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Ratcheting refers to the technique of subdividing a single step or event in a sequence into multiple shorter events, resulting in a rapid burst of notes, gates, or triggers during that step. This can add rhythmic variation and complexity to a sequence, creating a more dynamic and engaging pattern.

Ratcheting can be achieved in a modular synthesizer using various methods:

  1. Sequencer with built-in ratcheting functionality: Some sequencers include dedicated ratcheting options, allowing you to program ratchets directly within the sequencer’s steps. This may involve adjusting a knob or setting a parameter to determine the number of subdivisions for each step.
  2. Clock dividers/multipliers: By using a clock divider or multiplier module, you can generate a faster clock signal from your main clock source. By combining this faster clock signal with a sequential switch or logic module, you can create ratcheting effects by selectively applying the multiplied clock signal to specific steps in your sequence.
  3. Envelope generators and VCAs: Another way to achieve ratcheting is by using a fast envelope generator to control the amplitude of your sound source (e.g., an oscillator). By triggering the envelope generator with a rapid series of gates or triggers, you can create bursts of sound that simulate the effect of ratcheting.
  4. Custom logic and gate processing: More complex ratcheting setups can be achieved using custom logic circuits, gate delays, or gate processing modules. By combining and processing gates, triggers, or clock signals, you can create intricate ratcheting patterns and behaviors tailored to your patch.