MF-103 LFO Amount Doesn't Start Until 3

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mayidunk
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MF-103 LFO Amount Doesn't Start Until 3

Post by mayidunk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:23 am

I just got my MF-103 Phaser yesterday, and started playing with it today. I discovered that the LFO doesn't start modulating the sweep until the LFO amount knob is turned to 3 on the scale, and it just starts to be noticeable at that point if you listen closely. And when the LFO amount is set to full, it just doesn't sound as deep as it should, even with the Drive set into the red zone. Don't get me wrong, the cancellations get fairly deep at that point, but it seems that they should be really, really deep. And this is without resonance.

Is this normal? Especially the LFO not modulating until the amount hits 3?

Thanks.

EricK
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Post by EricK » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:57 am

Wait,
Does this happen with very fast LFO's?

I remember there saying something in the DVD that it might sweep twice in a 3 minute song. Are you sure this isn't what is happening?

Eric
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mayidunk
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Post by mayidunk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:23 am

Yes, the LFO is set to sweep at a rate of about twice per second, so this isn't a case of the LFO being really slow. It happens regardless of how fast or slow it's going.

EricK
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Post by EricK » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:05 pm

Maybe its something that you could tune yourself.

Well see who else chimes in on it....congrats on your purchase though.
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Bryan B
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Post by Bryan B » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:31 pm

I was wondering this myself recently as well.

This is from the manual:

"The LFO in your MF-103 is an extremely wide-range voltage-controlled oscillator which modulates the phaser’s Sweep parameter. This enables you to vary the Sweep automatically at speeds from one cycle every 100 seconds (0.01 Hz), to 250 times a second (250 Hz). At the slowest speeds, the change is so subtle and gradual that it is barely perceptible."

So the sweep is controlled by your LFO rate. The Amount knob tells the pedal how much the LFO affects it. The "3" setting is probably just too slow to notice like mentioned earlier.

The Resonance knob will make the effect more obvious or pronounced.

Also: In playing around yesterday, I noticed how you can change the sound entirely just by using the drive and output knobs. At higher drive/output levels in your chain, the effect gets lost within the warm distortion. At low drive levels, you hear more of the effect.

Hope some of that helps!
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mayidunk
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Post by mayidunk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:27 pm

Bryan B wrote:I was wondering this myself recently as well.

This is from the manual:

"The LFO in your MF-103 is an extremely wide-range voltage-controlled oscillator which modulates the phaser’s Sweep parameter. This enables you to vary the Sweep automatically at speeds from one cycle every 100 seconds (0.01 Hz), to 250 times a second (250 Hz). At the slowest speeds, the change is so subtle and gradual that it is barely perceptible."

So the sweep is controlled by your LFO rate. The Amount knob tells the pedal how much the LFO affects it. The "3" setting is probably just too slow to notice like mentioned earlier.

The Resonance knob will make the effect more obvious or pronounced.

Also: In playing around yesterday, I noticed how you can change the sound entirely just by using the drive and output knobs. At higher drive/output levels in your chain, the effect gets lost within the warm distortion. At low drive levels, you hear more of the effect.

Hope some of that helps!


Eric was saying the same thing, however the LFO speed is turned up to about 2 cycles per second. So, when I increase the amount that the LFO modulates the sweep by turning up the amount knob, I don't notice the LFO until that knob hits 3 on the scale.

I also plugged my control pedal into the amount input on the MF-103, thinking that maybe that would increase the control voltage past what the knob was providing by itself, however even with the pedal and the knob maxed out, the nulls don't go any deeper.

And since mine is a "stereo" setup, I really shy away from using the resonance control as it only effects the signal in the main audio out, but not the Aux out. (Too bad they couldn't tweak the design so that resonance would be heard in the Aux out as well.)

Perhaps someone can recommend a YouTube demonstration of the MF-103 that will show exactly what the pedal can do.

Thanks.

Bryan T
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Re: MF-103 LFO Amount Doesn't Start Until 3

Post by Bryan T » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:29 pm

mayidunk wrote:I just got my MF-103 Phaser yesterday, and started playing with it today. I discovered that the LFO doesn't start modulating the sweep until the LFO amount knob is turned to 3 on the scale, and it just starts to be noticeable at that point if you listen closely.


I don't have the phaser, but the LFO Amount on the ring mod works in basically the same way. No effect until the knob is higher than 2 on the dial.

Bryan

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mayidunk
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Post by mayidunk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:42 pm

EricK wrote:Maybe its something that you could tune yourself.

Well see who else chimes in on it....congrats on your purchase though.


Thanks, Eric. I'm kind of hoping there might be a trimmer on the circuit board that I might be able to adjust the zero point with. I mentioned to Bryan in my previous post that I tried using the control pedal in the amount input to see if increasing the C/V would make the nulls deeper, but even that didn't help. I was hoping that it would, because then I would be able to adjust the comb filter and leave it without the LFO moving it over time, but still be able to get deep nulls out of it by using the control pedal in the amount input. The best of both worlds!

In the end, it may be that I just don't know what the MF-103 is supposed to capable of doing, since I've never played with one before. It may be acting axactly as it's supposed to, but because I'm expecting more, I think there's a problem. At the very least the zero setting on the amount knob seems too high.

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mayidunk
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Post by mayidunk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:27 pm

I spoke with Ryan at Moog today, and he gave me an RMA so they can take a look at it. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

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Post by Voltor07 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:46 am

I REALLY recommend the 103 as a phaser. Awesome phaser when it works. Mine works, and works well, so good luck mayidunk! Hopefully everything will get straightened out. I'm sure it will. After all, this IS Moog we're talking about. :mrgreen:
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mayidunk
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Post by mayidunk » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:52 am

Thanks, Voltor!

I just got done playing with the phaser some more, along with the ring mod. The Phaser is nowhere near as strong as I believe it should be. The phasing is noticeable, however it just isn't strong. It's as if theres a wet/dry mix adjustment that's been set to around 25-30% wet! You can hear it, but it ain't much.

On the other hand, I can get much stronger phaser like effects out of the ring mod, if you can believe that! I was playing around with getting the LFO and the carrier frequency (set to low range) to interact with each other. It was kind of cool! Ring mod sounds are pretty nice, but I didn't even notice the carrier frequency range switch until after I was done playing, so it was set to the low range the entire time. I can't wait to play with it using the high range, that should be excellent!

Of course, it'll be mad scientist time now, as I continue to build towards the world's first AI drone, with sonic interactions so complex, so varied, so non-repeating, that you'd swear it was...

ALIIIIVE!!!!!

Mwaaahhhh-ha-ha-ha-haaa!!! :twisted:

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Post by EricK » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:44 am

I have long since believed that theres a patch on the Moog 55 that will cause immediate world peace, and I vow never to bathe or shave until I find it.

THen Id find it of corse and die of some type of infection like hepatitis or something.


And then I don't have a Moog 55 so....oh well, Ill just protest the conformist paradygm of soap.

Eric
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Post by Voltor07 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:41 pm

EricK, I could tell you the routings for the world peace patch, but with my carpal tunnel it would take about 3 years and a whole forum page to walk you through. :lol:
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Post by voyager0500 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:36 am

@mayidunk

i also noticed the 'weak' sound from my MF103.
did you get any response from moog yet?

Also when running the phaser in stereo the effect is a LOT weaker compared to using just the audio out.

Nik
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Post by SteveD » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:07 pm

Helpful hints for phaser:

The Aux out of the MF-103 doesn't make a true stereo phaser, rather it is is the direct signal minus the phased signal, where the Audio out is the direct signal plus the phased signal.

This means if they are panned in the center of a stereo setup, the phased signal is canceled out. Where the Aux output shines is when the audio out and aux out are sent to two separate speakers (i.e. panned hard right and left if plugged into two mixer channels). The time difference between the two speakers creates a swirling sound (really awesome on drums, BTW). Note this swirling effect is much more prominent with the resonance turned down - the audio out tends to become the more prominent signal as the resonance is turned up.

Note that if you monitor just the aux out - the effect is basically useless - the aux out is ONLY useful for when the two outputs are sent to separate speakers.

Finally, keep in mind that the LFO adds and subtracts to the position of the Sweep control so if you have the Sweep control set to some frequency outside of the range of the input signal's harmonic spectrum, the effect will be weak - the phaser is a filter and like all filters needs relevant frequencies for the effect to be prominent. The place to start is always w/ Sweep in the center position and tune from there...

I've never noticed the phaser to be weak - it's purely a matter of what you're running into it and where you have the controls set.

Have fun

SD

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