Patchable 0009

Many of you have likely heard the phrase, “You can never have too many VCAs.” The ubiquitous and humble VCA is one of the simplest, yet most versatile modules.  Some folks are left scratching their heads wondering why. Typically one puts a VCA at the end of their patch to control sound duration and volume with the use of a modulating envelope. However, what if you were to put your envelope through a VCA modulated by random CV then send it to the final VCA?  Well, you have now randomly modulated the level of you envelope to get dynamic volume on each trigger of your sound.

Using the same idea as above but with saw wave LFO into VCA and modulate with an envelope to get a rising saw. The green wave shows what the final output would look like.

If you modulate a sound in a VCA with some other audio, then you get Amplitude Modulation or AM synthesis,  If the VCA is Bi-polar and you do the same, you get Ring Modulation.  What would AM processed by RM sound like? Stack the VCAs, put a sound into one controlled by a square wave LFO and run that sound into another controlled by and Envelope and then a third controlled by random. Route modulation through a VCA first and only let that modulation pass when you want, instead of continuously. Create your own CV controlled Send/Return.  The options are many.

The Challenge

Explore the many possibilities of VCAs.  Create a patch and use VCAs in no less than 3 different ways.  Try to use every VCA at your disposal, the more the better. Try to use them in as many ways possible.



  1. Create an original piece of music following the above challenge.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0008 in the track title.  A completed track title would look like this: Spiral Vortex PATCHABLE-0008.
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, Friday January 17th.
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “Patchable 0009”


    I already broke the patch down so patch notes will be pretty sparse for this one since I have to do it from memory.
    The EG from the Pittsburgh SV1 was being trigged from an LFO. That CV went into the input of a Doepfer a-135-2 (quad vca/mixer) and was being CVed by another LFO. The output from that went to channel 2 of the quad VCA and that was being CVed by a channel from Rene. The output of that was multed to channel 3 input of the VCA and to one of the inputs of Clouds. Channel 3 on the VCA was being CVed by one of the channels of Maths. Out of channel 3 was Multed to channel 4 of the VCA and into the CV in on a couple of the oscillators of the Antiphon for some FM. Channel 4 of the VCA was being CVed by the wogglebug.
    All of that CV-ing of the original envelope generator was sent to the Pittsburgh SV1’s VCA for its normalized connections.
    Make Noise Pressure Points and Rene2 were used in this piece for both pitch CV and for modulation.


    First attempt at a patchable here. Main voices are Crater, Mimeophon, VCO 2, and BIA. Crater going into the CV in of the Doepfer A-132-3, mimeophon (no input) going into the Audio in. Audio Out split, one going to mixer, the other going into the Milky Way. Milky Way CVs and VCA being modulated by envelopes from Just Friends (which is being triggered by the Crater).
    VCO2 out into Sisters, (Freq modulated by Just Friends), out into other channel of Doepfer, into the A-103 filter which is being modulated by the Voltage Block.
    BIA being triggered via Skipmin (all clock is running through Skipmin), modulated by Voltage Block (also clocked by Skipmin).

    I think that’s it? Close enough, anyway.


    Oh so many VCAs were used. Maybe about 14?

    Clicky weird thing was one of the cooler ones. LFO 1 frequency CV’d by LFO 2. Square out of LFO 1 through a VCA CV’d by LFO 3. Output pinging QPAS. One BP channel of QPAS sent to a stereo VCA to control pan with LFO 4. Volume from a VCA CV’d by LFO 5.

    Suffice it to say, I am using ring modulation, amplitude modulation and CV modulation all with VCAs.


    NerdSeq master clock
    Divided and multiplied by doepfer
    Arpitecht doing pitch cv
    Dixie square wave to Forbidden a Planet LP our to VCA 1 in, out of there to mimeophon
    VCA 1 cv from Maths ch1 cycling
    Maths ch 2 into VCA 2 out to the modulation input of Forbidden Planet
    VCA 2 is modulated by an LFO sine wave
    Dixie sub out to VCA 3 then out to Pico DSP.
    Vca 3 gets its cv from a steady pulse
    Mimeophon color is modulated by a slow LFO triangle wave


    Patch notes:
    Stream 1:
    Erbeverb feedback gated by combination of Quadrax LFO and Maths envelope into a Tangle Quartet. Panning is attenuated by another Tangle Quartet module.
    Stream 2:
    Instruo CS-L oscillator 1 sequenced by Stillson Hammer into QPAS filter into 2 channels of Optomix. Two Quadrax envelopes combined with two LFOs from Maths. The QPAS filter is being sequenced by 0-ctrl combined with random voltages in Tangle Quartet.
    Stream 3:
    Instruo CS-L oscillator 2 sequenced by Stillson Hammer into Serge VQVCF into Echophon.


    I just have a Tangle Quartet (Quad VCA) so I also tried to do some semimodular VCA stuff, plus I looped it so I could use more VCAs.

    VCA 1

    • Zlob Entropy Pink noise into SEM filter.
    • Entropy Infra into CV 1 of SEM,
    • LFO from Werkstatt into Clep diaz
    • Clep Diaz bipolar into SEM cv2
    • Band Pass out into VCA 1- left
    • Slow Pamela’s New Workout triangle wave into Primary Oscillator Fragments CV-In (also technically a VCA)
    • Fragments into right side of VCA 1 to create a periodically fuzzed sound

    VCA 2

    • Mimetic Digitalis into Pitch In of Primary Oscillator
    • LP/HP into FM-in
    • Sine into VCA 2 – left
    • Pam’s smooth random into Rate-In of grandmother Modulation section, making a slow-fast sawtooth that goes in and out of audio rate
    • Grandmother Wave Out into attenuator, then into VCA 2 – right. This creates some AM synthesis with periodic chirping sounds and other weird slow/fast stuff.
    • Output of VCA 1 into VCA 3 with slow sine LFO from Pam’s
    • Output of VCA 2 into VCA 4 with slightly differently phased slow sine from Pam’s so they go in and out of each other.

    The above is recorded together onto a looper so I can unpatch and do more VCA stuff.

    More VCA Stuff:

    • Werkstatt is doing a slow LFO filter sweep and being sequenced by Mimetic Digitalis.
    • VCA-In (technically VCA 5) of the whole thing is being modulated by a slow LFO.
    • Output of Werkstatt into Grandmother Spring Reverb In
    • Smooth Random LFO from Pam’s and output of Mimetic Digitalis sequencer into left and right of VCA 6 to create a broken, jittery wave, into Pitch In of Osc 2 of Grandmother, set to Hard Sync. And there’s some PWM in there.
    • Smooth Random from Clep Diaz into VCA AMT IN (VCA 7) of Grandmother
    • VCA 8 – Left is Bipolar Envelope from VC EG
    • Release from VC EG envelope into Grandmother Modulation Rate-In
    • Modulation Wave out into VCA 8 – Right
    • Output of VCA 8 into Blade/Pulse CV-In of Primary Oscillator
    • Timbre Wave (affected by B/P CV) into VCA 9 with regular envelope (same as Bipolar from above)
    • VCA 9 output into Mutes so I can turn it on and off (it’s kind of a 10th VCA!)

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