Frap Tools Brenso - Entangled Sound Sources
brenso / 'bre:nso / adj. [slang portmanteau word created from the Italian adjective breve 'short' and intenso 'intense', probably around the early 2000s in the area of Bologna; pronounced with the long, closed e instead of the expected open e, as typical of the Northern Italian regions] - This adjective may have originally referred to events or experiences that were particularly powerful despite their short duration. Soon its meaning broadened, indicating anything (objects or even thoughts) that feature great content in proportion to the size. For example, nowadays, a thick lasagna or a massive live performance can be equally 'brense.'
Brenso is Frap Tools' primary analog sound source of articulated waveforms whose degree of entanglement can be precisely set by the musician. Its concept developed from a reflection on the very meaning of the word 'complex', which comes from the Latin verb plector, literally meaning 'to weave'. The purpose of Brenso is to update the usual approach to complex oscillators by offering many threads to be woven together, rather than a pre-defined weft of controls and waveforms: this to improve clarity manageability and to provide more sonic options to the artist.
Brenso consists of three sections: two for the sound generation (yellow and green) and one for sound processing (white and red).
The generation sections allow control over the triangle-core oscillators, which can be modulated and synced both internally and externally. The frequency modulation can be any combination of exponential and / or linear through-zero.
The processing section is composed of a Timbre Modulation section (white) and a final stage of Amplitude Modulation (red). The Timbre Modulation contains to parallel waveshapers with a PWM circuit, which are mixed with a crossfader and processed by a wavefolder. The wavefolder has symmetry control and can be pinged through a dedicated clock input with a shapeable, nonlinear behaviour.
A four-quadrant multiplier further modulates the timbre-modulated sound with the green oscillator's sine wave: it can perform amplitude modulation or ring modulation, and a crossfader defines the balance between the modulated and unmodulated signal.
The Timbre section CV inputs are semi normalled to a Timbre Modulation Bus, which is, in turn, semi-normalled to the green sine wave. Many other modulation destinations are semi-normalled to the other oscillator's sine wave, with attenuverters and attenuators to guarantee precise control. All the semi-normalizations can be 'broken' anywhere throughout the signal routing according to the musician's needs.
Expanded modulation routing (FM, Timbre, AM, RM)
Brenso brings to the surface all the ways of shaping your sound: frequency modulation, amplitude modulation and timbre controls.
Both oscillators have their independent FM modulation circuit.
The yellow oscillator, then, feeds a Timbre Modulation section which, in turns, can be blended with its amplitude or ring-modulated copy.
Original Timbre Shaping Design
Frap Tools designed the timbre modulation section from scratch with two wavefolders, a waveshaper and a PWM circuit.
A dedicated VCA controls the global amount of modulation to each parameter section. The green oscillator is the default modulator, but you can override the semi-normalization anytime.
Exponential and Linear Through-Zero FM
Many controls allow for complex and detailed FM sound shaping. It is possible to set exponential and linear thru-zero FM independently per each oscillator and control the FM Deviation through two separate knobs or CV inputs.
(The green oscillator can also work at sub-audio rate and can therefore become a super complex LFO!)
Coarse Frequency Lock
No more tuning issues during a performance!
Every oscillator has a button that locks its coarse frequency to the current value. From this moment n, every twist of the 'Coarse' knob will be ineffective (but the Fine knob is still available, for small adjustments on the fly!)
Analog Thru-Zero Triangle Cores
Brenso's oscillators feature thru-zero triangle cores, which guarantee exceptional tracking and the best response to audio-rate modulation.
You won't need to find a sweet spot because Frap Tools designed Brenso to sound 'as expected' in any setting!
Eight Waveform Outputs
The green oscillator has four outputs: sine, triangle, square and sawtooth.
The yellow one has four outputs: sine and triangle as well, ten a selectable square / shaped square output and a final output for the triangle wave after it's routing through the Timbre and Amplitude Modulation Sections.
Frap Tools designed rom scratch an analog circuit that, when excited by an external trigger, opens the wavefolder above its maximum level and then closes it down with a non-linear slope, whose length can be manually regulated.
This solution can generate percussive tones with a very organic delay.
You can sync the green oscillator to the yellow one in two ways.
The Lock Sync removes any unwanted beating and preserves tracking.
The Flip Sync reverts the synchronized oscillator's direction to the rising edge. It is similar to the classic Hard Sync but without forced restarts and sudden 'pops' like in sawtooth-core oscillators