Instruo Lúbadh

Starting a thread for this module since there are discussions about it going on in a couple other topics. I think it’ll be better if we have one place to ask questions, share ideas, and discuss how we’re using this looper and getting along with it.

Here’s Instruo’s overview video for anyone that isn’t familiar with the module already. It’s long and a bit hard to watch in my opinion but it’s very thorough.

I’d love to see how some of you are patching yours. How are you routing signals into and through it, and how are you putting its various modes to work?

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For timing index of different sections of what this video has to offer, check the comments :+1:

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Here’s a patch I put together for a ping pong delay / reverb.

Set both decks to delay mode.

Mult your dry signal so it can be mixed into the wet afterward, and send a copy to the Lubadh’s auxiliary input. In the example I have the crossfader set to run the signal through the left deck first.

While you can use the default signal path to handle the feedback on this, I patch mine through external attenuators because I don’t like working with the minipots for controlling feedback, especially once patch cables are getting in the way. So, I patch each deck’s output to the left and right inputs of my output mixer, and mult each through an attenuator and into the opposite deck’s input. This also makes it possible to have individual control over the initial delay level and the feedback level.

Longer delay times will give you a ping pong delay, and shorter delay times with more feedback will create surprisingly nice reverbs. Combining one side’s shorter, diffusion network delay with the other’s longer single tap delay creates larger sounding reverbs.

In the example, the first audio that plays is a long ping pong delay. at around 50 seconds, both channels are set to short diffusion networks to create a reverb, and at 1:30 the left is set to diffusion network while the right is set to longer delays.

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I’ve been mulling over getting one of these for a while. Maybe this thread will provide the last drop…

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Same here. I’m thinking of swapping my Morphagene for this one

Funny you should mention, I was considering a Lubadh as an audio manipulator for my piano case, until a cheap Morphagene came along and I went that way. Still, the Lubadh has remained as a very interesting design that I know I want to visit at some point in the future.

What with the tape deck paradigm and the ability to record on the other deck, and manipulate audio, etc, and the UI, it’s a really enticing take on looping.

Here’s a quick example of using LFO’s to create wow and flutter effects on the Lubadh. This is something I was really curious to hear before getting it so hopefully this gives folks a decent idea of how it sounds for warbly tape effects.

The recorded synth line has no vibrato programmed in so all the pitch drift here is from Lubadh. I’m sending it one LFO that’s just below audio rate and another that’s probably running at 1 - 2 Hz, both heavily attenuated.

It sounds to me like the Lubadh applies less slew to the incoming modulation the slower the tape is going, making the modulation more pronounced as you go down in tape speed which is very cool since that sort of copies the way actual tape behaves. That might not be what’s happening, but the modulation does seem to get more intense as I drop the speed for whatever reason.

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One thing i noticed about Lubadh is that it really shines by itself and in combination with other FX modules. I currently explore it and find myself not using oscillators or sequencers at all. I could easily downscale my system if i wanted.

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just got a Lubadh and trying to wrap my mind around it—it’s a slightly different implementation of tape looper/delay than I’m used to, but so far I’m really digging it.

Am I correct in understanding that the normalization path is only broken at the INPUTS? I was trying to have my input come only from the crossfader section (while monitoring both outputs externally) and I originally assumed that patching the outs would break the normalization, but I could still hear each deck’s signal being sent to the other. Patching dummy cables in the inputs fixed that…

Yes you are correct :slight_smile:

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thanks! that will require some adjustment in terms of how I usually patch things (i.e. sending my guitar around multiple places and modulating what samples it with CV)…but I can figure it out, I’m sure :slight_smile:

Just picked up one of these yesterday. Really nice module! Still so much to explore and find ways to fit it in to my practices. It’s a lot deeper than I thought it would be. So far I’m enjoying playing looping sequences from kria into it in tape decay mode, allowing it to loop and layer over itself in a very Robert Fripp Frippertronics kind of way.

I’m wondering if any of you have figured out a good way to make synced looping delay effects from it, a la a synced 4ms DLD? I’m interested in being able to create polyrhythmic/synchopated sub divisions from changing the loop length, though I’m not sure it’s possible without the loops “jumping” as they reach their end.

Love what you’ve shared, @smbols! Would be very interested to read/hear what you’ve been doing with it now you’ve had it for a few more months.

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I find it easiest to do any synced stuff with the Lubadh using external clocks or sequencers. Self patching its clock out to the retrigger works to an extent, but once you begin modulating the start point it starts giving you unwanted retriggers, and if you’re using it in tape decay mode like it sounds you would be, you wouldn’t even be able to adjust the division once you had a loop going anyway. It also gets confused when you send the clock out to an external divider and send the divided clocks back to it. At least with the clock dividers I have tried with it (Time Wizard, SSSR VC Divider, Batumi in divide mode) this often ends up in weird feedback loops between the clocks.

I usually use a sequencer and set up a single trigger on the first step to start and end recording a loop, and then repatch and use the sequencer’s trigger outputs as needed for retriggering loops in time. Of course, doing this means you need to keep Lubadh in equal multiples of the original recording time since the clock pulses won’t scale with loop time anymore.

I wonder how good of a result one could get from using a module that has a clock output with a corresponding voltage level that rises with clock time. I’ve been using my Digitakt and CV.OCD to control my Lubadh a lot of the time and I just noticed the other day that the CV.OCD can output a voltage according to BPM, so I’ll have to test this out some time soon and see how it behaves.

I haven’t been recording much the past couple months, but something simple I find myself doing much of the time is recording long passages into one side and turning the other side into a delay, letting the decks feed back into each other, and then sequencing the loop. Very quick and easy to get really beautiful sounds going on that way.

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I’ve not been as impressed with Lubadh as others here.

Retriggering whilst in loop mode is quite erratic and inconsistent, audibly so (this isn’t an issue in one shot mode).

I also find loops drift out of sync with the source clock quite quickly (within a few loops) which requires a retrigger to sync things back up… but there’s that issue above about retriggering in loop mode.

Because of this, I find it better for ambient/fx loops.

All in all, I think there are a lot of kinks that need to be ironed out.

FWIW, the reels falling out of sync like that is actually the intended behavior. It’s mentioned in the long overview that Instruo put out that if you record two reels of equal length and let them run free, they will drift apart as they play back.

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I would love to hear that!

I ended up asking Kian from Instruo about this to see if he could illuminate anything about the way it works. This is what he replied:

“I think the ‘jumping’ you’re experiencing might be from the fact that in a traditional delay you set delay time as a distance in time between the record head and play head, whilst in the lubadh you can merely approximate delay time by setting the loop length but as the playback speed and direction are variable the relative position of the playhead to the record head doesn’t remain fixed and these changes in relative position may be audible at loop points or when playhead and record head pass each other as playback ‘jumping’ from one position to another.”

Interesting! And yep won’t quite be able to get it into sync it seems, which I am more than happy to explore anyway and see what different route it may take me :slight_smile:

This one’s a fun patch. Source audio is a pattern I put together on the Digitakt with kalimba and shortwave samples. Lubadh is set up as a dual delay with feedback and incoming audio mixed via the low and high inputs of Three Sisters, so when the filter is in its high position, the delays are being fed by incoming audio with no feedback, and when it’s in its low position, the delays are holding a sustained loop of whatever audio they last captured. Then Batumi is running in quadrature mode with outputs controlling levels and additional feedback routing.

I let that run while Lubadh recorded a few minutes worth of it, then set one reel to playback at half speed, the other to 2x speed, and let them play along with the live looping going on.

The DT pattern is already set up with polymetric parts so it takes several loops to repeat, and with the unsycned shifting of feedback, playback, and routing, the music becomes cyclical without quite repeating itself exactly.

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Beautiful patch @smbols !

My lubadh arrived today (sold my Mimeophon and Blooper to purchase with the intention of using to replace both and use Lubadh as a clocked looper/recorder/delay). Really excited to have a play tonight.

For the delay time mode on Lubadh, is it correct (if comparing to a real tape delay) to look at the time setting akin to record-playback head distance, and the speed control akin to tape speed?

How does feedback work in this (or any for that matter) mode. I could externally patch this easily (using my X-Pan), but I am trying to get my head around the auxillary input and output crossfades, and whether they are ‘pre-patched’ for delay/echo feedback routing.

After finding Instruo I am really gelling and vibing with their designs and philosophy (I’ve got Saich and Harmonaig as well now). I think the designer goes the extra mile with all his designs. Beautiful designs and engineering

The delay mode is weird on this because it’s actually detatched from the recording buffers. You don’t need a loop running for it to work, it’s just sort of a delay added at the pre-recording phase. It does sound a heck of a lot like a delay based on sliding a playback head around on a tape though. I like to think of it as a tape delay tacked on to the front end of the actual recording reels. So, messing with the delay time will obviously change the delay time, but messing with the tape playback speed won’t.

If you’re using the tape decay mode as a delay, then you can change the tape speed to change delay time, but it will also automatically repitch any audio if it’s not set to 1x speed.

Feedback works a lot of ways depending on what you are trying to do, and I’m still finding new tricks with routing, so it’s hard to give any specific advice on that. But one simple patch is to send your audio to the Aux input, set up one reel to delay mode, and patch the aux out to the delay’s direct input. Then you’ll get more feedback depending on how you set the aux out slider.

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Ah cool thanks for the advice :+1:

I bought it predominantly as a looper/recorder so haven’t looked into delay/echo applications much.

I’m looking forward to having a play around tonight with it.