frequency shifter shoot out

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nodog
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frequency shifter shoot out

Post by nodog » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:48 am

I'm looking for a fr shifter MOTM format. the best seems to be a modcan but it's also superexpensive. the encore electronics one is out of stock and I just got word from them that they don't know themselves if it will be available in the foreseeable future. besides, I've noticed that not everyone who used one was equally impressed by it.
then we've got the DIY JH one. it seems that one is very hard to build/calibrate. would love to hear from folks who got one in use. It seems these sorts of DIY projects get a lot of attention initially but very very few get as far as building them.
are there any other options?

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rezzn8r
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Post by rezzn8r » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:12 pm

Club of the Knobs also make one in the 5U format.
I have the modcan39B and I love using it, especially splitting the audio signal and mixing the frequency shifted content with the original. :sb:
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Post by sduck » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:32 pm

Having just finished building a JH FS1a, in hindsight it would have been easier/cheaper to buy one of the alternatives. But I don't have any storebought modules in my system, so I had to build it. I don't recommend it to anyone that feels at all uncomfortable with any aspect of the construction. It's an extremely cool module though!

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nodog
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Post by nodog » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:06 pm

thanks for the input. the COTK one is even more expensive than the modcan 39B!
If I'd go for the JH FS1A I'd let a tech guy assemble it for me which means it'll cost quite a lot of money also.
It'll probably be easiest to just go for the modcan or is there another (cheaper?) option?

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rezzn8r
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Post by rezzn8r » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:15 pm

nodog wrote: It'll probably be easiest to just go for the modcan or is there another (cheaper?) option?
the cheaper option would be USED modcan. :lol: although that may take a while. join the yahoo modcan group, as that seems to be the most active resale market.
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Post by drewtoothpaste » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:35 pm

Hey rezzn8r - what's the lead time like for new Modcan stuff? That 39B looks nice.

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Scaff
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Post by Scaff » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:37 pm

sorry, you didn´t ask me but i had to wait around 12 weeks for my order
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Post by rezzn8r » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:51 pm

Scaff wrote:sorry, you didn´t ask me but i had to wait around 12 weeks for my order
:agree:
but check with Bruce, he'll get back to you quick with an accurate lead time
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Luka
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Post by Luka » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:15 pm

sduck wrote:Having just finished building a JH FS1a, in hindsight it would have been easier/cheaper to buy one of the alternatives. But I don't have any storebought modules in my system, so I had to build it. I don't recommend it to anyone that feels at all uncomfortable with any aspect of the construction. It's an extremely cool module though!
well, sounds like i have a bit task ahead :S
did you get the measured component kit?

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sduck
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Post by sduck » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:22 pm

Luka wrote:
sduck wrote:Having just finished building a JH FS1a, in hindsight it would have been easier/cheaper to buy one of the alternatives. But I don't have any storebought modules in my system, so I had to build it. I don't recommend it to anyone that feels at all uncomfortable with any aspect of the construction. It's an extremely cool module though!
well, sounds like i have a bit task ahead :S
did you get the measured component kit?
No, I just used Dave Brown's BOM and mouser parts. You're supposed to do all this voodoo with determining resistor values to go with the capacitors you have, but it requires more precision than my expensive fluke dmm could render, so I just used the default values, and it seems to work fine.

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Re: frequency shifter shoot out

Post by chromium » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:17 am

nodog wrote:the encore electronics one is out of stock and I just got word from them that they don't know themselves if it will be available in the foreseeable future. besides, I've noticed that not everyone who used one was equally impressed by it.
I have an Encore FS and a COTK Bode. I thought I'd sell the Encore when I got the COTK, but they're different enough to where I rationalized keeping both of 'em. Hate when that happens :bang: :hyper:

For me, the Encore really shines at doing very slight amounts of shift, and animating a mono source. Its easy to dial in this type of subtle infinite stereo phasing, and the digital quadrature oscillators will stay exactly where you put them. The feedback feature is cool (not present in the Bode), and its nice they give you outputs for the quadrature oscillator - you can use them as a modulation source for something else. There's a stair-stepping present on those outputs, but you can run them thru a slew limiter to get rid of that. I've never heard the stepping internally in the unit - even at the slowest modulation settings. Its just present at the outputs.

The COTK looks to have very similar chipset to the Moog/Bode design (I glanced inside to see if it was based around a DSP :hihi: - not that that's bad or anything :hide:). It does not do the ultra-slow sweeps well. If you do get it dialed-in (its very touchy in that range), it'll drift out before you know it. Guess thats part of its charm, though, and the COTK is much more pleasant to my ears in the extreme shift ranges. The squelch feature does a great job at cutting any carrier bleed-thru and its gating effect is kinda cool sometimes at low threshold settings, especially with drums. This is something missing from the Encore, but you could always pass the Encore thru a VCA or LPG or something... Too bad they quit making those in 5U.

If anyone ever wants to hear them in isolation, I can make samples of either unit. The only thing I have at the moment is a youtube clip where I was just screwing around with clocking the s.com sequencer from my DAW, and I had the Encore running the whole time at its slowest setting doing its subtle thang to the output, and the Bode kicks in at around 1:25 warping the drums-


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Post by goom » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:00 pm

Hi everyone. First post here. I would love to hear more FS demos. I would like to get one someday, but have always wanted to hear more of what they can do. I'd like to hear demos that show the FS as less as an effect, and more of a timbre modifier for a waveform.

Something that I've wondered is, if you shift a waveform by some amount, it effectively changes the relative spacing of the harmonics in that waveform. Correct? Would it be useful or even sound good/unique to have the amount of shift track a 1V/Oct signal? That way whatever timbre resulted from the freq. offset, it would continue to sound the same as you played in different octaves.

Has anyone ever tried this? Does it make sense or even sound good?

Thanks!

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Post by rezzn8r » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:06 pm

goom wrote:Hi everyone. First post here. I would love to hear more FS demos. I would like to get one someday, but have always wanted to hear more of what they can do. I'd like to hear demos that show the FS as less as an effect, and more of a timbre modifier for a waveform.

Something that I've wondered is, if you shift a waveform by some amount, it effectively changes the relative spacing of the harmonics in that waveform. Correct? Would it be useful or even sound good/unique to have the amount of shift track a 1V/Oct signal? That way whatever timbre resulted from the freq. offset, it would continue to sound the same as you played in different octaves.

Has anyone ever tried this? Does it make sense or even sound good?

Thanks!
I think most of the fs models mentioned in this thead have 1 v/oct inputs. I know the modcan does.
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:20 pm

goom wrote:Something that I've wondered is, if you shift a waveform by some amount, it effectively changes the relative spacing of the harmonics in that waveform. Correct? Would it be useful or even sound good/unique to have the amount of shift track a 1V/Oct signal? That way whatever timbre resulted from the freq. offset, it would continue to sound the same as you played in different octaves

Actually, you are on the right track but not exactly correct....

You may have noticed that some frequency shifters have a Lin/Log response selection switch

And some do not....for example the Encore is linear only

Since the harmonic relationship is an exponential one, using a frequency shifter in LINEAR mode will NOT preserve the harmonic relationships within your source material after it has been shifted. This loss of harmonic relationship CAN be see an a good thing, or an "interesting sounding effect", but in cases where you need material to stay in tune, it's not a good thing.

Using a frequency shifter in EXPONENTIAL mode WILL preserve harmonic relationships within your source material.

So the most flexibile freq shifters let you choose.

As far as I'm aware, this aspect of a frequency shifter has nothing to do with having a v/Oct input for tuning. That input simply lets you use an exponential signal to set the base frequency of the shifter, and then control the amount of shift. Depending on the unit you are using, and how you have set it up, the frequency shifting response to a v/Oct tuning signal may be linear or exponential.

hope this helps

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Post by thermionicjunky » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:32 pm

Muff Wiggler wrote:
goom wrote:Something that I've wondered is, if you shift a waveform by some amount, it effectively changes the relative spacing of the harmonics in that waveform. Correct? Would it be useful or even sound good/unique to have the amount of shift track a 1V/Oct signal? That way whatever timbre resulted from the freq. offset, it would continue to sound the same as you played in different octaves

Actually, you are on the right track but not exactly correct....

You may have noticed that some frequency shifters have a Lin/Log response selection switch

And some do not....for example the Encore is linear only

Since the harmonic relationship is an exponential one, using a frequency shifter in LINEAR mode will NOT preserve the harmonic relationships within your source material after it has been shifted. This loss of harmonic relationship CAN be see an a good thing, or an "interesting sounding effect", but in cases where you need material to stay in tune, it's not a good thing.

Using a frequency shifter in EXPONENTIAL mode WILL preserve harmonic relationships within your source material.

So the most flexibile freq shifters let you choose.

As far as I'm aware, this aspect of a frequency shifter has nothing to do with having a v/Oct input for tuning. That input simply lets you use an exponential signal to set the base frequency of the shifter, and then control the amount of shift. Depending on the unit you are using, and how you have set it up, the frequency shifting response to a v/Oct tuning signal may be linear or exponential.

hope this helps
I really don't think that any mode will preserve harmonic relationships. You're still shifting each overtone the same number of hertz, which will never preserve these relationships. I thought that lin/exp only affected the scaling of the oscillator. In exponential mode, it should be easier to do very small shifts, while in linear mode, you'll get larger, consistent shifts will less knob turning/cv. Right?
Last edited by thermionicjunky on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by astroschnautzer » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:37 pm

this is how I understood it too, frquency shifters don`t preserve the harmonic relationship, pitchshifters do.

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:44 pm

Harald Bode built frequency shifter(s) that provide a LINEAR shift in frequency (Hz) for all partials in the input signal. This will, of course drastically change the "overtone structure," not preserve it.

i could be wrong, but would it not stand to reason that an EXPONENTIAL shift would preserve the harmonic relationships?

Obviously the vast majority of freq shifters are Linear.

But some offer Expo response options.


I don't own any freq shifter and never have so this is all theory from my side here and for sure there's a very good chance that I'm wrong!

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:48 pm

ok now that I think about it more, it seems all references I've come across that discuss MAINTAINING harmonic relationships refer to PITCH shifting and not FREQUENCY shifting

so there, my apologies :monkey: :deadbanana:

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Post by goom » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:54 pm

Thanks for the replies, all. I was actually hoping that a frequency shift would not preserve the harmonic ratios. If it does change the ratios, I was thinking that a timbral change would happen and not a pitch or tuning change. I could be wrong though, as I don't own a FS either. :) Thinking back to the DX7 days, if you set a carrier to a non-multiple of the carrier, it would sound clangorous, is this what happens with a FS, or can a harmonically useful timbral change happen?

The two things that I wonder is would this be a nice effect, and would there be a way to maintain the harmonic shift throughout octaves?

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Post by thermionicjunky » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:09 pm

goom wrote:Thanks for the replies, all. I was actually hoping that a frequency shift would not preserve the harmonic ratios. If it does change the ratios, I was thinking that a timbral change would happen and not a pitch or tuning change. I could be wrong though, as I don't own a FS either. :) Thinking back to the DX7 days, if you set a carrier to a non-multiple of the carrier, it would sound clangorous, is this what happens with a FS, or can a harmonically useful timbral change happen?

The two things that I wonder is would this be a nice effect, and would there be a way to maintain the harmonic shift throughout octaves?
You'll get the same sidebands that you get with ring modulators, but the sum and difference have separate outputs. Some amounts of shift will result in consonance, but most will be dissonant and it will change when the input frequency changes. The best way to use it as a timbral effect would be to mix in some of the dry signal. This way, there will be some crazy sidebands going on, but you won't lose the pitch focus. I suppose that using the V/oct input to make the carrier track the VCO could keep the results somewhat consistent. If the pitch of the two oscillators are identical, the sum will be double the input and the difference will be 0. Of course, they won't track perfectly, but that's often the most interesting thing. Frequency shifters are also a great way to get pitched noise. Some of the least clangorous sounds I've heard from them have been with noise as the input.

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Post by goom » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:37 pm

Running noise through a FS is an interesting idea. I hope I'll be able to try that for myself someday!

If anyone has recordings of their freq. shifters, please feel free to post them. :) I think I've heard most of the ones on youtube and manufacturer's websites.

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:50 pm

there's quite a lot of encore frequency shifter in this track i did with abre ojos:

into the sky

sandy

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Post by goom » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:20 pm

Nice track, thanks for sharing it. A lot of it reminds me of some Neural Agonizer demos that I've heard.

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Post by benst » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:07 pm

I have the Encore FS. I like it a lot, except for my preference the Shift knob is a bit too sensitive. For light phasing-type effects you have to stay within + or - one mark on the dial. Above that, it goes really fast. Maybe there's a way to modify the range or sensitivity?

Ben

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Post by scozbor » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:18 pm

^^^^ i have one also and agree.
it is extremely sensitive!!

would be interested in any trips or tricks for the encore if anyone has any!
how do you usually use it?

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