GAIA's 4th filter - useful for SYNC MOD, etc.

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GAIA's 4th filter - useful for SYNC MOD, etc.

Postby ScottRS101 » 18:35, 16 June 2017

After playing with this little powerhouse for a number of hours I've run into a few interesting things. One of which is the fourth filter! Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen threads talking about this extra filter before. It really does pay off to play with all the SHIFT features of the GAIA.

I was playing around with the SYNC MOD just to see what could be done with it. Like others, the fact that this mode shuts down the filter on the Tone 1 and forces MONO mode seems really limiting. It would seem the GAIA can only produce rather harsh tones using this mode. Indeed, the locked Mono mode is a letdown but I found a way of filtering the output!

OSC SYNC modes characteristically create rather biting sounds because of all the sharp transients induced by the OSC restarting before completing a normal cycle. This creates a lot of extra high-frequency energy in the signal. This is great for cutting through a mix, but can also be rather harsh and overwhelming if you just want to create some cool mono base line sound that sweeps the sync and blends into a mix.

I was messing around with the alternate Effects controls using the SHIFT function and accidentally ran into the Bit Crash filter. After fiddling a bit I found that you can turn the Bit Crash effect off completely but still use it's filter! The filter sounds like a fairly steep LP with little if any resonance dialed in so more or less perfect for just smoothing a signal. There is no way to modulate this filter or change it's resonance, but it's still rather useful for calming down rather edgy sounds like OSC SYNC patches.

The way to do it is...
- Select BIT CRASH as the first effect.
- Turn Effect Control 1 all the way down - counter clockwise
- Turn Effect Level all the way up - clockwise
- Hold the SHIFT button and turn Effect Control 1 (Control 2) up a little so that it registers the change and then back down to zero.
- Hold the SHIFT button and turn Effect Level (Control 3) to the desired cutoff frequency for the lowpass filter.

I find it best to set the note hold button and then tune the filter as it requires two hands.

There are a couple catches.
First, you obviously can't use the Distortion or Fuzz effects.
Second, there appears to be a tiny little glitch in the Bit Crash filter. It can only be heard with a very clean wave form. If you initialize a patch and set the wave to SINE, you will get the cleanest tone the GAIA is capable of. Now, set all the effects off except Bit Crash which should be setup as I stated above and turn the filter cutoff all the way up.

If you hold a note, especially higher notes, you will hear an occasional low volume click come into the signal. It's very quiet. I suspect this is a programming error in the Bit Crash filter. In any case, I don't think this would be audible with more complex waveforms so it's not much of an issue. You will notice that the SINE sounds otherwise basically identical with the effects switched ON and OFF proving that the Bit Crash effect is disabled aside from it's filter.

Anyhow, I was able to make a few cool OSC SYNC patches and then smooth their rough edges down using this technique.

Hopefully this will help people who thought the GAIA could only produce really harsh OSC SYNC patches. I can tell you that I had little interest in the OSC SYNC mode until I discovered this trick.
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