I’ve done some audio demo of the Harvestman Hertz Donut as a “standalone unit”, the audio path is just Hertz Donut and A132-3 VCA , no filters, no efx!
The only modules used to control the vco and the vca are a MFB ADSR on the VCA and a Plan B Model 10 on some sounds to control fm amount and wave discontinuity on the hertz donut.
The Hertz Donut is a voltage controlled digital dual oscillator that can provide sine, saw, tri and square waves on both the generators and a ringmod for the square waves.
The oscillators can work synched together in some different modes :
As you can imagine except for the No sync option the other sync options go from a classic perfect sync to a bad , worse or even “stupid” wich forces the second oscillator out of sync in random ways, shifting the sync point .
The idea behind the Hertz Donut is to get a Zero-FM oscillator using a Primary (the first oscillator) and a MODULATION (second oscillator) with different kind of sync and modulation capabilities over Frequency , Wave Shape and AMP.
Frequency , Shape and AMP are the possible destinations of the modulation oscillator, the Hertz Donut is indeed a simple 2 operator FM & AM generator!
The two filters that can be directly compared are the A120 and the STG, they are both 4 pole, 24dB slope ladder filters.
Ladder filters copy the classic “moog filter” (electronically speaking) so they have a very definite cut , a really fast response to modulations and oscillates at full resonance generating a sine wave.
The DOEPFERA120 was concived as the classic moog emulator but it doesn’t sound moogish at all, it is very clear and have a minimal touch to the sound, it lacks the organic carachter of the ladder moog, but it’s perfect for other tasks as aggressive minimal sounds or percussions.
The STG LPF emulates the ARP 2600 filter “post lawsuit” (the one used after the legal problems with R.Moog). I tried this filter face to face with the original and it is quite similar but not the same, but it retains the warmth and power. The only downfall of this filter is a kind of bleed you can hear as the resonance increase, not very pleasant but all in all tolerable. This filter has 2 freq inputs and 2 signal inputs all without attenuators, 1 amount input and a audio output.
The Analogue Solutions SY02 was dsigned as a Korg MS 20 filters and vca clone. It consist of a highpass + lowpass filters both with resonance and amount and a vca. The sound is raw and the filter can distort easy, this module is used even in the Vostok and Black Coffee . The fourth filter is the Analog Systems RS500e, a diode filter with 18dB and 24dB slope clone of the classic EMS VCS3 and AKS Synthi (pre and post 1974). This filter has the classic frequency, amount and response (resonance) controls plus a level in and level out (to get a kind of overdrive sound) and a cv slew (fast or standard), a mod that was usually done on the original synthi.
The first set of demo is based on arpeggio and bass sounds as they show the behaviour of the filters in simple sounds.
The kick is a relly important percussion sound in electronic compositions, let’s get a different way to make it.
Usually to synthetize a good kick we use a sine wave layered with a square, and balance the two if we want a softer kick or if we want more attack.
VCOs tends to be harmonically rich so it’s not simple to get a kick that sounds not clearly tuned.
To get a more “percussive & less harmonic” kick (but it is even useful to create percussions like toms or bongos) I use an LFO.
LFO sounds more clinic, not many harmonic content on the wave generated.
Using a simple SINE wave on the DOEPFER A-145 can lead to interesting kicks and percussion.
The path is really simple A145->A132-3 (vca) and an env to control the vca.
The A145 is interesting as a sound source because it can work very well into audio frequencies, the only downfal is the fact that it has no freq. modulation capabilities.
Using the LIVEWIRE VULCAN MODULATOR we can go further into sound design as the vulcan has cv inputs for the frequency mod.
Using the same signal configuration we can notice that the vulcan sounds more organic, the wave is not a perfect sine, it has some fluctuation too.
The result is a percussion that is not rounded as the 145 but with more punch and more attack.
Really interesting video from intellijel youtube channel of the Livewire Vulcan modded with sync reset.
Description by intellijel :
Demo of a mod done to the Livewire Vulcan to allow independent reset of the two LFOs.
To the right of the Vulcan you can see a 4HP panel with the two jacks mounted, behind this is a circuit board designed to interface to the Vulcan and process incoming triggers.
Jack1 is normalled to Jack 2 so that one cable can trigger both resets. Modules used: MFB SEQ-01 (provides the triggers) Livewire AFG (single oscillator that is being modulated) QMMG (not doing anything until the later parts where I modulate its in LPG mode) Doepfer VCA (just being used as an attenuator) The SEQ-01 could be replaced by any source of rhythmic triggers including gates from your midi to cv converter.
The demo starts with no sync and simple modulation and then I start to patch more complex triggers and cross mod. Sorry for the poor quality! I forgot to turn on the camera light…. future videos will be better Also this mod is not for sale but I can provide instructions… it is not for beginners though. I plan to add switches for selecting mod sources and jacks to patch in external CV to the SUM/DIFF/MAX/MIN circuits
The little red metal box is really the pandora’s box…
Basically the micromodular is a dsp programmable virtual modular synth with 24bit 96KHz audio conversion.
The box is little but solidly well built, there are a stereo output, stereo input, a couple of midi ports for midi control , a couple of midi ports to “pc control”, dedicated to the editor.
On the front we have four knobs (volume+3 assignable controllers) and 3 buttons.
The interface is quite minimalistic because the instrument is thought as a small/lighter version of the Nordmodular and the aim is to control it by sw and midi controllers.
It’s quite difficult to start a description of a so open-ended and complex instrument, I’ll try to keep things simple…
When you open your editor on the pc/mac it will show the current patch (the micromodular is a monotimbral instrument).
The modules are grouped in categories and it offers from the classic oscillators, envs, lfos, and all the classic “analog-modular modules” to the newest digital effects like bit reducing, warp, digitizer…
This thing is like a little reaktor in a box with an awesome sound.
It can do classic synth sounds with a little of modular twist as well as complex rhythmic morphing and glithching.
The original editor from clavia is compatible till windows XP, but now a free java editor is available , NOMAD .
Nomad let you edit the nordmodular serie with every system that supports java.
The nordmodular serie is not dead, clavia will not add new modules, but the instrument is alive with nomad!