Reverb / Chorus
Reverb/Chorus with voltage controlled Dry/Wet and delay time.
Almost without exception, raw audio signals benefit from treatments that add movement within - or ambience to - the sound, so engineers have developed many devices to achieve such effects.
Tape Echoes were among the earliest of these, and these used tape loops running past multiple record/replay/erase heads that added discrete echoes to a signal.
The early 1970s saw an explosion of affordable devices that used cheap analogue delay lines to generate their sounds. Unfortunately, the delay times available from these were usually limited to a handful of milliseconds. This meant that they were unsuitable for imitating the luxuriant Grand Canyon effects of tape echo machines and digital echo units. Rather, they were more suited to creating flanging and chorusing (where the required delays are shorter) as well as short reverberant effects. However, no matter what they were called, all these effects used the same basic building blocks. The first was an input circuit that accepted the source signal and split it into two parts: an untreated - or "dry" - signal that passed directly to the output; and a second signal that was delayed by the unit. The next building block was the delay circuit itself, and this almost always incorporated some form of modulation that changed the delay time (and therefore the pitch) of the signal passing through it. Finally, a mixer recombined the original and delayed parts of the signal, and it was here that they interacted to create the final effect.
It is important that you do not confuse an analogue module such as the RS-310 with a mechanical reverberator (a spring reverb or plate reverb) or a digital reverb unit. The former of these use the properties of vibration within solid objects, while the latter use powerful digital processors to imitate the natural reverberation of audio signals in enclosed spaces.
But consider this: it is one thing to place an effects unit between a musical instrument and a mixer or amplifier. It is quite another to place it within the signal chain of a modular synthesizer where you can use it as part of the signal generation mechanism itself. You can use the RS-310 in both these ways, and this is one of its great strengths.
The RS-310 is a complex BBD (bucket brigade device) analogue delay line with variable feedback. Unlike the simpler BBDs found in other delays and comb filters, it incorporates six unrelated "taps" at quasi-random delay points and with differing output levels. This means that an impulse applied to the input will result in at least six discrete outputs in addition to the "dry" signal. In normal use, the master clock runs at speeds exceeding 10kHz, and a low-pass filter ensures that clock noise is not presented to the output. However, you can extend the delay time using CVs (see below) and the clock will then stray down into audible frequencies. You should then use an external filter to remove the clock noise. Alternatively, you can use the clock as an additional, albeit unusual, sound generation mechanism.
DELAY TIME and CV-IN FIXED
In normal use, the DELAY TIME control allows you to adjust the delay in the (approximate) range 2.5mS("short") to 150mS ("long"). You can modify this by applying a CV in the range ±10V to the CV-IN FIXED input. This allows you to drag the master clock right down through the audio band into subsonic territories.You can, therefore, use the RS-310 as an audio signal generator, or even as an LF clock generator.
Note: Even without an applied CV, you will hear the high frequency tone generated by the delay line masterclock when the DELAY TIME is set between "long" and approximately "2".
CV-IN VARY and LEVEL
You can modify the DELAY TIME by applying a CV to the CV-IN VARY input, and you can control the amount of its effect using the associated LEV EL control. This too allows you to drag the master clock down through the audio band into subsonic territories.
MIX and CV-IN MIX
The RS-310 MIX control allows you to determine the amount of effected signal in the final output. At its furthest anticlockwise position only the "dry" signal passes, and no other control affects the output. As you rotate the MIX control clockwise, more and more "wet" signal is added until, at its furthest clockwise extreme, the delayed signal predominates. However, be aware that the dry signal is always present at the output - it is not removed as the wet signal is added.You can modulate the MIX by applying a CV in the range ±10V to the CV-IN MIX input.
The RS-310 has positive feedback from the output to the input. As you increase the amount of this feedback using the RESONANCE control, the RS-310 will feed a greater and greater amount of the delayed signal back to the input.At minimum RESONANCE, the RS-310 has zero feedback and, if you feed a simple click into the unit, it will generate a single set of delays. As you increase the RESONANCE, more of the output will be fed back to the input so that a success ion of clicks becomes audible. At somewhere between the 12 o'clock position and maximum, the gain of the feedback circuit will exceed unity, and delayed signals will not fade away. Finally, as RESONANCE approaches its maximum, the RS-310 will self-oscillate and generate a complex tone even in the absence of an input signal.
Inputs and Outputs
The RS-310 has one audio signal input, SIG IN, with an associated LEVEL control. This accepts signals in the range ±10V. There is a single output that carries a signal in the range ±10V.
Bass patch uses the RS-500e EMS filter and the RS-310 reverb/chorus, sequenced by external MIDI.
A very short burst of noise is triggered repeatedly and goes into the RS-310 Reverb with a high feedback setting for a kind of karplus strong effect.
Custom vintage analogue synthesiser system equipment.
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