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VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

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ee_
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VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by ee_ »

I know, I know, another filter thread, but I’m trying to be specific here. I’m talking self-oscillating filters with CV over resonance that sound unusually good as a sound source by themselves. Been looking out for these but often demos don’t spend much if any time specifically using filter resonance as its own sound source.

I’ve used maybe 10-15 euro filters at any length and have 3 at present: ADDAC 604, ADDAC 702, and SSF Dipole (all 3 are really good in their very different ways). But one thing I find really enchanting about the Dipole is what an excellent sound source it is by itself. Even used in mono, the rich harmonic plucks and drones you can create just pinging the resonance on each filter are pretty lovely, and it just becomes even more resplendent in stereo.

It got me thinking that I’d really underused and/or undervalued self-oscillation on filters I’ve had in the past — or maybe they just didn’t sound as good as Dipole does in this usage. Probably a mix of the two.

The only one I can think of that I used this way in the past was the e440, which was lovely (if pricey for what it offers). Belgrad probably would’ve had some strength in this territory too, but I only mildly experimented with its self-oscillation at the time. Guessing QPAS falls into this territory also, but I haven’t used one personally.

Are there some others, maybe lesser known filters, that you find specifically and particularly strong as sound sources by themselves? The self-oscillation on the Dipole is frankly nicer than some VCOs I’ve had and with the amount of CV control it gives you, you can do a lot with it.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by transistorresistor »

the new topobrillo multifilter comes to mind immediately, Ive mostly used it as an oscillator since I got it and its amazing.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by starthief »

Blades, for its dual setup & drive stage/wavefolding & mode CV that can be used for phase modulation.

Angle Grinder, for its "grind" section (comparator-based waveshaping).

Belgrad for its dual peaks and "Tito" switch.

Three Sisters for triple sines and excellent FM possibilities (such as keeping the center stable while FMing the high/low bands)

For something completely different, there's Synchrodyne. Literally has a VCO onboard to drive the PLL to boost the frequency so it can be used for capacitor switching, but I seem to recall the filter itself can be made to self-oscillate?

For pinging, I'd say VCFQ, Twin Peak, and QPAS.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by kwaidan »

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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by BLogic12 »

Most often for pining for me.
Favorites for this are klangbau twin peak, random source vcfq, and mutable blades.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by ManNegative »

This whole topic is one I’m interested in too. I’m now pretty set for VCOs (unless something really great comes along), but until the Erica dual VCF is delivered tomorrow, the Doepfer Wasp is the only filter I’ve ever had.

The SSF Stereo Dipole is very high on my list, as is the Angle Grinder (both of which have already been mentioned). Belgrad also holds a lot of allure.

I don’t really have much to add here, but thank you for raising the topic!
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by LordKrud »

starthief wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:00 pm For pinging, I'd say VCFQ, Twin Peak, and QPAS.
Important distinction here as QPAS does not self oscillate.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by oldenjon »

Linnaeus, Res-4, Twin Peaks
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by starthief »

LordKrud wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:12 pm
starthief wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:00 pm For pinging, I'd say VCFQ, Twin Peak, and QPAS.
Important distinction here as QPAS does not self oscillate.
I don't think Twin Peak can either. VCFQ can if you force it with feedback patching, but it's a delicate balance between maintaining a sine and clipping, which is kind of a hassle.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by hypnoz »

Sara VCF is great for this:

Three sisters as well. Linnaeus doesn’t self oscillate but has an entire FM mode that is super fun. QPAS for pinging only
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by BLogic12 »

Some of the best filter for pinging don’t self resonate- as in a droning constant waveform, but when excited with trigger in the audio they can ring out for quite a long time. Technically’s maybe not ‘self oscillating’ because it needs to be excited externally but when it rings out for so long it sure feels like self oscillating!

If we are talking purely self oscillating, filters as a vco, mutable blades has to be my favorite.
The saturation/drive circuit becomes like a wave folder, in a very smooth pleasant sounding way. It sounds so good, blades is almost worth having for the saturation/drive circuit alone, when using it to process sine waves it’s just excellent and makes the filter as a vco produce so many wave forms beyond sine. And all under cv control! I think it’s the closest thing to a dual complex oscillator that’s not a dual complex oscillator (that I have come across at least).
Last edited by BLogic12 on Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by BLogic12 »

TimeRaveler wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:31 pm Pinging the QPAS is such a magical sound.
As does the klangbau twin peak.
These are the demos that originally sold me on TWO klangbau twin peaks:





Last edited by BLogic12 on Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by RTG »

i like the v1 Ripples as a bass/sine oscillator. IIRC one of the outputs gives a clean wave, the other is slightly gritty.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by hypnoz »

BLogic12 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:36 pm
TimeRaveler wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:31 pm Pinging the QPAS is such a magical sound.
As does the klangbau twin peak.
Resonator or filter?
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by starthief »

4ms SMR should probably go on the list. A very different sort of beast but certainly can produce some nice sounds. I preferred it for that over trying to use it as a filter.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by ee_ »

Some great suggestions here that are sort of new to my radar.

Though “Blades” is always kind of a throwaway because the secondhand prices are way overkill for me. (And Mutables usually leave me a bit oddly cold anyway. 🤷🏻‍♂️)

Anyone used any of the L-1 filters or Hikari or maybe even Blue Lantern filters this way?

I had an Angle Grinder for a bit. It had some sweet spots if I was patient enough but I found it mostly just … made noise. Which I find is easy enough to do with other sources. It sounded kinda cool and all but seemed a bit too one-note for its HP and the amount of options it seemingly had. Entirely possible I just never learned to use it quite right though. It struck me way more as a distortion unit and noisy oscillator than a filter in practice.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by BLogic12 »

hypnoz wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:57 pm
BLogic12 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:36 pm
TimeRaveler wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:31 pm Pinging the QPAS is such a magical sound.
As does the klangbau twin peak.
Resonator or filter?
These examples were from the filter.
I have both though. They have subtle characteristics differences, both cold dead hands modules for me. They would be the last things in my rack if I had to sell everything.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by BLogic12 »

ee_ wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:23 pm Some great suggestions here that are sort of new to my radar.

Though “Blades” is always kind of a throwaway because the secondhand prices are way overkill for me.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by merlatte »

starthief wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:17 pm
LordKrud wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:12 pm
starthief wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:00 pm For pinging, I'd say VCFQ, Twin Peak, and QPAS.
Important distinction here as QPAS does not self oscillate.
I don't think Twin Peak can either.
The Twin Peak can self oscillate by feedback- at least the Blippoo and 5U versions. I’ve never tried any of the Euro ones.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by B4rbarossa »

+1 for the VCFQ and toppobrillo multifilter.

I'd like to add that when using filters as a sounds source you're not just limited to sine waves. Pinging a filter into a wavefolder is pure magic because the decaying amplitude of the wave also caused the fold harmonics to fade away. Patching outputs into CV inputs also creates new waves.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by BLogic12 »

merlatte wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:40 pm
starthief wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:17 pm
LordKrud wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:12 pm
starthief wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:00 pm For pinging, I'd say VCFQ, Twin Peak, and QPAS.
Important distinction here as QPAS does not self oscillate.
I don't think Twin Peak can either.
The Twin Peak can self oscillate by feedback- at least the Blippoo and 5U versions. I’ve never tried any of the Euro ones.
My klangbau resonator and klangbau filter both can self resonate. The filter has a much stronger self resonance.
However, I have heard that some don’t and that the resonance characteristics can very from module to module due to slight component variances/tolerances. Some may self resonate, some may not!
Last edited by BLogic12 on Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by hypnoz »

ee_ wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:23 pm I had an Angle Grinder for a bit. It had some sweet spots if I was patient enough but I found it mostly just … made noise. Which I find is easy enough to do with other sources. It sounded kinda cool and all but seemed a bit too one-note for its HP and the amount of options it seemingly had. Entirely possible I just never learned to use it quite right though. It struck me way more as a distortion unit and noisy oscillator than a filter in practice.
Really? I find it one of my most versatile modules. It can produce clean sines too. Filter, waveshaper, 4 phase related LFOs/oscillators, and distortion of course.
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Re: VCFs that are a great sound source by themselves?

Post by starthief »

ee_ wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:23 pm I had an Angle Grinder for a bit. It had some sweet spots if I was patient enough but I found it mostly just … made noise. Which I find is easy enough to do with other sources. It sounded kinda cool and all but seemed a bit too one-note for its HP and the amount of options it seemingly had. Entirely possible I just never learned to use it quite right though. It struck me way more as a distortion unit and noisy oscillator than a filter in practice.
Leave all the sliders down and set grind/spin to... I dont remember if full CW or CCw but one of those, and it doesn't do any distortion or weird stuff. Pretty easy to get very pure sines from it as a VCO (or feed an output back to FM for a more saw-like shape), and an almost wavetable-like clean but bitey sound if you use the sliders. Or a very clean, straightforward but sweet sounding filter.

The grind/spin knob can make it more chaotic and weird.
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