I was delighted to finally receive my Aurora this week, after having watched pretty much every YT video out there. However, I have never yet managed to get it to sound huge and lush as it does in your own introductory video. The issue seems to be with the atmosphere control- beyond about nine o’clock everything simply sounds harsh, metallic and screechy, no matter how the other knobs are set. Turning it all the way ccw results in no effect at all. I simply cannot achieve a gentle spacious reverb at all, despite copying the settings in the video and using a gentler sequence- and with the atmosphere knob at twelve o’clock (the recommended starting position) it sounds- sorry- awful.
Has anyone else had similar experiences? Is it just really hard to dial in the lushness, or am I doing it wrong? Or are those unexplained switches on the reverse of the unit somehow implicated?
Hey @RtB, no such thing as heresy here, we always appreciate honest experiences and feedback! I’m sorry your initial experience with Aurora was not what you were expecting, and I’d be happy to navigate the module with you. This is a bit of a longer response but I hope it helps nonetheless.
TL;DR: Aurora’s spectral signal is entirely dependent on the input, and includes all the input’s harmonics and transients which, depending on the inputted audio, can result in a “harsh” spectral sound.
Since Aurora is a spectral processor, the wet signal is entirely dependent on the input signal since it is taking said signal and manipulating it to emulate new sounds, both familiar and alien. I’ve attached a couple examples to show this. Each example has the same Aurora settings, and uses the same sequence:
Here are the settings for Aurora in these examples:
You’ll notice that the Chord example is much harsher sounding than the two Surface examples. This is because Aurora includes everything from the input signal in its spectral processing, including additional harmonics and transients.
Internally, the method for wrangling in those additional frequencies that can come off as noise is via the Atmosphere knob. Here is the same Chord patch, but I sweep Atmosphere up to introduce more harmonics, then sweep it down to spectrally filter the audio:
Chord - Saw with Atmosphere Sweep
Atmosphere is more than just a low pass/high pass filter, and carefully selects frequencies throughout the audio spectrum to filter, which results in an awesome, spacey pad-like sound.
Currently, Aurora does not carry any type of transient detection in its signal chain, so if you are looking to soften Aurora’s spectral signal, there are solutions externally that you could perform if you are still looking to run your “noisier” audio input through Aurora. This would involve setting up an effects send where you can doctor the input signal with EQ before sending it into Aurora.
Also, if you are simply looking for a more normal reverb, we will be releasing FDN Verb for Aurora very soon, likely this week or next! So definitely keep an eye out for that. Let me know if you have any other questions about Aurora, I’d be happy to help!
Well, that’s considerably more of an answer than I was expecting- and examples too- good show!
I don’t have Surface, but I do have a Rings clone- and it was that that I had first fed into Aurora, and noticed the harshness. Curiously, to my delicate ears (ha!) there was some of that harshness in your bell example, particularly the highest of the four notes- and of course that was what I was experiencing from Rings, and similar voices.
Not one to give up easily I’ve been casting around the other voices at my disposal, and find that the Akemie’s Taiko- in its alternate role as a very nice digital fm voice- throws up much less grittiness than does Rings. I’ve also just been lucky enough to get hold of a Braids clone, and the ‘drum’ setting really runs through Aurora very melodiously indeed. With my arithmetical hat on I think that the things to avoid are too sharp an attack, and *too many *harmonics- the more frequencies you are spectrally shifting the sooner you will get disharmony. Does that sound right to you?
One voice I haven’t run through Aurora yet is the Chord v2- that might work very well indeed. And I believe you’ve just posted my Nebulae v1 back to me, and I can’t wait to introduce Aurora to that!
Thank you again for an excellent and thoughtful response.
Yep, you more or less hit the nail on the head. It’s not so much that every sound with a sharp attack will cause this, but the transients found at the beginning of a sound can create that harshness you are hearing.
Always happy to chat Aurora, and yeah Chord and Nebulae are great sound sources with Aurora! Having complex wavetables and samples to modulate through make for some excellent spectral mangling
Being fairly new to this game I’m happy to chat Modular in general, though I appreciate that you are Qu-Bit, so… Unfortunately, ModWiggler is populated by supercilious types who are quite sneery with those who know less than they do, although it’s not as bad as the Audiobus Forum. Meanwhile, the electronic musicians I know are terrified of modular and regard it as arcane and impossible to understand. All I want to do is get better and eventually play live. Not much to ask, eh?
Anyway, thank you for your help- and yes, Chord through Aurora works very well indeed!
Yeah the technical gatekeeping in modular community can be quite toxic, though I would say it’s getting a bit better, maybe Even though this is a Qu-Bit centric forum, we love to talk all things modular as well! We’d prefer that this forum be a bit more inclusive, especially for newcomers, which is why we put time and effort into our responses to help people the best we can.
If you ever need help with Qu-Bit modules, or modular in general, don’t hesitate to ask!