Just got a Rainmaker with the latest firmware and love it so far but am finding that when I do any pitch shifting of any tap beyond 12 I get a glitchy/popping noise as if the enveloping in the grain setting was off. Taps 12 and below are fine and I only get artifacts at extreme ranges or really small grain settings. Even with a single tap on this happens if the tap is 13 or higher. Is this normal?
I’ve noticed this too, mostly with certain randomized results. Sometimes it sounds kind of like vinyl LP crackle, other times seems more like waves are being chopped off or don’t mate in buffer looping. There is some mention in the manual of certain parameter ranges (the grain setting, I think) that I gather, affect buffer sizes that can be a contributing factor to this sort of thing-- but when you hear it from a randomized setting it’s not all that easy to figure out where it might be coming from and what to do to fix it. No doubt more experience with it will help in that regard, as I just got mine a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve implemented pitch shifting myself in software, and a common method is to have a circulating buffer with an input and output pointer where when the output pointer gets too far behind the input pointer, you jump it ahead a wave cycle, when it gets to close to the input pointer, you set it back a wave cycle-- depending on how big the wave cycles are the buffer size may come into play as there needs to be sufficient buffer to handle it. Even so, I’ve found the technique tends to result in some “jangling” of the sound at times, and may not be as effective on chords.
Recently I’ve discovered a device that does an amazing job of pitch shifting, such that I’d really like to know how it is implemented-- and that’s in the Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork. It’s a small guitar stomp box and will shift up or down up to three octaves. The sound is unbelievably clean and jangle free at all settings I’ve tried, even on chords. Plus or minus three octaves seems to be way overkill, but hey, it seems to be able to handle it. I wish every pitch shifter I’ve encountered was as good as that one, but for the most part, none of them are.
That said, I still find the Rainmaker a pretty astounding product and despite the fact there may be an imperfection here or there I see it as very useful. If, on the other hand, there’s some additional adjustments that can be made in firmware that will improve on things like this, even if it’s insuring that random settings don’t end up configuring inappropriate buffer sizes if that’s what’s happening, or perhaps some kind of smarter buffer morphing abilities, I’d be all for that…
Totally can see when randomizing that this becomes difficult to troubleshoot. I’m just trying to use a single tap above 12 and regardless of the grain settings there is an obvious glitch-ness that only occurs on taps 13-16 while 12 and below are totally fine. Not the end of the world as you stated as 12 taps with pitch-shifting is still incredible. I’m just trying to determine if this is normal operation of the last firmware or something wrong with my device.
Does using different grid settings affect it?
Grid settings don’t change anything. Grain settings do but 13-16 still sound like the grain windowing aren’t enveloped at all. Hence the buzziness.
New Firmware posted: https://intellijel.com/downloads/firmware/rainmaker_v140.jic
Changelog from https://intellijel.com/eurorack-modules/cylonix-rainmaker/
- FIXED bug with pitch shifting on higher taps
- FIXED FPGA firmware version display
I had to “save file as” “all types” and add the jic extension because Windows Internet Explorer was opening the file in my browser, but I was able to get it to work.
Also note that you only have to update the FPGA with this update, not the display.