Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

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Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by BasariStudios » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:00 pm

In this Video i tried to Compare the Rubicon 2 vs the ZPO. I tried to the best of my abilities and experience to show what they can do,
at least part of it and also tried to be non biased towards either one of them. You be the Judge.


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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:18 pm

BasariStudios wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:00 pm
In this Video i tried to Compare the Rubicon 2 vs the ZPO. I tried to the best of my abilities and experience to show what they can do,
at least part of it and also tried to be non biased towards either one of them. You be the Judge.


Hello All,

Doc Sketchy here. I designed the Rubicon and Rubicon-2 cores, and I'd like to weigh in.

First of all, I know next to nothing about the ZPO. However, I watched the BasariStudios video. At about 7:30 in the video, when he is demonstrating "TZFM" on the ZPO, what I saw was not TZFM. It was classic balanced AM (or four-quadrant multiplication, or, if you prefer, ring modulation). This effect is very easy to achieve with any VCO -- just run it through a ring modulator (I recommend the Intellijel uMod, which I also designed) with a modulating sine wave.

You cannot simply redefine the meaning of TZFM whenever you want to sell a new VCO design. TZFM is a certain thing, and a VCO can either do it or it can't. From what I saw in that video, the ZPO can't.

Also, the dude who did that video needs to learn a little bit more about oscillators before making pronouncements of a "theoretical" nature. First of all, the Rubicon isn't "losing through zero" above a certain frequency. That's actually how TZFM works. If you hit it with too high of a modulation frequency, you end up just getting a pure waveform out. It's all there in the mathematics.

Also, the Rubicon also does "conventional linear FM" and it ONLY does conventional exponential FM. (In fact, the original Rubicon had a switch for exponential TZFM, but we found it musically useless and it was sacrificed on the Rubicon-2 to make room for more interesting features.) If you want to achieve conventional linear FM on the Rubicon, you simply unswitch the lock and put the Symmetry pot to fully clockwise. Then, as long as your modulation source doesn't drive the frequency past zero, you will have conventional linear FM. It also helps to occasionally use a setting on the Index pot other than full blast.

So what does symmetry do? It moves the centre of the Linear FM modulation around the audio range -- at 12:00 it is centred at zero frequency for balanced TZFM (the lock does this as well, more or less, while also holding the natural frequency of the VCO). At fully clockwise or counterclockwise the linear FM is centred at the natural frequency of the VCO. In between you get inbetween things -- the FM will dip less negative and more positive, or vice versa. All sorts of interesting and strange timbres can be dialed in. To declare the Symmetry control "musically useless" says more about the user than the module, I fear. OK, I'll stop now.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by BasariStudios » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:46 pm

Dear David, i assume its you, first of all thank You for your work and designs, i own few of them and know you very well. As i stated in the beginning or the end of the video i welcomed the designers to correct me because i know my self i missed something or made mistakes. Back to business, i am nobody in general and compared to you, just a simple guy who can basically buy any Module. I do not have any gain or profit doing this, i do it for the hell of it, just fun, it does not change nothing in my life. I noticed what you are talking about at 7:30 when i was watching the video and i was wondering the same too. They are both great Oscillators but i can not be at fault for liking one more than the other. I actually like them both, have them both and use them both. As you stated you know nothing about the ZPO and as far as Designs go i know NOTHING at all either. I found them as represented as TZFM VCOs and of course to my knowledge and experience they were comparable as you can see in many aspects they even sound the same. But if you read the ZPO Manual and one of my Statements, i never said they are the same and also the Manual clearly states THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL TZFM VCO which actually is correct while the Rubicon 2 IS your typical TZFM VCO which makes it clear that they are still comparable. Otherwise what we are left with is just comparing a Rubicon 2 vs Rubicon 1. Of course these 2 are comparable.
Thanks for your feedback and corrections.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:41 pm

Dear BasariStudios guy (sorry, I don't know your name), I have no beef with you. I enjoyed your video (although certain aspects of it made me a little agitated). I also have no problem with the ZPO. It looks like a great oscillator. I'm just a bit of a stickler for the proper use of terms. I think it would be much better if the SSM guys actually described thoroughly just exactly what the ZPO actually does. There is nothing valid or invalid about using or not using this or that kind of circuit or concept. They can do whatever they want, and I encourage them to do so. My interest is in clarity, that's all.

Otherwise, HAPPY WIGGLING regardless of what you use.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by BasariStudios » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:07 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:41 pm

Otherwise, HAPPY WIGGLING regardless of what you use.
That's what i always say Sir! And without people like You, SSF, Danjel or others there will be no Wiggling!
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by keyofnight » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:55 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:41 pm
it would be much better if the SSM guys actually described thoroughly just exactly what the ZPO actually does. There is nothing valid or invalid about using or not using this or that kind of circuit or concept. They can do whatever they want, and I encourage them to do so. My interest is in clarity, that's all.
This is why arguments over terminology and classification are so dangerous: it's easy to take a (potential) classification mistake as an attempt to deceive others.

I've been looking for an interesting VCO for a while, and I found out about the ZPO from my local synth shop, who is selling it right now. After reading the description and watching DivKid & Bassari's videos, I gathered it was a take on TZFM that uses a TZVCA to achieve a similar effect. I was so close to buying the ZPO. But when I saw your post on Basari's video, however, I got immediately cautious. I've seen people misrepresent their designs before, at the expense of other designers. I worried that's what happened here. I'm relieved to find that this is just a debate over how the math of TZFM relates to various hardware implementations of it. But even still, I was left wondering, is the ZPO 'pure' or 'real'? Will I regret buying something without 'real' TZFM? Is this just a VCO with ring mod function tacked on? Do I really want that?

From what I can tell the module is described well on the SSF website and in the posts on it. I never expected that it would do exactly what the Rubicon does, at least not from the description. From my limited understanding, some folks ask if TZFM can be achieved with a bipolar VCA, folks say it wouldn't be real TZFM. The ZPO looks like the result of someone saying, "yea, sure, it wouldn't be TZFM like the others, but if we take the approach seriously, we can get something close and get cool capabilities." It, like so many other SSF designs, gives up purity for the sake of something interesting.

I'm going to buy the ZPO, in all likelihood. I just wanted you to know how this conversation looks to someone trying to make a decision to buy something. I seriously almost didn't buy this thing because of this convo. 😶
"…an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. […] If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered." Wittgenstein, Tractatus, §6.52

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by MarcelP » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:11 am

If I go to buy an orange but get sold a lemon because “it’s citrus and looks a bit orangey in certain lights and has the same texture anyway” I won’t be best pleased - even if I can still use the lemon sliced in my G&T... Correct use of nomenclature is important - for the consumer. What I do with that information - how I respond to it - is up to me.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by MarcelP » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:13 am

MarcelP wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:11 am
If I go to buy an orange but get sold a lemon because “it’s citrus and looks a bit orangey in certain lights and has the same texture anyway” I won’t be best pleased - even if I can still use the lemon sliced in my G&T... Correct use of nomenclature is important - for the consumer. What I do with that information - how I respond to it - is up to me. Maybe with enough information I would Decide I prefer the lemon - but it is still a lemon.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by MarcelP » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:14 am

Edit and repost...🙄

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by analogPedagog » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am

keyofnight wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:55 am
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:41 pm
it would be much better if the SSM guys actually described thoroughly just exactly what the ZPO actually does. There is nothing valid or invalid about using or not using this or that kind of circuit or concept. They can do whatever they want, and I encourage them to do so. My interest is in clarity, that's all.
This is why arguments over terminology and classification are so dangerous: it's easy to take a (potential) classification mistake as an attempt to deceive others.

I've been looking for an interesting VCO for a while, and I found out about the ZPO from my local synth shop, who is selling it right now. After reading the description and watching DivKid & Bassari's videos, I gathered it was a take on TZFM that uses a TZVCA to achieve a similar effect. I was so close to buying the ZPO. But when I saw your post on Basari's video, however, I got immediately cautious. I've seen people misrepresent their designs before, at the expense of other designers. I worried that's what happened here. I'm relieved to find that this is just a debate over how the math of TZFM relates to various hardware implementations of it. But even still, I was left wondering, is the ZPO 'pure' or 'real'? Will I regret buying something without 'real' TZFM? Is this just a VCO with ring mod function tacked on? Do I really want that?

From what I can tell the module is described well on the SSF website and in the posts on it. I never expected that it would do exactly what the Rubicon does, at least not from the description. From my limited understanding, some folks ask if TZFM can be achieved with a bipolar VCA, folks say it wouldn't be real TZFM. The ZPO looks like the result of someone saying, "yea, sure, it wouldn't be TZFM like the others, but if we take the approach seriously, we can get something close and get cool capabilities." It, like so many other SSF designs, gives up purity for the sake of something interesting.

I'm going to buy the ZPO, in all likelihood. I just wanted you to know how this conversation looks to someone trying to make a decision to buy something. I seriously almost didn't buy this thing because of this convo. 😶
Edited this a bit here because the subject has been quite sore - in any case there was never any deception on my part. You just had to read the module description to know that. I'm happy you investigated the ZPO on your own accord.

And yes, it does do exactly what tzfm does within a specific fm bandwidth - and behaves in a crossover fashion at those boundary's and beyond. Just because somebody else said it couldn't be done doesn't make it true. It is not the same as usung a normal TZVCA with a rectifier and I think that is where at least some of the confusion is from.
Last edited by analogPedagog on Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by 6667 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:23 pm

analogPedagog wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am
read a public description before they attack a new concept
this is just semantics at this point... but if it's a "new concept" then it's just something else

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:25 pm

6667 wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:23 pm
analogPedagog wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am
read a public description before they attack a new concept
this is just semantics at this point... but if it's a "new concept" then it's just something else
Exactly.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by NoLegs » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:46 pm

Did you know that if you add molasses to regular refined sugar it makes something an awful lot like store bought brown sugar? It makes me wonder if I’m allowed to substitute the molasses and refined white sugar for store bought brown sugar when I’m making cookies. Are they even real cookies at that point? I don’t know but they sure taste delicious.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by keyofnight » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:27 pm

MarcelP wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:11 am
If I go to buy an orange but get sold a lemon because “it’s citrus and looks a bit orangey in certain lights and has the same texture anyway” I won’t be best pleased - even if I can still use the lemon sliced in my G&T... Correct use of nomenclature is important - for the consumer. What I do with that information - how I respond to it - is up to me. Maybe with enough information I would Decide I prefer the lemon - but it is still a lemon.
I understand, but how we discuss this nomenclature is important. This discussion led me to misinterpret the description of the device. It says all of this in the description, but this argument made me go, "wait, so… is there something sneaky going on here, even though the language is plain? Am I just not seeing it?" I don't quite understand the implementation details of (most forms of) TZFM, since I'm not (yet) a designer. But everything I've seen so far suggests that he's selling Meyer lemons (which are sweeter and don't quite taste like common lemons), and people are saying, "These aren't real lemons…don't call them lemons." Imagine thinking that Meyer lemons were knock-off lemons because of this… ;)

I'm just saying we should be careful, here. The conversation itself might be more misleading than the language on the product page. :eek:
analogPedagog wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am
I'm happy you investigated the ZPO on your own accord.

And yes, it does do exactly what tzfm does within a specific fm bandwidth - and behaves in a crossover fashion at those boundary's and beyond. Just because somebody else said it couldn't be done doesn't make it true. It is not the same as usung a normal TZVCA with a rectifier and I think that is where at least some of the confusion is from.
Right. And I'm not even sure why I even got wrapped up in this debate. I wasn't looking for a TZVCO in the first place, just an interesting / flexible VCO to sit at the heart of my small-ish (208HP) system. I got excited by the ZPO because it looked like it could layer different kinds of modulation (Lin, Exp, Ampl), and it also looked like it could do something similar to TZFM while doing all of that layering. That's what seemed awesome to me. The debates over the definition of TZFM made this harder to understand or accept (ironically enough).

[Edit: grammar. Sorry, y'all]
Last edited by keyofnight on Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:48 pm

analogPedagog wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am
And yes, it does do exactly what tzfm does within a specific fm bandwidth - and behaves in a crossover fashion at those boundary's and beyond. Just because somebody else said it couldn't be done doesn't make it true. It is not the same as usung a normal TZVCA with a rectifier and I think that is where at least some of the confusion is from.
within a specific fm bandwidth -- what does that even mean? If it does TZFM, then why is it limited to a specific bandwidth? What meaning does bandwidth (a term from the description of bandpass filters) even have with respect to frequency modulation?

and behaves in a crossover fashion at those boundary's and beyond -- again, I have no idea what this means. What boundaries? What does behaving in a "crossover fashion" mean? None of this seems relevant to frequency modulation.

it is not the same as using a normal TZVCA with a rectifier -- well, that's not how "normal" TZFM is done anyway. If, by "TZVCA" you mean "four-quadrant multiplier" then yes, there may be one of those in a TZFM circuit, but the waveform is not processed through it. Also, there is no rectifier in a TZFM circuit. TZFM doesn't shape the waveform after it comes out of the oscillator -- it alters the way that the waveform is made within the oscillator core.

I think that is where at least some of the confusion is from -- no, the confusion is entirely from the goofy description of how the ZPO functions, and erroneously equating that to TZFM. The confusion is from utterly meaningless and misleading (but kinda cool sounding) pseudo-technical terms being used to confuse the buyer into thinking he's buying something that he's not. Utterly meaningless terms like "fm bandwidth", "crossover fashion", "boundary", "TZVCA with a rectifier", etc.

If people think the ZPO sounds cool and is something that they might want to buy, then I wholeheartedly encourage them to do so. If they think they're getting a TZFM oscillator, then they are probably mistaken.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by analogPedagog » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:19 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:48 pm
analogPedagog wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am
And yes, it does do exactly what tzfm does within a specific fm bandwidth - and behaves in a crossover fashion at those boundary's and beyond. Just because somebody else said it couldn't be done doesn't make it true. It is not the same as usung a normal TZVCA with a rectifier and I think that is where at least some of the confusion is from.
within a specific fm bandwidth -- what does that even mean? If it does TZFM, then why is it limited to a specific bandwidth? What meaning does bandwidth (a term from the description of bandpass filters) even have with respect to frequency modulation?

and behaves in a crossover fashion at those boundary's and beyond -- again, I have no idea what this means. What boundaries? What does behaving in a "crossover fashion" mean? None of this seems relevant to frequency modulation.

it is not the same as using a normal TZVCA with a rectifier -- well, that's not how "normal" TZFM is done anyway. If, by "TZVCA" you mean "four-quadrant multiplier" then yes, there may be one of those in a TZFM circuit, but the waveform is not processed through it. Also, there is no rectifier in a TZFM circuit. TZFM doesn't shape the waveform after it comes out of the oscillator -- it alters the way that the waveform is made within the oscillator core.

I think that is where at least some of the confusion is from -- no, the confusion is entirely from the goofy description of how the ZPO functions, and erroneously equating that to TZFM. The confusion is from utterly meaningless and misleading (but kinda cool sounding) pseudo-technical terms being used to confuse the buyer into thinking he's buying something that he's not. Utterly meaningless terms like "fm bandwidth", "crossover fashion", "boundary", "TZVCA with a rectifier", etc.

If people think the ZPO sounds cool and is something that they might want to buy, then I wholeheartedly encourage them to do so. If they think they're getting a TZFM oscillator, then they are probably mistaken.
If you actually thought about it, you would understand.

And no, the vco does not have a rectifier, the FM input does.

There isn't anything more goofy than claiming you came up with how to do tzfm while on the toilet. Analog TZFM been done 40-50 years ago by the authors of electronotes. Thats where I learned about how it has been done while in engineering school. And yes there was a rectifier in the design I studied And its been done using an OTA/VCA before, so no you didn't invent that. I explained that it wasn't typical tzfm and that it can make tzfm sounds and do a lot more. You won’t tell what you did because you want to keep it secret, sounds more deceitful to me. Probably because it isn't anything inventive at all.
You basically launched an assault on the zpo ever since there was a vs. video with the rubicon - you did it immediately and on every youtube video and muffs post. If the zpo sounded worse than the rubicon, I doubt you would have said anything at all. You sound like a bully and a baby.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by keyofnight » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:16 pm

Damn, y'all. Is it that serious? Maybe I should've kept quiet about this… okay. Here we go.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:48 pm
within a specific fm bandwidth -- what does that even mean? If it does TZFM, then why is it limited to a specific bandwidth? What meaning does bandwidth (a term from the description of bandpass filters) even have with respect to frequency modulation?

the confusion is entirely from the goofy description of how the ZPO functions, and erroneously equating that to TZFM. The confusion is from utterly meaningless and misleading (but kinda cool sounding) pseudo-technical terms being used to confuse the buyer into thinking he's buying something that he's not. Utterly meaningless terms like "fm bandwidth", "crossover fashion", "boundary", "TZVCA with a rectifier", etc.

If people think the ZPO sounds cool and is something that they might want to buy, then I wholeheartedly encourage them to do so. If they think they're getting a TZFM oscillator, then they are probably mistaken.
Doc, this whole community (and every community) is filled with people who talk in ways that don't always match up with the definitions/uses of terms you have in mind. I read the same words you did, and I didn't think analogPedagog was talking about bandpass filters when he said "bandwidth." Why? Because I know that people say "bandwidth" in different ways all the time, even in this area. What he's saying (and has said) is… precisely that it's not TZFM as you know it, but achieves a similar effect within a certain frequency range and does cool stuff outside of it. I understood that instantly. Why couldn't you? Yes, I know that "bandwidth" describes the range of frequencies that pass through a bandpass filter. But it also refers to a frequency range designated for wired/wireless communications, and, also, the upper limit of data that can be transferred over that band if it's used for digital data. ("That connection is great, so much bandwidth.") It also refers, semi-colloquially to how much time and energy a person has left when they're busy. ("I don't have the bandwidth to organize the conference, you should find someone else.") In this context, if someone says "bandwidth," I read their words for context and then determine what they mean. I don't just go, "Well, bandwidth is a term from the description of bandpass filters… so they must be using the word wrong." How pedantic would I seem then?

Like, I don't think you're a bully, I just think you think this linguistic dispute matters, or that there's a serious disagreement here, or that you're defending the boundaries of TZFM or something. Honestly, the whole conversation just makes me think this community is annoying sometimes—it reminds me of why I don't come on here so much.
Last edited by keyofnight on Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by brandonlogic » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:57 pm

keyofnight wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:16 pm
—it reminds me of why I don't come on here so much.
Funny, These kinds of conversations are very interesting to me, and they are a reason why I do come on here!!
:omg:

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by keyofnight » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:09 am

brandonlogic wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:57 pm
keyofnight wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:16 pm
—it reminds me of why I don't come on here so much.
Funny, These kinds of conversations are very interesting to me, and they are a reason why I do come on here!!
:omg:
It's less the technical stuff, and more the attitude… :deadbanana:
"…an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. […] If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered." Wittgenstein, Tractatus, §6.52

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by 6667 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:05 am

here's the best i could find for a definition of "through zero frequency modulation" within 30 seconds:
doepferwebsitelol wrote: The term "Thru-Zero" means that even "negative" frequencies are generated. But this a bit a misleading term as negative frequencies do not really exist. "Negative" means in this connection simply that the sine/cosine waves will stop when the linear control voltage reaches 0V and continue with the opposite direction as the linear control voltage becomes negative and vice versa.
is this, or is this not what the ZPO does? if it's some form of AM or something else, then it's not this. i dont know, i havent even watched the video, but i think the point that the rubicon guy is getting at is that what ssf is advertising as "through zero frequency modulation" isn't the previously accepted definition of what that term means. if it is doing tzfm, then it's doing tzfm and we don't have a problem. if that is not the case, then it is doing something else.
keyofnight wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:09 am
brandonlogic wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:57 pm
keyofnight wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:16 pm
—it reminds me of why I don't come on here so much.
Funny, These kinds of conversations are very interesting to me, and they are a reason why I do come on here!!
:omg:
It's less the technical stuff, and more the attitude… :deadbanana:
meaning matters. i get that you feel a certain way about things, and that the way rubicon man came into the thread may have come off as condescending-- but to a 3rd party (me) it seems like he is only trying to clarify the usage of the term "through zero frequency modulation". to completely write off a technical discussion because of how you're perceiving someone's attitude makes no sense when the entire purpose of this thread is to serve as a comparison between the two oscillators

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by ari ellis » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:19 am

As has been discussed at length before on this forum, the ZPO does not accomplish TZFM, full stop. TZFM means something specfic. The ZPO does not do it.

Now, analogPedagog has claimed that the ZPO is capable of producing tones that are perceptually similar to the characteristic sounds of TZFM. With a suitable definition of "similar," anything is possible. It is clear that the ZPO is an interesting package of sound-shaping options, with its own character, and a sound that will surely have its fans.

The claim that "analog TZFM been done 40-50 years ago by the authors of electronotes" is flat-out false, end of story. This was discussed in another thread. It is certainly true that there exists an old electronotes describing something analogous what the ZPO does (rectify modulator, bipolar VCA on the output), and in analogPedagog's defence, they even refer to it as TZFM, but that was incorrect then and it's incorrect now. I've gotta say that citing an old document, which itself trivially-obviously abuses terminology, in order to justify that same misleading terminology (or worse yet, a buzzword!) starts to run the risk of feeling bad-faith-y to me, and I conjecture that similar perceptions might fuel some of the anger we're seeing around this. Claiming that the ZPO does "an unusual version of TZFM" or something like that feels equally bad-faithy; from what I've heard out of the ZPO, there is no reason to invoke TZFM in its description. It certainly makes a bunch of cool sounds, which are entirely different (to my ears) to the "characteristic" sounds of TZFM. It seems to me that invoking the term "thru-zero" at all when referring to the ZPO's FM implementation mostly just muddies the water. But I've also gotta say that I haven't put my own blood, sweat, and tears into designing a module to then see this kind of (ultimately largely-semantic) debate erupt around it, so it's easy for me to complain!

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by analogPedagog » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:39 pm

ari ellis wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:19 am
As has been discussed at length before on this forum, the ZPO does not accomplish TZFM, full stop. TZFM means something specfic. The ZPO does not do it.

Now, analogPedagog has claimed that the ZPO is capable of producing tones that are perceptually similar to the characteristic sounds of TZFM. With a suitable definition of "similar," anything is possible. It is clear that the ZPO is an interesting package of sound-shaping options, with its own character, and a sound that will surely have its fans.

The claim that "analog TZFM been done 40-50 years ago by the authors of electronotes" is flat-out false, end of story. This was discussed in another thread. It is certainly true that there exists an old electronotes describing something analogous what the ZPO does (rectify modulator, bipolar VCA on the output), and in analogPedagog's defence, they even refer to it as TZFM, but that was incorrect then and it's incorrect now. I've gotta say that citing an old document, which itself trivially-obviously abuses terminology, in order to justify that same misleading terminology (or worse yet, a buzzword!) starts to run the risk of feeling bad-faith-y to me, and I conjecture that similar perceptions might fuel some of the anger we're seeing around this. Claiming that the ZPO does "an unusual version of TZFM" or something like that feels equally bad-faithy; from what I've heard out of the ZPO, there is no reason to invoke TZFM in its description. It certainly makes a bunch of cool sounds, which are entirely different (to my ears) to the "characteristic" sounds of TZFM. It seems to me that invoking the term "thru-zero" at all when referring to the ZPO's FM implementation mostly just muddies the water. But I've also gotta say that I haven't put my own blood, sweat, and tears into designing a module to then see this kind of (ultimately largely-semantic) debate erupt around it, so it's easy for me to complain!
If you came to the conclusion that those old timers abused the term thru-zero and were kidding themselves, you should know that a large majority of analog TZVCOs are based on those designs: http://electronotes.netfirms.com/EN129.pdf

So it appears that perhaps none of them are really TZ oscillators and all who use a design like that are making false claims.

That and similar projects are the only TZ designs that I ever looked at and seemed acceptable to me as an EE. Not everything is perfect in analog design and rules are commonly broken to achieve a particular outcome, even if just approximate - there is always room for improvement and modification.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by BasariStudios » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:08 pm

So i gotta say something again. You DO need a Hammer to drive a Nail down. But i SURE can also drive it down with a Rock or a piece of Metal too. At the end the Nail will be Nailed.
Reality is a Condition due to Lack of Weed!

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by ari ellis » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:27 pm

analogPedagog wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:39 pm
ari ellis wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:19 am
As has been discussed at length before on this forum, the ZPO does not accomplish TZFM, full stop. TZFM means something specfic. The ZPO does not do it.

Now, analogPedagog has claimed that the ZPO is capable of producing tones that are perceptually similar to the characteristic sounds of TZFM. With a suitable definition of "similar," anything is possible. It is clear that the ZPO is an interesting package of sound-shaping options, with its own character, and a sound that will surely have its fans.

The claim that "analog TZFM been done 40-50 years ago by the authors of electronotes" is flat-out false, end of story. This was discussed in another thread. It is certainly true that there exists an old electronotes describing something analogous what the ZPO does (rectify modulator, bipolar VCA on the output), and in analogPedagog's defence, they even refer to it as TZFM, but that was incorrect then and it's incorrect now. I've gotta say that citing an old document, which itself trivially-obviously abuses terminology, in order to justify that same misleading terminology (or worse yet, a buzzword!) starts to run the risk of feeling bad-faith-y to me, and I conjecture that similar perceptions might fuel some of the anger we're seeing around this. Claiming that the ZPO does "an unusual version of TZFM" or something like that feels equally bad-faithy; from what I've heard out of the ZPO, there is no reason to invoke TZFM in its description. It certainly makes a bunch of cool sounds, which are entirely different (to my ears) to the "characteristic" sounds of TZFM. It seems to me that invoking the term "thru-zero" at all when referring to the ZPO's FM implementation mostly just muddies the water. But I've also gotta say that I haven't put my own blood, sweat, and tears into designing a module to then see this kind of (ultimately largely-semantic) debate erupt around it, so it's easy for me to complain!
If you came to the conclusion that those old timers abused the term thru-zero and were kidding themselves, you should know that a large majority of analog TZVCOs are based on those designs: http://electronotes.netfirms.com/EN129.pdf

So it appears that perhaps none of them are really TZ oscillators and all who use a design like that are making false claims.

That and similar projects are the only TZ designs that I ever looked at and seemed acceptable to me as an EE. Not everything is perfect in analog design and rules are commonly broken to achieve a particular outcome, even if just approximate - there is always room for improvement and modification.
Yep, that's the EN I had in mind. That's not TZFM, and I'm not swayed just because they called it such. Right now, multiple options exist which implement actual, no-caveats TZFM. The two most common analog TZ oscs I've encountered in euro are the rubicon and the doepfer quadrature osc (can't remember it's # off-hand). Both of these offer TZFM as per its unambiguous mathematical definition. My understanding is that the same is true for the joranalogue generate 3, and the rossum linnaeus (and doubtlessly others). Are you really saying as an EE that these fairly ubiquitous, tested solutions are "unacceptable"?

In 2020, I'm not really sure who these "all who use a design like that" that you're referring to are, but if they do indeed exist, then yes, they are making false claims. Similarly to my last post, I also think that justifying a contemporary technical statement, relevant to a modern marketplace (see the preceding paragraph), by reference to the best thing that the authors of electronotes could come up with 40 years ago, further leans into bad-faith territory.
Last edited by ari ellis on Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Intellijel Rubicon 2 vs SSF Zero Point Oscillator

Post by ari ellis » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:31 pm

BasariStudios wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:08 pm
So i gotta say something again. You DO need a Hammer to drive a Nail down. But i SURE can also drive it down with a Rock or a piece of Metal too. At the end the Nail will be Nailed.
That's all well and good, but if you bought something labelled "rock" and received a piece of scrap metal, you might not be satisfied.

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