Easy distractions

When you start out testing, and end up jamming :slight_smile:

This started as a simple patch, trying MIDI ->WTO -> SVF -> Clouds.
which I then started layering with other sound sources.

then I wanted a bass line driven from a sequencer, so duplicated the chain.
then I wanted another line to run through Nebulae, so duplicated the chain again

on top of this the SSP happily doing the mixing and audio duties…
and finally could easily capture directly onto video on a iphone via the USB audio connection.

this is what I’d hoped for with the SSP, for it to integrate many things in my setup - to bring flexibility that would usually require me to break out a daw.

all done without the SSP breaking a sweat, CPU load was still very low.

still a way to go, in particular, I’ll be bringing in the Octatrack for audio looping/mangling.
I think this will be setup similar to how I integrated the Nebulae, as a kind of fx return loop.

(the ‘trick’ is, I want to keep the SSP as the master out, so that I can keep the ease of usb recording)

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I too have an Octatrack and I envisioned using it as a sort of command center for everything going on in my synth corner. The one thing that annoys me with the Octatrack is that its recording resolution is MUCH lower than the SSP. An octatrack like vst module for the grid, would be a massive amount of work, but insanely interesting.

Thanks for sharing!

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I’m ok with lo-fi :slight_smile:
the main role for the octatrack for me is ‘hands on mangling’

@2disbetter, and @bert

I’ve a question about digital whine coming from the SSP when connecting to the Octatrack.

( i would have put this on the ‘optimised case’ thread, but its been closed)

basically, i find at around -70db im getting a constant digital whine.
its not a big issue, as i can noise gate it, and this only causes issues with slow long reverb tails.

anyway, i was re-organizing my rack, a Pittsburgh EP360, so i thought id ‘test’ to see what the issue was with this noise.

what ive noticed was…
I only get the noise if I open up cv/audio audio connects on the input jacks,
i.e. if I just use the SSP internal sounds , and have no jacks connected to the inputs (or if they are not connected in the SSP patch) - its completely silent.
but connect an input jack to the patch - and the noise becomes evident.

so i removed every module other than the SSP and one other module (so i could connect to input jack to test ‘issue’ , and it was still present - regardless of which other module i chose to test with. (filter, rings, mixer … didn’t matter what it was)
(yes, im using original SSP power connector)

its not a ‘power issue’, as the EP360, has a ridiculous amount of power on 12v and 5v rails, and as I said, noise was present even with case basically empty.

similarly, I’ve had this case for over 2 years, and never had noise with it before.

its also not related to the Octatrack , even plugging headphones into the SSP directly, i can hear the digital whine.

given my tests, i guess I’m ‘stuffed’ its some oddity between SSP and EP360 which i have to live with/workaround at least for now - unless anyone has any suggestions?

I’m not too concerned, rather just looking for suggestions and a way to move forward.


so my questions are :

a) are there any cases with zero noise?
I ask, as I also tried on another ‘dev rack’, I have, and the same noise was present there too.
so i don’t want to go on a wild goose chase, hunting a case down :wink:

b) can you recommend a case/power solution, that guaranteed do work?

whilst it’d be a pain to move the SSP out of the EP-360, since i want it to be the heart of my rack - I can see some advantage of putting it in a small 3u case.
the primary one being - when im developing patches on the SSP, i can move it close to me, so it’d be more comfortable…

thoughts?


EDIT: more tests - and some good news :slight_smile:

first some ‘bad’ news, I just noticed the SSP is introducing noise into my EP360.
even if it’s not patched in, Im getting some digital whine from the output module.
( I guess this is not entirely surprising - i just hadn’t noticed it, as my previous test took the output directly from SSP - to avoid confusion)

but some 'good news’
if I put my SSP in my small dev rack (and disconnect other modules),
if I connect the SSP back to to my main case (EP360) there is zero noise.
this means that, I guess, putting the SSP in any separate case with its own power supply would result in no noise… so that is one possible option.

( any suggestions on small cheap case that might work, something like a pod?)

however, I do think it would be better if i could find a bus board(filtered?) that would solve the issue… since then the ‘console case’ could also have other modules in it.

you’ve probably already read this thread, but here is the link again - Optimizing case for Low Noise

In short, a lot of eurorack cases with built in supplies and bus boards are not very well designed. They typically don’t bring AC into the case, because that requires safety / compliance testing and is more expensive.

So they resort to an external AC/DC brick. That should be fine even if it’s not great (IMHO) as long as there is enough filtering and if the bus board and cabling is all low-impedance, which is not the case 90% of the time. There are a lot of bus boards with claims of low noise, but there are only a few people out there who put in the extensive work to test their solutions.

That is why there are special low impedance/low noise solutions like the LIBB bus board, and products made by HINTON instruments. You can find a lot of info about bus boards and impedance in eurorack online and these issues are not specific to the SSP.

What is also important, is to keep in mind the filtering on any amplification modules you use in your rack AFTER the SSP. If those modules do not have adequate filtering on their power supply connectors and don’t have their own regulators, then they will be sensitive to any noise of any digital module. So it can help to put those modules on a seperate supply or bus board. Some modules have a very simple design and assume nothing else is in your case. I tend to use a small cheap external mixer or headphone amp by Mackie or some other well known mixer brand, rather than using a mixer in my case.

I’ve replaced a bus board in a make noise skiff with a LIBB and installed a meanwell RT50B in it, and that has worked well. The Roland SYR84 case is also great as you can connect the SSP directly to a connector on the power supply and use the other one as a bus for other modules. I also have a POD60 which I have the SSP in and that also works well.

In conclusion - I wish I had control over the eurorack power situation but I don’t. As a module designer I can only put a lot of filtering and quality components into the design, and put a lot of time and work into carefully routing signals. I’ve done all that, and as you can see on the PCB, we’ve gone a lot further than what is typical in eurorack. The SSP has two solid ground layers across the entire PCB, stitching everywhere, low noise regulators, etc. Beyond that we depend on the case/power supply/bus board designers and of course how the user connects everything.

So I would suggest you experiment with the above and see what works for you. Hope this bit of info is helpful.

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yeah, the EP360 built in PSUs… and my other ‘dev rack’ uses a RT65B.
in the EP360, I get the noise even directly from the SPP even without any output module.

I guess is the bus boards used, but they’d be quite tricky to replace as the EP360 uses a kind of 'inter-connector rather than wires to connect the 3 bus boards to the PSU, which is very tidy.
but I guess, if I wanted to use a LIBB bus board, Id have to replace all 3 bus boards, and then wire them directly to the PSUs.

Q. on a multi bus-board setup, could you theoretically replace just the bus-board the SSP on it with a LIBB , and leave the other 2 ‘as is’.
(though, Im not sure this is feasible for the EP 360?!)

what I might do is order an LIBB a try it with my ‘dev rack’, and go down the console case route, which i was considering anyway.

You should be able to use multiple bus boards as long as you do the wiring properly to your power supply, using heavy gauge wiring, and connecting your bus boards in a star configuration to the power supply at a single point. If in doubt I suggest you email Genus Modu who makes the LIBB and asked them the best way to do it.

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This is an issue that is usually related to the quality of your power system. It is complicated and not really all that clear. TL:DR, I put Libb power boards to use with 4ms row power, and makewell power bricks. Fixed all noise issues I was having.

I am using a 4ms Pod60 with the SSP and it just fits. The case actually extends the heatsink on the back of the SSP as well, and helps give a little more heat dissipation. Not that there is an incredible amount to begin with. I have not checked whether there is noise, but I think because the pod is using it’s own power source and is not daisy chained to my main rack, that there aren’t any issues to speak of.

yeah, with its own power the SSP will not have issues - ive already proven that with my dev rack.

really, I just have to decide now, what I want to do :slight_smile:

a) get a small 60hp case, as you say something like a pod60
b) rip my EP360 apart, and re-fit with 3 LIBB bus boards
c) build out my console case, possible a 6U based off on 2x LIBB bus boards.

a) could be nice - if I want the SSP to be full standalone.
b) is best if I want the SSP more integrated into my 'main rack’
c) I was already planning (albeit with ‘normal’ bus boards) , this was where my ‘dev’ rack was destined.

I’m thinking probably it probably just speeds up my development of the console case, and perhaps ‘shape’ it differently e.g. perhaps it’ll be a little more ‘portable’, perhaps even 3U might be better?!