Patch tip: creating a PLL-type sound using a Dixie2+ and one channel of Quadrax

I’ve decided to start a new “thing” here, where every so often we can share fun things we’ve found we can do with whatever gear we have. Feel free to discuss and post your own ideas for just about any cool trick you’ve learned, however small.

This trick requires a Dixie 2+ oscillator, because as far as I know, no other oscillators have a “flip” function. That’s important because hardsync can only make a wave sound higher in pitch or emphasize harmonics; flip can actually make a sound apparently lower.

  1. To start off, unplug all the inputs of the Dixie and tune it to whatever note you choose. All notes above this will be stable, and those below, well, we’ll get to that in a second.
  2. Set your quadrax channel to lfo mode, with shape and fall all the way up, and trigger it from the pulse wave output of the Dixie.
  3. Monitoring the output of the quadrax channel and Dixie saw or sub, tune the lfo clock speed to be a divided by 2 signal, just left of 12 o’clock. It should be in unison with the sub output.
  4. Set the Dixie’s pw knob to somewhere left of noon. (When I tune my dixie, I have the octave switch set to 3 and the fine tune knob around 1 o’clock, tuned to a C, and that puts my pw knob around 10 o’clock). It’s important to be left of noon or else the quadrax will snap to it’s maximum frequency.
  5. Once everything’s in place, plug the quadrax out into the Dixie flip input, and turn the fall knob all the way down. Your Dixie should go wild. Tune the pw knob with a gentle hand until it stops going crazy, if it is. Once it’s not, turn it down ever so slightly—this setup will stabilize a little as the Dixie warms up, which requires the pw knob to be just a tad lower than you’d first expect.
  6. You’re done! That’s it! Now to explain some mechanics for how to musically use it, the history of how I discovered it, and some descriptions of the sound itself (since my YouTube and Dropbox really don’t like using cellular. It’s a known bug. Regardless, I cant give sound examples until later)

I was originally trying to create a sound of a fullwave-rectified sine ringmodulated against a square wave an octave down. Basically two of the positive cycle, then two of the negative cycle. And you can theoretically get that same sound by flipping that waveform to run backwards every other zero-crossing. So I tried that. What I got was unexpected and completely wild, and I don’t really know why. I have some theories, but that’s probably beside the point.

The fall knob is basically a “stability” knob, where turning it to the left causes the low sounds to be more and more crazy, and turning it to the right causes it to smooth into something closer to the original waveform. Around noon gets the sub harmonic sounds I was going for originally. The mechanics of how this patch and a phase-locked loop work are completely different, but sound kind of similar, when the pll can’t quite lock onto a pitch and track it right.


Going to try patching this up tomorrow :slight_smile:

This can also be done with a Rubicon 2 as its sync input can be set to flip as well.


Great patch Steve!

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Frap Tools Brenso has flip sync as well

All right, I finally got it up!

Edit: My first modular-related YouTube upload, how exciting!

After tuning the Dixie to a C, with octave switch set to C, and setting up everything else as I described above, I set the octave switch to zero. This is just some simple sweeps controlled by the Planar2, with a few of the different waveforms. Enjoy!

Edit: After reviewing the recording, the audio quality isn’t quite what I’d hoped. Originally, I was monitoring from my headphones via the headphones 1u, and then connecting that to an antique radio when I wanted to record some sounds. The radio blew in a power surge a few months ago so I’m left cranking the volume to max and just setting my headphones on top of my phone. All that said, it captures the essence of the sound fine.

Then the Brenso should probably work. I believe that some of the oddity of this patch is from the way that for a Dixie, “minimum” pulse width is actually mostly +5v. So you might need to run the Brenso into an inverter for it to work

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