Rings vs Elements


Just saw some videos on the new Rings module and like it a lot!

I have Elements on order, and was wondering what type of overlap would the two modules have and if it makes sense to have both.

I know that one could have many modules for the same function in a rack, but I am specifically looking to have a broad palette as opposed to maybe have multiples of a given vco or synthesis module.


Rings is polyphonic, Elements ain’t.

  • Rings provides 2 other kind of synthesis: sympathetic strings and modulated/inharmonic string. (see the manual)
  • Ring offers 2 separate outputs for even/odd harmonics.
  • Elements provides quite a lot of option to excite his resonator, you’d need quite a bit of patching upstream rings to get that.

Olivier said that the modal resonator is the same in Rings and Elements and 2 voices and 4 voices polyphony modes are acheived by splitting the numbers of filters available. (1x60 for 1 voice, 2x30 for two voices, 4x15 for 4 voices.)


I’ve typed this 7 or 8 times before, but here we go again…

Elements = Exciter + Resonator + Reverb.

Rings = just the resonator.

Rings uses the same resonator code as Elements, with two additions:

  • The ability to split the 60 filters into 2x30 or 4x15 to do polyphony.
  • Two other string synthesis models which are not based on band-pass filters, but on comb filters - and which sound totally different from what Elements is doing (though I might make them available in Elements as Easter eggs).

All this is possible on Rings because 40% of the CPU is freed by the lack of exciter or reverb. This means that Rings will rely on external modules if you really want a large sound palette. For example, if you want to generate bowed string sounds, or blown tube sounds, you’ll need an external VCA, envelope generator, and colored noise source and patch them into Rings - while Elements has all the tools onboard to do this. Elements also benefits from the coupling of the exciter and resonator parameters - some knobs in Elements achieve their effect by controlling at the same time parameters of the exciter, of the resonator, and the mixing of the raw exciter and resonator signal.

So let’s take a comparison you might understand better: Elements would be a complex oscillator + filter, tuned to work very well with each other. Rings would be a multimode filter - it does more but in a narrower domain and your success rate depends on what you decide to throw at it.


Feature request for Rings: a pitch tracking mode for the signal that goes into the excitation input…


Well, that’s awesome to hear, and helpful to me. I think I will keep my Elements, because it does exactly what I want it to do, and sounds awesome. I was contemplating “downsizing” to Rings + something else, but there’s no need at the moment. Looking forward to throwing the wogglebug at Elements later today.


Thanks to all of the clarifications!

I have some soul searching to do so I can decide wether I also “need” Rings, since I already got Elements on the way (and Clouds and Warps!)

Would Rings pair nicely with Braids or would a simpler vco make Rings shine better?


> Feature request for Rings: a pitch tracking mode for the signal that goes into the excitation input…

What for? A good pitch tracker would burn 40% of the CPU, and for this kind of synthesis the excitation really has to be spectrally rich (filtered noise or bursts).


For electric bass guitar. Delivers very nice spectrally rich attacks if you play it the right way. :slight_smile:

Totally understand it would be too costly in terms of CPU usage. The last time I looked there still wasn’t a really good pitch tracker in modular format. Might be a neat utility module opportunity.


>though I might make them [string synthesis model] available in Elements as Easter eggs

YES PLEASE ! :slight_smile:


+1 for a pitch-tracker. There are a couple of options out there, but I’d really like to hear an MI take on it. It’s been discussed before though, and I don’t think it’s on the cards at the moment.



Well well well, elements::Resonator and rings::Resonator and rings::String all have the same interface, so it wasn’t a lot of work really - just adding a secret handshake and making sure it doesn’t overflow the CPU.

So here it is… String synthesis models available in Elements


The chords example you posted there is lovely.


Wow, that Chords demo is great. Sounds like vaporwave or futurefunk.

If it can be done, the internal digital oscillator on Warps could really use some transient attack samples as an easteregg mode.


Hi, I haven’t tried Rings or Elements yet, it I’ve heard a lot of demos. I’m still not clear on polyphony aspect of each. Can some one clarify.

My assumptions, and please correct me where I am not correct.

  • Rings supports up to four voices and this is a setting or option that you choose?
  • Elements is monophonic t, has a chord mode that plays a 5 voice chord in that mode controlled by the geometry knob?



Correct. You have to install a firmware update for that, though, and this chord mode is a “bonus” added after the release of the module. It doesn’t employ the same synthesis technique as what Elements’ exciter section has been designed for.


Maybe a stupid question are the recents elements shipped with the new firmware ?


On the Elements product page it says:


Initial release.

Note: We designed Elements to be a one knob per function, no secret state module. For this reason, we continue programming v1.0 on all newly manufactured modules.


.in a multimode filter is there somewhere a comb filter?