Chris provides a series of demonstrations of the flexible, modular sample and hold plus "switch" section of this module, including using the switch to trigger alternating envelopes or drum sounds, and patching the module's own noise and integrator (slew) to the sample and hold to create the classic "random pitches" sound.
(techno music) - [Man] Finally, we're going to look at the sample and hold section. Sample and hold itself is not an usual module. You find that in quite the few, some in a modular sense, or other noise sources when you have one of these built in, but there's a few extra tricks in the Sputnik sample and hold I want to show you. Let's go ahead and undo some of our wiring right now. This is our trigger. We'll still need our trigger for the sample and hold. I'm going to go back to using my LFO for trigger initially though, 'cause I want to show you a couple things.
Sample and holds and two main inputs, a pulse input, how quick you want to sample a new setting and a control voltage input, what voltage you're sampling and memorizing to send to the outputs. The trick to the Sputnik is, you can alternate between two different outputs, pull some of these controls for now, pull that module control as well, and initially, this actually uses for an audio application. I've got a little drum module here, a Pico drum from arrow distance, very handy little device.
When I send one pulse to trigger one of the drums, and we'll route that straight into our audio outlet. There's that kick drum, and we're going to take the other, alternating outlet and have it trigger the second drum in this Pico drum module. (drums playing) Got the same drum sound in both, so I'm going to go ahead and change the drum sound. (drums playing) Yeah.
(drums playing) So that's the idea behind these alternate outputs in the sample hold module, 'cause rather than doing one output on every single pulse, it gives you the option to go ahead and alternate in between outlets. In addition to pulses like this being fun, it can also be interesting when you trigger two different other generators. Pull the drums for now, go back to our previous connection. These triggers, borrow a copy of our key board's gate, have that go into the host input, and this time have it alternate between our two ADSRs over here.
I'll pull the signal coming from our current keyboard, send one to our upper ADSR, send another one down here to our lower ADSR, and we'll take the voltage output and mix them together, make sure these are both turned up all the way. There we go. So one of these is coming from the bottom ADSR and the other's coming from the top ADSR, and these are going back into our filter cutoff again. Be sure our gate's plugged in tight. (techno music) Now as I'm playing alternating notes, I'm getting alternating envelopes.
One has a slow decay release. One has a very fast decay release, so we're getting a shorter percussive note and a longer, sustained note. (techno music) So when we set up our one not arpeggio again. (techno music) It makes it a bit more interesting. (techno music) I still have an octave jump from the arpeggio that's being caused by a different envelope here. Get this cord out of the way. (techno music) So that little two way switch built into the sample hold gives you all sorts of options to get more articulation, like an up stroke and a down stroke and a pick on the string, different hands on the drum, et cetera, so keep that in mind as one possibly.
But finally, there is indeed the old fashioned, let's just get random voltages out of this beast. I'm going to leave that on the pulse. I'm going to route, get a shorter cable here. My louder blue noise, to get a wider range of voltages as my CV input. Let's go ahead and take that output and initially run it to something really obvious, run it through the integrator, in the event that I want to smooth it out a little bit, then run that back into my ECO modulation, which is down here again.
There we go. Actually, let me re-patch this, so you can see the voltage coming out of this arrangement. Rather than use our keyboard, let's trigger this off of our LFO's. We have our regular stream of random notes coming out. You can see the stream of random voltages coming out on the green trace here. I'll increase the depth of modulation from the sample and hold to the VCU's frequency. There's a typical random voltage as you hear from sample and hold, and we can smooth it out.
(techno music) The patcher on the integrator, you get very snappy changes. (techno music) And again, you could use this for anything that we did before in terms of getting random filter cut offs, pitches, modulations. Indeed, we could use something like this on, as long as we have it fired up, the pulse width. Let's go ahead and just change our connection here to be pulse width, make sure we're on the square wave.
(techno music) There we're getting different outputs from our oscillator depending on our sample and hold. (techno music) And we can trigger that on every single note if we want to, just get some variations again, when we're playing the same note over and over again. (techno music) Again, that's a one note arpeggio. Instead of just getting the completely sturdy sound like this, (techno music) by employing a little bit of randomness, in this case routed to the pulse width, we can get some variety on each note.
(techno music) Adding random variation into your control voltages that are controlling parameters of your synth, is how you start adding more interest and more organic human feel into your patches and more varieties. It doesn't sound just like machine music. (techno music) So, a random voltage source may not be the first thing you buy, you might go ahead and get LFO's, envelopes, VCO's, filters, start to fan out your system that way, but if you're really into long system type of musics, or you want to create something that just has more subtlety to it, definitely consider adding some random modulator down the road.
This course has been designed as the logical follow-up to the original Learning Modular Synthesis or Learning Modular Synthesis: Moog Mother-32 courses, and should be helpful to a wide range of modular synthesists.
- Shopping for modules more intelligently, with a better understanding of what features, options, and sound possibilities to look for
- Interfacing your modular with the rest of your studio, including MIDI and sound connections
- Reading waveform and spectrograph displays to better understand what each module is doing in your system, and how that translates to the sound that you hear
- Creating new timbres using and combining both East and West Coast techniques, employing creative waveform mixing, frequency and amplitude modulation, soft and hard sync, waveshaping, and more
- Managing audio levels to balance your desired amount of predictability and fidelity versus instability and distortion in a patch
- Taking advantage of additional MIDI and CV controls to more interactively perform your modular patch, including managing control voltage levels to dial in the desired result