MATRIXSYNTH: VM900 Pseudo Clocks

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

VM900 Pseudo Clocks

video upload by boxoftextures


"In one of my previous videos I was bemoaning the fact that the 960 Sequential Controller modules—henceforth to be called sequencers, as is right and proper—did not have clock inputs. And while technically true, at some point in a week or so of having given up on the idea and not thinking about it, it somewhat randomly occurred to me that you could make use of the Shift input to essentially clock the sequencer. The "proper use" of the Shift input is to force the sequencer to advance to the next stage when it sees an input voltage. It's not exactly a true clock because technically the sequencer clock would not actually be running but the effect is more or less the same; when the Shift input sees a pulse, it advances the sequencer to the next step. Sort of like a clock.

So normally what one does with a running sequencer is have it send out voltages on each step that get converted into notes by an oscillator. However, while that's the usual there's no reason you have to actually use it that way. In this instance, we're using the second row of voltage knobs to send out 2 volts on the first step and 0 volts on the others. Essentially this means that if the sequencer is set to 4 steps we've now divided that by four if we only send out a voltage on that first step. VoilĂ , we just made a 4-to-1 clock divider using only analog circuitry.

But that's just the beginning. Let's say Sequencer 1 is set to three steps and Sequencer 2 is set to five steps. If they're both being clocked by the same external oscillator, you now have a 5 against 3 rhythm going on. But what if you turn up knob 4 on that second sequencer? Now you have 1 and 4 out of 5 playing against the 1 out of 3 of the first sequencer. And now we're headed for polyrhythms. But why stop there? You can add in a third sequencer, for example. Or you can start ratcheting some of the steps to make even more complex rhythms. Or what would happen if you used the voltage of one of the sequencer steps to change the frequency of the clocking oscillator? Or how about doing all of these sorts of things and also have the sequencer's internal clock running as well? That's the beauty of modular; you can do all sorts of things.

I haven't explored all of those options in this particular video because if I did it would've been three hours long. Perhaps next time. What I've done this time though is go through all of the steps to get something like this working, more than enough to get you started if you're so inclined.


Cherry Audio Voltage Modular VM900 Collection:"

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