This began as a project sparked by a question u/TrappistRT posed on r/ZOIA, about emulating the Marshmallow’s Dyna Mode. I started playing around, and I ended up with some that can cover similar ground, but also expands that mode quite a lot.
Essentially, based on playing dynamics, a pitch shifter can begin with one pitch and, if a threshold is crossed, move to a second. Since I was working in stereo, I added some quirks: first, the left and right channels can function independently or linked (pitch could ascend in the right and descend in the left, for instance); then, I added a delay in the wet signal as pitch shifting and delay go well together.
Things took a turn toward the weird and wonderful when I added a feedback path option: feedback for the delay can either go back into the delay (normal delay behavior) or feedback into the pitch shifter (for building pitches). Since the delay’s mix is controllable, this feedback to the pitch shifter can also function without the delay at all, which can create some strange sounds; rich synthy textures, video-game style burbles, quasi-flanging tones. It’s cool.
The signal path is stereo throughout. Envelope is derived from left input.
A special thanks to my patrons on Patreon for their support: Rob Flax, Stepan Grammatik, brockstar, Mats Unnerholm, D Sing, Will Scott, drew batchelor, Miguel, Steve Bragg, Joab Eastley, Tomi Kokki, Mitch Lantz, Ben Norland, Roman Jakobej, Mark Crosbie, Steve Codling, Timothy Cleary, Soren Made, Ken Luke, Mike Ryan, Vilis Klavins, Nick, Eric Peterson, Joseph August, Jonathan Carp, Liam Britten, Jakob Fryken, Nick Ruck, and Simon Provencher!
If you would like to support my work on ZOIA, please visit patreon.com/chmjacques
Left, momentary — tap tempo for delay (patch also responds to MIDI clock, which will override tap tempo)
Middle, latching — controls whether the delay mix is active; this sort of bypasses the delay, but even when silent, the delay is processing audio, so when it is turned “on” there will already be repeats going. This is useful because….
Right, momentary — maxes out the feedback; it also turns the delay mix on, allowing you to create momentary glitches and repeats
Some controls are mirrored on the right and left side; if the controls are linked, the left side controls are the master.
Sensitivity — controls the threshold for the pitch-shifting envelope
Start pitch — sets the pitch below that threshold (-2 to +2 octave range, quantized to chosen scale)
End pitch — sets the pitch above that threshold
Glide — determines how much (if any) pitches glide from one to the other once the threshold is passed
Two pushbuttons are situated next to the mirrored controls:
Unlink sensitivity — allows you to set a different sensitivity for the right side
Unlink pitch — allows you to set a different start/end pitch for the right side
The global controls are in white, in the middle of the page.
Mix — sets the wet/dry mix
Scale — sets the scale for the quantizers; as the value is adjusted, the pixel will change colors: blue = chromatic; green = major; red = natural minor; yellow = harmonic minor; aqua = melodic minor
Smooth — applies a slew limiter to only the falling edge of the envelope follower; can help smooth the response of the envelope follower or sustain end pitch notes for longer
Delay controls are in yellow, at the bottom of the page:
Delay mix — sets the mix for the delay on the wet signal path; setting the mix to 0 can allow you use the right stomp switch (feedback maxing) to just affect the pitch shifters
Feedback — sets the feedback amount
Feedback path — determines whether the feedback goes through the pitch shifters (0) or the delay (1) or some mix of the two
Sending the feedback through the pitch shifters results in all sorts of interesting permutations; some intervals take on a sort of “orchestral” or “synthy” richness; others burble and modulate like old Nintendo games; some don’t do a whole of anything. When combined with the delay, you can get ascending/descending pitch delays and some interesting artifacts when gliding between notes.
The pitch shifter feedback will also work when the delay is disengaged.