Things that sound good through Rings/Elements


The idea for the discussion first came up on this topic here: Live recording, april 25th 2017 - much MI going.

Everybody seems to have their own favourite excitation signals for Rings. I personally really love using field recordings to create long evolving drones and short percussive lo-fi samples (usually using the GrandPa), often combined, so I can have a base drone and add some percussive elements to it.

Another things I like (and which surprised me somehow as well) was to use a square-wave-based chaotic oscillator to excite Rings in “sympathetic string” mode. The resulting sounds mantains some of the original excitation sound’s properties, but of course is heavily shaped by Rings, so the result is this kind of brassy sound, which I really like. Works great with the Hexinverter Jupiter Storm (but you need to find the sweet spot).

So what are your favourite excitation signals (or patching tricks) with Rings?

Whats next?
Live recordings, november '16 & april '17 - much MI going on

field recordings - crowds, rain thru the window in the other room, reverb’d out dialogues and activity (churches, halls etc),

Ears! - the delightful toys and charms that come w MI modules are perfect companions. also used dog-tag/ceiling fan chain, small tools, etc.

i’ve dabbled with the woggle vco out from MN wogglebug w Rings is Sympathetic strings mode and that does some good work.

morphing wavetable voices (from Braids or Sheeps) do very well by me in every mode Rings sings in.

KICK and DRUM from Braids also get me where I want to go. Something I haven’t explored enough is the QSPK oscillator.


Mmmh but I think that we can say that everything sounds good into Rings ! :heart_eyes:
Love to put field recordings, noise and P and H outputs from the Telharmonic for example !


You can do a lovely alternative to Elements amazing mallet bounces with something along the lines of:

Square wave or filtered noise > VCA (opened with a Decay envelope) > Delay (if you add in a PP modulating the delay time you can get denser ‘bounces’ with more/less pressure) > Rings


I really like using the Elements’ resonator section at the end of my chain to add some warbly tape-like stuff.

I’ll typically add some very slight modulations to the geometry (I believe this is pretty much “structure” on rings), position, fm input (you could attenuate a modulation signal going into v/oct on rings to achieve a similar effect), and damping.

Then, I’ll modulate the damping and brightness (and space, but I think that’s not something rings has) manually to add some growth as stuff goes.

I just recently got a veils, and and last night been exploring some more complicated mix setups than just going straight out of elements (each stereo channel has both raw and elements-ified signal). Passing some morphing envelopes from Just Friends into the various cv inputs was leading to some real cool spatialization.


O and getting back to the topic of the forum. I really like passing in a chord from the Sid Guts Deluxe in square mode, with the PWM slightly modulated and the LP filter cut-off pulled down a lot to reduce the square “fizz”.


Elements exciter section :slight_smile:

Turning space all the way left so it’s splits the exciter so I can use that with Rings. It offers so much in terms of noise shaping and CV control over it. I think people forget that.

Rain is a nice one as is late night motorway traffic. Just the odd car going past fast or rumble of a delivery truck / lorry is enough to get things moving nicely.


i like to put my Minipops/CR68 in it.


Sytthrotek NAND chaos filtered by FoH Plague Bearer.
Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatatron.
Another thing I mean to try are the Doepfer A-117 808 sound source outputs.

(Of course, whack a VCA and envelope between the source and Rings as desired)


I kind of lost sight of this topic in the haze of the website/forum launch… but here I am again!

I need to try that!

@erstlaub delay! that’s interesting!

Yes, structure on Rings’ modal mode is pretty much the geometry on Elements


So, here’s a new one I discovered:
Take the Synth Tech E950, turn the pitch all the way down, but keep it set to play the word at a normal speed (or as desired). Pitch it back up to normal frequencies (though it will occupy a much narrower range of frequencies than intelligible speech) via a ringmod (Both Warps and the E560 worked good for this, try different carrier waveforms), apply this to the Rings input. Thus you get kind of the rhythm of the speech, but nothing else stimulating Rings.

Could probably do something similar by using an envelope follower on the E950 output and using it to shape the amplitude of an oscillator or noise source fed to Rings as well.

(Of course, any sample player playing back a short sample of speech might do similarly well, just in the E950 I found a bunch of canned rhythms at hand.)


definitely got to try this w Braids vocal models. and my ancient circuit bent speak n read (if that even still functions).


Well, I was thinking more of complete speech, i.e. which has a sufficiently complictated rhythm. Just the VOWL, VOSM, etc models which provide a constant formant-y sound are not so interesting for this I think. Though natural speech (samples played back via computer, Radio Music, etc) might be cool too.


just a jumping off point. I don’t have an e950 so there are a couple different ways for me to bring some pitched-down vocal models (one of my favorite crunched out sounds, from Speak n Read, Shruti-1, Braids) into Rings.

off the top of my head:

-Braids vocals (lowest octave, timbre/color under heavy modulation) -> Clouds to shift up -> VCA (modulated by Ears envelope following…something…) -> Rings.


I kept wanting to get an Elements, feeling like I might be missing out on something having only Rings.

However, with Olivier repeatedly telling us that Rings is a more “modular” approach, I’ve resisted getting Elements.

Now that I have a Shelves to go with Rings, I think I see more of what’s possible with rings. Shelves is nice for shaping noise sources to stimulate the Rings input. (Both analog and digital LFSR noise)


The good thing about Elements is that it gives you a well designed, curated set of tweakable excitation signals with an integrated UI. You can do the same by putting together a set of modules but of course it’s a different approach. So if you’re more interested in doing your own thing, or the use that you’d like to make of the resonator is not covered by Elements, Rings is a better choice. If you like to have an instrument that takes these decision and let’s you focus on playing/patching, the. Elements is a lot better. Of course Rings has some things Elements hasn’t and lacks things like the reverb.


tried out the new Haxinverter VCNO through Rings, it makes for an interesting exciter since you can modulate the noise from being kinda like white noise (with less bass) to random pulses. But I need to play around with it some more.


Seems a bit like the Braids’ CLKN or Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron. Doepfer A-117 doesn’t let you change the pseudo-random sequence length, which is kind of unfortunate, I think.

I feel like at some point I was obsessed with having every kind of noise. In particular the Ataraxic Translatron was someting I got right after I taught myself a little Atari 2600 programming, since it seems a lot like the Atari TIA.


what is the effect (sonically speaking) of changing the seq length? does the noise get more tonal with shorter sequences?

Anyway after some playing around I’m not sure simple noise generators are that interesting with Rings. the changes in pitch and density of the LSRN do not affect the resonator as much as I’ve thought… but it needs more experimenting


FWIW: For the CLKN mode of braids, the coarse tune control (rate at which new random values are generated) makes a HUGE difference to the sound, but the timbre control (periodicity) doesn’t change much at all.

Personally I like to set the coarse tune to the 12-1 o clock position and then increase the brightness control on rings. It makes a beautifully “viola/cello” type of sound. Drown it in ridiculous amounts of reverb and voilá - perfect foundation for any ambient track.