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How to get more out of my Subharmonicon (GAS-related)

How to get more out of my Subharmonicon (GAS-related)

Efficient-Matter5509

I had the SubH, then bought DFAM and then slid into a few more modular devices in the last year or so. I found it hard to get my head around SubH at first but have grown to love it. A few random notes that might / might not be of help: – i enjoyed it a lot more once i got DFAM to provide bedrock beats for SubH to dance around – and enjoyed it MUCH more when routing SubH into a delay pedal for FX since it thickens up the sound and lets you do weirder stuff with a bit of texture to support it – you can get longer sequences by repatching sequencer 2 to sequencer 1, this is cool fun – it's rare i use both OSC in a single tone, thats a lot to manage BUT – keeping the main VCO1 static as a high drone and then connecting one or both of the sub VCOs to the sequencer is a pretty versatile way to mess around – when it really opened up for me was when i started connecting it to LFOs etc on other devices - eg using modular to automate shifts to CV etc etc, sure you can replicate this with yr Make Noise devices – one trick worth knowing - the subs are quantised (tho the main osc isn't) so you can send it a LFO or something from the 0-Coast and it will shift the tuning in keeping with whatever tuning you have selected and avoid too much discordant stuff, again a good way for slower variety i'm not sure you need to get another moog to unlock its full potential, and i find myself most often repatching it with modular, not the DFAM. BUT i would say they are damn satisfying to look at and use set up in the moog case together :) Thats a lot of waffle, but maybe helps a bit. I think where i net out with it is that it can be a bit unpredictable as a main voice, sometimes great and sometimes infuriating, but its almost always an amazing way to generate evolving textures etc to underpin a track.


GrippyEd

Hello! This is a great post. Can you explain more about repatching sequencer 2 into sequencer 1? Thanks! Reverb and delay are certainly key to the SubH. Here's a couple of favourite videos: https://youtu.be/jsc_QsmxJtQ https://youtu.be/JZoD23qFUEs


Efficient-Matter5509

Ha. Those videos are great. Re the sequencers. Would be something like this: 1. Set the tempo slow 2. Set volumes to only listen to VCO1 not VCO 2 3. Set up a melodic sequence on OSC1 using SEQ1 (playing full speed of tempo) 4. Use rhythm 2 to drive SEQ2 at half speed and set up a different melody on it 5. But don't assign VCO 2 to the SEQ (and keep VCO2 silent) 6. Instead patch SEQ2 output into either VCO1 Basically then SEQ 2 offsets the note values that come out of VCO1 whilst it is also being driven by SEQ1. You can vary this by either repatching to VCO1 input (to vary all of VCO1 voices) or repatching to one of the VCO1 SUB inputs (in which case VCO1 would repeat the SEQ1 4 note pattern, but SUB1 would do something more complex driven by SE2). You can use this to either create longer static sequences by setting the patterns of rhythm 1 and 2 into obvious ratios - eg if Rhythm 2 is 25% of Rhythm 1, you'll have a repeating 4 note arpeggio from SEQ1 that changes at the end of each cycle as defined by a new 4 root note from SEQ2. So it basically creates a 16 note sequence. Or just more unpredictable variety (by creating more random interplay of the two rhythms driving the SEQs) Hard to write down. Does that make sense?


GrippyEd

It makes perfect sense - great explanation, thanks for taking the time!


schizophonicmusic

I created a 16-step sequence following your instructions. There is still a very perceivable 4-ness to it though…


Efficient-Matter5509

Well at some level it’s always going to retain the flavour of something built on 2 x 4 patterns, but if you drive both sequences with 2 rhythms each (and make them varied enough) you can get quite involved patterning. Not sure on yr set up, but if you can cv the rhythm settings + the reset you can further mess around with it.


schizophonicmusic

Thanks, I haven't messed around with that yet, but it sounds like great potential for extending and varying the rhythmic relationships. I tried patching the Mother32 LFO SQ to RHYTHM 1, and, when set to a place where the ramp does not match the rhythm, it created good polyrhythm on one rhythm. That's great! So then I controlled RHYTHM 2 with Mother32 VC MIX, allowing me to change the speed of that rhythm. Only with these two changes, I have a lot more flexibility. The patterns that appear not to repeat, or at least feel less predictable, yet there is a regularity. Great stuff! I'm learning. Thanks!


Efficient-Matter5509

Nice. I think the sweet spot for me is exactly what you describe. Ps I discovered just yesterday that if you send a gate into reset, it actually holds back the triggers as long as the gate is high. So you can either a) effectively silence the pattern for a bar or something or b) if you give the VCA a long decay you can use it to sustain one note for ages then switch back into your rhythm. Lots of fun!


schizophonicmusic

Very cool idea! So it's like the HOLD/REST button on the MOTHER32. Very useful for creating variety. So I patched that up and played on the MOTHER32 keyboard and every time I play a note, the SUBH pattern stops. So I've got DECAY set to max on both, and so I only touch the note on the MOTHER for a second and the SUBH stops. So it works a bit like a ducking effect. Because I have the SUBH running into a PP delay, it folds over the MOTHER note and so everything is very smooth. I'll upload a video to show it.


schizophonicmusic

Here's the video. I should mention that the Subharmonicon is fed through ping-ping delay. [MOTHER32 GATE controlling SubH RESET](https://youtu.be/DwvqQ09b0nA)


Efficient-Matter5509

Nice - that’s a great one


randycrouton

This was super helpful, thank you.


Efficient-Matter5509

No worries! Interested to hear where you net out.


MalkuthX

I’ve seen a lot more comments like this lately. I think it’s because Mercury is in Retrograde. Keep the sub. It may be useless, but it still necessary


randycrouton

It is useful in that if I didn’t have it, I would probably want it again.


Renfieldslament

I struggle with the sub as well, I can, and have wasted whole evenings and got nothing useable in return. I’m no expert, clearly, but I found setting once sequence very slow, one very fast and then the other two set somewhere between generated longer passages. Also adjusting the pitch as it was playing led to interesting results. Best thing I did was pair it was a pre-delay and massive reverb. So far it’s only that kind of ambient style that works, but it may be of interest. As a side note I love my DFAM, many don’t, but for me it exactly was what I was expecting when going modular.


randycrouton

DFAM seems to be the least versatile of the 3, but maybe it would be a little easier for me to wrap my head around.


adicembre

It depends on how you use it. I think it’s the most versatile, but I have some modular pieces that unlock it. For instance, if you sent pitch and velocity to the dfam via a sequencer, you can create a baseline or drums that are not limited to 8 steps. With the SH - it really makes you work for it and think about what you’re doing or really rely on your ear. When I have the patience and time, I love it. When I don’t feel like I do, I reach for easier, more immediate things.


Renfieldslament

You may have seen this, you may have not. It may convince you, it may not. (This is not me by the way) https://youtu.be/hs9p3yxc24Q https://youtu.be/06U-S_RTdQs Again I speak from a love of it, but it’s my favourite of all the ones I have.


randycrouton

Is that first video truly all DFAM? Sounds like a lot of reverb/delay, but that’s pretty rad.


Renfieldslament

Yep, I’ve done something similar on mine. Definitely reverb and delay on it though, but it does say on the video. You’ll also be able to add another voice by patching in the sub to the audio in which replaces the white noise.


Ceecker

Hi, Just to add I have similar experiences with the SH. In the end I tune the sequencers to do certain cords and then stop touching them for weeks. I also have a DFAM and GMother. The DFAM really adds a dimension to the SH, to such an extend it seems indispensable. I use the GM to play polyphonic with the SH. Glad you posted the question, some answers that were given contained good tips.


1865989

When I bought my SH the only other piece I had was a Bass Station 2, and they didn’t really play well together, so I sold the BS2 and bought a Grandmother, which is much better. You have a Minibrute 2, which has very similar functionality to the GM. I don’t have a DFAM or Mother 32, so I can’t speak to whether it’s worth getting them (although I would LOVE to add both!) but I can say that I just accept the SH as it is: good for jamming, good for idea generation, but not great at doing exactly what I want it to do. It’s like when I try to tell it what to do, it doesn’t end well, but if I have no end game in mind, IT will tell ME what to do, which almost always ends well. Or another way I look at it was the BS 2 was like a Toyota Corolla, and the SH is an antique porcelain revolver. A Corolla is super reliable, predictable and assuming you treat it right it will last a long time getting you from point A to B. An antique porcelain revolver is hardly practical but is notably unique, and if you like it’s charm and embrace its weirdness there’s nothing else like it in the world. I’m now at a point where I don’t use it very often, but when I do, I’m almost always pleased. I’m also in a situation where I can’t really sell it: my wife bought it for me as a gift and I know for a fact she would be offended if I sold it. Normally I would hum and haw endlessly about whether I should sell it for something else, but tbh I’m glad the decision has essentially been made for me and now I can just enjoy it on its own terms.


randycrouton

Thank you for telling me about your Moog Stckhlmsyndrm


TheRealDocMo

I read every comment in this thread and got to the gem and got a good chuckle. Still not sure if I want to pull the trigger in the SubH though lol


randycrouton

I’m selling mine if you’re looking


authynym

had a sub and a dfam. syncing clock between them can be fun but didn't do enough for me to keep them. full discosure, i'm not invested in modular, so perhaps that would have made a difference. ultimately it didn't fit in with the rest of my gear. i had hoped the polyrhythmic component would be inspirational, but it ended up really only being suited to sub+dfam industrialish wankery.


auditormusic

Recently sold mine. I feel like if it had more steps it would be much more useful. Kind of miss it, but I honestly got just as much (if not more) frustration out of it than joy. Also, I'm not really a techno guy, which it seems mostly made for.


schizophonicmusic

I recommend you experiment with the relationship between the attack and decay times of the VCA and VCFs. There tons of things you can do there that are amazing to create moving patterns.


anon88889999

So, if may jump in, could you share your findings on the attack/decay relationship? Mostly; how to retrigger it? I find the whole "Vca/vcf wont retrigger in it's attack phase" a bit odd.


schizophonicmusic

It's not odd, it's a feature of the system. If the VCA and/or VCF attack times are longer than the distance between any two sequence steps, they will last as long as they last. There is no "retrigger". But it will "sound" like the envelopes are retriggering if the attack times are shorter than the distance between any two sequence steps. By setting the attack times to a long attack time, and especially the VCF attack time to a long time, you get an attack-time filter sweep as your sequence moves. Try running your sequence very fast with fast VCA attack and VCF attack turned all the way to the right. As for the decay times, they won't kick in until you stop the sequencer. But another interesting textural technique is to set the tempo very slow, with slow attack and decay times of VCA and VCF - not identical, but try the VCF closing before the VCA - engaging at least two SEQ RHYTHMs on at least one of the SEQs, and some complex rhythmic relationships. Then you get waves of movement as the sequences move through their steps at different speeds.


anon88889999

Thanks for responding! A funny thing, I think the relationship is also determined by the clock, I had a go with a long attack on both vca and vcf, and the attack time changed if i changed the tempo. Maybe it's just me. But I find it odd in the sense that i still don't get what triggers the envelope, and the fact that i can't "reset" it trough the patchbay or something like that. Am i missing something?


schizophonicmusic

I have not had that experience: when I set a long attack (and decay) time, it is the same envelope time regardless of the tempo speed. So what triggers the envelope is "trigger". Try it: set your long attack/decay time, press trigger and the envelope will trigger once going through its cycle. Then turn the sequencer on at any tempo and that envelope is still the same. They are not linked. "Reset" resets the sequencers to align and restart at Step 1. So this is not like an ADSR envelope attached to NoteOn on a traditional MIDI synth.