New Ambika user -have mercy-

Hello folks, I just got a shiny Ambika from a known builder & good guy.
I’m mostly a guitar player (sorry) & stumbling but trying to get my head around it a bit.
Sound sweet though!

Please let me ask 2 simple questions…

  1. Although I can assign all 6 voices to create a “6 voice poly” every time I turn it off, it reboots with only voices 1-3-6 in poly mode.
    Is there a way to assign them so it stays that way on re-boot ? Tried to find it in the manual w/o success.
  2. I tried taking all 6 outs and running them into my converter & panned the voices around a bit but, one of the voices )every 6th note on my keyboard) is much lower in volume than the others. …Then at times …notes that are lower in volume shift around?
    Maybe there’s a volume assign for each voice out that’s right in front of my nose?

Appreciate any help, & general Ambika for dummies tips!
Thanks much.

  1. When you’re on the patch load/save page, press the 8th button to display more settings. See the “>ini” command on the screen (2nd button)? It writes the current settings of the synth (including the voice assignment) so that they’ll be reloaded the next time you re-boot.

  2. If correctly built, all voicecards should have the same volume.

Thx is for your reply.

So all 6 voices should output the same out via the individual outs and there’s no setting to adjust those 6 voice outs. Makes sense but ?

The fact that the notes that are lower in volume across the keyboard keep changing position certainly seems a bit strange.
Hmm. Might have an issue.

If one voicecard is defective, all notes played by this voicecard will be at a lower amplitude. And the mapping from note to voicecard depends on the order in which you play notes and whether you play legato.


FWIW it’s looking like I had a bad cable on the out of voice 4. Going to do further testing but, so far looking that way.

Curious if any thoughts on upgrades to Ambika whether Opamp related or otherwise that could provide a plausible or, appreciable sonic improvement overall?

I’m mostly curious about improvements to any higher register aliasing. Or smoothing.

That said, a tube eq etc can go a long way but good to consider at the source.

I guarantee you the little TL07x do a very nice job at accurately reproducing and amplifying all the noise and distortion coming from the rest of the chain – including noisy OTAs, 8-bit PWM CVs, and 12-bit DAC.

If you want hi-fi, the best upgrade is to get rid of the whole thing :slight_smile: This is a DIY kit designed for ease of build and low part count.

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Edit: Olivier beat me to it

Some aliasing in the higher notes are caused by the oscillators and is part of the Ambika charm and in many cases I find it can be used to an advantage :slight_smile: Changing op amps won’t change this.


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It needs to be said that even if not all aspects of Ambika are hifi, I think it’s completely misleading to call it a lofi machine. With my collection of synths I find it’s still one of the most rewarding synths to use. In fact, I just built my second one.


Points taken! :slight_smile:
Having a studio full of vintage (and new) compressors, eq’s etc I think I’m programmed to believe that often there can be an appreciable gain w higher quality Opamps or caps etc.
in this case the vibe is clearly getting across with enough clarity & signal / noise ratio to be congruous.

Certainly not trying to turn Ambika into a more “hifi” version of itself so I hear you.

I have to say, I’ve been digging & listening quite a bit to research if it was right for my poly needs.
I have yet to hear something in its price range or even above, that has a similar sweet sound.

It seemingly to me has a kind of midrange magical (hesitate to use that word) glow of warm inviting analog feel. All things bring compromises but Ambika has such a nice vibe ultimately.

Whatever the design that Oliver impressively came up with, there’s something special and quite unique going on!
That often doesn’t get the consistent praise it so deserves imo.

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Just started hearing a behavior of Ambika that I find odd. If I take for example the MONO output of Ambika’s “korgasm” patch out into the converter & into DAW to capture (or even just monitor that in the room) there’s a “Breaking up / digital type distortion” present in the occilating lower midrange section. That is, know matter how low of a input I capture at or, how low the Ambika’s volume out is.

In contrast…
If I take all 6 voices out into the converter channels & into DAW to capture (or even just monitor that in the room)… It sounds beautiful, no artifacts. Especially lush (and clear) when I pan the voices around of course.
Wondering if anyone can speak to this?

Congestion / digital break up artifacts on the mono output VS artifacts not present on the individual voices out.

I made a short comparison file of both, uploaded here. (732.2 KB)

Naaah, that’s just clipping. Just reduce the volume :slight_smile:

I did as mentioned lower the volume output quite low (like 11 o’clock) as well, recorded that incoming signal to the a/d very low. So?

The clipping is happening elsewhere, when the 6 voices are summed internally. The global volume knob is an attenuator applied after this mixing stage.

A way of reducing the volume earlier in the chain: reduce the note velocity.

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Apologies if this spelled out more fully in the manual, I honestly didn’t see it but,

Re; midi in/out…
When trying to get Ambika to send, and then receive or, playback midi info from the DAW, is there a relatively straight forward approach to setting this up inside ambika?
I do see the midi cc implementation chart but being so new to this, trying to make sense of it.

A follow up to that would be, I see Ambika should be set to be clocked externally if your trying to for example, sequence ambika w the DAW as the master. Another consideration.

Much thanks for any general thoughts.
Simply getting set up for triggering ambika (& a couple other synths) seemingly poses a few initial hurdles for this novice.

Is there anything you’re trying to do that the default settings don’t allow you to do?

What kind of MIDI out do you expect to get from the Ambika?

No, that’s a common misconception.

If you’re just using your DAW to send notes and CC to the Ambika, your DAW is not “clocking” the Ambika (or whatever device). The synth is just receiving notes messages and playing them as soon as they are received.

There would be a master/slave relationship, and the need to adjust the clock settings accordingly, only if the Ambika was sequencing (or arpeggiating) itself, but at the same tempo as another sequence running on your DAW. In which case, Ambika’s sequencer’s clock would have to synchronized with your DAW’s clock. That’s where the clock setting come into play.

I was able to sort out getting the midi into the DAW, as well as back out to trigger Ambika. Thanks!

Yes exactly. When in S5 mode I see the pulsing led respond to BPM changes.
In attempting to get Ambika to follow the Tanzbar drum machine, I set Ambika’s clock to EXT by adjusting its BPM all the way down to choose EXT.
What I’m not getting is that “in Ambika’s EXT clock mode” …the led changes its pulse but,
it doesn’t seem to be “quite synced” to drum machines tempo when I play an arpeggio type patch.
(The tanzbar is being fed the DAW’s midi out so, it syncs fine to the DAW fwiw)

Ongoing thanks if I’m missing something here.