Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelopes?

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StepLogik
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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by StepLogik » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:47 pm

Thanks for the info, I had no idea how the poly800 did its thing either :lol:

A good book to read is "musical applications of microprocessors" by Hal chamberlain. He really explains how a CPU can be used to control an analog poly. He basically reverse engineers the Rhodes chroma in the book.

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by Dr. Phibes » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:32 am

StepLogik wrote: A good book to read is "musical applications of microprocessors" by Hal chamberlain. He really explains how a CPU can be used to control an analog poly. He basically reverse engineers the Rhodes chroma in the book.
There's a copy of that book on sale over on Amazon for over £1200. I suppose it's vintage after all... :?

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by StepLogik » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:53 pm

The vintage paper reads so much better than modern digital paper.

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by rschnier » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:28 am

Dr. Phibes wrote:
StepLogik wrote: A good book to read is "musical applications of microprocessors" by Hal chamberlain. He really explains how a CPU can be used to control an analog poly. He basically reverse engineers the Rhodes chroma in the book.
There's a copy of that book on sale over on Amazon for over £1200. I suppose it's vintage after all... :?
I picked up a used / good condition copy there for USD $14.96 a couple days ago...presumably it has the same info content as the £1200 book ;)
-- R.

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by Bitexion » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:56 am

No, the £1200 book has covers made from turkish camel foreskins, gold-plated pages and is written with human blood as ink.

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by DesolationBlvd » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:23 pm

While this thread's still going, I noticed that the Jupiter-6 and MKS-80 had a weird circuit before the filter and amp (while the JX series had like one resistor and capacitor). They also have the quirk of sometimes clicking. Was this why Roland slowed the JX down?
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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by StepLogik » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:35 pm

I doubt it. I don't think Roland purposely "slowed" the envelopes down in the JX series, they were slow due to various design decisions discussed previously.

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by minisystem » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:16 pm

This has been a topic of great interest for me recently. I've been working on a CPU/firmware upgrade for the Prophet 600. One of the aims is to improve the envelope performance. Among early 80s polysynths, the Prophet-600 is notorious for its slow envelopes. I did some analysis of the 600's envelopes, which you can read here. The perceived slowness of the envelopes seems likely due to not only the keyboard latency, but the fact that there are only 16 different attack/decay/release times. The poor resolution of the controls perhaps gives the user the experience that they aren't very responsive (which they aren't!).

I any case, I've measurably improved the performance by upping they keyboard scanning rate and the control resolution. I've not banged around on it enough to say if the user experience is any better, though. When I'm further along I'm going to try to make some snappy percussive sounds and see if I notice much improvement. The increase in control resolution alone will hopefully improve the feel of the envelopes, at least the act of programming them. Details are here.

adamstan, I'd be interested to hear what your experiences with software envelopes have been with respect to refresh rates, minimum attack times and control resolution.

I have both a Juno-106 and an MKS-80. I've never really noticed if their envelopes are faster or slower than any other 80s poly. Perhaps I should open up the lid of my 106 (which has a dead voice chip anyway) and take some measurements....

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by DesolationBlvd » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:06 pm

I would have said the JX-8P or maybe Matrix families would have needed upgrades before Prophet-600 did, but you proved me wrong. Envelopes should not look that blocky.


I asked this a few times in JX-3P related threads - does KIWI-3P speed up the envelopes much? I know JX-3P / MKS-30 isn't that bad, but my 80 runs circles around my 30.


The JP-6 / MKS-80 clicking seems to be related to sudden unexpected filter movement - keyfollow, square / S&H LFO, and velocity on MKS-80.
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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by adamstan » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:24 am

minisystem wrote: adamstan, I'd be interested to hear what your experiences with software envelopes have been with respect to refresh rates, minimum attack times and control resolution.
My envelopes run on separate CPU and DAC. I can't remember refresh rate now - I'll look up the code and check. As for the control resolution - 8 bits seem to be enough (or even 7, when controlled by CC). Envelope output itself is 8-bit too. I use hardware scaling (by feeding envelope amount CV into DAC reference input) so I always keep full resolution.
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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by Bitexion » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:36 am

So, those 4-bit P600 envelopes are only 16 steps each, what tricks did they use to make the sweep sound totally smooth then?

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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by adamstan » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:40 am

Bitexion wrote:So, those 4-bit P600 envelopes are only 16 steps each, what tricks did they use to make the sweep sound totally smooth then?
AFAIK only control resolution is 4-bit (probably to save memory?), but I suppose that envelope signal itself has greater resolution.
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Re: Why are Juno-106 and MKS-80 so fast for software envelop

Post by minisystem » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:36 pm

Bitexion wrote:So, those 4-bit P600 envelopes are only 16 steps each, what tricks did they use to make the sweep sound totally smooth then?
As adamstan said, it is the envelope controls are 4 bits (and yes, probably to save memory) - you only get 16 different attack/decay/release times and sustain levels. The resolution of the control voltage sent to the amplifier is probably 14 bit (the maximum resolution of the DAC) so long sweeps will sound smooth (ie. on a 10 second attack there aren't just 16 steps to get from 0 to 5V). The stepping you see on the scope is from the 200 Hz refresh rate. Looks very steppy on short attacks.

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