PEAKS Gate problems



I’m using YARNS-Braids-Peaks.
Here’s my scenario:

Midi notes are output from DAW ok, go into Yarns ok, out from CV 1 and I’m hearing the pitch changes from my osc, BRAIDS, Gate/Trig 1 is patched into PEAKS Trig1.
I hear the note changing pitch and gates the ENV of peaks, but when i stop playing the note on my keyboard Daw, the note dosn’t stops and play the last pitch i’ve played, it won’t gate the notes, I hear the osc constantly running,
Maybe i’m making some mistake, but please give me some hand on this.



Your Peaks might need trimming (calibration). It should output a very slightly negative voltage at rest (in envelope mode). If you have an earlier version, there are trumpets on the back to adjust this. Later versions use firmware calibration to set this offset - the procedure should be described in the manual. If you’re running DeadMan’s Catch (DMC) alt firmware on a later version of Peaks (sans trimpots), then your best bet is to re-install the factory firmware and re-calibrate, because DMC doesn’t support the firmware calibration method required. Calibration doesn’t require any measuring equipment - just do it by ear using a VCA as described in the manual.


Welcome to the world of synthesis! It’s normal for an oscillator to run constantly. It’s not a job of an oscillator to stop - after all it doesn’t know if you’re making drones, or sounds with long or short envelopes. It’s the role of a VCA.

You need to process the sound of the oscillator by a VCA. The output from Braids goes into the VCA audio input, the output from Peaks goes into the VCA CV input.


Thanks guys!

I think i’ve a later version of peaks!
But I can’t find any calibration firmware procedure in the manual, just instructions for firmware update! Could you send me a direct link of this?

@pichenettes yes I connect correctly the CV out (trig1) to the VCA (CV in)!
Maybe, yes is a calibration problem!


I don’t think it’s a calibration issue. Let’s not overcomplicate things for now!

Which VCA are you using? You did not mention it. Does it have a bias or offset setting?

Can you share a video of the problem?


I’d also recommend to not hurry to calibrate. FIrst make sure that’s really the problem. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case, because you hear the sound constantly ringing, with a slight offset in Peaks’ output the sound should be pretty quiet as opposite to when the envelope really opens the VCA.

You also may check if you really got DMC installed (if you bought this second hand) – i don’t know how, but there surely is an easy way (like trying to enter one of its modes).

Often in this case people have set their release time very very long, so the last is still ringing out/the last envelope is still opening the VCA; or the VCA has bias control which opens the VCA all the time.


Wow… I must track down a trumpet-equipped Peaks, to complete my collection!



And they throw veggies at you :slight_smile:


Yeah, Trumpet Windsock. Boom-dish. I really love auto-correctly.


Thanks man!

My VCA is an erica Synth Black Quad VCA
I’ve uploaded the video of the problem:

Thanks for your help!



Ok so no bias on the VCA. Also your release time seems to be CCW.
And the ringing sound is relatively quiet. Makes the calibration issue a bit more likely afaik.
But before that i’d use one channel of Maths (depending on gate lenght preferably the signal input in this case, not the trig input) as envelope instead of Peaks Ch1, leave everything else as it is and see if problem still persists, so i could really narrow the problem down to Peaks.
Also, do you know if Peaks has an alternate firmware installed?


Another thought, propably not very likely to be true, I don’t know Yarns and neither its different output modes, but is there one that puts out a gate high when not running? I mean like it decays to the sustain level, which is set quite low… if you change sustain level the constantly ringing tone wouldn’t be louder, right?

If i run a sequence in my DAW and stop the tracker while a note is played, my interface would not receive a ‘stop pressing key’ message and the note would be hearable though i stopped the sequence.


Thanks Nino.

yes, same thing with MATH, i was thinking is Erica VCA! Regarding sending a seq from DAW, i think is not necessary, becouse the strange behavior appears also using just a sequence from Renè!


no alternate firmware on PEAKS


Since you experienced the same with another envelope (Maths) i thought it was clear that the problem is not Peaks. Nevertheless it’s good for you to know what fw is on.

Now maybe it’s a problem with the VCA not closing properly (which would be enormous bleeding). But maybe this is just expected behaviour without you knowing it. I see that Erica quad VCA has a lot of normalization things going on and also stuff can be set via jumper. Did you buy that module first hand? Do you know how the
channels are set? I see some more cables being plugged into your vca, but it’s super hard to tell what’s going on there from that video. But as i understand that overview of the VCA (some) potis can act as offsets, which would make sense to be the causing your problem. If you are not 100% sure what’s going on with your VCA i recommend to check out the manual for what happens when this and that channel is unpatched and what the knobs would do then.

Btw sorry for the misunderstanding, that was no recommendation to try out but just thoughts about my own experiences with similar issues.


Thansk Nino! Yes, i’m checking the vca, now|


Though for now it won’t make a difference i’d like to add that of course in this troubleshooting you could also have connected the seq gate directly with your vca, so not swapping Peaks with Maths but just skip the envelope to hunt down the problem. May be a small detail, but could be useful to remind for the future.


@Nino: this doesn’t always work, because gate outputs might not have a rest level of 0V. For example, if there are logic ICs (buffers, shift registers, level-shifters) involved, the “low” level might be 20mV or higher – which would cause a perfectly working linear VCA to let a little bit of the signal through.


Ok true, i obv thought of gate outs as perfect 0 or X, but that totally makes sense.
So to be precise in this case not the signal in but the trig in of Maths was the better choice.