This patch was inspired by the “beer glitch” setting, but I think it ended up being capable of something pretty different.
The heart of that algorithm and of this patch is the humble comparator; the “beer glitch” reverb uses a comparator–set up as a probability or Bernouli gate–to switch between low- and high-pass filtered signal paths, creating “glitches” as the reverb bounces back and forth between the two settings. “Thing 1” lets you set the speed of the glitches (how often new random numbers are generated to be comparated), while “Thing 2” lets you determine if the outcome is more likely to favor the low- or high-passed signal path.
The major “innovation” I made was adding a glide control following the comparator. This simple introduction allows the patch to move from high and low paths or glide between them. Since the filter’s frequencies are not changing, but rather than the signal path is being “sent” (via a panner) through each filter path, you can create phasing and interesting filter sounds. Also, rather than leaving the filters’ frequencies as fixed, I made them accessible, allowing for a wide variety of outcomes.
After that, I also added an option to randomize the filter’s frequencies in step with the glitch rate. This allows for interesting stepped filters and shifting phaser sounds (when gliding).
The signal path is stereo throughout.
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Left, latching — switch between decay 1 and decay 2 (more below)
Middle, latching — turns on the low-pass filter’s randomize setting; a pixel will light and begin to fluctuate when this is engaged
Right, latching — turns on the high-pass filter’s randomize setting; a pixel will light and begin to fluctuate when this is engaged
Decay 1 & decay 2 — in the original Empress algorithm, the left stompswitch freezes the reverb. This is a slight variation on the idea. You can set decay 1 to a relatively short (or long) decay, then set decay 2 to a frozen setting (1.000) or something just below frozen (this is how I like it ~.950-.980), so that the reverb’s buffer decays after a time, allowing the “held” sound to evolve and avoid becoming oversaturated.
When decay 1 or decay 2 is selected, a light between the controls will change colors accordingly.
Mix — wet/dry mix
Glitch rate — sets the speed of the glitches; a pixel indicates when the “glitches” occur
Glitch glide — sets the speed of the glide between glitches; highly interactive with glitch rate (at higher rates, the gliding should be set lower, or you may not notice any change)
Glitch tone — determines whether the glitches favor the low-pass (close to 0) or high-pass (toward 1) signal paths. At 0 or 1 there will be no change; you can use this to set a filtered reverb sound, or a stepped filter reverb sound (when randomize is engaged)
Low-pass frequency — sets the frequency of the low-pass filter (the Empress setting sounds to be somewhere between 1200 and 1500 Hz)
Random range — sets the range of the randomized filter setting; with the low-pass filter, this randomization occurs between the filter setting and 27 Hz. This control allows you to tailor how far the randomized filter tones deviate from the frequency setting; larger values will allow the filter frequency to drop closer to 27 Hz (which can be very bass-y)
Resonance — sets the resonance of the filters
Low-pass frequency — sets the frequency of the high-pass filter (the Empress setting sounds to be somewhere between 1200 and 1500 Hz)
Random range — sets the range of the randomized filter setting; with the high-pass filter, this randomization occurs between the filter setting and 24 kHz. This control allows you to tailor how far the randomized filter tones deviate from the frequency setting; larger values will allow the filter frequency to rise closer to 24 kHz (which can attenuate all volume)
Lo damp & hi damp — dampening/tone controls for the reverb; each uses a shelving filter (from the tone control module) to provide +/- 18 dB of cut or boost.
0:00 — Introduction
1:05 — Comparators, probability gates, patch structure
5:25 — Direct cloning vs. seeking inspiration, models as opportunities, playing to ZOIA’s strengths
8:20 — Malty Glitches walkthrough
16:30 — Malty Repeats walkthrough
19:10 — Malty Fuzz walkthrough