact solution was required. Plus the fact that Dotcom and Moon already make some very nice traditional sequencing modules in 5U.

You'll be pleased to know I'm not going to stop designing new 5U modules but I will be looking at other formats in which to build new projects too. PCB sales have been steadily falling over the last few years. Indeed, I've had several weeks this year in which no one has placed an order. The ASV has been particularly disappointing. I'm not at work at the moment to check for sure but I don't think I've sold more than twelve ASV board sets. I hope that once the new MU panels are here I might sell a few more.

Tony
oozitron
As far as the ASV goes, I'll be getting two more board sets as soon as I scrape up the cash. Some unexpected bills stole my $$$ :-(

I love my two ASVs... they sound amazing and I can't wait to have a Four Voice!

This sequencer sounds interesting!

Drew
Synthbuilder
My first attempt at a Schaeffer panel design for the new sequencer project:



The two big holes are push switches, the next size down are the two rows of pots. The rows of medium sized holes are toggle switches and the small holes are LEDs.
Leverkusen
Synthbuilder wrote:
Leverkusen wrote:
Hm, I am sure it will be great - but I am a bit afraid that it won't fit in the same case that is housing the ASV? Is it that 5U is selling that bad?

The key reason for any new Oakley project is because I want one. I've been building up a small 6U 19" rack of sequencing modules and I wanted a more traditional Moog 960/962 set up. I don't really have a lot of space so a more compact solution was required. Plus the fact that Dotcom and Moon already make some very nice traditional sequencing modules in 5U.

You'll be pleased to know I'm not going to stop designing new 5U modules but I will be looking at other formats in which to build new projects too. PCB sales have been steadily falling over the last few years. Indeed, I've had several weeks this year in which no one has placed an order. The ASV has been particularly disappointing. I'm not at work at the moment to check for sure but I don't think I've sold more than twelve ASV board sets. I hope that once the new MU panels are here I might sell a few more.

Tony


I often wish I had a traditional Moog styled sequencer too beside the Circlon. Especially if it was one with a little twist. But for Eurorack I find this to big. I was inkering with the random*source serge sequencer cause I have some of Ralfs modules and really like them but, again, it’s a little too big for my system.

You are right that Moon and Dotcom already make a lot of very nice more or less traditional modules in 5U - nevertheless I prefer building them by myself for the usual reasons, like fun, pride and money.

I really dig your designs and how building them are fun and educating at the same time. So it’s good to know that you carry on designing new stuff in 5U. But I also have to admit that I wasn’t sure about the ASV as I am not a big fan of complete voice synths in my modular and also this is a huge project to build. I can see the charm in some kind of 5U Four-Or-More-Voice but have not enough room for such a thing and might prefer it as a tabletop, or as single modules to combine as needed. But I am building one anyway (slowly though, due to ongoing parts issues…) and am excited to try it out - hopefully soon. And I am pretty sure I would not be the only one to build this sequencer if it was in 5U. It’s as with the delay module - there are not many options out there in DIY. And an analogue sequencer with single stage outputs, stage select CV and then something tripy would be a dream.

Nevertheless I am curious to see how this develops - what does this Load-Function do? And the CV inputs?
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
What does this Load-Function do? And the CV inputs?

Normal 960 type step sequencers play one stage at a time and then move on to the next stage when a shift command is received. Like the Turing Machine and Klee, this sequencer allows more than one stage to be active at any one time. The state of the stages is determined by the load switches at the top of the module. When a load command is given, either by a gate type signal on the load input or by pushing the load switch, the position of the stage switch determines what state that stage will be changed to.

You can set the switches to force the stage to be on, off or be left as it is. If you want standard single stage behaviour, simply set switch one to on and the others to off and hit load every time you want to reset the sequencer back to stage one.

The CV output is the sum of all the active stages at that moment. So if you have two stages active you'll get a CV on the output that is equal to the two stages' CV added together. The results can be surprisingly musical and inspiring. I've been quite astounded by the results with an expanded Turing Machine - but programming which state is active is pretty tricky on that unit, and it doesn't have skip or stage reset functions either.

Load can be done either the instant a load command is given or only on the next shift command.

One of those expansion headers on the main board will allow some sort of external control over the loading states although I've not worked out how I will do this. The other expansion header is the individual stage outputs.

The CV inputs simply add to the CV1 outputs. Designed for the most part to allow transposition of the sequence via any 1V/oct output.

If there is any interest in a 5U through hole version version I can do one.

Tony
Leverkusen
I think a mix between a 960 and a more accessible Turing-like sequencer is a great idea and I would definitely build one in 5U with an individual gate output expander. Together with a quantizer (I already have a Barton PCB waiting here) and maybe a gate delay there are lots of weird and evolving rhythms and melodies to come.

For a Load expander my first thought/wish would be something that combines 8 individual set inputs for the stages with a CV input that transmits its voltage amount as an 8-Bit binary value to the stage load settings. Adding the possibility to switch in logic processors to each of the eight bits then and take the current state into account would probably go to far then...I must admit that I am getting a bit excited... screaming goo yo
Pav
I would be up for pre order of a 5U analog sequencer PCB set . Thru hole still preferred as less risk of soldering errors..experienced on flangr. that said I no longer fear another SMD project from you
Ideally no wider than ASV panel.
Guinness ftw!
wiperactive
Is there any possibility of giving this the option of running the A and B channels sequentially to give 16 steps, albeit I'm guessing, with some compromises in that mode. Implemented as a feature, mod or internal jumper reset.
Leverkusen
wiperactive wrote:
Is there any possibility of giving this the option of running the A and B channels sequentially to give 16 steps, albeit I'm guessing, with some compromises in that mode. Implemented as a feature, mod or internal jumper reset.


Maybe a switch for the combined output to change from adding A+B to chaining A+B?

On the other hand one could do this with a (sequential) switch module and the reset output. The sequencer theme could include some very interesting new module designs, being it the above mentioned expansions for the main sequencer or additional single 1U utilities like voltage controlled dividers, switches, additional 1U voltage or gate rows which could also be combined elsewhere in the modular...
Synthbuilder
wiperactive wrote:
Is there any possibility of giving this the option of running the A and B channels sequentially to give 16 steps, albeit I'm guessing, with some compromises in that mode. Implemented as a feature, mod or internal jumper reset.

Leverkusen hit the nail on the head when he mentioned a sequential switch module. Because this is inspired by the original Moog 960, but with parallel loading, I envisaged use of a sequential switch module to take it to 16 steps. The reset out signal would be used to sequentially switch between the A and B rows to give a maximum of 16 steps. In the 960 we have three rows offering 24 steps but sadly there was not room to allow for more than two rows on this panel.

However, this isn't going to allow individual skip, gate or load control of the individual steps, as step 1 would always be the same as step 9. If one does need more control over all 16 steps a Klee would probably be the better bet.
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
The sequencer theme could include some very interesting new module designs...

Exactly what I was thinking. I've lots of ideas but I'll see how I get on once I get to play with the sequencer in real life. My prototype is only four stages, built on stripboard and doesn't actually output a usable CV.

A 5U version may well be slightly different as the panel design can't be the same especially if we need to get it to be 5U (4MU) wide. Don't hold your breath for a 5U version though. It will be some time away. Probably should get a 5U delay done first.

Tony
wiperactive
Nice to know this design is amenable to 16 step operation as I'm unexpectedly enjoying a recently acquired 8 step dual channel analogue euro sequencer which is adaptable to 16 steps via an expander.

This design offers sufficiently different facilities to make it a potentially great parallel use synced partner.

Ahh... just noticed, where's the clock/sync input?
Leverkusen
wiperactive wrote:

Ahh... just noticed, where's the clock/sync input?


It's 'Shift' I guess it shifts the active stage(s) one step further...
Synthbuilder
Yep, the clock input is called 'shift' like the original Moog 960. From an engineering standpoint it makes sense as the sequencer part of the circuitry is a shift register. The data, ie. the load data initially generated by the top switches, is passed along the register each time a new 'shift' command is given. I tend to think of clock as being the master tempo signal which may, or may not be, the same as the signal being used to shift the sequencer one step forward at a time.

Tony
Synthbuilder
Panel finally arrived so I could start putting the little guy together. Initial tests appear to show the build to be successful. Further testing will take place over the weekend. If all goes well I'll write up the documentation next week and the boards will be available after that.

















Tony
Leverkusen
Hey, I think it looks great! Like clean design and probably nice to build. applause

Synthbuilder wrote:

Don't hold your breath for a 5U version though. It will be some time away.




hihi
Synthbuilder
Boards now available.

http://www.oakleysound.com/sequencer-e.htm

Documentation should be ready before the end of the week.

Next will be the eurorack versions of the Multimix and HVM which should be available in July.

Tony
LED-man
Count me in for 5x 5U Sequencer!!
diophantine
This looks great! I posted a more DIY-related question in the DIY forum (about PCB size vs. Frac), but figured I'd asked a few more functional questions here...

Is the "Preload" label & LED part of the "Load on Shift" switch? What does the LED indicate?

Are both of the CV outputs per channel the same, with the exception of a switch vs. pot attenuator? Is the CV In per channel added to both outputs for that channel, and is summed it pre- or post-attenuator?

Why does step 8 appear to lack a "normal" mode?

Would it be possible to expand this to 16 stages? From previous posts it sounds like that's not the idea (i.e. use a Klee), and I know the expansion ports aren't for that, but I'm just curious if it would be possible to do a 2nd PCB with just 8 stages which could be wired to the main one in some fashion.

How does the "Reset Out" work when multiple stages are active?

Any additional details on the expansion headers? ("One header carries the eight individual stage outputs, and the other has the eight set and clear inputs for the individual stages.")

Sorry to bombard with questions! But this seems really awesome and a nice combination of my favorite sequencers. And apologies if I missed some earlier answers to my questions; I read through the thread but on my phone over lunch...

Oh, and I'd also potentially be interested in a 5U version!
Synthbuilder
diophantine wrote:
Is the "Preload" label & LED part of the "Load on Shift" switch? What does the LED indicate?

The preload LED lights up the moment the load command is given (either by an active high on the load input or by pressing the button). The LED goes off if the load command is given again or a shift command is given. This happens irrespective of the position of the 'load on shift' switch. If the load on switch is in its up position the LED's status doesn't affect the operation of the sequencer. It's only when the switch is down and the load on shift mode is activated that it really means anything. When the LED is on the sequencer is 'armed' and ready to load the moment the shift command is given. Giving a second load command before the shift command is given will cancel the arming and the LED will go out.

Quote:
Are both of the CV outputs per channel the same, with the exception of a switch vs. pot attenuator? Is the CV In per channel added to both outputs for that channel, and is summed it pre- or post-attenuator?

They are both the same, that is the CV outputs of that channel are derived from the position of the pots. The A and B CV inputs affect only the A1 and B1 outputs respectively. The A2 and B2 are not affected by the CV inputs.

Quote:
Why does step 8 appear to lack a "normal" mode?

Normal means that the step will pass onto the next stage. Since there is no step 9 the only options are reset and skip.

Quote:
Would it be possible to expand this to 16 stages?

With another unit and some hacks it may indeed be possible. Although that does pose the question of what to do with the step 8 of the first sequencer - one would need a three state switch in that case. I think a Klee may well be the easier option if you do need true 16 step operation.

Otherwise using a sequential switch triggered from the reset out pulse should work well enough to combine the two CV channels in sequence.

Quote:
How does the "Reset Out" work when multiple stages are active?

Multiple active steps will create multiple reset pulses. Reset Out will go high every time an active step is passed back to the start. It is not the same as step 1, or any other step output, though.

Quote:
Any additional details on the expansion headers? ("One header carries the eight individual stage outputs, and the other has the eight set and clear inputs for the individual stages.")

That's pretty much it. The output one has the individual outputs of all eight stages and each will go high when the step in on. Don't take these outputs to drive other modules directly. They'll need some buffering before taking them out to the outside world.

The set and clear inputs control the loading states of each of the steps. There's a set and clear input for each of the eight shift registers. An active low will set or clear that step. Again, these are not designed to be just connected to any other module. They should only be accessed by a (forthcoming) module that will process any external CVs before handing them over to the Sequencer.

Quote:
Oh, and I'd also potentially be interested in a 5U version!

Good to know. I'll have a think about it. It'll be an expensive module to put together for me, so it may be some time.

I'll hopefully have the User Manual up in the next week or so which should give a lot more details on the operation of the unit.

Tony
Leverkusen
Synthbuilder wrote:

The preload LED lights up the moment the hold command is given (either by an active high on the hold input or by pressing the button). The LED goes off if the hold command is given again or a shift command is given. This happens irrespective of the position of the 'load on shift' switch. If the load on switch is in its up position the LED's status doesn't affect the operation of the sequencer. It's only when the switch is down and the load on shift mode is activated that it really means anything. When the LED is on the sequencer is 'armed' and ready to load the moment the shift command is given. Giving a second hold command before the shift command is given will cancel the arming and the LED will go out.


Now I get confused - what are the ‚hold command‘ and the ‚hold input/button‘?

Quote:

The A and B CV inputs affect only the A1 and B1 outputs respectively. The A2 and B2 are not affected by the CV inputs.


…great idea to have one output transposable and one unaffected, but attenuated!

Quote:

Multiple active steps will create multiple reset pulses. Reset Out will go high every time an active step is passed back to the start. It is not the same as step 1, or any other step output, though.


Hm, why is Reset Out not the same as step 1 Out (if individual outs were already availiable)? hmmm.....

I have to admit, the more I think about it, the more I get intrigued. It’s a shame that I have absolutely no disposable room in my eurorack case, but already some capable sequencers there. Looking forward to read the manual.

Quote:
Oh, and I'd also potentially be interested in a 5U version!

Good to know. I'll have a think about it. [/quote]

It's peanut butter jelly time!
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
what are the ‚hold command‘ and the ‚hold input/button‘?

Sorry my mistake. For 'hold' read 'load'. I have edited the original post to correct this.

Quote:
why is Reset Out not the same as step 1 Out (if individual outs were already availiable)?

If step one is in skip then step one never goes high, so step one can't be used as a reset pulse. Indeed you can't use any of the individual step outs for the same reason. So the Oakley Sequencer has to be a little cleverer than that.

The reset out is an additional hidden step and takes the data from any stage that has been selected to reset. Thus the reset out pulse only goes high after a step that has been selected to reset has finished and the sequencer is shifted. If steps 1 and 2 were set to skip, and step 3 was in normal, then reset out would go high when step 3 switches on.

Tony
diophantine
Thanks for all the info!

Synthbuilder wrote:
Quote:
Why does step 8 appear to lack a "normal" mode?

Normal means that the step will pass onto the next stage. Since there is no step 9 the only options are reset and skip.

Ok, so skip = "skip current step" and reset = "reset after current step"?


Synthbuilder wrote:
Quote:
Would it be possible to expand this to 16 stages?

With another unit and some hacks it may indeed be possible. Although that does pose the question of what to do with the step 8 of the first sequencer - one would need a three state switch in that case. I think a Klee may well be the easier option if you do need true 16 step operation.

Otherwise using a sequential switch triggered from the reset out pulse should work well enough to combine the two CV channels in sequence.

Yes, I was imagining an expansion board with basically 8x of "stage one" of the normal board.

Synthbuilder wrote:
Quote:
Any additional details on the expansion headers? ("One header carries the eight individual stage outputs, and the other has the eight set and clear inputs for the individual stages.")

That's pretty much it. The output one has the individual outputs of all eight stages and each will go high when the step in on. Don't take these outputs to drive other modules directly. They'll need some buffering before taking them out to the outside world.

Perfect, this is the info that I was curious about, namely if it needed buffering or not. And since both headers are 16-pins, I wasn't sure if the one provided more than just 8x stage outputs.
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