Hey ! I'm fairly new to Eurorack. I just have a question I can't seem to find answers...

I have a Plaits (my only VCO) and I use my Digitakt to sequence it, using a MIDI-CV Module (Mutant Brains)

Now, I love the ephemeral side of eurorack, but what if I want to perform live? How can I always have the same tuning on Plaits? Since I also use samples on my music played by the Digitakt, Plaits is only providing the melody.
How can I have the same tuning when I power up my system? Do I have to tune Plaits?
The way I'm using it is to have the Frequency knob all the way down, so it's always the same pitch when I play a sequence, I just go an octave or two higher on the keyboard, if I want higher notes.
I don't quite understand the Frequency knob on Plaits and other VCO's... I'm just scared to touch it a little bit and the song will be ruined. I'm mainly producing Techno and House. Why is there always a big frequency knob? Can't you change the frequency of a VCO with a sequencer and maintain the pitch stable on the module? So the frequency stays the same everytime, as long as it's the same sequence?

I'm sorry if I'm not getting something here, I need your help :)

Thank you very much, Cheers!


Hi,
Like most of VCO you must turn the frequency knob at noon. Big frequency knob on VCO are used to change the range of octave (and tunning) (well on plaits you can change the range in other way (see manual) (so the big frequency knob is kind of a fine tuner).

To be always on the perfect tune, you have to wait that the module warm up, or use this king of module : https://www.modulargrid.net/e/bastl-instruments-1983

Cheers


If you only want to play a VCO chromatically and in tune to some other sequence, the way you're doing it now is the way to go. And indeed, in this usage scenario big tuning knobs can be quite dangerous and frustrating. A way to "lock" the tuning is a rare/nonexistent feature, unfortunately.
Now, there are many applications where a big tuning knob is useful/necessary – for example when using the VCO as a modulator. In that case, the frequency knob might become be a performance tool. Also, not all music conforms to fixed scales, and to be able to simply dial in whatever one feels is appropriate is an important feature.


Hey ! I'm fairly new to Eurorack. I just have a question I can't seem to find answers...

-- NicoJabbles

Hi, I've had eurorack for years & I have both questions and answers - and I use a few boards - muffs, here and reddit as do a lot of people!!! - I've seen you ask the same question in all 3 of these places - and you have got pretty much the same answers on each - please don't cross post like this, it's bad etiquette - just have a bit of patience - pick one and if after a few days there's no reply, then ask somewhere else - not 5 mins later


James Holden has a way around it but he uses Max for live with an Expert Sleepers module between his modular and the computer.
So I think the Max For Live patch overides the tuning of the oscillator and basically keeps in tune all the time. Have to use a laptop though!
Full documentation and download here:
https://llllllll.co/t/realtime-self-tuning-midi-to-cv-max-gen/25407


James Holden has a way around it but he uses Max for live with an Expert Sleepers module between his modular and the computer.
So I think the Max For Live patch overides the tuning of the oscillator and basically keeps in tune all the time. Have to use a laptop though!
Full documentation and download here:
https://llllllll.co/t/realtime-self-tuning-midi-to-cv-max-gen/25407


The Holden patch is wonderful if you sequence from Ableton Live! I unfortunately don’t, so I’ve picked oscillators with sturdy knobs (Even VCO!) and ditched the ones with big, eager knobs (so long, STO!). You can also pull the knobs off your modules. It looks slightly less charming, but it helps.
I’ve got a guitar tuner on the pre-fader send of my mixer so I can just pull a fader down and silently tune my VCO whenever things are getting fishy. That’s truly a live safer! (Pun intended)


there are also modules that do autotuning - endorphin.es make one I believe, but there are others


I actually think a larger knob allows for finer tuning.
My pico voice is not so easy to keep intune


Well, one thing immediately comes to mind here, that being that if you're scared of certain knobs, you picked the wrong instrument to play. All of us have to manually tune VCOs (and lots of other things) quite often, so you'll pardon me if I don't see a problem here.

Now, if you need to get pitchmatching between the Digitakt and the modular, I'd suggest the following:

Create a sample for the Digitakt that's nothing but a sine tone at 440 Hz. This then gives you a loop for tuning the synth to the same tuning standard as the Digitakt. However, your samples ALSO need to be tuned so that they comply with that same Concert A, which might be a bit fussy but once you've got it done, you won't have to do it again.

Anyway, once the samples conform to that Concert A tuning and then you use the loop to pitchmatch the synth to the Digitakt, you're then in tune. Given that the Plaits is a digital VCO, it shouldn't drift, so that same Concert A should apply across an entire set.

Basically, this is a simplified version of what I've done every time I've played live, although I use a digital synth's Concert A reference rather than a sample loop, and I'm also usually dealing with anywhere from 8-12 synths and other electronic instruments with those gigs. Even so, it only takes me about 4-5 minutes out of sound check to get the entire rig for a given concert work in tune. But given that I've done pieces that require all sorts of Concert A tunings from 415 Hz (baroque A) to 447 Hz (majorly up-tuned A, sometimes done by me to "brighten" a work overall) and this method works every time, it's worth doing.

HOWEVER...

Getting back to that first point: if you're at odds with the idea of adjusting a certain knob while working, I would strongly suggest that you adjust the HELL out of it instead. For one thing, this will get you used to hearing when things ARE out of tune, and let you practice spot-tuning when needed (which is a pretty invaluable skill in electronic music!). But secondly, it'll help you get out of the corner you're painting yourself into; no synthesist should ever have ANY trepidation about needing to adjust ANY control at ANY time. And besides, have you actually tried seeing what "out of tune" actually sounds like? Fact is, it might actually work...look at Aphex Twin's work, for example. Quite often, he doesn't even use 12-note scales, opting instead for microtonality lots of times. In other cases, he'll let things deliberately detune for musical effect. Take "180dB" off of "Syro", for example...three synths that pretty much NO ONE on here has the money for (Korg PS-3300s...and I'm not lying there, as he's using about $80-100k worth of vintage Korgs in this case), all being sequenced by (or something very much like) a TB-303 for what has to be the most expensive ACIEED track in music history...but he lets the Korgs go out of tune with each other, and the result sounds weird and wild and seriously messed up because of the out-of-tuneness coupled with the rigid 303-type sequencing. Just a thought...


Quantizers are your friends. Well besides the tune knobs and a tuner. I use the quantized scales on my sequencer to help keep the VCOs in tune and in same time.


quantizers only tune v/oct not vcos

if the vcos are out of tune, then it does not matter if your v/oct is quantized or not - the oscillators will still be out of tune, unless you've tuned them


I've been solving this with a Disting (tuner mode) and an oscilloscope.