TL;DW: Scrubbing highs off mechanically like a stylus would.


Here’s something interesting! I revisited some pieces of ToVinyl4, one of ’em being GrooveWear. In fiddling with it, I discovered that I could put in a dedicated wet/dry for just that one part, and if I did, I got perfect high-frequency rolloff at 50%. In other words, as an effect it was working as intended (bit of overshoot available, like the needle was loose in the groove), but I could also redesign it as a tone-softener.

It’s all based on variations of averaging. I’ve got Average to soften just only sample values (it has some interesting quirks but I swear by that algorithm for naturally rolling off highs in a way that doesn’t sound digital). GrooveWear goes one step beyond that, and averages slews (not sample values). That means it’s averaging the rate of change. Then, later (and will be coming to VST) I did Aura, which is averaging the rate of change OF the rate of change… but that’s another story ;)

More importantly, I came up with a nice feature doing the revision. The GrooveWear contained in ToVinyl uses two stages of processing, since it can be a subtle effect. I worked out a convenient way to make the dry/wet control handle multiple stages so, as you increase it, you’re progressively adding stage after stage with the final stage going from dry to wet: it means you can start off with a very mathematically clean amount of effect, just one stage dry/wet, and then keep adding more. And in the spirit of that, I doubled the stages so now GrooveWear has four.

So, you can adjust the intensity control that specifies how much slew averaging the stages are doing (acts like a sort of frequency range control for the effect) or you can adjust the dry/wet to go from pristine to incredibly deep groove wear. It’s partly roll-off of the highs but it’s not JUST normal EQ, texturally it’s quite different because the effect doesn’t try to stop big transients like a square-wave’s sides, it tries to stop smaller-scale detail stuff while retaining the big harmonic content of waves. It’s averaging slew, not deleting it, so certain waveforms get through untouched… you’ll see.

Patreon is doing nicely which makes me happy: as you can see, when I start to get resources I do things like try to make Eurorack modules for people, and I’ve been super busy thinking up ways to do that which are (a) cool and (b) people can do for very little cost. That seems the best thing, and I’ve discovered some great tips and tricks and things. More on that later.

I’m also keeping an eye on the VCV Rack open-source virtual modular project: music made entirely in it seems not quite as good as hardware modular synth music. It’s almost like the modules and digital mixing in there could benefit from adding modules for making digital mixing sound more analog-like, stuff which can handle/elicit more in the way of warmth and vibe and depth and space and stuff.

I might just be able to help with that one ;)