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WMD/SSF Amplitude & ADSRVCA – VCA & Envelope Response Demos [matttech]

WMDSSF Amplitude + ADSRVCA Demos



On this demo I wanted to give a flavour of the various tones and response curves available from the WMD/SSF Amplitude VCA, whilst under control from an envelope provided by the ADSRVCA. The WMD/SSF Blender was also used in this patch.

Patch Details

  1. A chaotic rhythmic pattern was patched together, and used to clock the Turing Machine.
  2. A PDO mk.2 was sequenced by the Turing Machine, and also synced by a droning Rubicon Pulse, whose pitch was subtly modulated by a second Maths LFO.
  3. Four waves from the PDO were mixed together in the Blender, with a slow Maths LFO used to crossfade between the two 2-channel Blend mixers.
  4. The output of the Blender was fed into the Amplitude VCA
  5. The ADSRVCA was triggered – via its Gate input – by the same erratic rhythmic pattern that was clocking the Turning Machine. It was then sent to Amplitude’s VCA CV input, and also into two CV inputs on the WMD Triple Bipolar VCA (set to Phase Modulate the PDO’s channels)
  6. At 02.44 the ADSRVCA’s envelope length was changed from LO to HI, making it much shorter and spikier.
  7. During the recording various other controls were tweaked: ADSRVCA’s envelope settings; Amplitude’s Gain/ Saturation, CV Level, Offset and CV Response
  8. For the last few seconds the Loop was switched on, so that any held (Gated) notes would produce a fast, cycling AD envelope.

All in all I’d say that I didn’t hear any bleed from the Amplitude VCA, and it is capable of a very wide range of tones/ shapes – from spiky and clean, to hefty and saturated. The ADSRVCA makes a great companion for it, with some additional features demonstrated in the second demo.



For this recording I wanted to show off the ADSRVCA in Loop mode.

Patch Details

1. This demo used the same patch as the previous one, but the ADSRVCA’s Loop mode was left engaged throughout. This effect only kicks in when a sustained gate is received (rather than a short trigger), so you will hear little bursts of the looping envelope, followed by a series of normal single hits.
2. The ADSRVCA was set to a very short envelope length, producing an almost AM (Amplitude Modulation) effect at times.
3. The Rubicon’s pitch modulation was altered, so that it swept up and down more obviously (whilst syncing the PDO used as the main sound source)
4. As with the previous demo, during the recording various controls were tweaked: ADSRVCA’s envelope settings; Amplitude’s Gain/ Saturation, CV Level, Offset and CV Response.

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Studio Electronics STE.16 – Dual Audio Rate VCO [matttech]



This demo shows how the Studio Electronics STE.16 dual LFO can be pressed into use as a dual digital lo-fi oscillator, with some¬†outstanding results. This little beauty is getting overlooked in my opinion, boasting a stellar array of features as an LFO…and can also be employed as a damn decent DUAL vco. The onboard modulation between the two oscillators yields some really cool results, and this is a really fun module to play with – hopefully I’ll get the chance to play with it again at some point! ūüôā


DEMO 01 – Dual Audio Rate VCO

Patch Details 

1 – Both outputs of STE.16 LFO sent into channels A & B of the WMD Multimode VCA
2 – Two Tiptop z4000 ADSRs were triggered in slightly varied rhythms, and used to envelope the two MMVCA channels
3 – Modulation was applied to the z4000s to add some variety
4 – A z8000 sequencer was used to control the frequency of both the STE.16 LFOs, and randomly reset, following a wonky gate sequence provided by the Korg SQ1
5 – The two LFOs were set to HI (audio) range, and tuned an octave apart
6 – During recording the various waveforms of both LFOs were manually tweaked, as were the internal modulation settings & amount (to start with FM was used, and towards the end AM was used)
7 – During the final part of the recording the Speed (pitch) of each LFO was manually tweaked.

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Frequency Central Raging Bull – Part 1: Full Tracks [matttech]

Frequency Central Raging Bull Demo 1



These tracks emerged during some commissioned demo recording sessions of the Frequency Central Raging Bull – a Moog Taurus VCA / VCF clone. Some more basic demos will follow. These demonstrate how the module can be featured as the primary tonal manipulation device, or – in the case of demo 03 – the sole sound source.



The first Raging Bull demo is a cheesy/cheeky little track in a “retro” electro vein, which aims to demonstrate some traditional “Moog-like” filter usage – with varying degrees of Resonance, Cutoff, VCA drive etc.. Some lovely rounded “woody” tones are achieved, with the VCA drive adding a pleasing fatness to the overall sound. Some of the patches also have a “brass-like” quality to them. Every bit of filtering you hear in this track is from the Raging Bull, apart from some automated software filtering on the drums. All synth sounds are either running through the Raging Bull, or are created by its self-oscillation.

Patch Details

1. The sound source for the main bassline was the Intellijel Rubicon: Saw, Double-Pulse (up an octave) and Square SUB (-1 oct), fed into a mixer and then into the Raging Bull.

2. The sequence comes from Silent Way, and various envelopes are used: Envelope 1 controls the Raging Bull’s VCA; Envelope 2 controls the PWM of the Double-Pulse wave; and a gate triggers a Tiptop Z4000 ADSR which controls the Bull’s Cutoff

3. The Cutoff ADSR is mixed in CV Tools with the main sequence, so that the filter tracks the sequence.

4. The envelopes are tailored so that longer held notes – eg: when the Portamento is used – produce a nice filter sweep (and also affect the PWM where applicable)

5. During the recording different balances of the three waves are brought in manually, and the various filter controls (Cutoff, Resonance, Input Level) are manipulated. The filter envelope is also tweaked, as is its polarity (in CV Tools). The Rubicon Double-Pulse’s PW is also manually tweaked.

6. A second sound is used to create an arpeggiated part over the top. This comprises of a Double Saw and normal Saw from the Rubicon, with Silent Way envelopes controlling the Raging Bulls Cutoff and VCA. A slower Maths envelope is also sweeping the Cutoff up and down every 2 bars. The Cutoff and Resonance is manipulated during the recording. The Silent Way envelope’s Sustain is also automated at various points to make the filter and VCA envelopes more “spiky”.

7. A third sound is derived from the Intellijel Dixie (again through the Raging Bull), and variations on this are used at different points. The main Rubicon bassline riff is sent into the Dixie’s Sync input, with the Dixie itself left to drone on one note. The Rubicon also FM’s the Dixie via its Linear FM input – so it is being Synced and FM’d by the same sequenced Rubicon part. At other points the FM is removed, and a more traditional “Osc Sync” sound can be heard – the part appears to be more static, in terms of pitch. During some sections the FM is manually faded out over a number of bars, leaving the simple droning “Osc Sync” sound. The Dixie’s waves (Pulse and Saw) are then saturated and manually crossfaded within the WMD Multimode VCA. This sound also generates a fourth patch, where the Silent Way envelope is altered to produce a very short percussive sound, almost like a cowbell.

8. The Raging Bull’s self-oscillation was also used to create a part which doubles the main bassline near the end (07.30 onwards), but in a higher register, and employing a strange harmony. Wobbleboard-esque “whomps” appear now and then, with Maths’ whip-like envelopes employed to produce the the self-oscillation pitch shaping. The self-oscillation was also used to track the bassline in order to create a sub-bass (at 00.55), and various bleeps and zaps (06.55 onwards). The latter were created in the following fashion: Initially a re-triggered Silent Way envelope controls the cutoff of the Raging Bull’s self-oscillation; then this is mixed in with a randomly-sequenced Rubicon output to create filter FM; finally the output of the Turing Machine is added to randomly shift the Cutoff up and down.

9. Some additional sweeps – created via modulation/ FM of the self-oscillating filter – were borrowed from Demo 02 and added to bring extra interest to certain sections (see: 01:08 onwards). No sampled sound effects were used at all – just the Bull in full effect!

10. Occasional Highpass Filtering (in software) was applied to the main Raging Bull “bassline” when it plays in the higher octave, but all other filtering is the Raging Bull alone.



This Techno-flavoured dance track was put together largely to demonstrate how effective “plucked” synth/ synth bass sounds can be produced with the Raging Bull. I wanted to keep the main riff and sound sources very simple, so that the effect of the filter could be clearly heard. Some additional sounds were added over the top – mainly comprising of the Raging Bull self-oscillating, with various modulation applied to create zaps, sweeps etc.. Further self-osciullation is explored in Demo 03.

Patch Details

1. Doepfer a155 was used for the main sequence, multed to the following places: 1v/OCT input of an Intellijel Rubicon (Saw) and WMD PDO mk.2 (Wiggly Saw, up an octave), and also to the 2nd CV input of the Raging Bull to make the cutoff track the sequence. The PDO was synced to the Rubicon, and the Rubicon was synced to the clock pulse to make the clicks at the start of each note regular and even (This is a feature of the Moog Minitaur, where it is called “note sync”.

2. The 4MS Pingable Envelope Generator was sent the main clock and a snappy envelope used to control both the Cutoff and the VCA amplitude of the Raging Bull. This creates an almost Lowpass Gate effect where the modulation of the filter cutoff and VCA amplitude are always linked, and the sharp Exponential nature of the PEG’s envelopes accentuates this approach further.

3. A slowly-cycling Makenoise Function envelope was used to modulate the FM of the PDO as the recording progress, but as the PDO is synced to the Rubicon this produces a nice “phase-like” effect instead of a pitch sweep.

4. The Function envelope was also applied to the CURVE CV input of the PEG at points, making its shape sweep from sharply exponential to a more rounded shape.

5. The various controls of the Raging Bull (Cutoff, Cutoff CV amount, Resonance, and two Input levels) were manipulated throughout.

6. Some additional sounds were added over the top – The self-oscillating Raging Bull was modulated by various envelopes from Maths, so that it produced “zaps”, sweeps and filtered noise from the Cyclebox.



On this demo I decided to concentrate on the self-oscillation of the filter, to see if I could create something interesting from that alone. Obviously one use of an oscillating filter is to create kick drum-like sounds, so that is where I started. I also wanted a variety of other textures to come in at various points, but also for everything in the mix to be produced from one recording of the Raging Bull’s oscillation alone.Patch Details

1. Firstly, a snappy Maths envelope was set up in order to create the “kick”. It was set to trigger on each beat, with a second slower Maths envelope subtly modulating its FALL time.

2. The 4MS Rotating Clock Divider was then used to produce a number of different divisions, which were all fed into an a151 Quad Sequential Switch. This was randomly stepped through, with the resulting rhythm providing triggers for a second envelope – the a171-2 VCS clone.

3. The a171-2 was patched into a VCA containing the output of an e350 wavetable oscillator. The pitch of the e350 was controlled by a random voltage from the a149-1 “Source of Uncertainty”, with another of the a149-1’s outputs modulating the wavetables.

4. The a171-2’s RISE and FALL times were modulated by further a149-1 random voltages, so that they changed from snappy “zaps” to softer “swooshes”. As these were applied to the VCA containing the e350’s output, the result was an ever-changing series of rhythmic oscillator “FM stabs”.

5. The e350 VCA’s output was fed into a mixer, along with the Maths “kick” envelope, and the second slower Maths envelope which was brought in to add movement to the low end of the self-oscillation, providing a bendy “bassline” drone.

6. The output of this mixer was fed into the Raging Bull’s Cutoff CV input, so that – by the end of all this patching – the filter was modulated by a mix of “kicks”, bendy bass drones and e350 “FM stabs”.

7. The Raging Bull’s output was recorded dry, and also processed by the Modcan Dual Delay, set to “stereo”.

8. The Dual Delay’s internal Lowpass Filter was modulated by the SUM output of the Vulcan Modulator – and its various Delay time and Feedback CV inputs were modulated by another output from the a149-1.

9. During recording virtually all the available controls were manually tweaked: the levels of the various cutoff modulation sources; the rates of the Maths envelopes (which were pushed into cycling at audio rates towards the end); the Raging Bull’s main Cutoff; the Dual Delay’s feedback and filter cutoff; ….and probably more things I’ve forgotten about!

It’s all a bit erratic, but was an interesting exercise in seeing how much material can be generated from a self-oscillating filter alone…and also demonstrates how well the filter will FM and respond to CV sources. It will also do a pretty good job at creating a kick drum! Bear in mind that you will need some decent monitoring to even be able to HEAR some of the sub-bass in this recording..

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Soulsby Oscitron – Two Gnarly Demos [matttech]

Oscitron Demo



These demos represent the range of sounds wrung out of the Soulsby Oscitron 8-bit wavetable VCO, over the course of the first few hours playing with the module, with little reference to the manual. Much fun was had!


DEMO 01 –¬†Multiple Mangled Filters

This demo was an initial “feeling-out” process with the Oscitron, with intuitive patching employed without too much thought with regard to the end goals. Some drums and minor production was added to show how it works in that kind of context

Patch Details

1. Oscitron into Oakey Classic VCA, with z4000 ADSR into CV input of VCA
2. Basic patch set up from default sound on Oscitron, using Filter 3 (Bandpass) – Filter Normalization is set to OFF, allowing for more gnarly, distorted tones as the Resonance is increased. Which sound ace ūüôā
3. A quick Maths patch was set up, with two slowly cycling LFOs – one to Filter Cutoff, one to Filter Resonance
4. Output attenuators on Maths were tweaked during recording to show the wide range of tones created by simply the filter settings

As the demo progresses, a different variation on the patch was used:

1. Filter mode 1 was used this time (Lowpass)
2. A randomly-triggered envelope was mixed with the output of a Turing Machine random voltage generator in a mixer, and applied to the Oscitron’s Filter Cutoff – with various mixes of the two modulation sources used at different points
3. At points only the LFO was used, and at other points the Turing Machine’s stepped voltages were employed instead
4. Another output from the Turing Machine was mixed with a slow LFO in Maths and applied to the Resonance CV input

For the final section, a third variation was used, with Filter mode 6 used this time (Parametric EQ 30db Gain)

This module can get GNARLY! – but in a really good way ūüôā


DEMO 02 –¬†Sidechained Savagery

¬†This demo gets a little more crazy. It started out as an attempt to show how the filter sounded like with Normalize turned ON (can sound a bit cleaner and more “pure”…relatively speaking!)…but it quickly dissolved into abstract noise territory, but in a good way ūüôā I decided to add some drums and production, just to give it some context.

Patch Details

1. Filter mode 7 was used this time (Parametric EQ 100db Gain), but with Normalize turned ON
2. The same mix of modulation sources was applied to both the Filter Cutoff and Resonance CV inputs
3. For all previous demos the Square Wave was used (default sound), but this time I switched to wave 2 (GREEN) which produced a much brighter, more distinct tone.
4. Various tweaking of the VCA’s Gain (offset) control was applied, to change the patch from droning to rhythmically-triggered…and many other controls were manipulated during the recording in order to smash the riff into oblivion.
5. Oscitron was sent via some sidechain compression and convolution reverb was automated on & off throughout the mix.



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Erica Synths PICO VCF1 – Three Demos [matttech]




These demos show the range of tones that are available from the Erica Synths PICO VCF1, a cut-down version of the Polivoks Filter circuit. Particular attention is paid on all demos to the level feeding the filter, through tweaking of the waveform mixer’s channel levels. This allows for control over the growliness/ drive of the filter.


DEMO 01 РFiltered PWM Wave Stack

Patch Details 

1 – Several waves from an Intellijel Rubicon were layered in a mixer, and fed into the VCF1
2 – PWM was applied to the higher pulse wave
3 – An envelope and sequencer CV were combined in a Mutable Instruments Shades mixer – along with the third channel, which was used to apply an offset to the filter cutoff when desired
4 – This was fed into the filter cutoff modulation
5 – Filter cutoff and intensity of modulation were tweaked throughout…along with the channel levels on the waveform mixer

VCF1 output was recorded direct with no processing.


DEMO 02 – Squelchy Saw & Sine Sub

Patch Details 

The patch for this demo was similar to Demo 01, except that the waves were changed – with a Sine Wave used for a sub, with a Saw over the top.

As before, levels feeding the filter were tweaked, along with the modulation of the cutoff. Resonance was also tweaked into self-oscillation towards the end.

VCF1 output was recorded direct with no processing.


DEMO 03 – Gnarly Self-Oscillation

Patch Details 

For this third demo, the sequence was slowed down a lot, with self-oscillation applied throughout. The tweaking of the input levels to the filter create wildly different effects when they interact with the self-oscillation tones.

Some reverb was applied to this recording.

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Mutable Instruments Braids meets WMD Multimode VCA & Pittsburgh Filter [matttech]

Mutable Instruments Braids Demo 1


Braids, Pittsburgh Filter & WMD Multimode VCA Patch

Well here’s a little patch that I came up with whilst experimenting with the Mutable Instruments Braids oscillator – combined with the Pittsburgh Modular Filter and the WMD Multimode VCA.

As the Pittsburgh Filter doesn’t have any way of controlling the balance between Lowpass and Highpass when in LP-HP mode (which essentially creates a Notch Filter) I initially wanted to see how it sounded when I fed the LP and HP into the WMD Multimode VCA (MMVCA) , using a CV source to crossfade between the two channels. It worked pretty damn well actually, and you can adjust the amount of crossfade so that it is either a complete fade between them, or just a subtle shifting of balance.

Whilst setting this up, using a Livewire Vulcan Modulator LFO to control the crossfade, I then decided to use the same LFO to sweep the Filter’s cutoff up and down, so that it didn’t make the sound disappear so much when going between the two filter modes (as it sweeps to the Lowpass the cutoff goes up, and down when it fades to the HP – which worked out well). Next I used a second Vulcan LFO to sweep the Resonance of the FIlter up and down at a different rate. As the FIlter was fed into the MMVCA, I could use the in-built saturation of the VCA to rein in any excessive resonant peaks by driving them into more of a “distorted 303” kind of tone.

Then I turned my attention to Braids, using a slow Maths LFO to sweep the Color up and down, whilst also switching it over to controlling the Timbre. Initially I started out with a different mode on Braids, but when I switched to the “/|/|_|_|_” mode it really came to life, sounding almost like a granular synthesizer at points. Lord only knows what was going on half the time, but it sounded so cool I just HAD to record it! The manual describes the mode as this: “This model generates a sawtooth waveform, and sends it into a comb filter (tuned delay line). The frequency of the delay line tracks the frequency of the sawtooth oscillator, with a transposition controlled by the TIMBRE knob. COLOR selects the feedback amount and polarity: at 12 o‚Äôclock, no feedback is applied. From 12 o‚Äôclock to 5 o‚Äôclock, positive feedback is increasingly applied. From 12 o‚Äôclock to 7 o‚Äôclock, negative feedback is progressively applied.” Whatever it is, it sounds mental.

During recording I manipulated various controls, until it descended into the usual chaos!:

  • Braids Coarse Tuning/ Color/ Timbre/ Timbre Modulation amount
  • Rate and shape of Maths LFO
  • Rate and shape of both Vulcan LFOs
  • Vulcan LFOs’ cross-modulation amounts
  • WMD MMVCA’s crossfade amount
  • Pittsburgh Filter’s Cutoff + Resonance/ Resonance + Cutoff modulation amounts.

No effects used, as I wanted to show the modules off without too much processing.


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WMD Compressor – Part 3: Creative Applications [matttech]



This is the final of three sets of commissioned demos for the WMD Compressor Рa product whose beta-testing and development stages I was involved in. 

These demo look at the less obvious applications of the various functions available on the module, such as voltage-controlled Makeup Gain and the Envelope Out.


DEMO 10 – Makeup Gain Modulation 1

This time I start off with a basic pumping side-chain patch, and then gradually introduce some modulation of the MAKEUP GAIN. The modulation source is the 4ms PEG, and it is firing off punchy envelopes on 16th beats.

As the amount of MAKEUP GAIN modulation is increased (by turning up the output attenuator on the PEG’s envelope) I also change the Curve of the PEG from Exp to Lin.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. OUTPUT SATURATION is on.


DEMO 11 – Makeup Gain Modulation 2

This demo has similar settings to the previous track – “Makeup Gain Modulation 1”) – but this time with a slower triangle shaped wave from the PEG controlling the MAKEUP GAIN, creating an additional pulsing on top of the already pumping side-chain effect.

Again, you’re basically getting some lovely voltage-controlled overdrive on top of the compression characteristics.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. OUTPUT SATURATION is on.


DEMO 12 – Makeup Gain as a VCA

This recording demonstrates how the module can also be used as a lovely sounding vca. Compression was also applied to the signal, and OUTPUT SATURATION switched on. An envelope from Maths is used to modulate the MAKEUP GAIN.

Each recording consists of two runs through the riff, and on each new recording the output attenuator on Maths is boosted, driving the module further into the OUTPUT SATURATION. During each recording I also gradually change the curve of the Maths envelope from Exp, through Lin to Log.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. OUTPUT SATURATION is on.


DEMO 13 – Makeup Gain AM

On this recording Maths was set to cycle at audio rates, and its cycle length was modulated by the same sequence that it producing the main riff. Maths’ envelope output was then used to produce AM (amplitude Modulation) on the WMD Compressor, via its MAKEUP GAIN CV input.

The MIX control was used to gradually fade from the DRY signal to the processed one. Finally the output of Maths’ envelope was gradually increased to drive the WMD even more.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. OUTPUT SATURATION is on.


DEMO 14 – Envelope Out to Filter Cutoff 1

This time the Envelope Out of the WMD Compressor is used to modulate the cutoff of the z2040 Lowpass filter (The oscillators are going through this before they reach the compressor).

The shape of the envelope is created by the ATTACK and RELEASE settings on the compressor, and the two elements (the compression and filter envelope) seem to gel well together, as they share the same character and shape.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. No INPUT or OUTPUT SATURATION.


DEMO 15 – Envelope Out to Filter Cutoff 2

This is another recording utilizing the ENVELOPE OUT of the WND Compressor. This time I have set up a pumping side-chained compressor patch, and am using the envelope created by the pumping of the side-chained compression to control the cutoff of the z2040 filter.

First of all you hear the synth dry, then I bring in the pumping compression, and then I bring the filter’s cutoff down manually. After that I introduce the ENVELOPE OUT from the compressor into the CV input of the filter to control the cutoff.

I have run the Envelope Out via CV Tools, so that I can invert it when desired. About half way through the recording I do just that, and the filter’s cutoff now mirrors the pumping of the compressor. A neat trick!

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. No INPUT or OUTPUT SATURATION.

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WMD Compressor – Part 2: Spiky Synths & Sidechaining [matttech]



This is the second of three sets of commissioned demos for the WMD Compressor Рa product whose beta-testing and development stages I was involved in. 

This time round the emphasis is on synth compression, with demonstrations of how the module can be used to enhance transient attack, or create rhythmic interest through external sidechain triggering.

Further demos, demonstrating the WMD Compressor’s less obvious uses, will be published soon


DEMO 06 – Spiky Synth Compression

This demonstrates how you can add a lovely bite and spikiness to otherwise flat-sounding synth parts.

Four bars of the dry signal are at the start, and then every four bars after that I change the compressor settings, adding more compression each time (lowered THRESHOLD, higher RATIO). ATTACK and RELEASE were set to be very fast.

The second recording is an extended version, where I have set the compressor for some ridiculously spiky compression, and then I gradually blend in the dry signal using the MIX knob, eventually returning to the completely dry signal. On this last recording I have set the ATTACK and RELEASE to absolute minimum to create the spikiest sound possible.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD.


DEMO 07 – External Sidechain Pumping Compression 1

For this recording I wanted to demonstrate how the WMD Compressor can be used to create rhythmic pumping effects, as found in many modern dance music productions. I sent a recording of a click track – following the “4 on the floor” kick part – into the SIDE CHAIN input of the Compressor.

The first run through the riff is dry. After that, the THRESHOLD is lowered each time the riff repeats, and the RATIO turned up. The is altered at points to affect the “swing” and intensity of the pumping effect.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. No INPUT or OUTPUT SATURATION was applied.


DEMO 08 –¬†External Sidechain Pumping Compression 2

This recording uses the same settings as the previous track – “External Sidechain Pumping Compression 1 (synth)” – but with a clean sine wave-based synth input (There are 2 oscillators stacked an octave apart, the lower one from the DPO, and the higher one from the Dixie mk.2)

This demo is intended to demonstrate the lack of distortion when compressor is pumping heavily.

The first run through the riff is dry. After that, the THRESHOLD is lowered each time the riff repeats, and the RATIO turned up. The is altered at points to affect the “swing” and intensity of the pumping effect.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD. No INPUT or OUTPUT SATURATION was applied.


DEMO 09 –¬†External Sidechain Pumping Compression 3

The settings for this recording are the same as the previous track – “External Sidechain Pumping Compression 2 (synth)” – but this time with OUTPUT SATURATION switched on.

Each time the riff repeats the MAKEUP GAIN is boosted more. The OUTPUT SATURATION was set to 3 o’clock for most of the recordings. On the last version of the riff you can hear the difference when it is turned up to almost maximum. There is a loss of level once you go right up to maximum, so it’s best to keep it just below this. The saturation takes on a brighter tone in this area though.

The technique used in this recording is very useful, as you essentially get voltage-controlled overdrive – The OUTPUT SATURATION only kicks in once the signal has come back up after being ducked by the side-chain. This can be useful to add harmonics to subby bass sounds that can often be hard to hear on smaller speakers, and it also makes it easier to tell what note they are playing.

Settings: The DETECTION switch is set to ADAPTIVE, and the KNEE set to HARD.

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WMD Compressor – Part 1: Basic Modes on Drums [matttech]



This is the first of three sets of commissioned demos for the WMD Compressor Рa product whose beta-testing and development stages I was involved in. 

These first demos all use the same drum loop, in order to provide a clear example of the compression modes being used. This was intentionally repetitive, as often compression differences are very subtle.

Further demos, demonstrating the WMD Compressor’s more creative uses, will be published soon


DEMO 01 – RMS Compression

This demo contains one recording which comprises: 4 bars DRY, alternating with 4 bars compressed.

Each time it reverts back to the compressed signal the RATIO has been increased and the THRESHOLD lowered (more compression each time)

Settings were RMS, Hard Knee, with pretty fast Attack and Release.


DEMO 02 – Input Saturation

This demo shows off the INPUT Saturation.

Settings are RMS, Hard Knee.

There is a gap of 1 bar between each recording.

The first recording has 4 bars of DRY, followed by 4 bars with INPUT SATURATION engaged to a moderate degree, followed by 4 bars with INPUT SATURATION engaged to a higher degree.

The second recording has 4 bars of DRY, followed by three sets of 4 bars, each with lots of INPUT SATURATION, but each time with increasing RATIO and lowered THRESHOLD settings (more overall compression).


DEMO 03 – Output Saturation

This time we’re looking at the OUTPUT saturation available.

Settings are RMS Compression, HARD knee.

There are gaps of 1 bar between each recording.

The first recording has 4 bars of DRY, then a gradual increase of OUTPUT Saturation until just before it starts breaking up into distortion completely.

The second and third recordings contain 4 bars of DRY, followed by 4 bars of compressed signal, followed by 4 bars of the same settings with OUTPUT saturation engaged.

The fourth recording demonstrates the Signal to Noise ratio when VERY heavy compression applied, along with high IN and OUT saturation settings. This was done to emphasize that a lot of the background noise/ hiss you can hear on this loop at high compression/ saturation settings is actually present in the loop itself, and not caused by the module itself. You can hear any background noise generated by the module (and my system) directly after the end of the last recording – I left it recording for a short while to demonstrate.


DEMO 04 – Detection Modes

Demo of the various DETECTION modes available.

There are FIVE different sets of recordings, with different compressor settings each time. There is a gap of 1 bar between each recording.

Each recording contains 4 bars each of RMS, ADAPTIVE and PEAK.

No Dry recording, as this is merely to compare response of the different DETECTION modes.


DEMO 05 – Mix Control

This demo introduces the MIX control.

There is a gap of 1 bar between recordings.

Each recording contains 4 bars fully WET, followed by 4 bars DRY, followed by 4 bars which are a MIX of the two..and finally 4 bars of DRY again for reference.

The first recording utilizes very fast attack and release times to crush the drums. Mixing this with the DRY signal brings up the perceived “body” of the drums, but preserves the natural sound of the DRY signal.

The second recording focuses on bringing out the attack of the drums without changing the overall sound of the DRY signal. The WET signal is virtually ALL attack, achieved by higher attack settings and extremely high compression RATIO/ low threshold.


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Intellijel Atlantis – Day One Experiments [matttech]

Intellijel Atlantis Demo 1



Right. This started out with the intention to do a fairly straightforward demo of the Intellijel Atlantis, and using a technique I wanted to try out whereby 4 different random gate outputs of my Doepfer a149-2 were fed into a mixer and turned into a “pseudo-sequencer”, with the mixer’s output feeding various 1v/oct CV inputs. I also wanted to see how the Atlantis integrated with the rest of my Eurorack modular system. But you know how it is – things pretty quickly went in a fairly chaotic direction, with bags of processing applied in a variety of often unpleasant ways! It’s definitely very nice having what is essentially a monosynth in the middle of your system, but due to its immense patchability it begs to be abused. It is almost as if it is daring you to turn it into something that buries its traditional origins and takes it off in an altogether more experimental direction. I often used to find this with the MFB OSC02, and got some amazing sounds from it that belied its fairly limited user interface and synthesis options. So….what I’m trying to say is: don’t expect a clear and concise demo of the Atlantis in its naked glory! This is more a demonstration of how it can perform as the centerpiece to a rather more elaborate patch. The original patching was undertaken on the first day, but upon returning to it a second time I had almost completely forgotten the original purpose of the patch and decided to slow it all down to a crawl, adding various Slew Limiting to the main sequence.


DEMO 01 – Day One Experiments


Patch Details

1. A Random LFO wave was selected in Silent Way’s LFO plugin, offset so that it was positive-only, and used as a clock source for the a149-1 random module. It was also blended with one of the a149-2’s random gate outputs in an a166 Logic module, to provide an even MORE random stream of gates/ clocks for the Turing Machine and the Atlantis’ Envelope GATE input.
2. As mentioned earlier, I combined 4 random gate outputs from the a149-2 in a mixer, adjusting each channels level so that the output produced a random sequence when fed into an osc’s 1v/oct input. This gets pretty interesting with the a149-2, as the gates overlap at points, with the result that the voltages created by the mixer’s channel pots are summed together, adding more variety to the sequence. The use of this technique means that you gain control over the pitches output by the a149 combo, rather than them being completely random (as they are when using the a149-1’s main outputs). Hope that makes SOME sense!
3. The “pseudo-sequencer” outputted by the mixer was sent into a Makenoise Function to add voltage-controlled Slew Limiting to it. The Function’s RISE and FALL times were modulated by 2 different outputs from the erratically-clocked a149-1.
4. The output of the Function was fed – via a Buffered Multiple – to the following destinations: The Exp. CV input of a Pittsburgh Modulator Generator (modulating the PWM of the Atlantis); the 1v/oct inputs of the Atlantis’ main OSC and Modulator OSC; and the 1v/oct input of a WMD PDO mk.2, which is used as a modulation source for various parameters. The PDO was also SYNCED by a random gate output from the a149-2.
5. The output of the Pittsburgh Modulator Generator was sent into a VCA, whose level was swept up and down slowly by an Intellijel Quadra LFO, and on to the PWM CV input of the Atlantis. The Atlantis’ Pulse output was fed into a VCA, controlled by a wavering, modulated Maths LFO, and then into the right hand side of a WMD Multimode VCA. Here it was crossfaded with a second signal path from the Atlantis, which I will describe below:
6. The -2 OCT SUB was fed – via an attenuator – into the Pittsburgh Modular FIlter, and the L-H output was then fed into an RYO Optodist (to add distortion and limiting to the erratic levels of the Filter). This was then fed into the left hand side of the MMVCA, and crossfaded with the Atlantis’ Pulse signal by a slow LFO. The outputs of the MMVCA were both recorded separately, and panned to produce an “Autopan” effect. The Filter’s Resonance and Cutoff were modulated by different outputs from the WMD PDO.
7. The Atlantis’ Pulse channel – now located in the right hand side of the MMVCA – was fed via a Makenoise Echophon for further processing before recording, and the ECHO, PITCH and FEEDBACK were modulated by further LFOs from the WMD PDO and Quadra.
8. A third sound was created using the Atlantis exclusively: It was mainly a SINE wave from the main OSC, which was FM’d by the Modulator OSC (at audio rates) via a VCA. The VCA’s level was modulated by a slow Maths LFO, causing the FM to sweep in and out. The Lowpass filter was used on the Atlantis, controlled by Keyboard Tracking and its randomly-triggered, “pluck-like” envelope. The end result was not too dissimilar from a Lowpass Gate, as the Amplitude and Filter Cutoff were both being modulated in tandem. The Output VCA was set to its middle CLIP position, to add warmth and some soft limiting. At points the -2 OCT SUB was mixed in with the SINE at a low level.


SO….basically what we end up with is two autopanning, gnarly Pulse-based sounds stemming from the Atlantis – one through the Echophon at points, and the other filtered and distorted to oblivion, underpinned by a low, plucked “pseudo-LPG” sound.

During the recording various controls were manipulated – Atlantis: Mod OSC Frequency; PWM Amount; SUB OSC level; LPF Cutoff, Resonance, 1v/oct amount and ENV amount (going into enveloped self-oscillation towards the end to produce some nice, kick-like tones). PDO, Maths and Quadra: All their frequencies were manipulated at various points – often into audio rates – and the Maths LFOs were altered so that they became very sharp, exponential “plucks” which speed up and slow down gradually. Pittsburgh Filter: Cutoff, Mode (swept from LP to NP to HP), modulation amounts (Cutoff and Resonance), Resonance, along with attenuation on the way into it. Echophon: modulation intensities (ECHO, PITCH and FEEDBACK); and the main PITCH, and MIX were pushed into growly territory towards the very end of the recording. Pittsburgh Generator: the main pitch was altered at points, creating varied results on the Atlantis’ PWM.

Phew….that was complicated! Was it worth it? – you be the judge!

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Studio Electronics – Boomstar Modular 4075 Filter [matttech]



As with the 3003 demo, this recording was put together quickly to demonstrate the general “vibe” of the Boomstar Modular 4075 Filter. It uses a very similar patch to the 3003 demo, with a few minor alterations.


DEMO 01 – Basic Jam

Patch Details

1 – Boomstar Oscillation VCO > 303
2 – Cutoff sequenced by z8000 and enveloped from z4000
3 – Erratic clocks from Turing Machine Pulses expander
4 – Manual tweaking of filter settings
5 – Pretty intense res and cutoff and gain tweaking

As with the 3003, the filter is very detailed and oozes quality. Again, the input control makes a huge amount of difference to the sound, giving you a much broader palette of tones than you would get from the original.

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Sputnik Modular – Dual Oscillator [matttech]



These demos tackle the new Dual Oscillator from Sputnik Modular, based on a classic Buchla design, and capable of some serious mayhem. In these¬†recordings I mainly wanted to see if I could use it in a “musical” context, rather than abusing it to create insane noises. The FINAL output is the star of the show, producing a sound reminiscent of a distorted, feedbacking guitar at points. Certainly capable of some very organic timbres.


DEMO 01 – Melody & Bassline v.1

Patch Details:

1. A sequence was set up on the Korg SQ1, using the CV Duty mode, and sent to the Dual Osc’s Generator 2 1v/oct input.
2. Gen 2’s FINAL output was mixed with its Sine output in a bipolar mixer. The phase of the Sine was inverted, as this produced a better result when mixed with the FINAL wave.
3. The mixer’s output was fed into a VCA, controlled by an envelope triggered by the SQ1 and recorded direct, producing the higher “melody” line.
4. Generator 1 was used to produce a bassline, with its Triangle wave sequenced from Logic via Silent Way/ ES3. Its output was fed into a VCA, controlled by the envelope from Silent Way. This was recorded direct.
5. Generator 1’s Square output was also used – via a VCA – and fed into the SYNC input of Gen 2. This meant that the SYNC of Gen 2 was only active when Ge 1’s notes were triggered from Silent Way – allowing the SYNC to fall away in between times.
6. Various erratic modulation shapes were created in the 4ms PEG (which seems to make it into every patch I ever do) and used to modulate the HARMONICS and TIMBRE sections of the Dual Osc.
7. Some additional modulation was set up using the internal mod bus on the Dual Osc, and controlled by a slow LFO.
8. During the recording various controls were tweaked: SQ1’s step ON/OFF buttons; PEG’s divisions and Skew; Dual Osc’s modulation depths and Harmonics/ Timbre controls

Production Notes:

Some EQ and effects (reverb, delay) were added during mixdown, and the bassline was processed by the Audio Damage Vapor chorus plugin, and double-tracked.


DEMO 02 – Melody & Bassline v.2

Patch Details:

This second demo is a variation on the patch used in Demo 01 – but with slightly more/ different modulation and tweaking during recording.
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Studio Electronics – Boomstar Modular 3003 Filter [matttech]



This demo was put together to quickly demonstrate the general “vibe” of the Boomstar Modular 3003 Filter.¬†The filter is very nice – as are all the VCFs in this range – and the input control makes a huge amount of difference to the sound, giving you a much broader palette of tones than you would get from the original.


DEMO 01 – Basic Jam

Patch Details:

1 – Boomstar Oscillation VCO > 303
2 – Cutoff sequenced by z8000 and enveloped from z4000
3 – Erratic clocks from Turing Machine Pulses expander
4 – Manual tweaking of filter settings
5 – Pretty intense res and cutoff and gain tweaking

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Intellijel Rubicon – Part 3: Vector Joystick Drone [matttech]



This recording follows on from the more in-depth demos found in Part 1: HERE and Part 2: HERE. Instead of utilising the module in the creation of full compositions, a single aspect of its use is explored this time Рdrones.


DEMO 05 – Vector Joystick Drone

Every now and then it’s nice to return to a module and remind yourself just how good it sounds. Although complex digital oscillators are a lot of fun, some days there’s nothing quite like blissing out on a quality analogue VCO….and getting some drone action on!

This demo focuses on the Intellijel Rubicon’s various wave outputs, blended together in the Planar Vector Mixer. The resulting output was the processed by the Modcan Dual Delay. The Rubicon is especially lovely in this role, producing a really pleasing, almost string-like tone. A simple, basic analogue wave timbre can be transformed into something quite exotic with the turn of a few knobs, and the steering of a joystick.

Patch Details:

1. The Rubicon’s Sine, Double-Saw, Pulse, and -2oct Sub were fed into the 4 inputs of the Planar.
2. A sine wave from a Dixie was fed into the Rubicon’s TZFM input, with its INDEX controlled by the Planar’s CV X output.
3. The CV Y output then controlled the Rubicon Pulse’s Pulse Width.
4. The CV X output was also multed to the Dixie’s Linear FM input, via an attenuator so it could be introduced later in the recording.
5. The CV Y output was also multed out – to the Rubicon’s Exp FM input.
6. So basically as the recording progresses, the pitch of the two oscillators is manipulated alongside their tone.
7. The Planar’s Mix output was fed into an Oakley Classic VCA, whose level was modulated by a SUM of two Maths LFOs.
8. The Oakley’s output was then fed into the Modcan Dual Delay, in Stereo Mode.
9. During the recording the following were tweaked: the Planar’s joystick; the Dual Delay’s delay time, WET/DRY balance, feedback and LPF settings; the amount of pitch modulation fed into the two oscillators; and the frequencies / shapes of the Maths LFOs.

No effects. Slight EQ on mix bus.

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Noise Engineering – Loquelic Iteritas [matttech]



This suite of demos resulted from some rather excitable experimenting with the newly-acquired Noise Engineering Loquelic Iteritas VCO. I had been looking forward to this release, and it didn’t disappoint! These recordings were whizzed off extremely quickly, and no edits were made to the recordings whatsoever. All of the demos are based around the same patch, which is detailed below. For each new recording I added a couple of elements Рsome extra modulation, or switching to a different mode.

Mix processing was kept to a minimum, with some subtle reverb and delay used, along with some limiting and sidechain compression.


DEMO 01 –¬†SS Mode (Fold & Morph)

For demo 01 SS mode was used (‚ÄúSummation Synthesis‚ÄĚ), and only the FOLD & MORPH parameters / CV inputs were used; the second oscillator on the Loquelic was left untouched (no Pitch nodulation).

Patch Details

1. z8000 Sequencer into LI Pitch CV input
2. The Loquelic’s Output into Oakley Classic VCA
3. A randomly-triggered 4ms PEG envelope was patched into the VCA’s Linear CV input, producing the spiky rhythmic plucks.
4. A second, softer envelope from Maths was randomly triggered and sent into the VCA’s second CV input. This envelope was also used to control the Fold on the Loquelic – via an attenuator
5. A slower cycling envelope from Maths was used to modulate the Morph parameter on the Loquelic
6. The intensity of the various modulations, along with their associated offset controls, were manipulated during the recording.


DEMO 02 –¬†SS Mode (Fold, Morph & Modulation)

This recording used the same patch as Demo 01, with the following alterations – mainly the addition of the Modulation parameter.

1. The Modulate control of the Loquelic was manually tweaked, and a randomly-triggered Quadra envelope was sent into its CV input.
2. The level of this envelope was manually tweaked during the recording, as was the Pitch of Oscillator B, which affects the overall sound (not looked at what it does yet, but the variations in tone you get when messing with it are IMMENSE)
3. At points oscillator B produces almost chorused effect, whereas at other times – when set low in pitch – it produces nice “splattery” rhythmic LFO effects. Both are excellent


DEMO 03 –¬†SS Mode (Fold, Morph, Modulation & Damp)

This recording was the same patch as Demo 02, with the following alteration:

1. A randomly-triggered envelope was used to control the Damp parameter on the Loquelic.
2. This parameter’s knob was also tweaked during the recording, as were all the other sound manipulation controls on the Loquelic: Morph, Fold, Modulate…and the Pitch of oscillator B


DEMO 04 – SS Mode (Fold, Morph, Modulation & Damp)

This demo used the same patch as Demo 03, but with minor tweaks, largely the following:

1. Less VCA modulation near the start – Loquelic was left to drone on more, with some sidechain compression applied via a plugin


DEMO 05 –¬†VO (VOSIM) Mode

This demo uses the same patch as Demo 04, but with now we’re in VO (“VOSIM”) mode, and the following alterations were made:

1. I mainly concentrated on modulating the Damp parameter to begin with, as that made the sound go from thin and fizzy to bold and woody. Nice
2. As the recording progressed I experimented with bringing the other cv sources in and out.
3. I’ve also used a multiple to duplicate the main sequence into oscillator B’s 1v/oct CV input, instead of simply leaving it droning at a static pitch


DEMO 06 –¬†PM (Phase Modulation) Mode

For the final demo (for today!) I used the same patch as Demo 05, but now we’re in PM mode (Phase Modulation)

1. Basically, bedlam broke out… and I mashed into all available parameters with gay abandon. This could literally go on all night!

Summary – this is the best VCO I’ve played with in absolutely ages. I never, at any point, had to look at the manual to figure it out – and there were very few points where I made unusably awful noises, or went down completely dead ends – which, to me, is the measure of a great module.



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Studio Electronics – Boomstar Modular Sci Fi [matttech]



For this demo I wanted to see how much fun I could wring out of the Studio Electronics Sci Fi module – as a modulation source, sound mangler and also as an audio source. The module contains a Sample & Hold with integrated lag/ slew limiter, a ring mod, and two colours of analogue noise. All were used within this patch. The only other sound which was used in this recording was a basic kick loop sample.


DEMO 01 – Full Utilisation

Patch Details

1. A Rubicon was used as the main oscillator, with a Sine and Sub mixed together. Its output was recorded direct, and used as the droning “bassline”. This gradually evolves into a more high pitched Sample & Hold patch as the track progresses.
2. A second, higher synth part was added over the top, and was patched as follows: the Rubicon’s Triangle was used to feed the Sci Fi’s Ring Mod X Input, with a separate Dixie VCO’s Zigzag wave sent into the Y Input. This was shaped into a percussive sound via a VCA, and processed with some delay during mixdown.
3. The Pink and White Noise outputs from the Sci Fi were used to create two percussion/ drum sounds. The two noise outputs were fed into either side of a WMD Multimode VCA. Two randomly-triggered envelopes modulated the two VCA channels independently, shaping the continuous noise into percussive hits – one sounding like a snare/ hi-hat, and the other more like a tom.
4. White Noise was also mixed together with a Maths LFO and used to provide the signal source for the Sci Fi’s Sample & Hold circuit. This was used to control the pitch of the Rubicon at various points.
5. During the recording the following controls were tweaked: decay times of the two Noise VCA envelopes; the relative blend of the Maths LFO and White Noise feeding the S&H; the range and lag time of the S&H; and the frequency of both the Dixie and Rubicon.

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Audio Damage ADM Series Effects Modules – Multi-Module Patches [matttech]



This is the result of my first day experimenting with my current stock of Audio Damage effects modules, comprising the following:¬†Aeverb, FreqShift, GrainShift and DubJR. Both patches are similar, but the second one makes more use of random modulation. No additional effects were used, so everything you hear effects-wise is produced by the modules. This doesn’t make my mixing sound too impressive, but I felt it important not to confuse matters by using additional reverbs and delays etc..


DEMO 01 –¬†Multi-Module Patch (multi-module patch, with backing)

For this recording I wanted to install and experiment with a number of different Audio Damage ADM-series effects modules: Aeverb, FreqShift, GrainShift and DubJR.

1. e350 was used as the sole sound source
2. The XY output was fed into a VCA, controlled by a spiky envelope from the 4ms PEG
3. The output of this VCA was fed into a sequential switch, and then into both the Freqshift and the DubJR. A third DRY signal was also recorded
4. The e350’s Z output was fed into another VCA, and then the WMD Multimode VCA was used to pan the signal between the Aeverb and Grainshift
5. The PEG was modulated to produce erratic, random rhythms
6. A random gate was used to trigger the sequential switch, and a slow Maths LFO was used to pan the Multimode VCA
7. The end result was that the two e350 outputs were randomly sent into each Audio Damage effects module at various times.
8. During recording the controls on each module were tweaked.
9. Initially only the dry signal is heard.


DEMO 02 – Multi-Module Patch (more modulation, synths only)

This patch was essentially fairly similar to the previous one, except that a shed-load of random modulation was applied to every single CV input of the 4 Audio Damage effects modules. There was no modulation of the e350 itself, apart from a random voltage output from the Turing Machine, which was sent into the FM input to control the pitch. This was brought in and out manually at various points during the recording. All other sonic variations were achieved through modulation of the Audio Damage effects modules. No reverb was used apart from the one sound with Aeverb applied to it, so the “mix” is a little bare, but I felt it important to not confuse things by using any other delays or reverbs.

Roughly-speaking, the sounds can be heard panned as follows:

1. e350 through FreqShift – hard left
2. e350 through GrainShift – hard right
3. e350 through DubJR – slightly left
4. e350 dry / through Aeverb – slightly right

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WMD PDO mk.2 & TBVCA – Part 3: PDO as LFO [matttech]

WMD PDO Demo 3


DEMO 08 – Resetting LFOs

For this demo I wanted to demonstrate how well the PDO acts as a resettable/ re-triggered LFO, and investigate whether it could be pressed into use as a pseudo-envelope if the settings were appropriate.

Patch Details

1 – The e350 oscillator was used as a sound source, via the z2040 Lowpass Filter.
2 – All 4 outputs of the PDO (at slow LFO frequency) were sent into 4 inputs of the a152 Quad Sequential Switch
3 – A reset (once a Bar) was sent to: The Trigger input of the Sequential Switch and the Sync input of the PDO (So that each bar the LFO resets, and the waveshape changes)
4 РA different LFO Рat a different Phase Рwas selected for each channel/ output of the PDO….giving the impression of 4 sequentially-triggered envelopes, with differing Attack/ Decay characteristics.
5 – The SUM Out of the PDO is used to control the FM of the e350, and later on the Morph Z. It is also used to sweep the z2040’s cutoff up and down.
6 – The SUM Output of the PDO is also used to FM the PDO itself, which changes the shape of the LFOs. You can hear the FM being gradually increased up to around 01.15 – creating a more “whip-like” effect on each LFO shape. After this the FM is reduced and the shapes return to normal.
7 – Towards the end the PDO’s rate and shapes are experimented with a little.

Some drums were added, largely to demonstrate how accurately the LFOs are resetting each bar.


DEMO 09 – Rhythmically-Triggered LFOs

For this recording I wanted to experiment with using the PDO almost like an envelope generator, with the 4 outputs providing a variety of shapes – depending on the chosen waveform and its phase.

Patch Details

1 – The Synthesis Technology e350 was used as a sound source, via the Tiptop z2040 Lowpass Filter.
2 – The WMD PDO mk.2 (set at its LFO range) was used as the sole modulation source. Its 4 outputs were sent into the 4 inputs of the Doepfer a152 Quad Sequential Switch.
3 – Rhythmic triggers were sent from Silent Way into the Sync input of the PDO (So that on each trigger the LFO resets)
4 – Random gates were then used to switch between the 4 different waves in the Sequential Switch, except for nearer the end, where the same trigger pattern that is syncing the PDO is used instead (this switches through the waves at a much faster speed)
5 – The Sequential Switch output was also sent to control wave morphing on the e350, and the cutoff of the z2040 at various points. In addition it was used to control the amplitude of the final output VCA during parts of the recording.

Bear in mind that you are not listening to the sound of the PDO mk.2 – only the way in which it can be used as a modulation source, to produce rhythmic “envelope-like” effects.

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WMD PDO mk.2 & TBVCA ‚Äď Part 2: Textural Drones [matttech]

WMD PDO Demo 1



Whilst putting together a suite of commissioned demos for the WMD PDO mk.2 Рand associated Triple Bipolar VCA Рsome of the recordings turned into extended drone workouts. These are collected within this post.

Further demos, demonstrating the PDO’s deployment as an LFO will be published soon.

For examples of the PDO / TBVCA in use within full compositions, see HERE


DEMO 04 – FM Drone

For this demo I wanted to demonstrate the sound of the PDO when Linear FM is applied to it. Only channel 1 of the PDO was used, and it was set to SINE throughout. A simple drone was set up, with various modulation and manual tweaking carried out during the recording. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the FM actually sounds – considering that the analogue saw core of the PDO is shaped by a digital waveshaper, and that the Quad Anti-Aliasing Filter was not used.

Patch Details

1 – PDO ch.1 sine was multed to two VCAs, panned left and right, with the amplitude of the VCAs modulated by 2 different slow LFOs.
2 – The Intellijel Rubicon is used as the FM source. 3 different waves are used at various points: Sine, Double Pulse, and -2 Octave Sub.
3 – FM from the Sine and Double Pulse is brought in and out manually, and also via two further VCAs which are modulated by 2 slow LFOs from Maths
4 – Pulse Width Modulation is applied to the Rubicon’s Double Pulse by the SUM output of the Vulcan Modulator LFO (used earlier)
5 – Further FM from the -2 Oct Sub is brought in and out manually at various points.
6 – As the recording progresses the SUM output of the PDO is sent into the Rubicon’s TZFM input, causing FM feedback – which results in a more aggressive and chaotic tone.
7 – The Rubicon’s TZFM and Symmetry are both manipulated throughout, and modulated by further LFOs.


DEMO 05 – PM/FM Drone

For this demo I again set up some drone action, but this time I am using both Phase Modulation AND FM – with a variety of modulation sources used, some of which are also modulated themselves. Some lovely bell-like tones have been achieved, as has some intense aliased Hertz Donut-esque chaotic noise near the end. It is VERY long, but I was happy with the way it turned out as a single, extended jam with no edits….so I’ve left it as it is. After all – that’s what the SKIP function is for! If you are REALLY interested in this module though – especially in terms of its more mellow/ subtle side – I would advise letting it play through, as you may miss some nice little tonal shifts here and there otherwise. Maybe do some ironing or something…or check your emails! Or browse Muff Wiggler……..

Patch Details

1 – All four channels/outputs of the PDO are fed into attenuators and brought in and out manually during the recording.
2 – A subtle LFO is warbling the pitch of the PDO up and down slightly.
3 – PDO Channel 1 is a simple Sine wave for a lot of the recording, although it alters drastically later in the recording once intense Exp. FM is applied from the Rubicon.
4 – PDO Channel 2 is another Sine which is being phase modulated by PDO Channel 1’s Sine, and a Triangle (at a different frequency) from the Rubicon. The patch is set up so that the Intellijel Planar Joystick controls which wave is the modulator. This is achieved by sending its Y CV output into the Triple Bipolar VCA’s CV input, crossfading between the two modulator waves. This has the effect of adding harmonics and overtones to the purer Sine tone.
5 – PDO Channel 3 is set up in a similar way to Channel 2, with two different modulators controlling its phase (PDO Channel 2’s output and a higher frequency Sine from the Rubicon), and the Planar’s X CV output fading between them
6 – Moving the joystick around thus produces a constantly evolving tonal palette, moving from bell-like tones, to Sines, to Saw-like timbres.
7 – TZFM is applied to the Rubicon at various points by a Dixie oscillator, and the Dixie is itself modulated by a Maths LFO. The increased complexity of the Rubicon’s tones thus impacts the PDO’s phase modulation, producing “beating” and dissonant overtones.
8 – The PDO’s timbres increase in complexity again as intense Exp. FM is applied by the Rubicon. The FM is then backed right off to calm things down a little.
9 – The next process to be applied to the PDO is the introduction of a cycling, punchy Maths envelope into the CV234 phase input. This is intensified, and Maths’ Rise and Fall are tweaked until they are up in audio rates, and then brought back down again.
10 – Finally Channel 4 of the PDO is introduced: This is the spiky Triangle wave, and is phase modulated by Channel 3 via an a115 Audio Divider. The various pulse-based sub-octaves in the a115 are brought in and out, and the complexity of the wave being input into it creates some bizarre, clicky timbres. These are further intensified by the re-introduction of savage amounts of Exp. FM.

Like I say, it’s not a musical masterpiece, but will certainly show you some nice timbres.