Stages Level Feature Request

I’m not sure if this has been requested already before . . . I didn’t find anything through a quick search of this forum.

Would it be possible to get an option for envelope outputs and individual per-stage outs to be in the range 0 to +5V instead of 0 to +8? Considering that the vast majority of modulation destinations are in the 0 to +5 or -5 to +5 ranges, it’s a bit of extra patching that needs to be done to attenuate from 8 down to 5 especially if I’m using multiple outputs from stages. Or also I like to mix in external modulation sources . . . for example: having an ADSR and having an external 0 to 5V source modulate the Sustain Level input. In this case, I’d have to boost the external 5V to 8V, and then taking the final Stages output that peaks at 8V and then attenuate it back down to 5V so it won’t clip my other modules destinations that are in the 5V range.

It wouldn’t be so bad for just some modulations here and there, but I currently have 2 Stages, about to get a 3rd, and I plan to eventually link up the maximum of 6 together. For more complex patches with multiple Stages modules, the boosting/attenuation can get quite cumbersome and take up a good amount of HP for attenuation modules alone. Also I like to use the individual per/stage outputs of multi stage envelopes, and those also need attenuating down to 5V, so that’s even more patching.

A lot of wires and HP could be eliminated by just having a 5V vs 8V option on startup (with some button combination?). I really enjoy the stock firmware, so it would be awesome if it could get an official release. I’d try to figure out how to code it myself, but I just haven’t gotten around to learning how to reprogram the firmware.

Probably not, because it would mean more obscure button combos. Speaking of which, what obscure button combo would you prefer to activate this feature? Should it work globally on all segment? Would a firmware update file with +5V everywhere work for you?

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I was thinking maybe just something simple like hold the first button of the chain at startup. Or I don’t know if that would be possible to update all of the modules in the chain or if one would need to hold a button for each individual module and then start it up. Or just a firmware file that changed everything to +5 would be cool too.

But yeah, that would be awesome if just a +5 everywhere file was available. And yes, I was meaning a global setting that would change all outputs that peak at +8 to just +5.

But do you always want 5V? You might need 4v, or 2.1v sometimes… or 6.4v, or whatever sounded best… seems there is no getting around the need for attenuators.

And, if the module only accepts maximum 5v isn’t it usual that the module limits the incoming voltage to the maximum… ie: 8v would be clipped to 5v?

It’s a lot easier to scale 5V than 8V going into destinations that are in the 5V range. Especially once you are mixing in external modulations with multiple Stages. (for example I have Rossum Control Forge/Satellite, Intellijel Quadrax, Pamela’s New Workout, Mutable Frames,etc. that all output in the 5V range).

Modules that accept maximum 5V will clip the 8V down to 5, but then that really changes the shape and articulation of the envelope. As an example, try and patch percussive envelopes that clip the envelope from 8V down to 5 and see what the difference in sound is. Such as just a single decay envelope, you will lose the snappiness at the top because the clipping is cutting off the top portion of the envelope.

I can understand why it might be more convenient for you to have 5V outputs, but I think 8V is more common in general for envelopes. For example Make Noise Maths also outputs 8V envelopes, etc. It also much easier to attenuate via input attenuverters or a passive attenuation module than it is to amplify.

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You have more 8V inputs/outputs in all your modules more so than 5V?

The only modules I have with a regular amount of 8V are Mutable Instruments and Doepfer. Even Mutable has its good share of 5V. Like Blinds is all +-5 (or +-10 for a gain of 2).

Most other modules I have do have 8V here and there but I’d say 5V far outnumbers most modulation sources/destinations across the board.

I’m curious why 8V is actually even chosen. I’m guessing because envelopes are traditionally used for VCAs and therefore to give it slightly more resolution? Completely wild guess, maybe Émilie could give some insight?

Maths actually outputs 10V envelopes. I think I remember the manual says it’s 8V but mine actually outputs 10 so I think that’s a typo.

Actually I just double checked and my Maths outputs approximately 9.5V envelopes. Almost 10V, but definitely more than 8. I wonder if it’s just my module, or if that is a typo in the manual.

I don’t think that MakeNoise are very good on calibration - my Maths goes up to over 10.5v, and if you set Rise and Fall to maximum with a Log curve it rises but never falls.

Why +8V?

I don’t remember the details of the specific modules involved, but when I started developing Eurorack modules, I stuck to “when in Euroland do as Doepfer does”.

So this is simply a case of following Doepfer. In particular, this is why Peaks had, for a while, a +/- 8V range for the bipolar output, before I reduced it to +/- 5V because it was unpractical with other modules from the Mutable line.

Why not 10V?

There are several popular modules out there that use TL08x or TL07x in non-inverting configuration (a questionable choice). This makes them prone to phase reversal. Given that the TL07x/TL08x clips/phase-reverses at Vcc/Vee +/- 2 diode drops, and that some PSUs have a 5% tolerance on the supply rails, this means practically that these modules may fail to handle signals above 10V.

That said, there would be two good arguments for 10V: firstly, all signals would have the same range (0 to 10V for unipolar, -5V to +5V for bipolar and audio), and secondly the range of human hearing is 10 octaves wide, ie, 10V with the V/O standard. I would be very happy with 10V if PSUs were +/- 15V and/or absolutely all utility modules on the market tolerated signals up to 10V or down to -10V.

Back on topic

I’ve added this to my TODO list. This won’t be more than a button combo switching all outputs between 4 configurations:

  • Default (+8V)
  • Same as default, but with +/- 5V for single green looping segments (LFOs)
  • +5V
  • +5V with +/- 5V for single green looping segments (LFOs)
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I think so, though also 8V isn’t an issue as long as the module has an attenuator. On the other hand I’m not aware of any module that has an input that will let you amplify an incoming CV. TipTop’s Z4000 envelope is nice because it has both built-in offset and attenuversion on the output.

Thank you, this would be awesome! :pray:t4:

Also thank you for the explanation, that all makes sense.

Interesting that you have mostly 8V inputs. Do you have modules that are mostly from one or two manufacturers?

Amplification is easier for me because since I don’t have a ton of 8V inputs, I mostly just use Intellijel’s Quad VCA that has a 2x gain on all four channels or Erogenous Levit8 which has 2x gain on all 8 channels. So also for inputs that accept in the 10V range, it’s easier to scale 5V up to 10 because just having a simple 2x gain gets the maximum knob position at 10 without clipping the original signal. If you 2x gain an 8V signal you have to turn the amplification pot down to prevent clipping, and that involves a little trial and error to get it right. Especially for performance, it’s a lot easier just being able to turn the pot fully clockwise on a 2xgain 5V source knowing it’s not going to clip, and also turning the pot half way you know you’re at approximately 50%.