LFO isn't slow enough

Please forgive me if I’ve missed something (just starting to learn how to use this)…
my first use of the Ambika is to use it for drones, for which it seems eminently suitable. Just remove the env 3 mod of the vca, and it’s an excellent start. But the slowest lfo rate (0), just doesn’t seem very slow. I suppose that there is nothing that can be done, but if there are any tricks, or I’m missing something (very possible), please let me know. and if I missed a discussion of this, my apologies.

No, there is no trick, it’s because the LFO phase counter is 16-bit only

@pichenettes could it be made to run slower, at the expense of making it more steppy?
I ask just out of interest, really.


Yes of course. You can add something like:

prescaler_ = (prescaler_ + 1) & 3;
if (prescaler_)

Before line 44

prescaler_ is an uint8_t

This will divide the LFO refresh rate by 4, but will make it more steppy in the process.

Or clock the CPU slower? :slight_smile:

or use external midi clock with really low BPM

^This, but you will be hard pressed to find a hardware sequencer that will go below 40 BPM. Using a BPM of around 10 gives great results with a Shruthi.

Well no, the LFO sync won’t work with a slow clock

You could always just automate the parameter you want to drone over midi :smiley:

well, I thought of that, but how would I get a slow continuous change over several minutes?

with a slow automation curve?

not sure. Aren’t there generally only 128 values per controller? I’m not home right now, but i suppose (?) that pitchbend might work, if I can assign pitchbend to arbitrary modulations on the Ambika, and not have it affect pitch. I generally don’t like using a DAW for this, though - I’m generally using a hardware sequencer or a keyboard, so this solution isn’t ideal.

Internal modulations are 8-bit (256 steps) when they go full range, and less steps of course if you attenuate them… and don’t forget that when you manually tweak a parameter with a knob it’s 7-bit (128 steps). So remote MIDI control isn’t bad at all compared to an internal modulation.

Yes, LFO automation from any DAW is the way to go for very long and evolving cycles that are in the minutes or higher range.

Even on synths were the LFO can be clocked externally, you will not break a minute for the longest cycle. Either way, my advice would not have gotten you the expected results.

There’s a couple of LFO apps for the iPhone that output MIDI. One (midiLFOs) goes down to one cycle per 50 seconds. Is that slow enough? It would free you from a desktop DAW.

There are cheap enough solutions for getting MIDI out of an iPhone or iPad.

Also there are other apps that might provide other interesting slow modulation sources. If you own an iOS device, it could be worth doing a bit of research; after all apps are typically cheap.

It’s worth looking into. part of the ‘charm’ about messing with drones, especially while improvising, is the ease of just doing it on the device itself. Too bad - ideally, having some cv inputs for modulation would have been great, but not too many midi devices have them in addition.

have you tried slow automation since ? Can this be done from the Pyramid sequencer ? It goes down to 10 bpm and should do that trick.

i’d be interested to hear M.I. drones. Not that i got those synths for noise/drone, but they are quite good at that.

another 12-voices mega-drone today using brand new Ambika SMR-4 for Roland-y choirs in some dark chapel, Shruthi Polivoks for CS-80-like bladerunnerish lead, Perfourmer Mk2 (subterranean noises & savage screeches), Grenadier (bombing) & MFB 712 percussions.


tk starts at 15:10 (It’s a bit shorter than 20 min. & got refused so i uploaded a whole bunch of tx)