Our most popular collection of videos is the Ornament & Crime collection that we’ve been adding to for over a year now. One of the modes that we haven’t explored yet, References, is perhaps the least musical of the bunch. However, the mode is extremely helpful in making sure the rest of the system operates as expected for the best musical results…

Ornament & Crime is a powerful tool, with many modes that are each worth exploring. We’ve been working with the module for quite some time, and some of our favorites include Piqued mode which can generate Euclidean Rhythms, Quantermain with four Turing Machines, Acid Curds for complex chord progressions and more. References mode, on the other hand, is a utility meant for analyzing the frequency or bpm of incoming signals.

This utility functionality can be particularly useful for calibrating oscillators. While most oscillators are calibrated before they leave the manufacturer, they tend to eventually go out of tune. The result is an oscillator that does not properly track 1 volt per octave modulation, leaving intervals a bit flat or sharp. This can be especially problematic and noticeable when modulating by octave or volt, so the main use for References mode is to provide a platform for testing these intervals.

With an oscillator patched to trigger input 4 and output D patched to the oscillator 1 volt per octave input, the module will send out a series of 1 volt offsets, starting at -3 volts, then -2, and increasing up to 6 volts. As it does, References will display the current frequency which should double each time the voltage increases by 1 volt. Any oscillators that do not respond in this fashion should be recalibrated, and you can use References to help in that process. The Mod Rate and Mod Range Oct settings in the options menu set the time and interval between which the module will alternate. Locate the trim pot on the back of your oscillator, and adjust it so the octave interval appears as close to a doubling of the base frequency as possible. If the frequency is 110, then one octave above should display 220. An octave above that, 440… above that, 880.

How are you using Ornament & Crime? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Pitch & BPM Tracking with Ornament & Crime

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