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DD3 - VCA / Drive


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The DD3 is a dual module which brings together a VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) and an Overdrive/Distortion unit. These parts can be used separately or brought together for increased sonic power. The new Rev.2 version now incorporates a rear jumper to allow selection of Linear or Exponential VCA response.

The VCA half is a simple and clean design with either an Exponential or Linear response (selectable with rear jumper - see image). There is a single DC-coupled input along with an output. The output level is governed by the Init(ial) dial in combination with a CV via the Mod(ulation) control.

The Drive section is born from looking at guitar distortion pedals, but is neatly brought round to usage in the modular world. It is made of two drive stages running in series with each one having a slightly different approach. The first stage (Drv1) is quite gentle in its clipping manner and can be switched between two configurations - Hard & Soft. Hard is classic LED clipping (a bit like the Rat distortion pedal) while Soft only clips on one side, but includes some overall hi-freq filtering for a more rounded tone. The second stage that follows (Drv2) gives hard & sharp limiting which not only (greatly) distorts the signal but also makes sure that the output level stays within the system confines of +/-5v. As each stage has a different sort of sound you can run one section at high settings with the other section low, or drive them both hard for real gnarl.

A nice feature is the Link switch - this couples the VCA output straight into the Drive section. Simple enough, but you can also input a signal to the Drive section's input at the same time (the sources are mixed internally). The sounds that result after passing through the Drive section become rich and full with many variations possible via the two controls. A Bypass switch allows quick bypassing of the effect.

The fact that both the VCA and Drive sections are DC-coupled allows interesting modulation / biasing effects - if an audio wave is combined with an LFO then the resulting mix gets 'pushed' into the clipping walls to give a kind of starved effect.

DD3 VCA/Drive Module - DemoSounds by BugBrand

Input: Audio inputs typical +/-5V
1 FW
Current: +ve 20mA / -ve 20mA
User Adjustments: Rear jumper to select VCA Response - Linear or Exponential. There is also a VCA Offset trimmer to Null CV feedthrough in the VCA. To adjust if required - leave the VCA Input disconnected and apply a Sqr-wave to the VCA CV input. Turn Init to half-way and Mod to full. Now listen to the VCA output and adjust the trimmer until the modulating Sqr-wave is not heard at the output.

Added on Wednesday 08 April, 2009.