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Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread
Old 27th August 2020
  #1
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Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread

The original thread was getting a bit long and hard to find useful info. For some reason I'm not able to edit the top post so thought I'd start a new one with the latest production status and info at the top so new readers don't have to wade through 15 pages of old design discussions etc.


I started the UK Limited Company Yorick Tech Ltd to design and manufacture the LFE. It all started out here on GS and I give lots of credit to the many people who have contributed and helped out along the way, xanderbeanz and infindebula who first suggested something like this and string6theory, John01W, magikroom and many others who have contributed many great ideas and have given continual support.

Original thread:
My OB-6 Expander (also for Prophet 6)

Current status at end August 2020: 80 units shipped, number returned for faults or any other reasons: 0, now taking orders for Batch 5 which are being shipped from September 2020 onwards. I've been able to use Lockdown to concentrate on production and have caught up with the orders backlog!

Prices - all UK Pounds:
Basic unit 540, American Walnut ends 50, CV in and out (either 1/4" or 1/8") 40. Postage extra. You can reserve an LFE with a £100 deposit and pay the balance just prior to shipping.

I can ship to UK, EU and the USA. I don't have the necessary approval to ship to Canada or Australia as emc regulations etc are different. One Canadian customer used a USA forwarding address and imported it himself from there.

The LFE is a standalone, hardware modulation expander for both the OB-6 and Prophet 6, and optionally for the Korg Prologue and / or Nord Wave 2. It uses midi to provide 3 complex global LFOs and a 6-stage envelope – which can also be configured as an 2 to 16-step modulation sequencer – to add considerably more complexity, movement and playability to these amazing synthesizers. It also acts as a 4-slot modulation matrix, allowing you to route velocity, key, aftertouch, mod wheel or CV in (optional) to about 50 destinations in the synth (80 with the Nord!)
So, for example, you can:
• Route an extra LFO to control filter resonance, brought in by the mod wheel
• Control an effects parameter e.g. phaser speed using aftertouch
• Use an analogue signal (CV option) to control any of the synth’s 50 modulation destinations, e.g. filter mode (OB-6) or HPF res (P6)
• Route velocity to effects depth. Or to filter envelope attack rate.
• Use aftertouch to control the synth’s own LFO speed. Or pulse width. Or both.
• Generate a 16-step sequence, clocked at say double the synth’s clock rate, to control sub level. Or noise level, or pan spread, or sequence transpose…
• Modulate the synth’s clock rate or number of arpeggio octaves, controlled by an LFE LFO, envelope, sequencer or the mod wheel
As well as the OB-6, P6 and Prologue, the LFE can control a generic ‘CC-Synth’: any midi device that can be controlled by midi CC messages, for example Nord, FX units, midi lighting etc.
The LFE stores 8 banks of 1000 patches per synth type, so you can have a bank for OB-6 in the studio, another for OB-6 for live use, another 4 banks for wild experimentation, and the same again for the P6 and another 8 banks for the ‘CC-Synth’. Simply selecting a new patch on the synth makes the LFE automatically recall the same-numbered LFE patch from its memory, so the two have their patches locked together.
The LFE also stores Sequential’s patch names and can display these names whenever you select a new patch. You can re-name patches if required. You can also select patches by category!
The LFE allows the use of Selective Note AfterTouch. SNAT lets you play a chord with your left hand and a melody with your right hand and only the melody note will be affected by aftertouch. Not true polyphonic aftertouch, but a big step towards it in terms of expressive control. Alternatively, it can send aftertouch to only the lowest, first or latest note played.

• Two versions are available, styled to complement the OB-6 and P6. Both are functionally identical and can control both synths
• Two midi Ins are provided for easy use with master keyboards and complex setups, as well as Out and Thru
• LFO 1 and 2 each have 10 waveforms, with adjustable shapes, for example ramp slope shape and can be set to run continuously or for just 1 to 9 cycles
• LFO 3 is adjustable from ramp up, through triangle to ramp down and includes a sample & hold and a clock pattern generator for creating interesting, repeating patterns
• All 3 LFOs can have their starts delayed up to 10 seconds and can be made to fade in over up to 10 seconds
• LFO frequency ranges are approx. 0.06Hz to 40Hz
• The envelope generator has 8 knobs to control 6 stages, for the creation of complex, evolving modulation shapes
• The envelope has two looping modes, as well as a normal and one-shot mode
• All LFOs and envelope / sequencer can individually be synced to the keyboard or to midi clock using any of the clock divisions used by the synth (half note, triplets, dotted etc.) plus a number of slower divisions for generation of very slow evolving modulations
• Key sync can be set to normal or to re-trigger, so that the env / seq or LFOs are triggered by new notes - or not - when keys are already held down
• Each LFO and env / seq has its own Amount knob which can also be set to negative amounts
• The env / seq and LFO 3 also have their own knobs to control how much a synth controller will affect the depth of modulation, so you can have say velocity affect the depth of LFO 3’s control of a synth parameter a little or a lot
• A CV in and CV out port (1/4” or 1/8”) is available as an option. These allow you to control the depth of any of the LFE’s modulators with an external CV signal, and to control external analog gear using the LFE’s modulators and / or the synth’s controllers
• Dedicated Distortion knob for OB-6 users
• Firmware updates can be performed by USB interface
• A file explorer program is available which runs on the LFE, allowing an attached PC to view, copy and backup the LFE’s patches, and rename patches
• A 9V DC 500mA ‘wall wart’ power supply is required, either centre pos or centre neg
• Dimensions: Weight 1.7kg with optional walnut ends. 330 x 212 x 85 mm with walnut ends. 305 x 203 x 85 mm without walnut ends
Media, demos etc.:
1. Demo showing ten OB-6 factory patches with and without help from the LFE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwYogu_QGfw
2. Review of the LFE by Jamie at GEOSynths:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUI3dMwPSyU&t=25s
3. Search YouTube for Low Frequency Expander
4. See my YouTube channel. Search YouTube for [email protected].
5. See FaceBook page www.facebook.com/yoricktech where you will find the latest project status, pricing, availability, downloadable manual etc.

Testimonials:
Joe McGinty: I highly recommend this expander! As well it takes these instruments into Xpander territory! And great customer support! The top note aftertouch is very cool. I can almost do Vangelis CS-80 type expression!
Andy Burton: So far, brilliant! I got it going and started getting some really nice textures with a much greater level of complexity. There’s a lot still to explore - the OB6 really does feel like a new instrument now. You have demonstrated a great deal of thoughtfulness in your design of the LFE, and the improvements are a big step forward from where you started. Thanks again for a great box!
Phil Aiken: I just wanted to chime in with an unsolicited testimonial that this is a well built, and well conceived product, and absolutely adds new capabilities to the OB6, P6 and beyond. I think if my OB6 and P6 disappeared tomorrow I'd still keep this box, but its integration with those 2 synths of course remains its main selling point.
String6theory: The OB6 LFE has been an exceptional addition to the OB 6+6 rig. These are both absolute keepers for me. Every Prophet-6 and OB-6 owner should seriously consider one (or two) of these LF Expanders. They’re very powerful integrated partners with these synths.

Yorick Tech Ltd. Is an independent UK company, founded by Steve Hunt in May 2019 in order to develop, sell and support the LFE. Steve Hunt is a Chartered Electronics Engineer with 40 years’ experience in designing, building and playing synthesizers. Prior to setting up Yorick Tech, he was Technical Director of several high-tech companies including subsidiaries of Landis & Gyr, Smiths Industries and Domino Printing Sciences plc, as well as a number of start-ups, working in fields as diverse as retail security, asset tracking, on-line drug pack authentication and smart electricity and gas metering. www.linkedin.com/in/stevehunt100/
Attached Thumbnails
Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-img_9492.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-img_9945.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-lfe1.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-img_9491.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-img_0902.jpg  

Old 27th August 2020
  #2
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Channelizer's Avatar
 

Download the latest manual here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2frwh3ern6...v%204.pdf?dl=0

I continually add new firmware features, recently adding the ability to modulate the frequency of the LFE's LFOs and envelope timing, and adding a trapezoidal LFO which lets you hold the waveform at top and bottom of the cycle. Let me know of you want to join the group of beta testers.
Old 28th August 2020
  #3
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Congrats on the LFE's success Steve!

I've been planning to take some new pics of these awesome LFEs in the new setup soon, but here are a couple of OG pics to give folks an idea of how the LFEs look with an OB-6 and P6 keyboards and modules.... which is pretty great.

Still getting on very well with them, but really just need more time to craft patches with the LFE's involved. It gets exciting to realize the newfound capabilities of your already masterful synths. Sometimes, it's just a couple very subtle modulations that give that added sonic dimension of to a designed sound. I really enjoy being able to vary the amounts of multiple modulations with AT (which can be 'multed' on each LFE LFO section), whereas on the synth panel AT section there's just one fixed amount knob for all AT mod destinations.

This same concept applies to the LFOs and the more limited single LFO section on the synth panel. This was a big incentive for getting my 6+6 setups going, which sport dual LFOs, providing, for ex, a SAW to FLT on the kb and a REV SAW to FLT on the module, so when the M/W is raised the filter action is in opposing directions, which means there isn't a sudden sonic reset when the kb's SAW LFO cycle ends, because it's picked up by the module's REV SAW, so the entire filter modulation cycle is SMOOTH and without the usual abrupt sonic change a single LFO SAW wave reset brings.

Of course, the LFE makes dual LFO modulations possible with just one synth... and, obviously so much more.
Attached Thumbnails
Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-sequential-prophet-6-6-lfe_11.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-sequential-prophet-6-6-lfe_14.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-dsi-oberheim-ob-6-6-lfe_01.jpg   Low Frequency Expander for OB-6 and P6 - new thread-dsi-oberheim-ob-6-6-lfe_02.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Much interest for Moog Voyager support? Either as an extra software add-on like the Wave 2 and Prologue which can currently be added to the LFE, or as a new dedicated device with Moogy looks and dedicated controls for filter poles, pot mapping and other 'hidden' controls?

I've had a Voyager for about 10 years and finally got round to having a go at getting the LFE to talk to it. Not simple as it uses double-CCs and SysEx but it does look feasible
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
I've been planning to take some new pics of these awesome LFEs in the new setup soon, but here are a couple of OG pics to give folks an idea of how the LFEs look with an OB-6 and P6 keyboards and modules.... which is pretty great
What is the stand you're using? I'm still not quite there with a stand that works well for my OB6 + LFE
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Channelizer View Post
Much interest for Moog Voyager support? Either as an extra software add-on like the Wave 2 and Prologue which can currently be added to the LFE, or as a new dedicated device with Moogy looks and dedicated controls for filter poles, pot mapping and other 'hidden' controls?

I've had a Voyager for about 10 years and finally got round to having a go at getting the LFE to talk to it. Not simple as it uses double-CCs and SysEx but it does look feasible

I'd be interested in added support to existing LFE's, although I would probably prefer a dedicated Moog LFE even though I already have two LFE's already.

The OB rig is next to my Voyager rig, so I could potentially hook the LFE up on V-sessions. Although, with the VX cv processors, I may prefer to leave it as a self-contained rig and not bother disconnecting and re-connecting the OB LFE when I would want to utilize it, as it puts the OB rig temporarily out of commission.

That's actually something I'm trying really hard to avoid in my new studio. It's an old problem for guitarists chasing tones by setting up pedal rigs before sessions. But, for me, these days the physical tasking kills the vibe. Also, having these rigs close to each other lets me play poly stuff on the OB and mono stuff on the V's very easily, so it's a good idea for me to keep them available & ready.

I really like the Prophet and OB LFE's, so I'd be inclined to look seriously at a dedicated Voyager LFE. I love this V-rig, have put a lot into it and another "enhancer" box that lets me go new places sonically is welcome! Just depends what it does and costs.

Maybe, if it makes sense, look at also including support for the Little/Slim Phatty, Sub/Subsequent-37 and Minitaur/Sirin modules, along with the V, as a "Moog Mono" LF Expander that could appeal to a broader universe of people and make more sense as an investment if one has several Moog monos with which to use such a unit. But, even so, I'd still be interested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbyroad View Post
What is the stand you're using? I'm still not quite there with a stand that works well for my OB6 + LFE

It's called the Odyssey LStand-360 on Amazon, usually between $90 and $99 bucks. Don't setup a synth rig without one!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
It's called the Odyssey LStand-360 on Amazon, usually between $90 and $99 bucks. Don't setup a synth rig without one!
just ordered one. I predict it will get a ton of use and I might end up with more than one
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
I might be jumping the gun a bit to ask, do you think it will be possible to have this work with the new P5/P10 rev 4's via a firmware update?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerbkrawler View Post
I might be jumping the gun a bit to ask, do you think it will be possible to have this work with the new P5/P10 rev 4's via a firmware update?
Depends on the P5 NRPN / CC midi spec
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
Depends on the P5 NRPN / CC midi spec
That's right, I'm waiting for Sequential to publish the spec. In principal though yes this should be possible. The big IF is IF I can justify buying one for myself so I can do the testing! Who wants to buy a mint P6 keyboard???
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
@ Channelizer I ordered a P5 so please do yourself a favor and buy yourself one too so we can get P5 mode on the LFE.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Channelizer View Post
... Who wants to buy a mint P6 keyboard???
Noooo! Never sell your P6!!!!

You know, the P5/10 rev4 will also have a "bi-timbral" mode when they add the module, so THAT will still be the ultimate LFE capability (you see how I'm always looking out for this product and Yorick Tech)!
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
Noooo! Never sell your P6!!!!

You know, the P5/10 rev4 will also have a "bi-timbral" mode when they add the module, so THAT will still be the ultimate LFE capability (you see how I'm always looking out for this product and Yorick Tech)!
LOL I think the P6 is going to have to go! Shame but I think the P5/10 is going to give me more satisfaction. It's probably also my least played instrument, even the Wave 2 is above it in my hierarchy!

Yeah thanks for your continued support. I'm currently working on adding Voyager support and I'll send you a free upgrade as soon as it's working. It'll be able to modulate all of the parameters with knobs on, but Moog decided to control all of the non-knobby menu parameters by SysEx dump, so for the LFE to change them it would have to send the whole dump every time! If I do an LFE2, dedicated to the Voyager it'll have extra controls for these menu functions so you can change them without menu diving but they won't be real-time modulatable by LFOs etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
It's called the Odyssey LStand-360 on Amazon, usually between $90 and $99 bucks. Don't setup a synth rig without one!
Bought it and am very very pleased. I expect I'll buy another. Great recommendation
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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This new video just popped up on Youtube and I shared it in the big Prophet 5/10 thread. It shows the P5 being modulated via midi CCs.



Me thinks the LFE and the new rev 4 Prophets will get along nicely.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
This new video just popped up on Youtube and I shared it in the big Prophet 5/10 thread. It shows the P5 being modulated via midi CCs.

Me thinks the LFE and the new rev 4 Prophets will get along nicely.
This just reminded me about that generic CCSynth mode in the LFE, but I have feeling we will eventually see Prophet 5 mode.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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LFE P5rev4 support:
Step 1. My P6 keyboard is now for sale!
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Step 2. Just placed an order for a P10!!!!
Old 3 days ago
  #19
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Step 3. Sold the P6. Sob!

Step 4. I've written a CC/NRPN sniffer program that will figure out how to read and control all the knobs and how to interpret a SysEx patch dump (cos Sequential aren't going to do anything helpful like actually tell me) Just need the P10 to arrive now...

Hmmmm controlling the Vintage knob with aftertouch and having velocity control Poly Mod
Old 3 days ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Channelizer View Post
Step 3. Sold the P6. Sob!

Step 4. I've written a CC/NRPN sniffer program that will figure out how to read and control all the knobs and how to interpret a SysEx patch dump (cos Sequential aren't going to do anything helpful like actually tell me) Just need the P10 to arrive now...

Hmmmm controlling the Vintage knob with aftertouch and having velocity control Poly Mod

So you’re telling me there will be a preset soon for us LFE owners who are buying the prophet 5/10?
Old 3 days ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v00d00ppl View Post
So you’re telling me there will be a preset soon for us LFE owners who are buying the prophet 5/10?
That’s the plan. It’ll be extra cost like the other add-ons but just a firmware upgrade and the P5 will appear with the P6, CCsynth and OB6 in the list of synth types (and Wave 2 and Prologue if you have them)
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