VCAs and LPGs

lxd is a perfect match and I’d say a no brainer with maths… envelope to lower half and attenuated channel (same envelope) to higher, add vco into it for a classic synth patch. I too noticed some bleed with higher frequencies (IIRC it was with white noise though). Otherwise its a must to have attenuators around of course.

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I had a Mutable Streams for a while but I hated the pinged vactrol mode. I wanted to see what the post-vactrol world sounded like, and I didn’t like what I heard. :frowning:

It’s a mode that has a smaller sweet spot than the others. To get Optomix-like behavior, you have to set the response curve to full CW (linear). Shape and Mod then go between 9 and 11 o’clock.

When looking for this specific control range, I plugged the Optomix into my left channel, and Streams into the right. I was able to get a nearly identical response, as it would frequently sound like a mono mix.

(That being said, I’m not selling the Optomix for reasons listed above. Streams requires more tweaking and doesn’t do mixing. It’s ultimately more flexible though.)


Don’t actually own any “proper” VCA’s, believe it or not, only filters and LPG’s. Optomix can handle CV, of course, so in that way it is functional. I’ve been thinking of getting an lxd and a 4hp vca in place of the optomix, but so far it hasn’t been necessary.

Hot take: I think VCA’s are only necessary if that’s how you want to patch!

VCA’s are also interesting for adding variation to modulation sources though… so passing cv through instead of audio. I think that’s where “never enough VCAs” originates from.


Modulation, scan/pan, mixing… lots of uses for VCAs.

Been playing modulargrid tetris with the various suggestions here. At one point I had two Optomixes in the rack, and ended up with a couple Verbos scan and pans.

But my modulargrid tetris games tend to go on for months before I make any decisions, and all the info in this thread is very helfpful. We have a lot of LPG lovers around here!

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I’ve got an Optomix, ModDemix and also a Linix for more standard mix/VCA duties. i think it’s helpful to have both LPG & a more regular VCA. I might have gone for the Intellijel quad VCA rather than the Linux had it been available at the time.

Yeah, it might start to get difficult to constrain myself to 208HP. We’ll see.

For sure. Which is why I have the Linix as combined mixer/VCA. I do wish there was a way to stop it removing the individual signal from the Sum’d output when you take it’s individual output.

Of course, totally on the same page with that: modulating the modular can be great. But, with the right system, you can get the same effect in other ways. For example: using a long envelope to slowly increase the sustain phase on an envelope controlling the amplitude of an oscillator can get you to the same place as a VCA modulating the modulator!

For reference, these are my two cases:

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I’ll admit, this is why the RYO Aperture has been tempting - both as an LPG and a different kind of filter.


It’s really good. Very flexible, and can sound terribly bold if you want it to.

Finally looking it up. Oh! There’s a LPG/VCA toggle switch. Very smart.

yep. It can be a VCA, or an LPF, or an LPG, depending on that toggle.


I really like the Borg II for a LPG, two different sounds and a really beefy resonance. The borg has options for series and parallel modes and a “VCA” mode where it acts more as LPG. Also the Veils is quite nice if you are looking for a quad VCA; it lets you switch between exponential and linear response too. It is also a cascading VCA across the 4 channels.


The dual borg was an amazing addition, and really tied my system together for those reasons. Should say, the VCA mode’s response is really stunning. Can’t recommend it highly enough as an LPG. The Verbos ATC is also in that realm and sounds amazing, but it’s not two channels!

Haven’t gotten to play with the veils, but have heard really great things. For the next case…


I think I think in mono. I need to try some panning at some point.


I’m definitely into stereo. Panning is especially fun with headphones (and you can do all sorts of neural tricks with binaural sounds).

But I’m also excited about scanning. Like this:

Kind of surprised nobody has discussed RxMx much.


A few of us here were discussing it a few months ago; might have been you and I?

There’s a lot to like about it, and I was reeeeeeeaaalllllly close to getting one, but finally balked at the inability of it to do something key I wanted–can’t even remember what that is anymore, but I remember carefully studying its routing and concluding it was impossible; something to do with six independent outs I think.

I have the four channel Verbos Pan & Scan, and have played with that feature on a couple other Verbos modules, and it is really cool, and underrated as a feature; agreed!


i’ve been also curious about scanners for some time but never got around to getting one. in addition to aforementioned ones the only other 2 that i’m aware of are toppobrillo mixiplexer and synthetic sound labs segwencer.

it just occurred to me that similar effects could be achieved with a quad VCA / quad LFO combination (and i tend to double the same sequence to 2 oscillators and then use 2 different envelopes to blend them, similar idea), i should try this with modcan quad lfo - should be interesting using it in phase shift mode… i guess you lose CV control over the amplitude shift like in a dedicated scanner, but something similar should be doable with, say, ansible + teletype combo.