Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keyboard?

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panorama1003
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by panorama1003 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:23 am

thanks for all the comments, everyone.

@augment, I understand what you mean and good points.

EMwhite
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by EMwhite » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:51 am

Augment wrote:To answer the OP's question: Yes. Kind of.

While there isn't a dedicated button/switch on the Minitaur (or Little/Slim Phatty) to enable it to drone on by itself, you can plug a 'bare' cable into the Gate CV jack and it will produce sound continuously. You won't be able to change the fundamental pitch though; only OSC2's frequency, but you can make it drone on and play with the filter and LFO and stuff.

Since the Minitaur lacks Octave 'foot' settings (not to mention the Mod destinations) that the other Moogs have, its use as a drone machine would be pretty limited in my opinion.
Just two comments on the above:

1. I'm not so sure that a simple plug will work as a Gate enable and also not sure about a footswitch. Based on my understanding, Minitaur has a passive KB Gate jack which means that it doesn't send 5V (which on keyboards like the Little Phatty can simply be connected to ground to affect gate). Rather, it expects a Gate/trigger signal which has voltage. (I'll check this tomorrow and either confirm or correct myself)

2. True about Modulation destinations, however technically speaking, you can do the two 'destinations' that do exist at the same time (Pitch and Filter); can't do that on Little Phatty or many other keyboards without first tying up both modulation busses (like on an Old School Voyager) or unless you go 'external' via VX-351 taking LFO out to a mult and back into Filter CV and PItch CV. Doable but messy.

One thing that is always up for grabs is externally modulating (at slow rate) BEAT via midi CC or Resonance for that matter. Of course this requires some external gear, not quite the spirit of this thread but my point is that there is alot more under the covers than you can tell by a view of the panel.

Also if you REALLY want to tweak OSC 1 Pitch, there is a Fine tune pot that you can tune to a fundamental;
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Portamental
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by Portamental » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:58 am

EMwhite wrote: 1. I'm not so sure that a simple plug will work as a Gate enable and also not sure about a footswitch. Based on my understanding, Minitaur has a passive KB Gate jack which means that it doesn't send 5V (which on keyboards like the Little Phatty can simply be connected to ground to affect gate). Rather, it expects a Gate/trigger signal which has voltage. (I'll check this tomorrow and either confirm or correct myself)
That's a critical point indeed. Scrutinizing the Minitaur literature, there is no mention whatsoever of being able to use a dummy plug, a foot switch or an expression pedal in the gate jack. Literature says : either a note on message or +5v at the gate.

Is this simply an oversight? I find it hard to believe that the gate would not behave (and have the same functionality ) as all the other Moog products.

Until confirmation either way, jury still out on this one.

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muksys
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by muksys » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:09 am

EMwhite wrote: 1. I'm not so sure that a simple plug will work as a Gate enable and also not sure about a footswitch. Based on my understanding, Minitaur has a passive KB Gate jack which means that it doesn't send 5V (which on keyboards like the Little Phatty can simply be connected to ground to affect gate). Rather, it expects a Gate/trigger signal which has voltage. (I'll check this tomorrow and either confirm or correct myself)
Just hooked a dummy jack to the GATE jack......nothing. Pressed a key just to make sure and got sound. It appears suspicions are correct. The CV Gate is passive. Oh well. Not crucial for what I need, but I can see this being a slight issue for others.

So, to answer Panorama's question: No, the MT cannot be used as a "stand-alone" synth.

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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by EMwhite » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:48 am

There are other ways to generate voltage, especially if you have an SEM.

I think the LFO output is a triangle wave which likely won't due, if you overdrove the signal then attenuated the resulting output to a safe voltage, you could possibly square off the waveform for a sync'ed gate (that would be handy). But in either case, ENV OUT from either envelope on the SEM will surely work.

I've gotten a drone out of Minitaur by holding the manual step button on the q119 so I would guess that it's not terribly picky about how square the leading edge of the voltage is.

As disclaimer, always check voltages for safe levels and be sure any DIY cables are wired correctly!
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muksys
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by muksys » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:00 am

true, there are many ways to genterate the 5v needed. A pot, a switch and a 5v PS can give you instant keyboard, but what I think the fundamental question was can the MT be used in a true "stand-alone" form without using any external gear/software. I quickly looked through the manual and it also doesnt mention an "audition" mode either, so, there is absolutely no way to open the gate without some form of external control (or getting really crazy and soldering a switch between a constant +5v point on the PCB and the KB GATE IN).

Sir Nose
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by Sir Nose » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:11 pm

How about a cable hooked up to a 9V battery? That's pretty simple way to get the voltage needed to open the gate.

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Portamental
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by Portamental » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:18 pm

muksys wrote:Just hooked a dummy jack to the GATE jack......nothing. Pressed a key just to make sure and got sound. It appears suspicions are correct. The CV Gate is passive. Oh well. Not crucial for what I need, but I can see this being a slight issue for others.
Bummer, I don't understand this decision.

Anyway the simplest solution is to tap the ring supply of one of the other (expression) jacks and direct it to tip of the gate jack.

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Portamental
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by Portamental » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:22 pm

Sir Nose wrote:How about a cable hooked up to a 9V battery? That's pretty simple way to get the voltage needed to open the gate.
There's no problem with the voltage... just to be safe a 5k resistor on the Positive side of the battery connection. Or tap the ring of other jacks for a no battery solution.

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David Smyth
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by David Smyth » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Portamental wrote:
muksys wrote:Just hooked a dummy jack to the GATE jack......nothing. Pressed a key just to make sure and got sound. It appears suspicions are correct. The CV Gate is passive. Oh well. Not crucial for what I need, but I can see this being a slight issue for others.
Bummer, I don't understand this decision.
It's possibly to allow the gate signal to remain off when constantly plugged into a patchbay (when no signal is patched to open the gate). I'm currently setting up a CV/Gate patchbay for my Phattys, and I need to use custom-soldered dummy plugs in the patchbay Phatty Gate In's to keep the Phattys from droning constantly when I'm not patching anything into the Gates. It seems if I was setting the patchbay up for the Minitaur, I wouldn't have to use any custom-soldered dummy plugs.

Regards,
David Smyth
NZ
Minimoog Voyager XL, Little Phatty Stage II + CV Output Mod, 2x Slim Phatty, Minitaur, MP-201, EP-2, 2x CP-251, MF-102, MF-104M, MF-107

panorama1003
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by panorama1003 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:28 am

appreciate everyone's comments.

@muksys, thanks for clarifying that for me. That's exactly what I needed. Appreciate it.

johnll
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by johnll » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:42 pm

Thanks to panaroma1003 for posting and for everyone who replied.

I have always wondered why either the Phatty or the new Minitaur did not include the little switch for Envelope/Organ/On (as found on ancient things like the MG-1 or the newer Vermona Lancet). Or the ancient Odyssey Initial Gain slider.

Makes things hard for drone musicians like myself; I had considered a more recently and portable Moog instrument like a rack LP or the Minitaur, but the lack of that switch makes it of limited use to me.

Oh, well... it's a beautiful early spring like day in New England... can't really complain about anything! :D

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thealien666
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by thealien666 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:50 pm

I don't know if anyone noticed this, but in the user manual on page 19 there is this:

PERFORMANCE TIPS:
• You can use the Minitaur to process any audio signal simply
by plugging into the AUDIO IN jack. To hear the external
audio signal, you will need a MIDI NOTE ON message. To
hear the external audio signal without issuing a MIDI NOTE
ON message, apply +5V to the GATE jack. This will leave
the Gate open, and the Amplifier Envelope will remain at
its Sustain level until the Gate closes.

...
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Voltor07
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by Voltor07 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:04 pm

So, I've been thinking. It shouldn't be hard to make a cable that steals the 5V from one of the other inputs to go to the gate, right? Tip to ring on a TRS to tip to sleeve on a TS? :idea:
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thealien666
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Re: Is Minitaur playable as a stand-alone unit without keybo

Post by thealien666 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:50 pm

Voltor07 wrote:So, I've been thinking. It shouldn't be hard to make a cable that steals the 5V from one of the other inputs to go to the gate, right? Tip to ring on a TRS to tip to sleeve on a TS? :idea:
I think it would rather be, ring (+5v) from a CV IN (TRS) to tip of the GATE IN (TS), wouldn't it ?
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