Re: [AH] analog modular w/ d-g-t-l CV's

From Andrew Scheidler
Sent Sun, Jul 27th 2008, 05:32

I know it's a sore point for many people out there, but the PSIM-1 is
exactly what you're talking about.  I was looking for this same thing
right about when the first batch of PSIMs were made, and thanks to my
flood of questions and comments to the builder, I ended up with the
sixth one made.  Things got very messy after that, with people waiting
a long time for their (pre-paid for) PSIM.  Some are still waiting.

All that aside, the module is cool as hell.  It is basically a Atom
processor inside, and 4 input jacks, 4 output jacks and a few buttons
on the outside.  There is a seriel port for a computer hook-up, and
you write the software in a version of compiled BASIC.  So you're only
limited by your imagination (and your programming skills).

While you can use it as an LFO or an envelope generator, there are far
better uses for it.  My favorite programs are quantizers, sequencers
and other "CV processor"-type things.  The CPU isn't fast enough to do
high quality audio things, but it will try...  I made a program that
takes audio and reduces it to four bits, then outputs the four bits
(basically very fast gates) at the four output jacks.  Mix these back
together and you get some pretty gnarly stuff  :)

There is a Yahoo group (Control Voltage Sources, IIRC) that is
building a "new PSIM" module.  If you're interested in this type of
module and are into DIY, you should definitely check out that group.


On 7/25/08, Matthew Davidson <> wrote:
> On Jul 25, 2008, at 3:46 PM, Guy D2 wrote:
> > Is there a particular reason why the current crop of modulars is not using
> digitally generated CV's for control modules like LFO's, EG's, S/H's and
> similar ?
> >
> There are plenty of hybrid designs if you look around.
> The Doepfer MCV24 has software ADSRs and LFOs that can be output as CV
> The Buchla 200e is an extreme hybrid approach, freely converting analog to
> digital and back again. The elements exposed to the user is primarily analog
> (patch cords and such).
> mfb has some designs like the osc-01 that are digital inside, but use analog
> CV interfacing
> The Blacet/Wiard Miniwave is mostly digital inside, with analog CV
> interfacing
> Plan B is producing some hybrid modules.
> The AS RS370 polyphonic osc is mainly digital, but with CV interfacing
> Simple circuits like LFOs and S&H's are possibly easier/still cost effective
> to remain analog as a primary module. I haven't fallen in love with a
> digital envelope, ever, personally. This is something that is just more
> effective as analog for short transients.
> But, I do see hybrid designs as a solid future direction for modulars. I
> wouldn't mind seeing a digital module for generic slow control voltages,
> like LFOs and S&H CVs, etc.. You might be able to pack eight outputs of
> programmable voltage thingies in a cost-effective unit. It might also be
> easier to create an complex arbitrary break point function in the digital
> domain.