Χρόνος is a time-keeping module, with two distinct but related functions. The first is tap tempo: tap the push button to generate regular triggers at any tempo. The second function is tempo-synced low frequency oscillator, with four different waveforms. One output jack provides either sine or triangle wave, the other ramp or sawtooth. A toggle switches between waveforms, and the knob allows you to turn the tempo up or down. Both functions can be linked or used independently. By default the waveform is synced to the tap tempo, but an external trigger can be used instead. Up position of toggle switch selects sine from bipolar out and rising ramp from unipolar out. Down position selects triangle and falling ramp. Middle position turns the tap tempo and waveform output off.
With the toggle in either the up or down position, pressing the pushbutton repeatedly will start a sequence of trigger or clock signals of the same frequency being generated on the Tap-tempo output. The frequency, or tempo, can be turned up or down with the tempo knob.
Starting with the tempo knob in the centre position, turning it all the way clockwise will double the tempo. Turning it all the way anti-clockwise will halve the tempo. A new tempo can be tapped in with the knob in any position; the full adjustment range is always four times the tapped in tempo.
With the toggle in the off (middle) position, the pushbutton can be used as a manual trigger generator. The tempo is still monitored, but the output sequence is not started until the toggle is switched.
The tap tempo employs a carefully designed debouncing circuit to avoid false or duplicate triggers. The fastest tempo that can be tapped in is 78Hz, which corresponds to 16th notes at 293 beats per minute. The slowest tempo that will be recognised is 59.65 hours.
Tempo Synced Oscillator
The waveform generator, or low frequency oscillator, will follow any signal plugged into the tempo-sync input, and generate two waveforms of the same period. One waveform is unipolar (0-5v output range) and the other is bipolar and symmetric (+/- 2.5v output range). The labels above and below the two output jacks indicate what waveform is generated according to the Mode toggle; Up- sine and rising ramp; Down- triangle and falling ramp. If the input signal suddenly stops, the oscillator will simply carry on at the same frequency until another signal appears for it to synchronise to. Irregular input signals will cause the frequency to increase or decrease, having the effect of compressing or stretching out the waveforms. The phase of the output is not reset, giving smooth transitions and the possibility of complex output waveforms.
Turning the Tempo knob will also change the frequency of the tempo synced oscillator, keeping both synchronised. The tempo sync expects a trigger or clock signal, but any reasonable signal without too much noise or harmonics will work. Signals from 4.65µHz to 1.25kHz can be accurately tracked. With nothing plugged in to the Tempo-sync input, the oscillator will synchronise to the tap tempo.
Χρόνος is Open Source and Open Hardware, published under the Gnu GPL.
- Tempo knob, tap tempo pushbutton and indicator, and mode toggle controls.
- Tempo-sync input and tap-tempo output jacks.
- Bipolar output (Sine and Triangle waves).
- Unipolar output (Rising and Falling ramp).
- Three position Mode switch.
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- Width: 6HP / 30.00mm
- Height: 3U / 128.50mm
- Depth: 20mm
- Weight: 50g
- 16-pin Doepfer/Eurorack
- PTC fuse and diode protected
- +5v: < 20mA
- +12v: < 20mA
- -12v: < 5mA
- Note: requires +5v power rail!
- Outputs: < 1k Ohm
- Inputs: 100k Ohm
- Tap Tempo: 4.65µHz to 78Hz
- Tempo Synced Oscillator: 4.65µHz to 1.25kHz