Exploring the Legendary Precision VCO (PCO) Eurorack Module: Vintage Sound with Astonishing Precision

The Precision VCO (PCO) is a eurorack oscillator module by Serge that stands out for its vintage sound and remarkable precision. Its build combines four waveform outputs - sine, triangle, pulse, and sawtooth - with exponential and linear frequency modulation capabilities. Significantly, the module has an extended range from audio to sub-audio levels, and a front panel switch provides easy access to the sub-audio range for use as a low frequency oscillator.

One of the most notable features of the PCO is its excellent response, tracking, and stability. The module has identical exponential response, exceptional tracking characteristics, and perfect temperature stability as the NTO, making it an ideal modulation source for dynamic depth linear FM when combined with the NTO or another PCO.

The PCO features two calibrated one volt per octave inputs and a variable processing input for complex frequency control. Additionally, the front panel adjustment allows for varying the FM depth. The sync input is also provided for locking the PCO to another oscillator's fundamental, harmonic, or sub-harmonic frequency.

It's worth noting that the Serge PCO is the only authorized version of Serge's classic design, making it a unique eurorack oscillator. If you're searching for a module that offers vintage sound with exceptional precision, the Precision VCO (PCO) is a perfect choice.

Example Usage

The Precision VCO (PCO) module is a great addition to any eurorack setup, even for beginners. Here's an easy way to use it: patch the PCO's sine waveform output into a low pass filter, and then connect the filter's output to a VCA and finally to a mixer. Use the PCO's calibrated inputs to control the frequency, and adjust the FM depth on the front panel to create interesting sounds. Start with a slow LFO modulation and slowly increase the FM depth to get a feel for how the module works and how it can be used for modulation. With this simple setup, you can create smooth and rich sounds that are perfect for ambient, experimental, or any other genre of electronic music.

An intermediate-level example of how to use the Precision VCO (PCO) would be to use it as a sub-oscillator to add depth and warmth to a lead sound. Make the PCO a low-frequency oscillator by switching the front panel switch, and use one of the calibrated one volt per octave inputs to control the pitch of the PCO. Then, patch the PCO's triangle or sine wave output to a filter or amplifier module to give your lead sound a fuller and richer tone. Adjusting the FM depth with the front panel adjustment will give you more or less modulation depth depending on your preference. Finally, if you have another oscillator, use the sync input to lock the PCO to that oscillator's frequency and explore the harmonic possibilities of your patch.

Further Thoughts

One way to utilize the Precision VCO (PCO) in a Eurorack setup is to use it as the primary oscillator, controlling pitch through the one volt per octave inputs and incorporating the variable processing input for additional frequency modulation. The excellent tracking and stability of the PCO make it an ideal choice for generating precise and stable frequencies. The sub-audio range can also be utilized by switching the front panel switch, allowing for the PCO to be used as a low frequency oscillator. Additionally, the sync input can be used to lock the PCO to another oscillator's frequency, further expanding the sonic possibilities of the module. As a result, incorporating the PCO into a patch can bring a vintage sound with exceptional precision and versatility to any composition.