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Discussion about a List of Contributions Discussion

#1

Once upon a time there was a Synth Voices Thread. At the time it came of age it changed its name to Discussion about a Synth Voices discussion. Inspired by the great energy and ideas he had he began to build a wiki page called ER-301/User Contributed Unit Presets.

Actually it was the voices in its imagination that drove it to collect creatures that, back then, were called “custom units”. Some of them were regular Synth Voices. Some of them were different. And then it thought by itself: Why should i restrain myself from collecting other creatures, too? For it was the wast diversity of creations that it found remarkable. So he also added those different creatures to its wiki page. … and they lived happily ever after, and so on…

that endeavor leads us to many many questions. This thread will begin with the one million dollar question about the EXTENT of that wiki page.

Here is an incomplete list of some of the possibilities of how we could define that wiki page:

and in order to have something more to chew on, let me add even more complexity:

  • what about preset collections?
  • what about the difference between creatures that involve samples vs. sample-free creatures? @iiii and i would like to see that demarcation reflected in a way. alternative naming/categories?
  • are tags/filters possible on that page?
  • meaning of the field ‘firmware’: ‘made for’ or ‘works with’?
  • do you miss the field ‘requirements’?
  • do you like to see an educational field for historical and informative links about underlying principles and role models?

And here are some (cherrypicked out of context) voices from the parent discussion:

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Should custom units use additional libraries and bespoke units like Accents?
#2

Hey gang, for context, @mopoco have been chatting in PM land about some of the nitpicky elements of the user contributions list and it feels like a conversation best had in public land, especially after @odevices polite request to do so. I always love hearing what everyone else is thinking.

So, I’m going to reply to some points from my conversation with @mopoco here:

To explain, I believe @mopoco’s inspiration was the CardOne, that since that was user contributed it could potentially be included on the list we’re building which would then become a “highlander” list that included everything that was user contributed.

My opinion is not to do this, for a variety of reasons:

  • I like the focus of the list being only units/patches/presets. Clearly I am a fan of categorization and sample libraries seem like the kind of category that best served by a separate list as opposed to a sub-category of a larger list.
  • There aren’t enough user contributed sample libraries yet to justify a higher degree of organization. There is only one (the highlander references might get out of control haha) so far, so I think it is best served with it’s own dedicate page and a link on the ER-301 main page.
  • IF there were enough sample libraries to justify a higher degree of organization on the wiki, I feel like combining that with the presets page would start to make that page unwieldily and decrease it’s usefulness.

These are all hypotheticals at this point. I say lets just focus on building a list of presets and if things grow in a way that requires changing the format/intent, we can do that then. Mediawiki is great it’s ease of expanding and dividing later.

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#3

I was really struggling with figuring out a good same for the “non-sample” option. Voices that don’t use samples was as far as I got before giving up for the night.

Basically, I don’t like using the word sample in the name of the non-sample category, because it doesn’t correctly emphasize my intent. Basically I want it be something like:

CV-only Voices
vs.
Sample-based Voices

or

Voices with voltage-units only
vs.
Voices with sampling-based units

But there are clear problems with those. I can’t figure out how to articulate this properly. How do I describe succinctly units that only use digital voltage synthesis exclusively in contrast to synthesis that use digital voltage in tandem with sample-based processes. I would love to hear other people’s ideas of how to phrase this as a category title.

Though I’m sure people could question why do I even see those as separate in the first place, which is totally valid. Clearly, just Voices would be easiest. But part of what I love about the ER-301 is that it can be viewed as a the craziest sample mangler ever, but it can also be the deepest infinite-operator FM synth. For whatever reason, in my mind sine-wave FM synthesis is distinct from granular synthesis.

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#4

Totally into this. I’ll add this to Brian’s tweak of the template and then start rolling that out.

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#5

At first I thought why not just synthesis - that’s what it is right? But then I realised you can use single cycle waveforms in sample players todo pretty much the same thing - at which point the lines are very blurry and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see a scw synth in the sample section.

What about:

  1. Synthesised Voices
  2. Sample Voices
  3. Hybrid Voices

Shrugs… I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, just do something, it can always be fettled a bit more later on as things become clear.

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#6

how about algorithm based generators / processors vs. sample based ones?

but to be honest i don’t necessarily see the need in separating them across the ‘uses samples’ line. that division will for example place a waveshaper that uses sampled waveform as transfer function in a different class from a waveshaper where transfer function is accessed programmatically, and that could be confusing. i think one of the aspects of 301’s beauty is how it blurs the boundaries of what we normally associate with samples.

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#7

Yeah - I agree!!

How about another piece of metadata that simply states whether samples are used or not?

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#8

This is the best suggestion in my humble opinion.

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#9

what do you think?

i moved the accents units out of ‘utility presets’ (current):

we could go even further (sketch):

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#10

Occam’s razor strikes again. I’ve merged the voices into one category and added a Uses Samples field to the table. I also added a Dependencies field for samples and/or required units.

Also, moved the page to it’s new name and updated the main page accordingly:
User Contributed Presets

Behind the scene news for the editors: I’ve updated the entry template and then implemented that new system for all the existing entries and updated the tips at the top. So much cleaner, thanks again for the tip @odevices.

I think middle-layer units being their own category instead of under Utilities is the way to go for sure. As for (current) vs. (sketch), I’m impartial, both are logical, happy to defer to the community on that one.

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#11

Nice - I personally think this is a significant improvement and I find it comfortable to read!

Thank you again for your efforts :slight_smile:

I realise you may just be working your way through everything and just haven’t got to it yet, but I’d be happy for the units @Joe and myself built (Evil Twin and Scorpio) to move from the top level into your list along side everything else. Assuming @Joe doesn’t have any objections of course (I doubt it, but of course it’s polite to ask).

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#12

Sure thing, good by me. I had moved Scorpio into Accents for the time being for ease of maintenance, but it can be easily moved into its own repo again. I actually have a bug fix ready to go for it now.

I’m not sure how well Scorpio fits the theme of Accents anyway (hmm, are there enough units in Accents that it is starting to develop a theme? :thinking: I think maybe so. Most tend to be more fundamental, simple units or building blocks vs. something like a voice. There are a few audio-focused units (fx and oscillators) there but the majority are control / CV focused.)

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#13

Yes, I agree :slight_smile:

It’s such a cool unit I think it deserves it’s own spot in the sun, and well, it has it’s own page already.

http://wiki.orthogonaldevices.com/index.php/Scorpio

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#14

This is shaping up super nicely! It’s awesome to see something like this coming together. Thank you for all the effort you guys have put into the making of this map of ER-301 gems and goodies! I am liking it a lot. Seems to have everything you’d want to know about each one.

I assume you have just picked a representative selection of unit presets at this point to get the format / metadata figured out? Pretty sure there are more CUs than what’s listed here now.

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#15

This is great! Thanks you, this is already looking great. What do I need to do to submit my custom unit — or at this point that’s not an option? I’ve read the format description but from what I see one has to have editing rights, right?

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#16

Two options:

  1. Ask @odevices to give you access to the wiki so you can edit and add it yourself.

  2. Patiently await the current team preset miners to add your unit. Our goal is to indiscriminately add everything from the forum to the list, so we’ll get around to it eventually. For me personally, my mining is going to take a steep decline over the next couple of weeks as I get ready and then take a trip to Peru.

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#17

Got it, thanks. In case @odevices would be willing to grant me editing access, I’d be happy to volunteer my time to contribute to adding units to the wiki. Absolutely no pressure, though. Thanks.

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#18

I think the Middle Layer Units category doesn’t belong on the Presets page because it is not a preset and can be a dependency for presets, not to mention that they need to be installed in a certain way. I think eventually contributions via the Middle Layer will get their own page but since there is only one contribution (Accents) in this category at the moment, I think listing it just on the top level page is good enough for now.

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#19

i’ve been adding more presets (and one unit). however, as i tried to add some of the user contributions i had such a hard time to decide in which category i should list them that i got

  • a) somewhat frustrated, so i decided not to list them at all and

  • b) inclined to do something about it, so i can confidently list all of those, that i couldn’t before.

Therefore i’ve been quietly working on a categorization that is meant to improve navigation as well as maintenance of the page and i decided to implement it temporarily so you can actually try it out. The things i’ve done to it today are based on private conversations, the discussion in this thread (and the former) and some research i did. Before i implemented any changes I’ve made a backup of the code as well as a screenshot for comparison. This way i can (and will) reinstate whatever we choose to return back to. quite naturally my efforts should be characterized as mere suggestions! as always: your suggestions and contributions are welcome! (@iiii: thanks again for taking initiative! And please, let us know what you think.)

http://wiki.orthogonaldevices.com/index.php/ER-301/User_Contributed_Presets#Following_Generators

Here is a quote from one of my sources that illustrates and points out both: the main source of my frustration as well as the source for the solution i came up with:
“Take, for example, the simple architectures shown in Figures 8 and 9 (below), both of which contain two audio frequency oscillators and a mixer. In Figure 8, the outputs from the two oscillators pass as audio to the mixer, so we can say that both oscillators are acting as sources. But in Figure 9, the output from the second oscillator is being fed into the pitch control input of the first, so we can say that while Osc1 is still a source, Osc2 is now acting as a controller. This means that the classification of the oscillator is not determined by its operation, but by its position in the patch!”
you can find the quote here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160403094358/http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul04/articles/synthsecrets.htm
There’s much more i could say about my findings and thinking. But for now i’d love to hear your first impressions as well as your own thoughts first.

while i wanted to add @kel’s Pan Mixer unit i didn’t want to edit/interfer in the main wiki page.
so i just dropped it in User Contributed Presets and moved the middle layer category at the end for now. (i’m pretty hopefull that @kel’s mission to encourage people to get involved in lua business as well as @Joe’s avantgarde in that field (too) will succeed. I can clearly see the lua creatures populating their own page pretty soon! :slight_smile: )

here’s the screenshot from what it looked before i changed things:

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#20

Apologies for not chiming in sooner, I am back from my travels and currently taking a brief break from grant writing as I face looming deadlines upon my return.

Given our previous conversation, I totally understand the preference for Leading Generators / Following Generators as the two primary categories. This is clearly more in line with the broader modular synthesis philosophy. So, I do appreciate them on those terms.

But not considering myself a deep synthesis head (though I thoroughly enjoy learning about it more and more, rabbit hole, etc) I personally find the terms you’ve chosen confusing/frustrating/minimal probably in the same way you felt about the previous categories. I personally preferred Voices / Effects / Utilities / M.I.S.C. as the categories. They are more in line with my personal approach in my studio and I would argue possibly more familiar and less opaque to the larger music making community of which eurorack modular is a member amongst many.

I guess it boils down to a question of broad appeal versus niche.

Or it’s too bad mediawiki doesn’t have a system for reordering page entries based upon tags, etc. so it would resort depending on the user’s preference. (I’m about to read an article about tables to see if that reveals any interesting options).

But, that’s just me. I am flattered to be asked for my input, but I am more than happy to defer to what the community on this forum prefers, though given the lovely cast of characters here I doubt there will ever be consensus. :joy:

The reality is there is now a centralized page that makes finding and downloading the user contributions substantially easier than previously regardless of how they are categorized, that’s all I really care about.

Excited to get back to couch mining and populating the list!

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