Need Tuning Help

Tips and techniques for Minimoog Analog Synthesizers
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Dave_D
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:23 pm

Need Tuning Help

Post by Dave_D » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:27 am

Hi all,

I'm tuning my Voyager RME for the first time, using instructions I found on Gearslutz and, more recently (and presumably, more accurately), here.

All of the instructions I'm reading assume a Voyager keyboard edition is used (not an RME) and speak of tuning the oscillators to the "lowest E" and "high E" keys, for example. So, I need to figure out where those E's map to my 88-note MIDI controller. This should be easy, but then the Voyager's manual says, "On the 16’ setting, MIDI Note number 93 is A440 (equivalent to the “A” key above middle C)." That doesn't add up. MIDI Note #93 is A6. Likewise, the "A" key above Middle C (assuming a standard keyboard) relates to MIDI note 69. Was this a typo or am I misunderstanding something?

Next, all of the instructions speak of tuning in relativistic terms, beginning with tuning Osc 1 to Osc 2, and Osc 2 to Osc 3. But none speak of tuning Osc 1 to a hard frequency so that, for example, the Fine Tune knob needn't be cranked to 5:00 for 440 Hz when all is done. Why is relative tuning not working for me? In my tuning attempts so far, my RP9 pot is maxing out, so I'm thinking things are sufficiently out of whack to demand a restart from ground zero, as opposed to relative adjustments. I've managed to work around the RP9 limitation by adjusting the other pots, but it's all arbitrary at this point. I need to start over (wherever "over" is) and proceed methodically. I hope this makes sense.

Finally, can somebody please define in technical terms what each of the pots, RT1, RT2, RP11, and RP9 do? From what I'm reading, I can muddle through but it's all sorta vague. It might be easier if I understood what's really happening inside my Voyager with each pot.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Dave_D
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:23 pm

Re: Need Tuning Help

Post by Dave_D » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:40 pm

After some trial-and-error, I've come to the conclusion that MIDI note #93 (5Dh) is correct. I didn't think to realize Voyager has a "middle C" of its own. :roll: So, if I have this right, Voyager's keyboard maps to the topmost keys of an 88-note MIDI keyboard controller. That is, C8 is the topmost key on both.

And that maybe helps to answer my second question: To start tuning from scratch, rather than relative to other oscillators, set Fine Tune to 12:00 and adjust RT2 until A6 plays 440 Hz on Osc 1 at Octave 16'. Or, if following instructions that start tuning of Osc 1 at Octave 8' with the "lowest E" key, then shoot for 329.63 Hz. Did I get that right?

I'm not confident with my conclusions, however, because I keep running into this problem: On my Voyager, Osc 1's keyboard scaling control, RP9, tops out, preventing me from scaling the frequency as far as necessary. I've seen this problem discussed here and elsewhere but without a conclusive solution. I want to believe those who argue against necessarily replacing the pot, but then what's the workaround? What am I doing wrong?

In researching this, I also noticed something peculiar: On my Voyager, RP9's center frequency (where adjusting the pot has little effect) falls on C#3 (MIDI note #61). Is that normal? It would be a whole lot easier to tune if "low E," or whatever the keystone key, had a more-or-less fixed frequency. Is there another pot for adjusting the center frequency of RP9? That would solve everything!

Again, any help is greatly appreciated.

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paramnesia
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Re: Need Tuning Help

Post by paramnesia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:11 am

here's a recent post about Voyager tuning on another forum
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12017141-post23.html
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Dave_D
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:23 pm

Re: Need Tuning Help

Post by Dave_D » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:35 pm

Thank you. That's very helpful.

So, the range of a Voyager keyboard is actually F3 (MIDI note #53) to C8 (MIDI note #96), and if we start following those instructions for Osc 1 at Octave 8', the Voyager's lowest E key (E4 / MIDI note #64) should be tuned to 164.81 Hz. Got it.

Unfortunately, that didn't fix my Voyager: RP9, RP21, and RP16 are maxed out and can't reach the necessary range. I'm still losing about 35 cents per octave.

For the record, I did NOT perform the extra "fifths" tuning steps as I don't have the necessary preset. And, frankly, it doesn't seem relevant to my problem or I'd jump right on it.

Any ideas?

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