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  • Alex Tebeleff

SSF ZPO Patch #1 - Steady State Fate Voice

For my first proper musical patch with the Steady State Fate Zero Point Oscillator, I decided to start with a full SSF voice accompanied by modular drums courtesy of the two SSF Entity Eurorack modules, the Bass Drum and Percussion. I kept it simple to try to showcase the sound of the ZPO with heavy audio rate modulation, with just enough variation to hopefully have the patch be musically interesting as well.


First, ZPO Wave A is set as a sawtooth wave, whose wave-shape is modulated towards the pulse and triangle waves by an LFO from a XAOC Batumi. WAVE B is set to be a mix of pulse and saw, with PWM also coming from an LFO from Batumi in a phase relationship with the LFO modulating WAVE A’s wave shape.

With the ZPO as the "carrier" oscillator, I used the WMD/SSF Spectrum Oscillator as the "modulator" oscillator for FM, with the Sine output going to Linear FM, and the Triangle going to the Exponential FM input. Both FM waves are first sent to a VCA each being modulated from an envelope that’s modulated by a Make Noise Function envelope, both envelopes being triggered by gates from the Make Noise Tempi. The whole system is clocked by the tap tempo function and CLOCK OUT on the 4MS DLD.

Both FM inputs are selected as Thru-Zero on the switch on the ZPO. I gated the envelopes controlling the FM modulator waves from the Spectrum at different rates for a rhythmic FM timbral effect, in this case 3 against 5, with a gate from the Intellijel Tetrapad allows me to manually MOD the Tempi so that the gate divisions feeding the envelopes can be switched on the fly. The pitch of the Spectrum is also fed from the same pitch sequence the ZPO receives, however it is first sent to a sample and hold on a Mutable Instruments Kinks, and clocked with a gate from Tempi.

I also used a WMD/SSF MMF self-oscillating to create a sine wave that tracks 1v/oct. to send into the Zero-P input for simultaneous ring-modulation effects. This sine wave is sent through a VCA beforehand and modulated by an envelope from a Mannequins Just Friends, in transient envelope mode, which is also manually controlled by a Mannequins Cold Mac for variation and more precise control. for similar effects as mentioned above with the FM modulator waves from the Spectrum.

Each WAVE output is sent separately to a respective channel input on the Stereo Dipole Filter. DIPOLE SIDE A of the filter (with WAVE A as it’s input) has it’s cutoff and spread modulated separately by Cold Mac controlled Just Friends envelopes. DIPOLE SIDE B of the filter (with WAVE B as it’s input) has it’s cutoff modulated by a clocked random voltage, courtesy of the SSF URA from it’s SAMPLE-B slewed random voltage.

Next, outputs A & B from the filter are both sent to different VCA inputs on the SSF PTG, which acts both as a final VCA for each signal side of the signal path, and as the final envelope for each VCA. I also use a bipolar voltage source courtesy of the Teterapad to manually vary the damp control on both channels of the PTG.

As a last touch to emphasize the timbral dichotomy in the stereo field as a result of the different filtering and wave modulation per side, I used the cue on my WMD Performance Mixer to send the "SSF voice" channel to a WMD/SSF DPLR. I modulated the DPLR’s REGEN control to create feedback effects controlled by voltage from the Intellijel Planar 2 and manually accelerated at various points by slight increase in the initial voltage modulation from the Tetrapad.

The SSF Voice and the Entities are all sequenced by an Industrial Music Electronics Stillson Hammer MKII. Each channel is set at a different sequence length in order to facilitate interesting polyrhythmic timbre variations and polymetric grooves. Both Entities have their own respective feedback self-modulation paths from their audio outputs. I almost always do something to modulate the entity modules at audio rates, they take frequency modulation incredibly well.

With my next patch I’m going to be trying out some more traditional thru-zero FM uses with the ZPO, creating classic FM tones mixed with the DIPOLE being pinged for tuned percussion. We’ll see if I can (or want) to keep it all in tune! Definitely looking forward to seeing how powerful it can be as an LFO as well.

SSF ZPO & SSF Stereo Dipole Filter