Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Never Enough VCO's

The engines or hearts of all modular synthesizers are definetely the VCO's. As main sound source for your patches it seems you never have enough of them.

I own 5 VCO's at the moment, One A-111 High End VCO plus four A-110 Standard VCO's. Ideal for stacking layers of waveforms to make extra- fat sounds, and also very useable for multiple A-100 melodylines

The A-111 is the one i use most because of its extended possibilities. 
This VCO has an extended frequency range, improved waveforms, FM and Soft Sync inputs plus an extra fine-tune-controller. Ideal for controllerfreaks like me. 
It produces sine, triangle, pulse and sawtooth waveforms, which are all derived from the triangle oscillator, what does make it hard to produce perfect sine-waves ( but a little better as the A-110's sine wave )
One of the best things is that all 4 waveforms are all simultanously available at the outputs for your mixing pleasure.

The much cheaper A-110  has less controls and is based on a sawtooth oscillator. All outcoming waveforms of this module are derived from this sawtooth by internal waveform converters. This module also generates sinewaves that are not completely perfect, but to 'normal' ears this is hardly audible

I never noticed, and i guess most of us don't care and never noticed the imperfect-ness of the sinewaves of both modules.
Even on an oscilloscope it is hardly visible that the sinewaves are nothing more than rounded sawtooth-waves.
For a perfect sine wave Doepfer recommends the A-143-9 Quadrature LFO/VCO, another interesting module, that i will highlight in a future blogpost.

Note: As the special circuit CEM3340 used in the A-111 High End VCO module is no longer available the module has to be discontinued. Sales at Doepfer while stocks last !