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Moog Slim Phatty question

LedZep1291

Member
Messages
12
I'm looking to get some synthy sounds from my guitar and it seems like the Slim Phatty may be a good option for me. It's got the basic settings that I need (filter, 2 oscillators, CV inputs).

I was wondering if I could just use a 1/4" jack from my guitar into the Audio In or if it would be wise to invest in a MIDI converter. I'm hoping to play some chords as well as single note runs (which rules out the Sonuus) and I've heard some good things about the Axon, aside from the latency. Thanks!
 

mj07

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,116
The Axon was the better of the ones I've used. Roland GK pickup and Axon works great.
 

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
Running into the audio in would just give you filtering of the guitar signal.

Unless it does adsr as well?
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
Why don't you try some of the excellent synth pedals out there, including Moog's own line (example: the Freqbox that includes a Moog oscillator especially made to be modulated by guitar or any other instrument or line level signal)? Bear in mind though that chords will not be playable since both the synth and the synth pedals (including Moog's Freqbox) are monophonic. On the other hand, if you only want to use the audio in to pass your guitar sound through the filter, the Moog synth would be a complete overkill, as you could easily do that with a Moog MF101 or even a Korg Monotron.
 

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
He'd still need a freq -> pitch cv converter for the freqbox.

Sounds like he wants a poly synth that can be controlled by guitar. $$$$$$
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
Why would he need a converter for the Freqbox? Guitar can be plugged directly to it (the whole Moog stompbox line was firstly made with the guitar in mind, and then they added line level specs and all sorts of CV controls and modular linking capabilities).
 

LedZep1291

Member
Messages
12
I bought the Freqbox last year, but still haven't coaxed the right sound out of it yet. I've been thinking of just adding the MF101, but thought springing for the SP would be better since there seem to be more options available. Looks like I'm back to Freqbox>Filter, any cool ways to hook those two up?
 

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
Why would he need a converter for the Freqbox? Guitar can be plugged directly to it (the whole Moog stompbox line was firstly made with the guitar in mind, and then they added line level specs and all sorts of CV controls and modular linking capabilities).
Freqbox doesn't track pitch. If he's wanting to control with synth by using the guitar as a controller, he needs a freq->pitch cv converter.

Not questioning that the mf line is guitar-ready.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,295
There are two different kinds of things referenced by "synthy" sounds.

One is to have the guitar tones themselves filtered and enveloped and ring modulated and mixed with noise etc like a synth does with an oscillator. You can do that best with the MF pedals, the Pigtronix Mothership, the EHX Microsynth etc. You CAN'T do that with just the Slim Fatty because external audio won't trigger the envelopes or change the pitch of filters.

The other is to use the guitar to trigger synth leads and pads. To do that you have to find a way to convert your guitar signal into a midi signal (or similar) to drive the synth. Any synth pickup can get the 6 individual string's info into a box that converts it, but there's ongoing argument about the best box to plug into. Roland is unquestionably the easiest to find but Axon is often suggested to be better. You can also use those guitar to USB interfaces to send signal to a computer to process, although I'm not sure that there are any of them that can break your signal down into 6 individual notes like a pickup can.

Once your signal is converted into midi (velocity, note on/off, pitch, pitch bend, aftertouch) it can drive all the features of a midi controlled synth including the Moogs. You can also use the external input of the Phatty, trigger it with the midi signal but process only the external input signal. I've had fun with 3 different signals going: audio out from my GR30, audio out from my SE-1x and processed audio thru the SE-1x from the guitar magnetic pickups, run into mixer and mix to taste...
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
Freqbox doesn't track pitch. If he's wanting to control with synth by using the guitar as a controller, he needs a freq->pitch cv converter.
Guitar to provide a cv or a midi signal: yes. The guitar's notes, however, can be tracked by the pedal (" hard sync").

@drbob: Great summary!
 

LedZep1291

Member
Messages
12
Thanks drbob (and everyone), that helps a lot. I guess the main sound I'm going for is a pretty basic analog square/saw wave synth, Frankenstein/Tom Sawyer/Keith Emerson-esque. Not sure getting a MIDI setup would be suitable just for getting the extra sounds from a Slim Phatty, especially when I can just hook up two MoogerFoogers.

My initial thought was taking a sawtooth wave from the Freqbox into the MF101 and controlling the filter cutoff with an EP-2 for the sweeps.
 

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
Guitar to provide a cv or a midi signal: yes. The guitar's notes, however, can be tracked by the pedal (" hard sync").

@drbob: Great summary!
I'm super lost now. I thought hardsync was in reference to the oscillators and not pitch tracking?

From the moog forum:

the freqbox has a CV _in_, but what seems to be pitch-tracking is actually just a sync function,
the osc is more-or-less hard sync'd to the input.
You can Hard Sync the VCO to incoming audio. (Hard Sync is when you reset the start of an oscillator's waveform based on the frequency of another oscillator or signal)
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
Check out some video demos on Youtube - you can see it there. Plus, it is described in great detail also in the manual available on its Moog page. There are also tips on how to improve the tracking, and when this tracking stops (when the internal oscillator is set on a frequency lower than the one of the incoming signal).
 

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
Crazy. I've asked people if they said it was possible to use a freqbox and ring mod together to have pitch-tracked ring mod, but I was told that the freqbox only appears to track, but it's actually not.

This could change some things. Hmm!
 

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
Okay, here's something:


The Freqbox does not track pitch. It doesn't even attempt to. It's not designed to. It does hard sync.

This is a widespread misconception about the MF-107. I'm not picking on you personally, please don't take it that way. But I think if more people understood what it does and how it does it, there would be fewer disappointed buyers out there.

Here's how hard sync works:

The internal oscillator of the 107 will always be running at the pitch you have dialed in by the the VCO FREQ knob (unless CV is applied to the frequency).

When you turn SYNC ON and play another instrument into it, the Freqbox "resets" the cycle of its internal oscillator every time the input signal hits the zero-crossing point (the middle line, if you are looking at a waveform display).

It doesn't care about the pitch of the incoming signal. It can't tell. It just restarts the cycle of the internal waveform.

You'll get better results if you keep the internal OSC pitch slightly lower than what you are playing into it. It will sound more like it is playing the proper pitch. If the internal OSC is set higher than your incoming pitch, it will play several cycles before getting reset.

In the picture below, the incoming signal (top) is slightly lower in pitch than the sync oscillator (bottom). You can see the sync'd waveform begins its natural cycle for a second time, then it gets reset.

SIGNAL IN

SYNC WAVEFORM

As someone else already said, to get the Freqbox to "track" pitch you need a MIDI -> CV converter, or even an analog synth with CV PITCH output from its keyboard, like the Voyager Old School or most any other 1v/Oct vintage synth. When applying CV this way it actually changes the pitch of the oscillator.
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
That's a small reader's digest version of what I told you that already exists - in further detail and written better - in the manual. Did you read it? "Tracking", as defined by a dictionary, means - among other things - to follow closely, to be in alignment etc. In that sense, the internal oscillator follows the incoming signal's frequency very closely by syncing to it. The oscillator, as long as "hard sync" is set to on, will follow the notes you are playing on your guitar or anything else. And this is how it's done.
 
Last edited:

nrvana8775

Member
Messages
2,138
Ha, I'm not really sure what we disagree about. This sounds like a semantical argument about tracking.

I'm saying that the frequency of the vco doesn't match the incoming note, unless you have a frequency-> pitch cv converter.

That's what the OP is trying to do. For his purpose, it's not really relevant.
 




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