touch copper

The 0-Ctrl arrived on Saturday, and I’m very pleased with it. My first impression was that it exactly met my expectations and hopes — the form factor is perfect, the touchplates work perfectly even with my dry skin, fit on my little stand in front of the modular is perfect, it feels great to use, it’s fun and inspiring and works almost exactly like I thought. Maybe a little easier to dial in tunings and grooves than I expected, and surprisingly musical when combining unsynchronized internal and external clock sources.

When only using an external clock, the gate lengths and the dynamic envelope times are still based on the internal clock, so the Speed and Time settings as well as Strength are still relevant. The dynamic gate and main clock output will result in different rhythms depending on the setting, which is a neat way to get some interrelated parts going and vary them easily. I threw together a quick jam with the E352’s two outputs:

Working with the 0-Ctrl does make me nostalgic for the 0-Coast — though more in terms of feel than sound or features. In theory, I like the idea of a more compact, simple modular. But in practice, I really like the setup that I have and what it does for my music.

Experimenting with the Disting EX, I found I could get better PLL-like results with the XOR logic gate algorithm than the pitch tracking algorithm… and than my actual A-196 PLL module. So that’s one more module to sell. There’s an EMW Fixed Filter Bank on the way, for feedback, distortion and some band-separating tricks of various kinds, and only 2 HP of free space unclaimed. (4 if I decide I don’t need the 2HP Trim that I have, which is possible.) Nothing’s really calling out to me for that space though.

On another note (that pun never gets old!), someone recommended Freakshow Industries plugins, which I’d never heard of up ’til now. I like their aesthetic and their “steal” policy, though I found Mishby (“Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Built You”) worth the full price, giving some lovely semi-tape, semi-“digital” degradation and chorusing. It sounds especially good in front of Supermassive.

4 thoughts on “touch copper”

  1. Not gonna lie, I don’t see how XOR and a PLL are related at all. How are you using it to get that effect?

    1. The heart of a PLL is some kind of phase comparator, which outputs a signal that indicates whether two input signals are in phase. In a PLL, the two inputs are an external signal and an oscillator, and the output then controls the oscillator (that’s the loop, which locks the phase). It’s like continuously hitting either the gas or the brake to match pace with another car.

      If your input signal and internal oscillator are both producing squarewaves, then an XOR logic gate is a perfect phase comparator: the output will be low when the signals are the same, and high when there’s a mismatch. With any other wave, there can be imperfections in tracking that result in locking to the wrong octave, rapid switching of octaves, a buzzy timbre or failure to stay locked.

      Things that help: tuning the tracking oscillator below the frequency of the input, attenuating or boosting the XOR output, or filtering the XOR output.

      1. Oh! So you XOR the squares from two oscillators and use the result to sync one of the oscillators, and that will cause it to track the pitch of the other to some degree? That’s really cool, I’ll have to give it a try. Whenever people talk about PLL sounds I get interested but never enough to dedicate space in my case. If nothing else I can patch an audio-rate XOR in Select 2.

        Thanks for the detailed answer 🙂

        1. D’oh, I get it now. I went and read the manual for the doepfer PLL and I see how the XOR fits in. Both filter 8 and contour 1 can do the slew limiting/LP and compare 2 can produce squares from clean waveforms and do the XOR so I guess you could patch up a weird two oscillator PLL voice using just joranalogue stuff. This is neat.

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