Monday 14 October 2013

Mungo d0 Delay Demo

Sounds and thoughts on the Mungo Enterprises d0 dual channel delay.

The d0 can be a simple echo for audio or CVs, but it also allows the times and depth of control needed for tuned Karplus-Strong synthesis and DX7-like audio-rate phase modulation.

Here's how it sounds:

Download the EP for more recordings (basic runthru, random tap tempo, flanger, audio-rate phase mod, cv delay (envelope), comb cancellation, karplus, filtered repeats).

There's been discussion on the d0 here and the Mungo range in general here. The d0 is a quality delay but some users are frustrated with the Zoom function and a lack of documentation. The controls do take some getting used to. I'm grateful I got to try the module first, buying it 2nd hand locally. jnlkrt, outlines most of the d0's quirks here. Bear these in mind to get the best out of it.

Here are some of my thoughts:

The Zoom function is essential and should not be sold as an optional extra. Because of the way it works, the panel knobs are not always WYSIWYG. It took me a week to get a feel for Zoom: switch down to get into the right zone, mid for 'normal' changes, up for fine tune.

Once you have zoomed a parameter, the knob range becomes 0 to 10, even if it is nominally -5 to 0 to +5 like the bi-polar controls. So, if you have selected a zone around plus 3, when you release the Zoom switch the knob covers that range from fully CCW to fully CW.

The slew setting influences the delay time response. This might sound obvious, but I caught myself wondering why the delay time wasn't changing only to hear it catch up seconds later! PM sounds require a fine balance between mod depth, delay time and slew.

To gain voltage control over the slew time, null it (fully CW) and use an external VC lag like the Sport Modulator. Slewing even seemingly smooth control voltages like sine waves can have a radical effect on the end result.

I made some of the recordings in my demo before I'd located a source of noise in the d0's output. Musically, they were interesting so I kept them. When unpatched, the CV inputs and Z outs carry a DC offset. Depending on the settings (gain, feedback) this can cause crunch and clipping. For a cleaner sound, null unused inputs or use a dummy plug. A filter can be useful in the feedback path.

The build quality of the board is good, attention to detail on the panel less so. Despite having slots for the mounting screws, they are 2 mm shy of the Doepfer standard. Keyed headers on the PCB power connector are welcome, but the orientation might confuse: -12V is 'up'.

The Mungo d0 is unique in its sound and range. Other modular delays I've tried were limited by comparison. I didn't find the controls or interface insurmountable. When something odd happens in use it's usually a welcome and musical surprise. In future, I'd love to try the rest of the Mungo range at my local dealer.