Shift Registers

A recent @fourhexagons post on Patreon reminded me that I had once considered building a rig around the Intellijel Shifty and @TomWhitwell’s Turing Machine and expanders, and combined with my love for Keith Fullerton Whitman’s masterful use of ASRs in his generative work (here’s his love-letter to the ASR, appropriately titled “ASR”), I wanted to start a discussion around the various shift registers available and hear how you all are using them. Let’s talk about analog and digital shift registers!


Well, I talked about them a bit here:


gotta rep noisering 2o char

I :heart: ASRs

The classic euro module for this is the Quantimator. For years there was only the impossible to find Plan B ASR and the Quantimator. KFW has used both at various stages of the “Generators” patch. Now of course there is stuff like the Shifty and, even better, the Ornament & Crime.

Serge format has the og ASR.

Max/MSP has the [bucket] object.


here’s another +1 for Quantimator. lovely intuitive module that does what it does very well.

I got in a zone feeding it from Telephone Game which is an ASR with a good helping of extra sauce - loop locking, feedback, slew


Shifty is one of my favorite recent pickups, I am using it with verrrrry slooooooow sequences


As a side note about MI Marbles:

  • When the channel diversity setting [N] is set to the first (green) position, and the module is externally clocked, and an external CV is fed to the module, you’d expect all 3 outputs to carry the same voltage, right? That’s right, but that would be boring… In this particular configuration, the module switches to a shift-register mode in which X2 carries X1 ’s voltage shifted by one clock tick, and X3 carries X2 ’s voltage shifted by one clock tick.

I am a lover of shift register! By combining with S&H and sequential switch it can make the vein of CV which send thru all over destinations. Random Sampling by Verbos is my favorite ASR, plain and simple, desipte the voltage drop it performs wonderful job.

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Disting has 4 algorithms based around shift registers. 2 for CV (quantised and unquantised) and 2 for triggers (single with inversion and dual). Perfect for when you don’t have space for Turing or O_C. I use them all the time.

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Have only used a lore mill Double Knot and Bugbrand DDSR. Both are 8 stage shifter registers, of the two I certainly prefer the DDSR.
The DK is definitely designed to be a self contained instrument and to that end I loved sequencing via the shift registers, and it was fine for interfacing with other banana gear as a complimentary voice, but for use as a shift register alone I found it not quite fully featured enough. Definitely still one of the coolest little nana synths around.
The DDSR is like a sequencing powerhouse and is massively playable. Aside from the standard procedure clock in, 2x gates and DAC outs for rhythmic and melodic play, the ability to keep the same loop length and switch the ‘tap’ output point to different stages via the knobs is ace. Inversion switch means once you have input a nice pattern via the button or data inputs and got it looping, you can double it’s length/variation by inverting the hi/lo bits each sequence rotation. Add to that extra tricks for extended patterns by cross patching the two sides.
On top of that audio rate clocking can yield really usable waveforms from the gate and dac outs. Can also be used as a simple clock divider!
Needless to say the DDSR is now something I couldn’t lose from my system. The balance between control and surprise is really rewarding

Let’s not forget the option to write an ASR in Teletype. There are a couple of examples in this thread:


The shift register sequencer included in Frames Parasite firmware has some really cool controls. Very performance oriented with some interesting ways to play with randomization and variation.


and some recent M. Ged music:

I built an elby designs CGS734 recently for pitch canon purposes, but either it doesn’t track 1v/oct closely enough for musical purposes, or I don’t have an accurate enough meter to calibrate properly :frowning:

I think a digital implemtation on a teensy + Dac would be a cool project.

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Slightly off-topic, but this video just reminded how much I love modular covers of Piano Phase. That piece is constantly playing in my head.


I’ve been looking at this DDSR from Omiindustriies, who used to be based in Chicago. I think I tried out a prototype of this at a local synth meet and had no idea what the hell I was doing at the time:


Snazzy FX Telephone Game has 5 analogue shift registers daisy-chained, with feedback on a couple of strages, and individual outputs as well. The Telephone Game also provides a couple of clock divisions, and the ability to set a loop for repeating patterns. A lot of interesting control voltages can be had from this module.


I’m late to the shift register game, but just got a BugBrand DDSR to use with my banana systems. So far it’s really fun and results in some interesting patterns.

i had no idea that bug ddsr existed. that thing is amazing.

We had the Parasite firmware for Frames already, thought the ‘Two Drunks’ mode in Matthias Puech’s Tides Parasite might have a place here too.
A somewhat more experimental interpretation of a shift register …

one could also build an ASR at signal rate like this: