All MI 104hp rack, suggestions?


I thought a visual aid might be more intuitive to understand. The top window is the control voltage running from -1 to 1. The second window is bipolar modulation, like you would find on Blinds, where the negative voltages invert the waveform. The third window is a standard VCA, negative voltages are ignored and leave the circuit fully closed, this is probably the more significant difference since this allows LFOs to make sharper rhythmic patterns. :slight_smile:

Bipolar amplitude modulation is also the basis for ring modulation, which is the familiar Dalek sound. It’s nice to make Dalek voices every once in a while :robot:


Thanks for the great visual explanation! :slight_smile:
Regarding bipolar modulation. Can MI Shades do the same thing as Blinds pretty much? Even though it isn’t a VCA?

So negative volt can be extra useful for percussive patches and modules maybe?

I really want some more solid ring modulation in my setup, i think Warps will suffice though!


You can turn Shades’ knob to flip the waveform polarity, but you can’t use another CV or audio source to do what you do with the knob.

You might want to use one channel of Blinds as a ring-modulator to create some rich bell-like tones as a basis for a percussive patch.

In this system, the most obvious use would be 4 channels of modulation attenuation/offsetting.


You can think of bipolar amplitude (ring) modulation as multiplying two signals. So Shades would be multiplying your signal by a constant value.

Warps has 2 types of ring modulation, one clean and one vintage (dalek :robot:), so you are probably covered.

Another thing to remember is you aren’t wedded to the modules you buy. If you find you want more bipolar VCAs you can adjust as you see fit. I think the Makenoise Moddemix is also a pretty good option and it has it’s own coloration.

Sorry for the confusion, a traditional VCA tends to be easier for percussion. Pingable modules like Plaits get around this pretty easily, as you have already pointed out.