Audible Instruments Macro Oscillator 2: What is dust noise?


I have been steadily going through the Plaits / Macro Oscillator 2 documentation for the past few weeks. Today I arrived at the particle noise model.

It mentions dust noise, but what is exactly the definition of dust noise? I have heard of all kinds of color of noise, indicating which part of the spectrum is used. I do not seem to find anything about dust though.

I watched the Omri Cohen video, but he does not really explain it either.


Vinyl records are vulnerable to dust, heat warping, scuffs, and scratches. Dust in the groove is usually heard as noise and may be ground into the vinyl by the passing stylus, causing lasting damage.


It’s basically very short bursts of noise with silence in between them.


It’s basically randomly clocked noise as far as I understand glancing at the source code.

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Yeah, @Yeager pretty much nailed it. It’s the noise that DAWs sample so as you can get a more authentic 90s NY hip hop sound. It’s not generated as by anything or created as a byproduct. It’s literal noise.


There’s also a whole extra module from HetrickCV called Dust that does the same thing.

Plaits defines “dust noise” as lots of delta function impulse responses (1 nonzero sample, all others 0V), spaced randomly in time (spacing following the exponential distribution).

This is the same probability distribution as radioactive decay, when a customer walks into your store, raindrops falling in a cup during rainfall, etc.

Plaits processes these impulse responses through filters, which results in a “ping” sound depending on the filter parameters.


Now… Wait.
I understand why a DAW like, say Reason, whose whole gimmick is hardware modeling (which, as with dsp, they do a great job of) making a plug in that emulates vinyl dust. Even a hardware sampler has use for this type of sound. But a whole module? Is there a tape hiss module as well?

I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic but Hetrick also has Crackle, a module that simulates vinyl like noise, as well. I guess the point of any of these modules (or the 2000 others) is to scratch a given itch of a programmer. I mean, there are at least 2 modules that i can think of off hand that just generate various different colours of noise.

There are multiple tape processing effects.

Why wouldn’t there be? The instrument has no pre-conception of what it’s to be used for, and will naturally drift away from focusing only on the sounds people have traditionally made with a hardware modular. Nobody asked me to prove my modules align with VCV’s brand and vision before allowing them in the library, they only ask me to review my code for malware & trademark infringement.


But I hope mine was the first :wink:


It’s one of the two i was thinking of.


Thanks for making this seemingly trivial question into such an interesting discussion!

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I think you misunderstood, a VCV module that emulated vinyl dust, tape hiss, the tube, the L train or the el train could be cool or useful for a number of reasons. However, the existence of a hardware module that say, some boutique company produced and sold for some ridiculous sum would surprise me, as there are other ways (like a sampler, or a record player) to produce these types of sounds.

Also, your pic is fabulous, as are your king sol modules. I don’t know what revolution requires a houndstooth beret, but count me in.

Yeah! I have Crackle and Dust. Both are based on the SuperCollider uGens. Crackle is a chaotic system that happens to sound a bit like vinyl.

Dust is as follows: the DENSITY control determines how likely a random impulse will fire every sample. Additionally, the maximum amplitude of the impulse is affected by DENSITY and determined randomly. At low DENSITY values, this will sound like occasional pops, but at maximum density it’s white noise.

If you’re trying to find a good use for it, try plugging it into a resonator like Rings or Elements (the resonating inputs, not the trigger… however, the trigger input is also a lot of fun since it will randomly trigger the module).


Love these modules, i have more than once sampled them to use outside of Rack :slight_smile:

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