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Our first tutorial video was our Eurorack Modular Kick Drum tutorial using a sine wave oscillator as the heart of the kick. This time, we’re using a filter to generate sound, by boosting the resonance of the filter until it begins to self-oscillate. While not all filters are capable of this, many can be employed as more than just timbre shaping tools, acting as oscillators themselves. Of course, making a kick drum is only one application of the self-oscillation…

Back in our original video, we discussed the importance of controlling both the pitch and volume of our oscillator to achieve the traditional effect of a kick drum. By using only one envelope mult-ed out to both the pitch input on the oscillator and the control input on the VCA, the shape of a kick drum is easily produced, with a quick impact and rise in pitch, dropping back down into the bass frequencies as the volume tapers off.

Our filter kick drum works the same way, simply using the resonating oscillation of the filter as our sound source. By routing an envelope to control the filter cutoff, just as we would the pitch on an oscillator, we get the same behavior with the pitch of the filter. Using a VCA, we can control our volume level with the same envelope, again repeating the setup for our earlier kick drum tutorial.

Last week in one of our course office hours, we built passive VCAs using homemade vactrols into an souvenir Noise Engineering panel. So I tried that in the video example, since any VCA will work with this routing.

How are you using your clock divider? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Self-Oscillating Filter Kick Drum Tutorial

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