Polyphonic/multi-voice modules (Edges...)

I realize lowfi was the goal with this module but has anyone tried, or can it even be done, to make a perhaps bit more limited but still highfi version of this? I love the quad aspect but not the sound. Just curious.

Edges is not low-fi, this was certainly not the goal. It generates very crisp, aliasing- and noise- free square waves - just like the hardware of early gaming consoles.

Right, perhaps poor choice of words. Maybe then can it be made to do higher bit rate maybe limited sines and triangles. I love the sound of my Tides as a osc makes a sweet sine. I’m thinking of a quad to feed something like NE’s new Tonnetz Sequent. Was just wondering. :slight_smile:

Now that I think of it one could make four additive sines that output as a sum on output four as another option too.

Channels 1-3 are hardware, not software.

I see. Are you considering a multi-voice module of some sort. Obtaining harmony on modular is very difficult at the moment. cheers!

@markmanster Braids has several chord modes.


toneburst, that’s true and they are nice. I briefly had a telharmonic and had high hopes for that but have since traded. I’m looking for the option of multi cv/gate outs to feed to different chains. Didn’t know edges was less software and more hardware, thought a hack might be in order.

Edges uses digital logic chips to generate its waves, apart from the last osc.

A poly oscillator would then require VCAs and VCFs. LFOs. Unless you want a paraphonic synth.

No I just want a versatile space saving set of voices that can be routed through modules to create harmony as part of a multi sequencer setup. That would free up some of my better mods like elements and braids for other parts. The rest of the voicing would be independent.

Modular has never really been very good at poly though, pretty much why CV gave way to MIDI.

Often when nobody else has done it yet it may be for a reason?

> No I just want a versatile space saving set of voices

By voice, do you mean oscillator? +VCF? +Envelope and VCA?

And should all voices play the same sound (at a different time / note) like on polysynth? Or should they be completely independent?

In the later case you can try the Flame 4VOX. In the former case, well, there’s nothing like it! But once you consider the number of CV inputs this monster would have, it kind of make sense to use a polysynth… Cutie Pie mini JP08?

well I was thinking just oscillators not voices, something like braids or like the smaller four ‘voice’ flame unit they’ve not released. Really wouldn’t need a lot of cv input may sync. Just a way to dump many sound sources into a chain of processing units/sequencers. Consider 4 STOs in one module.

I think the modular way to go would be something like 4 Q-bit EONs. Put 4 independant things into one module only for saving space sounds odd.

If the Braids hardware were redesigned to run on an STMF4 processor and the code was re-written to use FP operations (possible, but not an entirely trivial task), then four independent Braids voices in one module might be possible, using a quad DAC. It would probably need a multi-line OLED display, or two, and at least two encoders. Plus six jacks and five or six pots per voice, so at least 24 jacks and 36 pots. Thus it would be about the same size as an Elements. You would probably want it to have lots of internal modulators and envelopes etc, similar to Bees-in-the-Trees, so that you don’t require a zillion envelope generators, LFOs etc to modulate it. What you would end up with is a voltage-controlled polysynth, sans filters, in a module, which would be maybe 70% of the cost of four Braids and maybe 60% of the size. Not particularly “modular”, and thus I think such a module only really makes sense as a synth DIY hobbyist project for the relatively small number of people who really want such a thing, not as a commercial module which has to pay its way.

As @BennelongBicyclist’s detailed explanation shows, there’s things that make sense in a modular and things that don’t.

Having said that, there is an analog triple Osc on the market: MFB - OSC-03 Triple VCO

That does look interesting.

Or go for the diy Jürgen Haible triple VCO, which is for sale in another thread here in the forum. But be warned: this build won’t be trivial and is time-consuming.

rumpelfilter> As @BennelongBicyclist’s detailed explanation shows, there’s things that make sense in a modular and things that don’t.

Yes, although I would qualify that by adding “…within the context of the currently dominant modular paradigm of analogue CV and gates/triggers”.

The problem, as discussed above, is that the analogue CV and gate/trigger paradigm doesn’t scale at all well, and certainly not elegantly or affordably, to the polyphonic use-case, and that’s a shame, because polyphony (and harmony) is actually a wonderful thing.

My feeling is that an interoperable digital communications protocol for modular synths is required, as an adjunct and complement to the existing 1V/octave and gate/trigger de facto analogue standards. Maybe OSC is the answer, I don’t know enough about it to form an informed opinion? Of course, establishing de facto standards is difficult, and would need to be driven by several domain thought-leaders - it won’t just happen. And it needs to be entirely open, and for there to be open-source reference implementations.

In the meantime, there’s always MIDI. I wonder if the OP might consider a Yarns as a viable solution? One of its under-appreciated modes is as a lovely, four-voice polyphonic oscillator. Let’s see: one Yarns, four Ripples, two Peaks and maybe some wave shapers and you’ve got a MIDI-controlled four-voice polysynth in your modular.

Alternatively, how about four Tides and four Peaks? Tides is a complete voice, no need for additional filters or a VCA - their both built-in. - it just needs external envelopes/modulation (hence the Peaks).