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Analogue Easter Eggs!

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Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby The Elf » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:28 pm

I recently acquired an old (c 1979) Teisco S100P, and it has been a beautiful honeymoon so far. More significantly I've made a couple of interesting discoveries, and it got me thinking...

The S100P is a humble preset monosynth, with a few curious features for its date of manufacture, including onboard reverb and flanger ("delay and chorus, John? Nah!"). It's very reminiscent of the ARP Pro Soloist (the synth credits ARP's aftertouch mechanism on the underside of the case!), and some of the presets are quite similar. This thing has some inspiringly beautiful sounds that are already making their way into current tunes. I'm a happy owner.

And then I made a discovery.

While flicking the aftertouch 'Vibrato' switch on a couple of patches with built-in vibrato I realised that I could defeat the hard-set vibrato by leaving the switch half-way between stations. This instantly makes some of the cheesiest sounds much more usable; I have a bit of a loathing for 'always on' vibrato - Hammond organists and opera singers are the worst culprits!

This made me curious about some of the other switches, and I found that by setting the 'Brightness' aftertouch switch between stations I can add resonance to every patch too! This transforms some of the presets into a completely different tone than the name suggests - 'Horn', for example, becomes some wild synth lead that would grace a Pink Floyd track!

Setting the switches is a bit of a balancing act, and, short of getting a mod done, I'm already considering a carefully sized wooden plug to jam in the switch.

I'm in the middle of a couple of mixes, so no time to experiment further right now, but I will when the rush is over - and maybe I'll find more tricks.

Anyone else come across similar 'Easter Eggs' in the analogue world and care to share?
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:45 pm

That’s awesome, you Hendrix’d the synth! :D
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:52 pm

On the Thomas Playmate organs, there is a row of push-buttons to select the drum rhythm to play. Pressing one button will auto-cancel any other button in that row. If, however, you press any number of them at the same time (it can be tricky to get exactly right) such that they stay depressed, then it will play those rhythms simultaneously.

The Elf wrote:Anyone else come across similar 'Easter Eggs' in the analogue world and care to share?

Not quite the same, but there is a neat easter egg in the Prophet-6 and OB-6 synths.

Set one of the (digital) FX slots to 'Spring reverb'. Making sure the volume knob is not on silent, give the synth a sharp knock with your hand on either end-cheek and see what happens. You need to be plugged into some form of amplification to hear the result.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby desmond » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:59 pm

Funny you mention the half-switch thing.

Way back in the midsts of time I had a Moog Prodigy, and there was one switch, I think it was one of the waveform switches, where if you set it "between stations" (album title there?), the oscillators would stay permanently on (like drone mode on the Pro One) - a feature it otherwise didn't have...
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby The Elf » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:32 pm

:clap: :thumbup: Great stuff, guys!

Keep 'em coming!
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby N i g e l » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:59 pm

YAMAHA Reface CP

if you balance the piano "TYPE" rotary switch halfway between two settings and power on, the sound selected is an accoustic piano patch

I replaced my 6 way rotary with a 7 way which makes things easier for regular use.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby BigRedX » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:13 pm

Although the Korg MS series of semi-modular synths used Hz/Volt for their CV input, the oscillator modulation inputs are calibrated at Octave/Volt, so with a little ingenuity a standard Octave/Volt CV source can be used to control them without needing an Octave/Volt to Hz/Volt convertor.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:55 pm

Not sure if easter egg, but undocumented (and possibly very useful) function on the Prophet-6 and OB-6.

Both synths treat voices 000 - 499 as the writeable user bank, and voices 500 - 999 as the non-writeable factory presets. However, you can overwrite the factory presets with your own if you wish.

To do this, hold down both the Transpose Up and Transpose Down buttons, then press 0 while holding them. This will copy your entire user banks (0-499) into the factory banks (500-999). You cannot select the voices to copy, it will do all of them.

You now can fill your user bank with new voices to get double the normal maximum number of custom patches.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby desmond » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:29 pm

If you hit the prophet 6, the digital fx makes a spring reverb twonk as if it has springs inside...
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:02 am

desmond wrote:If you hit the prophet 6, the digital fx makes a spring reverb twonk as if it has springs inside...

The OB-6 too ... but in both cases, only if you have the spring reverb set in one of the FX slots :-)
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Folderol » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:37 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:
desmond wrote:If you hit the prophet 6, the digital fx makes a spring reverb twonk as if it has springs inside...

The OB-6 too ... but in both cases, only if you have the spring reverb set in one of the FX slots :-)
I seem to remember reading somewhere that this was a designed feature deliberately included in some synths.

Fascinating stuff overall :thumbup:
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:09 am

The thing I find most amazing about this feature is that it obviously requires the circuitry to have some sort of accelerometer - which is surely extra cost to the manufacturer and buyers?! :wtf:
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:28 am

Or something like the modern equivalent of a mercury switch. You only need a simple contact to be made to trigger a sample.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:25 pm

The Elf wrote:The thing I find most amazing about this feature is that it obviously requires the circuitry to have some sort of accelerometer - which is surely extra cost to the manufacturer and buyers?! :wtf:

It is an accelerometer. Dave Smith demos it here: https://youtu.be/fmhdYJDnfsU?t=557

I can't find the exact timestamp but somewhere in the 'Evening With Dave Smith' video I'm pretty sure he mentions that the cost of the spring reverb easter egg was negligible, adding a few cents to the production cost.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:26 pm

:clap: :thumbup: We need more thinking like that in the world in general!
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:10 pm

The S-100P is my secret weapon, it's a very underrated synth I think! Aftertouch routing is a lot of fun, the reverb is wonderfully characterful, the bass is really good, and it has plenty of charm overall.

I've got two, and one of them has never been in tune. On certain settings it flips wildly between two adjacent notes, and I've never fixed it because I like the wonkiness. Broken? Nope, just 'quirky'.


Not so much an 'easter egg' as a technique, but on the old Juno 60, I set up an organ patch using the pulse wave, 1-oct down sub, and resonant filter tuned to an octave and a fifth to crudely emulate drawbars – then add just a touch of VCA boost to get a bit of overdrive, just enough to grit it up a touch. The 60 lacks the 6's smooth HPF, but the VCA level control (meant to help balance the output level of different presets) had its uses too. Run the output through even a basic rotary speaker sim and it sounds pretty good.
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:30 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Not so much an 'easter egg' as a technique, but on the old Juno 60...
I also used to create Hammond sounds on my old Juno 6 - set fastest attack and fastest decay with low sustain and send this to the filter to get 'key click'!
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Rich Hanson » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:59 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
The Elf wrote:The thing I find most amazing about this feature is that it obviously requires the circuitry to have some sort of accelerometer - which is surely extra cost to the manufacturer and buyers?! :wtf:

It is an accelerometer. Dave Smith demos it here: https://youtu.be/fmhdYJDnfsU?t=557

I can't find the exact timestamp but somewhere in the 'Evening With Dave Smith' video I'm pretty sure he mentions that the cost of the spring reverb easter egg was negligible, adding a few cents to the production cost.

I used to have a guitar pedal that had a spring emulation, I used to wish it had something like that. No particular practical purpose, it just would have amused me :D
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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:34 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Not sure if easter egg, but undocumented (and possibly very useful) function on the Prophet-6 and OB-6.

Both synths treat voices 000 - 499 as the writeable user bank, and voices 500 - 999 as the non-writeable factory presets. However, you can overwrite the factory presets with your own if you wish.

To do this, hold down both the Transpose Up and Transpose Down buttons, then press 0 while holding them. This will copy your entire user banks (0-499) into the factory banks (500-999). You cannot select the voices to copy, it will do all of them.

You now can fill your user bank with new voices to get double the normal maximum number of custom patches.

You can perform a similar manoeuvre with the Prophet 12 if you need more custom patches.


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Re: Analogue Easter Eggs!

Postby N i g e l » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:31 pm

N i g e l wrote:
YAMAHA Reface CP
if you balance the piano "TYPE" rotary switch halfway between two settings and power on, the sound selected is an accoustic piano patch

Yamaha have finally issued a statement about this "test tone requiring low memory use"

https://www.yamahasynth.com/reface-cate ... ster-egg-1
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