Minimal modular


I’ve been continuing to think about how to get started with modular in the smallest possible way. My thinking has evolved a little. I realized that if I want to use Orca to sequence synths and drums on the computer, I can use Ardcore and the Ardcore Expander to take input from the White Whale and send it back over USB. This leaves me with a very minimal case indeed:
And if I DIY the Ardcore and Expander, that keeps the cost down a bit.

For the case and power, I’m thinking about the Synthrotek Power Lunch. Seems to provide enough power for everything.

I wonder how I’ll fill the remaining HP eventually?

Maybe something like this:

Traversing Trajectory

I would do some tests with Ardcore before using it to sample and then transfer pitch data. I suspect the bit rate would be insufficient for accuracy.


Ah, I’m seeing now that there are definitely some data transfer issues to be concerned about. Has to do with the fact that the Arduino USB serial driver is optimized for high speed bulk transfer, rather than frequent/small/well-timed messages.

Not quite ready to give up on Ardcore, but I need to noodle through this:,38588.0.html#11


what about seems it would be a cheaper option as well.
i haven’t used one myself, so not sure how well it performs, but there is a thread about the 192-1 version on MW:


We talked about the Doepfer A192-2 before in another thread. Folks have reported that it doesn’t quite keep up at times.

Nice thing about Arduino is that I can ostensibly have pretty low level control of the communication via drivers, etc. But the bad side of that is that it’s a pretty long chain of software dependencies, and both latency and jitter can hide in any link in that chain.

I’ve put multiple feelers out in various forums to see if anybody has solved the Arduino jitter issues since that 2007 Arduino forum post.

Given the mixed reviews I’ve heard about the Doepfer modules, If I can’t make this work with Arduino (and I’d like to, because the Ardcore would potentially be useful for other things than just I/O) then I’m likely to either bite the bullet and go with Expert Sleepers modules, or chuck the computer and focus on a strictly modular setup.


All that being said, the folks in that MW thread are really super enthusiastic about the Doepfer A192-1! So, maybe…


yeah, doing it via Ardcore you’ll have more control, and it’s good to have it to try other ideas as well, i’d get one if i didn’t have the nw2s::b.

donno how much 192-1 can be used as an indicator the 192-2 will work well, but one thing to also consider - 192-2 samples CV upon receiving a gate, and it would be very easy to have Orca delay the gates by 1-2 ms (or longer if needed) assuming that helps with accuracy.


Don’t go near the a-192-2. Mine is in the bin, I can’t in good conscience sell it on.
A - it will only track 3 octaves properly.
B - CV in MUST not be a nanosecond behind the gate or previous CV sampled. Sounds OK, right? But any digital sequencer will have a tiny bit of latency… earthsea has about 60ms based on my Teletype patch… so a-192-2 will work nicely with the a-155, for 3 octaves, and that’s about it…


ah, that’s disappointing.

do you think tracking could be improved by scaling Orca output?


it just occurred to me that this could be optimized in the code to massively reduced. i’ll put a ticket in on this. 63ms would be the maximum between trig and cv (cv is on a timer) though there’s a likelihood it often gets there much faster.