Most of you will be familiar with the TipTop Z-DSP effects module. It’s a great module which offers some excellent reverb, echo and sound mangling apps. These apps are distributed on a little Game Boy card. The Valhalla reverb and DragonFly echo are included and they will not let you down. But this is not about the Z-DSP’s standard facilities, it’s about the Clock CV input.

Many of you may have tried to patch in a Clock, which breaks the module almost immediately. This is because this clock refers to the effect playback frequency and it requires an oscillator that goes over 21 kHz. TipTop recommends the Z-3000 which can go to 30 K. In case you’ve been wondering why an oscillator should make sound you can’t ever hear, this is a very valid use case. A CD player runs at 44,1 remember?

I do not own a Z-8000 so I tried the Make Noise DPO. With two primary oscillators, surely one should be able to make that Clock tick. DPO was able to keep the clock running while modulated, but the manual states that the oscillator doesn’t go over 6 Khz so there’s still plenty of ground to discover. Tweaking the oscillator with careful (fine) tuning will modulate the digital process into unpredictable side effects, some weird and ugly, but most of them are absolutely stunning. In many cases, it will destroy the effect you where running, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s fun to open up the fabric of space and time, and get a glimpse of how division by zero sounds. Slowing down a digital stream of sound into tiny grains and speeding them back up may sound like granular synthesis, but this goes far beyond the grains of Clouds, Morphagene or even PC based VST’s.