I’ve recently become somewhat intrigued by Akemie’s Taiko. The FM drums have a certain ‘chiptune’ quality and the idea of combining a melodic voice with percussion seems very interesting and fun. Anyone have one that they’d like to discuss? Would it be hard for a beginner to figure out?
Maybe look into Plaits instead (of a second rings)? It has a rings mode but can also do so so much more! It’s my only oscillator in my newbie setup right now and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Indeed, plaits and rings are brilliant together. Just put something dirty in the signal chain to roughen it up (in my opinion)
For chiptune drums I’d recommend an Irukandji by Beast-Tek.
Akemie’s Taiko is an amazing module and I love it but it only does chiptune stuff in a very narrow range.
Bumping my own question. I recorded a couple of simple examples to hopefully demonstrate what I’m talking about.
The source is 3 sines, from a Livewire AFG and both sides of a DPO. This is the audio recorded into 3 channels of a K-Mix. I can hear each voice distinctly:
This is the same 3 sines, mixed in a MI Shades, each source attenuated most of the way. The sound combines into a single voice, at least to my ears:
This sort of distortion / combined complex waveform sound happens with any euro-based mixing I try:
- Shades, even with the attentuation very low
- Vnicursal, even with attenuation/gain very low
- Veils, even with attenuation/gain very low
- Links, through the 3 -> 1averaging mixer (so 1/3 gain per channel)
- Malekko Unity Mixer (I would be more likely to expect clipping here maybe).
The combined sound is actually kind of cool! I like it. But I also want to be able to hear all my voices without distortion.
Is this a gain thing? A DC-coupled/AC thing? A mono/stereo thing? I did take the K-Mix audio and panned everything to one side to get “mono”, and it continued to sound clearer, like I was able to hear each voice.
Any advice appreciated. Thank you!
Similar differences: this is a Mutant Bassdrum fairly distorted, and a Mutant Snare. Boring pattern intentionally to make things audible.
K-mix, where the snare remains consistent and clear to my ears:
Mixed via Links 1/3 gain averager, where the snare sounds like it’s being ‘ducked’ by the kick:
I’m fully and totally open to ‘hey you’re doing this really obvious thing very wrong’. Thanks!
About the waveform part. Did you try to process them separately? Seperate filter channels/lpg vca with different vca cv hits? And each to its own mixer given you obviously have many mixers? And start attenuation right after the vco?
The snare part is intense. No idea, maybe powering or a wonky module in your case?
Just guessing around, too tierd to sort my own issues out:D
ahoy, cannot shed too much light on the mixing question apart from confirming xenus_dad’s observiation. thinking about it, i came across this phenomenon myself but didn’t pay as much attention — eager to investigate, though.
when i started out with analog/hardware synths, i used to have a microbrute, channeling in a second external vco to fatten up the sound. the built in mixer for the input had exactly the same characteristics as described: distorting the sound (much to my pleasure).
these days i mainly mix audio on an external desk mixer or internally on a ac-coupled erica pico a-mix without any distortion whatsoever.
i vaguely have the hunch that using my dc coupled internal mixer (mn moddemix) is causing some ‘distortion’ too. but will investigate.
chris meyer of learning modular has an article on mixer, which might help:
from skim reading, a hint might be that dc coupling can introduce offsets and enhance the likelihood of overdriving circuits (i know for example that mangrove can produce quite some dc offset with certain settings, adding another signal can cause a distortion of half the signal, resulting in odd harmonics — ac coupling would filter out those offsets).
but these are all my own layman’s attempts to explain this phenomenon, curious to know more.
ps: the k-mix is ac-coupled, which would support this theory.
I do wonder if this has to do with AC coupling, though I’m really not sure. My sound engineering knowledge is very basic.
I’m going to try eliminating a lot of variables, using known generated voltages & sines and doing spectral analysis of the results. I will get to the bottom of this!
pretty sure right now it is a ac/dc coupling thing. if all your euro-mixers are dc-coupled, this would explain …
(x-post at MW, apologies if you’re experiencing doubles).
This is educational! But still, not sure what’s going on.
So, I’m using a Mordax data to generate two waves, both sines, 200Hz and 300Hz.
I’m running these through the K-mix into Logic, sending all ins to a single mono output, and using Channel EQ on that mono output w/ no actual EQ changes to do the spectral analysis.
If I sum these with Shades or Vnicursal, I actually see and hear 100Hz:
Shades, fully open: https://www.dropbox.com/s/l4bbgm2s60r2x9w/Screenshot%202018-07-08%2015.06.37.png?dl=0
Vnicursal, channels at about 10 o’clock: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1uu7h2ag9utgbby/Screenshot%202018-07-08%2015.09.43.png?dl=0
The rolloff of higher frequencies is understandable on the Vnicursal, but the creation of the 100Hz frequency seems odd.
Is this just a measurement error? I’m trying to do the measurements as late in the signal chain as I can, but it’s possible I’m comparing apples to oranges.
If it’s not a measurement error, is there any way in a eurorack mono summing situation to prevent this kind of “subharmonic” generation? I really don’t think this is a clipping/saturation thing at this point, though I could be wrong.
Again, appreciate any feedback. I have a feeling this is a basic signal processing thing I need to learn.
I think the K-mix is doing something weird with the signal. Looking at that, and also going to listen to the mixed signal directly to see if it sounds correct.
H’ok, I think I’ve gotten myself sorted. Lessons learned:
- Euro signals are hot. We knew this but I think I didn’t properly appreciate it
- On my K-mix I need to have the trim down all the way or nearly all the way if a mixed signal is in play
- I cannot run a unity mixer with 2 or more signals into my K-mix at all without attenuating it externally first… It is too hot for the kmix to handle. This was probably the source of my thinking that Euro mixers are inherently muddy.
Thanks for letting me mostly think out loud at y’all.
Helpful stuff, thanks for doing so.
Brief addendum: my Malekko Unity Mix clips with only two signals. This is two sine waves, out of both sides of a DPO:
You can see the signal flattening out. The oscilloscope is set to 5V per square.
Given two signals causes distortion, it makes me wonder what this unity mixer would even be for. Do other folks have positive experiences with unity mixers like this? I got this to have summing on the cheap, and I suppose I got what I paid for, but it seems like it wouldn’t be useful unless I intentionally wanted distortion.
yeah, mixing with unity gain on all channels either forces you to b.y.o. attenuation or use it for CV—unless distortion is something you’re going for.
I’d be curious to see if the difference between a “unity mixer” and a “precision adder” is more conceptual than electrical
I guess it’s a glorified OR? Works for me I suppose.
well, small difference probably: an OR should choose the peak of two signals, so
out = max(in1,in2) (often also including 0 in that list so as only to get positive voltages.) A precision adder should instead perform
out = in1 + in2, with clipping at or near the power supply range.
Actually, this gives me a potentially fun idea. I have a ADDAC Manual Latches. 4 of those channels let you pass voltage through rather than just sending 5V.
The latches plus a unity mixer plus some source of steady offset voltages could turn this into a fun playable Beasts Chalkboard cousin. Will experiment tonight.
Hello there friends,
I’d like to have some feedback on my choices for 104hp x 2u rack. Since in the country where I live there is no market for modules or cases, I might have to buy them all over a few months and have them delivered to family members in the US, so I can pick it up, assemble and travel back home.
Do you guys have experience in buying several modules at once?
My objective here is ambient, soundscapes, and very organic techno with the ability to process my field recordings: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/698938
I’d love if you pointed out any inconsistency, redundancy or absence in the rack! I’ll use an external mixer, and I have no other modules.
I’m thinking about replacing the BIA with nRings + another 2hp Mix, but I really know nothing about the availability of nRings or its quality. Also, how something like the Nebulae v.2 or the Morphagene compares to the STS?
Thanks so much!