Saturday, 24 July 2010

4ms Shuffling Clock Multiplier & Expander

Some patch ideas featuring the 4ms Shuffling Clock Multiplier and Breakout box.

For an overview of the concept and functions of the SCM, see this post.

This first example makes use of the SCM's tap function. Given two gates, it will 'remember' the tempo until it receives new marching orders. The most obvious clock source is an LFO, but this feature means you could also feed it with a gate signal from your keyboard:


2 VCOs, left gated by keyboard, right by manually-clocked SCM. The shorter the intervals between played notes, the faster the trills.

Here's a variation on the above using a tail-chasing Wogglebug to generate gate and pitch information. I used the x1 output of the SCM to trigger Maths and fed its envelope to the level VC of a Cwejman CTG-VC to fade out the echos. This works better in the slower sections i.e. the beginning of the clip. An option would have been to VC Maths' fall time with the pitch CV e.g. higher notes = faster echos = faster fade. If you don't have a Cwejman envelope, you could use a second VCA to add similar dynamic control of your your envelope.


Because the SCM 'reads' the interval between two pulses, large timing changes from fast to slow will display an amount of lag as the SCM catches up with the new tempo. This is possibly the only failing of the module but, given the difficulties in implementing clock multiplication (the SCM can't 'predict' the new tempo before it has happened!), two taps are more than acceptable and this lag can also have its musical uses as a 'ghost' beat.

LFO as clock, speed manually changed.

The most obvious use for the SCM is as a drum trigger/ sequencer driver, but this last recording is an example of the SCM in an auxiliary role, helping to time the changes of a quantizer to generate sync'd glissando.

Main VCO left, clock reference right. At six seconds a slewed sequence is patched to the VCO. At about 18 seconds the sequence is re-patched to an A-156 quantizer. The quantizer responds to changes in voltage, so the steps are not in sync with the main clock. Patching an output from the SCM to the A-156's trigger input (27 seconds) resolves this and, with some rotation and slip, allows for swung or odd time glissando.

The SCM and breakout box have undergone some changes since I tested the prototype. The main differences are the addition of a x1 output, or mult of the clock source, and the loss of some of the 'straight' gate streams. I found the former to be useful on the RCD and, because the SCM generates pulses even without an input, it can function as a main clock source in a patch. The lack of some of the 'un-swung' outputs means you'll have to rotate the SCM if you want to make use of the phasing effects I demonstrated in my original post. The Breakout box has also undergone some changes, now offering a global x4 multiplier and mute function. As I previously noted, if you have an SCM, you really need the expander. Not only does it offer access to the swing & skip parameters, but it brings the SCM to life as a playable instrument. The breakout box should be available soon, so plan for one in your rack!

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