VCO>VCF>VCA or VCO>VCA>VCF?

Is there a way around that this should be or classically be wired?

I'm using both approaches to be honest, some filters seem to behave better in different configurations, for a filter that is high self-resonating I'll usually go VCO>VCF>VCA so the Envelope can completely cut off the sine resonation of the filter.. And one of my other filters seems to prefer being fed from the VCA and would distort if fed direct from the VCO.

Cheers :)


Doesn't matter at all. Whatever gives you the result you want is fine. Chain as many VCFs and VCAs in whatever order you see fit. Or don't. :)
Like you said, some VCFs or VCAs may not close completely in a certain patch. So you're gonna need another VCA somewhere in the chain.



I usually patch the VCA in the back as the zlob VCF filter can go pretty nuts in the self oscillation range and the vca helps to keep the things in terms! ✌️


I do the same with my Rebach VCF-AB which can make some knarly acid lines but it whines on self-oscillating unless the VCA shuts it down after it.


I VCA at the end probably to satisfy some odd sphincter metaphor in my head.


A VCA at the end offers the most flexibility; especially if you are driving your filter into self-oscillation range. The sound will be tighter. But maybe you WANT the filter to ring out if you're under those conditions.

My opinion is to do a little homework with your rig. Try and overdrive the filter if you can and see how that affects things in your rig. The type of filter and how it's implemented is going to have the most influence... my Roland style filter won't self-oscillate while my MS20-style with do that all day.


For me, it's VCO - VCA - VCF - VCA, especially if there's more than one VCO. By putting your source VCOs on VCAs, you can then cause some initial timbral changes prior to the VCF by using different waveforms and bringing them in and out of the signal path via different modulation schemes. Case in point: on my AE system, I have six banks that can be configured as complex VCOs, since they have two VCOs, two DCOs for modulation, and a dual VCA plus a mixer for the VCO outs. With that, I can then use LFOs, EGs, whatever to ping around "inside" that module structure and generate wild timbral changes simply with modulation sources. The VCAs function to control the FM signal from each DCO to its complimentary VCO in the more "basic" patching, but that configuration can get really nuts really quick with a few extra pinwires.


@swaminstar I use the Sphincter VCA most days.

@Ronin1973 I'm doing exactly this.

@Lugia Sounds pretty interesting that. So you can use a VCA prior to the filter as an accent (etc) control with the post-Filter VCA shaping the sound.


@Lugia Sounds pretty interesting that. So you can use a VCA prior to the filter as an accent (etc) control with the post-Filter VCA shaping the sound.
-- wishbonebrewery

You could do that, sure...it would involve adding in an extra bit of CV on top of whatever modulation source's output is already controlling the pre-VCF VCA, but that's easily set up with a linear, DC-coupled mixer in that control path.

Far more interesting, though, is using a multi-VCA module which mixes to a breakable mixbus (think Veils here) to "strum" different waveform outputs on one or two VCOs. You could have a triangle wave come up on a hard attack via one VCA, then have the second VCA add a square wave to that gradually by using different EG settings for those VCAs, with the result being a very marked timbral change without using anything more than a second VCA and EG. With a complex oscillator, this can get even crazier...and you STILL wouldn't be making changes via other modules to get at that craziness!


Think I've got that, I'll have to give that a go, thanks