Creating a new patch from scratch can seem intimidating. Here are a few guidelines we follow to make the process easier. These are by no means rules, so feel free to do things as you wish.

Make sure your audio path is always working

Often, audio can can get routed to the wrong place, or modified to where you cannot hear it. To prevent this from happening, we build our patches in sections. As we go along, we always have the end of the audio path connected to the outputs so that we can hear the patch working.

For example, we start with the oscillators and mixer. We connect the oscillators to the mixer and the mixer to the output so that we can hear the pure tones of the oscillator. From there, we change the oscillator controls until we achieve the waveform we want.

After we get our waveform, we add a filter. Once we add the filter, we wire the output of the mixer to the input of the filter, and the output of the filter to the main output.

Now we can still hear the sound and we can dial in what the lowest cutoff frequency we want to hit when playing the sound.

Continue the process of connecting each new module you add in this way so that you can always hear the audio path.

Avoid digital distortion

Digital distortion is usually an unwanted byproduct of driving the audio signal too hard, thus hard clipping the signal.

To prevent this, check each stage of the audio patch for clipping.

The first place to start is the mixer when you have multiple sound sources. If you keep the level at 100% for each input, you have the possibility of clipping. We recommend that you start with the level at 50% for each input, and turn up the volume in your headphones instead.

Using amplifiers

Amplifiers have two main knobs. The first is the initial level and the second is the CV amount.

The initial level is the starting level before any control voltage signal is applied. By default it is set to where the knob is pointing straight up.

The CV amount is the amount the controller signal gets applied to the amplifier level.

To apply a control voltage to the amplifier for a typical synth patch, you would turn the initial level to 0% and the CV amount to 100%. When you apply a control voltage such as an envelope, it will change the amplitude over time depending on your envelope settings.

Use splitters and mixers

Splitter and mixer modules are essential for not only the audio path, but also the control signal path.

For example, if you want to use 3 oscillators, you will need at least 1 mixer to mix the outputs of all the oscillators, and 1 splitter to split the 1v/oct signal to each oscillator.

Make complex envelopes or control signals by mixing a combination of LFOs and envelopes to a single destination.

Split an envelope or LFO signal to multiple destinations to save rack space for other modules.

Use the modulation wheel

When you do have extra space in your rack for more modules, connecting the mod wheel gives you more performance options.

To connect the mod wheel you will need at least two modules, the first being the VCA-01 and the second being a modulation source such as an LFO.

Connect the master module MOD output to the CV input on the VCA-01. Then connect the LFO output to the input of the VCA-01. From there you need to connect the output of the VCA-01 to the modulation destination.

After you have all the connections made, make sure the VCA-01 INIT LEVEL is 0 and the CV AMT is 100%.

Now you mod wheel is connected and ready to go!

Make your patch stereo

When you do have extra space in your rack, splitting the audio signal chain into two allows you to make full stereo sounds.

For example, wire the last module in your audio chain to a splitter module.

Wire output 1 of the splitter to a delay unit.

Wire output 2 of the splitter to another delay unit.

make the settings on both delay units different.

Finally, wire the first delay unit to the master module L output and the second delay module to the R output.