The 4ms Dual Looping Delay (or DLD) is an advanced audio processor for creative synthesis. Not a tape or analog emulation but a modern crystal-clear digital delay, the DLD combines features of delay, looping, and sample-tight synchronization for powerful and dynamic sound capture and modification. The DLD is designed to integrate seamlessly with modular time-base and sequencing devices such as the 4ms Quad Clock Distributor (QCD), etc.
What is a "Looping Delay"?
Modern looping devices grew directly from hardware digital delays of the late 70s and early 80s. A looping delay, modelled on units such as the classic Lexicon PCM42, has the very long storage times associated with dedicated looping, but without triggered record and playback functions.
By default, a looping delay records and plays continuously, though recording can be suspended at any time with Infinite Repeat. Sustain of delays and loops is mainly accomplished with regeneration, allowing an organic, evolving approach to sound creation as new material replaces old, more or less gradually. The 4ms Dual Looping Delay also provides advanced clock input and output facilities that allow for locking delayed and looped material with sequencers and rhythm devices of all descriptions.
The 4ms Dual Looping Delay is conceived and designed by Gary Hall. Implemented and manufactured by 4ms Company
The PEG has full CV control of envelope shape, skew, and ping (clock) division/multiplication, as well as a plethora of triggering and cycling options (AD, AR, quantization, cycle), and a tap tempo button for each channel.
- Scale knob is an attenuating inverter for main envelope output (Maximum 0V to +10V non-inverted, and Minimum -10V to 0V inverted).
- Bi-polar button centers main envelope output around 0V (-5V to +5V output)
- "+5V ENV" jack is a non-scaling output that always produces a 0V to +5V envelope, regardless of Scale and Bi-polar settings
- "OR" jack outputs an analog OR of the two scaled envelope curves. This outputs the highest value from either envelope at any given moment, taking into account the Scale and Bi-polar controls.
- End-of-Rise (EOR) gate output goes high when envelope finishes a rise portion, and goes low when envelope begins a rise portion
- End-of-Fall (EOF) gate output goes high when envelope finishes a fall portion, and goes low when envelope begins a fall portion
- Jumper for each channel changes EOR output to a Half-Rise gate output. The Half-Rise jack goes high when 50% of the time of the rise portion has elapsed, and goes low after 50% of the time of the fall portion. Using the Skew parameter, this jack provides a variable phase gate output useful for quadrature effects and clock phase shifting and trigger delay effects. Factory setting is EOR for red channel, Half-Rise for blue channel.
- Cycle button for each channel forces envelope to self-cycle in sync with the ping clock (LFO mode). Button lights up when in cycle mode.
- "T" jack toggles the state of both channels' Cycle button when a gate is applied
- "QNT" jack for each channel triggers an envelope to start at the next quantized beat, with respect to the divided/multiplied ping clock. Holding a gate high on this jack causes the envelope to repeat.
- "Async" jack for each channel causes an envelope to output immediately (asynchronously). Holding a gate high results in an AR envelope (rise-sustain-fall). If cycle mode is enabled, the envelope will continue to cycle at this new phase with respect to the ping clock. Phase can be reset to being in sync with the ping clock by pressing the cycle button or applying a pulse to the QNT jack.
CV input jacks:
- CV control of Ping Div/Mult, Skew, and Curve using the CV jacks. Respective knobs set the center offset for the applied CV
- CV of 0-10V will modulate the parameter's full range However, a 0-5V CV will modulate the parameter within a very useful range.
With a Tap Tempo button and five sync'ed clock outputs, the QCD is a versatile head-of-the-chain "Master" clock module, and/or a complex rhythmic pattern generator.
- Clock Input (5V to 15V clock, rising edge triggered), max 3kHz
- CV Rotate (0V to +5V input)
- CV Reset (5V to 15V trigger)
- Divided Clock Outputs (8 jacks):
...where R is the CV Rotation.
- Selectable Gate/Trigger mode:
- Selectable Divide range up to Divide-by-64:
Two jumper pins on the back can be pre-set with jumpers plugs, or used with (forthcoming) breakout panel.
- Selectable Auto-reset:
Auto-reset will reset the divide counter every 16/24/32 clocks, which keeps the beats more "dance-able" even when using the "weird" clock divisions (3/5/6/7/9/10/11/etc..) Two jumper pins on the back can be pre-set with jumpers plugs, or used with (forthcoming) breakout panel.
+12V @ 1.5A
-12V @ 750mA
+5V @ 500mA
Simply plug a universal power supply (laptop style) into either of the barrel plugs on the 4HP panel. Connect your modules via flying-bus cables or the Bus Stick.
Daisy-chain multiple Row Powers to use a single power brick for multiple rows (typically 3-5 rows per power brick). Each row will be independently regulated and protected for ultra-low cross-talk between rows. Rows can also be hot-swapped (plugged/unplugged without powering the whole system down).
A plethora of red and blue LEDs (14) show exactly what each channel and output jack is doing: red = negative voltage, blue = positive.
Each channel is independent and has an input jack, output jack, a knob for attenuating/inverting (Scale), and a knob for applying positive or negative DC offset (Shift).
Four jacks on the bottom combine the four channels in different ways. Mix is a straight mix of all four shifted inputs, Switched Mix is a mix of all channels that have nothing plugged into the OUT jack, Positive Slice is the sum of all output voltages greater than zero volts, and Negative Slice is the sum of all negative voltages.
By Shifting some channels positive and some negative, the + Slice and - Slice jacks can be used as sub-mix outputs. Also, by running a slow triangle wave into one channel, the remaining channels can be made to "dirty pan" between the Slice jacks: the signals are half-wave rectified as they span between both outputs.
Channels 1+2 and 3+4 are normalized together on the input jacks, which is handy for splitting a signal into two or more altered forms. Jumpers on the back allow you to disable this normalization.
Each channel also has a jumper to make the Scale knob unipolar (no inverting, attenuate only). This is useful for mixing audio instead of CV. A breakout header allows for padding of the signal (useful for fine-tuning a precise voltage such as 1V/oct).
Input and Output headers for connecting to QCD, QPLFO, VCA Matrix, or other manufacturer's modules such as Toppobrillo Mixiplexer or Circuit Abbey Intermix.
A gorgeous ring of colored lights displays the frequency of each filter, as well as the levels and current scale selection(s).
At a glance, the SMR works like a normal six-band graphic EQ: six frequency band-pass filters are mixed together using sliders. Resonance/Q is variable, which changes the "ringy-ness" or width of the bands.
But here's where comparison stops. The frequency of each channel is treated like a note in a scale, and the six bands form a chord. Spin the Rotate knob and the "notes" circle around the scale, rotating back to the bottom once they've reached the top. Adjust Spread and the distance (interval) between each note changes. Triggers for up/down motion, CV inputs for sequencing and scale selection allow for flexible control with external modules. Morph, which automatically cross-fades between frequencies, together with variable Slew allows rhythmic clocks drive the SMR as a variable-speed evolving resonant filter.
At maximum Resonance/Q, the SMR can be struck like a gong or marimba by inputting clocks or triggers. The frequency of each channel is quantized to a scale: beautiful chords, ethereal tones and eerie ambiance flows easily. With lower resonance, the SMR can pull out particular frequency bands, and sweep these across the spectrum.
Two 1V/octave Frequency jacks allow for tracking even and/or odd bands and creating floating melodies over evolving chord bases, or complex percussive membrane sounds.
Save your settings into one of six storage banks, and recall on the fly. On startup, the SMR instantly jumps to the last saved settings. The color scheme of the lights can be adjusted, so if you prefer all white lights on your modular, you can have that (or all red, or rainbows, pastels, etc..)!
- Program your own scale. The frequency of each of the 20 notes can be assigned by setting the octave, the semi-tone, and coarse and fine micro-tone. Up to 11 scales can be saved permanently in the user bank
- Adjust color scheme of the LEDs. Pick a pre-programmed color scheme or create your own using the sliders to set Red/Green/Blue values. Custom color schemes can be saved permanently
- Save your settings in one of six parameter banks. Note position, scale and bank selection, Q value, Lock settings and color scheme can be saved and recalled on the fly. On startup, the SMR loads settings from the last saved bank.
- Optional alternative filter type for a more exponential decay when plucked and different timbral qualities. Freq jacks no longer track 1V/oct in this mode.
- Slider LEDs can be assigned to display level for each channel (combination of slider position and CV on the jack), or clipping for each channel.
A maximum of 600 samples can be loaded at once, arranged into banks of 10 samples each. Samples and banks can be re-arranged on the fly using the simple on-board Edit features. Newly recorded samples can be instantly played back and re-pitched, reversed, chopped up, etc... the result of which can even be bounced down and re-recorded to as a new sample! Sample files are limited to 4GB each, which is over 6 hours at 44k/16b/stereo.
Two Stereo Playback Channels:
Each playback channel has a knob and CV jack for Sample File selection, as well as a Start Position knob and CV jack for controlling where in the sample playback will begin. The Length knob and CV jack determine how much of the sample is played back: from tiny grains, to percussive hits, to longer loops... or just the entire file. These are powerful tools for re-arranging a sample, joining multiple samples, and creating dynamically re-sized loops within a larger sample. Combined with the Play Trigger jack and the 1V/oct jack, the STS can be two complete multi-timbral pitch-tracked stereo voices!
There's also a Reverse button and jack for backwards playback, and an End Out jack for synchronizing loops, or cascading sample playback with other events.
Looping and Sync:
Looping is easy: just hold the PLAY button down for two seconds to toggle loop or one-shot. The loop timing clock will output from the End Out jack. Or, send a clock into the Play Trig jack to sync the loop to external timing.
Whether you patched 47 modules to create the ultimate percussive blast, or you want to capture your four hour ambient performance, recording high-quality .wav files on the STS is simple. Just hit the REC button or fire a trigger and a new stereo .wav file will be created on the SD card. Do as many takes as you need: the STS never deletes your files. Re-ordering or re-arranging samples into banks is easy, even without a computer.
You can even fill a bank with 10 different variations and immediately use them for playback.
By default the STS records at 44.1kHz/16-bit, with an option for 24-bit (a future update may increase the sample rate to 96kHz)
Easy sample loading:
Using a computer is completely optional with the STS, since samples can be recorded directly to the module and placed into the bank of your choosing. But for users with large existing sample banks, the intuitive automatic bank loading features make dragging and dropping your entire sample library a snap. You never have to rename your files again!
- Symmetry: From ramp-up sawtooth, to triangle, to ramp-down (pulse width when Smoothness is at square)
- Depth: Amount of effect from barely a shudder to full tremulation. Can achieve silence to blaring loud squarewave chop
- Spacing: Loud/quiet "balance" waveshaper... Adjusts spacing between volume pulses
- Smoothness: Blend between full on/off squarewave "chop" to smooth buttery sine-tri-round wave
- Gain: Overall boost/cut
Four CV or audio inputs can be routed in any amount/combination to four outputs, using the 16 CV control jacks, Level knobs, and Mute buttons.