[sdiy] Envelope attack smoothing for drum question

Chromatest J. Pantsmaker chromatest at azburners.org
Sat Aug 22 05:41:27 CEST 2020

Wow, that's really interesting.  Thanks for sharing!

If the module can't be sorted out, just call it "Funky Drummer"... or...
add a switch to turn on the "funky".  :-)

On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 8:10 PM Brian Willoughby <brianw at audiobanshee.com>

> 9 milliseconds would be an order of magnitude worse than a good drummer.
> According to an article by Michael Stewart, from the October 1987 issue of
> Electronic Musician magazine, even a few milliseconds is enough to change
> the feel of a drum track.
> At 130 bpm, playing as little as 7 milliseconds ahead gives the music a
> bit of "snap."
> Playing 5 milliseconds behind the beat gives a "groove" feel, and 10
> milliseconds is "in the pocket."
> Synth bass is only about 2 or 3 ms behind.
> Granted, not every live drummer is good enough to play in the groove or in
> the pocket, but those that can are consistently five milliseconds behind or
> ten milliseconds behind, respectively, as is required by the song they're
> playing. If the kick synth module is randomly 0 to 9 ms off, that's going
> to destroy the feel. It's hard to say from that article how precise the
> timing must be. Is a fraction of a millisecond in timing accuracy required?
> Is only one or two milliseconds of accuracy enough? No matter what, it has
> to be a small percentage of 5 milliseconds, or else the feel will not be as
> intended.
> That said, larger delays are also common. Around 35 ms ahead of the beat
> makes a drummer sound nervous. 22 ms ahead and they have drive. 23 ms
> behind, and they're perceived as dragging. A drummer who's more than 40
> milliseconds early or more than 34 ms behind is going to need to get a day
> job, or at least some more sleep. The point here is that although it takes
> several milliseconds of error before the drumming is noticeably "bad," in
> only take a very small shift for a funky drummer to impact a lot of magic
> in the sound. It would be a real shame to design a piece of kit for
> drumming that's going to randomly alter that.
> Brian
> On Aug 21, 2020, at 3:21 PM, Chromatest J. Pantsmaker <
> chromatest at azburners.org> wrote:
> > would a 9ms delay be any worse than a professional human drummer?
> >
> > On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 2:28 PM Mattias Rickardsson <mr at analogue.org>
> wrote:
> >> Hi Jason,
> >>
> >> On Fri, 21 Aug 2020 at 22:39, Jason Nanna <jasonnanna at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Would delaying the trigger until an oscillator zero-crossing be a
> simpler way to synchronize?  Assuming a bipolar triangle, I don't think it
> matters whether it's rising or falling.
> >>
> >> It would probably work, but would introduce undefined delays instead.
> For a boomy 55 Hz bass drum there could be anywhere between 0 and 9 ms
> delay, which I'd expect to be audible and untight...?
> >>
> >> /mr
> >>
> >> On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 3:33 PM Jacob Watters <jacobwatters at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>> Right. The linearizing is for noise, but the trimpot is the important
> part for thumping. I added the diode part to my suggestion because it is a
> good practice that I often see left out.
> >>>
> >>> On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 3:52 PM Dakota Melin <dksynth at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>> I think Jacob might be pointing out that if your VCA itself has DC
> offset problems that’ll thump as well.
> >>>>
> >>>> On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 3:41 PM Tom Wiltshire <tom at electricdruid.net>
> wrote:
> >>>>> How does use of the linearising diodes hep with the offset click?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I agree about eliminating the offset as a source of the click, since
> if the VCA thumps, it doesn’t;t matter what signal you feed it, or even if
> you feed it no signal at all, you’ll still hear a click, but I don’t see
> what the linearising diodes have to do with that.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Tom
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On 21 Aug 2020, at 20:25, Jacob Watters <jacobwatters at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>>>> You mentioned an OTA based VCA. I have experienced some clicking
> with these in the past. Use a linearizing diode and calibrate the 1k
> trimpot (https://i.stack.imgur.com/5drhW.jpg). That will rule out the VCA
> as the source of the click.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On Wed, Aug 19, 2020 at 5:42 PM Didier Leplae via Synth-diy <
> synth-diy at synth-diy.org> wrote:
> >>>>>> We are working on an analog drum module that uses a simple envelope
> created from a trigger to control the amplitude of a triangle oscillator
> with a basic OTA based VCA.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> We are having a problem with a slight clicking sound at the
> beginning of many of the drum hits. We think this is because the attack of
> our envelope is so sharp that the beginning of our drum hit looks like a
> straight jump from 0V to wherever the triangle wave happens to fall.
> Therefore the click is somewhat random in that it doesn't occur when the
> triangle happens to be low at the time of attack.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Can anyone suggest a simple way to deal with this, like adding a
> slight bit of attack time to the envelope? How could this be done without
> adding too many parts?
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Thanks,
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Didier
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