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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

STG Time Modules
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Author STG Time Modules
ericD13
I understand, reading comments about sequencers, that some of you are found of their STG suite.
STG's page

It really seems cool and versatile but I don't really understand the Time Buffer unit. It looks like it gives synchronisation to the modules but uses and old, pre-midi, unuseful bus : the din sync.

So if I want to use these acclaimed modules (VMS, TMS, SM) I'd buy an old Roland crap gear and connect it ?

It seems ridiculous to me.
kindredlost
Yes and No.

You could get some "old Roland crap gear" or some newer devices that produce dinsync (24 pulse-per-quarter-note) timing such as a Future Retro Mobius, Kenton, Clockworks or Moon 553 etc..

The VMS, TMS can be used in "shift mode" with simple gate/trigger pulse from any source in the modular or a midi interface such as the Q104, but... the quarter-note/eighth-note/sixteenth-note switch on the panels will not be available. That is governed through the Time Buffer function.

The VMS, TMS and SM are plenty of fun on their own and are versatile enough to be useful in any size system. If you desire to use the Time Buffer in conjuction to get full functionality, I'd suggest you request the TB be fitted with extra 1/4" jacks for trigger/run inputs when you purchase it. I did this and it allows me to use a Moon 553 Midi To Clock modules to generate 96th note (24ppq) pulses from any midi clock through my modular to control the STG Suite fully. I also use a Q962 Sequential Switch to perform the RUN switching for start/stop of the sequencer modules. A bit odd but it works fine with all the other step sequencers in my modular and with the midi DAW (Cubase6).

In some ways it seems a little odd to have a step sequencer mate up with what (at first) appears to be an "old" synchronization signal like dinsync, but there are plenty of midi step sequencers like the Circlon or Doepfer out there to choose from. STG decided to offer the modular 5U community a way to incorporate the wonderful and stable dinsync signal into the mix. I'm glad he did personally.
ericD13
I found this :
A midi to sync converter

Too bad it needs midi : I just want to make real analog music, no midi, no computer, no digital converters.
Just me
You can feed a run signal to it and clock it with a spare VCO if you don't have a SYNC 24 source.
kindredlost
ericD13 wrote:
I found this :
A midi to sync converter

Too bad it needs midi : I just want to make real analog music, no midi, no computer, no digital converters.


I think the one listed there is needing dinsync (or sync24) for an input. There is a gapeing hole in the synchronisation market in that there aren't very many midi IN to dinsync OUT converters. Most convert sync24 into midi, which sucks for this application.

Suit & Tie Guy tried to get a peculiar vendor's midi2dinsync board to work with a Time Buffer of mine once but had no success. The vendor was a real PITA and no help what so ever. So now I have an extra TB with modded boards which I've never found the time to get working. It would be nice though.

Philip Rees's MDS box was a market phenom but was discontinued. waah I'd love to have had one of those.

I also have never used the Kenton Pro-Solo mkII. Is it's conversion from midi to sync24 stable? It is affordable and nice. Someone here is bound to have one and can comment. seriously, i just don't get it

The Innerclock Systems boxes are the closest thing to what I'd need but I've never parted with the big bucks for them (yet). They are supposed to be more stable and tight, but I have no practical experience to issue a review.

I have a Future Retro Mobius and the afore-mentioned Moon M553 for my use so I'm covered pretty well for now.
I used to have the TB303 and TR606 combo back in the 1980's but there is no way I'd plonk down the silly money for them now. Never maintain cash savings again
smith
I am very interested in the STG time modules, however, the fact I need to invest in sync24 is discouraging. Having erwill mod the timebuffer to accept an oscillator seems like bulky kludge.
Bryan B
You don't have to invest in Din Sync 24 to use these modules. You can use the shift inputs to run them per clock pulse.

You will need Din Sync 24 to take advantage of the extra timing features (the 3-position switch on the TMS for example).

You don't have to have a time buffer to run these, unless you want them all to run off of Din Sync source.
wyrtti
The upcoming Archangel sequencer can act as dinsync master or slave. So that might thumbs up be an interesting piece of gear with the STG sequencer modules...
lorenzovektor
Kenton USB Solo will take your midi clock from your daw and output it to din sync, they also make a Midi version too if you don't need USB
wsy
smith wrote:
I am very interested in the STG time modules, however, the fact I need to invest in sync24 is discouraging. Having erwill mod the timebuffer to accept an oscillator seems like bulky kludge.


I am considering exactly that.

Mr. STG is perfectly willing to let you order "off the secret menu" - that is, moving
things around, customizations, etc.

Once I get my new carryon-sized MU case built out, I think it's just a
matter of time (and Finance Manager approval) to send him a check
for a five-slot TM system (Time Buffer, Shift Manger, two mini voltage
stores, one trigger store) with the DIN24 sockets moved way down
leaving me room to install a 555-based oscillator, pot, and switches
in the upper part of the Time Buffer module. That will let me run the
Time Buffers on their own LO (local oscillator), or clock them at 24
pulses-per-quarter-note externally. And then I get all of the juicy
shift manager goodness.

Or maybe he'll make a good price on installing a simple LO and I'll just write
checks instead of soldering. I will need customization anyway from him,
as the case I'm designing is rather shallow and the boards will need to be
mounted parallel with the front panel, not perpendicular.

Near as I can tell, the Time Buffer system is the smallest full-feature
sequencer currently available to the MU world (or will be, with a LO
built into the TB, which is easy.)

- Bill
smith
Bryan B wrote:
You don't have to invest in Din Sync 24 to use these modules. You can use the shift inputs to run them per clock pulse.

You will need Din Sync 24 to take advantage of the extra timing features (the 3-position switch on the TMS for example).

You don't have to have a time buffer to run these, unless you want them all to run off of Din Sync source.


Yes, I understand how the system works. It seems to me that the timing is a major aspect of the system, the timing really sets it apart from other sequencers. Without the timing aspect I think I'd be inclined to invest in something else.
smith
wsy wrote:
smith wrote:
I am very interested in the STG time modules, however, the fact I need to invest in sync24 is discouraging. Having erwill mod the timebuffer to accept an oscillator seems like bulky kludge.


I am considering exactly that.

Mr. STG is perfectly willing to let you order "off the secret menu" - that is, moving
things around, customizations, etc.

Once I get my new carryon-sized MU case built out, I think it's just a
matter of time (and Finance Manager approval) to send him a check
for a five-slot TM system (Time Buffer, Shift Manger, two mini voltage
stores, one trigger store) with the DIN24 sockets moved way down
leaving me room to install a 555-based oscillator, pot, and switches
in the upper part of the Time Buffer module. That will let me run the
Time Buffers on their own LO (local oscillator), or clock them at 24
pulses-per-quarter-note externally. And then I get all of the juicy
shift manager goodness.

Or maybe he'll make a good price on installing a simple LO and I'll just write
checks instead of soldering. I will need customization anyway from him,
as the case I'm designing is rather shallow and the boards will need to be
mounted parallel with the front panel, not perpendicular.

Near as I can tell, the Time Buffer system is the smallest full-feature
sequencer currently available to the MU world (or will be, with a LO
built into the TB, which is easy.)

- Bill



If he could make a module that outputs 24ppq and 1 pulse per 24 count, I would be interested.
Scot Solida
The 1/4" jacks STG put on the front of mine worked well for me. I never used any DIN sync hardware with the Time Modules and never actually used the DIN jacks on the Time Buffer. Sometimes I used a DIN sync plug-in, but more often than not, I just made sure that I was sending the proper signals to the thing through the 1/4" inputs. Sometimes these signals would be coming from a pre-DIN CR-78, other times from a MIDI sequencer, via a MIDI-to-CV interface, and very often simply from some other modules.

I found the suite to be quite useful and inspirational. I traded a mine off (to
Just me) for something else, simply because I wanted to try some other modules but didn't have the physical space to expand my system. I miss them though. They packed a lot of sequencery into a small space. Eventually, when I can afford to expand my system, I plan on buying 'em up again. Good stuff and their modularity makes it easy to expand the bits you need without splashing a lot of cash.
sunsinger
DinSync is formidable for timing. I can clock to film sync with it easily. Din keeps better time than midi with 0% latency.

The STG system does more than almost any other hardware sequencer out there.
Once it's outfitted with the all powerful Shift Manager module the suite becomes much more versatile.
When the time divider comes out, forget about it!

Don't let the addition of a Din Sync generator stop you from enjoying this.

Bryan B
I must say I initially had reservations on entering into the Time Suite. I read the descriptions online and couldn't figure out exactly how they all operated together. I found a TMS used and quickly realized I need another one (as much as I am using it these days).

I have used it with Trigger shifts and that is a lot of fun. When I ran it with DIN Sync I haven't been able to convince myself to unhook it and go back to clock shifts. It utilizes DIN to it's nearly full potential and that will be complete with the eventual offering of the Divider module (prototype shown above).

I visited Just Me while on vacation and saw a whole bunch of the Time Suite all running at different divisions and incorporating the shift manager. That was a beautiful thing! I have never seen a sequencer operate in this way before and was sold on the idea of adding more as soon as I have money. Sunsinger's pic is almost exactly what I want to have!

I can say that if you use a computer with multiple channels of audio/midi, don't get a midi to Din converter. Use Silent Way (and a DC coupled sound card) and create a DIN clock. Silent way can also create Jitter-Free midi if you HAVE to have midi. If you don't use a computer, there is a better chance of getting a solid clock. What is the midi device you are using to clock everything?
NV
I wish STG would revise his module descriptions to make it immediately clear that the individual modules do not require DIN sync in order to function. The first line of the Time Buffer page states it is "a critical element of the Time module series," and each of the Mini-Store pages state in the first line that it "draws synchronization from the Time Buffer" with only a brief sentence near the bottom adding that it can function off pulses as well. Granted reading through the entire description explains this, but people glancing through the many sequencing options out there will undoubtedly read that first line and assume that since they don't have DIN sync then these modules won't work.

I've heard from a significant number of people in the past who expressed the same confusion and belief that without DIN sync the Mini-Stores wouldn't function, and some of the posts in this thread support that as well. I only gripe because they are great sequencing elements and I hate to see a modular manufacturer lose a sale due to a confusing description.
Christopher Winkels
I tend to use my Time Buffer with a Kenton Pro Solo II for the master source. Works great with a synth that's otherwise just spitting out an arpeggiator clock via MIDI. It's timing stability seems good, but then I'm not anal retentive about timing precision. I do wish it came with a standard 1/4" input too that could be driven with nothing more than a regular clock pulse, but it's not the end of the world.
dude
sunsinger wrote:
DinSync is formidable for timing. I can clock to film sync with it easily. Din keeps better time than midi with 0% latency.

The STG system does more than almost any other hardware sequencer out there.
Once it's outfitted with the all powerful Shift Manager module the suite becomes much more versatile.
When the time divider comes out, forget about it!

Don't let the addition of a Din Sync generator stop you from enjoying this.



that pic makes me hot
b3groover
Forgive the stupid question, but how to you wire the 1/4" jacks on the Time Buffer?
VinceL
b3groover wrote:
Forgive the stupid question, but how to you wire the 1/4" jacks on the Time Buffer?


I have a somewhat related stupid question.

Could I not just make a 1/4" input cable for the TB? Get a DIN plug and 2 1/4" in-line jacks and wire the jacks to the correct pins on the DIN connector? hmmm.....

This way I could use either the DIN connector on the panel for a DINSync input or plug the special cable into the DIN connector and feed the TB with +5v and timing pulse signals.

As b3groover asked, which pins carry the voltage and timing signals? And, what kind of signal level will work for the timing signal?
Bryan B


This is a view from the back (wiring side, not pin side). The other pins (midi signal pins in the midi standard) do different things in DIN Sync based on the machine (reset, tap, continue).

You can wire up 1/4" plugs or jacks but make sure to also connect the ground to them or they won't carry a signal. If you do this, put a switch on the start/stop signal for a manual start/stop reset. If you put a NC push button on the clock signal it will pause when you push it.

It is important to note that while most Roland machines can handle the 10vPP of a modular into their DIN jack, the recommended voltages for the Time Suite are 0 to +5vDC.
Why Adapter
A very nice overview of DIN sync can be found on http://www.chd-el.cz/index.php?id=119. It's in Czech only (the rest of the site does have English available), but Google translate works fine.

All the diagrams are in English, though.

The STG system does not use the Continue or Reset pins, as only a couple of Roland units ever did.
Bryan B
Why Adapter wrote:
The STG system does not use the Continue or Reset pins, as only a couple of Roland units ever did.


Correct. Thanks for adding that!
smith
Bryan B wrote:

It is important to note that while most Roland machines can handle the 10vPP of a modular into their DIN jack, the recommended voltages for the Time Suite are 0 to +5vDC.


This could be fixed by putting a diode in series with a small current limiting resistor on the input.

I am thinking about DIY my own 1/4" time buffer. Does anyone know what connectors erwill uses for the time buffer??
suitandtieguy
i'm sorry it took me so long to respond here. quite frankly i've been too busy soldering and answering email when i have a chance to get to the pooter.

this isn't going to be coherent, i don't have time to write an essay so i'm just going to blurt a bunch of stuff out.

a) i'm sorry i don't make it more clear you don't need the time buffalo to use my sequencers. one of the three jacks on the front panel is labelled "SHIFT" so i figured that would be obvious enough, and it's explained in the copy. the sync aspect of this system _is_ what sets it apart, and i stand by that statement.

b) the Time Buffer was only supposed to be the first entry point for sync signals. we intended all along to have a main master clock module called the Time Rotor, which would be a sync hub for MIDI, DIN, and tape/FSK sync. obviously this hasn't happened yet because i'm undercapitalised, but it's still going to happen. the Time Buffer isn't going away though i promise.

c) the choice of DIN sync was twofold: sync 24 is just better. period. it's better than MIDI sync. also at the time of this system's conception (2007) it really did seem like the most common modular systems for dance musicians was Moog format, so it didn't seem like using DIN sync would be a problem.

there are many modern devices that have DIN sync. the Novation Drumstation and Bassstation, the MAM SQ16, the Mobius/Revolution/777, the Kenton interfaces, the x0xb0x, the Cirklon, the Jomox stuff, etc. it's not a dead sync format. those Innerclock guys for example are really pushing the concept in directions Ikutaro might never have imagined.

later this year there will be changes. i only have 3 panels left for the Time Buffer the way it is now and i'm not reordering them.
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