CGS32 the CGS infinite melody module is named as a play on its function. Put simply, it generates a series of semi-random or themed stepped control voltages, or if you prefer, white and pink control voltages. The pink function is probably better known as 1/f, and thus the name of 1/finite melody.
Assuming a 1 V/oct VCO is being driven by the module, in the 1/f mode, the size of a pitch step is inversely related to the frequency at which it will occur. In other words, the smallest steps are most common, steps twice their size occur half as often, and so on.
As well as the 1/f mode, it has a pure random mode, where no weighting is put on the selection of notes. A large step is as likely as a small one.
As well as having these two modes of operation, there are 4 CV outputs available. With the exception of the fourth, each successive output is a shifted version of the previous. In random mode, this is very much the same effect as produced by an Analog Shift Register (ASR), but in 1/f mode, it takes on a whole new feel, as each of the six shift registers involved shifts at a different rate, according to the 1/f weighting. As such, the second and third outputs are related to the first, but not identical to it. The fourth output is subject to the same shifting weighting according to the mode of operation, but instead of driving a D/A converter, it drives a bank of knobs, allowing harmonic relationships to be set up.
And if that wasn't enough, the randomness used by this module is obtained externally, from a regular white noise generator, or other varying voltage source, allowing more structured themes to be created. The random values are loaded in series at a rate determined by an external fast clock. This can simply be a spare output of a VCO (even one in use playing melodies etc.) or it can be deliberately controlled, or slowed right down to gain even more effects. The sensitivity of the random input can also be controlled via CV, again giving more possibilities.
See Diatonic Converter for an alternate output for this module.
This module will work on +/-12 volts.
A little on how it works
First, a very simple theory lesson - 1/f implies a weighted ratio between a level and its corresponding rate. A change in level of 1 will occur at the clock rate. A change in level of 2 will occur at half the clock rate, a change in level of 4 will occur at a quarter of the clock rate, etc., thus giving rise to the 1/f ratio. This means the larger the step in output level, the less frequently it will occur. On the other hand, random implies exactly that - there is no determination of how great a step will occur - any step size is as likely as any other. The Infinite Melody consists of several distinct sections.
Before you start assembly, check the board for etching faults. Look for any shorts between tracks, or open circuits due to over etching. Take this opportunity to sand the edges of the board if needed, removing any splinters or rough edges.
When you are happy with the printed circuit board, construction can proceed as normal, starting with the resistors first, followed by the IC sockets if used, then moving onto the taller components.
Take particular care with the orientation of the polarized components, such as electrolytics, diodes, transistors and ICs.
When inserting the ICs in their sockets, take care not to accidentally bend any of the pins under the chip. Also, make sure the notch on the chip is aligned with the notch marked on the PCB overlay.
The master level pot for the mix-out is optional. It can be omitted if the resistor marked 27k* is installed. If using the pot, do not install the 27k resistor.
Euro rack users can cut the PCB along the row of holes, and double the board back on itself. You will need to install links between the two parts of the PCB. Pads are provided for this. There are two mounting holes that match on each board, allowing them to be secured to each other.
|0V||0V/GND connection for 3.5 or 6.5mm jacks and CCW end all mix bit pots.|
|CLK||Clock input to advance the melody. "ADVANCE" on Best of GCS panels.|
|MSW||Common contact of MODE switch.|
|MB0||Mix bit. Goes to CW end of corresponding mixer pot. (1 on Best of CGS Panel)|
|MB1||Mix bit. Goes to CW end of corresponding mixer pot. (2 on Best of CGS Panel)|
|MB2||Mix bit. Goes to CW end of corresponding mixer pot. (3 on Best of CGS Panel)|
|MB3||Mix bit. Goes to CW end of corresponding mixer pot. (4 on Best of CGS Panel)|
|MB4||Mix bit. Goes to CW end of corresponding mixer pot. (5 on Best of CGS Panel)|
|MB5||Mix bit. Goes to CW end of corresponding mixer pot. (6 on Best of CGS Panel)|
|BD4||To common connection of optional bit 4 disable switch.|
|BD5||To common connection of optional bit 5 disable switch.|
|LA||Sense LED Anode|
|LC||Sense LED Cathode|
|P1||Gain pot connects between the two pads marked P1. Wiper is wired to CW end of pot. POT HAS NO 0V CONNECTION.|
|O1||Output for sequence 1|
|P2||Gain pot connects between the two pads marked P2. Wiper is wired to CW end of pot. POT HAS NO 0V CONNECTION.|
|O2||Output for sequence 1|
|P3||Gain pot connects between the two pads marked P3. Wiper is wired to CW end of pot. POT HAS NO 0V CONNECTION.|
|O3||Output for sequence 1|
|PM||Optional master gain pot connects between the two pads marked PM. Wiper is wired to CW end of pot. POT HAS NO 0V CONNECTION.|
|OM||Output for mixed sequence|
|MIX IN||Each goes to the wiper on one of the mix bit pots. There are two extra inputs that can be wired to external input jacks, or an offset pot.|
|SV||Sense control voltage input. If using a panel that has a level pot for this input, wire the jack to the CW end of a 100k linear pot. The CCW end goes to 0V and the wiper goes to the SV pad on the PCB.|
|ST||Initial Sense voltage setting pot CW end|
|SC||Initial Sense voltage setting pot wiper|
|SB||Initial Sense voltage setting pot CCW end|
|RI||Input for random analog or digital pulse train|
|+V||+VE access point. To one side of mode switch.|
|RC||Fast clock for random loading, for example from any VCO in your system, even if it is being used for other purposes at the time. If you are hardwiring to CGS31 digital noise board, this can go to the output of the CGS31's onboard VCO.|
This is a guide only. Parts needed will vary with individual constructor's needs.
|RL - select to suit LED||1|
|4030 or 4070||2|
|Ferrite bead (or 10R resistor)||3|
|0.156 4 pin connector||1|
- Make sure you use a standard 4000 series CMOS, not 74XXX4000 series, e.g. CD4015, MC14015, HEF4015. Markings such as HC4015, HCT4015 imply 74HC4015 and 74HCT4015 and are unsuitable.
- If you don't care about power-rail noise, just use a link instead of the ferrite beads.
- PCB is 6" x 3" with 3mm mounting holes 0.15" in from the edges.
Readers are permitted to construct these circuits for their own personal use only. Ken Stone retains all rights to his work.
- Infinite Melody for music synthesizers. by Ken Stone, 2001, with permission of the author - archived
- CGS Synth discussion group, for discussion of locating parts, modifications and corrections etc.
- CGS32 BOM at BOMpiler
- CGS32 Infinite Melody Maker, revision 2, Elby Designs