Serge Preamp Detector Use

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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Gringo Starr
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Serge Preamp Detector Use

Post by Gringo Starr » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:38 pm

Hey Ya'll,

Is this strictly for external sounds coming in?

I saw this comment when searching this subject "and on the animate the preamp is awesome add to my shit fuckerupery. now i can use the 606 as the clock ". So is it the "Env Out" that acts like an envelope follower of sorts? You could send a kick drum into the Preamp Detector and "envelope out" to the clock of the TKB?

Anyone have any other tricks you do with this?
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Post by Scories » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:02 pm

The Preamp Detector on the Animate has a gate out and it must be pretty cool to trigger other modules from external audio. The Preamp Detector on my Audio Interface has no gate out and I came to the conclusion that even though it makes a handy module for adjusting audio input, it's pretty useless oterwise. I thought I could use it to make my vibraphone trigger SSG sequences/filter pings, but then I realised that things are a little more complicated than it seems. Apparently, I could even do it without the PD (with a DUSG used as an Envelope Follower/Detector for instance).

:sadbanana:

Anyway, I'd be more than happy to hear some creative and useful uses for a Preamp Detector.

Edit : I sometimes leave a microphone on and patch the ENV out to get some unstable sounds out of an osc/lfo.
I've also managed to speed up a clock or raise a VCA while playing the vibe.

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Post by Borellus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:12 pm

Scories wrote:The Preamp Detector on the Animate has a gate out and it must be pretty cool to trigger other modules from external audio. The Preamp Detector on my Audio Interface has no gate out and I came to the conclusion that even though it makes a handy module for adjusting audio input, it's pretty useless oterwise. I thought I could use it to make my vibraphone trigger SSG sequences/filter pings, but then I realised that things are a little more complicated than it seems. Apparently, I could even do it without the PD (with a DUSG used as an Envelope Follower/Detector for instance).

:sadbanana:

Anyway, I'd be more than happy to hear some creative and useful uses for a Preamp Detector.

Edit : I sometimes leave a microphone on and patch the ENV out to get some unstable sounds out of an osc/lfo.
I've also managed to speed up a clock or raise a VCA while playing the vibe.
True, the preamp on the Audio Interface doesn't have a dedicated gate out, but it does have a comparator which basically does the same thing... that's the main reason it's included on the panel. You should be able to extract trigger signals from it fairly easily:

Preamp Out or Env Out>Comparator In (+ or -)

...adjust the comparator knob until you get a trigger at the appropriate threshold at the comparator output.
"...I often heard sounds which filled me with an indefinable dread --the dread of vague wonder and brooding mystery. It was not that the sounds were hideous, for they were not; but that they held vibrations suggesting nothing on this globe of earth, and that at certain intervals they assumed a symphonic quality which I could hardly conceive as produced by one player."

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Post by Scories » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:21 pm

Thanks Borellus. I know about the Comparator, but it's not always easy to adjust....

But do you happen to know if I could trigger an Extended ADSR with the Preamp Detector by sending the ENV out of the PD while adjusting the treshold? That would be swell.

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Post by Borellus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:30 pm

Scories wrote:Thanks Borellus. I know about the Comparator, but it's not always easy to adjust....

But do you happen to know if I could trigger an Extended ADSR with the Preamp Detector by sending the ENV out of the PD while adjusting the treshold? That would be swell.
I was just fiddling around with my Audio Interface before I posted... I seem to get more reliable triggers using the ENV OUT into the comparator. The sensitivity knob helps in getting it all dialed-in.

You'll probably need the comparator output to trigger the ADSR, unless the signal coming into the Preamp has an especially sharp attack. I just tried to trigger the DSG from the ENV OUT by tapping the microphone with my fingernail. Worked about once in twenty tries...
"...I often heard sounds which filled me with an indefinable dread --the dread of vague wonder and brooding mystery. It was not that the sounds were hideous, for they were not; but that they held vibrations suggesting nothing on this globe of earth, and that at certain intervals they assumed a symphonic quality which I could hardly conceive as produced by one player."

--H.P. Lovecraft, The Music of Erich Zann

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http://xrmx.bandcamp.com/releases

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Post by Scories » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:37 pm

Borellus wrote:
Scories wrote:Thanks Borellus. I know about the Comparator, but it's not always easy to adjust....

But do you happen to know if I could trigger an Extended ADSR with the Preamp Detector by sending the ENV out of the PD while adjusting the treshold? That would be swell.
I was just fiddling around with my Audio Interface before I posted... I seem to get more reliable triggers using the ENV OUT into the comparator. The sensitivity knob helps in getting it all dialed-in.

You'll probably need the comparator output to trigger the ADSR, unless the signal coming into the Preamp has an especially sharp attack. I just tried to trigger the DSG from the ENV OUT by tapping the microphone with my fingernail. Worked about once in twenty tries...
Thanks, I was just trying to figure out a way to trigger modules with the option of not loosing the comparator... because the comparator also happens to sound very good. :)

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Re: Serge Preamp Detector Use

Post by Borellus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 pm

Gringo Starr wrote:Hey Ya'll,

Is this strictly for external sounds coming in?

I saw this comment when searching this subject "and on the animate the preamp is awesome add to my shit fuckerupery. now i can use the 606 as the clock ". So is it the "Env Out" that acts like an envelope follower of sorts? You could send a kick drum into the Preamp Detector and "envelope out" to the clock of the TKB?

Anyone have any other tricks you do with this?
You can use it within the the system to boost or overdrive signals (going into a filter, for example). Mostly it's used for external signals. You can trigger/clock things from the GATE when the input crosses a certain threshold, and you can get continuously variable control voltage from the envelope follower that corresponds to the amplitude of whatever's coming into the preamp.
"...I often heard sounds which filled me with an indefinable dread --the dread of vague wonder and brooding mystery. It was not that the sounds were hideous, for they were not; but that they held vibrations suggesting nothing on this globe of earth, and that at certain intervals they assumed a symphonic quality which I could hardly conceive as produced by one player."

--H.P. Lovecraft, The Music of Erich Zann

http://soundcloud.com/xrmx-1

http://xrmx.bandcamp.com/releases

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Post by Scories » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:06 pm

For those who might be interested, I found this rather interesting quote on matrixsynth :
Preamp Detector:
The new Serge preamps and envelope detectors provide an exceptionally responsive link between external audio signals and the Serge synthesizer modules. The key to this responsivity comes from the fact that our detector was designed to respond to the POWER rather than to the AMPLITUDE of a sound. No other synthesizer system offers this sophisticated capability. Human perception of loudness is proportional to the POWER content of a wave, rather than to its AMPLITUDE. Detecting the AMPLITUDE of a signal produces an inaccurate envelope, sometimes too soft, and most of the time too loud. The new Serge detectors are exceptionally accurate, responsive devices which output a control voltage envelope that is directly proportional to the perceived loudness of an input signal. It operates over a very wide dynamic range, in excess of 70 db, (or the difference between a whisper and a subway train at IS feet!). The output is accurately log--linear at 12 .5 db per volt, a taper which mates perfectly with the. control characteristics of our newest VCA's. Thus it is possible, for example, to control the loudness of a synthesizer sound by the sound envelope of a locomotive, a dog barking, or a voice going from a whisper to a shout. The effect is especially remarkable because of the accuracy of the responses the whisper is really a whisper, and the shout a shout. The PREAMP DETECTOR (PRNV) allies a Serge detector with a multi - purpose preamp suitable for a wide variety of inputs. The LO - Z input accepts high output microphones in the 200 t o 1000 Ohms range (such as most electret microphones), with a sensitivity suited for close - mitring applications such as instrument or voice pickup. The H I - Z input accepts transducers such as guitar pick-ups and contact microphones. It is also suited for- amplifying low level signals from tape machines, tuners, etc. Detector and Preamp can be switched to work separately or Coupled. Sensitivity for the various microphones and audio sources can be adjusted over a very wide range using the Preamp's gain control. Please note that it will not cut the gain to zero. With the Dual Comparator Module, exceeding a pre-set loudness level can be used to provide a trigger pulse to initiate any number of activities within the synthesizer.
Then it must be better than a slope for envelope following, right?

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Post by ModHiisi » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:19 am

Very interesting thread. Thanks for the input!

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Post by Vsyevolod » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:43 am

The Preamp excels at dirtying up a guitar or other external input. I sometimes send Serge modules back into it just to give them some grit that's not always a TWS or WAV.

The 'envelope out' is good for sending to a filter for Auto Wah type sounds. Never quite understood why there is a coupler switch on it though, why would you ever want to turn that off?

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Post by Scories » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:20 am

Vsyevolod wrote:The Preamp excels at dirtying up a guitar or other external input. I sometimes send Serge modules back into it just to give them some grit that's not always a TWS or WAV.

The 'envelope out' is good for sending to a filter for Auto Wah type sounds. Never quite understood why there is a coupler switch on it though, why would you ever want to turn that off?
Interesting suggestions.

The switch : Maybe for turning on and off some effect while interacting with an instrument. Like on a verse-chorus-verse song, the effect could be activated only activated during the chorus.

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Post by jamb » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:10 pm

So Preamp Detector of the Audio Interface vs the Animate version with Gate Out... does using the comparator on the AI provide GATE OUTs as accurately as the built-in Gate Out on the Animate version? Namely when trying to generator triggers from incoming percussive devices?

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Post by aethersprite » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:14 pm

jamb wrote:So Preamp Detector of the Audio Interface vs the Animate version with Gate Out... does using the comparator on the AI provide GATE OUTs as accurately as the built-in Gate Out on the Animate version? Namely when trying to generator triggers from incoming percussive devices?
I can't speak with certainty but I would imagine it's pretty much the same comparator circuit tucked in there on the Animate generating those gates. Patching it yourself wouldn't create latency :tu:

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Post by 30ohm » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:47 pm

I have the animate version of this on a custom module and i use it in every patch. It's great for inputting electronic drums for processing or so I can clock the serge to my machinedrum.

I'll sometimes route the bassdrum into there and then set up an end-of-envelope trigger to trigger sounds on 'off' beats, but still keeping everything in time.
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Post by jamb » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:18 pm

Sounds cool, 30ohm. I take it you can do the same except triggering at the start of an envelope?

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Post by 30ohm » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:37 pm

jamb wrote:Sounds cool, 30ohm. I take it you can do the same except triggering at the start of an envelope?
yeah totally. I mean depending on what you want to do you could even just use the envelope out of the envelope follower.
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Post by Scories » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:22 pm

Here's a suggestion I got from Kevin Fortune (hope it's ok for him if I post it here) :
About the envelope detector, while you may not find it useful in the way you want to use it, you can do some pretty cool stuff such as using it for frequency-dependent shaping with amplitude control.

You can take the output of whatever you have in your preamp, run it into a filter, use bandpass out, select a narrow frequency using the freq pot and resonance, run that into the env follower, use its output to control a vca, the filter, the rise or fall time of a DSG, etc. That's just one idea. And remember, the Serge system is all about feedback, so you can take any group of module's output and plug it into the the beginning of the chain, etc.

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Post by sersch » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:17 pm

A nice envelope follower patch shamelessly stolen from this book:

1) Take 2 Oscillators.
2) Pick the same waveform on each oscillators.
3) Patch the 2 waveforms into a mixer.
4) Dial in the same pitch on both oscillators, so that you get a beating frequency of around 1 Hz or so.
4) Mixer out into envelope follower.
5) Mixer out into filter.
6) Use envelope follower out to gently modulate filter cutoff frequency. Slowly play with the beating frequency between the 2 oscillators.

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Post by cebec » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:26 am

^^^ Nice patches!

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Post by Vsyevolod » Sat May 03, 2014 5:40 am

Or instead of running the mixer out into the EF, run it into a DTG or DSG instead (works as an envelope follower). Or into the top part of a Wave Multiplier (works as a low pass filter) (or the middle or lower for a wilder CV). Or the WaveShaper. And either of those can be subtly modulated by that same EF. Or tune the oscillators to octaves or fifths of each other. Or alter the balance of the two oscillators with the mixer. Or take the DSG into an Active Processor and mix it with the WaveMult and modulate the Xfade with the EF from the Preamp.

And this is all assuming that the CV output is still going to the CV in on the filter frequency. It could be going anywhere...

It's 3:30 in the flippin' morning... enough I say!

Stephen




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Post by jamb » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:44 pm

damn, is this thread gone? is some of the old content on the forums lost?

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