six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

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syevad
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six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:49 am

I've just bought a SixTrak from USA and using a step down transformer 220v to 110v...it works, but the pitch is nearly a semitone flat with the tuning knob to the max.
There is a temporary solution - turning the Pitch Wheel slightly up - it's old and a bit stiff - it stays in position....
I'm wondering if maybe the same potentiometer of the Pitch Wheel is to be blamed because the centre position is kind of loose - or there are issues related to the use of the transformer?

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:17 pm

I would download [urlhttp://dl.lojinx.com/analoghell/SequentialSixTrak-ServiceManual.pdf]the service manual[/url]. p.8 covers the tuning, p.9 is the tuning test procedure.

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:18 pm

I've just checked the service manual (thanks for the link)...
Interestingly, the battery voltage is only 2V...it needs to be replaced and just ordered a new one (opted for the battery holder for CR123a so batteries can be replaced without soldering/desoldering.
Tuning on analogue synths is closely associated to voltage - maybe the flat tuning is due to a nearly exausted 'flat' battery?
Not to mention the fact the synth is powered by a step up transformer too.
Then the manual says these chips do tend to drift or to taking time to get "warmer" and so more in tune as they are powered for longer?
Meanwhile, keeping the Pitch Wheel slightly up works just fine...while waiting to see what happens with a new battery (I bet it'll resolves all tuning issues).

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:22 pm

I've just found out also about the troubles with changing the battery...the memory contents including programs are lost!
thinking of supplying external voltage while I disconnect the battery - that way the programs aren't lost (I hope)...I've also dumped a sysex of all settings just in case (taking no chances).

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:25 pm

ok...this might be borderline genius or completely bonkers but has anyone ever tried to recharge the CR123A on the Six Trak without the need for removing it?!
It's just a Lithium battery - it should work with the right charger...

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:08 am

It's not rechargeable, not all batteries are.
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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:21 am

meatballfulton wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:08 am
It's not rechargeable, not all batteries are.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... viewfull=1



Most...if not all batteries are rechargeable - even Alkaline (I've recharged many Alkaline Duracell marked as non rechargeable and saved lot of ££...it's just a question of doing it right).

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:33 am

and there are C123a which are designed to be rechargeable - if you skip the video halfaway you'll see these can be purchased from Amazon + charger:

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by Alex E » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:37 pm

syevad wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:33 am
and there are C123a which are designed to be rechargeable - if you skip the video halfaway you'll see these can be purchased from Amazon + charger:
Add a holder if you'd like, but don't fuss with rechargeable batteries. Battery changes only need to happen every 15+ years if done correctly. Also, leaving it powered on while working on it can cause serious injury to you AND the synth. Just back up your programs to tape/WAV/sysex before taking it apart.
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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:02 pm

with long wires for the parallel connection I don't think there is much risk...then, I haven't done any parallel connection myself and quickly installed a battery holder and new battery - and dumped quickly a Sysex file (all fine). It's good to know there are rechargeable alternatives (good for the environment)...but then in this case maybe it doesn't make much sense.

back to the topic...
The new battery didn't fix the lower semitone - the tuning test did (this is to be found in the service manual). In fact by keeping the wheel up a bit I'd forgot this was an issue.
Incidentally I dumped the syesex while forgetting the Pitch Wheel slightly up - all programs were about a Major third lower!! Then I done the Tuning Test (still forgetting about that Pitch Wheel) it was a mess...once I realized the problem and setting the Pitch Wheel in its default position the tuning test fixed all problems.

Now - this is my second affair with a Six Trak and while I was amazed I could recollect the sounds of most of the standard presets (after all it was my very first synth 20 odd years ago) I don't remember the Pitch Wheel range goes up a Major 3rd and down a semitone....can anyone confirm this is right? I performed the Pitch Wheel tuning test and consistently I get the same result (up a 3M and down a semitone)...so I'm bound to think this is it (it does make sense in a way but it's not in line with standard wheel configurations).

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by SciNote » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:18 am

I'm not familiar with this particular synth, but maybe the up and down ranges of the pitch bend wheel can be set independently, so that it can be set to go up and down by different interval amounts? This is just a guess, as I know my Roland GAIA SH-01 has this feature.

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:53 am

most if not all modern synth have plentiful of options for Wheels - including setting the intervals as one wishes...but old synths like the Six Trak are limited to "no choice"; the intervals of the Pitch Wheel are set and you have to adapt to that...then, the synthesizers back in the days were conceived as a emulators of real life instruments (that's was my approach anyway...I'd spent hours try to emulate the sound of acoustic real instruments on my first Six Trak - many years ago).

Interestingly the up a major third and down a semitone does make sense - people like myself who play acoustic instruments knows this is normal instrument behaviour, e.g.:
Guitar, Bass, Violin and strings instruments : ...you can bend the pitch upward easily a third and more...but not downwards.
Saxophone, Trumpet and wind instruments: similar to above - most sax players find it easier to bend the pitch above and can go below but not that much.

so, yeas...SixTrak's Pitch Wheel (a Major third up and only a semitone down) is limited somehow, but it makes perfect sense to me...
Last edited by syevad on Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by SciNote » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:00 pm

That all makes sense. I did a little Googlin' about the subject and it looks like the pitch bend wheel is, indeed, not programmable. But it appears that the fixed range is supposed to be up and down by about a third. Some people said it is a major third one way and a minor third another way, but what appears to be the owner's manual just says "up or down by about a 3rd."

This manual is at...

http://www.archfrenemy.com/files/sixtra ... manual.pdf

...and the part about the pitch bend wheel is in section 2-3.

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Re: six trak from USA to UK - nearly a semitone lower

Post by syevad » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:57 pm

A Major 3rd up and a Minor 3rd down?! Doesn't make much sense...surely they meant a 2nd minor down? (aka a semitone).
Waiting for a confirmation - maybe I'll start another thread...

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