Getting a Sine wave in littleBits Korg

The topics seem to be reset for the new year, but last year there was a question about getting more wave types besides the Saw/Square on the Korg oscillator. The filter module in Korg littleBits will self-oscillate and that will get you a sine wave if you need one. To use it, you need to put your keyboard or input into the “freq in” on top of the filter. Turn the peak knob all the way to the right. If you connect the output of the filter into the speaker, playing a note will play a continuous note into the speaker and it will change with the different keys pressed. If you want it to act more like an oscillator, put the filter into an envelope and then connect the “trigger out” from the keyboard into the “trigger in” of the envelope. Hope this is helpful!

Mike

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Thanks for this tip, Mike. I was wondering about sine waves.

You’re welcome @Seymour_Clufley. I really hope that third parties add more to the synth bits. I assume they’ll have to conform to Korg’s voltage strategy with regards to the oscillators and filters but this could be a great modular synth platform moving forward! Currently, modular synths are astronomically expensive, eurorack modules are also very expensive. This format while “toy-like” is fantastic for synth tinkering.

Absolutely. I hope it becomes possible to make with LB modules any sound that you could make with a normal synthesiser - make it a genuine alternative to the standard. But there’s a long way to go, lots of new modules that need to be released, before that will be the case. I have emailed LB with all sorts of module ideas - reverb, chorus, flanger, EQ, pitch shifter, noise gate, full ADSR envelope… but the top priority, after they get the USB/CV/MIDI modules out, should probably be the digital oscillator (LFO, pulse wave and triangle wave) that they described here.

BTW, you think that third parties could get involved?

Thanks for posting the article about the synth kit design. Very interesting reading! I’m not sure that a digital oscillator would be that interesting to me personally. I have the iPad and iMac for all the “virtual/digital” synth sounds I want or need, but true analog is pretty cool to work with! I’m not sure if 3rd parties will jump in - I certainly hope so. I don’t know if Korg has some contractual exclusive deal or if there are patent concerns there. I have the arduino all programmed up to do MIDI so I can use my keyboard with the synth - the new modules will probably make that unnecessary. I saw some sound libraries for arduino, so it might be possible to get some sounds out of the Arduino but I’m not sure that they would sound all that convincing. The Arduino program in the link provided does provide a rudimentary LFO simulation tied to the mod wheel CC.

Today Korg released the hardware step sequencer SQ-1 that have a dedicated output for littlebits: http://www.korg.com/us/products/dj/sq_1/

According to a picture of the new Korg sequencer SQ-1 the output from the machine goes direct in to the littlebits oscillator with a new kind of wire. So you don´t need the coming CV bit.
You find the picture on this side:


(The direct URL to the picture was to long for pasting here).

A little big for a “bit”, but that’s pretty cool! I currently do sequencing by using the arpeggiator on my Akai MPK Mini into the Arduino bit for MIDI/CV conversion. I can also control the MIDI via the iPad and its software sequencers so I probably won’t spring for this one (I’m guessing it will cost a bit more than the typical littleBits pieces).

Can you please tell me how you connect the Akai to the Arduino bit and what sketch you use.
Do you connect the iPad to the Akai or to the Arduino bit?

I connect to the Arduino using the method (and sketch) shown here. The link there shows how to connect via a powered hub to the iPad and to a keyboard. In my case, though, I connect the Arduino via USB to my iMac. I also connect my iPad to the iMac using an iConnectMIDI2 device. This lets me pass MIDI in more or less any direction. So My iMac is my MIDI hub. I use Logic X on the iMac and create an external MIDI track and an audio track to receive the littleBits output via the mic input (regular 1/8 cable). Check out my pics on http://soundcloud.com/oldlibmike where I have a few “littleBits” experiment tracks.

Thank you very much. You gave me a lot of interesting tips I look forward to check out.