Filter Drive is VERY subtle

Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« on: October 04, 2021, 10:41:49 PM »
Hello all,

I am a very happy, proud new owner of the Take 5. So far, I'm really, really enjoying it!

However, I could really use some help making a patch that shows off the Filter Drive. In some cases, it feels like the knob is backwards (drive present all the way CCW), other times it feels even less useful than the Audio Mod on the Rev2 (which at least can make a difference in a patch.

I know it's early days, but I sure would like some confirmation that something isn't wrong with this feature.

Anyway, back to noodling and playing with all the fresh mod sources!

EDIT: More noodling answered my question. Drive can be heard best when the filter Resonance is up high and you're sending OSC 1 or OSC 2 through it. It sounds like it "knocks the peak" off of the resonance and reduces the self-oscillation... But that's not entirely true because with no input into the filter or just OSC 1 Sub, the filter doesn't quite behave that way.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 10:56:00 PM by jamisnemo »

Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 04:54:19 PM »
Okay, something is wrong with Filter Drive and I would really like to hear something official from Sequential about how this section of the synth is designed and intended to function. I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out why it's not working as I expect it to.

 A signal path diagram would be really nice.

I started this thread because it honestly feels like the knob isn't doing what it says on the tin. I accepted that it was just a subtle affect...

Until today, when I accidentally routed an LFO to it while FM OSC 2>1 was enabled and my brain fell out in confusion.

The Drive destination in the modulation matrix is _flat out_ controlling a different part of the signal path in the synth than the Drive knob.

Here's how to reproduce what I've found.

Steps to reproduce
1. Put LFO 1 amount at zero/center. Put Drive knob at zero.
2. Init patch
3. Enable Hold. Play a key.
4. Turn up Drive and you'll hear a subtle difference in the tone. Turn down Drive.
5. Turn down OSC 1 and up OSC 1 SUB
6. Turn up Drive again and you'll hear another subtle difference in the tone

So far, so good. That all... kinda... makes sense assuming this is just a subtle affect. Now let's try the same thing using the Modulation Matrix: LFO 1 modulating Drive

1. Switch back to OSC 1. Turn down Drive.
2. Change LFO 1 wave shape to square (to make it easier to hear)
5. Turn down LFO 1 rate to 0 (again, to make it easier to hear)
6. Route LFO 1 to Drive (I used the shortcut)
7. Turn LFO amount clockwise to the maximum value (positive) and adjust LFO 1 rate to hear the lowest and highest modulation amounts clearly. The volume of OSC 1 will INCREASE beyond what can be dialed in on the front panel. (wut?)

8.  Turn LFO 1 amount fully counterclockwise (negative modulation) The volume of OSC 1 will alternate between entirely off and the loudest value you can set on the front panel.

9. Turn down OSC 1 in the Mixer section and turn up OSC 1 SUB You'll hear zero affect from the LFO on the volume of OSC 1 SUB.

At this point, it should be clear that the Drive knob and Drive destination don't do the same thing.

As a final nail in the coffin here, let's test this with FM 2 -> 1 enabled to show exactly where I lost my mind:

1. Init patch
2. Enable FM
3. Turn up OSC 2. Play a note. You'll hear the normal FM "thing" the Take 5 does.
4. Turn up Drive. You'll hear the "subtle filter drive" tone change, but the FM tone stays the same
5. Press SRC ASSIGN to get into the mod matrix and scroll to Mod 2 (init patch makes Mod 2 route ModWheel to LFO1Amt by default.)
6. Change the default ModWheel route destination to Drive
7. Increase Mod 2 amount to +127
8. Play a note. Move ModWheel. You will hear the FM tone change (wat?), but NOT the "filter drive" tone change.
9. Decrease Mod 2 amount to -127 You will hear the FM tone change again, but in a DIFFERENT way than you would if you just turned down OSC 2 instead

And things get even stranger when you create one or more additional mod matrix routes to Osc FM Lvl on top of all this becuase the Osc FM Lvl destination sounds different than the Drive destination! OR when you route negative values to Osc FM Lvl in the matrix or LFO destinations because you can access sounds that are very much not possible from the front panel.

So, based on all of this:

- The Drive destination sounds like it's controlling the volume of OSC 1 and OSC 2 in the mixer section.
- The Drive destination also sounds like it's controlling the FM 2->1 amount... but doing so in a different way than the Osc FM Lvl destination.
- The Drive knob sounds like it's controlling something internal to how the Filter works... but does not seem to be the filter Drive that many people expected based on various public reviews of the feature by various reviewers
- The related knobs on the front panel don't have nearly the same ranges (by ANY stretch of the imagination) as what's possible through the modulation matrix. Nor do they affect the same parameters as the modulation matrix.

And, honestly, at the end of the day, _none_ of this really makes sense.

Is this working as designed?
Does it have to be this confusing?
Is the modulation matrix working as expected?
Are these Drive parameters actually different things and you're still thinking up a different name for them?

Sequential: Please tell us what's going on under the hood here.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 04:57:14 PM by jamisnemo »

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Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2021, 03:23:47 AM »
Protip: Put in a ticket with Support if you expect a response from Sequential. They’re usually very helpful, but the forum is more of a user community, and Sequential staff replies wil be spotty.
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Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2021, 08:33:08 AM »
Protip: Put in a ticket with Support if you expect a response from Sequential. They’re usually very helpful, but the forum is more of a user community, and Sequential staff replies wil be spotty.

Good point. I've reached out now. Thanks!

Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 07:06:01 AM »
If you go to Mod Maatrix , use DC as source and Drive as destination @+127 its more than the knob iotself at Max. hope it helps

Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2021, 06:49:09 PM »
I bought the Take 5 about a month ago and I also don't hear any change when I turn up the drive knob.  I have a Moog Sub-Phatty and I can clearly hear the overdrive when I turn the knob on that.  I don't know whether if my unit is defective or if I just don't know how to work it on the Take 5.  I'm basically still a beginner at analog synths. 

Alphacode909:  What is "DC" as a source?

Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2021, 07:20:05 AM »
Filter-Drive is not an overdrive and I find the effect clearly audible with Resonance > 50%. The resonant peak is more "embedded in the sound". It does not change the characteristic without a good amount of Resonance.

DC is like an offset. Think of it as an additional knob, that is always set to 100% and then you apply that knob to a destination with a range of -100% to 100%. That way you can achieve a value on some controls that is higher or lower than the normal range of that control. Theoretically a knob set to 75% + DC-mod 100% gives you a value > 100%.

Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2021, 11:15:17 AM »
Sorry, I forgot to report back after speaking with Sequential's support team.

Here is the description I was provided about how the filter Drive works:

Quote
Drive simply increases the gain of the oscillators as they enter the filter circuit. It is, as you note, a fairly subtle effect and quite dependent on the oscillator levels set in the mixer.

To best hear the Drive effect, oscillator levels should be set to halfway or less. Then turning up Drive will provide the gain makeup and increase the overall levels into the filter. Setting oscillator levels near or at max will make the effect somewhat difficult to discern. The amount of resonance set at the filter will also have an effect on the Drive sound qualities.

I noticed that modulating filter Drive using the mod matrix allows for more significant range than what can be achieved using the knob on the front panel. This is the response I got when I asked about this behavior specifically:

Quote
Checking a Take 5 here, I do find that I can a bit more extreme of a gain effect by driving the Drive param with the Global LFO in the Mod Matrix. This is expected behavior. [...]

The Mod Matrix parameter allows for pushing the parameter a bit beyond what the panel control can accomplish.

I still wasn't completely satisfied because something still didn't make sense:

I've noticed that when FM 2->1 is enabled, the Drive knob doesn't appear to have any significant impact on the tone of the patch... But modulating Drive using the mod matrix appears to have a SIGNIFICANT impact on the tone. In fact, you can continue stacking modulation routes against the Drive parameter and even past 5 separate routes, you can still keep hearing new range from the Drive circuit.

What didn't make sense is that the effect you get when modulating Drive in an FM patch is TOTALLY different than the range of sounds you get when modulating Osc FM Lvl in an FM patch.

To help verify what I found, I sent over a sysex patch (attached to this post) and these test steps:

Quote
Okay, I've attached a sysex dump example. Let me know if it doesn't work.

The patch has ModWheel mapped to Drive. If the Drive destination is the same as the knob, moving ModWheel should sound the same (or at least close) to moving the Drive knob on the front panel.

Here's how to test it:
1. Load the patch
2. Play a note
3. Move Drive knob. Minimal affect on sound is heard
4. Move ModWheel. FM amount sounds like it's being changed

Please let me know if you hear a noticable difference between the mod wheel and the knob on this patch.

I also sent over an audio recording of the differences I was hearing (also attached to this post).

And after all that, Sequential support member seems to think everything is in order:
Quote
That is indeed what I'm hearing here. Your Take 5 is behaving as expected.

So, at this point, I'm personally going to use the Drive knob:

  • As a subtle tone control when I'm careful about gain staging
  • When I want full resonance but need to knock self resonance off the filter
  • When I want to have more tone control over wild FM patches using the modulation matrix
  • When I've got an audio-rate modulation routes targeting the filter or harmonic content in the oscilator/mixer sections, and the subtle nature of the Drive control can appear to have more impact on the final tone of the patch

While it sure would be nice to see a signal path diagram for this instrument, I'm happy enough knowing a little more about how to use the Drive control.

For giggles and some closure on this, I created a patch named Aashi Noo to explore how much Drive can impact the sound when Take 5 is pushed out to it's limits in terms of feedback, noise, and aggression. It's attached as well (Zensynth is me). Feel free to use it, if you think it's useful, just let me know if you release anything commercial with it so I can feel good.

Be careful; it's friggin' loud. Think, Blade Runner fog horn.

That's all I've got on Drive at this point.

Re: Filter Drive is VERY subtle
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2022, 04:06:23 AM »


I've noticed that when FM 2->1 is enabled, the Drive knob doesn't appear to have any significant impact on the tone of the patch... But modulating Drive using the mod matrix appears to have a SIGNIFICANT impact on the tone. In fact, you can continue stacking modulation routes against the Drive parameter and even past 5 separate routes, you can still keep hearing new range from the Drive circuit.

What didn't make sense is that the effect you get when modulating Drive in an FM patch is TOTALLY different than the range of sounds you get when modulating Osc FM Lvl in an FM patch.


this is such an excellent finding. Great I love it!

but i agree it'S really strange... the drive knob itself should already give this options/changes to the sound.

Also know i know what the DC is useful for.