Yarns in Duophonic mode: GATE signals query

For a while I have been considering buying an ARP Odyssey, Among the Odyssey’s many strong points is its Duophonic mode, where both VCO’s can play different notes.

I have a Yarns, and I would like to configure it to emulate the Duophonic behaviour of the Odyssey, using a small rack comprising:

1 Midi / cv converter (Yarns)
2 ADSRs / LFOs (Peaks)
2 VCO’s
1 mixer (Shades)
1 filter (Ripples)
2 VCAs (or perhaps just use Ripples in VCA mode)

I understand I need to select the ‘2P’ (Duophonic) mode, and this mode features two CV channels and two GATE channels.

I have two questions:

  1. How do I manage the two GATE signals produced by Yarns?
  2. Which Voicing mode (POLY or CYCLIC) should I use to emulate the Odyssey’s behaviour?

There was a similar post back in 2015 asking “how do we configure Yarns to perform Low or High note priority?” I think the answer was that this might be addressed in a future Firmware update, however that update was not scheduled. I wonder, was it ever addressed in an update?

I guess the POLY setting of the VO(ICING) mode is effectively last note priority, but that still leaves me wondering what to do with my two GATE signals.

I should add that I don’t have access to an Odyssey, so I can’t research its note / gate priority behaviour.



Here’s the thing: the Odyssey is not duophonic, it’s paraphonic. Since you have two envelopes and VCAs, you can actually do proper duophony. Maybe you’ll find it easier to play?

Proper duophony:

  • Use any voice allocation method you prefer. POLY is the most natural one (latest note priority).
  • Patch Gate 1 to ADSR 1, ADSR 1 output to VCA 1’s CV input. Patch CV 1 to VCO 1, VCO 1 to VCA 1’s audio input. Repeat for Gate 2, ADSR 2, VCA 2, VCO 2. Mix both VCAs’ into Shades, post-process everything with Ripples.

Odyssey duophony:

  • Use the U1 allocation method (if you don’t see it, it’s available in a firmware update.
  • Patch Gate 1 to ADSR 1, ADSR 1 output to Ripples’ VCA CV input. CV 1 to VCO 1, CV 2 to VCO 2. Mix both VCO using Shades. Bring Shades’ output to Ripples.

Thanks for your detailed response. After I posted the query last night I researched Paraphony, Duophony and Polyphony… and soon wished I hadn’t! There are some very strong views on the 'net on what constitutes each term, but I think I will work with your definitions.

I will try two modes - Paraphonic and Duophonic. I am curious to see how different they sound.

Best wishes,


Hi, I have been updating a ‘cheat sheet’ I created for Yarns to reflect the additional features you made available in firmware 1.5.

There are two modes under LA(YOUT) which I don’t see documented anywhere. They are the last two under that parameter: 4V and 3+

What do these do?

Best wishes,


Some of the changes are explained here: https://mutable-instruments.net/modules/yarns/firmware/

Of course, all my queries were answered in the version history. I should have looked there first. Doh!

I had forgotten just how deep a module Yarns is.