[sdiy] Polyphonic MIDI to CV

Benjamin Tremblay btremblay at me.com
Sun Jul 11 05:31:56 CEST 2021

I just finished building an 808-style snare circuit. I can say with certainty, the “swing VCA” is only really good for one thing: Ensuring your drum voice sounds like a real Roland snare/cymbal/etc sound. The envelope and timbre are just exactly what I need for my drum machine sounds. 

However, the swing VCA only swings one way. It adds a lot of color to the sound, which is endearing if it’s a 4-oscillator TR-606 cymbal sound, but not sure how much I would want to get cozy with this circuit. 

Check out the demo sounds here under "Cymbal & Hi-Hat Audio Input": 
https://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/tr-606/ <https://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/tr-606/>

It’s kinda cool but not very clean.

Uh, thinking about it, well yes, a string synth would not mind a simple waveform (check), a high-pass filter after the envelope (check) and limited dynamic range (check).

I agree with the suggestion to consider the 2164 clones like AS2164. 

I used to own a Paia Hex VCA pcb. I used it as a trigger-controlled noise gate for a spring reverb. Those CM0S buffer-based VCAs actually work but 1) they mix to a common output bus (fine for string synth), and 2) they need some boosting on the output (probably also okay) Total dynamic range was just barely acceptable because you need to crank up the gain so high it almost bleeds.  I wonder if Paia’s string synth used the hex VCA?


Benjamin Tremblay
btremblay at me.com
330 Fiske Street
Carlisle, MA 01741

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