NYSTHI µOPERATOR: What do the tiny lights mean?

I am working on understanding FM, and as part of that I’ve also been trying to figure out the NYSTHI µOPERATOR. I believe I understand the functions of all inputs and outputs, except for TIME IN (the orange #8 input), and what the three tiny lights at the very top of the module means (nor the two lights of the µENVELOPE).

I can see that the lights light up when you place either two µOPERATORs side-by-side, or a µOPERATOR and a µENVELOPE. I can also see that the middle (yellow) light of the µOPERATOR is turned on by selecting “Detach tuning from left expander” from the right-click menu. I assume the blue/purple lights signifies some sort of expander feature as well, but I haven’t been able to hear or understand what they mean…

Any hints, insights, or pointers for the lights and TIME IN would be much appreciated!

Found this…

OP or µOPERATOR ---- a basic Sine VCO with Linear FM, ideal to build up classic yamaha DX algorithms blocks (using mixers and ADSRs) ---- parameters ---- OCTAVE (from -8 to +8) ---- TUNING (from -1V to +1V) ---- SYNC input to SYNC the VCO Phase ---- TIME input: a steady clock can set a precise frequency ---- CVIO IN CV 1/v octave ---- CVIO OUT CV (the IN is copied to make OP chains) ---- EXPONENTIAL IN FM VCA CONTROL ---- EXP IN FM ---- LIN FM VCA CV IN ---- LIN FM VCA CV CONTROL ---- LIN FM CV IN 1 ---- LIN FM CV IN 2 ---- LIN FM CV IN 3 ---- FEEDBACK (auto LINEAR FM, controlled by LIN FM VCA CV CONTROL) ---- RATIO internal frequency scaling : {0.1, 0.13333, 0.166666, 0.2, 0.25, 0.33333, 0.5, 0.6666, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0, 11., 12.} ---- OUTPUT


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There is also this addendum in the change log

– ADDENDA doc for the OP aka µOPERATOR

The CLOCK in is not a REAL CLOCK in, it’s a PULSE IN for the internal TIME COMPUTER. The TC computes time average of last 4 pulses and tries to set the frequency. If you use with wiggly clocks, or with random pulses you’ll get strange results. Per design the CLOCK IN win OVER the inner FREQUENCY, so we can use an external LFO or CLOCK generator and sync many OP to an external TIME BASE and detach it, and the OP continues to use that as BASEFREQ. To regain ownership of the frequency, just move the TUNE pot (after you have detached anything is connected to the CLOCK IN).

But it does not appear to be working as advertised. It seems broken in my hands. Also some of the other points in the earlier blurb seem wrong as well.

Each uOP can act as an expander to its neighbor - linking them together. Linking has two possible effects:

  • Each uOP always modulates (via linear FM) its linked neighbor to the left (subject to the left neighbor’s linear FM attenuation of course)
  • Each uOP V/Oct input may inherit the V/Oct input from its linked neighbor to the left, but only if its own V/Oct input is unpatched, and also the “Detach tuning from left expander” option is not enabled.

The red light indicates the uOP is linked to a uOP expander to the right.
The blue light indicates the uOP is linked to a uOP expander to the left.
The yellow light indicates the uOP will not inherit V/Oct from the left.

I ran some tests on all the inputs, outputs, and knobs, and below indicates what I have found:


If you are working on FM, you might use one of the less cryptic FM modules. Like the every popular FM-OP or my somewhat improved “Kitchen Sink”.

Thank you for this explanation!

I have been thinking that it SHOULD work somewhat as you describe, i.e. that the linking was meant for modulating a neighbor, but for some reason my mind got locked in by how I usually lay out my modules in a patch; in this case it meant that I placed the carrier furthest to the RIGHT, and then the modulators to the left of that, which worked well when I explicitly cascaded the V/Oct to the LEFT, but if I disconnected that, no modulation would happen. The “unlink” option also gave me the hint that this had to do with modulation, but my mind was too blocked by how I laid out the modules to think of reversing the order… Mind is a powerful thing, I guess… :thinking:

My inner completionist is now at peace. :slight_smile:

Yes, I know, I really should. I have been looking at FM-OP, I have yet to check out Kitchen Sink, but I will do that as well. I actually started out learning about FM by watching some YouTube videos using FM-OP, but as I have a slight crush on NYSTHI at the moment, I ended up digging into µOPERATOR.

Now when Dave has put my mind at ease on the functions of the µOPERATOR, I can again take a step back and focus more on FM as such.

Thanks again for suggestions and help!

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