Noob Needs Help with Yarns 2P and 4P Mode

Hi. I just purchased a Yarns module to try and get some duophonic/triaphonic action going with my Macbeth Micromac-D semi-modular. I have read through the Yarns manual a few times and I am not getting anywhere. Hopefully, its a case of user error. I have MIDI in from my Virus keyboard on Midi channel 1 (which the Yarns is set to as well). There is a separate CV In for each VCO of the Micromac. There is a single “main” CV In and Gate In for the Micromac as well. I have patched cables from each of the first three CV outs of Yarns to each of the separate CV In jacks for the VCOs. And a single cable from the first Gate/Trig of Yarns to the main CV Gate In of the Micromac. Playing on the keyboard is triggering notes/sound but it certainly isn’t duophonic or triaphonic. I have tried Yarns in 2P and 4P mode. I am at a bit of a loss as to where to start. Unfortunately the Micromacs do not come with manuals so for someone like me new to modular gear … it’s a bit of a crap shoot. I know triaphony is possible with the Micromac, as there is a youtube video of Ken Macbeth playing it this way using a Kenton Pro 4 MIDI to CV converter. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

The Micromac has only one VCA/VCF, so polyphony is NOT possible.

You need a synth with one VCA per oscillator/voice to do polyphony.

The closest would be to use the 3+ mode (available in the latest firmware), and use a logic OR module to OR the gate outputs 1, 2, 3 from Yarns. It’ll work for playing 3-note chords and that’s it.

Just to add one further bit of info. In the Youtube video, Ken is achieving triophony using a single gate signal from the Kenton MIDI to CV converter and three separate CV signals for the three VCOs. The relevant video link is http://youtu.be/WiZkviYXgYk at 22:10 into the video.

Yes, three note chords is what I am after. So perhaps the Kenton MIDI to CV converter he is using in the video performs a similar function to what you just described - “OR the gate outputs from Yarns”. Could you recommend such a module?

Do you think a simple OR gate combiner like the Doepfer A-186-1 do the job?

Or this one from Intellijel? http://www.intellijel.com/eurorack-modules/or/

For what it is doing (plain 3-notes chord) you don’t need to OR the gates. He’s always playing 3 notes at the same time so the 3 gate signals are going to be the same.

What happens when you put Yarns in 3+ mode, CV1 (2, 3) to osc 1 (2, 3) frequency, and gate 1 to the micromac gate input?

I will update the firmware, test it out and post back shortly. I was having too much fun sequencing the Micromac with the Yarn’s sequencer and a little bit of Tides thrown in for modulation. Your modules are fantastic!

After updating the Yarns firmware I have had a chance to try out the 3+ mode as suggested above. I seem to be able to play a three note chord. Sometimes playing the same “chord” sounds different, I expect part of the problem may be caused by my poor playing skills, but I will continue to practice using the 3+ mode as I don’t think I fully understand what is going on. At times, playing a 3-note chord (i.e. CEG), followed by a different 3-note chord, and then returning to the first 3-note chord (CEG) the sound of the first CEG and second CEG is quite different. I’m not sure if it is caused by hitting one of the 3-notes slightly quicker than the other 2 notes. If I play the same 3-note chord repeatedly the sound is consistently the same. The Micromac is set up to play just a straight, unmodulated sound so I would expect CEG to sound the same every time I trigger it. Also, in 3+ mode, if I hit a 3-note chord, followed by a 2-note chord and then play a single note, the single note does not always trigger a sound from the Micromac. I guess there is some kind of cycling going on that I need to figure out. I will continue experimenting with this. I think I will try sending 3 note chords from my Octatrack sequencer to the Yarns over MIDI to see what results. Thanks for your assistance so far.

> The Micromac is set up to play just a straight, unmodulated sound so I would expect CEG to sound the same every time I trigger it

It just depends on the order in which you play the 3 notes (there is no “simultaneous” with human beings, scanned keyboards and MIDI :D). Each note will be assigned to a different oscillators and each oscillator of your micromac might have a different sound.

> I hit a 3-note chord, followed by a 2-note chord and then play a single note, the single note does not always trigger a sound from the Micromac

Doing this is not supposed to work since you have only one gate - so the note can be heard every time the note you play touches channel 1. When playing a 3-note chord, you’re 100% sure channel 1 will be hit, but when doing something else, the note you play might or might not hit channel 1. In the “triphonic” micromac demo you have posted the guy is very careful in only playing 3-note chords!