this module should exist, but does it? (individually modulatable elasticly reverting cycle-true octal lfo)

so I have a module in mind, I got the idea when fiddling around with “8fo” from bog audio, 8 lfos, all in phase, but:

imagine you could trigger a speed-up on each of these lfos separately by a cv, say a gate, and it would temporarily get out of phase/sync with the others, but like a pendulum it comes back, even beyond the 0 point so after speeding up by amount x, it slows down by amount x and eventually, and that’s the big idea about this, it not just comes back to the same speed as the other lfos, but gets back into its original phase, meaning, it stays in sync even though it was temporarily speed up by external force.

one can imagine this like speeding up and slowing down tape manually, except tape will only go back to its original speed when being finger-slowed down (I did this with cassette players where the deck cover had broken off, nice fx really)

so does this spongy kind of multi-lfo exist? imagine the usages of this. the module would have to remember the cv that you put in on the each of the directions (speed up or speed down) and then double and mirror it so it equals to exact same position (even back in sync) to the other lfos.

imagine clocking multiple sequencers with something like this. mayhem! you could push one to speed up and it would come back to be in sync with the others eventually, cause it has to.

so, there is no friction in the process, what you put in gets mirrored on the other side of the axis. say you put in a gate of 1v for 5 seconds which gradually speeds one of the lfos up by amount x, and when you let go of the trigger (input of 0v) it slows down with the same kind of gradient for the exact amount of time (5 seconds) by -1v just to get back in tune/sync/phase with the other oscillators.

I think if this module does not exist, it should. all kinds of cool sequencing and filter wobbles would be possible in a way that has not yet been seen before, or has it and it’s already in a vcv module?

let me know! cheers. corni

p.s. more ideas: of course all of the 8 lfos, just like in 8FO, should be collectively be controllable by a CV, and retrigger. of course we need a retrigger phase as well like any good retriggerable lfo should have, maybe even a fade in time setting for the retrigger time to avoid clicks, or maybe it should even be dependent on the current speed of the lfo which would be way more elegant than separate control. ah man, if this does not exist yet, I might get into building modules myself, cause I really want this. I have all kinds of sonic phantasies like an array of 8 filters in an 8 voice synth setup, where casually I speed up one which initially sounds like now the carefully arranged dubstep filter shenanigans seem to have fallen for chaos and randomness but then it magically slows down by the same way it got sped up and all falls back into sync, not just that, it falls back (and this is what I forgot to mention initially) it falls back into the same sum total of completed cycles as all the other oscillators. yeah, this is the crux of this module I guess, the sum total of all cycles always has to remain the same, no matter how much you speed up or slow down each oscillator, after one alteration (gate on times intensity times time) it should undo its alteration by the same (gate on times intensity times time) times (2). why times 2? well you don’t end up with the same amount of completed cycles if you just undo what you have changed, you need to revert. how to revert? undo twice. only then you come back in phase, i you only do it once, you come back to the same speed, maybe even same phase, but not same n of cycles. this is why I used the pendulum analogy, now with pendulums in the real world, there is always some amount of friction, but we are in magic digital wonderland, and we (think we have) perfection here, don’t we, so, we can perfectly undo AND revert modulation if we want to, don’t we?

am I the only one completely in the edge of my seat with this module? I hope it exists, and if someone is interested in developing it for me (for everyone really) I might let go of some of those decentralized digital tokens everyone is so eager to get their hands on these days :+1:

edit2: more ideas: the whole philosophy of something like this should revolve around the idea of “what goes up must come down”, duality and harmony, ying and yang, with a little twist: no friction. perfection. isn’t this the essence of a digital lfo? ok I will try to patch this up in vcv now with two lfos, have them retriggered in parallel, speed one up by an envelope, and have it slow down by the same envelope (boosted by 6db) and see if they end up in sync and on the same period (number of cycles) again, I guess a clock divider will do for the switching.

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All that’s really needed to basically make this is to add polyphony support to the wavetable position input of the basic vcv wavetable lfo. Then you could send polyphonic envelopes of varying strength to the pos input, which will “desync” each lfo differently, then resync them as the envelope goes back to 0.

Changing the frequency of one lfo will only work if you have a perfect bipolar envelope, and even that I’m not certain would resync perfectly.

and this is why I think something more elaborate needs to be done to achieve this. a module would need to constantly count and compare cycles to make sure after all (modulation) is said and done, everyone not just needs to be back at the same lfo speed, same phase, but also at the same count of cycles. imagine the task of this, when one positive modulation pushes a 2hz lfo to 500hz for a second, and when you let go of the modulation it needs to completely revert, resync, and end up at the same amount of total cycles as the lfo that has been chugging along at 2 hz the whole time.

so I am imagining some dsp work here, the way I picture this in layman’s terms is something like this:

  • module needs to detect when modulation (an input of more or less than 0V) applies to any of its slots (8)
  • from the exact moment some (any really) kind of modulation occurs, the modulation needs to be sampled (recorded) into a buffer - so the module will probably need 8 buffers per slot.
  • from the exact moment the modulation returns to 0V the buffer needs switch to output and output the recorded modulation inverted and multiplied by 2 (twice as intense?) with my basic idea of the math involved in this, this would undo the modulation that occurred prior and get an affected LFO back to the same amount of cycles, as some non-afflicted lfo.
  • the module needs to count and compare cycles internally, to make sure eventual calculation errors get remedied and auto-tuned to ensure perfect sync and cycle conformity.

there are a couple design ideas which would make this module a breeze to work with, maybe I’ll write them all up eventually.

the core element really is the buffer. what you do with the buffer is your business. the module just needs to make sure that it undos the incurred modulation in a mirrored and doubled way so all lfos, when all modulation is said and done, revert to their original positions in phase, and in same n-total of cycles.

imagine the charm of this, it would behave like a squishy sponge, weights suspended in bands, pendulums, modulated tape delay. see I like the tape analogy with this. you can speed it up for some time but if you want to get back in sync/phase with the other tape playing at normal speed, you need to slow it down by the exact amount and time as you did speed it up.

and here it gets interesting, cause if let go off the “exact same thing but mirrored and multiplied by 2” idea, and agree that any of the two variables (time and amount) of modulation can be changed as long as the sum (rather product) of those equals the total of the initial modulation, you can start messing with the “reset-modulation” - what I mean by this? well, like your lfos get back in tune a bit faster than they went out of tune? well sure, in this case, you need to adjust the amount on the other side, so you want it to get back faster (subtract time), you need to slow it down harder (add amount).

so, introduce rise and fall controls in the module, either globally, or per slot (1-8) the math necessary to ensure lfos end up at the same phase and same n-cycles (what I mean by this is merely that they all need to go back to square one, nobody (of the 8 lfos) in this module is allowed to be ahead or behind ultimately, ultimately meaning "when all modulation is off (all individual mod inputs 0V) and all “anti-moduation-buffers” have been emptied.

so one needs to imagine a module that has 8 lfos where one can shoot from 2hz to 300hz for some time but when I let go of the gate that triggered this runup, it can almost come to a standstill for some time just to have the internal master lfo (which was at 2hz the whole time) catch up so both end up at the same amount of total completed cycles, not just at the same speed and same phase offset. am I the only one who likes this kind of harmony and the philosophy involved?

so the long answer to your last remark is: we need a module that counts cycles and then nudges here and there a bit to make sure after all modulation and buffer emptying all lfos end up at the same position, or what other way to put it: all lfos will have done the same amount of work.

to think a sine from an lfo running at 2hz is the same as another lfo’s sine running at 2hz is the same, does not care about history much. you don’t know where they have been coming from, what they have been through, and so this module makes sure that your modulation sources for your gear and vcv patches actually feel what political leaders failed to achieve for ages, equity. now, I don’t want to get into politics, it just happens that I used a lot of contemporary political lingo to describe an ideal multi lfo with a nice twist. it just happens that most political utopias fail because of the human condition, which essentially best described by “friction”. we don’t have friction in vcv, do we?

so can I have an utopia lfo? (oh look, here we have a name for this module already) lol - marxist utopia lfo, anyone? it makes sure no lfo gets left behind :joy:whatever their history, justice will be brought to them, so you earn too much? this module will take from you over time, so you got hit by a rock from space and walk slower than others now? we’ll adjust you so when all is said and done, nobody got ahead, nobody got left behind.

so enough with the political tangent, I just wanted to promote this module a bit, and encourage some devs to maybe build one, my skills end at programming reaktor, max/msp, patching vcv modules, eventides, and symbolic sound machines, never went into actual programming though, so I can’t make sure utopia.LFO will work, as in

Changing the frequency of one lfo will only work if you have a perfect bipolar envelope, and even that I’m not certain would resync perfectly.

so after all this rather necessary brainstorming on my part (huge swaths of text involved as you can see) it’s time for a TLDR:


I want an octal LFO, which has 9 cv inputs for speed, one for master speed, 8 for the individual lfos, and no matter what modulation I feed it to speed up or slow down each and any of the 8 lfos (which will create a wild mess) when I let go of the modulation (it needs a way to detect this) it should gradually revert the lfo speeds back to the original speed, while maintaining the original phase, and most importantly retaining the original amount of total cycles after the fact (the fact being the modulation) compared to the master lfo.

so if the master lfo’s speed does not change, and stays at say 2hz the whole time, but I mostly speed up the other lfos, they will need to not just slow down to get back in sync, which is easy to do without a new module, but it needs to calculate how much it needs to slow down further to ensure it gets back to the same amount of completed cycles (in sync and in tune/phase) as the master lfo.

I’m not sure ShapeMaster can do exactly what you want… but it’s 8 LFOs which can each be set to the same or different frequency, each have their own phase and trigger (if wanted) etc - it’s probably a good starting point at least.

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Ha! I’ve been tinkering with SM since I first read this thread around an hour ago, I don’t think it can either but I’m not 100% certain yet.


I can just about wrap my head around how it would work if the master control rate is constant. But I can’t imagine what is supposed to happen if the master rate changes in the midst of LFO modulation. And then if there is a reset? ouch.

Interesting idea! Two thoughts come to mind:

I wonder if using buffers is the only (or even the best) way to get the sound you’re looking for. Any time you use buffers, you have to set a size limit and define what happens when that limit is exceeded, so there would be some restriction on how long you could do the special modulation. Also, the buffer reverse trick would play back (backwards) any wobbles that went on the way in, which might not sound like a return-to-balance (which is what I read you as wanting). Finally, what happens if the underlying LFO parameters are changing during the return period? (edit: I see this also worries @DaveVenom :slight_smile: ) Now you’re having to time-stretch and resample the buffer playback dynamically to keep things aligned.

Here’s another way of looking at it that might be what you’re after:

  • Start with something 8FO-like, so you define a base LFO and 8 related LFOs.
  • When special modulation is applied, the module calculates where each LFO is (obviously), but it also calculates where it would be given the progression of the base parameters (without the special modulation).
  • When special modulation is released, the module drifts the where-it-is point back to the where-it-would-be point using some configurable algorithm and speed. This could be simple or relatively sophisticated, but it wouldn’t require a buffer, and it should be able to adapt gracefully to ongoing changes in the base LFO or the base parameters.

Tracking the time spent at 0V and going to “no modulation detected” after some period is easy, but I wonder if having both an “autodetect” mode and a “trigger” mode might be a good idea. I can imagine cases where the autodetect might be frustrating, so allowing the return behavior to be under optional separate control could be helpful.

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This idea seems a little … niche?

It seems to me that a sine modulation of an LFO frequency would have this affect. It would take some doing but it is possible with current modules:

  1. The sine modulation would be switched on, and the LFO would have to be synced to the ‘on’ signal, i.e. it starts a positive cycle when the switch is triggered.
  2. the modulating sine will speed up the LFO, then slow it down and if you let it continue through the negative half of the cycle, the symmetrical slow down will offset the speed up exactly.
  3. once you’ve run through the full modulating sine for a full cycle the LFO should be back in sync.
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since you mentioned polyphony: imagine a 8 voice poly synth in vcv, our module feeds them 8 lfos in sync, we hear no sound cause we are not hitting any keys yet, then we reach for a big spread out 6 voice chord, our module is set up so a poly cable feeds it all the different v/oct values of the midi-cv module. and what does it do with the lfos that had beein in sync? well the voices above c3 start to slowly speed up their filter lfo and the voices below start to slow down their filter modulation, this sounds cool because it starts off as harmony, as if we only had 1 filter, but they magically turn into 6, now we are holding this chord and all filters swing by their (slightly different) speeds, which creates a nice feeling of warmth and fullness, but now what? we let go of the keys in our pad sound which has a vast amount of amp release so we can hear it slowly fading out, but what happens now in the fadeout? oh boy, the filters seem to communicate with each other, the ones that had been slower before start to speed up, the faster ones start to slow down to a point at which they all seem in sync again but what’s this, beyond this point the voices that had been the fastest initially suddenly are the slowest in this release phase, and the opposite is true for the initially slowest which with fading volume now seem to be the fastest, at this point we experience inverted beautiful chaos again, and we already sense a tad of justice deep down below? but what now? now the real magic happens, as the sound fades away (remember, we are in the release phase of a 6 voice synth sound) now magically all filters seem to tune into one another and whoa boy, it sounds like they get into phase again, and not just that it feels like they all completed the exact amount of cycles once the adsr completely closes our vca’s. whoa, what a trip, I feel like I just witnessed a cycle from big bang to big bang in a multiverse :wink: …so so emphasise for the n-th time, I think our minds and eary actually do appreciate this little detail of “same amount of cycles at the end” as something extra peacefully just and balanced and wholesome. and this was just for filters, imagine clocking sequencers with this. some speed up, some slow down, but in the end they all get back on the right track.

when patching modulars and digital counterparts I really like the notion of chaos and order to be two concepts that are inherently contained within themselves. like, uh, involved? divulged? I’m at a loss of words here, help me out. remember, tech is nothing without philosophy, there are aesthetic ideas and philosophies expressed in every genre of IDM, barely anyone seems to notice it, but the most successful genres merely find different approaches of expressing different beautiful concepts and ideas, and we feel those ideas without being able to put our finger on it. ever wondered why psy-trance has this overly hard hitting kick and solid in-phase baselines compared to regular techno while also being way more variably modulated and melodically challenging in its higher range? it’s cause of the idea that the more you freak out some place, the more solidity you need below. what is the lowrange in electronic music? stability, roots, sense of home, and do you need more of it, or more strict and solid foundation the more you go off the tangents in the higher ranges? yes absolutely. barely anyone notices though. harmony and balances can be found in any genre, we have a feeling for when something sounds right. and what is the essence of the charme of “regular” techno? many ideas and concepts to be found there as well, many of which we never notice, but they need to be there otherwise it would not “work”.

anyways, I am writing too much. I guess I just want to promote the idea of ideas, and that it makes all the difference in the world that this module needs to not just get back in sync but get back in the same actual cycle as the master lfo. if he has sone 15457 cycles while the others were modulated, they need to be sped up or slowed down accordingly they too end up at exactly 15457, and in phase, and in sync, or the idea the module I imagine expresses, becomes bland and uninteresting.

yeah been thinking about it. I already have the pro - I’d need a way to count the cycles and a way to have some circuit adjust my cv’s so I end up at the same n of cycle for all modules after modulation. I have no idea how to get started patching this up. time will tell.

well, in my mind, the module gets gates (I called them cv at many times which is confusing) on each of the 8 lfos, as long as a gate is present, the modulation happens (positive gate speeds up, negative slows down for example) but when you let go of the gate (typically note-on from a keyboard) the buffer starts emptying, and if you interrupt this process by a new gate, I’d say we hard-reset to master lfo (wiping the buffer) and put a hp filter in between to prevent clicks, or crossfade to master lfo. harmony must be maintained, and the module will do if you let it. if the user interrupts, its his fault. but good question, it’s a compromise, doing time-re-stretching would be the most involved solution, but then the other questions becomes very pertinent, where does the buffer end? all things are finite. so a compromise must be find. I’d go with the “de-clicked” hard reset to master lfo for each voice (stage) that gets a gate or cv before it finished it’s “back to the roots” balancing act.

exactly my way of thinking, I would definitely leave the phase knobs in with something like 8FO. I bet internally it also just references the master lfo and offsets phase with these knobs :wink:

I know it’s tempting isn’t it, you are thinking efficient, I like it, and this would be the way, even the “sophisticated” part of it, but it all sounds too much like you don’t give enough emphasis on the one subject that would make this lfo so way different than any other multi-lfo, the “cycle completeness” or “true cycle” feature. so I’ll elaborate on it again: we need a way to do this re-alignment in a way that makes sure that the total amount of cycles never differs from the total amount of cycles of the reference (master) lfo in our module, apart from temporary. what is temporary? well when modulation is happening, and before modulation is being “undone”. so when is this? well we need to have some parameters for how quickly the lfo stages snap back to original (pay attention here) speed, and position (as in phase) AND total position (as in total cycles) if the total cycle-aspect gets disregarded, the module will be like any other, bland, of mediocre interest and appeal, albeit the re-syncing is kinda nice already, but the true-cycle reset is the real deal here. so, I really like your idea, but only if it makes sure it does not “skip a beat” or do some “jumpy business” in reaching synchronicity and phase alignment, even if ever so gradual,

in this imagined module I don’t care about sync (same speed) and phase (same phase as when started out) as much as I do care about the total amount of cycles of each LFO to return to the exact same number as when we started out prior to any modulation. not sure if I am coming through, and this is why I am thinking buffers, cause buffers do remember, but we could also use some counting logic to count cycles, and then some adjustment logic to make sure our goal is achieved? but it needs to be gradual, like uh, a slowed down and sped up tape-deck. if I can find a way to count cycles in shapemaster pro, I might find a way to always re-sync the lfo so that the end result for each stage is the same number of completed cycles as before any modulation. not sure if I am getting through, but I feel like it’s really worth it with this one idea.

(attention, rather unattended tangent talking starts here to solidify my point)

like…imagine a Model D, it has 3 oscs, imagine you are playing it for 5 minutes, does not matter what you play, but just for theoretical appreciation, imagine at the end of playing the synth, every oscillator would have completed the same amount of cycles in all of his oscillators. we feel like this is impossible, and really not practically probable, ever, maybe if we tune all oscillators to the same note, and hope it does not drift too much, then yeah, likely possible, still not probable after 5 minutes. so, again, imagine the goal is to have all oscs having completed the same amount of cycles after exactly 5 minutes of playing. so I say, it’s impossible, but if it were, it would sound super interesting. why? bc we humans have an itch for ideas and beauty in numbers correlations, dependencies and structure. I’m going off on a tangent again, so bear with me a sec. so, how would we do it? easy. first we all know that a model D has a VCA, and this vca makes sure that held notes are more emphasized than released ones, to a degree at least, usually ppl play short notes with it, so, what will our extra electronics have to do for us to achieve our goal of “cycle-true-ness” (new flashy feature btw) in this case? well it needs to pitchbend the oscillators in the gate-off phases of our playing, it is noticed as a drop off or increase in pitch after each note in each oscillator each. actually it sounds rather nice, but we have no idea what it’s doing until right after we stop playing at the 5 minute mark. by then we feel what it did.

again, I am not saying it’s possible in a model D as outlined above, I am just trying to emphasize that if it were, and some control logic would predict what you were going to, maybe even some AI having data of all your past playing and it got very close to cycle-completeness, then you would feel it. it would feel like although you played the most intricate melodies, all have been balanced out at the gate-off/decay stages of your playing, at the note-offs, so you end up with the wholesome feeling of somehow really having been playing the same note all along, which you didn’t Oo. do you did and you did not. do I get across?

this just goes to emphasize (again) the importance of this little extra feature, which in my opinion makes all the difference to a mere re-balancing or re-syncing circuit.

so over this day I was gravitating towards the “we use a gate to trigger modulation” and we use internal rise and fall times, an A/R envelope internally for each of the stages, we can set those rise times for each stage individually, BUT if a new gate comes in while the reset- circuit is not yet finished, we do a rather hard cut (speed up or speed down) (buffer flush) to reach cycle-trueness with the master lfo. what do you think? having the option is nice, too, but having too many options can be overwhelming as well and deter from the experience. this is a design choice ultimately.

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That sounds like a winning idea to me.

Keeping track of where each LFO is relative to the master rate should be easy. Simply keep a cycle counter for the master as well as each LFO, and then when returning, the LFO always knows where it needs to get to. I’m never good with the magnitude of numbers - do we need to worry about the cycle count rolling over?

To return back to “normal”, an LFO might have to speed up, or slow down. You could allow for different algorithms/settings for those two scenarios. It seems simpler to have one controlling set for all LFOs, but I suppose you could allow different specs for each LFO.

So one question I still have - what should happen if the master rate accelerates in the midst of an LFO modulation? Should the master rate delta somehow be applied to the modulated LFO immediately? Or only after the modulated LFO begins to return? My gut tells me immediately.


All that needs to be done is to make a polyphonic lfo module with FM input that adjusts the phase of all lfos to match when FM input = 0.

yeah, skimming over the subject gives the impression of this problem being trivial, no offense though, I expected this to happen.

been thinking about having a perfectly bipolar source do the bidding as well, but then this is intended to be used by musicians, so the triggering needs to be happening by note ons, and the resets need to be started by note offs. they only perfectly reset when the proportion of held notes is 1:1 to released notes (note on vs note off times). correct me if I’m wrong. the issue here. then you state this:

yes, again, true, but even if this was achievable by a special kind of playing, at least when triggered by actual practical playing of a keyboard (say we have an 8 voice poly synth patch at hand) this would never resync the lfos, and even in a perfect world with quantized note lengths (so the note off phases are of equal lengths to the note-ons) we still have this issue:

in the long run the engine has rounding errors I surmise. so in my discussion with @gc3 we almost concluded we some counting and some elaborate adjusting happening, with mere symmetry it will not work the longer a patch runs (I guess).

resets hurt, sometimes they are necessary, to make this completely elastic it would be one heck of a challenge, I’d be ok with a reset feature, especially if it has a “glide” or “smooth” option. things like these are way cool when you let them finish, and if you deliberately don’t, you should be punished a litte, shan’t you?

one other way to get around to “how not to get pushed” would be to increase polyphony. if I play 3 note chords on a 8 voice synth with this lfo I will run out of voices ( => reset for our nifty little lfo) rather quickly, if I set it up to be 16 voice, it will happen rarely, and when it does, probably at low vca volumes.

maybe the “reset routine rise and fall” - values should be coupled (modulatable) to the release of a given synth patch, imagine a huge patch, and just when one voice fades out it gets back in sync with the others? I just second guessed the idea for a moment :wink: - well, the idea was that if you let go of all modulation, they will tune back to their original sync, phase, and cycle-count positions. it’s a matter of tuning how quick this should happen. if it happens too slow, retriggers will spoil most of the fun for some of the voices, when it happens, but meh, good enough compromise.

very interesting! will take me some time to digest this and the other posts–I’m running from place to place–but I’ll sit with it and think about the cycle/counter thing. (That’s the part of the original idea that I can’t audiate as clearly).

This is turning into another good group thread!

uhm, quick reply here, uhm, no. I need sync (same speed) phase matching (what you just said) AND (drumroll) cycle count- completeness. I went through great lengths to explain what I mean with this, and why I think it’s so important. actually it’s the icing on the cake that would make this module way more bland if it were left out. so I’ll try to explain briefly what I mean by cycle-completeness or “cycle-true”:

so, two lfos meet walking down an alley, they are 2 feet apart as they talk and obviously they are walking at the same speed so none has yell, say they walk at 2mph. they decide to go on a journey, only rule: they need to meet again exactly the way they were, to discuss their experiences. so, one tells the other “cu later, I still have some things to do over here, just go ahead and have fun” so he slows down a little, while lfo 2 sticks to his pace, the distance between them gradually increases of course, lfo sees lfo2 getting smaller and smaller, he has an idea: “maybe I can just synchronize my steps to his so he won’t get away” little does he know his steps are smaller, lfo2 keeps getting ahead further and further, lfo1 starts to worry he would never be able to share stories if he lets him get away like this, so he decides to make bigger steps, and look, not he makes the same steps when his buddy makes them, and he makes sure they are the same size, they are in sync, and in phase, but if he wants to share stories, he needs to yell at his buddy who is pretty far away, he wonders, why is he so far away, if I do exactly the same as he does. he yells ahead “hey lfo, I met this girl and have lots to tell you, why don’t you wait for me so I can tell you” lfo2 replies “why don’t you catch up, go a little faster for a while, I mean after all it was you who decided to go slower out of nowhere, it is your duty to catch up if you meant to meet” this made sense to lfo1, so he decided to break phase and sync and just speed up all over the place until he got close to lfo2 again, he almost overtook lfo2 but ended up right next to him, and lfo looked at him with a smirk in his face “so, tell me, what have you experienced” lfo1 shrugged “well, I met this girl, her name is LPF, she looked confused, I asked here what’s the matter, she replied: ‘you look exactly like this guy over there, are you twins?’ - she meant you, lfo2, she thought I was you and there is no difference between you and me when she saw me doing the exact same steps at the exact same time as you do.” lfo2’s grin got broader, many know lfo2 is pretty wise when it comes to these things, after all he prefers going at his pace no matter what girls are besides him anyways, so he encourages lfo1 to go on: “go on, I’m listening”, and lfo1 goes on: “well, I told her no, I just met this guy, his name is harry, and I am john. we look the same, we walk talk and work the same, but we are not the same, I mean, I changed, I slowed down for a while after meeting him, an now everyone thinks we are the same, just because matched his pace again, I even realigned my steps so I hit the ground with my feet the exact same time he does. I mean would you really think he was me if you stood right next to him?” she rolled her eyes and replied with a an amused smile in her face: “well, actually, yeah, I would, I mean I stand right next to you now, and you do nothing different than lfo2 who is over there, if I were over there, he would look exactly like you, he would even be as tall as you, as I would be right next to him as I am right next to you right now.” as lfo1 finished this sentence he looked a little worried, and he asked harry a rather deep question: “what is it that defines us as lfos?” harry scratched his chin an looked down on john: “look, we had a deal, you went slower and you cought up to me again, you wasted time on this girl who is smarter than you, and you have not even fulfilled the deal” John: “???”, Harry “well, are we 2 feet apart” john slowed down a little, had to tripple with his feet a little so he got comfortable keeping the distance, after all we’re in a fucking pandemic, not he was at the same pace, at the same distance, and whatnot, he felt reassured to ask again “so what is it then, what defines us?” and looking straight towards the horizon harry went on: “it’s the path that lays behind us that defines us. you met a girl, and had a conversation, I kept on going minding my business. we can do the same thing in the same places, but only for the simple-minded we are the same. there are millions of truckers in the world, do you think they are all the same cause they are all truckers and driver trucks? no, they all go down different paths, at different paces and end up at different phases, but guess what, if they want to talk to me, they need to do what you have done, John, you came off the right path, and got seduced by the opposite sex, which is all too human anywas, but you found back to me, and now you share your experiences with me, we are at the same place now, and you have nothing to worry about anymore. we all start at the same place, we all start where I am, and where I was, and have always been, I am the master-lfo, John.” . he knew his journey really has come to an end. "there will be many lfos in the life of any lfo, and many will pretend to be like the master-lfo, they can even be in phase and go at the same pace as I do. and many minds confuse them for me, many even earn money on this similarity, some lfos even engage in genetic modification to bastardize my work, they all want to play master, to be the creator, to be the thing that started it all, and which will ultimately end it all, but they are imposters, and when their journey comes to an end, when they finally catch up to this fact, at this point they will become one with me, and only then.


so essentially lfo1 met his god, and I guess I felt like writing this off the top of my mind to explain why an lfo at the same phase and same pace/speed as another, isn’t the same, not at all. he is not where it all started, ideally he can not even communicate with the other lfo. they look the same, they do the same, but they are not the same.

this whole thing, all the effort I put into discussing something seemingly so bland as an lfo, I guess, is merely a self exercise in realising that we electronic musicians, on a very profound level, do not yet give history in our music a high enough meaning. we think modulation is the same when it looks the same and does the same, we don’t account for how much of the same has been accumulating in the past yet. what if we start doing this? enter sequencing I guess. it’s all about the numbers, music is math?

bottom line: no, I don’t want this lfo to only smoothly get back in sync which is nice in itself, or even more to get back in sync & phase-relation, which would be even nicer, I want them to do all this, and actually meet where they started, to catch up to the exact point they left, so the total difference of the paths behind them is 0, or the total way they travelled is equal. admit it, none of your lfos in your vcv patches actually ever meet once kicked off, do they? what if we introduce this new way of thinking to our modular patches? at the very least they will gain a new sense of (historic?) meaning, a sense of inner completeness, pace, idk. I mean we already do this with volume, every piece of work starts at total silence and eventually returns to total silence, even artsy fartsy sound installations end when someone pulls the plug. so why can’t synced lfos ever return to where they started in the first place, and from now on always? I really didn’t think I would be the only one to ever having thought up or having requested something like this. it’s so simple and natural really. It’s really inspired by pendulums, or tape delays, minus the friction of course. really if you think of an lfo at speed x more like a cassette tape playing at speed x, it should really become obvious that we need some kind of sophisticated mechanics to ensure that modulating the speed of one tape required special attention to make sure both tapes not just play at the same speed after modulating only 1 for a while, but that they actually beatmatch to the same downbeat. imagine two tapes playing electronic music that usually is arranged to sections of multiples of 4 bars, usually 8 bars, 16 bars and 32 bars. I have two different tracks on the tapes that both adhere to these principles (I did some djing in the past most idm tracks really do) so what happens if I mess with the tempo of one deck and completely forget where the downbeats are? well I can beatmatch them (get the kicks to line up) which will allow for a quick crossfade, but the transition is not cool unless both tracks are structurally aligned, so the transition does not sound nice. same think with modulation following the incomplete re-sync of this multi lfo, the feeling of wholesomeness and completeness will be lacking. very unscientific of me, I know, but I can feel it in my gut that this module will not shine unless it adheres to this very principle. and if it does, it will make a difference (unless it has been made yet) - the ladder part is actually rather confusing to me, why has this not been done yet? it’s not trivial, but way less involving than say some pitch tracking algos or antares autotune or the lengths universal audio go through making sophisticated replicas of vintage gear. :thinking:

It’s not a pendulum at all at this point anymore. You are asking for an LFO A that has sped up so that it has done X cycles more than LFO B, to then slow down an (arbitrary?) amount Y slower than the baseline, until LFO B has caught up X cycles.

This “cycle complete” concept seems fairly meaningless to me. I can’t see a use for it, other than being able to just simply state that Z time, these two LFOs have travelled the same amount. I’m curious as to what actual use case you see for this.

I do like the idea of polyphonic LFOs that have the ability to smoothly resync though, and might look into developing this.

I also am not convinced the concept will have general use. But I can envision at least one use case.

If the LFO is used to trigger events, then it might be useful to guarantee all LFO targets have been triggered the same number of times when everything is back in sync.


The more I think about this concept of parallel things drifting in and out of sync, the more I think of it as parallel clocks that are mostly in time (perhaps out of phase by design), but one or more may temporarily speed up or slow down, and then adjust to get back in sync.

Here is a piece called “Aviary” from Kris Lennox - a composer and synth enthusiast, that explored this, (along with many other concepts - he is very cerebral). I really love this piece - very beautiful and organic, despite the fact it is rigidly based on prime numbers and sequences at many levels.

Here is a blogpost that describes what is going on in the piece. The section dealing with Polytemporarl Music is toward the end.