Manual Gates, Mutes, Switches and more

This may already be addressed in other topics but I didn’t find them.

I’m wondering what folks are using to “play” their Euroracks by hand, as opposed to via sequencers.

I’m particularly interested in irregular events and notes, even if those are achieved by muting or otherwise restricting the passage of regularly occurring sequenced events.

Thanks!

1 Like

my MIDI keyboard has done well for me, and I’m excited to try out Ansible Earthsea. The Beatstep Pro also has been fun for turning 8 of the drum pads into gates for sending wherever.

I sometimes use a contact mic through a 1u line in module. Sometimes with a comparator if the input signal is messy. For manual “sequencing” I like to send an offset generator through a quatizer and into a CV recorder. It actually feels pretty good to create a melody this way, very intuitive.

3 Likes

I really like using a combination of these gate signals for longer compositional control over a tightly clocked environment:

  • manual gates (there are lots of ways to generate these (@alanza 's suggestions for instance). my favorite “manual gate” i had to rig up in my very limited system involved filtering audio signals to create gates when i grounded a free floating patch cable. be safe, but the more you know about signals, the more you can hack into a form of “manual” control.
  • chaotic clocks (any random “burst” output or just noise converted to binary somehow (comparator?) )
  • quantizer(s) (these usually have a way of interacting with gate/trigger signals)
  • nice logic/divider/multiplier(s) that you /know/ the capabilities of (I ADORE my Pitts Timetable because those very weird controls that I don’t understand let me just nudge a few things and totally flip around the pattern on half of the module. this is a nice “meta-manual” control i suppose?)
  • gate<->trigger conversion (i haven’t had a trigger delay for a while, but you can usually hack something together to do either trig->gate or gate->trig. you may not have a need for it now, but when you’ve got a specific handful of things that take a very specific timing, you’ll want some way to achieve what you’re going after)

I hope this wasn’t too obtuse! I love finding new ways to “play” my Eurorack. Really might have to buy one of those ADDAC power starver modules that change how analogue modules behave by starving them of power. :see_no_evil:

2 Likes

I can’t wait to try this! I do this with my hands and two free floating patch cables sometimes but a few contact mics (or even barres!) inside a little case could be nice to plug into various gain/comparator inlets would be a nice control surface! I’ve got precious little case space for something I can do easily by hand.

Already inspired to try some new things and to dive deeper into the massive learning curves that are surrounding me!

Does anyone have experience with the Folktek Quiet quad mute?

– MIDI keyboard and Maschine with CV.OCD. (There are 12 gate outputs, and I keep 5 assigned to specific notes on MIDI channel 10 so it’s easy to sequence or play them with drum pads).

– Soundmachines LS-1 Lightstrip has a gate output as well as CV.

– Ladik P-075 Dual Switch. Has two channels of passive switches, each of which has a toggle switch and a momentary switch that inverts the toggle switch logic.

– The B mod bus on Double Helix has a toggle switch.

– Contact mic or Jackalope into Schmitt trigger in Hemisphere.

I haven’t seriously used these, but they would work:

– A Shades or A-138m channel with its knob set to 12 o’clock; flip the switch between bipolar and unipolar to switch between 0V and a positive voltage.

– Frap Tools 321 has a tiny switch for each offset knob which could be used awkwardly for gates.

– Livestock Maze with a constant DC input, flip between on/off states on various outputs with button presses.

– Something to generate a manual CV offset, into a comparator.

– In Teletype, set M! 2 and then use TR 1 GT PARAM 50 for the M script.

– Mimetic Digitalis: set the voltage of a channel high on the second step and use the Origin button to disable, X to enable.

– Bin Seq; set the first gate on, hit Adv once to enable, Adv again to disable but you need to hit reset afterward.

– Manis Iteritas: set env time to minimum, tap the Hit button, use output as a trigger.

2 Likes

have we mentioned Earthsea enough? I don’t think we’ve mentioned Earthsea enough yet

3 Likes

A grid + teletype seems like the most straightforward and flexible combo to me.

1 Like

This module has only just been released within the last week:

Super simple idea, sleek and minimal design. I think it will be endlessly useful for playability and live uses.

I ordered two :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Yeah that’s pretty cool!

I like my Ears for manual gates.

5 Likes

Here’s another one I’ve been looking at lately:

Kind of sitting somewhere between a MI Frames and a MN RxMx, a scanner/mixer/switch. Surprised this one isn’t getting more attention.

1 Like

I noticed that recently. QuBit is very cool… a bit large for what I’m looking for, but possible…

Alternatively, the function keys can run scripts directly (e.g. F1 runs script 1 – F9 and F10 run the metro and init script).

E.g.

Script 1:

TR.TOG 1

Then jam F1 to flip trigger output 1 on and off.

1 Like

Can you say more about Earthsea?

1 Like

Maybe something of a literal response to the title, but ADDAC offers a Manual Gates module and a Manual Latches module, both 8hp:

http://www.addacsystem.com/product/addac300-series/addac304
http://www.addacsystem.com/product/addac300-series/addac305

Both send 5V when active. Each has 4 inputs additionally which you can patch signals into. I find these really useful for sending steady lower voltages on demand, say adding a 1V signal which is sent to a unity mixer along with a pitch sequence to get octave jumping. I like the Latches especially, as it can be used for sending a high signal to a sequencer to stop/start it. The 4 latches with inputs can effectively be a mute as well, since you can pass an audio signal through it and activate and deactivate it.

They’re affordable, and also they’re a really simple DIY project if you want to dip your toes in those waters (though they’re SMD and 0603 SMD at that, so really tiny components!).

They’re really flexible and simple and useful, and I can’t recommend them enough.

3 Likes

Taking delivery of a Planar 2 today. I was interested initially as a xy offset plane but it functions as a 4 way mixer as well. Also has a tiny trigger button that can be triggered manually or with movement from the joystick.

1 Like

yeah! so on a high level its main features (on Ansible) are that it turns each row of the grid into a string of a guitar tuned in all fourths, and it allows you to record and play back phrases preserving your unquantized timing. I’m excited about these aspects bc I tend to play my non-modular synths in this way via recording MIDI

There are more aspects, especially in the upcoming rewrite, but I’m not a good resource for those. In fact, although it’s early days yet, I’ve mostly been exploring Kria

1 Like

Their whole line of expressive controllers looks cool!