MATRIXSYNTH: Noise Engineering Fractio Solum Demos

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Noise Engineering Fractio Solum Demos

Blog: Dueling Fractio Solum - Noise Engineering

"From the blog:

What if we have TWO Fractio Solum? What will happen?? Polymetric patching, that’s what! Here, we have a melody and four-part percussion patch. Imitor Versio gives some delay and texture to the patch. Two Fractio Solum and a Vox Digitalis provide all the sequencing for the patch, and an external CV sequence modulates the FS ratios to keep things dynamic."

Blog: Dueling Fractio Solum

"From the blog:

So, what do those big numbers mean? At its core, FS is a clock divider and multiplier. You put a clock in. You get a clock out. Simple, right? But here’s where it gets interesting: you change how that clock comes out by turning the encoder and changing the ratio shown on the display. The ratio display works just like a fraction: the number on top represents the clock output. The number on the bottom represents the clock input. This makes seeing what your division is easy.

Now, that’s all well and good, but what clock ratios are actually available on FS?

The short answer is A LOT.

The more in-depth answer is that you can get everything from 1/16 to 16/1. To make it easy to move through these, we’ve grouped the ratios into three sets, selected by the switch in the middle of the displays. The “1” setting contains all the ratios that, as you may have guessed, have a one in the top or bottom of the fraction. Your normal divide by eight, multiply by four, divide by two can be found here, but so can more interesting things like 1/7, 9/1, 1/15, 10/1...

The “23” setting contains ratios involving powers of 2 and 3. You’ll find more standard things here: 1/16, 1/8, 3/1, that sort of thing. There are also a few oddballs like 8/3 in here, but if you need more ratios than the “1” mode gives you but don’t want to get too abstract, this is the mode you’ll want. We’ve found this to be the most “musical” mode, at least in the most traditional sense.

Lastly, there’s N/M mode. This mode has every single ratio from 1/10 to 10/1. If you like unusual timings, tuplets, and polyrhythms, this is the mode for you. I didn’t know 7/3 could be a fun time signature until I plugged FS in. This is the favorite mode around the NE house."

Blog: Sequencing percussion with Fractio Solum

"From the blog:

We wanted to make the FS flexible and versatile, so we designed it with quite a bit of I/O. First, there’s your standard clock and reset inputs, labeled In and RST. Now, bear in mind that you don’t need to patch a reset signal here: all you have to do is patch in a clock and you’re off. I find the RST input very helpful when using FS for sequencing: I can dial in a wacky ratio, and then use the RST input to create a repeatable sequence based off my main clock. If you’re in 7/3 and using the /2 out, for instance, your output is gonna be pretty abstract compared to other rhythms that may be happening in your patch. The RST input helps tie everything together, though: trigger it at regular intervals and your 7/3 becomes a repeating rhythmic motif that’s much easier to fit into the rest of a patch.

Of course, there’s also a CV input: this lets you change the clock ratio of FS with an external CV source. This allows for some awesome stuff like automated time signature changes, rhythmic clock sequencing, burst generation… You name it.

On to the outputs: FS has four outputs. There’s the main out jack, labeled Out (clever, I know), which gives you the exact ratio shown on the display. Additionally, there are x2 and /2 outputs, which are respectively twice as fast and half as fast as the main Out jack. Lastly, there’s the BOC jack, which stands for Beginning Of Cycle (and also Boards of Canada. Because they are great). As the name suggests, it fires each time the FS completes a cycle, based on the slowest /2 output.

If you tap the encoder, all the outputs on FS get muted. It keeps track of the input clock while it’s muted, so when you tap it again to unmute it, it’ll be correctly in phase with the clock input. It’s a handy performance feature if you’re using FS as a rhythm generator for your voices, if you want to make a sequencer do interesting things, or if you just need things to be a little quieter for a second."

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