Gotharman Little Deformer

@Net Glad you liked the videos! I haven’t tried stereo samples, but I assume you’re hearing them in mono because you‘re sending the part to a bus going to “L+R”. This means that the (mono) bus is simply copied to both L and R outputs as dual mono. For stereo you need to send the part’s VCA output to two busses (in the VCA menu) and route one bus to R and the other to L. On the VCA Mod page you can then also pan the signal.

@josker Yes, you can live record a loop to a sequence’s exact length and even do so with automatically added chop points, for easy deforming/rearranging of the loop’s content while the LD3 is running. I think the LD3 is great for performances, but also as a studio synth/sampler. It feels like a mix between an Octatrack and Electribe 2 to me.

More videos! :smiley:

Trying out the Little deFormer 3’s drone mode, without any sequencers:

How to swap analog filters:

Another jam session:

And more drones:

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Thank you for the suggestion. Bus routing is one aspect that I’ve found a little difficult to get through my head. I made sure the sample bus was configured as you suggested, and although there’s little doubt that those steps are necessary for stereo operation, the audio remained in mono for me. I then discovered the last missing step: even if the filter mix is set to 0, the filter setup slot still requires stereo to be set to On. Now it works!

Great that you figured it out! That sounds like it could a bug, which you might want to report to Flemming. There’s a new update in the works, so maybe he can immediately fix that.

Very well. I’ll let Flemming know and report back anything of note.

What a machine tho :open_mouth:

Yeah, it has become my desert island instrument almost over night. It’s so much fun! I’m running it with this USB + 9V power bank by the way:

Lasts for 4-5 hours, so it’s great for the couch or balcony


On another forum I was asked about the LD3’s sequencer, so here’s a quick overview video about the sequencing features:

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Cheers. I might look into it. It would be fun to take the thing out into the forest with a mic & preamp.

Regarding stereo, Flemming confirmed that the stereo filter setting is indeed required, even if the part filters go unused/unmixed. This is described on page 117 of the manual (which I’d missed).

Here‘s another jam session, this time using both analog filters, the MiniProphet and my freshly installed Dual Band SSI filter :smiley:

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What an intriguing noise thing… i’am on the verge of re-buying an octatrack and definitely been curious about this Instrument.t and his elder brother the LD2…
Actually, i would love to use it as a stem arranger, like recording various loops from various source (norns+grid, modular ect…) and being able to rearrange the result into finished song. Is it capable of this?
Though the noisy caracter of the sound seems to be part of it signature, is it able to propose clean filtering? I’ve heard that the sampling quality was top notch… any thoughts behind that?
How is the time stretching? it seems more used as an effect… but is it capable of good and clean results à la octatrack?
How is the sequencer? i mean, can it suffle? or swing? or mico-timing?

Sorry for all the question :slight_smile: and thanks for ur answers!

Worth knowing: I’m writing this as someone who has never used an octatrack.

It’s a fascinating device as the audio quality is extemely high, yet it’s a machine that seems always ready, even eager, to get very noisy indeed (and through the multimode digital and optional analogue filters alone, there are many different ways of doing this). But it can stay clean if preferred.

When I bought one, my choice was between an LD3 and an octatrack. In the end my main reasons for choosing LD3 were its 8-note polyphony, its allowing stereo sampler configuration and its heavy focus on granular processing. The LD3 is significantly more expensive than an octatrack, especially with analogue filters, extra audio routes and CV system added. But I don’t regret picking it.

Although it can be confusingly deep owing to its versatility, LD3 is mostly easy to learn. One distracting aspect to it is that it uses potentiometers instead of rotary encoders. Its eight control knobs are important in setting up patches and fine-tuning the unit’s many, many parameters, and to have these settings jump around when you enter a menu and turn a knob can be irritating. It certainly doesn’t ruin the experience for me, but I can’t help feeling that rotary encoders (like on octatrack) would have been more sensible.

The on-board effects are unusual, perhaps the reverb most of all, because they mostly seem to be derived from the same granular engine. Thus the reverb effect resembles an actual reverb only with a specific combination of parameters, and otherwise sounds completely different. The granular engine is unlike anything else I’ve heard - grain envelopes are by and large not smooth and don’t crossfade very well, resulting in lots of clicks and glitchy textures. I feel that this rough, glitchy style ties into the readiness of the unit to be noisy - I think Gotharman likes to make a nice racket and has engineered this thing to do that first and foremost and indeed very well. Creating smooth granular pads, as I’ve spent a lot of time learning to do, is possible but can require careful patching. I don’t know how octatrack compares in this regard.
Thus the time-stretch effect can often sound very crispy/crackly and not that clean, although at certain settings (short stretch, high sensitivity) you can get incredible elastic sounds that I enjoy very much. I’d be happy to record a demo later if you like.
I like the stretcher, pitch shifter, pitchshaper, resonator and output granulator effects most of all. It has also a very versatile EQ, but this gives no information about frequencies - nearly all parameters across the unit use the same 0-511 value ranges. I think that’s weird and awesome.

The sequencer is quite interesting. It is limited to 64 steps, but it is possible to morph (with a knob or by modulation) between two sequences in the same preset, and it is also possible to play back ‘songs’ comprising chained presets, which load without any latency, seemingly thanks to the unit’s low-level assembly coding. You could therefore have the unit play an entire composition back for you, if you take the time to create all the presets and record or dial in the sequences.
You can modulate parameters such as gate length, note values and even note positions (aside from grid and step views of notes, they can be viewed also from a cool parametric perspective to determine where in the sequence they appear). However you can modulate only one such parameter at a time per sequencer. You can set (and modulate) swing, microtunings. You can set sequencer trigger probability and random offset timing. You can set the number of steps for each sequencer, allowing polyrhythms; whatever their length or resolution, they all follow a single internal or external BPM.

Samples are easy to load onto the unit via a USB dongle; I haven’t yet tried recording them directly. It processes live audio as well. It can of course be used as a regular looper rather than as a sampler voice, but I’ve found that it prefers to be the latter. It hasn’t too much space for very long files, but it can still load anything instantly once it’s on the device.

I’ve rambled a lot and kind of lost my train of thought. I’ll see if anything else comes to mind. I’m happy to try and answer any other questions or post any specific audio demos. Felix (@NightMachines) is a bit of an expert with the LD3 and the new SpazeDrum devices, so I’m sure he could chime in with videos and advice too.

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I’ve owned an LD1 and currently a Polyspaze and also an OT Mk1 which I sold. I would almost say they are incomparable in experience other than they have sequencers sampling and effects.

Gotharman encourages you to go off somewhere else OT wants to control everything, that is my experience. Both totally valid and great tools.

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Awesome… thanks for ur detailed answer! and now… i’m struggling with that dilemna… Tiny LD + filter board or Little deformer 3…
Definitely this seems to be some kind of next level instrument. As I told in my previous message, i’m not into noisy things… more into some kind of etheral delay based sine and square trippy stuffs… since i use my Norns and modular a lot… I’ve also haven’t done a propper track since i’ve sold my octatrack 2 years ago… This one was a good experience despite all its drawback… Thus’, deep ergonomia does not afraid me. And those gotharman instruments seem to be the a good way to tie my little melodical clips alltogether…
So, yeah, i’m quiet excited… and this is all your fault!! :slight_smile: Thanks again for this detailed answer!

For what it’s worth, here’s a sample of the kind of stuff I’ve been trying to make on the LD3.
This is entirely the sound of the LD3 apart from a 30 Hz shelf and light compression/boost added in ableton.

It’s three sampler voices, two stereo and one mono, each following its own sequence and processed by various modulated effects. For example one has a stereo delay with a positive/negative LFO signal controlling the L and R delay times respectively, like a faux Mimeophon. This voice is also being stretched a little. The choir is going through the output granulator; the mono voice is going through a multimode analogue filter. Etc. Please excuse my questionable mixing and EQing abilities. Still learning!

Regarding the choice between Tiny LD and LD3, even on the LD3 there are quite a lot of hold-shortcuts and button combinations. I’m grateful for as many direct controls as possible. I almost bought a Tiny LD myself and can see the virtue in a smaller device with exactly the same firmware at a lower price. The analogue filterboards do add some unique techniques and timbres to it.

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I wrote this too soon. I’ve just found parameter snap mode, which prevents any parameters from changing unless the pot value passes that of the value the parameter is set at. I had it turned off.

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Stem arranger: Yes, you can record, edit, play, sequence and mangle samples and also create full songs, but it’s not a DAW. The Octatrack isn’t either though. They’re both more like groove boxes with sampling features.

Clean filtering: Depends. Some of the analog filters can be clean and one or two of the digital filters as well. But it’s not meant to be a clean filter effect box.

Sampling quailty: Yes, sampling quality is great, as far as I can tell.

Time stretching: It’s an effect to deform audio mostly, so not really clean at all :wink:

Sequencer: It can do swing, even per step, and is very very capable. No parameter locks like on the Elektron gear, but instead you get sequencer morphing.

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If you’re not into “noisy things”, then you might not use the LD3 to its fullest extent. Most of its effects are for noisier, granular, choppy, digitally harsh sounds and it does those reaaally well. It adds tons of character to everything you do and won’t keep things clean and quiet for long.

Regarding LD3 vs Tiny LD:
I’ll have a Tiny LD as well soon :smiley: I like, and will probably also prefer, the control of the LD3. Its eight edit knobs and sixteen step/function buttons are great for working quickly. I ordered a Tiny LD for when I’m traveling without much room in my backpack, but I’m sure I will make different music with it, compared to the LD3, because of its minimal controls. I plan to use it more for sampling and effects, instead of synthesis, but we’ll see :slight_smile:

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Thanks for taking time to detail :slight_smile: Actually, yeah, never used the Octa as a Daw in a box… Ad not reallly looking for this kind of ergonomia… thus’ i would love to be able to resample advanced patch from my modular (more likely to be the skeleton of my track) and being able to arrange the result into further pattern. so with the element you gave me, it seems the the tiny LD or lil deformer would be a great alternative, I mean auto chops, redistribution of the chops ect… And so, despite the limitation of one recording at once. In this field, the octatrack seems more flexible… (i guess u can record 4 track at a time…) but huge flexibility is perhaps one of the drawback of the Octatrack in my own way of seeing it. I mean, sometime i felt i was losing more time to configure and doing some audio and midi plumbing than actually recording the fleeting vibe out of my gears.
The noisy DNA of the gotharman gears can be an added value for me…and perhaps gonna make my own DNA (proto jazzy etheral hip-hop based muzak) mutates :slight_smile:
Great for the sequencer… seems to be quiet versatile.
What appeals me the most is the morphing feature… you can confirm it works for the sample (gradually swapping sample content and settings?), for the the synth settings, but also the sequencer content ( i mean morphing to 2 diferent sequence with a knob twist or a modulation)? If so, it opens many possibilities… :smiley:
Thanks for your review, and thanks for your work on ur channel! really quality contents since it beginning…and really appreciate ur disruptive choice of gears shown… Refreshing!

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I‘m not quite sure if you can morph between samples with the dedicated Audio Morph knob, but I think it should work. Sequence morphing works as you describe though. You program two different sequences and then morph between them, resulting in some fun intermediate sequences.

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I often switch between snap and pick-up knob modes. I like the parameter jumps when I‘m designing sounds, because I can just twist the knob into the position I want and the values will automatically be there too. When performing I prefer the pick-up mode then. I like that the setting is not buried somewhere, but right there on the main setup page :slight_smile:

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I hadn’t considered this, but it’s indeed sensible and gives both snap-function settings a good use value. Having spent a lot of time with the setting off, and only recently turning it on, I now find that it is indeed better off for setting up patches more quickly.

It’s possible to morph any continuously variable parameter, including the sample being used by a voice (1, 2 or 4 samples can be assigned to a single voice). To morph between these, you’d adjust the co-called chop parameter for each morph layer. If you morph from slot 1 to slot 3, I don’t know if slot 2 is audible at any point - I haven’t tried yet. Here’s a rough demo where I morph between two samples (it’s actually the same sample but it’s loaded twice, into the first two slots, and each slot has a different start point). Some filter parameters too are morphed. I morph also between two different sequences. The audio and sequence morphs are controlled by two different LFOs. This is actually my first time using the morph features at all. I finally got around to it! And it’s fun.

I generated the sequences quickly on the LD3 by setting a scale and dragging the note values around a bit.

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Sounds great @Net ! You should use the morph feature more often :wink:

My Tiny LD arrived on the weekend and I’m already getting some good results with it, jamming on the couch. The transition from my LD3 isn’t difficult at all, even though the Tiny LD relies a lot more on the touch screen of course.

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