What would you require from S&H?

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What would you require from S&H?

Post by BugBrand » Tue May 18, 2021 3:27 am

As mentioned on & off over the last couple of years, I've wanted to rejig the NoiseCrusher, but since shelved it.. Came up with a dual S&H (plus noise) design but again finding it tricky.
In outline:
- it is easy enough to do effects like audio sample-rate reduction and/or the regular sub-audio stepped random sampling (like traditional/typical S&H - noise in, clocked random out)
- what is harder is to get something quick & accurate eg. accurately sample a keyboard CV with each key press & then minimise droop from this point. The droop seems somewhat less important but I keep finding that decent sampling accuracy is tricky. There's always a balance between these factors & there should be ways kind of around them (eg. a fast S&H feeding into a slower one - obviously doubling circuit requirements).

So, having been through a fair number of protos & still knocking my head.. it has been suggested that maybe I'm overthinking it all.
What do people really want from a S&H? Is accurate pitch-work necessary? Or could a simple happy-clappy one be useful if its limitations are well noted.
There's definitely part of me that wants to crack the problem but with it all dragging on I'm feeling liable just to carry on shelving the whole darn thing without some progress!

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by /\/\/\/ » Tue May 18, 2021 6:44 am

Pitch is important for me... maybe not always, but it's nice to have the option of stability and precision for harmonic / polyphonic uses (which is how I imagine using the S+H).

As an example (outside of S+H), the V/Oct on the DRM2 compared to the approximate tracking on the DRM1. It's a major advantage of the DRM2 for me.

I guess it's mainly a question of how quickly the droop is happening?

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by /\/\/\/ » Tue May 18, 2021 6:50 am

Side note... if there are two S+H in series, maybe it would be cool to have a switch that allows to select between stable vs. droopy? I do like that microtonal melt every now and then.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by dogoftears » Tue May 18, 2021 10:56 am

i like to use SH to sample melodic sequences at different clock divisions, so pitch accuracy is important for me.
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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by lud » Tue May 18, 2021 12:51 pm

Sounds fine/essential as it is for me but I'm no songsmith and would use it for random and noise source. Be lovely to have a slew limiter built in (or another external module!) for "smooth" random. Wish ddsr had this functionality too

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by DickMarker » Tue May 18, 2021 2:27 pm

Personally, I reach for S&H when I'm after more aleatory results so not super concerned with pitch tracking and accuracy.

I can see, however, where something super stable is preferred as per some of the above comments.

Classic fence-sitting there - hope it helps!

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by chrisdermo » Tue May 18, 2021 5:19 pm

As I said in my email, would almost never need accurate pitching.... Doesn't the Penrose kind of cover that area? Maybe not if you're not using a 12tone tuning system I guess.
Pretty much always analog srr and random CV uses for me.

The noise source is the thing I miss the most from my system, it's such a versatile tool to have in the kit for Cv, modulation and audio I feel like it would blow sonic possibilities wide open and add some serious flavour to pretty much any patch I'd make.
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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by deltaphoenix » Tue May 18, 2021 9:22 pm

My thinking lines up pretty squarely with what Chris said about Noise/SRR/Random CV being my main wishes.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by BugBrand » Wed May 19, 2021 3:02 am

Ah, if I'd replied after the first couple of responses it would have been clear - don't short-change it, go the distance!
But then beyond that it diverges (as expected).
I'll keep on plugging.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by wuff_miggler » Wed May 19, 2021 3:06 am

if pitch is important - would that not be the role of a specialized SH, the quantizer?

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by BugBrand » Wed May 19, 2021 5:25 am

Yeah, I guess they are kind of the same function, but I never quite view them like that!

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by /\/\/\/ » Wed May 19, 2021 12:18 pm

Not to mention: the Penrose would take up 4 times the space, vs 2 x S+H outputs in a 1FW module. (Love the Penrose for other reasons though, the built-in DC Mixer being icing on cake.)

Still, having 2 Penrose + 2 S+H could also be a very good combo!

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by mosorensen » Wed May 19, 2021 12:24 pm

One thing that is useful to me for an S&H meant for pitch (and this is a feature on the Shifty), is an adjustable trigger delay to give the pitch voltage time to settle before it is sampled.
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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by BananaPlug » Sat May 22, 2021 10:34 am

Given that S&H is used for many different uses, there will be no obvious best choice of features to include. So here's two alternatives.
- Super fancy S&H where you can control trade offs affecting speed, accuracy, droop, etc.
- Multiple simple S&H circuits each each optimized in a different way.
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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by ??? » Sun May 23, 2021 7:17 am

Pitch is not really important for me either. I like the idea of a slew limiter for smooth output. Two different S&H circuits could also be really fun!

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by deltaphoenix » Sun May 23, 2021 7:41 am

I imagine S&H is a part of pitch to cv conversion. Coming out of left field a bit but I know I am not the only Bugs fan that strums and thumps on strings too.
So, some way to come out of the dual preamp into the tricked out S&H (surely requires slew and more) so that we could have mono pitch to cv fun with our Bugs (I can dream, right?).

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by batchas » Mon May 24, 2021 3:05 am

deltaphoenix wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 7:41 am
I imagine S&H is a part of pitch to cv conversion. Coming out of left field a bit but I know I am not the only Bugs fan that strums and thumps on strings too.
So, some way to come out of the dual preamp into the tricked out S&H (surely requires slew and more) so that we could have mono pitch to cv fun with our Bugs (I can dream, right?).
Maybe you mean something else than I do when you mention "pitch to cv conversion". To me it means converting a note (from any instrument or voice) to a voltage and I'm afraid with my definition S&H and pitch-to-CV conversion are too different, circuitwise.
It seems to me that it would mean too many changes in the concept, expanding maybe with a phase locked loop thing, filter and so on. I insist on the "maybe" cause I'm not a specialist, at all. But I know from experience that to get an accurate conversion, PLL, filter, sync input on a vco (as workaround so to say) etc will only work when notes do not have too many harmonics, or some space between notes. Less a problem to more or less "convert" a synth sequence, than a guitar solo for instance or a voice.

I agree it would be a true dream to have an S&H capable of pitch-to-cv in a bugbrand modular system :sb:

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by batchas » Mon May 24, 2021 3:12 am

Pers. I do not use S&H for accurate CV.
Most of the time I use it more for pseudo random variations on modules like Morphing Terrarium, Grilles, Tresses, Orgone, VCA... Wherever there's a CV input that changes a sound character or a rhythm.
On the Serge the combination of noise and S&H makes it extremely useful for random variations. Makes any sequence alive.
Last edited by batchas on Mon May 24, 2021 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by cbm » Mon May 24, 2021 3:13 am

I know it might be heresy around these parts, but S/H and things like Note Shift Registers are better done in digital, IMO.

Zero droop, and with enough resolution on the ADC/DAC, as smooth as analog. Plus, all sorts of interesting tricks can be played between the analog input jack and the analog output jack.
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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by batchas » Mon May 24, 2021 3:15 am

cbm wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 3:13 am
I know it might be heresy around these parts, but S/H and things like Note Shift Registers are better done in digital, IMO.

Zero droop, and with enough resolution on the ADC/DAC, as smooth as analog. Plus, all sorts of interesting tricks can be played between the analog input jack and the analog output jack.
Indeed.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by deltaphoenix » Mon May 24, 2021 6:00 am

batchas wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 3:05 am

I agree it would be a true dream to have an S&H capable of pitch-to-cv in a bugbrand modular system :sb:
Yeah, I know a S&H can’t do all that by itself, maybe it is a piece of that circuit though.
I have had the AS RS-35 and I know track and hold is a part of how it works.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by northerntao » Mon May 24, 2021 2:05 pm

cbm wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 3:13 am
I know it might be heresy around these parts, but S/H and things like Note Shift Registers are better done in digital, IMO.

Zero droop, and with enough resolution on the ADC/DAC, as smooth as analog. Plus, all sorts of interesting tricks can be played between the analog input jack and the analog output jack.
Agreed

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by Tajnost » Mon May 24, 2021 4:54 pm

Would be nice to have a precise tool of course...
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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by syncretism » Wed May 26, 2021 5:55 pm

Stability/droop is an important concern, as well as speed. I’ve had the odd S&H module that introduced a little portamento between voltages that made them useless for my purposes. If I have one sequencer line and, say, two oscillators, sample and hold has been the most direct way to get the most out of that combination. But I skew tonal in my patching.

I don’t have hard numbers to reference, but the Serge SSG has worked very well for me as track and hold and sample and hold providers.

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Re: What would you require from S&H?

Post by syncretism » Wed May 26, 2021 6:03 pm

wuff_miggler wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 3:06 am
if pitch is important - would that not be the role of a specialized SH, the quantizer?
A quantizer can have sample and hold, like the CLee module, but I don’t see much overlap, otherwise. Imagine a clocked, eight-step sequencer supplying voltages to one oscillator; then you have that clock divided in parallel, say, /3, triggering the sample and hold, which is processing the sequencer’s voltages and passing the held voltages to the second oscillator. Most quantizers wouldn’t do this. Mind, maybe you just mean a quantizer can be used as a corrective tool, but that’s an awfully expensive solution to a relatively specific problem… and there aren’t that many quantizers in the BugBrand ecosystem.

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