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volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:22 pm
by highvoltage
I have ordered my first semimodular synth, and while im waiting for it, i came up with some questions:

im wondering what happens if you use an audio cable with a volume control potentiometer on it as a patchcable for a modular synth.
What im trying to get to, is that there are modular/ semimodular synths that doesnt have atteunators or adjustable levels for control voltages. SO if you plug a saw wave to the filter CV it will be either zero or full-on modulation.

Now what happens if you use a cable with a volume control on it? Will it act as a voltage reductor and you can set the modulation amount?

Also, can you use stereojacks for patch cables?

Thanks,
Matthew

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:25 pm
by Joey
a volume control is basically an attenuator

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:13 pm
by Tidda
I'm not an expert but from what I understand is that a volume control potentiometer is most likely a logarithmic potentiometer. For controlling CV a linear taper potentiometer would be much more useful.

wikipedia - Potentiometer

Tidda

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:13 am
by 101 Force
I'm not too sure how feasible a volume attenuator would be for a modular synth cable, especially since audio signals are often pretty quiet until they reach the final VCA (which I could see potentially damaging certain modules if you were to increase the gain far beyond what they're generally designed to accept).

Check out these cables available from Analogue Solutions however:
Image

Keep in mind these cables can cause the intended voltage to lower, depending on where it's used, as your essentially diverting half the intended energy elsewhere. It's very useful for certain applications regardless.

Also, don't use TRS cables (just TS) unless specified for your modules. TRS cables can cause certain problems (the types of problems that need repair technicians to resolve).

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:08 am
by pricklyrobot
101 Force wrote:I'm not too sure how feasible a volume attenuator would be for a modular synth cable, especially since audio signals are often pretty quiet until they reach the final VCA (which I could see potentially damaging certain modules if you were to increase the gain far beyond what they're generally designed to accept).
at·ten·u·ate [v. uh-ten-yoo-eyt; adj. uh-ten-yoo-it, -eyt]verb, -at·ed, -at·ing, adjective
–verb (used with object)
1.
to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value: to attenuate desire.

You can't add gain with a volume pot (which you correctly identified as a volume attenuator).

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:13 am
by skweeegor
This sounds like it'd be clunky and annoying unless you got somebody to custom manufacture it for you. Why not just buy some attenuators?

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:47 am
by Sir Nose
101 Force wrote: Check out these cables available from Analogue Solutions however:
Image

Keep in mind these cables can cause the intended voltage to lower, depending on where it's used, as your essentially diverting half the intended energy elsewhere. It's very useful for certain applications regardless.
A "Y" cable will split the current, not the voltage. Too many splits and the signal strength can drop too low, but the voltage should stay relatively A-okay.

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:11 am
by Juno6
highvoltage wrote: Now what happens if you use a cable with a volume control on it? Will it act as a voltage reductor and you can set the modulation amount?
I think it´s a fantastic idea. I never thought about that, but I think it´s a really cool idea if it´s technically applicable.

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:16 am
by xpander
highvoltage wrote:What im trying to get to, is that there are modular/ semimodular synths that doesnt have atteunators or adjustable levels for control voltages.
it's modular. just add a module to process control voltages.

this is what i use. it's a lot more exotic than simple attenuators but serves that function well:
Image

you might try makenoise's "maths" in euro, another complex processor:
Image

or doepfer's basic & affordable dual attenuators, also in euro:
Image

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:23 am
by Mooger5
The Fonitronik Attenuverting Mixer is a very useful module too. It works as a four attenuator/inverter bank, summing mixer and CV generator.

http://www.schneidersbuero.de/index.php ... URO_BRUTTO

Image

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:14 pm
by highvoltage
Thanks for the cool answers!

My fault that i was not specific enough, i'm actually buying a Telemark, which is a semimodular, so additional modules is out of the question for now. Actually the telemark has built in faders for each modulatable location as EXT1-4.
(So even if it sound is inferior to the modular T.O. SEM - which i personally dont care for, and dont even want to cause arguments about it - it offers MUCH more flexibility patch-wise.)
But i just got curious if this solution would work in case if i run out of external CV locations :) )

So you advise not to use TRS, ill have that in mind.

And a linear 10k audio taper would be a good option.

Thanks!

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:17 pm
by highvoltage
xpander wrote: Image
Woa, this thing looks damn fine! What is it? A Buchla?

Re: volume control on modular patch cable

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:56 pm
by xpander
you can always buy something like a minicase on the cheap for a couple utility modules.
highvoltage wrote:Woa, this thing looks damn fine! What is it? A Buchla?
yep- if you look closely on that pic it says "Buchla & Associates" on the bottom of the modules.
Image