Exploring the Vintage Charm of the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO Module

With the release of the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO Module, the eclectic and unpredictable charm of vintage synths from the latter half of the 20th century is making a renaissance in the Eurorack scene.

The VCZIII B Premium VCO, a product of a fruitful partnership between Feedback Modules and CMS-LAB, draws heavily from the sound and essence of the prestige and admiration-oriented British pin matrix synth released in 1969. The essence of this revered instrument has been reimagined and enhanced in the VCZIII B, bringing that distinct and bracing organic VCO experience into the modern landscape of Eurorack synthesis.

There are two siblings in the VCZIII family - VCZIII A, based on VCO1 variant and stands featuring SINE and SAW waveforms, and the featured unit, VCZIII B, is an homage to VCO2 and VCO3, boasting TRIANGLE and PULSE waveforms. Each model exists as a base and premium version, with the premium iteration integrating precision multiturn potentiometer for extensive and meticulous fine-tuning.

Undoubtedly, maintaining the idiosyncratic “crazy” behavior and organic sound of the 1969 synth analog instrument was a formidable task. However, through meticulous care and deliberate choices, the VCZIII VCO range not only integrates well into the Eurorack format, but also retains those aspects of the original that made it an iconic piece of musical history.

Several enhancements and additions over the original stand out in the VCZIII B Premium. The module has been optimized to work at the standard 1V/octave in comparison to the original’s 0.32V/octave, providing seamless compatibility with modern Eurorack standards. A two-knob system for fine and coarse tuning gives a broader control range, an improvement over the original's single knob.

Two notable advancements underscore how the VCZII B has opened up a new vista of sound possibilities - voltage controlled waveshape modulation, and a MIX out that offers a combination of the two main waveforms. The incorporation of a MIX out alongside separate outs for all waveforms propels it to new heights in terms of versatility and control. It also ensures that all waveform outputs are congruent with the eurorack standard of 10Vpp, as opposed to the inconsistent original.

Feedback Modules and CMS-LAB have also expertly optimised the ranges of the shaper knob to ensure it stays within the useful range. Furthermore, better temperature balancing in the exponential converter has been achieved through the use of a supermatch transistor pair, which was absent in the original.

However, out of all these enhancements. Perhaps the most audacious addition is the variable oscillator SYNC with a potentiometer. This feature, partnered with the frequency modulation input, underlines the commitment to reimagining vintage charm with modern demands and promises a world of new sound possibilities for musicians and hobbyists.

In conclusion, the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO Module offers a balanced fusion of vintage charm with modern functionality. It's an exquisite metamorphosis of a classic gem, undertaken with great respect for the original, but not shying away from integrating necessary enhancements for present-day compatibility. The vintage enthusiast in pursuit of new sonic landscapes will find this module to be a soulful ode to the bygone era, and a heartening embrace of the future of sound. With its fine-tuning potentiometers, voltage controlled waveshape modulation, MIX out for waveform combination, and separate waveform outputs, the VCZIII B embodies the spirit of the past whilst looking squarely towards the future of Eurorack technology.

Example Usage

In this NOVICE-level example, let's dive into how you can start exploring the vintage charm of the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO Module in your Eurorack setup.

  1. Start by installing the VCZIII B Premium VCO module in your Eurorack case, ensuring it has the necessary power supply and is securely connected.
  2. Connect the output of the VCZIII B to your mixer or audio interface using patch cables. Take note of the different waveform outputs available – triangle, pulse, and the mix out for a combination of waveforms.
  3. Experiment with the coarse tuning knob to adjust the overall pitch of the VCO. You can then fine-tune the pitch using the precision multiturn potentiometer for more precise control over the frequency.
  4. Try modulating the wave shape using the voltage-controlled waveshape modulation feature. This can lead to a variety of sonic possibilities and add movement to your sound.
  5. Explore the SYNC function by patching another oscillator or LFO into the sync input. Adjust the potentiometer to control how the frequencies interact, creating interesting timbral changes.
  6. Don't forget to test out the frequency modulation input, allowing you to further modulate the pitch of the VCO using external sources.
  7. Experiment with creating complex waveforms by combining the triangle and pulse waveforms using the mix out, offering unique textures and tones for your patches.
  8. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the different features and capabilities of the VCZIII B Premium VCO module. As you spend more time exploring and experimenting, you'll uncover the nuances and versatility of this vintage-inspired module.

Enjoy your journey into the vintage charm of the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO Module, and let your creativity flow with its organic and beautiful sound palette.

In this intermediate-level example, we will take a closer look at how to use the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO Module in combination with other modules to create evolving and complex sounds in your Eurorack setup.

First, let's start by patching the VCZIII B Premium VCO Module into your system. Connect the 1V/octave pitch input to a sequencer or keyboard CV output to control the pitch of the oscillator. Next, patch the triangle or pulse waveform output into a mixer or filter module for further processing.

One interesting feature of the VCZIII B Premium VCO is the voltage controlled waveshape modulation. You can patch an LFO or another modulation source into the waveshape modulation input to dynamically morph between triangle and pulse waveforms, adding movement and texture to your sound.

To explore frequency modulation, patch a modulation source such as an envelope generator or another VCO into the frequency modulation input of the VCZIII B Premium VCO. Adjust the modulation depth to create dynamic pitch-shifting effects and complex timbral changes.

For more experimental sounds, try utilizing the variable oscillator sync feature of the VCZIII B Premium VCO. Patch in another oscillator's waveform into the sync input, and adjust the sync potentiometer to create harmonically rich and evolving tones.

By using the various waveform outputs, voltage controlled waveshape modulation, frequency modulation, and oscillator sync features of the VCZIII B Premium VCO Module, you can unlock a wide range of sonic possibilities and add a vintage charm to your Eurorack patches. Experimentation is key, so don't be afraid to explore different modulation sources and patch routings to discover unique and inspiring sounds.

Further Thoughts

In this expert-level example, we will dive into the immersive sonic world created by the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO module. Utilizing the renowned VCO2 & VCO3 architecture inspired by the legendary British pin matrix synth of 1969, this module offers a unique blend of vintage charm and cutting-edge functionality.

One standout feature of the VCZIII B Premium VCO is the integration of multiturn precision potentiometers, allowing for intricate and precise control over both coarse and fine tuning parameters. This level of detail empowers sound designers to sculpt organic waveforms with unparalleled accuracy, reminiscent of the temperamental yet beautiful VCOs of yesteryears.

Furthermore, the inclusion of voltage controlled waveshape modulation opens up a realm of sonic exploration, enabling users to dynamically morph between triangle and pulse waveforms with seamless ease. Combined with the innovative MIX out feature, which allows for the blending of waveforms, the VCZIII B Premium VCO offers a versatile palette for crafting intricate soundscapes.

With improved temperature balancing and optimized waveform output levels in line with Eurorack standards, this module ensures consistent performance and compatibility within modern modular setups. The addition of variable oscillator SYNC and frequency modulation inputs further enhances the module's sonic flexibility, providing endless creative possibilities for adventurous musicians and producers.

In conclusion, the Feedback VCZIII B Premium VCO stands as a testament to the meticulous design and innovative spirit of Feedback modules and CMS-LAB. By capturing the essence of vintage analog synthesis while incorporating modern enhancements, this module paves the way for a new era of sonic exploration in the Eurorack landscape.