Friday, November 30, 2007

Polivoks Filter Arrives

This is actually a couple days late, but I haven't had the time/energy to get around to writing up a post. Yes a video demo is planned, but technically the Plan B M15 is in line before it so for now, don't hold your breath. I also want to try and wrap up the joystick controller before moving on to more demo videos. If I don't finish a project within a week or so of starting it, I have a habit of abandoning it. So here is the initial [text] review:

It sounds awesome! It's not as dirty as I thought it would be based on the description at Analogue Haven. I was expecting something different by the "self-oscillates with a dirty pulse" line. It sounds very similar to my SSM A-105 Doepfer LP filter, but a little edgier. The bandpass output is also pretty edgy, especially at high resonances. Overloading the filter (by using both inputs and turning them up all the way) sounds really cool too; a little more mean sounding that the Frequensteiner can be.

The bipolar attenuator for the one frequency CV input is a really nice touch. I wish the second input had one as well; it has no attenuator.

I did some FM of the filter while it was self-oscillating (no input) and I was very pleased. The Frequensteiner tends to saturate a bit when doing the same thing but the Polivoks stays nice and biting. I will enjoy using this as an extra sine wave source; something that I find the frequensteiner doesn't do as well. When you are really FM'ing the heck of it, it sounds really gritty and dirty, almost like noise (as in white, not "hiss")...very cool. One of my favorite sounds I have discovered so far is to listen to the LP out while the Polivoks is self-oscillating (no audio input) and patch the BP output into the non-attenuated freq CV in. The result is this saw-like sounding hybrid. I wish I had a scope so I could see what it looks like, but it sounds very interesting.

The one downside I have experienced is a personal one. The knobs, while very smooth and easy to turn, are a bit "wobbly". If anyone has a Dual Cyclotron, it's similar to the 3 selector pots which have a slight wobble to them. I've begun to get used to it, but it was a bit disappointing at first. I've noticed that no complaints have come from anyone on the harvestman list or back to Analogue Haven about this on the Polivoks or the Malgorithm so I think I'm being a bit overly anal; something that is not a rare occurrence. ;) I'm sure once I have a few more Harvestman modules in my collection, it won't stand out as much. It of course has no impact on the sound, just my OCD.

All in all, it's an awesome filter and definitely needs to be in your collection, especially if you like having many different filter flavors.


kakihara said...

Cool post again James!!!!
That filter is definitely in my list! Ioove dirty stuff!! That,s my next order… in a few weeks when I will have sold some old modules
So speaking of, I've just picked up my "Evil Twin" at Purolator last night, driving through our first bad ass snow storm (modular dedication that is!!)… hehehe weird sentence to be heard for people doesn't know about this filter LOL !

I've spend about 45 minutes so far on it, booze and work call kept me from more so far…:P

Ok so running basic boring test with it are pretty concluent!

To achieve the most dirty drastic timbral modification from that filter would be from the 12dB, however the 6dB brings fat back!…band pass filter right?

My major turnoff was the lack of self oscillation when cranking up the Resonnance knob, however the bandwith control and double resonnance makes up for it big time! And honnestly, you get pure clear harmonics out of that, switch on the twin resonnance switch, really makes an extra peak! If you're confortable with general sounds harmonic structure, it's easy to make some more or less stable melodies with the "pitched" harmonic exclusively… filter out the tonic, or original frequency, with a HP filter and it can get really interesting, bright and subtle, or harsh when putting some FM in the whole thing.

To have a dedicated FM jack input is really a plus, also, I've noticed that the Freq knobs are way less sensitive than on my M15, which makes it seem to be easier to handle on live situation… you know if you get stage adrenaline shaky thing going on LOL!!!

So I hope it covers most inquiries you had unanwsered by the "awesome wicked filter" type of analysis ;P

For the pieces I've told you the other day, it's almost ready… and I must give them back as semester final portfolio on Dec 1oth… so no later then dec 10th I will upload them :D


felix said...

Awesome, thanks so much for posting your experience with the M11 so far. It sounds very cool.

I'm curious though when you mentioned that the M11 will not self-oscillate. The product page for it says that it will self-oscillate, but it also does mention that it will not go into high Q with the bandwidth set to a large setting. Maybe it requires that both Bandwidth and Resonance be turned all the way up in order to self-oscillate?

kakihara said...

Yeah I know, I've read the exact same thing there, so that,s why I was expecting it hehehe
So I that is exactly what I did! crank up Res and bandwith, patching out the 12dB output... silence :_(
But still it doesn't cover up for the whole filter's uniqueness and quality.
Gonna write something on PlanB page, maybe they will have some anwsers or something.
Btw, I've just listened to your last track, that,s really interesting, you should really consider comming studying EA music in Montréal, you seem have what it takes :D

kakihara said...

Actually, the self oscillation issue is an anomaly of my particular filter... Peter,s reply on the plan B list.. oh yeah I go by the name gabu_004 there!