Login / Register
 
Can modular set-ups make 'normal' sounds?
New Reply
Subscribe
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#1
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #1
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
Can modular set-ups make 'normal' sounds?

Morning folks,

Now despite the title, I know modular setups are definitely capable of aping normal analog synths and such set ups are maybe beside the point of what modular gear is capable of but....

I'm finding it hard to find decent demos & examples of modular set-ups that don't just make Dr Who sounds, exotic blips or screeching that sends my wife running out of the room.

I like the idea of building a set-up that doesn't necessarily copy my Minibrute/SEM/Slim Phatty, but creates a synth with a similar signal path yet a different sound and flexibility to go all Dr Who in the future.

To modular fiends this probably sounds ridiculous, but if any one has any links to examples of modular making more normal synth sounds, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks 'Slutz.

LT

**Update - here's the sort of thing I'm looking for - Pittsburgh Modular Foundation Introduction Video - YouTube
__________________
I collect music tech gear. I have a problem, an addiction, a garage that's too small. Have a nosey here - http://www.allthegear.net/all-our-gear/

Last edited by allthegear.net; 10th February 2013 at 10:08 AM.. Reason: Update
#2
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 4,244

maisonvague is offline
The lack of demos is probably because most people go modular to get away from the limited architecture of pre-patched synths and the palette of sounds that comes along with them. That's really the whole point. This doesn't mean, though, that modulars aren't capable of standard synth sounds. They are!

Good examples would be the early works of Tomita and Carlos. Both used Moog modulars extensively, producing very musical sounds in tonal arrangements and compositions. Many people are put off by modulars because they assume they're only suited for avant-garde music or "bug noises" which simply isn't true. Any well designed modular system will have the necessary modules to produce basic sounds (VCO>VCF>VCA). The reverse, however, is not always true, which is why avant-gardists and bug noise composers prefer modulars over pre-patched synths.
Quote
1
#3
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #3
Banned
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3,823

audioconsult is offline
most people i know use their modular systems as drum machines and leave the polyphonic sttuff and bass lines to vintage specialists..

however.. you can do any sound with a modulart system.. but you need 6 oscilators, 6 filters and 6 vca /env combos to just patch the most minimal juno sound
Quote
1
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#4
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #4
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
Thanks Maison. I'm in that place where the avant-garde aspect does put me off a little but at the same time I know that's pigeon holing modular as a whole. If there were more normal vids perhaps more people would jump in - and then go crazy after taking the leap :-)

I'll check out the Tomita & Carlos stuff, thanks for that. Also, Deadmau5, love him or hate him, has a few interesting modular based videos on YouTube - one particular on getting started.
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#5
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #5
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
however.. you can do any sound with a modulart system.. but you need 6 oscilators, 6 filters and 6 vca /env combos to just patch the most minimal juno sound
I'd best get onto Santa now then!
#6
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
kraku's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,801
My Recordings/Credits

kraku is online now
I use my modulars extensively in my music. You can take a listen to what my eurorack setup sounded some time ago:

Almost all sounds except the drums and chords are my euro:
Distant 7pm by Kraku - YouTube

All bass and most effect sounds are my eurorack:
Aflecht - Irresponsible part 1 - YouTube

My very first track I did using my eurorack. Everything except the drums are the euro:
Aflecht - Termite (2009) - YouTube

Everything except the drums, chors and the slow bright arpeggio are my euro:
Aflecht - Carbon Diet Lifeforms - YouTube

All your bass are belong to modular:
Aflecht - RoboPimp - YouTube

Again the all the bass sounds are the eurorack:
Aflecht - With My Voice - YouTube

The bass sounds are the modular:
Aflecht - Chronos - YouTube
Quote
1
#7
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #7
Gear maniac
 
Lotus Voltage's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 173

Lotus Voltage is offline
One of the better videos of a modular making 'standard' synth sounds:

#8
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #8
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Oz
Posts: 23,823

chrisso is offline
Of course modular makes normal, tonal sounds. It's just a regular hard wired synth split into component parts.
__________________
Chris Whitten
Quote
1
#9
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #9
Gear Head
 
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 45

Tusker is offline
Not sure what 'normal' sounds, but the dotcom modular page has some acoustic emulations:

Synthesizers.com
ozy
#10
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #10
ozy
Lives for gear
 
ozy's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,008

ozy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by allthegear.net View Post
I like the idea of building a set-up that doesn't necessarily copy my Minibrute/SEM/Slim Phatty, but creates a synth with a similar signal path yet a different sound and flexibility to go all Dr Who in the future.
Your question makes definitely sense.

The answer is a resounding YES.

I have been using a doepfer modular for some time, just for emulating a "normal" vintage monosynth.

I used its extensive modulation capabilities so that I had - e.g. ("exempli gratia", not "envelope generator"),

a red noise source modulate BY A FEW CENTS:

filter cutoff
osc sinc
lfo freq
filter eg amount

then, a low, slow lfo modulated the same parameters

In the end, a very simple "1970s fusion solo" patch had a fluctuating, alive sound.

Another trick: I sometimes patched a sine wave OSC directly into the amp, without any filtering, but with some pitch modulation (again, noise slowly modulating the modulation) and used a amp eg

nasty lead sound. drown in reverb, duet with a sax... "weather report" galore

So, using a modular for "normal" [sounds] is viable and useful.
#11
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
roginator's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,373

roginator is offline

modular simple sounds .. great example
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#12
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #12
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
Massive thanks all.

@kraku - I'll check out all those links later today.

@ozy and kraku. Would love to know what modules you've got.

I'm liking the look of that new Pitsburgh Cell system.
#13
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 798

Rimwolf is offline
Maybe an off-the-wall suggestion, but you might want to take a look at the U-He ACE plugin. It's a virtual small modular system -- playing around with it and studying the included patches might give you an idea of how to proceed. (It's also a great plugin to have around and the price is a bargain.)
ozy
#14
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #14
ozy
Lives for gear
 
ozy's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,008

ozy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by allthegear.net View Post
@ozy what modules you've got.
I'd recommend a OPEN (really modular, even in construction) system

I used a very basic doepfer a100 with some added multis, plus a watchamacallit quasi-ARP-post-lawsuit filter.

Have sold it serveral months ago, can't remember now. I probably posted the layout somewhere.

IMHO: Get as many MULTIPLE, ATTENUATOR, LFO and EG modules as possible. Get a serious noise/ramdom generator. Make that two.

If you want "normal" sounds [rather than the "cosmic choatic out of tune unaudible frequency digital oscillator", with bright lettering in fancy gothic-spaceship fonts],

"MODULATION" is the second keyword,

after

"FILTER".

Get a multimode filter, a good "moog", a good "obie",

and plenty of sources to add MOVEMENT.

There' you will get something a voyager can't produce, but still "basic", "straight", "singing"
Quote
1
#15
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #15
Gear nut
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 141

auricle74 is offline
Richard Galbraith did an amazing job of arranging some Renaissance music for dotcom modular. IMHO it sounds incredible.



Quote
1
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#16
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #16
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
More great suggestions :-)

@Rimwolf - The ACE idea is nice. I'm a long term Reason user and there's some new Rack Extensions based on modular stuff (more so than the built in CV patching) that I might play with too.

I can see a very expensive hobby on the horizon!
#17
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,193
My Recordings/Credits

shadowfac is offline
As others have said, a modular synth can definitely do "normal" sounds, and by "normal" I mean classic analog synth sounds: basses, leads, bells, flutes, brass, strings. When I built my first modular, I based its specs on the Minimoog, and only after that I went for the crazier stuff.

Here are some tracks where I use mostly "normal" sounds (but also weirder sounds):

(this is all modular + some plugin fx)
http://facproductions.net/music/geek/01_3xO+ks.mp3

(analog modular + nord micromodular + drum samples)
http://facproductions.net/music/saca...alachamaca.mp3

(modular + atomo mochika - recorded straight to one stereo track)
http://facproductions.net/music/livewire1/0602.mp3

(modular + machinedrum - craziness comes from the MD rather than the modular)
http://facproductions.net/music/hexa...20ionalati.mp3
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#18
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #18
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
@kraku & @shadowfac....bingo, that's what I'm talking about :-) Modular generating tonal stuff as opposed to esoteric blips (which still have their place of course).

Thanks for sharing your tracks. Much appreciated.

Be great to see some video if you have any :-)
#19
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,371

jupiter8 is offline
#20
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Rust Creep's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,048

Rust Creep is offline
Check out Stretta on sound cloud.. that's all modular. Sound design not capable of most synths

Sent from my HTC6435LVW
__________________
that acid makes my disco hard

https://soundcloud.com/rust-creep/grundle
#21
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
enossified's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,282

enossified is offline
Don't forget the classic ending to ELP's "Lucky Man", that was a Moog modular.

Until the Minimoog and Odyssey came along, everything was modular.
#22
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #22
Gear Head
 
bouzoukijoe1's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 67

bouzoukijoe1 is offline
there are many people who use modular to make regular "fixed architecture synth" sounds. it's very easy to do, but it's a waste of a modular.

here's one of my favorites:



as for Juno style sound sounds (or any other polysynth), it doesn't really make sense to do on modular because it's too expensive and impractical. modular is better suited to monosynth style patches. but you can make basic multi-voice spread sounds using an E340 Cloud Generator (super saw also). it can do 2, 4, and 8 voice spreads using saw and sine. you can also use modules like the Flame Chord Machine which let's you generate 4-note chord CV.
#23
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Mefistophelees's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Right here
Posts: 920

Mefistophelees is offline
Spending an obscene amount of money on a huge modular only to make insect noise symphonies recorded on mobile phone does seem remarkably popular.

A lot of modular folks like doing atonal stuff so you do get a lot of demos like that.

However, the whole point of modular is you can do what you want. They are capable of any sound you can dial into them. You decide the sort of sounds you want.

If you wire up a modular like a standard subtractive synth you'll get what sounds like a subtractive synth. You can then start wiring it up differently and you can add in different modules for different possibilities. You need to experiment to see what works but that's half the fun of it.

I'm just interested in sonic possibilities of modular. I'm not the least bit interested in avant-gard or atonal music.

I'm currently working on a modular demo track which is decidedly tonal.


This is my (still growing!) system. The range of sounds it can do boggles the mind but it is entirely for tonal music:

allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#24
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #24
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mefistophelees View Post
Spending an obscene amount of money on a huge modular only to make insect noise symphonies recorded on mobile phone does seem remarkably popular.
Love it :-)

Nice set up there. Looking forward to the track :-)
#25
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #25
Gear Head
 
bouzoukijoe1's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 67

bouzoukijoe1 is offline
@Mefistophelees - I think your Micromac-R takes the cake for most obscene subtractive synth module at $1900.
allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#26
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #26
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
@bouzoukijoe1 Great sounds in that Doepfer sequence :-).

I partly agree that creating a fixed architecture is a waste but at the same time each to their own.

I do think though that perhaps more folks would get into modular if they saw it can be more accessible sound wise and some of the examples here have definitely helped me see a side to it that would be of more interest to me, in the initial stages at least any way.

For me, once I've nailed that, it'll be bonkers weirdness all the way.

The E340 looks great.
#27
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Dude163's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Riverview
Posts: 574

Dude163 is offline
You could buy a nord g1 or micromodular
#28
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,193
My Recordings/Credits

shadowfac is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by allthegear.net View Post
Be great to see some video if you have any :-)
I do, but they are mostly aimless jamming.



allthegear.net
Thread Starter
#29
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #29
Gear nut
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 106

Thread Starter
allthegear.net is offline
Without aimless jamming we probably wouldn't have half of the greatest music that exists today :-)

Nice sounds there.
#30
10th February 2013
Old 10th February 2013
  #30
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Oz
Posts: 23,823

chrisso is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by bouzoukijoe1 View Post
there are many people who use modular to make regular "fixed architecture synth" sounds. it's very easy to do, but it's a waste of a modular.
Nah, it's just a tool.
It's a waste to spend a fortune on a modular and only use it for one thing (abstract).
Modular is the heart of my studio. So it gets used for simple synth bass, for housey synth chords, filtering a drum part, and for creating crazy fx and atmospheres.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
starcrash13 / Post Production forum!
8
mamcdonald / Live Sound
2

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.