Named (in a roundabout way) after Philip K. Dick’s story “We can remember it for you wholesale” (the inspiration for ‘Total Recall’), Wholesale Memory aims to capture a hazy, fragmented memory, a dream half-remembered and half-imagined. With the use of amplitude-modulated delay taps and shifting panning, pieces of the input signal come out, shuffled and muddled, washed out and distorted, producing a new soundscape that echoes the past as it plunges into its own future.
The signal path utilizes two aliasers, in parallel, which go into a plate reverb to smear out the sound. After this, the reverb’s output goes into a four-tap delay network. Where things really get scrambled up is that the delays’ outputs are modulated by VCAs, controlled by randomized, looping envelopes. These same envelopes also control panners, to create shifting stereo images. With very short envelopes, choppy stereo effects ensue, while longer envelopes produce slowly shifting soundscapes made from the fragments of the delay tap outputs.
Mixing the amount of audio that passes through the reverb and/or the delay can produce a slew of different combinations of these effects — while there is a basic character to this patch, there are a lot of facets as well.
The patch is stereo.
Left — momentarily randomizes the delay time, producing weird pitch changes
Aliaser frequency 1 and 2 — these control the frequencies of the aliasers. You can set the aliasers to different frequencies to create more complex timbres. Or you can set one aliaser to 1.000/24kHz to mix unaffected audio with aliased audio. Or you can set both aliasers to 1.000/24kHz to bypass the aliasing entirely.
Reverb decay and mix — these control the reverb. By setting the reverb mix to 100%, you produce smeared out audio for the delays to chew on. With less than 100% mixes, the delay taps become more distinct (as much as they can, given the amplitude modulation)
Delay time — this controls the four delay taps’ lengths. The ratios between the delays were selected to provide variation, as the envelopes modulate the outputs. At maximum delay time, they range from ~4.8s to ~10.5s.
Delay feedback — feedback is taken post-VCA (and so post VCA-modulation) and then cross-fed, with the delay taps derived from the reverb’s right side going into the left delays and vice versa. The gain was tuned to avoid runaway oscillation.
Delay mix — this is probably the most important control in the patch. Changing it adjusts how much of the reverb is heard from its output, versus the output of the delay taps. You can, for instance, have a largely reverb signal, where the delay taps fade in as the reverb decays, or you can have an output purely post-delay, which is more fragmented and modulated, etc. etc. Lots of possibilities here, in conjunction with the reverb mix.
Delay mod and depth — controls a simple sine wave modulation
Envelope length — this sets a base time for the envelopes, up to 6 seconds. Very short envelopes produce choppy, almost (additionally) aliased sounds. Longer envelopes cause different taps to swell in and out
Envelope variation — this introduces a randomized addition to the envelope time each cycle, up to 6 seconds. So, for instance, a short envelope length and a larger variation will produce a mixture of shorter and longer envelopes, etc.
LPF frequency — a low-pass filter that affects the wet signal, this can be used to make the aliasing less pronounced or shape the tone
LPF Q — in conjunction with the frequency, this can be used to help dull some bright sounds, but also with larger Qs, this can make sounds around the cutoff more pronounced
Wet and dry level — mixes for the patch