Hurdy Gurdy vs. Modular

Hello everyone :slightly_smiling_face:
I am composer and hurdy gurdy player from Poland. For about half a year my interest in modular synthesis grew from about zero (according to my knowledge of topic at time) to a lot :wink: Since it’s no cheap stick I’ve decided to be careful and not spend to much on something I wouldn’t need.

And what are my needs?

They’re quite peculiar, I think, and I might be in the wrong here aiming for modular, hence this topic.
I’d like to use modular with my hurdy gurdy. Sort of like an effect board, but also to use the gurdy to control the synth.

A modern hurdy gurdy has four type of strings (and from 1 to 4 or even more of strings in any type). These are:

  1. Melody strings (the ones you control with a keyboard)
  2. Drone strings
  3. Trompette strings (they make a buzzing sound, which you can play theory rhythmic)
  4. Ambient strings (sort of like in sitar, more like in

This I’d Mathias Loibner, one of the best players in the world. Give it a try :wink:

What I would like to do I firstly build a rack to which I could plug the trompette sound (I have separate outs for every type) which would be a trigger for PLONK. Actually the Plonk is the one module that really got me this whole thing :smiley:
But I don’t really know what would I need. What type of signal triggers Plonk? Does it need to be CV or can it be normal audio? If it was the second option it would much easier to make.

The second need is to expand the whole idea and not only use the trompette to trigger plonk, but also use it to trigger any type of effect, which would affect the melodic strings. So any time I make the buzzing sound the melodic strings get a boost, or overdrive, or ring shift. Still, the trompette almost certainly should somehow become a cv to control triggers or gates. Bare in my mind, that I don’t need any type of pitch information, it’s just a trigger.

The third need (a futuristic one) is to have a generative rig with all the functionality of previous ideas. This one is quite simple, since it’s more trivial.

Can you guys give me any feedback on my ideas? I’m still quite in the mist. I’m learning modular synthesis with software programs, but I cannot test the hurdy gurdy ideas there, or so it seems.

I hope you can get through my train of thoughts, excuse me, if it’s to chaotic :wink:

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Hi Forteplan!

First of all: Cool! Loved the piece in the video.

Second, what you are looking for are Envelope Followers. These take an incoming audio signal and use the strength of that signal to generate CV. This would work both for triggering Plonk, and for effecting other elements in your system. Creating gates is much more simple because it is just a coarse on/off, but getting more subtle differences in magnitude is more delicate.

At this point Intellijel doesn’t offer an Envelope Follower, but if you go on you can search just for this type of module and see what best suits your needs.

Getting generative with this could take on a lot of different forms! Logic and sequential oriented modules like Plog and Shifty will probably be useful to trigger different events in your system. Rainmaker would give you a huge playground of delay and comb resonation to work with.

I’d recommend having a look at Mylar Melodies intro video here:
And I wrote an article about this for Ask.Audio here:

Good luck and keep us posted!

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