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Block - Comparator 1.3

Square Wave and Gate Extractor

(21 Votes)
1.3 (Updated 3 years ago)
4.4MB
September 24, 2015
Reaktor 6
Blocks User Blocks

DESCRIPTION

Update 1.3: Added a handy lamp to the interface.
Update 1.2: A second output has been added! This output will output a single trigger/impulse whenever the comparator becomes true (instead of a gate that's open for the duration). For builders, the comparator macro has been updated as well.

Update 1.1: Includes an example Ensemble for learning how to turn Sandy Small's excellent Microwave Oscillator into a morphing rhythm source. In the future, I will try to include useful tutorial Ensembles with my Blocks.

This is the tenth Block in Michael Hetrick's "Euro Reakt" series. Please read the description for this Block, as it is a very versatile utility. This is one of the first Blocks that I wanted to make, but I had to improve my patching skills before I could create an accurate Comparator.

A comparator listens to a signal (audio or control), and determines whether the signal crosses a threshold (set by the Compare knob). If the signal exceeds this threshold, the comparator outputs a positive signal. Otherwise, the comparator outputs zero (if set to Uni mode) or -1 (if set to Bi mode).

What does this mean? Well, if you're working with audio signals, set it to Bi and you have a square wave (1-bit) version of your original audio. If you're working with control signals, set it to Uni and you have a rhythm extractor. This 1/0 signal can be plugged into a sequencer, like the 8 Steps Block in the standard Block library.

But wait, why use a comparator instead of simply using the square output from your LFO or oscillator? Well, the comparator can be used on much more complicated waveforms to extract variable rhythms. For example, download Sandy Small's Microwave Oscillator from the Block Library (seriously, if you don't already have it...). Set it to very low frequencies, so that it becomes an LFO instead of an oscillator. Use this comparator to extract gates from it. Now, slowly change the Compare setting to evolve and offset your rhythms. Change the wavetable to morph your rhythms into something new.

In the realm of Eurorack, comparators rarely exist on their own outside of utility modules (like in the WMD/SSF Toolbox module). However, they are used internally in nearly every rhythm-focused module. For example, Make Noise Maths uses a comparator for the End-of-Cycle and End-of-Rise outputs. Mutable Instruments Tides uses it on similar outputs. Intellijel's Shapeshifter uses it on the "Pulse" output (same for Neutron Sound's Orgone Accumulator). I think that you will find this to be a very versatile Block in your patches!

Note for Block Builders: This Block contains a Comparator macro that I've created. It has inputs for audio, compare level, ext. clock, and a switch for unipolar or bipolar operation. I hope that this saves someone else some time! Please let me know if you recommend any improvements to it.

COMMENTS  (15)

ae ae
3 years ago
and the revision to the book link: http://web.archive.org/web/20070824110145/http://members.cox.net/barryklein/UPDATE.htm
ae ae
3 years ago
PDF file : http://s1.downloadmienphi.net/file/downloadfile6/192/1385073.pdf
ae ae
3 years ago
Thank you Michael for the update . I found this book which might have some interesting info or not to add to your collection for you or any other builder called : Electronic Music Circuits by Barry L. Klein . in PDF format. The second link has some circuit revisions to his original book. Thanks again Michael.
Michael Hetrick
3 years ago
Thanks, Jason! Quick note for builders: If you're using the comparator macro that comes with this, you should replace the "Dup Flt" macro in the "gate/imp" (The Trig output). The Core Library has a more efficient version called "Dup Flt' ". I've replaced it on my end, but won't update this Block upload until I add a new feature/bug fix.
Jason Leiter
3 years ago
this makes me want to put a reset input on the Oki oscillator to use it with this and have it be synced to a clock. I think I'll work on that. I like this block a lot.
Christian Linder
3 years ago
Michael, thanks for your reply. I will keep an eye on the Unfiltered Audio site and I check out the resources you mentioned. looking forward to more 'Euro Reakt' Blocks!
Michael Hetrick
3 years ago
Hi Christian, I don't have a development blog yet. I sell plug-ins under the name Unfiltered Audio, though (AAX and VST3 coming out next week!). I learned audio development in graduate school, in the Media Arts and Technology department at UC Santa Barbara (USA). Books I recommend: The Audio Programming Book, The SuperCollider Book (applicable to SC, but the lessons learned carry over), both Will Pirkle books... Designing Sound is a great book for patching techniques, and everything by my advisor Curtis Roads is great. I'll be putting together more thorough documentation on every Block in this series soon. At this stage, I'm just trying to get the Blocks out there for everyone to use.
Jay Scott
3 years ago
Thanks Michael!
Christian Linder
3 years ago
hey Michael Hetrick, do you have a blog or a website, where you collect information on your software developments? If I ask you on advice for the modular synth environment, where would you point me to? thanks, really appreciate your efforts in the user library!
Michael Hetrick
3 years ago
ae ae, much appreciated!
Michael Hetrick
3 years ago
Hi Martin, I've taken your advice to heart. I'm currently writing a book on modular synthesis strategies, which is partly why I'm producing so many of these Blocks. I've added an example Ensemble to show how to extract rhythms from Sandy's Microwave Oscillator. It includes a few snapshots of example rhythms. I hope that you find this to be useful!
ae ae
3 years ago
Thank You Michael for sharing these pieces of art and helping us all out. Thanks
Martin Géč
3 years ago
The description is nice but it would be great to see this in some example? Maybe you could provide an ensemble which would illustrate the concepts you're describing. Would be nice! :) Thanks for your blocks, they are great!
tim h
3 years ago
loving your euro reakt series :) awesome, creative blocks. thanks!
jbuonacc
3 years ago
thanks so much for all of your Blocks so far, fantastic!
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