E440 Discrete OTA VCF : 2 ways to go

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paults
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E440 Discrete OTA VCF : 2 ways to go

Post by paults » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:23 pm

The E440 Euro version of the MOTM-440 VCF (all-transistor discrete VCF based on the SSM2040 structure) is in design now.

Due to panel space, there are 2 ways I can configure it:

#1 - 3 audio inputs (each with it's own attenuator) and 1 FM input (reversing attenuator)

#2 - 2 audio ins/attenuators and 2 FM inputs (1 reversing, 1 regular attenuator).

So, which should it be? Both have a dedicated 1V/OCT input (it can track 4 octaves as a sine VCO)

Current schedule is protoypes in late April, shipping in mid-June. No price yet, but cheaper than a MOTM-440 for sure :75:

My personal 3 favorite MOTM-440 demos:

www.synthtech.com/demo/d_reed.mp3 credits music from the "Black Hawk Down" video game (Russell Brower, who is lead audio designer for WoW and StarCraft 2)

www.synthtech.com/demo/motm_recorder.mp3 from the amazing Ken Elhardt

www.synthtech.com/demo/jerusalem.mp3 for the proggers out there (both bass and then the leads at the end, need good speakers!)

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Jason Brock
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Post by Jason Brock » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:30 pm

I think I'd vote for #2.
Both have advantages but at least the 2/2 configuration would let you get some complex stuff going on without any external mixer at all.

Are we also going to get to vote on how many blue LEDs it will have?

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Re: E440 Discrete OTA VCF : 2 ways to go

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:38 pm

paults wrote:#2 - 2 audio ins/attenuators and 2 FM inputs (1 reversing, 1 regular attenuator).
= win

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REwire
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Post by REwire » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:38 pm

I'd rather have more CV inputs than audio inputs so I'd go with option #2. Or even an option #3 with three CV inputs, two bipolar.

I've always mixed pre-filter anyway and options for mini mixers are becoming more prevalent.

Dan

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Post by reignbear » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:49 pm

#2 please :goo:

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wintchil
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Post by wintchil » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:51 pm

Yes 2 please.

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Post by Mitchk1989 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:52 pm

my question is this (please don't take this as rude, I have nothing against your company and in fact have two E350s on the way - I'm being serious here, I want you to sell this to me): What are the crucial differences between this and the z2040 (based on the same filter) that would create a niche for this in euro?

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Post by Jason Brock » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:59 pm

Mitchk1989 wrote:differences between this and the z2040
The Tiptop doesn't track 1v/oct. That would be one thing.
I'm also guessing that while they might sound similar, they will sound different enough that some people will prefer one over the other.

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Post by plord » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:07 pm

Option #2 please!

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Post by negativspace » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:08 pm

#2 seems a more balanced feature set.

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Post by paults » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:14 pm

The circuit implementation is quite different, and hence they will sound differently. It's partly due to the caps I use, partly to the circuit design itself. The TipTop uses standard OTA ICs, the E440 uses matched transistor pairs (9 of them).

So, in this case the "proof is in the pudding". Fans of the MOTM-440 will say it has a very "hollow-body, wooden" tone to it (which is why the 3 demos above sound so good). It's not as "electronic-sounding" as say a Moog ladder or MS-20 type, and doesn't suffer from state-variable phase shift issues (I'm not a big fan of the state-variable topology).

It will generate the lowest distortion analog sines out there (like <0.025% THD) but it's not a LFO (the lowest self-resonant frequency is around 32Hz).

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Post by VanEck » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:16 pm

#2 :tu:
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Post by paults » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:17 pm

No love for #1, I guess :deadbanana:

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Post by Mitchk1989 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:20 pm

I think its mostly that whereas 5u has "triple VCO" modules, we tend to have "2 VCO + Ring mod" combo modules, plus there are tons of tiny mixers. Not to mention that 5u is popular with moog fans (for obvious reasons) who are used to the "3 osc voice" while almost every other synth company was doing 2 per voice.

Even the macbeth modules which are basically a "minimoog+" in eurorack format only put 2 oscs in the main sound generation module and sell the third as an extra.

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Post by paults » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:32 pm

a) true that there are more mixer options available for Euro. Then I guess that was a fast & easy decision.

b) So, here are a few more demos that feature the MOTM-440 VCF:

http://synthtech.com/demo/atlas_dei.mp3 from Robert Rich, the flute is 'real', everything else is MOTM 5U modular using MOTM-440s

http://synthtech.com/demo/elhardt/Acoustics_192.mp3 more acoustic intruments from Ken Elhardt

http://synthtech.com/demo/ren_brass.mp3 and again more Elhardt (I'm a big fan, sorry!)

And now for something completely different, by Dave Fulton:

http://synthtech.com/demo/walk.mp3

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Post by rafe127 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:38 pm

#2 seems like the option I would use more.

I rarely use multiple audio ins on the same filter.

Soooo......... :whistle: any chance of the e480 on the horizon?

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Post by paults » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:40 pm

That would be a really difficult one, if it used the same electrical design. I would have to not use CA3280s (unobtanium). If E440 sells well, I will ponder it.

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Post by decaying.sine » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:44 pm

JFC. I want a 5U version of the 440. What's the hold up on that one? Why the hell are the euro ones being made at the expense of the 5U? Is this like some sort of hobby for you? :mad:

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Post by Henfield » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:54 pm

Paul, any chance of bringing over the 490 filter? Euro needs a good standalone Moog Style filter, and the 490 was the only MOTM module that I kept in my old Dotcom setup, as I loved its sound! (although I heard many good things about the GX-1 filter as well)

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Post by Mitchk1989 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:00 pm

I was actually thinking about DIYing a filter that's pretty much the 480 MOTM one... only me being stupid was thinking "an analogue version of the monomachine filter block" because I didn't know what the CS-80 filter was like.

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Post by paults » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:47 pm

Image

Here is a MOTM-480 with everything internally "brought out" to the front. Info is here:

http://pugix.com/synth/motm-480-3u-dual-filters/

Yes, this is a hobby, ever since 1998. I off-load what I can. I'm slow, miss deadlines and have pissed off many people. :bang: :deadbanana: :mad: :despair:

But I do good work. :bananaguitar:

An E490 Moog VCF would be easy, as it exists in Frac already so the R&D is done. Just a pc board layout issue.

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Post by JohnLRice » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:39 pm

Here's an audio out take from one of my videos that features the awesome MOTM-440 on the lead voice FWIW:
http://soundcloud.com/johnlrice/too-jammed-to-sync

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Post by Henfield » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:56 pm

paults wrote: An E490 Moog VCF would be easy, as it exists in Frac already so the R&D is done. Just a pc board layout issue.
This means that the GX-1 Filter (485) would be fairly easy to port over as well?

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Post by asterisk » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:05 am

#2

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Post by selfoscillate » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:42 am

i want option 2 !!!!

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