Available Now: VCV Library
The collection started development with Octoformer, as I dove down a large rabbit hole of how transformer saturation is used in music from channel strips to power amps. I even built a few guitar pedals with saturating transformers. Octoformer doesn’t sound like anything I did with any of those directly, but instead really has it’s own character.
Octoformer uses a model of a saturating transformer as its base, but I tweaked the model significantly to make it feel better to play. It’ll leave your high end more-or-less untouched, but really distort your low frequencies.
This is only distorting this much because the amplitude is so high. At lower amplitudes, octoformer will have have less effect. It loves dynamics, so I really recommend you place it after the VCA.
You’ll notice that mix defaults to 50%. This isn’t really correct. From 0-50% it does act as a pure mix control, but the top half of the knobs range actually adds more gain to the input internally, slamming the transformer model harder and distorting more!
I really recommend feeding Octoformer with “smooth” sources. Vult’s Basal works particular well - again, post VCA really makes it shine.
Wollf Up - Yeah, two L’s, originally a typo but I decided I like it for the implication of “parallel” which fits what the module does - Lets you mix in a copy of the signal ring-mod’d with itself. For some context, see this patch with the befaco ring mod:
This will give you an octave up signal, albeit depending on the input waveform it may not work perfectly. Importantly though, doing it this way with the simple ring mod module will give you DC Offset. Wollf Up removes that offset and gives you a mix control.
Additionally, there’s a bias control which to the right will accentuate the positive half of original waveform and to the left the negative.
Additionally, if you use a low frequency input, you’ll notice there’s a sort of crock on the positive half of the wave:
This is intentional and was added to better match the output of a guitar pedal I have which does this same process. I slammed it hard with various waves and watched the output. This is as close as I could get and I think it does add just a little extra flavor.
This module is by far the weirdest of the bunch. Unlike the other two where being stereo is convenient but not core to the module, Ghost Raccoon is all about stereo signals - though you need only patch one input to enjoy this effect as it’s really good at stereo-izing.
Here’s a single sine in and both outs hooked up:
Phase is all sorts of wrong, right? Yep, and how the phase gets altered is very frequency dependent. So, let’s input a saw and bring that mix down a bit
This is what I think of as the “Ghosting” effect of Ghost Raccoon. So, what’s the raccoon bit? That’s the bias getting the claws deep into the signal:
Bias in Ghost Raccoon adds a bi-polar gate. If the input signal doesn’t cross the gate’s threshold, it get’s 0’d. For example, if you have a bias of 3V, only the parts of the signal above 3V and bellow -3V will get through. The same is true for the -3V side of the bias knob.
The difference is that at positive bias the original signal is allowed to get through depending on the mix ratio, while at negative bias it isn’t. This means if the bias is negative and the mix knob is 0, the bias will still have an effect.
Here, altering the amplitude with the VCA will give us a sort of PWM.
Put both together, and you can get some wicked signals out:
Q: But what about CV!
A: You can use a Stoermelder uMap if you want, but I didn’t add CV for good reason - none of them need it. The better way to do it is to think about your inputs and alter them directly. All three of the modules react in interesting ways if you intentionally add a DC offset to your audio.
Q: Do they alias?