PPQN stands for “pulses per quarter note.” It is a unit of measurement used to represent the resolution or granularity of clock signals, which are essential for synchronizing and controlling the timing of various modules, such as sequencers, drum machines, and arpeggiators.
PPQN refers to the number of clock pulses that are generated during the duration of one quarter note in a musical composition. A higher PPQN value means a more precise clock signal, allowing for finer control and more accurate synchronization of modules in a modular synthesizer system.
Common PPQN values in modular synthesis include:
- 1 PPQN: One pulse per quarter note, also known as a quarter note clock.
- 4 PPQN: Four pulses per quarter note, also known as a sixteenth note clock.
- 24 PPQN: Twenty-four pulses per quarter note, commonly used in the DIN sync standard.
When synchronizing modules in a modular synthesizer, it is essential to ensure that all connected devices are set to the same PPQN value to maintain accurate timing and synchronization. Some modules allow you to adjust the PPQN value to accommodate different clock resolutions, while others may require external clock dividers or multipliers to adapt the clock signal to the desired PPQN value.