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Article from Polyphony, July 1976

Share Your Favorite Sounds With Us!

This issue contains a broad spectrum of patches: from the very utilitarian FM compensation to the bizarre cat purr and jungle. Nichael Cramer uses his synthesizer to process his guitar during live performance, and was good enough to send some of his most used patches. This is for all of you who have expressed an interest in guitar synthesizers and external signal processing. He even sent details on how their band derives triggers from the drum set. Airplanes continue to show up; we have a prop-type airplane for the Gnome, and a jet-liner landing.

BY THE WAY, have you sent us your favorite patch yet? I figure that if each subscriber sent us one patch, assuming 30-40% duplication, we would be able to publish 100 patches per issue next year!!! Or maybe put out a book of patches!

Let us hear from you.


(for full keyboard flat response F.M.)

Setup Procedure
1) Set KBD range.
2) Set bias at mid rotation.
3) Hold the HIGH END key and adjust the LFO frequency and output to desired F.M.
4) Hold the LOW END key and adjust the BIAS supply until the F.M. is equivalent, relatively, to the F.M. at the high end.
5) Go back to the high end again. If not satisfactory repeat steps 3 & 4 until desired results are obtained.
6) This patch can also be used for KBD controlled F.M. amplitude by altering or removing the bias supply.

Submitted by: Mark Schweter, Parma, OH.


A guitar signal, initially loud, will drive the output of the envelope follower to an appropriate amount as adjusted. This is inverted, offset by 5 volts and mixed with the -5 to +5 volt bias source. As the signal fades, the VCA opens up all the way, allowing more of the original signal through. By adjusting the bias and sensitivity of the envelope follower, the signal can be maintained at a set level - thus approximating a compressor-sustainer.

Submitted by: Nichael Cramer, Fortville, IN.


VCO: on
VCF: on
Range: 75%

Skew: 50%
Triangle: maximum
Square Wave: 60%

*Hit the trigger and move the skew, keeping the probe on the lower one-third of the controller strip. You can move the skew and probe simultaneously for a different effect.

Submitted by: Jay Truesdale, Ferguson, MO.

Jim said this patch surrounds you with the pulsating beat of conga drums, birds flying out of the bushes, and hyenas laughing in the distance. Bringing the level of VCO 1 and 2 up, you can play a tune in the jungle. Applying a pulse to AR #3 and setting the decay for maximum gets a screaming banshee. Applying a very low control voltage to VCO #4 modulates the pulse of VCO #3 for a repeat effect (about 1 every 2 seconds) which then rings through the filter for an eerie sounding drum. Sequencer produces the background conga drums.

Submitter: Jim Riter, Austin, TX.


Other instruments with a good dynamic range, such as voice or electric piano can also be used. Besides giving an additional sound to the guitarist, a good deal of subtlety and variation is possible. The musician can control both signal pitches going into the ring modulator; the original pitch and the VCO pitch by the volume of the original signal. You can also use the gate from the envelope follower to trigger an AR generator to drive the VCO. This will give a fixed pitch to modulate against.

Submitted by: Nichael Cramer, Fortville, IN.


VCO's: 1 and 2 tuned to unison
3 and 4 tuned one octave lower
Keyboard: No Glide

Mixer: All panpots at 50%
Filters: Both filters set to low range
Maximum Q, Lowpass output

ADSR 1: Attack-10%, Decay-30%, Sustain-70%, Release-100%
ADSR 2: Attack-50%, Decay-70%, Sustain-100%, Release-80%

AR 3: Attack-50%, Release-100%
Use variable output

LFO: 9 Hz.

Sequencer: Rate-60%, No Glide
12 stage recirculation


Adjust VCO range to a frequency of about 10 Hz. or so. For best accuracy, use a real cat for comparison and adjust wave form. Hold trigger down until VCA reaches maximum gain, then release until gain falls to about 1/2 or 1/3 maximum, then press again. This imitates the cat's breathing. (I think cats breathe about 70 times a minute - adjust attack and decay rates). Note well: Turn amplifier to very soft - unless your cat is a lion.

Submitted by: Mark Lutton, Schenectady, NY.


Adjust envelope follower for desired range of pitch. A small mike, such as one from a little inexpensive cassette recorder should be taped to the bottom head of a drum. A mounted tom-tom is usually pretty good. Cassette recorder mikes are generally rather insensitive and can be used on drums where they will not pick up other instruments. They often have mini-jacks which make them compatible with PAIA modules. The envelope follower can be used to trigger any patch you may wish to use.

Submitted by: Nichael Cramer, Fortville, IN.


Eric Hanson's patch of a jetliner take-off (Polyphony 1/76) was not complete without a jetliner landing. This patch is so realistic that an aviation expert friend of mine swore that it was a recording of a real jet!

To do this sound, it is necessary to modify the time constants of the 4740 by increasing the timing capacitor to 25 mf. P. S.: If anyone comes up with a way to create the sound of the wheels screeching at touchdown, let me know.

#1) Maximum frequency.
#2) 10 Hz. less than VCO #1

SR: Modifications: on
A: 50%
D: 100%
S: 100%
R: 100%

AR: Modification: on
Expand: on
A: 25%
D: 100%

Pressing any key on the keyboard starts the cycle.

Submitted by: Charles Lauria, Staten Island, NY.


I found a good patch for a "delay vibrato" effect. It's uses can be varied but I found it produces a quite interesting violin sound when applied to one VCO and played in conjunction with another VCO at the same pitch (for phasing effects).

A: 100%
R: 10%

Comments: Output of AR can be varied to alter depth of vibrato. AR attack time can be varied to alter amount of delay. Bias to VCO #1 can be changed to alter speed of vibrato.

Submitted by: Michael Wilson, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Publisher: Polyphony - Polyphony Publishing Company

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Polyphony - Jul 1976

Donated & scanned by: Vesa Lahteenmaki


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