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System 1m - dipping toe...
Old 28th December 2015
  #1
System 1m - dipping toe...

I just got a system 1m, great fun.

I was wondering how to dip my toe into cv/gate modular without spending much $ until I've decided what to do.

I've a littlebits synth kit, one idea is to get the CV module for it.

Another would be to perhaps get a MS20 mini or Werkstat or similar and hook them up.

The system 1/1m only has one LFO so the immediate win would be to run another LFO source into it.

Be nice to play around with this prior to committing to a eurorack, power supply and modules, which I'm sure is endless fun but a slippery slope too.

I've like to get a small taste and experiment with what I have and some imagination.

Any ideas?
Old 28th December 2015
  #2
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Korg MS20 won't play with it, it runs at hertz per octave, you'd need a converter, why not try an Erebus or other semi modular like Mother 32 etc..
Old 28th December 2015
  #3
The best way to expand a system 1M is Euro in my opinion.
The best cv/gate set up is via Expert Sleepers, or a Euro sequencer.
What about the Roland 500 series rack and a 500 series env/lfo module?
Old 28th December 2015
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I am also toying with the idea of getting into the eurorack world.
I was originally planning to get a basic dreadbox modular setup (https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/230891).
The dreadbox case looks absolutely gorgeous and the 1u in the bottom with all the mixers and attenuators I am sure will be very handy.

But now I am considering taking it a bit slower and starting with a Roland System 1m first and then gradually expand with some of the dreadbox modules (e.g. maybe I will start with the filter or the LFO module).

Another option would be to get the Erebus plus the roland.

I could then use the Roland Filter ENV out or LFO out to control Erebus VCF in, Echo time, Pulse width etc
Or link the Roland AMP Env out to Erebus VCA

Erebus has audio IN as well plus you can map Erebus Gate -> Roland Gate in, Erebus CV1 -> Roland CV in, Erebus out -> EXT IN (replaces sub osc), Erebus LFO -> Filter LFO (basically allows you to now have 2 lfos for different purposes which is a limitation on the Roland)

so overall some decent connectivity and integration

decisions, decisions....
Old 28th December 2015
  #5
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Coorec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The best way to expand a system 1M is Euro in my opinion.
The best cv/gate set up is via Expert Sleepers, or a Euro sequencer.
What about the Roland 500 series rack and a 500 series env/lfo module?
He said dipping his toe, not making a header...
Old 28th December 2015
  #6
The Roland rack is pretty cheap, and going to be better than most other cheap Euro racks.
The Roland rack only fits about five or six modules.
I call that 'dipping a toe'.
One rack, plus one or two modules = slow and steady start.
No one is forced to break their finances by buying dozens of Euro modules, so that fear shouldn't stop anyone from entering the most logical format that marries up with the Roland System 1M.
Old 28th December 2015 | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by hangar18 View Post
Another option would be to get the Erebus plus the roland.
Same as with the Moog Mother 32 - you are doubling up on similar features.
Standard osc, filter, env etc...
Old 28th December 2015
  #8
SRT
Lives for gear
Mother32 without a doubt. You get a variety of modular options for about the price of the system-1m, 100% eurorack compatibility, a sequencer, fits into any eurorack case (long term), and best of all it is self powered and doesn't require an initial eurorack case/power supply investment (which can get expensive). Long term it will also play well with other modular gear you choose to add.

IMO the mother-32 is superior to the dreadbox standalone options in the long run simply because of form factor. If you are going to consider dreadbox modular options then you are basically diving into modular and at that point you may as well consider all manufacturers..why not intellijel atlantis or some make noise modules etc.

On a side note I am still considering exchanging my system-1m for a mother-32...have to decide sometime this week. I already have a decent euro setup though so the mother-32 seems a bit superfluous for me. But at least I know I will make use of it as part of my modular setup...not so convinced on the roland.
Old 28th December 2015
  #9
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Eric J's Avatar
You can pair up the System 1m with a MicroBrute for dirt cheap (~$200 US), get that extra LFO (and then some) AND have a MIDI to CV converter.
Old 28th December 2015 | Show parent
  #10
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
Korg MS20 won't play with it, it runs at hertz per octave, you'd need a converter, why not try an Erebus or other semi modular like Mother 32 etc..
Works just fine mucker, pitch is a bit of a bugger because of the differences but modulation from its envelopes or lfo etc are dead on.
Old 28th December 2015 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT View Post
On a side note I am still considering exchanging my system-1m for a mother-32... But at least I know I will make use of it as part of my modular setup...not so convinced on the roland.
Would love to know your rationale. . .

My thinking was the 1m offers more unique tone variations than the M32, and had all the ins and outs necessary to fit into a modular setup.

What about it isn't gelling with your modular rig?
Old 28th December 2015
  #12
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danielb's Avatar
I have a 9U Eurorack case, of which the System 1M takes up the entire bottom tier.

I also have a Minibrute, which, in addition to its sound engine, provides a CV/Gate keyboard, as well as an arpeggiator, and, with some minor hacking, a sequencer.

My system also includes an MFB Microzwerg (a semi modular analogue synth), a Moog CP-251, which is basically a collection of utility modules in a box, and a Korg SQ-1 sequencer. The Minibrute and the SQ-1 can both act as a CV to midi converter.

I find that this external stuff takes care of a lot of the basic modular functions, leaving me in a bit of a quandry as to what modules I should get. For example, without a single module, I have 5 oscillators, 4 LFOs, 4 filters, 4 envelope generators, and a bunch of utility modules. If you take the advice from the postings in this thread, and get a Microbrute and an Erebus, you will be in a similar position.

I'm not saying you should follow my example, but the your System 1M and, say, a Minibrute, could be the basis of a nice modular system. All the bits fit together to make a single system.

D.
Old 29th December 2015
  #13
Thanks for the advice everyone. Some interesting ideas. I'm still getting used to the 1m itself and the sh-2 plugout but this modular avenue seems interesting.

However, I'm a bit out of my depth really having never played with cv/gate etc.

So I understand if I had a euro lfo (say) and it was free-running I could patch into the 1m to add some additional modulations.

However, say I had an additional oscillator. And stuff being sequenced by midi still. So, system 1m has no cv out, so I'd need something else to go midi to cv to run the external osc and that something else (or the osc itself) to also have cv out to run back into the 1m for them to be gated and play together in sync?

Would an sq-1 be something suitable for this sort of thing? Presume that trying to play the 1m over midi and something else via midi to cv would only lead to timing mismatches, so the midi to cv happens once and then everything runs from the converted cv to stay in step precisely?

With the Korg v/oct cv, presumably some converter can do this conversion to/from v/hz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
...and a Korg SQ-1 sequencer. The Minibrute and the SQ-1 can both act as a CV to midi converter.
D.
The SQ-1, I can see it has USB by and cv a/b out, so presume it does MIDI to CV conversion, but can it also do CV to MIDI? Can't see any CV in. Although I can't see that is necessarily useful or required. I still plan to sequence over midi and not switch to analog sequencing.
Old 29th December 2015
  #14
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Eric J's Avatar
If you have more than 1 Oscillator and you want to control both using CV/Gate, then you need to send the source CV/Gate to both oscs at the same time. One way is using a multiple. it allows you to take a source voltage and send it to multiple places at once.

So: Source CV -> Mult In -> Mult Out 1 -> Oct 1 Pitch
|
-> Mult Out 2 -> Osc 2 Pitch

Then the same with the gate.
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #15
SRT
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisJB View Post
However, say I had an additional oscillator. And stuff being sequenced by midi still. So, system 1m has no cv out, so I'd need something else to go midi to cv to run the external osc and that something else (or the osc itself) to also have cv out to run back into the 1m for them to be gated and play together in sync?

Would an sq-1 be something suitable for this sort of thing? Presume that trying to play the 1m over midi and something else via midi to cv would only lead to timing mismatches, so the midi to cv happens once and then everything runs from the converted cv to stay in step precisely?
Since you are managing everything from your DAW you would need some sort of Midi CV converter to output a gate/CV signal which can then be split as you see fit using a buffer multiple as Eric J stated.

In my case I use the Expert Sleeper ES-3 with Expert Sleepers Silent Way software specifically with this purpose. In short it allows you to control your modular system directly from your DAW using plugins. The ES-3 comes with 8 CV/Gate outputs, and can be expanded for additional outputs (ES-5), inputs (ES-6) or even standard midi outputs (ESX-8MD). The standard midi outputs are nice to have to sync your midi synths, while the CV outs are used for your modules. The end result, everything is synced and controlled for your DAW. Additionally, the silent way software will provide you with CV modulators, such as LFOs, envelopes etc. that you can use with your modular gear, so its an easy way to add a few extra LFOs or whatnot to your System-1m.
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #16
SRT
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisJB View Post
Would an sq-1 be something suitable for this sort of thing? Presume that trying to play the 1m over midi and something else via midi to cv would only lead to timing mismatches, so the midi to cv happens once and then everything runs from the converted cv to stay in step precisely?

With the Korg v/oct cv, presumably some converter can do this conversion to/from v/hz.

The SQ-1, I can see it has USB by and cv a/b out, so presume it does MIDI to CV conversion, but can it also do CV to MIDI? Can't see any CV in. Although I can't see that is necessarily useful or required. I still plan to sequence over midi and not switch to analog sequencing.
Using an SQ-1 you would still need a buffered multiple to send multiple CV pitch and gate signals to different oscillators at the same time.

For the price of the SQ-1, you are better off with the Expert Sleepers ES-3. Its awesome for DAW to modular sync and allows you to sync all devices midi or CV or soft synth in a consistent manner.

Last edited by SRT; 29th December 2015 at 01:34 AM..
Old 29th December 2015
  #17
Here for the gear
 

ES-3 looks very interesting....
Would be cool if Reaktor 6 would support it....
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #18
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Eric J's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hangar18 View Post
ES-3 looks very interesting....
Would be cool if Reaktor 6 would support it....
I had one and it was fantastic. Tons and tons of ways to control your modular through your DAW.
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #19
SRT
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DsquareD View Post
Would love to know your rationale. . .

My thinking was the 1m offers more unique tone variations than the M32, and had all the ins and outs necessary to fit into a modular setup.

What about it isn't gelling with your modular rig?
Well from a taking up space viewpoint, the M32 is much more flexible as a CV unit wether you want to control other modules or have it be controlled. With the System-1m I think it is more about having solid emulations with some additional CV control coupled with a few CV options for interacting with other modules.

In regards to sound...the System-1m has a wider range of tones, but I am on the fence about the quality of the available sounds. The plugouts sound quite good but there is a subtle lack of dimension that I notice in most soft synths that just bugs me. The System-1m itself has an ok sound I guess, but the synthesis engine is pretty simple compared to other VA/Wavetable units I have. Funny enough, I think one of its best features in terms of shaping sounds is the Tone knob.

To be honest, the System-1m was an impulse purchase for me. I had heard a track with this SH-101ish filter sound that I loved and heard that it was an System-1m, saw a discounted price and placed an order. Did some further research on my own and it turns out it was actually a different emulation that was custom designed by Steve Duda for an artist. Either way the System-1m comes pretty close. The fact that you can run the plugout via the System-1m through a preamp (for color) with ease is a big bonus as it adds some of the hardware flavor.

I just ordered one of the new Intellijel Polaris filters, I have a feeling I will prefer running modules thru that to produce the sound I am looking for....but we'll see. For the price of the system-1m I can run dual polaris in stereo...
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #20
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danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisJB View Post

The SQ-1, I can see it has USB by and cv a/b out, so presume it does MIDI to CV conversion, but can it also do CV to MIDI? Can't see any CV in. Although I can't see that is necessarily useful or required. I still plan to sequence over midi and not switch to analog sequencing.
Sorry, I meant Midi to CV.

D.
Old 29th December 2015
  #21
Whether it's a Roland 1M or a Mother 32, the best things to expand your system are not more of the same, but some of the more interesting Euro modules.
Expert Sleepers has been the centre of my studio for some time. Not really because of the extra software features, but just because of the super accurate midi.
I don't have one, but an ES Disting is a fantastic do-it-all module at a reasonable price.
I'm not a fanboy, but it's hard to get away from the flexibility and multi-tasking offered by Make Noise Maths.
Mutable Instruments Braids is another module that offers multiple sound source, and different sounds to the Moog or Roland.
If you have the Roland and not the Moog, a great analog sequencer would be a major plus.
So my top choices to expand a System 1M or Moog Mother 32 would be:
cv and gate - ES3 or 4
Sequencer - whatever you like, maybe Rene or ER101
Sound Source - MI Braids (and Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas)
Utility - Make Noise Maths, LFO, Envelope, Slew, Portamento etc..
Utility - ES Disting
Old 29th December 2015
  #22
So it seems you can spend a LOT on cases etc, but perhaps this sort of thing:

Doepfer A-100 LC6 Low Cost Case 6HE - Thomann UK

would get me going?

In a way I don't mind/care if the 1m is in or out of a rack, but suspect the price for 2x 3u vs 1x 3u is not going to save me much, so it might as well.

And into that an ES3 (or 4) as a starting point for DAW MIDI to CV/Gate. That would then get me a base platform for which to start adding modules over time. Perhaps an LFO, an EG and a different filter to start with, then that would enable some basic modular patching with the 1m. From there then fancier modules to add to sonic diversity would follow later...

I'm not sure about Moog mother32. I mean it looks great, but not sure if there's too much overlap with the 1m and I'd like to get maximum return for $ as I'm just starting out. Later on, well anything is possible. For now I like the idea to be able to patch an LFO, EG and filter and maybe another osc around in and out of the 1m and see what I can come up with.

Have I understood correctly so far in basic terms?
Old 29th December 2015
  #23
In my opinion, yes.
Get a small but reliable Euro case (Doepfer or Roland IMO) and add a small amount of expanding modules (LFO, ENV, Filter etc) and maybe Expert Sleepers integration.
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisJB View Post
So it seems you can spend a LOT on cases etc, but perhaps this sort of thing:

Doepfer A-100 LC6 Low Cost Case 6HE - Thomann UK

would get me going?

In a way I don't mind/care if the 1m is in or out of a rack, but suspect the price for 2x 3u vs 1x 3u is not going to save me much, so it might as well.

And into that an ES3 (or 4) as a starting point for DAW MIDI to CV/Gate. That would then get me a base platform for which to start adding modules over time. Perhaps an LFO, an EG and a different filter to start with, then that would enable some basic modular patching with the 1m. From there then fancier modules to add to sonic diversity would follow later...

I'm not sure about Moog mother32. I mean it looks great, but not sure if there's too much overlap with the 1m and I'd like to get maximum return for $ as I'm just starting out. Later on, well anything is possible. For now I like the idea to be able to patch an LFO, EG and filter and maybe another osc around in and out of the 1m and see what I can come up with.

Have I understood correctly so far in basic terms?
Almost zero sonic overlap imo. Two different flavors. And the mother is the fattest sounding modern Moog released to date. Ymmv but this is my experience.
Old 29th December 2015
  #25
Just to check, to use ES3 for DAW to CV/Gate I need a spare ADAT output (fibre optic) - I don't have that nor does my Focusrite audio interface support it. Is there a cheap way to achieve this without adding much more expense?
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
Almost zero sonic overlap imo. Two different flavors. And the mother is the fattest sounding modern Moog released to date. Ymmv but this is my experience.
But apart from the Moog sequencer, you are still doubling up on low pass filters, standard oscillators, envelopes and LFO's.
I get that the Moog and Roland sound different (I think subtly for many people), but owning two semi-modular, all in one synths while not expanding one of those semi-modulars instead.... is a mistake IMO.
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisJB View Post
Just to check, to use ES3 for DAW to CV/Gate I need a spare ADAT output (fibre optic) - I don't have that nor does my Focusrite audio interface support it. Is there a cheap way to achieve this without adding much more expense?
Which is your focusrite?
There are several different ES modules, and usually one that works with some interface or other.
Expert Sleepers - ES-4 SPDIF/CV Interface
Old 29th December 2015
  #28
I was thinking to use with 18i6 / octopre-le combo. Maybe it has spdif out, never used it, will look.
Old 29th December 2015
  #29
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Eric J's Avatar
I gotta say, after a few hours last night I'm wholly unimpressed with the System 1m. The sound is just very "meh". Maybe the Plug Outs will be better, but I'm hesitant to register them in case I want to get rid of it.
Old 29th December 2015 | Show parent
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric J View Post
I gotta say, after a few hours last night I'm wholly unimpressed with the System 1m. The sound is just very "meh". Maybe the Plug Outs will be better, but I'm hesitant to register them in case I want to get rid of it.
Try the trial version of the plugouts. To me the sh-2 sounds great and I've been playing around with it. The system 1 itself I've been less excited about, but it was the promars, sh-101 and sh-2 that I was most interested in anyway, those + the modular patching, making an interesting set of possibilities. Not hard to get some great patches with the sh-2. Even with the system 1 it's possible but seems to take more work, I don't think it sounds as good, not sure why.
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