Too many VCAs?

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sydilaxe
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Too many VCAs?

Post by sydilaxe »

I am of the philosophy that there can never be too many VCAs in a modular synth. I currently have 8 VCAs in my system and am considering 4 more. I am a Modcan A-series user, so the 4VCA modules can also double as voltage controlled mixers. VCAs seem to be the unsung heroes in modular patches. However, I wonder if someone can have too many VCAs...

They are very versatile they can:
-scale voltages
-be used for AM patches
-gate signals
-attenuate hot signals

and of course

-function as a standard voltage controlled amplifier in a signal path.

other uses, thoughts?
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Reese P. Dubin
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Post by Reese P. Dubin »

After I power up the new panel tonight I will now have 16 VCAs. From only 4 for the last 5 years. Oh wait strike that, it will be 18. And I still have boards that I made entitling me to a further 28 VCAs.

The newest ones are grouped into 4s, with each wired to a mixer for VC 4 channel mix which I must say is fucking awesome.

Some will be sacrificed to quad panners and such, but yeah I cant see any reason to deprive oneself of tons and tons of VCAs.
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Post by neandrewthal »

I only have six VCA's in my 10U x 24U case. Big mistake. Next one's gonna have 25 more (if we can count LPG's and the VCA's in the JH interpolating scanner)
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Cybananna
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Post by Cybananna »

yep, I don't have enough. too many fun modules, not enough vcas. I think I have 5 for 2 Doepfer A100P's and 3 racks of frac. I technically have another 8 vcas in the Quadmix vcas, but my doepfer envelopes won't open them, so they don't really count. I need blacet envs! (or I need to modify them...)
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Post by JohnLRice »

I only have 2 dual VCAs (MOTM-190's) but I'm out of room, money and credit! :waah:
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Luka
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Post by Luka »

mmm im thinking ill need lots more soon too
i might make a pcb design that has 6 on it and make a dense panel for it
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wetterberg
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Post by wetterberg »

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astroschnautzer

Post by astroschnautzer »

I have 0 vca:s, but 6 lowpassgates.
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wetterberg
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Post by wetterberg »

astroschnautzer wrote:I have 0 vca:s, but 6 lowpassgates.
which are also vcas - among other things.
Babaluma

Post by Babaluma »

i have 17 things that can act as vcas/lpgs, yes, you can never have enough!
astroschnautzer

Post by astroschnautzer »

wetterberg wrote:
astroschnautzer wrote:I have 0 vca:s, but 6 lowpassgates.
which are also vcas - among other things.
mmm...yes.
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sydilaxe
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Post by sydilaxe »

I forgot about the Lowpass Gates! Their response is very different with the lovely vactrol tails but they are very functional in this regard.
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haiku-ish
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Post by haiku-ish »

and what do you do with all this vcas ?
tips ?
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sydilaxe
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Post by sydilaxe »

The primary reason that I have more than a handful of VCAs is for CV attenuation. Not all modules have attenuation on CV inputs. So, you can use a VCA to send a very slight amount of modulation to a CV input. It also gives you voltage control over the amount of attenuation for interesting automated fluctuations. I listed a number of other uses in my first post. I also use 2 VCAs, signal inversion, and an LFO for output panning (you need to invert the LFO signal for one of the VCAs). I am sure there a ton of others that I haven't thought of...
Babaluma

Post by Babaluma »

vc mixing of audio or cv...
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ignatzthemouse
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Post by ignatzthemouse »

This thread is both useful and scary.

I've always been a terror for buying fun studio items and ignoring important but utilitarian ones.

Looks like id best spend a bit more time and space on amps.
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Dego
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Post by Dego »

I count to 11 vcas in my backlog at the moment. 4 of them are LPGs...
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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler »

sydilaxe wrote:The primary reason that I have more than a handful of VCAs is for CV attenuation. Not all modules have attenuation on CV inputs. So, you can use a VCA to send a very slight amount of modulation to a CV input. It also gives you voltage control over the amount of attenuation for interesting automated fluctuations. I listed a number of other uses in my first post. I also use 2 VCAs, signal inversion, and an LFO for output panning (you need to invert the LFO signal for one of the VCAs). I am sure there a ton of others that I haven't thought of...

yes, this is the one thing I was going to add to the original post..... they are essential for giving you CV control over the AMOUNT of CV going into some input jack.

the vast majority of CV inputs on our 'small format' modern modulars do not have a dedicated VCA in front of them, so you gain an immense amount of additional flexibility over your CV inputs this way.

let's also not forget that for many of the listed uses of a VCA, an LPF can be also used to act as a VCA.
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Post by Kwote »

i need more vca's.

:doh:
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chinard
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Post by chinard »

hmm... vca count:
6x paia vca's (2x 9710)
2x lpg's on my model 13 (no dc)
4x vca's on my doepfer quad vca (all 4 share common CV in)
2x vca's on my PS3100 panner (counts as 2 vca's with an inverter)
1x vca on my model 14 (vc crossfader trick)
1x vca on moog voyager (or does this count as 2 vca's cause it is stereo out?)
2x vca on korg MS-20
4x vca on my EFM wildcat board (under construction but still viable)

jeez 22 vca's so far, and i am still waiting for next production run to get a QMMG!
Last edited by chinard on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by tragedybysyntax »

I'm a tard. Honestly... I've only thought of VCA's as amp's for audio! DAMNIT! i need more VCA'S!!!
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Post by harolddonnelly »

Ok so im still really new to all this stuff and im beginning to see the importance of VCA's. when i was watching this video I found it very helpful, but i was just wondering why he places the VCA where he does? does it have something to do with the filter? cause hes not attenuating any cvs that are going into the filter or anything?



What would happen if he just listened to the output of the filter?
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Post by wetterberg »

harolddonnelly wrote:does it have something to do with the filter?
No, it's VCO->Mixer->VCF->VCA - ADSR controlling the VCA. Pretty close to the simple classic synth setup.
harolddonnelly wrote: cause hes not attenuating any cvs that are going into the filter or anything?
...
No, but he IS controlling the VCA with CV coming from one of the ADSRs.
harolddonnelly wrote:'What would happen if he just listened to the output of the filter?
then it would be a constant sound, the volume wouldn't change (at least not as much).

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan00/a ... ecrets.htm
- Part 9: an introduction to VCAs.
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Post by harolddonnelly »

ok great thanks for your help.

Ive look at that VCA article once before it didnt make too much sense but i think i'll have to give it another read see if it makes more sense the second time through.
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Jari Jokinen
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Post by Jari Jokinen »

I have squeezed my Eurorack system to 12U. Not counting ring modulators, STG waveshaper and VCS, I have 24 VCA:s. Some are hardwired, like those in Cwejman ADSR-VC2.
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