The omsonic Strange is a Multi function melodic contour generator and complex sample and hold modules designed to generate semi-random control voltages.
Strange is a bit like a complex sample and hold but it generates semi-random control voltages in a unique way: their characteristics can be shaped under user control and their nature is specifically geared towards the creation of melodic contours, not possible with standard random source or S&H Noise modules. A randomly generated voltage is sampled via an extremely accurate Sample and Hold circuit on every clock pulse and cleverly combined with the previous random voltage. If the first voltage was high, the next voltage is more likely (but not certain!) to be higher. If the first voltage was low, the next voltage is more likely (but not certain!) to be lower. Instead of the wildly fluctuating ‘pure’ randomness of classic S&H Noise, Strange produces random deviations from its last voltage. In mathematical terms, this is known as correlated noise or a Random Walk. In musical terms, this is very close to what composers do when they create melodic contour.
Comparing classic S&H Noise with Strange, note how Strange produces not randomly fluctuating values but contours-within-contours. This is much more than merely attenuating the noise: indeed, over longer time scales the contours can be quite large but from value to value they are controllable deviations up and down from the last value.
Controls and I/O
Correlation – In a Random Walk, each new value correlates with the last. In Strange, the strength and direction of this correlation is set by the Correlation control. A highly positive (clockwise) Correlation means an up-going contour will more likely continue up, and a down-going contour will more likely continue down. A highly negative (anti-clockwise) Correlation means an up-going contour will more likely change direction down, and a down-going contour will more likely change direction up. In the extreme this might result in a highly trill-like melody.
Deviation – The width of deviation either side of the last value is set by Deviation. High Deviations will result in greater leaps of melody. Low Deviations will result in more stepwise contours. In addition, as well as the external CV input, we also provide two different internal random ‘characteristics’, White and Blue.
Stagger – If the Stagger control is set away from zero (12 o’clock) then the clock durations vary with the random outputs. Set positively (clockwise), higher contours lead to faster sample durations, so higher notes will be faster and lower ones slower. Set negatively (anticlockwise), higher notes will be slower and lower ones faster.
Clock CV – The rate of the internal clock can be controlled via an external CV, and the clock’s output can be switched between triangle pulses (useful for VCAs) and 5ms triggers (useful for pinging LPGs). The external clock input also overrides the internal clock and allows you to use the module as an extremely accurate stand-alone sample and hold module, in coordination with the external CV input.
LEDs – The bi-color red/blue LEDs for the main output, Trig/Tri Clock output, and S&H input circuit indicate activity at those jacks and the Eyes of Strange indicate the polarity of the LFO (internal clock).
Finally, the name not only describes Strange’s output: it pays homage to Allen Strange (1943-2008), author of one of the seminal texts in our field, Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques and Controls.
Strange is a multi-function analogue Random Walk generator designed in collaboration with Phin Head and dBs Music’s Modular Research Group.
42 mA +12V
41 mA -12V
0 mA 5V
41 mm Depth (Skiff friendly)
Demo Video: …. coming soon !
Full Manual: HERE !
Any questions please send me an Email !