Clock Division and Multiplication with littleBits


Clock Division

Divide and multiply an incoming rate!

Clock Division and Multiplication are extremely handy tools for sequencing melodies, drum patterns and control signals.

This lesson discusses various techniques for doing just that using Synth Kit and Logic modules. Its goal is to provide insight into clock manipulation and to introduce related tools in the way of micro-patches which can be added to a user’s vocabulary. These micro-patches can then be called upon whenever rhythmic variation is needed.

Intended for intermediate-level littleBits users, this lesson presupposes some familiarity with the modules used and with the concepts discussed. However, it has been structured in such a way that new users can follow along as well– there is very little tuning to be done in it, and its output is primarily visual.

While this lesson is aimed towards music and sound production uses, it can be applied to any littleBits project which requires co-related timing signals.

Duration: 1 hour

GRADE LEVEL
High School (ages 14-17)

DIFFICULTY
Advanced

SUBJECT
Music
Engineering
Technology

MODULES & ACCESSORIES USED (21)
double AND (1)
led (3)
power (1)
fork (1)
inverter (1)
latch (3)
oscillator (1)
micro sequencer (3)
mix (1)
split (1)
synth speaker (1)
XOR (1)
battery + cable (1)
wire (2)

ADDITIONAL FILES

littleBits_Clock_Division_lesson.pdf

LESSON GUIDE

STEP 1 : Discussion of Clock Division and Multiplication

Questions include “What is Clock Division,” “How can we divide a clock?” and “How is this useful?”

STEP 2 : Clock Division Patch #1: Shorter divisions

Clock Division1

A patch which divides an incoming clock by 2 and by 4, and simultaneously provides outputs for the clock and both divisions.

Three variations on this patch are provided, each using a different collection of modules.

Modules used in this step:
1x Power
1x Fork
1x Oscillator
1x Split
2x (or 3x) Latch
3x Micro Sequencer (or 3x LED)

STEP 3 : Clock Division Patch #2: Longer divisions

Clock Division2

A patch which divides an incoming clock by 8, by 32 and by 128.

Modules used in this step:
1x Power
1x Oscillator
2x Latch
3x Micro Sequencer

STEP 4 : Clock Division Patch #3: Sub-octave

Clock Division3

Producing an octave-down effect from an incoming audio signal.

Modules used in this step:

1x Power
1x Oscillator
1x Fork
1x Latch
1x Mixer
1x Speaker

STEP 5 : Clock Multiplication patch

Clock Division4

Creating an output which is twice as fast as its input. This step requires the use of three Logic modules and a small amount of voltage trickery.

Modules used in this step:

1x Power
1x Oscillator
1x Fork
1x Inverter
1x AND
1x XOR
2x Micro Sequencer
2x Wire