Newb looking for 'Patching for dummies' kind of thing

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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bsmith
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Newb looking for 'Patching for dummies' kind of thing

Post by bsmith » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:46 pm

This is embarrassing to ask, but is there some kind of hand-holding how-to patch modular synths kind of reference or site or something? I think I've kind of come to a good intermediate-ish place with subtractive synthesis and am having fun with it, but have been getting stumped on what seem like should be simple stuff like - where should I patch velocity to (seems like it vca, or envelope or a combo, but I can't get it happening) or getting a trigger to Just Work restarting an envelope when I haven't released a key before hitting the next one. The CV stuff - I realize I should just look at it as a logic flow - and try to - but sometimes simple problems have non-obvious answers for me. Plenty of good reference out there on synthesis, not a lot of general help on patching modular pieces together that I've found yet.
By the way, I'm just learning all this with a kraftzwerg, and have mostly been using a cp-251 and other doodads with it. I do like the kraftzwerg alot, but kind of see how making it easier by normalizing vco - vcf - eg - vca kind of gets in the way of learning a little bit - almost wish that patching every single thing was required of me just from an 'I grok this' angle.
Looking forward to getting a rack towards the end of the month. This is as much fun as I've had in a while, and totally appreciate this site.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:18 pm

i made a post on the WOMB forum about a year ago, listing all the online docs i could find relating to synthesis, should be something here helpful:

http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=12273
i can probably answer anything you have specific questions about. there's quite a lot of info on my modular synth in this thread on the womb:

http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=473

also, there are loads of great web sources available for free. for starters try the sound on sound magazine "synth secrets" series, available here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/search?url= ... ummary=Yes

or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmod ... k_toc.html

also, you can find copies of the serge gold book:

http://www.carbon111.com/sergebook.zip

and the arp 2600 manual online for free:

http://www.guitarfool.com/ARP2600.html

sam ecoff also has some great free tutorials here:

http://www.samecoff.com/works.html#Tex

the buchla music easel manual is also a great read:

http://www.wavemakers-synth.com/buchla/PaMtEO.zip

if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/sho ... 0390684635

another great reference which you'll probably only find second hand is the the roland "the synthesizer" boxed set of four books.

digisound modular synthesis manual here:

http://www.digisound80.co.uk/digisound/ ... thesis.pdf

thing is, all these manuals are also great courses on subtractive synthesis itself.

another great online resource here:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~rhordijk/Proto/Index.htm

and if none of these answer your questions, then ask over on www.muffwiggler.com where you'll get a hundred different answers to your question. ;)

and whilst all these texts will give you a firm basis in the theory, nothing beats twisting those knobs and hearing what they do!

and even if your synth is modern and digital (or a hardware sampler), all the old subtractive stuff is usually still the basis for the synth engine, so it's all still relevant.

hope that helped!
Last edited by Babaluma on Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bsmith
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Post by bsmith » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:19 am

Thanks for the list, more reference good.
I figured out that by sending a negative trigger down the gate signal that restarting the envelope with a key without releasing another key thing happens, and I understand why. Patching for velocity is still kicking my butt, and man I need dynamics. I'd think that just patching velocity to the kw vca's CV should work, but it ain't happening - weird behaviour ensues. Am almost thinking this may be an interface thing.
*edit* and it was, I just needed to drop the voltage way down on velocity i n silent way.
Last edited by bsmith on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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qu.one
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Post by qu.one » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:35 am


xart

Post by xart » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:52 pm


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toothless_wonder
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Post by toothless_wonder » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:31 pm

nice list :tu:

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Peake
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Post by Peake » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:15 pm

Dang- Yes, make this a sticky!
I just can't help imagining that this would be better with vactrols

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jjclark
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Post by jjclark » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:30 pm

or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmod ... k_toc.html


An excellent manual :-) but it's about the Nord Modular, not the Nord Lead...

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:18 pm

jjclark wrote:or the clavia nord lead manual here (relates to all synths though):

http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmod ... k_toc.html


An excellent manual :-) but it's about the Nord Modular, not the Nord Lead...
already posted above! :haha:

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jjclark
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Post by jjclark » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:06 pm

Babaluma, I was just pointing out the mistake - its about the Nord Modular not the Nord Lead.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:13 pm

ah! sorry! my apologies.

:oops:

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slo
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Post by slo » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:16 am

A lot of patches here featuring Doepfer modules and examples of what the patch should end up sounding like.

http://www.modular-planet.de/modular-planet-survey.html

George

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Post by amsonx » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:39 am

Thanks for this really useful post. it's a charms for a newcomer to modular synthesis as me

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Post by ndkent » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:44 am

bsmith wrote: Patching for velocity is still kicking my butt, and man I need dynamics. I'd think that just patching velocity to the kw vca's CV should work, but it ain't happening - weird behaviour ensues. Am almost thinking this may be an interface thing.
*edit* and it was, I just needed to drop the voltage way down on velocity i n silent way.
Generally, but not necessarily you need to give velocity it's own VCA to work with for each parameter you want to give a dynamic effect to. So for instance you could feed an envelope through and get a velocity adjusts envelope amount effect. Or just have it control audio amplitude using the VCA, though that's not that exciting.

Without an extra VCA an easy patch that comes to mind is you can use an attenuated velocity to open the filter a bit more. You'd lower your cutoff to start so a low velocity will have a lower cutoff than before the patch was originally.

Finally you could invert the velocity for say a shorter attack with an envelope with VC.

All these suggestions may need an attenuator if you are getting too wide a range of CV from velocity

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bsmith
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Post by bsmith » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:31 am

These are all great suggestions, thanks! As soon as they become available I'll be ordering a doepfer a132-3 and I'll be able do the amplitude thing with my non kraftzwerg modules without having to patch over to it, and just have so much more vca flexibility.
Unrelated - I wish that ignore button wasn't right next to the quote button, I've bonked clicking the wrong one a few times now.
ndkent wrote: Generally, but not necessarily you need to give velocity it's own VCA to work with for each parameter you want to give a dynamic effect to. So for instance you could feed an envelope through and get a velocity adjusts envelope amount effect. Or just have it control audio amplitude using the VCA, though that's not that exciting.

Without an extra VCA an easy patch that comes to mind is you can use an attenuated velocity to open the filter a bit more. You'd lower your cutoff to start so a low velocity will have a lower cutoff than before the patch was originally.

Finally you could invert the velocity for say a shorter attack with an envelope with VC.

All these suggestions may need an attenuator if you are getting too wide a range of CV from velocity

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Post by johnnywoods » Fri May 07, 2010 2:08 pm

if you're really hard core you'll hunt down a copy of allen strange's "electronic music: systems, techniques, controls" which is by far the best text i have ever come across dealing with modular synthesis. if you can't find an old hard copy you can download a .pdf from the publishers for about $15 here:

https://ebooks.primisonline.com/cgi/sho ... 0390684635

I "found" a pdf version of this book and got a bound copy printed at Kinko's. Cost about $30 for the printing.

Well worth it. Amazing reference manual for all types of modular synthesis.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Fri May 07, 2010 7:23 pm

nice to know some of that $30 went to help out allen's widow.

:roll:

do i have to resort to guilt tripping people every time someone posts about how great it is to steal copyrighted material?

sorry, nothing personal, just evokes my ire!

:rage: :rage: :rage:

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johnnywoods
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Post by johnnywoods » Fri May 07, 2010 9:26 pm

Actually, I did buy the book from McGraw-Hill's website. (I can email you the receipt to prove it :lol: )

Digital editions are annoying to say the least. When I realized I couldn't print it via online uploading, I found the pdf so I could get a version that was printable.

I can honestly say I've never pirated music (which I am obnoxiously proud of), but when it comes to e-books and movies, these DRM restrictions are making legal copies far too inflexible to be worth the cost. I often find myself paying for materials and then having to subsequently pirate a version to do what I need to do with the files. This is probably a topic for another thread...

Anyway, I can happily say a portion of my $15 went to Allen's widow. In retrospect, I should have mentioned this in the original post.

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sat May 08, 2010 3:49 am

well it's certainly nice to hear that!

:lol:

i also did the same as you (bought the official version but use the "free" version for reading and printing). i have a hard copy from mcgraw hill too, but it's falling apart it's so well used!

archetype
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Post by archetype » Tue May 25, 2010 10:37 am

Thanks for this amazing list!.

I'm really into doepfer.

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rico loverde
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thanx

Post by rico loverde » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:06 am

Great list, thank you for putting that up. I just recently ordered Allens Book, pretty pricey but its nice to hear it goes to his family. Theres a few youtube videos of demos of patches from the book. Ill try to find em and post links.

thanx again

rico
works for Darkplace Manufacturing

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giorgio
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Post by giorgio » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:57 am

if you buy the book on ebay i'm pretty sure his family doesn't get anything

is that wrong? better or worse than pirating the book?
▲✌♡✂☃☂☁☀☻☹☺♢✄✐☒☠☣☢☤☎✇✈✖▼

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rico loverde
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book

Post by rico loverde » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:51 pm

Amazon had it when I looked
works for Darkplace Manufacturing

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dan_k
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The Development and Practice of Electronic Music

Post by dan_k » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:37 pm

Was going through my library the other day and realized I haven't seen this one come up on these lists as far as I can remember.

The Development and Practice of Electronic Music - Jon Appleton and Ronald C. Perera.

Lots of great electronic music stuff but of particular interest here is chapter 4 by Joel Chadabe on The Voltage Controlled Synthesizer.

In some ways similar to the Strange book, although not as extensive. Picked this up used for $11, ironically a dollar more than I paid for the 2nd edition Strange..

best, dan

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JeffK
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Post by JeffK » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:50 am

I'm really glad this list exists. I saw a similar list on the synthesizers.com website which was not as complete but still pretty good.

I would personally like to recommend/comment on the Oberheim Matrix 6 manual..a pretty great synth module for the price and the manual really taught me a lot about signal routing etc. I'm not sure if its as good as the other resources mentioned but it covers some interesting things about midi, ramps, and envelopes.

Just a question: So it seems the Allen Strange book is highly recommend and it will definitely be on my list of things to read however does anyone else have any favourites? Do any books cover what the allen strange does not? What do others think of the buchla and serge books? is there anything not mentioned that still needs to be mentioned.

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