Noise Engineering

Get out of the box -- and back in

Noise Engineering is a Eurorack and 5U modular synthesizer manufacturer based in Los Angeles, California. 

Using Stuff Wrong: Bin Seq

When most people think of Bin Seq, they think of it as a trigger sequencer. We use it like that all the time! Some people have done some really creative stuff with it too, like DubStationZero. In this post, we’re going to be looking at some other uses for it that go beyond basic trigger sequencing.

Starting simple: clock division

We all need clock dividers in our life. But what if you don’t have a dedicated one in your system?? BS to the rescue. It can divide clocks by 2, 4, or 8. For 2, flip every other switch to the middle trigger position. For 4, just switches 1 and 5. For 8, just switch 1. Patch your clock to Beat and you’re off! 

For even more funkiness, send a 16th note clock to the /4 patch, but use 1 and 6 instead to get swung quarter notes.

Trigger-to-gate flipflop

Sometimes, we have a cool trigger pattern, but we want to make some cool gates with it instead. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could have a gate go high on one trigger, then go low on the next trigger, to make some nice long notes? What if I told you that BS CAN DO THAT TOO?? Just flip every other switch to the rightmost position and patch your triggers to the Beat in. You’ll get gates out that go high on one trigger and low on the next. Cool!

Suboctaves

If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen our recent post where we used Horologic Solum as a subotave generator. Well, since we can use BS as a clock divider, too, that means it can also be a suboctave generator! Going back to that first patch, the /2 pattern will give you 1 octave down, the /4 will give you 2 octaves down, and the /8 will give you 3 octaves down. Whoa. 

Getting more experimental: suboctaves are very musical, but if you flip arbitrary switches you get a more arbitrary tone control out of it. Might be noisy, might be melodic!

Let’s hear what that sounds like because I really like this technique. Here, I’m using a basic saw wave from Loquelic Iteritas and running it into the clock input of BS. Then, I’m running that through w through some classic subtractive filtering.

Pushbutton triggers

If you set every step to the middle position, the Adv button becomes a manual trigger button with nothing patched into it. Sounds silly, but I use this all the time when creating sounds, moving sequencers, testing out envelopes, and just generally messing around.

Got your own creative patch?

Let us know! Tag us on Instagram or send us an email if you’ve got a cool Bin Seq (or any other module) patch that you want us to see.

Noise Engineering is proudly located in Los Angeles, CA