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This week, we’re looking at how to utilize the Sputnik Modular 5 Step Voltage Source in a less conventional way. We’ve already examined how to use the Sequencer with a sequential switch like the Sputnik Selector, as well as how to get some interplay between the 5 step and Make Noise Maths to achieve muting. Now we’re exploring some of the ways to employ the 5 step as a sound source rather than or in addition to a modulation source.

Of course, the obvious starting point is the Pulser section of the module. The Pulser is the internal clock for the 5 step, and can cycle at audio rates. However, it does not follow the 1 volt per octave standard, in fact it follows a 4 or 5 volt per octave down, which may be a refreshing alternative to your other oscillators.


The sound sources on the 5 Step are not limited to the Pulser. The sequences themselves can be employed as oscillators when cycling at audio rates. Just as Oscillators change voltages over time in a repetitive pattern, the 5 Step sequence can achieve a similar effect. When that repetitive change in voltage cycles tens or hundreds or thousands of times per second, we hear a pitch produced.

We can then employ some of the other functions on the 5 Step to separate the sequence oscillator tunings from the Pulser tuning, allowing for separate control of these sections as atonal oscillators. Using the Address input, we can cycle through the stages of the sequence independently, leaving the Pulser to be sequenced on it’s own. Using Maths allows us to dial in how many stages we want to cycle through using the channels 1 and 4 variable outputs and their associated attenuverters.

The bigger lesson is that modules may be more versatile than we assume. This same functionality should be possible in any sequencer that can be clocked at audio rates, like Make Noise Pressure Points or Analog Memory.

What other sound sources do you use in your system? Let us know in the comments!

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Oscillating Your Sequencer

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