Eurorack Pitch Quantizer Comparison

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mdoudoroff
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Eurorack Pitch Quantizer Comparison

Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:57 am

Oh, what the hell. This one is easy (for me), so I’m doing it!

https://doudoroff.com/quantizers/

2020-02-19 added Tenderfoot Quad Quantizer
2019-10-22 added Kassutronics Quantizer
2019-09-29 errata
2019-09-29 added Mungo w0
2019-09-26 added more performance data from producers
2019-09-25 errata
2019-09-24 reworked transposition column, errata, first stab at accuracy column
2019-09-23 rough draft
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by bc3 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:20 am


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Post by Foghorn » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:24 am

You need to add Tiptop QuantiZer.
Also, what about us people with all these vintage modules like uScale II, Doepfer A-156 dual quantizer or Topobrillo Quantimator.
I really love my quantimator with 3 outputs from one CV input.

Anyway,

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mdoudoroff
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Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:39 am

Yes, I will be adding all the other quantizers—including the common “vintage” ones—in coming days. Just getting started.

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Post by cg_funk » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:58 pm

Awesome! I love your comparison guides.

Doepfer A-156 Dual Quantizer is nice... 2 separate CV outputs is useful. You can do different 2 melodies. I personally find the three little scale switches to make it very musical and playable.

Quantimator by Toppobrillo. 3 Outputs from 1 input CV is so useful. Also, chord mode vs arabesque mode is just great. This is my go-to quantizer!

I think you have your work cut out for you Martin on summing up all of these modules... the little differences between just these two quantizers are pretty complicated.

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Post by rustyjaw » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:02 pm

The Argos Bleak specs seem incorrect. It's been some time since I used mine, but I'm not sure it's accurate to describe it as a 2 channel quantizer. Yes it has 2 inputs (A and B) for 1v/Oct CV, but it has 4 outputs that can be each based on A or B or A+B or A-B.

I think it's fair to describe it as a 4 channel quantizer
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Post by cowboyelectronics » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:03 pm

though not a dedicated quantizer module, i find that about half of the time i use my disting it is for one of the quantizer algorithms

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Post by nostalghia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:09 pm

Couple of edits for your Argos Bleak row:

It has 4 output channels (2 input channels, A & B-each quantized output channel can be derived from A, B or both). Maybe have separate columns for # of inputs and outputs? Not sure how many other quantizers have different qty of each.

I would change "Transposition" to "Yes", since the Chord feature provides independent semitone offset per channel, and 32 user presets for these can be selected manually or via CV. Also, the 2nd input can be used to transpose-for example, patch an unquantized CV sequence to input A and patch something like pressure points to input B. Any output set up with A+B (or A-B) as its combined input source can then be both quantized and transposed. Per the manual: "The combination modes are great for accurately transposing a sequence."

Edit: dang it, I stopped typing for a few minutes to talk to a coworker and see that rustyjaw also noticed the # of channels thing-got his post in before I hit "submit" :oops:
Last edited by nostalghia on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mosorensen » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:11 pm

Another great initiative. It probably doesn't qualify, but I often use a channel on Rene 2 as a quantizer (using either the "FUN.CV.ADD" or "FUN.CV.S&H" modes).

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Post by continuum » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:32 pm

Tiptop QuantiZer (yes, capital Z)

Input ranges (user selectable) 0-10V, +/-5V, 0-5V
Output range: 0-5V
16bit conversion. Output calibrated to under 1mV offset and accuracy
Triggered Quantization delay: 0.25ms
512 step keyboard input recorder

Major/Minor scales
24 User scales
CV control of Scale selection or Transpose

Portamento
Slider control of Pitch, Transpose, Octave
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Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:12 pm

Ok, instead of doing what I should be doing, I went ahead and added all the most obvious modules. I still have to go back and figure out the Barton and Blue Lantern stuff and a maybe a few other obscure ones. Some other day.

Thanks everyone for your comments and corrections. Hopefully I‘ve got most of them in there now!

To clarify regarding outputs, and Argos Bleak (specifically), the channels column is the number of input voltages you can get quantized by the module. The derived parts column describes additional outputs that some modules can generate for you. Argos Bleak is a dual quantizer with two derived intervals.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:59 pm

Added Teletype (thx Starthief) so you can roll your own quantizer if you don’t like any of the other options. :lol:

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Post by erstlaub » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:34 pm

There might be some useful other info in this thing that's been neglected for a year or so -

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Post by FatKingTubby » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:59 pm

I think Bastl's Popcorn would count as a quantizer as well, though I've certainly never used it as one. I recently sold my quantimator, figuring that I'd let my arpitecht/triad be a workhorse for a bit, but now I'm having fond memories of using the trig/hold functions to rotate through pitches and feeling like I might be on the verge of seller's remorse..

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Post by Dogma » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:57 pm

Er301 has a bunch of incredible quantisers - expensive way to go about it but I think it does a few other things as well
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Re: Eurorack Pitch Quantizer Comparison

Post by Timmy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:26 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:Oh, what the hell. This one is easy (for me), so I’m doing it!

https://doudoroff.com/quantizers/

2019-09-23 rough draft
Useful, but i think a few extra columns relating to input (ADC) and output (DAC) resolution/accuracy, or at basic least specs eg 12-bit ADC, 16-bit DAC etc. There are many other considerations when it comes to accuracy, such as the linearity of the op-amps used, and whether and what form of calibration is employed (trimpots, soft-calibration, and how many calibration points are used etc). However, in general, if a designer/manufacturer has bothered to use higher-end ADCs or DACs, then they tend to pay equal attention to the quality of the op-amps and the calibration facilities too.

Latency is also a factor.

Note that for classical quantisation use-cases, the ADC (input) resolution does not need to be as good as the output resolution/accuracy. But for some use-cases, such as transposition/precision voltage-adding, it does.

o_C ADCs are nominally 14-bit but effectively 12-bit after averaging, but the DACs are 16-bit. Latency is about 60 to 100 microseconds (hence teh adjustable trigger delay).

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Post by EdJ » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:51 am

Nice!

One thought: unless I've misunderstood what you mean by "Transpose", the Intellijel Scales is a Yes not a No!

Can transpose a scale by shifting root via the "Shift" input (it's multi function so this input is also how to shift scale), or transpose the incoming note by adding the "Shift" input to the "Pitch" input (plus a few other options).
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Post by BLX » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:18 am

Yeah thanks for this and all the other comparison charts. Super useful.
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Post by Arneb » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:38 am

The Elektrofon Klang doesn't really belong there, I'm afraid - it's not really a quantizer, it's a four-channel pitch CV sequencer with quantized output and a transpose input.

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Post by gelabs » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:42 am

The Sonic Potions Penrose is actually 6HP, not 4HP :)
Nice job btw, those comparison charts are really useful.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:55 am

I’ve updated the comparison with a reworked transposition column.

erstlaub: I did refer to your (?) Google doc at the outset, but wound up taking a slightly different angle on things. For example, in the new landscape, I saw no point in itemizing every scale unless the scale selection was particularly restricted.

FatKingTubby: those whacky Bastl folk! I’ve added Popcorn to the list at the bottom. (I guess I should add René 1, too.)

Dogma: you can only really use the ER-301 quantizers within the ER-301, so for our purposes, it’s no different than any oscillator that has a built-in quantizer. How is the ER-301 at generating chords? If it’s good at that, I’ll add it to the list at the bottom.

Timmy: I’m open to further argument about this, but I am skeptical both about the utility of all these stats (and the space they would consume). Are there really any laggy and/or sloppy quantizers on this list? I have only ever experienced problems with sequencers being slow—I’ve actually needed to “slow quantizers down” (trigger delay). I know a guy on Lines who is concerned about the latency of his Argos Bleak, but it’s not yet clear he’s correctly identified it as the source or his problem.

EdJ: Fixed—oversight on my part. Thanks!
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:56 am

Arneb wrote:The Elektrofon Klang doesn't really belong there, I'm afraid - it's not really a quantizer, it's a four-channel pitch CV sequencer with quantized output and a transpose input.
The transpose is unquantized?

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Post by mdoudoroff » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:58 am

gelabs wrote:The Sonic Potions Penrose is actually 6HP, not 4HP :)
Fixed!

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Post by Arneb » Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:19 am

mdoudoroff wrote:
Arneb wrote:The Elektrofon Klang doesn't really belong there, I'm afraid - it's not really a quantizer, it's a four-channel pitch CV sequencer with quantized output and a transpose input.
The transpose is unquantized?
Hm, if I understand elektrofon's statements here correctly it's actually a CV-controlled, three-valued octave transpose switch :despair:

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Post by continuum » Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:27 am

I agree with Timmy - the accuracy of a quantizer is the entire point of using one!

With 8 bit resolution the closest a quantizer output gets to the correct voltage is ~20mV. Since each semitone is 83mV the error is almost 25 percent! And that is only over a 5 volt range. Compare that with even a 12 bit resolution which is accurate to almost 1mV over that same range.

And all that is before hitting analog stages that may or may not have calibrated low drift and offset.
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