modular possibilities with aleph

  • arturia are about to release the microbrute which has a lot more patchability than its big brother, from13 mins into this sweetwater video there is a demo of what can be achieved using the cv in and out capabilities - imagine what you could do if you hooked up an had also never clicked that i could use the aleph cv out ports to drive the expression inputs of my guitar effects...and that's just the cv control...the true extent of the sonic possibilities are beginning to dawn on me

    the microbrute is pretty cheap for a semi-modular...i'll probably save the extra money to get a dark energy at some point, but if you're on a tight budget...which may the case, if like me, you've blown all your savings on an aleph, then the microbrute may be an's some cool sounds using the cv possibilities of a doepfer...again not an expensive semi-modular, but just imagine, as if you needed me to tell you, what the aleph could do with one of these...i knew those cv ports on the aleph would be the entry drug for my entry into the modular world...

  • filter on the DE I is great. ext audio can also be processed through it.

  • i hope this doesnt come across as rude @knecht

    if you dont mind changing the thread title to something like "modular possibilities with aleph" it could be an umbrella thread fostering discussion on a range of modular synth setups

    everything from the microbrute & doepfer, moogerfoogers and other cv capable effects, full blown euro and frac gear, as well as various pedals/sensors/diy toys aleph users can plug into the cv i/o

    not trying to hi-jack your thread

    unless you want it that way :)

  • @gli

    not rude at all - i was merely attempting to provoke a discussion around what could be achieved with the cv ports on the aleph & demonstrating that you don't have to spend a fortune to make use of these ports in interesting ways - i'm happy to change the title.

    been drooling over the pittsburgh modular gear the past couple of evenings - looks like you could have a fairly powerful setup for reasonably sensible money.

  • I thought you were talking about the aleph AS a modular synth... i mean, that's what i am excited about : aleph running a synth engine, and be able to patch alephs outs to alephs ins...

  • @chapelier fou

    hadn't thought of that - now doubly excited :)

  • BTW i was wandering if aleph was able to simply tell if a connection is made or not between a CVin and a CVout. Just to have a physical matrix.

  • i guess the answer is yes : send a voltage and listen if the same is received...

  • @chapelier fou

    was just thinking the same thing - imagine if madrona labs created an aleph version of aalto and you could use the patch cables on aleph to make the connections. you could maybe reuse the physical ports to represent different virtual aalto ports...haven't thought that through at all...but there may be something in this.

  • Hmm, yeah, didn't think of patching Aleph CV ins back to Aleph CV outs, but for this you probably still want to get some modules or DIY stuff to make it more interesting, at least ability to attenuate or control the attenuation with other modules, seems like a waste to use them just to make simple connections.

    For knob/fader action also take a look at Synthwerks modules, he's got faders and pressure sensors which are very reasonably priced (at least for Euro):

    Koma Kommander should also make a nice buddy for Aleph's CV inputs.

  • In terms of integrating with my modular, I'm thinking the Aleph can make up for things my current modular isn't good at (Reverbs, complicated Delays, complicated logic)

    Also, hoping the Aleph can act as my MIDI/CV converter. Hell even CV/MIDI.

  • And vice versa, using modular for things that would benefit Aleph, like tube distortion. Like a very open ended guitar pedal with up to 4 parameters that can be controlled by Aleph, essentially.

    Of course, these are all very specific use cases since both modular and Aleph are so open ended, but it helps (at least me personally) to wrap my head around different ways Aleph and modular can be integrated together.

  • Oh, and yeah, would love to have Aleph perform both MIDI/CV and CV/MIDI conversion!

  • The first thing I thought about with aleph + modular was a recorded LFO.

    Something like plates with CV recording instead of waveform drawing

    grid is an 8x8 patching matrix that accommodates 4 LFOout, 4LFOout inverted (or other function), 4LFOin (internal for FM), 4 external out inputs.

    In both:
    4 buttons activate CVin 1/2/3/4 record to respective waveform slots
    4 knobs control scale by default
    footswitchA changes knob function to LFO start offset
    footswitchB changes knob function to LFO window size (equal crop, position influenced by offset)
    1/2/3/4 CVout for LFOs

  • Basically the aleph can replace just about any digital eurorack module or any digital pedal assuming you write the appropriate software. Its the ultimate anymodule and anypedal. ;-) The only problem is that most of us will only have one.

    I'm definitely going to use my aleph as the ultimate CV-controllable effects box and as a way to finally use my monome-128 to generate CV.

  • @kotdotnot depends what you're trying to do simultaneously

    (assuming you can write an appropriate app)
    you might not need two

  • Speaking of anymodules, SnazzyFX has already covered some interesting ground with the Ardcore module:

    There is a github full of interesting sketches that the modular community has put together: Objects

    I think these could be good inspiration for some aleph programs.

  • Don't know if Aleph would be able to replace all the digital modules, particularly when it comes to audio rate modulation (though might be possible, I think Aleph should be powerful enough to handle that, I guess depends on implementation) but yeah, those could be a good source of ideas. Something like Modcan Quad LFO, for instance, 4 LFOs that can be reset using CV ins as triggers, or use 2 CV ins as triggers and 2 as modulation assignable to rate/waveform/reset point etc. Envelope followers would be cool, especially if using not just frequency bands but extracting information from incoming sound that doesn't have anything similar in Euro, spectrum analysis, I don't know. Sampling waveforms into wavetables, press a button, morph sound in the modular, press a button again and it automatically creates a wavetable for you.

    I do hope there will be an extension using the bus at some point that will give more CV ins/outs. I want 16 of each! :)

  • NICE! Not as many options as the microKorg, which is the same price, but it has a lot more expandability, through the CV and sequencer. I'd almost sell my microKorg for this guy, since the controls are a little clearer, but I'm also trying to get into eurorack modular stuff so….

    Now I'm stumped…. I'm seriously thinking about selling my microKorg now and either buying the microBrute just for CV or eurorack stuff. The possibilities!

  • I know it's a pretty long shot, but maybe some of you monome and modular owners have some thoughts on this: I have a monome 256 and an arc4, an aleph on order and a modular synth with a make noise pressure points and a Rene. Pretty much sequencer overkill. As I need space in my modular case, either the pressure points or the Rene have to go. I am pretty sure that with the aleph and monome, I should be able to cover things that the pressure points does, while the more "esoteric" Rene will be more difficult to replace. Any thoughts on this?

  • what about the sequencer for your sequencer dawg? switches, clock dividing/shuffling, transposing sequences, etc, etc. i think aleph will sit really well on top of the analog sequencers.

  • @oootini: I hear you. Thing is that I do need to make some space in the modular, and I don't see myself kicking out the Phonogene, echophone, e350 or maths! Which would've the widest modules I own. Man, maybe I should just wait it out till aleph is here, work a bit with it, and then see what I can miss in the modular. Keep those ideas coming, though :-)

  • if you have a decent soundcard, you could probably prototype some of those clock and transpose ideas superfast with stretta's BEAP repository and max.

  • @ootini

    I'm doing that exact thing. I currently have a few maxforlive patches that utilize BEAP abstractions to send CV through my MOTU ultralite.

    Brain patch: connects to the monome grid and handles presets, press recording
    Clock patch: 2 channels OUT of pulse/gate CV with 16 divisions to Live's transport or "Free"
    LFO patch: 2 channels OUT of LFO CV with multiple Waveforms synced to Live's transport

    At the moment, I'm sending the pulse outputs to control either the "Strike" or "Control"
    inputs of an Optomix. A DPO is providing the sound sources for both Optomix channels.

    I then send the 2 channels of LFOs to either the linear or exponential FM inputs of the DPO. This results is some very rhythmic synced FM sequences.

    I switch between all of the settings via rows on a 128 grid.

    a lot more to prototype.

  • sounds sweet :)

  • @myecholalia, I would think Rene-like sequencing would be one of the first apps that gets created for the monome+aleph combination. In fact, IMO non-linear sequencing is one of the monome killer apps -- its just soo good at it!

  • @kotdotnot Thanks for the comment. Yes, that's what I needed to hear. Selling both the Rene and Pressure Points, ordering a Metropolis and wait till aleph arrives. Done! :-)

    Edit: so much for waiting it out till aleph arrives...

  • Re-reading the thread I got stuck at chapelier fou's thought on aleph as a sound source, not as sequencer or effect machine. Which for me triggers the question if something like a Mutable Instruments Braids, or other digital Osc, would be relatively straightforward to do with aleph. MI publishes it's software, so it would be interesting to hear one of the experts on how realistic or far out something similar to braids would be.

  • Do we know anything about the resolution of the CV outputs? Is it high enough to do sequencing without an external quantizer?

  • CV Outs were mentioned to be 0 to +10v, unipolar.

  • @Mood_Organ

    It's a good question because the resolution of the ADC/DAC converters used for the CV ins/outs is not actually specified anywhere that I can find. On the aleph page:

    4 input, 4 output.
    3.5mm jacks, high resolution converters.
    0-10V, euro ready.
    fully programmable function.

    So they do say "high resolution converters" are used. In this day and age, I think we can safely assume that means the converters are at least 16-bit. You can do sequencing fine with 12-bit.

  • 16 bit output, 12 bit input.

  • nice to know

  • This looks like a really nice companion to the aleph for interfacing with the modular:

  • Nw2s looks amazing. I am wondering if aleph could connect digitally directly to the nw2s i2c port. If somebody would provide a 2hp i2c breakout for nw2s, it could become the perfect aleph extension. Can anyone confirm if aleph and nw2s could be connected digitally and the nw2s in/outputs can be integrated into aleph apps?

  • The creator of nw2s said that the I2C bus is available from a header on the back. So yes it is possible! ;-) Should be very easy to DIY a plug to the front somewhere.

  • Wow, I need to time to contemplate how awesome this could be.

  • Yeah, nw2s seems to have a ton of potential with aleph. I am just a bit surprised by the 0-5v spec if nw2s. Was expecting a 0-10v like the aleph. Not sure now if I should order...

  • He did say that it should be possible to increase the range to 0-10V by changing the gain setting on the DAC in software. So I don't expect that to be a problem. However, it is not cheap so I am definitely going to wait to have the aleph in my hands before I buy any "accessories" for it. ;-)

  • I hear you. Bought too many euro modules recently anyway :-) Will now wait for all of those and aleph. Let's see what's next after that.

  • Hey guys - was pointed here by someone, and I know it's a bit of an older conversation, but just wanted to confirm some of the questions here.

    I have exposed the I2C via pin headers, so sending that to a plug would be pretty easy.

    Also, I updated the circuit to have bipolar inputs and outputs. So basically -5 to + 5 is a piece of cake. getting up to +10 on the output requires an opamp upgrade though... The TL074 just won't get to 10V on a 12V rail.

    Thanks for the interest! Hit me up if you have any more questions.


  • @scottwilson: thanks for info! it seems according to the TL074 datasheet that it will reach -8V to 8V however? IMO that should be enough for most purposes.

  • a short noodle of waves being controlled by a eurorack sequencer:

    I patched 2 CV outputs from the ER-101 eurorack sequencer into the CV inputs of the aleph. I loaded up the waves module and mapped CV0 through a MUL op to 088.hz0 and CV1 through another MUL op to 067.cut0. The other oscillator is muted so all we hear is one of aleph:wave's oscillators. Also, rq0 is around 0.1 for a good amount of resonance and the wave0 is 0.69 for sawtoothiness. Pretty fat sounds! So, listen on speakers with good bass response.

  • would you mind sharing your scene here?

    cant wait to hear this demo!

  • @gli, I didn't think it was really worth's a super silly scene...but I put it up anyways.

  • "I updated the circuit to have bipolar inputs and outputs. So basically -5 to + 5 is a piece of cake."

    @scottwilson: how do we accomplish this?

  • @kotdotnot:

    "according to the TL074 datasheet that it will reach -8V to 8V however? IMO that should be enough for most"

    Agreed. It will get from -8 to +8 on 24V rails. For $0.50, you can't beat it. I will be updating the firmware to have two modes - high gain and low gain, defined when you allocate an output. If you don't have the $10 op amps, then your high gain mode will get to 8V just fine, but the values between 8 and 10V will basically just clip... and I'm not sure what to do about that right away.

    @away message:
    It's out of the box +5 to -5 now, so you only have to buy it!

    Pre-order ends tomorrow, so if you want to get in line for the first batch, place an order:

    I finally got a qunexus todo some demos with. This would be a good excuse to buy an aleph as well :P

  • @scottwilson do it! :) Arduino programming, especially using your framework is well within my grasp but I wouldn't even know where to start with I2C integration. Being able to plug nw2s::b directly into Aleph would be amazing! In the very least it would be like adding a bunch more CV inputs/outputs to Aleph (and bipolar too!).

    Hopefully I'll have both soon, can help with any testing if needed.

  • once we implement the i2c engine we'll post a bunch of examples for arduino etc.

  • Thanks. That would be cool. In general integration like that should work the same whether it's with the aleph over i2c or with a host device over bluetooth. Would just have to come up with a command framework... Need to add it to the feature request list!