Make Noise modules: design, usability, theory, philosophy, etc


Great idea! I have 3 of these modules, and had to get the Grayscale panels to make them ‘blend’ in better, but these are so much better. You should definitely make more than one if you do go ahead - I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one interested in getting in on them.


My wife gave me a Telharmonic for my birthday, excellent surprise! It’s been on my GAS list for “some day”…

It seems like something that would appeal to at least some folks in this community…

Anyone have any tips or insights for using it? I’m waiting for a new case to get it racked up at the moment…



This is a fairly straightforward patch, but it’s my favorite Telharmonic one that I’ve heard. It’s great for drones if that’s your thing.


Use the Noise output - a lot. It’s super cool and I feel overlooked by a lot of users.
Also, the D-Gate output is SUPER cool and again doesn’t get used enough.

The trickiest thing to starting out is tuning. Start with Degree at noon, and Interval at the Unison setting.
Listen to the H output, turn Centroid all the way down, and then tune with Tonic. Once tuned, patch your 1v/oct signal into Degree.

It’s a much deeper module than it appears on the surface and definitely rewards experimentation and patience.


re: Telharmonic - I haven’t had mine tremendously long, but patching the other outputs into the FM in usually makes for interest. I also use that noise source a lot. It’s currently my only noise, so it’s handy to have!

I find the module makes great electric guitar paletted sounds.

Maybe goes without saying, but read the manual well? There are lots of good notes in there. I still refer to it frequently for ideas.

I’ve found sequencing it outside of “Unison” a bit tricky trmyself. Still getting to know it that way. As @jamescigler noted, it’s much deeper than it looks. That said, it’s also easy to use use from a “make dope sound fast” perspective, as it only has two controls and a gate that shape the different outputs. It’s also quite expressive. Here’s my favorite little sequence I’ve done with it (TSNM playing the Telharmonic).

On a different subject, I finally started using the Morphagene as two mono channels. For some reason my brain was thinking of it like a reverb that smears the channels together, so I always kind of presumed the second channel wouldn’t be of much use… but you really have two Morphagenes in one in a sense? You’ll get identical manupulations of course, but it’s still neat. Don’t overlook this like I did! :sweat_smile:

Also, the firmware update that added the “only record the live input” option has really given the module new life for me. Leaving it doing SOS mode but only messing with the live input turns it into more of an effects processor, and it’s a super dope way to use it.


One thing to always keep in mind, especially when using other intervals than Unison, is that if you have Flux turned up (particularly higher than 12 o’clock) and you’re turning up Centroid, you’re isolating harmonics. And particularly if you’re in a triad Interval, you very well could isolate a harmonic that is not harmonically pleasing with other voices in your patch. This is the same with narrow bandpass filtering too, so not unique to the Telharm, but something to be aware of. If I know I want to use the chords more from the Telharm, I try to start with that first and then sequence the other voices in my patch to better fill that out, rather than vice versa. Or, I modulate Centroid less (or I sequence it’s modulation so that it’s repeatable and tunable).


(mod edit: to keep this thread on-topic, covering the philosophy and design of make noise modules, the lengthy discussion & speculation on the upcoming/new Rene v2 has been moved to its own thread: Make Noise Rene v2)


I just started with Telharmonic, I’ve had it a couple days now. Great sounds! The gate doesn’t seem to do anything. It’s obvious I haven’t read the manual.


manual reading is mandatory for this one!


@soggybag, yeah. I think you could brute force Telharmonic, but it doesn’t lend itselt to that at all. The d-gate pings whenever the degree changes. The h-gate input makes the current harmonic persist on the h-out. Both have their uses.

On topic, I really appreciate the flavorful inputs and outputs on Make Noise stuff. It makes me wish more module designers included things like them. It shows they spent a lot of time with the design and determined useful ways to get more utility from a module while still having intense focus.


Close, D-Gate is an input. (you might be thinking of the “gate out” which does pulse when Degree changes) When patched, Degree doesn’t do anything unless the D-Gate input is high. Effectively this is a sample+hold for the Degree control. It’s awesome for “sampling” a note from a sequence (mult your sequencer 1v/Oct out to Degree in and to your other voice(s), program certain gate/trigger steps to update D-Gate). It is also is used in the “Shift Register” mode on Telharm.

The H-lock (and associated trigger in) is a very cool feature - very under utilized, by myself as well.
With Flux turned up, you can select and “lock” certain harmonics, so that those harmonics will be heard regardless of where you turn Centroid. Imagine it’s like programming multiple bandpass filters that will then track pitch changes. Once you turn Flux all the way down, they’re released. I find it’s best to explore this feature just using the Telharmonic on it’s own at first.


Sorry, yeah, I mispoke there. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I was thinking of the gate out. :upside_down_face:


No worries! - I just wanted to clarify since I think there’s a lot of confusion around how D-Gate works (and what it’s for) in the Telharmonic. I’ve seen a lot of comments (not here) that it’s only for use in Shift Register mode.

Awesome! Yeah there’s a lot of fun to be had processing two separate mono paths. Don’t forget that once Morph is up around 3 o’clock and higher, you’ll start to get different random pitch shifts in the separate outputs. Saving reels with totally different audio recorded in the L and R channels is great too, particularly if you cross-fade or mix between the balance of the two outputs.


Was just looking at the firmware changelog page of the newly updated Tempi manual and noticed this little humdinger (emphasis mine):

Bank colors have been changed to match those of the René and future modules on the Select Bus.


Just got my first Make Noise module, an Optomix. I can echo the previous comments in here regarding build, everything feels so solid, the pots are super smooth. The knobs becoming attenuators when a CV source is plugged in to the corresponding control is so helpful. I’m so used to a knob’s position working as the 0V value when CV is controlling it that for the first 10 minutes that I was using the Optomix I was wondering why with the knobs set fully counter-clockwise nothing was changing :sweat_smile:


I always find it useful to hear what doesn’t work :slight_smile: I am considering getting a Telharmonic, why didn’t it work for you?


It was an odd one. On paper we seemed like a great match, but when I made sounds I never seemed to find a place for them… or when I went to it, to look for a sound, I didn’t find what I hoped to find.
It should be noted that I am not an expert patcher/programmer.


I have a Telharmonic and it is an odd one. Sounds great but I have a hard time making it work with other stuff. Some times I wish it just had a sine or pulse out. I guess I really don’t understand it so well. It’s hard to sequence a pattern that makes good use of the intervals.

I feel like I should read the manual again…


I have (had) a similar problem with the Mysteron. I love it but it feels really difficult to pair with other voices. Really versatile though.

After about 1,5 years with the Mysteron I finally have a patch where I’m happy with how it sounds with other sources.


ok thanks for your insight. Yeah without testing it myself I am having a hard time deciding. Like you say on paper it looks like it has great potential. I’m looking for something alternative to the DPO and Rings I already have, this seemed to fit the bill. I might take a chance!