Lexicon PCM80 & PCM81 Questions, Tips, Tricks & Solutions

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by AnalogKid85, Mar 6, 2016.


  1. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    Agreed, I'm not a slave to the formula but there is certainly some merit in it, as a guide.

    Interesting you wrote "a few dozens of ms". I often have my predelay around 28-32ms for guitar oriented applications. The point I was making is 288ms is way too much.

    JK
     
  2. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    JK

    the pivot points ONLY help to arbitrarily match a set of values to the existing LFO curves; you are not drawing any modulation curve there... you are simply patching a number of parameter values to the pre-set wave, adding/subtracting speed to the inner slopes of it. Drawing a real modulation curve is something different, very different, from having an LFO running thru a control table of values.
    Up to some point pivots can "resemble" a bit of a waveform design but it's a very incomplete function which doesn't run in the same way.
    I'm very surprised by your statement here as you mention devices that are MUCH more powerful when it comes to this type of things.
    Drawing curves is something you get on very few units and very expensive ones. So... just let's put that aside for now.
    If you consider what's left, yes the DL8000R doesn't offer much in terms of wvaeforms choice and number of LFOs. It does give phase offset though... which you can't have on the PCM.
    The H3000 has a huge choice of waveforms in its Functions Generator. I wish my PCM had 3 or 4 of those waves, let alone the triggered ONLY waveforms!
    The KSP8? Really? That's a monster modulation platform. You can even create things on it with math. And the waveforms choice os simply huge and stunning. That's a real mod_lab only contending with the few superior devices offering total openness. The DP/Pro takes us back to more human levels, but it still has beautiful waveforms.
    The pivot points feature of the PCM is a great one and quite unique. I understand that. Not easy to find and only available on the big Tides, along with true waveforms design... both possible thru a much more detailed plotting of 32 pivots.
    And yes, the PCM may be very easy when it comes to patching parameters to pivots... but when it comes to modulation, the pivots are not as important as waveforms choice (many of them and interesting ones), phase offset, number of LFOs available. That's a place the PCM falls short and the pivots become an attempt to sub for the missing pieces, but won't add those beautiful shapes at all.
    You know I love my PCM and I showed all of you, guys, what it can do and far more than that... but as most devices one must take it for what it is, not what it can't be. It does really good modulation effects and the pivots are a neat trick to build non-linear events but if talk strictly about delay modulation effects, we get to a place where the stop is quite early to reach. I do love it's chorus and flangers... and the many variety it can do... but there's a lot more out there IF you need more.
    One thing I do when the PCM doesn't give me what I need... and ALL machines are like that... it's the user hitting their limitations or not... is to create MIDI waveforms on my Eventide. There I can build the real shape of an LFO and turn it into a MIDI CC... which gets patched to a parameter in the PCM80 and sweeps it in the way I need. That's the ****!
    Now... I hope you are not getting me wrong. I LOVE the PCM80 and I added a second one to it. It's a magnificent machine and I find it way more powerful and creative (even though not as good sounding as) than a 300 or 480, but I learned to respect a device for what it is and what it can do, rather than conceptualizing ways to "make it do" what it can't.
    This "putting things in the right dimension they have" gives me the chance to take it further... about facts and "castles made on sand" version of them... the total crap I see on the web, where *everybody* is calling something a "TC chorus" or a "TRI ST Chorus" or a "Dim D" or other things like these classic... without really knowing what they do and how... and call their presets with those names, define the "new powers boundaries" of a device. It's not honest and words of descriptions prove they really know very little about the originals. It's a madness tied to the whole modelling lie... which actually often comes closer in the building of those things but short at sounding good. It's an illusion!
    If something can do something else needs to be determined with true and honest knowledge that goes beyond ears. We need to get back to reality, to facts... get to know them really well and *think* before giving names, labeles and what not. We have to love things for what they are and do... not for a very imperfect idea of what else they "can" do. Or we just switch to something else that really does what we need.

    cheers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
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  3. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Those formulas can be quite a job to work with... so the PCM is faster... but nowhere close to what those things can do. It needs work... I know.

    I'll tell you what...
    people DO use those crazy LONG predelays and add song tempo determined reverb decay too... but it's just SOOOOO corny on an instrument.
    TT Decay has a more powerful way to fit in and doesn't get too corny.... but those timed predelays? They sound like stuttering. Space is something else.
    Things need to be determined in each song, style, rhythm, density of the mix, density of frequencies, used compressions... it's a hell... and it becomes a "new way" to make a song sound like in POP music as they need that kind of attribute to do something new and sell. But honestly... it's quite pathetic.
    Yeah, your numbers are good... and you can take them anywhere between 0 and 50 or 70 ms to get all the beauty you may need... or even more than that.... sometimes no predelay at all.
    But yes... 290 ms of predelay in good music... I'd have a very hard time to find an example of that thru thousands of recording in my room. But again... I don't like current pop music, where plenty of that is available.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
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  4. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    Great posts.

    But what I love on the PCM is the ease with which you can patch envelope to ANY PARAMETER. Sure you can make ducking delays on some of the units I mentioned. Not so simple on DP/Pro - have to use the compressor / limiter algo there. But the ability to patch input envelope to anything is so cool & useful. Such powerful simplicity is what I miss on those other units.

    JK
     
  5. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Can't you patch envelope or input signal to delay level in an algorithm on the DP?
     
  6. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Looking thru the DP manual...
    looks like there is no input level in the available modulation sources list.
    The only non MIDI sources are the 2 knobs, the 2 LFOs, the 4 switching functions of the 2 footswitches. All the rest are MIDI.
    So yes, you have to use the compessor to duck the delay... like in the old days!
     
  7. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    I know! The good old days ;)

    Same with KSP8 - unless there is a feature hidden deep inside that not-so-well written manual. The brief chapter on parameter modulation was terrible.

    JK
     
  8. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    But the compression ducking IS the real thing, not the PCM80's duck.
    You don't get the same breathing and pumping slopes without it.
    o_O
    KSP8 has a specific algorithm for that!
    I'm sure you can use the ASRs to modulate just about any level in any algorithm. I'd be really surprised if that's not the case.
    Kurzweil is difficult stuff; their approach has always been very math driven and kind of uneasy for the guitarist...vs. the keyboards player.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  9. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    Thanks. I'll definately look into that. But let's get back onto the topic of the mighty PCM.

    The modulation on the six chorus voices on Chorus+Rvb... Are the LFOs phase shifted from each other?

    JK
     
  10. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Doesn't sound like that to me.
    Lexicon would have given choices to the user if they had designed those LFOs with phase offsets.
    The point is different though. When you have 6 delay lines (with common feedback paths on each group of 3) with 6 LFOs you don't really need much of a phase shifting as you ARE getting a lot of it already by simply offsetting their rates, to uncorrelated values is even better. Plenty of phase madness there.
    LFO phase in mostly used when low resources are available as you can use one LFO and have different sweeps from it on two delay lines.
    The more delays you have the less you are going to hear phase details as your ear won't keep up with all that crowded shifting imaging.
     
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  11. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    I'm looking to have a clean cable run from 80 to a single-box DIY foot unit for the foot switches and a rotary control in lieu of a treadled expression pedal. Each connection calls for TRS cabling.

    So I've looked for snake cable so I can run one cable rather than two. But I'm not seeing anything with separate ground for each pair. Can the FS and FC cables have shared ground, or should I just look at putting two individual cables in a common outer jacket?
     
  12. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    RTFM page 1-7. The 2 pedals switch tip or ring to a shared ground.

    You could run a dual TRS cable from your box to the PCM. Very cool idea with the rotary control!

    JK
     
  13. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    Jk, yes, for the switches--tip to ground or ring to the same ground with momentaries. But can that ground be shared as the shield for the expression cable? I would assume not, which would be a pain because that's what my searches for bulk snake cable turn up--shared shield (sleeve on balanced TRS).
     
  14. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    No, grounds for foot pedals & expression pedals cannot be shared.

    Look for a 6 connector cable.

    JK
     
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  15. Ian

    Ian Member

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    What are you using the rotary control for??
     
  16. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Hi Italo,

    My friend with the 80 mentioned that, when using the MBand+Rvb algo, you cab do both Pan and Circular delays and reverb (i.e. a Chamber reverb)

    However, when you switch the circular delay off, it will also kill the reverb. You don't have complete independent control over these 3 effects.

    With this in mind, would it be possible to build the following in Eclipse:

    Panned Delays, Circular Delay, and reverb....all switchable on/off independently via "cc".....spillover on the delays, and on the reverb.....and difussion and/or modulation on the delays? I know, diffusion may be a Lexicon-only thing....
     
  17. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Ian

    your friend needs to program his PCM better. MultiBand delays has delays and reverb in parallel so verb won't stop at any delay changes.
     
  18. Ian

    Ian Member

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    LOL! :)

    Ok, let me know if you believe the following is do-able with the PCM-81 using the MBand+Rvb algorithm (or if you have another preferred algorithm):

    1. Panned Delays - One IA switch on my FX-1 to turn it on/off via midi cc
    2. Circular Delays - One IA switch on the FX-1 to turn it on/off via midi cc
    3. Chamber Reverb - Again, one IA switch on the FX-1 to turn it on/off via midi cc

    For the above, I need to be able to have either delay on/off, or both delays on simultaneously.

    4. "Diffusion" the delays. I don't need this to be "switchable", as I tend to always like to have the diffusion on, as it "smears" the repeats.

    5. "Spillover" when I turn the IA switch on the FX-1 for either delay to be "Off".......

    6. The option to add "modulation" to the delays.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  19. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    1.2.Do you *really* need Pan and Circular Dlys together on your guitar... I mean at the same time?
    It's usually either/or...
    The only way to have both is to run each one off a single input level... which means you should not feed the PCM a true stereo signal.
    3. ok
    5. ok IN THIS CONFIGURATION as described in 1.2
    6. Does multiband delay have modulation?


    Again... anything you need is in the library... you're going in circles....
     
  20. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    With a big knob on it that I can nudge with my foot, assigned however an expression pedal would be assigned in the patching system. Just a poor man's expression pedal. Nose Pedals sells a similar sort of thing, or think of the big "speed" knob on a lot of Univibe clones.
     

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