BPM Follower

With a BPM calculation tapped from a trigger input (or gates,LFO, & other signals that cross 0V), the BPM Follower can adjust tempo with your playing, update pace with a sequencer lane, “convert” an LFO to another shape or tempo (beyond the original range), or sync to a wide range of sources to create both a set of subdivided tempo clocks (trigger pulses) and also a full-featured LFO. It means that connected devices can bend, halt, and double-time as you adjust your playing or its LFO will respond to the ebb and flow of note densities. And, it can be calibrated to drag, rush, swing, or follow along another ratio altogether.

The LFO can be biased so that it is centered anywhere between -5 and 5V, its magnitude can be adjusted & inverted from minuscule to a full 10V fluctuation, and it can generate sine, triangle, saw, and square waveforms. There are outputs synced to the beat (eighth notes, triplets, 1 beat, & 2 beats), and they can all be used simultaneously for complex, rhythmically cohesive modulations.

A calibration slider (top left) multiplies the detected BPM, pushing it up to 2x and down to 1/8th time, so the trigger & LFO outputs can have a broad range of relationships to the incoming pulses. In combination with the dedicated subdivided outputs, the range grows further. In fact, you can think of this module like a clock or LFO adapter – send in a pulse/clock/LFO with one timing and output triggers & LFOs at any of the subdivided times (1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1x, 2x) multiplied by any value from 1/8 to 2x. For instance, if you input a sine LFO at say 1Hz, you can “convert” it, outputting a sine wave at 1/16 Hz (1/4 out, 1/8 calibrated). Thus, you can essentially use an existing LFO way below or above its natural range. You can also get unusual subdivisions from other clocks, where for instance, a tempo clock could be sudivided into fifths, allowing you to have two synced clocks where the second is running at a rhythmically interesting, related tempo.

If you disconnect the input, the unit will hold its BPM and if you save a preset or close/reopen VM, the last BPM is remembered (as well as the phases of the output LFOs & their underlying clocks). Arming the reset button (“rst”, above the phase knob) allows you to sync the LFO with incoming pulses (at any phase, specified by the “phase” control), but otherwise, LFOs are free-running and adjusted continually without disrupting the waveform, for a very musical behavior. In fact, each LFO runs independently, with phase based on the moment of connection, which can be exploited for complex modulation schemes. Of course, you can temporarily activate the reset button so that the phases are linked at the next incoming pulse (and since they are ratios of each other, they won’t drift apart again), but you can also let them remain with unlinked phase yet linked tempo. For the deep diver, small gold adjustment screws at each output allow you to set % phase deviations (upon a trig, when rst is armed) for individual outputs.

Despite the module’s subtle depths, it is also easy to connect any signal to the input and find interesting uses for the matched & subdivided trigger and output LFOs, providing a clock and/or LFO with a dynamic tempo that adjusts with your patch.

(part of the Tempo Modulating Bundle)