an object in motion…

Function generators/slew limiters can do many different things. When I think of typical modules in this department such as Maths, Function, Mini-Slew, Tilt, DUSG, Rampage and so on, the first application that comes to mind is envelopes. Send a trigger, get a rise and fall with variable speeds and shapes. Send a gate, get a rise, hold, and fall. Beyond that, making them loop so they’re an LFO is probably next. Then using it to smooth out other CV signals. Audio rate oscillation might be next, although few of these are designed to follow standard volt per octave pitch tracking and can maintain it over more than a short range. Somewhere below that is all the other stuff they can do — waveshaping, trigger delays, frequency division, crude audio filtering, and so on.

NSI Inertia is not typical. After a few hours of playing with it, I think envelopes are not its strongest role. The controls are a little weird for that and the shapes are always exponential unless you do some self-patching. On the other hand, you do get some atypical psuedo-ADSR shapes from it, and wobbles and spikes if you like, so it’s worth playing with even for that.

It’s stronger as an LFO or oscillator, where the shape and frequency are independent and you can play with other inputs to the trigger or main input to disrupt things. But it’s at its most unique when used as a lowpass filter, or perhaps somewhere in between a filter and oscillator. The “momentum” acts as resonance, the second-order output gives a -12dB/oct response, and the “skew” gives it a different cutoff frequency for rising and falling portions of the input waveform, which is almost like a blend control for filtering but goes beyond that. With more extreme skew it can act as a very different sort of frequency divider. And then there are applications like slewing incoming CV, where momentum can add spikes and wobbles, or FM pings accenting changes in level.

So yeah, it’s cool. 🙂

Also cool? The new bass!

It feels just right to me, has a great sound that works very well with various effects — this turned out to be a great match for me and I’m very glad I went for it. Playing with frets does take a little adjustment after the fretless U-bass and the older short-scale fretless (which I realize now is not a quality instrument in the least, but it might become a platform for experiments) but I think this will be easier to learn on too, and generally easier to integrate with the whole drone/ambient thing.

I do have some new Thunderbrown strings on the way for the U-bass though, since someone pointed to a US shop that has them for a reasonable enough price. It will be interesting to see how my approach to the U-bass changes after some time with the Mikro. I like that mellow, upright tone too and it’ll also have a place, but I think it’s going to be secondary.

We’ve been having Weather here — rain that became sleet, then ice, then a pretty solid amount of snow but nothing like the 16 inches that were possible in the forecast. Enough to work from home for three days, which I appreciate for reasons beyond not having to dig a car out until Sunday or deal with treacherous roads.

We’ve also been having a lot of avian visitors to the birdfeeder in the last couple of days — crowds of up to a couple of dozen house finches, chickadees, cardinals, juncos, a jay and perhaps some others. It’s quite a show and we both thought about setting up a webcam. Before that, it was mostly just a ninja squirrel and a cardinal who occasionally observed from a safe distance.