new module day

The new stuff I was waiting for arrived yesterday, and I got it set up and did some of the experiments I had queued up.

Boredbrain Optx is excellent. It looks and feels classy (even has black PCBs behind the front panel and a black power cable with dark grey stripe), it gave me no issues setting it up and it performs flawlessly. Highly recommended… even though I’m still trying to sell my ES-3 and probably not helping my case by repeating how much more I like the Optx.

Joranalogue Compare 2 is also quite good. Tools are often compared to a Swiss Army knife, positively (versatile) and sometimes negatively (individual tools might be awkward or inferior). This is like a zoomed-in version, a specialized cork removal tool but which has surprisingly more uses.

Something like a window comparator can be fiddly to set up, matching levels to the incoming signal and tweaking it so it’s just right. It’s designed to help with that. I do think dedicated LEDs for the output gate would clarify the (also helpful) blue/white/red for low/match/high when things are cycling rapidly… but at some point to really understand signals you’ve got to put them on a scope anyway.

Klavis Mixwitch gives me mixed feelings so far. It’s a clever design for sure. The mute switches are good to have rather than needing to patch an offset and manual switch together. The positive/negative toggles are handy, and the switching capability extends its capabilities and makes it something more.

However, it’s displaced Shades, which is a beautifully simple module with great layout and feel, very familiar to me. I’ll have to build up some new habits/muscle memory before I decide whether I like the new module’s paradigm and feel. I may try replacing the knobs, but I will certainly give it some time to decide. Meanwhile, I plan to keep Shades and the Ladik P-075 switch on standby for a good while in case I feel the need to switch back.

I had a few patch experiments saved up for New Module Day:

  1. Can Compare2 & Mixwitch imitate Loose Fruit (switch between normal and inverted at zero crossings?)

    Yes, readily. In a nutshell, this patch allows a bit more smooth variation in the sound, but it sounds a bit more brittle and edgy and less pleasant than Loose Fruit does (possibly fixable with some filtering) — and Loose Fruit can do it twice, in parallel or series or independently. So I plan to keep the Fruit for now.

  2. Crazy sync patches with Compare2?

    Yes. Definitely crazy sync patches with Compare2. Some of them sort of related to PLL patches in that they do very brief frequency modulation bursts. Weird shit ahoy!

  3. Can Compare2 & Mixwitch & Maths imitate Schlappi Engineering Boundary (set an upper limit to the rise stage, causing both lower amplitude and faster cycling?)

    Maybe, but (A) my patch design was flawed, and (B) it’s a bit awkward. It requires Compare2 to act as one window comparator and an RS flip-flop while Mixwitch acts as another window comparator. More experimentation might get me to what I was looking for.

    Given certain limitations, Maths and a VCA can certainly do “bouncing ball” patches. But if I wanted to use, say, velocity CV from a keyboard or a sequenced CV to control the boundary instead, it shares the “dynamic gates” problem of sudden changes in level affecting more than one would want.

    At any rate, I’ve decided against replacing Maths with Boundary even though I couldn’t replicate it.

  4. Can I imitate NSI Inertia with Maths, using some kind of serial slew patch?

    …no, or else I’m just not smart enough. I don’t know how two slew limiters are creating overshoot and resonance. It seems like feedback has to be involved somehow, but I’ve been completely stymied.

    I’m really curious to see some demo videos of Inertia. It seems like it has some cool potential… though the real question is, would it be practical and/or inspiring for me or should I just stick with Maths?

Really the only other thing under consideration now is Xaoc Erfurt. Again, I will want to see some demo videos to be sure. I really like the weird variety of stuff I can get Drezno and Jena to do, and Erfurt seems like a good addition. But I wish it had a front panel switch to isolate it from the other Leibniz modules so it could act as a counter/divider on its own, rather than having to pull out ribbon cables.