32 days of Cyclebox

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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VortexRanger
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32 days of Cyclebox

Post by VortexRanger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:16 pm

The Cyclebox has so many modes it's ridiculous. Even though I'm fascinated by the varieties of combinations on hand, and many of them are ideas I would have liked to implement anyway (albeit at a much greater patch complexity), my eyes start to glaze over as I read the manual by the time I get about halfway through the modes, and I end up just flipping switches like a madman and overdosing on sound.

Man do I wish the manuals for other deep modules were written like this! I'd probably still have an a189, and a better handle on the a196.

I digress.

Anyway, I've decided the module really deserves some extended time with each mode, so I'm going to do at least two involved patches with each (I don't even think one is enough, considering how many options there are aside from just mode selection!).

And I'm going to spend at least two days dedicated to each mode. I probably won't dive in every single day - I have other wiggling to do, not to mention a life. But, slowly but surely I'll be moving on through and posting results and thoughts here. If anyone else feels like doing it along with me, that'd be awesome!

Here's a web app, courtesy of grex, that lets you dial in CB modes quickly to see what the effects are:

http://peterkosa.com/coe/

EDIT: Here's a link to a set, "32 days of Cyclebox," that contains all the patches in the thread for ease of use. If anyone else puts patches in the thread I'll link them in the OP as well.

http://soundcloud.com/vortex-ranger/set ... f-cyclebox

And here are examples linked by cane creek and sempervirent:

[video][/video]

http://soundcloud.com/deadsatellites/transmission-019

http://soundcloud.com/deadsatellites/transmission-020
Last edited by VortexRanger on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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sausmatoe
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Post by sausmatoe » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Nice idea. I made an effort to go through the manual and try out every mode in detail but still didn't click with it and ended up selling.

I'm looking forward to hearing your patches :tu:

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Pighood
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Post by Pighood » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:35 pm

Ditto. Please make noise and share it.

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VortexRanger
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Post by VortexRanger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:35 pm

First up is mode 0000.

Hmm..

Fittingly for the first mode, it's pretty much standard VCO fare. Osc1 passes straight to the output. It's still FM'ed by Osc2.

Since there's nothing really crazy about this mode, I decided to start with a couple of the Cyclebox's less common functions - namely the vocal wavetable and the "mega" mode, which combined give it an identity somewhere between two of my other favorite VCOs, the e340 and e350.

I modulated the PH2 control (which simultaneously controls spread, wave selection, and the phase of OSC2) with a slow Sport Modulator cycle. For added effect I mixed in a sine cloud from my e340 and some vocal waves from the e350 as well. A slow sequence from Rene goes to pitch (it's only about two notes), and as the recording goes on I turn up the gain (read: wavefolding) and internal FM amount (OSC2 is set to a sine wave), and flip on "mega spread" for some octave doubling late in the game.

The sound is HUGE. It's worth noting that there are no effects of any kind on this recording, in the box or afterward. Straight from modular to disk. That mega mode can get quite cathedralesque!

http://soundcloud.com/vortex-ranger/cb0000
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Post by grex » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:44 pm

ah so does ph2 stack up control of params when the manual says it controls different things ?
like if i have percussion mode and tables on ph2 will control the wavetable and the decay ?

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Post by HueMonContact » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:44 pm

This does sound HUGE with no effects! I'll be keeping an eye and ear open for more of these experiments! Thanks for taking the time.
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VortexRanger
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Post by VortexRanger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:47 pm

grex wrote:ah so does ph2 stack up control of params when the manual says it controls different things ?
like if i have percussion mode and tables on ph2 will control the wavetable and the decay ?
I haven't delved into percussion mode yet, but I imagine the answer is yes. With wavetables in mega mode it definitely both scans the wavetable and increases the spread.
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Post by VortexRanger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:48 pm

Since I actually made the first patch yesterday, I'll go ahead and finish up mode 0000 right now with today's.

For this patch I tried out mode 0000 in LFO mode, and with the phaseshifted outputs.

I'm using wavetable 4, bipolar pulses. It makes for a cool stepped modulation source, and the different waves in the table are basically versions of the same wave with different pulse widths.

The two outputs are going to the FMVDO's exponential CV, and its internal FM ratio (index and ratio are both at about 12 o'clock). A Quadra in quadrature mode is flipped on around 0:15, and starts CVing the wave selection (PH2 control) and waveshaping (Gain). Things get interesting with the waveshaping because it effectively moves around the maximum and minimum voltages being sent, so we get this cool evolving stepped pattern with an evolving rhythm going in and out of sync to boot. (Next time I do this I'll probably use a sequencer instead of envelopes so I can hone in on the "good" rhythms only.) At higher levels (and I attenuated it with the knob on the Gain control to max out at about 60%) the waveshaping on this wavetable seems to bend everything except the outer voltages so that they are sloped, causing a slowly rising and falling of pitch (and FM ratio) in the FMVDO. I haven't figured out exactly what's going on there, but it was an interesting free variation in the patch. You can hear it around 1:30, and again around 2:20.

Towards the end of the recording I switch off quadrature mode on the Quadra and the "PWM" stops and we're left with just the waveshaping, then back to the core LFO.

Other than turning on and off the Quadra the patch is self-playing, and quite simple!

http://soundcloud.com/vortex-ranger/cb0000-1
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???
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Post by ??? » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:28 pm

How deep is the cyclebox II and expander? I saw some picture and it doesn't look too deep but couldn't find the actual depth.

I'm really thinking about getting one...

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Gbeam
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Post by Gbeam » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:58 pm

Nice, I enjoy these shout outs, I've been interested in the cyclebox, plus it has a thought out manual? I'd like to see more manufactures offering them, I like mystery and rarely read instructions, but a deep manual for a deep module would be nice

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rili
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Post by rili » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:42 am

Nice! I should spend more time exploring mine. Looking forward to the rest.

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raulsworldofsynths
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Post by raulsworldofsynths » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:01 am

Great idea. Really enjoyed the stepped sequences in the second sample of 0000. Can't wait to hear more from this. :party:

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matttech
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Post by matttech » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:48 am

great idea...i love the cyclebox! never disappoints :tu:

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Post by ferran » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:07 am

rili wrote:Nice! I should spend more time exploring mine. Looking forward to the rest.
I agree. Is a complex module, not intuitive, and this is the reason I don't use frequently. :doh: But the VortexRanger demos excite my imagination again to explore it.

Thanks Mr. Vortex. :yay:

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Post by ferran » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:10 am

Gbeam wrote:Nice, I enjoy these shout outs, I've been interested in the cyclebox, plus it has a thought out manual? I'd like to see more manufactures offering them, I like mystery and rarely read instructions, but a deep manual for a deep module would be nice
Deep module, nice but not deep enough manual, for me.

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Post by Veqtor » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:01 am

Great Idea! I will do the same! Getting to it right now!

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Post by VortexRanger » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:26 pm

??? wrote:How deep is the cyclebox II and expander? I saw some picture and it doesn't look too deep but couldn't find the actual depth.

I'm really thinking about getting one...
The functional depth seems to be a small infinity. As to the physical depth, Eurorackdb lists it as 0mm, which seems wishful thinking but I think you needn't worry, it's pretty shallow. How shallow is your case?
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Post by VortexRanger » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:28 pm

Gbeam wrote:Nice, I enjoy these shout outs, I've been interested in the cyclebox, plus it has a thought out manual? I'd like to see more manufactures offering them, I like mystery and rarely read instructions, but a deep manual for a deep module would be nice
Is that a question? Yes, the manual is thought-out to say the least, with detailed descriptions and scope shots for every single function. It's 56 pages long, which must be at least 6 times the length of any other Euro manual I've encountered.

http://www.cylonix.com/docs/cyclebox2_users_guide.pdf
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Post by VortexRanger » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Veqtor wrote:Great Idea! I will do the same! Getting to it right now!
:yay: I look forward to seeing the different places we go with it. The more wigglers the merrier, I hope others will join in too!

:party: :party: :party:
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Post by VortexRanger » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:44 pm

Mode 0001 looks straightforward, but a look into it reveals we're already getting pretty deep and multifunctional here.

Basically the outputs are both OSC2, but that in itself is a weird thing since OSC2 does not have independent tuning; it's still tuned to a ratio of OSC1. OSC1, meanwhile, becomes a waveshaper for OSC2, with several different shapes available. I am starting to really wish I had CV control over the shape knobs. Amazing that I would wish for an extra feature on such a fully-featured module! I also kind of wish that those shapes on OSC1 in this mode had some sort of morphing between them instead of sudden jumps.

Anyway, the main identity of this mode is the PH2 control, which lets you unlock phase relationships between the two outputs. An envelope into PH2, and you have some basic phase modulation going on which can sound very cool. If you prefer, you can also have the lag output do internal audio rate phase modulation, which is what the iFM controls in this mode (iPM?).

For this patch I set OSC2 to somewhere between the spiky triangle and the square. It's a warm but slightly buzzy sound, and once I added a slow envelope to the PH2 input it came alive. I stayed away from the alternate OSC1 waveshapes on this one.

Sequencing is Rene QCV to the Ratio input. The unquantized output goes to the gain control for a little wavefolding on particular steps, a little rhythmic timbal variation.

That "warm but slightly buzzy" sound felt like a good fit for Phonogene loops, so I set up Rene's clocks and a little Wogglebug random to modulate the record, gene size and gene shift on the Phonogene for a little generative delay and grain.

http://soundcloud.com/vortex-ranger/cb0001
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Post by jjclark » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:31 pm

Awesome! Thanks for doing this!

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Post by sausmatoe » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:31 pm

VortexRanger wrote:Mode 0001 looks straightforward, but a look into it reveals we're already getting pretty deep and multifunctional here.

Basically the outputs are both OSC2, but that in itself is a weird thing since OSC2 does not have independent tuning; it's still tuned to a ratio of OSC1. OSC1, meanwhile, becomes a waveshaper for OSC2, with several different shapes available. I am starting to really wish I had CV control over the shape knobs. Amazing that I would wish for an extra feature on such a fully-featured module! I also kind of wish that those shapes on OSC1 in this mode had some sort of morphing between them instead of sudden jumps.

Anyway, the main identity of this mode is the PH2 control, which lets you unlock phase relationships between the two outputs. An envelope into PH2, and you have some basic phase modulation going on which can sound very cool. If you prefer, you can also have the lag output do internal audio rate phase modulation, which is what the iFM controls in this mode (iPM?).

For this patch I set OSC2 to somewhere between the spiky triangle and the square. It's a warm but slightly buzzy sound, and once I added a slow envelope to the PH2 input it came alive. I stayed away from the alternate OSC1 waveshapes on this one.

Sequencing is Rene QCV to the Ratio input. The unquantized output goes to the gain control for a little wavefolding on particular steps, a little rhythmic timbal variation.

That "warm but slightly buzzy" sound felt like a good fit for Phonogene loops, so I set up Rene's clocks and a little Wogglebug random to modulate the record, gene size and gene shift on the Phonogene for a little generative delay and grain.

http://soundcloud.com/vortex-ranger/cb0001
That sounds awesome dude. I might have to stop listening to these or you're going to make me regret selling mine...

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Post by VortexRanger » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:45 am

jjclark wrote:Awesome! Thanks for doing this!
I'm so happy to have a hobby where the geniuses responsible for the awesome toys will actually show up and thank me for using them! :hail:

Thank you for making it possible.
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Post by VortexRanger » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:50 am

sausmatoe wrote:I might have to stop listening to these or you're going to make me regret selling mine...
I guess they're doing the trick! This exercise is mostly for my own benefit, to make sure I'm getting the most out of this module. Posting it here will hopefully keep me motivated to see it through. But if it sells some wigglers on the CB and helps fund the next Cylonix project, I won't complain!
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Post by VortexRanger » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:54 pm

Sometimes first impressions of the Cyclebox leave people thinking it's mostly a box of harsh glitchy timbres, but it's also capable of warm sonic variety with a couple basic waveforms.

Still on mode 0001, this patch utilizes only the OSC2 sine wave, with no waveshaping from OSC1. A hive of Quadra envelopes modulates the output amplitude as well as the PH2, iFM, and Gain controls. Different levels of phase mod and wavefolding at differing times mean quite a bit of sonic variety from just sines.

The pitch CV is also controlling attack time on the "main" envelope, meaning high notes tend to last longer. Also, it controls the crossfade that brings in the same signal multed to a Plague Bearer, so you hear a little distortion on the high notes as well. I felt this actually served to bring out the timbral differences a little more.

The second VCO, tuned in harmony to the CB via Quantimator, is an e350. Aside from some very minor X Morph it gets no timbral modulation, that's all Cyclebox.

This patch is self-playing.

http://soundcloud.com/vortex-ranger/cb0001-1
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