Broken Clock — a noisy, broken delay

Broken Clock takes a delay and messes it up, sending the signal through a series of bit crushers, aliasers, and filters. Loaded with modulation (and cross-modulation!) options, you summon all sorts of bent, broken, and busted sounds.

At the center is a ‘master clock’ macro control that can be ‘degraded’–lowing the fidelity, creating aliased effects, stretching the delay time. Create everything from weirdo vibratos to bell-like tones to thudding noisy shenanigans.

Meanwhile, there are two modules with four waveform options apiece. The second modulator can also cross-modulate the first, creating complex, jarring rhythms (and arrythmic progressions as well).



Left, latching: “Degrade.” This allows you to morph from a higher fidelity sound to a lower fidelity one, stretching the delay and introducing noisy artifacts.

Middle, latching: Cross-modulation. Turns the cross-modulation between modulator 1 and modulator 2 on.

Front panel:
At the top left corner is the ‘master clock’ control. This is a macro that controls a mix between the unaffected delay sound and the the aliased sound, along with the bit crusher depth. Beneath it are the controls for the ‘degrade’ footswitch, one controlling the rate of its decay and the other its amount.

The next three controls all have the same structure and are subsections of the master clock.

First, the clean mix depth controls how much the modulators affect the mix control. This can be turned on, have its sweep reversed, switched from modulator 1 to modulator 2, or switched to a “manual” mode, which allows you to “free” the control from the master clock, using the depth to define its difference from that control (modulation must be turned on to enable this control).

The manual mode works in conjunction with the reverse sweep option–it uses the same governing principle to know whether the difference from the master clock setting is greater or lesser than the clock. Normal modulation will define one side of that difference, while reversed modulation will define the other.

The next two controls, which share the same control layout are aliaser frequency and bit crush depth.

After this, there are controls for the delay: time, feedback, and mix. The top parameter sets their values, while the parameter below this sets the depth for their modulation. Since these have individual controls, there is no “manual” mode.

Finally, there is a filter control, which can be useful for cleaning up some of the high-end from the broken signal or, as it is slightly resonant, can be modulated for some interesting filter effects.

Second page:
This is where the modulators are. Change the channels on the switches to select the different modulators.

Below each switch is the rate of the modulator.

Modulator 1 waveforms are:
1. Triangle.
2. Square.
3. Random.
4. Ramp.

Modulator 2 waveforms are:
1. Sine.
2. Square.
3. Random.
4. Expression pedal/CV in.

Finally, in the bottom right-hand corner is the cross-modulation depth control.

I like this patch, but I don’t think I totally nailed the broken clock concept. I wouldn’t say this is a prime candidate for revision, so much as it is likely I will make another attempt in the same vein from a different angle.

Sound clip:

I honestly can’t remember what I did while recording this, other than to say it begins with me using the ‘degrade’ footswitch control. There are a LOT of options for getting weird with this one.

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  • Modified: 2 weeks ago
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