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What do you do with your NCOM?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author What do you do with your NCOM?
Reese P. Dubin
What do you all use you NCOM modules for?

Gimme some ideas.
snare counter-

if you want the snare on the 5 and 13 of a 16 quarternote sequence...

end of measure switch-

set it to 32 and get a broad change like transpose the whole sequence up or down with another, shorter sequence...

sub oscillator-

feed your osc in and dial how deep you want the sub to be...


use the bottom section for PWM by feeding osc into one input and an LFO into the other...
Same as Ben plus i use mine as a pseudo Sequencer (Step Out) pretty much all the time. It makes any drummy patch more real
I posted already some of these infos found here and there, but maybe it give you some ideas...


Pro: This is a gem of a module!  It does several functions: comparator, voltage-controlled pulse divider, and voltage-controlled staircase generator.  It has two knobs: one to vary the comparator's internal DC offset to change the trigger point, and a 'divisor' knob that changes the division number from 1 to 32.
Con: This is one of  few modules which don't have any CV attenuation.  The divider control knob is added to the CV input.
Wizardry: With feedback, this can be patch-programmed to oscillate.  And you can vary the frequency by turning the divider control knob. Using this module to divide clock pulses is an obvious application; it is also useful for dividing high-frequency audio.
From Chris MacDonald:
Since I only have PCOs in my system I often use the bottom section of the NCOM to get a pulse wave and/or PWM.  Plug a sine into one input and feed a bit of LFO into the other, then fiddle with the knob and the scaling of the LFO signal to control the PWM.


Check out the operation of this module by applying the sawtooth wave from an oscillator to the IN- input on the comparator section. Listen to the Comparator OUT, and turn the Comparator Knob. From about the 12 o'clock position to about 5 o'clock, the control should vary the pulse width from zero to full. The sound will cut off below and above these positions. With the control set for a narrow pulse width (just above the 12 o'clock position), plug the output from a slowly varying Positive control voltage into the IN+ input of the Comparator. The pulse width should be controlled from minimum to maxi mum without cutting the sound off at either end of the VC control. Adjust the knob slightly if the sound cuts off at either extreme.

Disconnect the VC from the IN+ and set the knob to about 2 o'clock. Monitor the OUT ÷. Turn the Divider control (top knob) fully CCW. Turn the oscillator frequency up to a fairly high pitch, and turn the Divider control up. The pitch will step through the sub-harmonic series. Turn the knob fully CCW again and apply a varying VC to the VC IN of the top section. Listen for voltage control of this division. Note that the setting of the comparator knob or VC of the Comparator section will control the pulse width at the output of the divider section.
The STEPPED OUT is a staircase wave with the number of steps proportional to the division setting.


CV PULSE MOD - Put in a sine wave at either of the bottom two blue jacks, set the -/+ at  around 12 o clock  to find the sweet spot and feed a slow smooth CV / LFO into the other blue jack. Take the output of the middle red jack as an audio out (but it's RED?) and you have a nice CV controlled pulse mod. If you don't put a CV into one of the inputs you can get a pretty nice variable pulse wave and use the +/- knob to set the duty cycle (useful for those that only have PCO's)

Speed up the  LFO to audio range and you get some really strange ringmod/heterodyne timbres. Tres' cool. Noticed the changing the audio input to Tri or Saw does not affect the basic sound too much: still a pulse wave. You may need to attenuate the CV signal and tweak the +/- knob to find the 50% Square and limit the swing of the pulse mod so it does not go past 0 or 100%.

AUDIO FREQ DIVIDER: With the same patch (with or without the pulse mod CV), take the top red jack as the audio out. Set the Osc freq pretty high and turn the top 1-31 knob. You get a stepped odd scale of discreet descending pitches as you turn the knob clockwise. I noticed that there is a fairly significant volume "thip" as you divide the pitch down that sounds as bit like a quick saw-like transient. However, turning the knob counter clockwise and going north with the pitch you get an INVERTED saw like 'thip" - the opposite of going down. Putting any kind of slow smooth or stepped CV into the middle VC in make the pitch jump based on the type/shape of the CV. A sample and hold like, stepped signal gives this aleatoric jumping pitch scale and a smooth random signal swings the pitches in a, well smooth way through the division. It usually helps to use some attenuation on the CV IN to control the max deviation as all the way down the audio cuts out.

There is also a really noticeable timber change that comes from the top jack audio...very much like a thin pulse wave no matter what the input (sine, saw, tri). It is also kind of "dirty" sounding and at high mod speeds you also get some sideband like timbres though not as clean as the ones from the pulse mod.

VC PULSE DIVIDER: Like the audio freq divider you can send in a stream of triggers and use the VC divide (knob for manual, cv in for modulated) to define how many input pulses it needs to "see" before it outputs a pulse from the top red OUT jack. I think this is always some odd as opposed to even number in regards to the division between 1 and 31.

COMPARATOR/PULSE EXTRACTOR (+ PULSE DIVIDE): Plug two different random CV signals into the two bottom blue jacks. Take the output from the lower red jack and use it as a clock for a seq or envelope. There is some formula for when a trigger pulse will be generated (when the +in is greater than the - in and if the tide is high of the second full moon of the third month...or something like that). Anyone know the REAL story of how this works please provide clarity!

You can take the top red Out and use that to trigger some other function and again, either manually control/divide how many input pulses need to occur before an output pulse is generated depending on the setting of the upper knob and the CV signal going in the blue VC IN jack.


To get the NCOM to self-oscillate, patch the out to in -. set division pot to full clockwise and take your output from step out. play with the bias to change mosquito size and division to change intensity.


Reese P. Dubin
Cool, super in the dark on this one which is very exciting.
great post Batchas. Need to print that one out and have a play.

Much of it applies to the CGS09 VC divider as well BTW. Not sure if that is actually a clone or more like a functional copy. Ken doesn't actually mention Serge in the description so I assume the later. I have both.

EDIT: Oh, that was my 6000th useless post. Don't I get a blowjob from Kent or someone?
richard wrote:
EDIT: Oh, that was my 6000th useless post. Don't I get a blowjob from Kent or someone?

I guess having two of those is no overkill eh?
Setherian wrote:
I guess having two of those is no overkill eh?

I actually wound up with two of these in the Eurorack format. Haven't had the time to explore a patch that uses both at the same time.
comparator is great for getting triggers from CV's. of course. or squaring up any waveform. very versatile. And then you've got the VC divider. yum yum, lots of uses. Ive got two, use them all the time.
FlangerMagazine wrote:
Setherian wrote:
I guess having two of those is no overkill eh?

I actually wound up with two of these in the Eurorack format. Haven't had the time to explore a patch that uses both at the same time.

Flanger Magazine! Louisville, represent! =)

I have two ÷n/coms and typically use one for rhythm purposes and the second for subharmonic generations.
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