Wolf began as an attempt to produce a Thermae-ish patch, and in some ways, it is, I think, pretty successful, and in other ways, for those of you who just want a Thermae, well, it’s not a Thermae. But it definitely draws inspiration from the Thermae and it is capable of some very interesting delay sounds.
The idea is a sequenced, pitched delay using loopers as the foundation for the sound, then employing delay lines to provide the delay aspect. You can sequence up to four steps; you can glide between different pitches; and you can reverse any or all (or none) of the steps.
There are also two feedback paths: one uses the delay lines for a traditional sort of delay sound (although each channel of the delay has a separate clock divider and their outputs are cross-fed for ping-pong and L-R-C-style delays). The other feeds the output of the loopers back into themselves, which produces pitched and reversed repeats that shift with the sequence.
“Wolf” was a working title–just something I filled in to differentiate it from “empty slot”–that is now this patch’s permanent title because I didn’t want to make it shouty (firmware 1.10 has a capslock bug; this patch is otherwise optimized for 1.10, which includes use of new colors and more importantly the option to use a -1 to 1 value module with a quantized output). I suppose I could revert to a previous firmware, name things, set it back on 1.10… etc. But “Wolf” is fine. Names are hard.
A note: the loopers are mostly stable. I’ve worked really hard to get them as stable as I can. But they aren’t foolproof, and sometimes they glitch. Not a ton. But sometimes. What are you going to do? I do note, if you watch the video, I’ve noticed it must more prone to glitching when the glide setting is between ~.3-.4. I don’t know why. If I knew why, I would fix it. But instead, I just contemplate accelerating my male pattern baldness by pulling out hair.
The patch is stereo throughout.
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Left, momentary — tap tempo (there is also MIDI clock, which will override the tap tempo). An interesting effect is that when you tap a new tempo, the currently playing step will continue to loop while it waits for the new tempo. So you can sort of hold a step for a few seconds. Don’t hold it too long, because if the recording buffer of the quieted looper exceeds the buffer length of the looper, it will become unsynced and badness will happen.
Middle, latching — delay hold. Increases the feedback of the delay feedback path to maximum. Because of the filtering, the loop created will eventually degrade and decay, but it provides a layer of pseudo-looping in the interim
Right, latching — loop hold. Increases the feedback of the looper feedback path to maximum.
The center piece of the front page are color-coded steps, corresponding to the steps of the sequence. A light will come on when each step is playing back. Above this light is a series of pushbuttons that allow you to control the length of the sequence, from 1 to 4 steps. Make sure only one pushbutton is selected. There is a value module to control the pitch of each step, and an option to reverse a given step.
To the left side are sort of “tone-shaping” controls. There is an aliaser and a bit crusher to allow you to produce more dirty, lo-fi sounds. Then, there is a filter, which is placed in the feedback paths, allowing the feedback to decay and darken for a more “analog” sound. As you adjust the filter, you may hear clicking; the filter is a multi-filter (I prefer this for a filter placed in a feedback path, because of its low resonance, but the multi-filter requires a lot of CPU headroom when adjusted; the clipping sound will fade as soon as you select a new frequency for the filter).
Then, there is a glide control, which sets the amount of glide between steps. Longer glide amounts may mean the given step never reaches its designated pitch (not necessarily a bad thing; you can get all sorts of unique warbles from this effect).
There is a mod section, which begins with a MOD ON button (named in 1.10). Beside it is a light that oscillates with the modulation. The modulation is a randomized triangle; its depth and speed are both augmented by a random module’s output. The speed control goes from very slow (wows and warbles) to very fast (tape-style fluttering). The depth control goes from very subtle to not very subtle; I suggest a light touch.
On the right side are signal path controls.
Mix sets the wet/dry mix.
Delay feedback sets the amount of feedback that occurs via delay line.
Looper feedback sets the amount of feedback that occurs via the signal being sent back into the loopers.
At the bottom of the page are two lights, one on either side, that blink. These indicate the relative speeds of the left delay line and right delay line. Their clock dividers are found on the next page, along with a button that can be used to reset them. Because each delay line has an independent clock and because they feed back into one another, they can be used to create ping-pong, L-R-C delays, and other interesting, cycling delays that take advantage of the stereo space.