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Old 2011-08-17, 13:29
JiggeryPokery's Avatar
JiggeryPokery JiggeryPokery is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,081

The SuperCombinator Modular Synth Designer (aka Reason Device Designer (RDD) aka Re-Combinator aka ReRack ... aka “Mood Mogular”)
Produced by JP, iterating upon ideas from eXode, Koshdukai, selig and JP

We need a new Combinator. The 4-knob, 4-button setup we have is too limiting. Combinator has been a good friend, we have loved it like we love our favourite pet. But it’s struggling now, and needs to be put down. (But not cremated, it can still exist as legacy device). As well as the lack of knobbage, too many other things about it are frustrating... not enough CV ins, no copy/paste of device-MBRS settings, limited number of routing slots etc. There is much desire for more Kontakt-like features, and truly modular synth.

But for now, let’s consider what I feel are the main issues: the problem with RDD is that it’s an external program and I think it creates an “us and them” approach. It would be great for designers, but I think the community as a whole would lose; with ReRack it’s more an uber-Thor (nothing wrong with that btw, just ultimately it doesn’t help with the Combinator problem), and Combinator v3 is just sticking plasters.

In my mind, all of this can be fixed with one new device. So, taking all the good stuff from those threads, dispensing with (IMO, feel free to disagree) the weaker or unpractical ideas, and behold!, the SuperultracombinatorXLubermodular!

Edits in green

Main Panel

  • Slightly deeper than standard Combi, it might need to still be a bit deeper than shown
  • 21 empty slots
    • Single large slot for 2-Wheel or 3-Wheel modulation controllers, or a Joystick
    • 20 button/slider/rotary slots. Sliders only go on the top row, buttons only on the bottom row, rotaries on both. Add as many as you want up to the maximum
    • Each type includes a set of pre-fabbed designs (maybe 10-15 different knobs and buttons, 5-10 sliders, five wheel types (include a Roland-style all-in-one), and perhaps 3 joystick models (which include the option of either setting Free Mode or Auto-Return-to-Centre Mode. Many of these designs can be ported straight across from other existing modules, plus more could be added in future updates). Note that the chosen designs are consistent between all the modules
    • Rotaries should include notch mode (yay!) and return-to-centre mode, mode switches a choice between 2 and 3 modes (3 mode shown)
  • 4 Skin slots –Main Panel, single- and double-width module, and Combi sides (the latter would be a small tile pattern). Plenty of space to add text and designs to the Main Panel
    • “RDD” package includes .psd templates for the five module types, plus the Reason pixel fonts
    • Skins could be addressed from a ReFill and loaded from there, rather than having them all in every patch; in other words, attaching a jpg becomes the same as loading a sample – ReFill packer will automatically do the required associations from the unpacked ReFill folder
  • Right-click menu on the module in Design mode brings up edit window for the module, allowing adjustments to the algorithms, e.g. frequency range of the filter, speed of the envelopes
  • Interior module rack
    • As well as the new Modular Synth modules, existing Reason devices can also be plugged in here, thus creating the Combinator XL with the extra Main Panel controls we’ve all been asking for
    • RackFlip! And wire up the devices in the traditional Reason manner
  • As with the Combinator, and the Spectre proposal, rows are independently collapsible

  • It looks like a lot of modules to program, but in fact, much of it is repackaging existing devices and algorithms in a different format, with just a few changes. The only totally new modules shown here are the Voltage Processor, Vintage and Quad LFO (4 LFOs with phase offset). More new mod types are in the AWOL section below, in post #2
  • Again, the modules I think would need to be a bit wider and deeper, gets a bit cramped here, but it was too late to change once I figured that out . Basically, five or six slots wide. Sorry the font is a bit small – it’s the only pixel font I have. The pixel font probably will determine the minimum size of the modules. A Global module is automatically created when installing the first synth module (thus wouldn’t appear when using only current Reason devices in Super-Combinator mode)
  • Numbers are appended to the module automatically, and are clickable and renamable – so “VCO 1” can be changed to “SAW OSC”, for example
  • Modules have a default skin colour, probably similar to existing Reason device modules
  • Each row is independently collapsible
    • Four versions – semitone based (Thor) and frequency based (old school), based on two types – analogue VCOs and DigitalCOs.The DCOs should cover a range of wave types, digital waves á la SubTractor, plus a better choice of wavetables, inc but not limited to, the Thor wavetables. The VCOs could maybe drop the wave selector knob and simply have four audio outputs - one for each wavetype
    • Osc drift CV in
    • Waveform width knob for all waves (I’ve no idea why this isn’t in Thor)
    • PWM cv in, with front CV amount control, for PWM on pulse/square wave, WFM on the other waves
    • [Osc sync is missing, could be a rear CV input with knob for hard/soft?]
  • VCA EG
    • Mono/poly envelope mode
    • Release gate mode
    • Repeat envelope modes – KB: while gate is held. ON: VCA based sequencer
  • Power Amp/Mixer
    • 2 versions – double width 6 channel shown here. A 3 channel single width would also be available
    • Level/Pan/Drive knobs
    • CV inputs for all knobs
    • Amp modeller/drive type selector switch at the back
  • Routers
    • mini CV and audio splitter/mergers
  • Noise/SH
    • Straight from Thor. Two audio outs, for noise and S&H
    • CV in for color/mod, level and S&H rate
  • Voltage Processor
    • Three input CV processor, with three internal mix routes, 1-2, 2-3 and 3-1
    • Sync 2 and 3 to 1
    • Lag generator on inputs 1 and 2 to smooth waves before output
  • Stereo Delay
    • Does exactly what it says on the screen. Delay... stereo
  • Ring Mod
    • Ported over from Spectre: two inputs, Ring Modded output. CV inputs for both knobs
  • VCF EG
    • Mono/poly envelope mode
    • Release gate mode
    • Repeat envelope modes – KB: while gate is held. ON: VCA based sequencer
    • Model types: select from a number of presets – Moog I+II from Thor, plus American (ARP) and British (EMS) analogue types
  • SVF EG
    • Mono/poly envelope mode
    • Release gate mode
    • Repeat envelope modes – KB: while gate is held. ON: VCA based sequencer
    • Model types: select from a number of presets – Oberheim, British (Wasp/Oscar) and German (PPG) SVF types
    • LP, BP, HP, notch and peak slope
  • Vintage
    • Vintage noise model
    • Add PSU hum and electronic noise by introducing dodgy capacitors/transistors/op-amps etc, with CV in
    • Osc drift CV out to VCOs
  • Quad LFO
    • Based loosely on this quad LFO module
    • Lots of preset waveforms, that can be changed with the “Smooth” knob (the “Transform” knob in the Modcan device). All existing Reason LFO waveform types from Thor and Mal should be in this too, although several could be created from more basic types with the Smooth/Transform knob. Perhaps it would be really neat if the wave form display actually changed with adjustment of the smooth knob so we can see exactly what is happening
  • Shaper
    • Straight from Thor
    • CV in for amount knob
    • Auto Gain compensation button keeps output level to non-shaped input level
Vintage Keyboard & Guitar ReFills for Reason

Last edited by JiggeryPokery; 2011-08-17 at 18:56.

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