Why one ring modulator over another?

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Del
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Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Del »

Is one ring modulator as good as another? If not, what distinguishes one from another? And what are the better ones?

Thanks.
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BLogic12
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by BLogic12 »

Look into this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=218566
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Wavtekt »

It is kinda subjective. Depends on what u re looking for. There re diode ring mod / VCA polarizer etc. They all sound different from each other. VCA polarizer is the cleanest.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by starthief »

There are different ways to implement ringmod.

It got its name because the original ringmod circuit was a "ring" of four diodes between transformer input/output stages.

A bipolar VCA / four-quadrant multiplier can be used for ring modulation. If digital, it's just multiplication.

XOR logic works for ring modulating pulse waves. That's how it works on the SID chip (though the flags required to engage the mode include setting the "triangle" bit) and ARP Odyssey, as well as Hertz Donut.

It's serious overkill, but if you have a frequency shifter that shifts up and down by equal amounts, you can mix them equally and get ring modulation.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by transistorresistor »

Del wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:30 pm what distinguishes one from another?
the sound they make. Some are very glassy, others very dirty. Make sure you give AJH ring sm a listen before you decide on which one to get.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Yes Powder »

I had a four-quadrant multiplier ringmod when I first started putting my rack together, but never used it much. Sounded nice on its own, but didn’t really fit with most of the kinds of sounds I make. Too clean.
Now I have a passive diode ringmod, and I love it. Very crude and dirty. Goes well with what I do.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by GuyaGuy »

Some also have a filter after the ring of diodes so all of their sums and differences to try to tame the tone.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by jsleeio »

think it's worth getting a traditional transfomer+diode ring modulator if you can. If you DIY you can experiment with different diodes. I have two:

* a nice clean one from Laurentide Synthworks — if I recall correctly I built it with germanium diodes

* and a more nasty one from Buck Modular that uses LEDs and a translucent window in the panel, with the pleasant visual side effect that brings without being horribly bright.

both are duals for more multiplying goodness
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by megarat »

Some ring mods/balanced modulators are AC-coupled, so they only handle audio, while others are DC-coupled and can be used for CV as well as audio. The CV-coupled ones are fun to use with variably offset audio for additional sound textures.
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soggybag
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by soggybag »

If you get the Befaco A*B+C you get two ring modulators that can also be used as VCAs, mixer with an offset.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by KSS »

Del wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:30 pm Is one ring modulator as good as another? If not, what distinguishes one from another? And what are the better ones?
as you can tell from the replies here and in that other linked thread, it's pretty subjective how 'good' one or another is comparatively.

Ring or balanced modulation is multiplication of two signals. In the analog realm -and even in most digital- the quality of the multiplication will vary greatly. <--This is the source of the major differences between different 'ring' mods.

The rest is how much or how little is included in a given module.

Like AC/DC choices made available for the inputs, and whether level controls are available.
Is there an un-balancing switch or pot? <--sometimes called bias or offset.

Some 'ring' mods and BalMods only have 3 jacks. Xin, Yin, and output. That overly simplified interface gives up a great deal of what a ring mod can do.
The savings in space is not worth the loss in utility.

There is a multi-page thread in the DIY section where a MW member has written up every single chip he can find that does ring or balanced modulation to compare them with each other. That thread will show how different and how extensive are the answers to the 'simple' question you've asked. And it's not going into all the different ways besides chips to accomplish the goal.

Here is a detail of the bottom 'half' of my 50SQ 1061 module -not EuroRack- which shows what I believe is a minimum level of panel controls and inputs for a 'Ring' modulator. It's based on the highly regarded ARP 4014 discrete analog multiplier, which is itself based on an earlier version by Hybrid circuits in MA,USA.This panel is modeled on the leftmost part of a 2600, but there is also the ARP2500's 1005 Module ring mod. It uses the same 4014 circuitry as the 2600, and Behringer have cloned it as the B1005 module for Eurorack. In that module you can see another useful addition to a RM module in the Mod/Unmod switching and added Ratio and Tune inharmonic preset CVs. Having these adds a great deal to what one can do with a 'Ring'Mod.
Both the 2500 and 2600 ringmods are favorites to many. There were a couple 2600 inspired RM's for Eurorack a few years ago but I don't know if those are still offered?
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by tl3ss »

I really enjoyed the Erica Fusion Ring Mod. I don’t know about the technical difference between it and other ring mods, and it has no CV control, but damn it sounds really good.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Del »

soggybag wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:43 pm If you get the Befaco A*B+C you get two ring modulators that can also be used as VCAs, mixer with an offset.
I did! That's the one I have. That made me wonder what separates a much more expensive Serge RM, for example, over the one "included" in my attenuator here.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by soggybag »

Del wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:58 pm
soggybag wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:43 pm If you get the Befaco A*B+C you get two ring modulators that can also be used as VCAs, mixer with an offset.
I did! That's the one I have. That made me wonder what separates a much more expensive Serge RM, for example, over the one "included" in my attenuator here.
I suppose there are a couple factors

- the method used for ring modding. Some use a chip, others can use transformers. For modular stuff I think you’d want the chip variety. It’s probably more flexible with better band width.
- features. Some ring mods will have a built in VCO or mixer or other cv control. Again on modular these are not so important. When you’re in an environment full VCOs and VCAs, filter etc. having these built into your ring mod is probably more limiting. In a guitar pedal a ring mod might be useless or a headache to work with if it didn’t have a built in VCO and VCA!
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Yes Powder »

tl3ss wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:04 pm I really enjoyed the Erica Fusion Ring Mod. I don’t know about the technical difference between it and other ring mods, and it has no CV control, but damn it sounds really good.
What would a ring modulator CV input even control, unless it has an internal oscillator? Technically, the Carrier is its CV control.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by tl3ss »

Yes Powder wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:07 am
tl3ss wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:04 pm I really enjoyed the Erica Fusion Ring Mod. I don’t know about the technical difference between it and other ring mods, and it has no CV control, but damn it sounds really good.
What would a ring modulator CV input even control, unless it has an internal oscillator? Technically, the Carrier is its CV control.
I suppose I am comparing it to the other Erica Fusion Ring mod, which had some additional features and functions. But I wasn’t very clear about it.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by KSS »

Yes Powder wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:07 am What would a ring modulator CV input even control, unless it has an internal oscillator? Technically, the Carrier is its CV control.
There's one on the 1061 I posted.
Jack with Y Bias label just above the MODULE 1061.
It combines with the unlabeled grey knob to adjust the unbalancing offset.
Sort of like a dry-wet mix. Or a variable VCA-RM gradient.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by ee_ »

I know Moddemix is one that advertises itself as having a very unique sound. I don’t know that much about ring modulation myself though. I started using my Blinds to do it which can be interesting.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by ee_ »

Curious about this myself tho and this came up on YT.

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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Jazz-Circuit »

ee_ wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:22 pm I know Moddemix is one that advertises itself as having a very unique sound. I don’t know that much about ring modulation myself though. I started using my Blinds to do it which can be interesting.
I got a Moddemix recently thanks to a thread on Modwiggler and I'm definitely getting some unique sounds out of it. I really like it.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by transistorresistor »

Jazz-Circuit wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:03 pm
ee_ wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:22 pm I know Moddemix is one that advertises itself as having a very unique sound. I don’t know that much about ring modulation myself though. I started using my Blinds to do it which can be interesting.
I got a Moddemix recently thanks to a thread on Modwiggler and I'm definitely getting some unique sounds out of it. I really like it.
this is a great example of how personal tastes are and really the great thing about modular.

It was my utter frustration w mod demix that motivated me to find a ring mod I really liked. I can see how someone would totally love it though.
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Illwiggle »

I had a moddemix for awhile.... I found it to be pretty muddy, so I sold it.... maybe it was just my unit.... I was hoping Id get a similar effect as my Moogerfooger Ringmod, which to me is very precise & clean sounding.... I havent heard the new Serge Ring yet, but judging from other Serge gear I imagine its very clean & precise as well 🤔. Guess I should watch that video up there
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by transistorresistor »

also check out the CG X if clean and precise is a priority.

https://soundcloud.com/cg-products/sets/x

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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by ee_ »

Illwiggle wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:33 pm I had a moddemix for awhile.... I found it to be pretty muddy, so I sold it.... maybe it was just my unit.... I was hoping Id get a similar effect as my Moogerfooger Ringmod, which to me is very precise & clean sounding.... I havent heard the new Serge Ring yet, but judging from other Serge gear I imagine its very clean & precise as well 🤔. Guess I should watch that video up there
"Muddy" is a descriptor I've found sometimes floating through my head with several Make Noise units I've used, though not always in an entirely negative sense. Erbeverb and Echophon both felt that way a little to me (mainly those two I guess) -- or maybe more fairly, tending towards results that felt that way more than not? -- though both were also very cool and interesting to patch with, as well. Mimephon didn't strike me that way, I found it pretty "clear," though oddly, I've seen other people sometimes describe it that way. It's one of those adjectives that comes up a lot in euro FX and I totally know what the person means (I think) but I'm also not sure what (if anything) to attribute it to exactly. (Again, it's not always even a bad thing exactly ... hell, most of what I make could be described as "muddy" sounding in a sense)...

A bit off the topic I guess, just idle thoughts before bed..
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Re: Why one ring modulator over another?

Post by Jazz-Circuit »

transistorresistor wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:25 pm
Jazz-Circuit wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:03 pm
ee_ wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:22 pm I know Moddemix is one that advertises itself as having a very unique sound. I don’t know that much about ring modulation myself though. I started using my Blinds to do it which can be interesting.
I got a Moddemix recently thanks to a thread on Modwiggler and I'm definitely getting some unique sounds out of it. I really like it.
this is a great example of how personal tastes are and really the great thing about modular.

It was my utter frustration w mod demix that motivated me to find a ring mod I really liked. I can see how someone would totally love it though.
Yea I've had a bit of experience with a couple ring mod pedals, moogerfooger and Frostwave Blue Ringer, which both sound very "clean" and what I typically expect a ring mod to sound like, so I was really intrigued by the unexpected sounds I started getting from tge Moddemix. My first experiments with it when I first got it were not that good but then the other day I decided to throw the Generate 3 and Nano Ona at it and it resonated with me and took me by surprise. I'm looking forward to exploring it more. I imagine I'll try other modular ring mods in the future though for other sounds
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