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Schippmann | Ebbe und Flut


EBBE UND FLUT (which means ’ebb and flow’) is the very first comercial product by SCHIPPMANN electronic musical instruments. It took me almost two years to finish the first prototype. Within this period, a couple of ’evolutional mutations’ from the basic idea to the final ’ebbe und flut’ used to exist. The core of this machine was intented to be a filter. I used to have a certain ’vision’ of a VCF’s sonic qualities and in parallel a circuit design, drawn on a simple sheet of paper just before i started my electronics degree. Nevertheless this idea lay fallow for the following twenty years, it never went completely out of my mind. Half a year before starting the project, i finally took out the design again and realised it.

The filter should be well supported by a compressor, distortion unit and a VCA. Since modulation capabilities are even more important, there should be lots of them in order to achieve highest sonic potential and dynamics. Powerful envelopes, LFO, S&H, follower and an excellent audio trigger had to become part of the concept.

It was my very intention to create a machine – totally free from any computer aided control – that is capable to offer very flexible sonic results out of pure audio and is far ahead of just being a ’useful tool’. Both VCFs are NOT identical, each of them has its own sonic qualities: While VCF1 provides ’cutting edge’, ’powerful’ and ’loud’ sounds, VCF2 surprises with a ’silky’ and ’warm’ character. No need to say that the unit is made to process mono-signals.

Of course, a certain philisophy can be found in the whole concept but it seems more importand to me to encourage the user to become most familiar with the unit, in order to explore its vast capabilities by himself. The basic philosophy of ’ebbe und flut’ is simple:

• Flat user interface stucture which means, all functions can be intuitively found on ONE level. No menu structures with subsubsub...menus!

• All parameters have direct access and can be tweaked without any conversion delay or quantisation.

• Pure true analogue concept – this is most important! The sonic differences to processor-generated sounds are so obvious, that they cannot be displaced or simulated.

• Directly connected is the dynamic control of parameters like e.g. cutoff frequency, oscillator frequency by real analogue, electric voltages. This level of imediate parameter access and parameter value alteration is directly audible and cannot be achieved by any processor based system.

• Since one of the basic principles in music is modulation – pitches are modulated into melodies, changes of overtone-ratios or other musical parameters – two basic ways of modulation should be provided: One-shot modulations (transitions), where a specific start level is led into a final level (e.g. pitch, cutoff frequency) and periodic modulations (e.g. vibrato). Both elements can be found here in envelope generators and LFO.

• Modular structure. Nearly all modules like VCFs, compressor, envelopes etc, allow independent use by access via numerous in- and output sockets.

• There is no total recall capability, because ’ebbe und flut’ should be played like a real musicial instrument. Nevertheless all of the parameter settings are very stable and once made settingswon’t drift within weeks. These qualities and of course its powerful sound make ’ebbe und flut’ a perfect tool on stage as well as in the studio.

’ebbe und flut’ is a highly sophisticated device that offers many different ways of use. ’ebbe und flut’ shows multiple faces to the artist, because of its wide spreaded sonic capabilities. New sounds can be sculptured or existing sounds can be processed in various ways. Instruments of all kinds (synthesizer, guitars, brass, vocals,...), complete tracks or mixes fit perfect with ’ebbe und flut’. It can be easily connected to or integrated into other electronic music setups, such as modular synthesizer systems. Because of its own modularity, it can be seperated into several independant audio- and modulation-devices, easily accessable via aditional in- and output sockets on the rear panel.

Nothing is cheap on ’ebbe und flut’ – everything has been manufactured in highest available and affordable quality. Nevertheless, some parameter settings might slightly drift in the first 3 to 10 minutes after powering on. This is normal, even when all audio- and modulation modules are fully temperature compensated, because ’ebbe und flut’ uses a fully descrete true analogue circuit-design and no onechip-solutions. Components that are located on different sections on the board, might slightly differ in temperature when the board’s temperature rises after powering up the unit. This may occur in slight drifting.

I am positive that this product at least will offer the same fun and pleasure for you as it did for me. I am looking forward that this instrument will guide you a whole livetime with creative power and inspiration.

Have lots of fun, while you now go to explore your ’ebbe und flut’.
ModelEbbe und Flut
Engine TypeAnalog
LFO2 Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Square, Triangle
Filter (VCF)2 24dB Slope (4-pole), All Pass, Band Limit, High Pass, Low Pass, Notch, Resonance
Envelope (VCA)2 ADS
FXCompression, Distortion
Key typeN/A
CV-gateCV/Trigger I-O
Produced:2006 - 2006
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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