Using VCO module and VCA alone to replace A4 DCO


#1

Forgive my wording…

I’m asking if it is possible to use ONLY a VCO and VCA module, key tracked by the CV channel, as an oscillator source for the audio in of track 1 instead of a standard DCO?

Would the trigs have to copied between sequencer tracks to get the desired effect?

… Seems like an inexpensive way to experiment with new timbre foundations. I never explored modular but it seems VCO + VCA. Would produce a line input suitable for a #fatter “more analog” flavored OSC replacement.


#2

You would not have to copy the trigs to the CV track. The CVs can be sequenced from any track. Page 67 in the manual shows a setup example for what you describe.

I’d go for a simple eurorack level -> line level module instead of a VCA, though.


#3

Short:

Yes.

Longer:

To get the effects of the external (modular, euro) VCA and envelope (I presume) you’d have to leave the internal one fully open. Short attack & decay full sustain and infinite release. So yes, it is possible to use an external VCA/ADSR, being gated or trigged by one of the CV tracks.

The external VCO should be controlled by the CV pitch out and as such it is indeed a VOLTAGE controlled oscillator. But since the A4/AK still handles pitch internally via digital control, it will still (in the full chain) be digitally controlled. Fatter or more analog?

That said - you could get an external oscillator with a completely different characteristic than the A4/AK’s own. That’s cool!

You’d set the CV tracks to derive pitch and gate info from whatever track (1-4) you’re using. No copies needed.


#4

Reading again…

If you’re talking about using only an external VCA to add analog flavoring - I’d say that’s completely overkill. The A4/AK signal chain is completely analog as is.

As a starting point I’d get just one (or two!) oscillators in a minimal case. To be able to vary the sonic possibilities by combining internal and external oscillators.

I made a tutorial on such a setup. The example uses the Arturia Microbrute, but the concept is the same.


#5

I have an A4 and a microbrute. Always thinking about adding a little rack with just some versatile oscillators like mi braids. I will watch your tutorial with the microbrute later. But sounds like a great way to get some other interestiung sounds into the A4. I think the challenge is staying with just the Oscs and not expanding the rack once started :wink:


#6

HO
LY
CRAP.

so I literally just need a VCO and I’ll have a totally new sonic foundation.
… I think I get what Elektron were aiming for with this box now.

Sexy.


#7

What a fantastic and well made video!

I have to say… This simple expansion of the A4’s capabilities seems like a solution to all the “my a4 sounds dull” people’s problems…

What a huge upgrade potential this unit has…


#8

You need to buy a 3U case as well for powering the oscillator right?


#9

Yep. Some sort of power (and housing) is needed.


http://www.schneidersladen.de/en/erica-synths-pico-case.html
http://www.schneidersladen.de/en/pittsburgh-modular-cell-48-case.html

Small… With some possibilities of expansion. If you’d ever want or need it. :cheeky:


#10

Thanks for the links!
I’ll think about it. At the moment I try to satisfy my Eurorack lust with Reaktor Blocks and the G2 Demo :wink: Slightly cheaper


#11

Yay GAS!

No really tho; would love to get an:
“OSC > fuzz pedal > A4” thing going in my life :smiley:

Maybe even an:
“OSC > Insert guitar effect here > A4”
kinda lyfe…


#12

On the other hand; I suppose if one were to purchase 3 OSC modules then they would be able to expand their a4 to 3 mono synths + 1 4 voice poly available at all times huh…?


#13

You need to run the external audio through one track. So possibly “phat mono”+three voice polyssynth would be doable.


#14

But for the cost of a decent eurorack oscillator (and case) you could get a self contained analog monosynth (such as the Arturia Microbrute). So if you’re only after another (or several) monosynth rather than actually using it WITH the A4 - I’d say that’s a better option.


#15

You can also use the two pairs of CV and two ins on two regular tracks to independently sequence two external synths and still have two normal tracks
:okej:

As @CarlMikaelBjork says, there are wiser ways to use your resources and the microbrute is great … When i tried all this out a while back i have to say the A4 sounded near identical to a Doepfer DE1 saw in the mid range, but the A4 did seem to be a tiny bit fizzier at the lowest frequencies … I’d be inclined to look at the external oscillator route as a creative option rather than a solution to anything


#16

Just this little thread and I find myself on modulargrid again :smile:
If I would combine the A4 with external oscillators, I definitely would choose an Osc which offers a different sound palett than the A4, like fm, granular, wavetable etc. As I mentioned MI Braids, or Clouds or something special like that. There is so much awesome stuff out there.
I guess another “common” analog oscillator could be little redundant.


#17

That’s my thinking. A digital oscillator to get completely different sounds than you can get from the internal ones. At the moment I have Mysteron from Make Noise and also Clouds from Mutable Instruments that are digital. Together with the analog oscillators from the AK - I can get a wide palette of sounds.


#18

My thoughts as well. Digital or not (I have fun using the analog Pittsburgh Modular Generator/GenXpander, for instance). The three “left over” CV outs are perfect to modulate other aspects of the module than pitch, so I’d look for a module with lots of CV modulation possibilities. Being able to use p-locks, envelopes and LFOs on the A4 to affect the external VCO makes the whole setup a lot more powerful.


#19

Would be great to add a module with lots modulation capabilities. Or something to expand the sequencing possibilites of the A4…


#20

I’m just gonna throw this out there … it explores the routing of an ‘improved external oscillator’ as discussed above …

I have made a recording which offers three passes of different takes of the same arp phrase using more than just the A4 Saw … the tuneless nature of the phrase should focus you only to the sound which covers a fair few octaves … so it goes Take A Take B Take C then Take A Take B Take C so you can audition twice and hear each take next to another one … always One Osc and No filter, just varying the Osc source
Straight out into a zoom field recorder

How do A B & C stack up relative to each other and the ‘dull’ and ‘bassy’ commentary in your opinion … Thoughts … can you spot the A4 ?

Linked HERE on clypit

(this is likely time limited or expiring) and don’t trust the rendered waveform, it looks different in my editor in terms of volume … obvs decent speakers/headphones reqd


A4 deep bass tips?
A4 strengths ? : Getting outside the 'typical' dull sound?