Modular Diary – 051

STS has been quick to update his Audulus clone of the Turing Machine – now also a Mk.II. He pinpointed the cause of the audio rate clocking problems that I’d run into and took the opportunity to redesign the shift register (which now uses 30–40% less CPU cycles than before) as well as implement some other improvements.

I’ve played around a bit with the audio rate clocking – specifically trying out waveshaping with the volts expander and changing the pulse width on the pulse out, as in the last section of the MTM video. It seems to be working very nicely.

I’ve posted the patch on the Audulus forum.

Modular Diary – 049

I got around to taking a look at STS’s Audulus clone of the Turing Machine today. Whereas the ornament & crime module was split into stand-alone Audulus modules, in this case the Turing Machine Pulses and Volts expanders have be integrated into a single module.

Since I wasn’t familiar with the Turing Machine in any detail I decided to work through the Music Thing Modular demo, and recreate the different parts of it in Audulus as I went along. That was a fun exercise and left me impressed with the quality of STS’s clone. I‘ve uploaded the patch with the modules I collected for following along with the demo to the Audulus forum.

The only part where I ran into difficulties was the final patch of the demo in which the Turing Machine is clocked at audio rates to generate chiptune sounds – I’m not sure if Audulus is hitting some limits of what is possible, or if there’s something that could be set up differently. In any case it’s possible to get an idea of how the chiptune patch works, even if the quality isn’t quite the same as in the demo.

Modular – Diary 039

Looking at new experimental modules it’s amazing how often Don Buchla’s name comes up as the source of inspiration. His Source of Uncertainty as source for the Turing Machine, the Wiard Woggle Bug, the Make Noise Wogglebug, an Audulus Wuzzlebuzz, and the Erica Synths Wogglebug, for example. There’s also his dual oscillator Complex Waveform Generator and outside in approach to interface design that has found resonance in recent years.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Morton Subotnick’s seminal Silver Apples of the Moon, a piece which he describes as “a pretty complex piece for my first one and I worked six days a week minimum, 10 to 12 hours a day for 13 months making that.” It was created using the Buchla 100, the instrument Subotnick comissioned Buchla to create for the San Francisco Tape center in 1963.

It’s a year ago and a day, that Don Buchla passed away.