3 VCA's in comparison

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: Joe., luketeaford, lisa, Kent

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

3 VCA's in comparison

Post by alex82 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:08 pm

I made a comparison with 3 diffrent VCA's...
Espacially to hear what kind of character the cv response of a vca can give to the sound.

So there are the Motm 1190 dual VCA, cwejm. vca-2P and the doepf. a-132-3

Each vca got the same CV from the Cwejm. VC2 envelope generator and also exact the same signal input.

Motm Saw http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10050

Cwejm Saw http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10042

Doepf. Saw http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10046


Motm noise http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10049

Cwejm. noise http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10043

Doepf. noise http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10048


Motm Sine http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10051

Cwejm. Sine http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10044

Doepf Sine http://share.ovi.com/media/mr-extrem.pu ... trem.10047

User avatar
Cat-A-Tonic
Lobsters love Muff
Posts: 3737
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:03 am
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:19 pm

Very interesting.
I didn't expect the Cwejman to have such a different sound from the other 2.
They are all noticeably different, but the MOTM and Doepfer have really fast response by comparison.
The Cwejman sounded softer (and more natural/pleasant in your examples).
Is it because the Cwejman has a semi-Logarithmic response curve?
Are the other 2 set to Linear or Exponential?

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:31 pm

I think its much underrated, what only the character of the volume response can do to a sound. The Cwejm. has sure the most percussive response with its hard log. mode but it also makes the sound always kind of thin.
The motm has a hard exp. curve and sounds sometimes like gated but for a massive snare sound for example, this vca comes much better.

I would say the Doepfer VCA is in the middle of both but nearer to the Motm.

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:45 pm

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:Very interesting.
I didn't expect the Cwejman to have such a different sound from the other 2.
They are all noticeably different, but the MOTM and Doepfer have really fast response by comparison.
The Cwejman sounded softer (and more natural/pleasant in your examples).
Is it because the Cwejman has a semi-Logarithmic response curve?
Are the other 2 set to Linear or Exponential?

Cwejm. was setted to log. and the other two to exp. mode..

The Cwejm. sounds longer cause it has a log curve, but the attack and decay phase is still more percussive and faster i think than the other two

The other to has both an exp. response but they are diffrent... I think the motm vca has a stronger exp. curve than the doepfer.
Last edited by alex82 on Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kent
Large Member
Posts: 11985
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:17 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Post by Kent » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:48 pm

alex82 wrote: I would say the Doepfer VCA is in the middle of both but nearer to the Motm.
This is exactly what I was thinking before I even read your summary. I'm surprised at how 'snappy' the MOTM is. Damned Credit card....

I assume that the MOTM is O.K. with +/- 5V and doesn't need higher to open fully?

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:36 pm

Kent wrote:
alex82 wrote: I would say the Doepfer VCA is in the middle of both but nearer to the Motm.
This is exactly what I was thinking before I even read your summary. I'm surprised at how 'snappy' the MOTM is. Damned Credit card....

I assume that the MOTM is O.K. with +/- 5V and doesn't need higher to open fully?
I'm not sure, but i thought the motm 1190 is full open with 5V.
In exp. Mode, the "Initial" controller is a attentuater for the cv input signal, i think. And it seems that also gain is possible with this controller.

unfortunatly, i didn't find any informations from Motm about this...

Maybe someone here knows more..

User avatar
Kent
Large Member
Posts: 11985
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:17 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Post by Kent » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:42 pm

Well, it seems as if 'all is good' since there wasn't a completely messed up difference in levels between the MOTM and the other 2.

Their product description hints that it will be full open @ +5VDC. It seems that it will also pass more than +10VDC as there is a built-in soft clipper when levels start exceeding that threshold.

I may have to add this one on to my order... dammit...
Last edited by Kent on Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dougcl
Number 6
Posts: 4047
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:04 am
Location: Portland OR

Post by dougcl » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:11 pm

Cwejman wins!

User avatar
wetterberg
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 7673
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:31 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Post by wetterberg » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:16 pm

I think the overall "problem" with tests like these is that we don't know what the voltage control curve is actually like, and thus what is the "ideal" curve.

I'd say cwejman LOSES, since my feeble logical deduction skills says that if the MOTM and the Doepfer sound so alike in curve, then why the long tail on the Cwejman? that's not what the envelope "asked for", as it were.

Debating what sounds "good" doesn't really apply, if you ask me :confused:

User avatar
dougcl
Number 6
Posts: 4047
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:04 am
Location: Portland OR

Post by dougcl » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:42 pm

On second thought the MOTM is woodier.

User avatar
Chuck E. Jesus
holier than thou
Posts: 2882
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:13 pm
Location: next to Serious Fun!

Post by Chuck E. Jesus » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:50 pm

run a pure analog(ue) sine thru them all...whichever sounds most phat wins...

User avatar
Kent
Large Member
Posts: 11985
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:17 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Post by Kent » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:51 pm

I've got a 'woody' right now. I'll take all three!

Actually, I'll probably go for the Doepfer and the MOTM now that the prices are factored in.

I don't think that there is a 'winner' here (except for me and my woody). It all depends upon what the desired end result would be in any given patch. As long as they aren't doing anything unpleasant (unwanted nonlinearities, etc.) then they're all good, no?
Last edited by Kent on Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
parasitk
Learn to swim
Posts: 4939
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Lost Angeles
Contact:

Post by parasitk » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:51 pm

ross g wrote:run a pure analog(ue) sine thru them all...whichever sounds most phat wins...
MAXIMUM HARMONIXXXX :sb:

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:53 pm

wetterberg wrote:I think the overall "problem" with tests like these is that we don't know what the voltage control curve is actually like, and thus what is the "ideal" curve.

I'd say cwejman LOSES, since my feeble logical deduction skills says that if the MOTM and the Doepfer sound so alike in curve, then why the long tail on the Cwejman? that's not what the envelope "asked for", as it were.

Debating what sounds "good" doesn't really apply, if you ask me :confused:

Well, almost evry envelope has a log. response. I also have compared it with my doepfer A-140 and it almost sounds the same. So it can said that the cv response ist pretty normal.

I think most synthesizers are using exp. vca response and i would say, the cwejm. VCA-2P is more exotic.

It's a question of personal taste, and i think it's good to have both characters for diffrent sounds..

For example:
The noise sound with the cwejm. vca, can sound like a real snare noise, thats not realy possible with the others.
But in the first bass sound, the motm sounds much better for me. There is more body in the bass...

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:11 am

I haven't tried this with these three VCA's but I'm pretty sure you could get the MOTM or Doepfer to sound pretty much like the Cwejm by adjusting the envelope. I'm not so sure you'd be able to make the Cwejm sound as tight as the MOTM or Doepfer though . . . :hmm:

User avatar
Ivo Ivanov
Sausage Wiggler
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:35 am
Contact:

Post by Ivo Ivanov » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:37 am

Nice! Thanks for posting these...exactly what I have been looking for.

User avatar
e-grad
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3325
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:55 am
Location: Berlin

Post by e-grad » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:43 am

Kent wrote:I assume that the MOTM is O.K. with +/- 5V and doesn't need higher to open fully?
Yes, the MOTM VCA is designed to work on 5V envelopes. To my best knowledge among todays manufacturer's VCAs only the Blacet 2200 VCA requires 10V to open fully.

User avatar
modularplanner
Grand Master Flash
Posts: 544
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:37 pm
Location: Portsmouth, UK

Post by modularplanner » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:40 am

Off on a slightly different tangent, but just got an A-132-3 in the post this morning and the difference A/B'ing between the output quality to that of my A-131 and this is very noticable. Running a sine wave through both from the AFG you can see the wave form is even slightly distorted in the A-131 with a slight ramp on the rising edge in the oscilloscope. Very happy with the A-132-3 sounds much cleaner.

User avatar
Jari Jokinen
Sensible Wiggler
Posts: 519
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Finland

Post by Jari Jokinen » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:02 am

The examples are not downloadable, are they?

The difference is surprisingly big. Doepfer and MOTM sound choked (or gated) as if there is separate decay and release present. I would guess, that the response curve is different near zero CV. In most circumstances I might prefer Cwejman-like response. The "choke" comes into effect rather too early with Doepfer and MOTM.

How about transient response? Maybe short spikes as CV and then VCO synced with the gate as input...

Some remarks:
- ADSR-VC2 rev A has switch for 5V or 8V.
- VCA-2P gives unity gain at 5V CV, but doesn't stop there.
- Cwejman "log" response is exponential response.
- "Semi-logarithmic" response of Cwejman VCA-4MX is not very different from the "log" response of VCA-2P.

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:15 pm

Jari Jokinen wrote: - Cwejman "log" response is exponential response.
- "Semi-logarithmic" response of Cwejman VCA-4MX is not very different from the "log" response of VCA-2P.
What? You say the log response is a exp. response. Thats not very logical :confused:

I don't know realy whats the diffrence of a semi log. curve and a log. curve, can you explain the diffrence?

User avatar
felix
Loves the manuals!
Posts: 3865
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:05 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by felix » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:29 pm

Exponential and logarithmic get swapped around a lot and it does create some confusion.

When you apply an exponential envelope to a linear VCA, the result is a logarithmic response. Likewise if you apply a linear envelope to an exponential VCA you also get a logarithmic response. It's hard to tell many times wether or not the manufacturer is talking about the type of VCA or the type of expected EG input.
dress yourself for the public. you now must exit your home and acquire a dental mirror and lubrication!
i recommend a hat, or a helmet. if a helmet, ensure that it is both convincing and unbiased. -citizen mori
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/78959
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/225002
https://jimdrones.bandcamp.com

RussianDance
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:35 pm

Post by RussianDance » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:59 pm

JohnLRice wrote:I haven't tried this with these three VCA's but I'm pretty sure you could get the MOTM or Doepfer to sound pretty much like the Cwejm by adjusting the envelope. I'm not so sure you'd be able to make the Cwejm sound as tight as the MOTM or Doepfer though . . . :hmm:
That's exactly what I thought when I heard the samples. The Cwejman attack seems a bit sluggish.

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:58 pm

felix wrote:Exponential and logarithmic get swapped around a lot and it does create some confusion.

When you apply an exponential envelope to a linear VCA, the result is a logarithmic response. Likewise if you apply a linear envelope to an exponential VCA you also get a logarithmic response. It's hard to tell many times wether or not the manufacturer is talking about the type of VCA or the type of expected EG input.
That's not ligical.. I thought a exp. envelope with a linear vca makes a exp response
and a log. envelope with a linear vca a logarithmic. I'm confused... :confused:

Most envelopes are logaritmic..But what do you think is the result when you have a log. envelope with a exp. ore a log vca?

alex82
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:29 pm

Post by alex82 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:24 pm

felix wrote: It's hard to tell many times wether or not the manufacturer is talking about the type of VCA or the type of expected EG input.
Anyway, something of the cwejman response must be diffrent the other. As you can hear in the sound-examples.

User avatar
dougcl
Number 6
Posts: 4047
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:04 am
Location: Portland OR

Post by dougcl » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:31 pm

Is it tinnier?

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”