How do you clock your modular?

This might have been discussed here and there but I have not found any satisfactory discussion so allow me to start a new topic.

I just finished my first “clock-type” module, a clock divider and inverter (4040 and 4069)

and everything was working fine with my function generator and lab supplies until I built it into my synth and realised that the Beatstep Pro delivers a 3.3V clock output. However, it tolerates 3.3V to 10V as input, see Beatstep Pro - General questions BeatStep Pro FAQ

So yes, I initially thought that I could drive this and my Keystep 37 with my Beatstep Pro and could use the divider to drive drums/percussions or pads with ADSR but now I am a bit confused if there is a recommended way to hook things up. I could add a Schmitt trigger to my clock divider to push the 3.3V to 10V but now I am curious how you set up the clock in your synth setups. Do you have a master clock module in your modular or do you use different setups?

I personally would like to take advantage of the built-in clock of the Beatstep Pro since I like that everything is in one place and I can save/load my setups etc.

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I use my ksp to manage clock. I sync with midi connected to my computer. I don’t really need a clock divider, but you should be able to sync your clock divider with it. Additionally, the ksp and bsp both have the ability to run sequences at different rates and time division.

You can have the step pros be the global clock, and just output the cvs to your modular, or do like me where you send midi to sync and send note, velo and mod messages that get translated to cvs by the ksp.

I can literally have my modular play a midi file from my computer in this way.

But like I said, even without a computer, you can just use the step pros to control everything. The clock divider would only come in if you wanted another subdivision from the same track for instance.

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Generaly to control my modular i use the clock ouput of my BSP in a Multiple and after in a Clock Divider …

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OK thanks, so the BSP as master is thing.

And what is your main interface to BSP? As I’ve written, the output clock voltage is 3.3V so I cannot use that as a gate. Do you use a simple Schmitt trigger to boost it or any other clock-entry-module?

@Dud you mentioned you use a multiple, is it a special one created for the clock or a simple passive multiple?

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It’s a simple buffered multi, but i can also use it directely in the clock divider without problem.

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I am wondering because the BSP’s 3.3V clock is not enough to trigger e.g. my Twin T Kick but maybe I misunderstood something :confused:

EDIT: or even the 4040 clock divider which has a supply voltage of 12V and requires an input voltage range around the supply voltage. With 10V it works fine but a 3.3V signal is not driving the clock.
I checked several 4040s which I had laying around but none of them would do anything below 9V if I supply them with 12V.

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To trigger a drum module use the 8 gates out of the BSP, not the clock out

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Yes I know that but I wanted to use the clock divider to e.g. periodically drive a VCA and bring in some sounds, just like you do in MODULAR SYNTH DIY - DUAL BALTER CV GATE DELAY (NLC) - YouTube

I thought I could do this with the clock divider but then I need a clock->gate converter :wink:

Btw. see my edit above regarding the supply voltage and input voltage requirements, that’s the source of my confusion.

Anyways, with a Schmitt trigger I can boost the clock to 10V but I have the feeling I am doing something weird :laughing:

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So, currently I drive the clock divider by channel 8 of the drum sequencer of my BSP but of course that’s annoying when I change sequences on the bass sequencer, since I have to make sure that the all steps are always on :see_no_evil:

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For that use a Clock divider in a Envelope Generator and then in a VCA

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Yep I do the same but as written, the BSP clock does not drive my clock divider, that’s why I have to use the drum gate output.

Which clock divider do you use? The 4040 definitely requires at least 9V if the supply is 12V, that’s my main confusion.

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I have the Niklas Rönnberg one

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OK thanks (4024 and 4040 have similar specs), so then something is wrong with my chips, or I have no idea. It only does a step if the clock signal is above 9V, if below, it just idles and does not divide/clock anything :confused:

Ah no, now I see, this driver is missing in mine, thanks!

Screenshot 2021-11-09 at 11.18.58

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Is there a specific reason that 5V is used as clock voltage output? Wouldn’t 10V make more sense since that can then use the full range of VCA and other CV inputs?

I see that here electro-music.com wiki | Schematics / Fonitronik Simple Divider it’s also higher.

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Sorry i don’t know :slight_smile:
but all works well for me like that

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Alright, thanks Dud, maybe I should not think too much and just make noise :laughing:

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Yes try to add the driver for the input clock and tell us if it works :slight_smile:

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I am not sure if there is any standard for clock outputs, I guess it should be similar to what you use for gates/triggers, so you can interchange that, but also there I have seen 5V, 10V and also 8.8V.
Some modules use some
Kind of trigger/gate conditioning, like a comparator so they work with almost anything, but it is also often left out, especially on strip boards. Less parts and if it works with my sequencer :wink: it is annoying to always check this stuff…
I think your plan with the Schmitt trigger or the driver as in the ronneberg schematic is good, it makes your clock divider more versatile!

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I use my own rotating clock divider: Arduino Rotating Clock Divider

Provides me with 8 variable and rotatable clock rates. It has a built-in clock source, but can also be clocked from a BSP or such.

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