No grease monkey I but a quantum mechanic

Finally! This took a lot longer (read: involved a lot more procrastination) than I was expecting, but my Analog Output Dual Quantizer seems to be working.

So what’s a quantizer?

My current favorite description is, a quantizer is frets for a synthesizer. A violin, or other fretless string instrument, can play any pitch in a continuum, which is great if you want to do that, but if you don’t, pick up a guitar or a ukulele or a viol instead. The frets take the position of your finger and “quantize” it to produce only notes of an equally tempered scale. Likewise a control voltage quantizer takes a continuous CV and quantizes it to values corresponding to the notes of a scale — equally tempered or otherwise.

This one is a 10 cm Kosmo module with two quantizer units, both the same. It’s based on the latest version of the dac/ino board. For each unit, rotary switches enable selection of any of up to 12 scales in each of up to 6 banks, up to 72 scales total. There’s a second CV input (normalled to +5V, with an attenuator) that can transpose the quantized first CV, a gate input and switch to disable/enable quantization either manually or via a gate, and a trigger input that allows using it as a quantized (or not) sample and hold.

The software gives you a choice of loading either of two sets of scales, one with things like major, minor, pentatonic, and blues scales each in 12 keys, the other with more esoteric stuff like just intonation, Pythagorean, meantone, well temperaments, and micro- and macrotonal equal divisions. It’s fairly simple to define your own scales and scale sets to use instead.

The GitHub repository with schematics, BOM, panel Gerbers, software, and documentation is here: 2 . The dac/ino repository is here: 2 . You need one dac/ino board to build the module. The first five panels and dac/ino PCBs are gone, but I’m getting a new run (five panels in red, five PCBs in each of red and white) done and they’ll be up on Reverb when I get them.

In theory you could make a Eurorack module out of this — either a very wide one or a very deep one, given the roughly 45 mm by 45 mm PCB. But there’d be no change to the circuit.

Photos: Front


and yeah, that’s a lot of wiring. I would’ve liked to do a daughterboard but the pots/toggles, rotary switches, and jacks are on three different levels so that’d be three daughterboards all somehow connecting to each other and the dac/ino board… not really much simpler.

A couple rough test videos:

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