I was responding to John Daniel’s query a few days ago and started patching and… then I had this patch. I don’t know how well it captures the Bit Commander–this is more “fuzzy” than square wave-y–but I think it sounds pretty cool.
There are four voices: a fuzz voice, an octave up voice (using an old ring mod technique of multiplying a signal against itself–sounds very octave fuzz-y), an octave down (using a granular module) and a “sub,” two octaves down (using another granular module). These voices are then gated and sent into a low-pass filter; unlike the Bit Commander, this filter is more than a tone control: it can be modulated by envelope, up or down, and it has resonance. Finally, the voices pass through an output section, where they can be subjected to bit crushing and aliasing, becoming more and more degraded.
There’s no pitch-tracking at work here; still… chords don’t sound great. Give it a try, see what you think.
The signal path is mono; audio enters in the left and exits through the left output.
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Left — cycles through different settings for the output stage: white = unaffected, yellow = light bit crushing and aliasing, magenta = more severe bit crushing and aliasing, red = real messed up; there is a light that indicates the state at the bottom of the front page; this is also a UI button that can be pressed to change the state
Middle — turns the filter envelope on and off; when engaged, a yellow pixel on the right side of the front page lights up
Right — turns on the “weirdness” feature: an envelope and LFO controlled pitch modulation of the octave down and sub octave voice; when engaged, a green pixel on the right bottom side of the front page lights up
Base, up, down, sub — volume controls for each voice; next to each control is a pushbutton that will mute it when the button is off
— When all the voices are engaged at full volume… it can be quite loud
Gain — controls the gain of the fuzz, affecting all voices; at lower gain, the sound is slightly more “square wave”; at higher gain, it takes on a more abrasive, fuzzy sound
Threshold — controls the threshold of the gate; higher thresholds will result in a more gated quality to the output–if you go too far, no sound will pass
Filter freq and resonance — controls the filter’s frequency and resonance; the resonance, when pushed, will introduce more gain into the system
Envelope depth — depth of the filter envelope; bipolar, negative values will produce a downward envelope, positive values an upward envelope; when the envelope is active, a yellow pixel will light up on the front page
Envelope slew — controls the slew applied to the envelope; the more slew the more the envelope will swell; the less slew, the sharper its response
Weirdness rate and depth — controls the envelope and LFO controlled pitch modulation of the two lower octave voices; at high rates and depths, it can produce some odd sound effects; at lower depths, it can produce a sort of “movement” for the other two voices to play over; when engaged, a green pixel will light up on the front page
Sound demo; control walk-through (trying something new, let me know what you think; it means less sound clips and not great audio quality, but maybe a better sense of how my patches work):