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Experimental Analog Synthesizer Voice
DEEP SONIC RESEARCH FACILITY
The Lifeforms Voltage Lab module is a completely different type of analog synthesizer, where every function of the instrument has been influenced by the behaviors and systems of the natural world. Wildly experimental and extremely deep, the Lifeforms Voltage Lab module is a sonic playground created to explore the natural systems and lesser known fringes of analog synthesis. The Voltage Lab module is more than a simple collection of tools and functions, it is a unique modular synthesizer designed to reward deep experimentation and encourage the creation of unique sonic systems.
Midi to CV converter with assignable CC/Modulation output and variable pitch bend paired with a multi-mode arpeggiator. The arpeggiator offers as played, hold, transpose, multiple octave, random, and 16-step sequencing with rest and note repeat modes. Octave up and down buttons shift the frequency of the oscillator(s) +/- 2 octaves. The arpeggiator can be clocked using the internal tap tempo, external midi clock, or external gate signal.
PRIMARY OSCILLATOR AND SECONDARY OSCILLATOR
A pair of temperature stabilized, analog saw core oscillators create the foundation of the complex waveforms generator. The seed wave of the primary oscillator is switchable between sine, triangle, saw, and square. However, because the initial waveform passes through multiple wave shapers before reaching the output, the name of the seed wave should be thought of as more of a rough estimate of the actual wave shape. An alternate version of each waveform is available using the warp function. Warp mode changes the shape of a waveform without modifying the harmonic content creating previously impossible timbres when combined with the wave folder. The asymmetry and axis knobs control how the wave folder interprets the initial waveform while timbre modifies the overall intensity of folding. Combining these voltage controlled wave shapers together produces a wide range of unique and complicated waveforms. The primary oscillator also utilizes linear frequency modulation, seed wave cycling, amplitude modulation, and ring modulation to enhance the deep sonic palette.
The functionality of the secondary oscillator is more focused. The oscillator core creates a fully sweepable frequency range from LFO to audio utilizing linear FM for pitch modulation effects. MIDI pitch tracking can be disabled for independent frequency control and hard sync is available for frequency tethering to the primary oscillatory. Output of the secondary oscillator is switchable between sine, alpha wave, or both. The voltage controlled alpha wave shifts from a triangle wave with less harmonic content to a square wave with more harmonic content.
Twin multi-function, periodic control voltage generators fulfill multiple roles. Voltage controllable 2-stage attack/decay envelope generator, low frequency oscillator with variable wave shape, slew generator, envelope follower, and more. Input response can be set to sustain, trigger, or trigger cycle. Sustain adds a sustain stage between rise and fall and can be reset anywhere in the cycle. Trigger mode uses a gate or sharp rise in the incoming signal to trigger the envelope circuit. The trigger circuit will not reset during the rise stage of the cycle creating opportunities for skipped triggers. Trigger cycle mode retriggers the rise stage at the end of the fall stage. Trigger cycle mode can be used in combination with the input to create interesting shapes. The response curve of the function generator is variable from logarithmic to linear to exponential modifying the shape and feel of the output. Independent voltage control over rise and fall allows for highly controllable responses.
The two function generators interact in several ways. Multiple unison modes allow pseudo-quadrature responses triggering function generator b at the same time as function generator a, at the end of the rise stage, at the end of the fall stage, or any combination of the three. Two logical mixes combine the outputs of the function generators in useful ways. A logical or outputs the largest voltage from either function generator a or b. Logical contrast outputs the difference in voltage between function generator a and b.
Organic and percussive, the Voltage Lab dynamics controllers are an evolution of the venerable low pass gate. Three output modes, VCA, resonant low pass filter, and low pass gate offer a wide range of creative options. The VCA mode is responsive and energetic, with a transparent sound. The low pass filter utilizes a Sallen-Key topology to create warm and rubbery frequency sweeps while utilizing a smooth and bubbly resonance response. Low pass gate mode manages both timbre and loudness at the same time to replicate the natural transients and vibrance of the world around us. Pluck mode is available for both low pass filter and low pass gate modes adding additional impact transients to replicate a percussive strike. The pluck response can be modulated adding yet another dimension of control to the sound.
A true bucket brigade analog delay with voltage controlled time designed to add depth and warmth to every patch. A bucket brigade delay works by shifting the audio signal through a series of capacitors to delay playback. The Voltage Lab delay uses 8,192 stages to offer a maximum delay time of 0.3 seconds. Feedback is variable from a single repeat to infinite self oscillation.
SOURCES OF RANDOM
Chaos and unpredictability are everywhere in the natural world. To simulate this, the Voltage Lab offers multiple types of random voltage. Noise normaled to a sample and hold create a stepped random CV. The random CV output utilizes a six stage shift register to generate evolving, pseudo random CV patterns. The MIDI section offers a pitched random mode, random sequence generator, and randomized playback of sequenced notes.
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