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The Modular Thread 2016
Old 1st January 2017
  #6301
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
I too really don't understand the usefulness of VCA's. I have a Linux mixer with the 5 VCA's and I really just use them for audio/volume mixing.

And as I have said before I basically use my eurorack setup in a very standard subtractive synth way and melodic-ally just to inject different sounds into my workflow.

I read your above patch explanation and besides the fact that I don't have a lot of the kinds of modules that do what you would need to make this happen... I don't get why I just wouldn't use my sequencer to make a patch like what you showed?

I am genuinely curious to discuss these things. And am very appreciative of your clear explanations and sound examples. So thank you.
There's nothing wrong with using a Eurorack in a subtractive synth style because you have so many "plug and play" opportunities. But figuring out different ways to control those "plug and play" items really opens up a completely different world that one can't get from a subtractive synth.

You don't necessarily need the same modules I have - you have the basics of what you need in your Linux mixer with 5 VCAs. I'm assuming you've got some LFO possibilities in there as well? You could even use envelopes if you don't have LFOs. There are really two keys to the patch I created, which is still a very basic patch. (I keep thinking of ways I could have made it even more interesting) The first key is the trigger into the quantizer, telling the quantizer when to quantize. (I don't remember exactly now, but I believe it was either a multiple or divisible by the primary clock that was gating the envelope - I'm really coming to appreciate clock divers/multipliers now) The second was the type of LFO modulating the square waves and the tempo of those LFOs. I chose Batumi in phase mode, but you can really use any combination of LFOs in any tempo - just find something that produces results you like.

When the quantizer quantizes the incoming CV for the pitch, it's taking a combination of those three square waves, whatever they are. As you start turning up the gain on the VCA channel attenuators, you're starting to get additional pitches out of the quantizer as occurred early on in the example. Next, modulating the squares with other LFOs, the level of the CV out is different and it's not merely "on" or "off" as a square wave is. So now you're getting different CV values for the incoming quantizer, resulting in the pitch differences, and the "melody." There are a number of things I could have done to spice up the patch further: 1) increase/decrease or continually change the speed of the modulating LFOs 2) use different waveshapes (how does ramp sound vs sin vs saw vs triangle, etc) or change the waveshapes mid-patch - something like a random waveshape would produce an always changing melodic sequence. 3) take an LFO through a sample and hold and modulate the time of the trigger of the sample and hold, then use the S & H output to modulate one of the square waves. 4) reset the LFO or envelope at different times mid-cycle and/or change the trigger point of the reset or envelope gate. 5) rectify the modulating LFO so it's always positive when modulating the square. 6) take the rectified modulating LFO output and invert it, then modulate the square using the inverted signal. 7) take a combination of the above and run through a switch!

It's true that you could just use a sequencer to generate your melodies. But what happens when you want another voice sequenced and you're out of sequencers? Maybe you want to just switch up the melodic line on occasion and you don't have any random capabilities on your sequencer. Maybe you'd like some change in your sequence, but want to concentrate on wiggling things such as LFOs or effects. Now you could take a similar patch, or even a smaller one with just one or two square waves, perhaps through offset or modulated with some other LFO or envelope and add that to the pitch of the sequence, just to change things up a bit.

I recommend you try this on your system. Take your sequencer, play it a bit, find a sequence you like, then take a square wave through a VCA, out to an offset or attenuverter or both. Now combine the CV of the sequencer and the square output from the VCA either through a mixer or precision adder. If you don't hear any difference, increase the attenuation of the VCA on the square wave until you hear a difference. If it's too much of a difference, adjust the offset to get to a point you like, then fine tune the attenuator on the VCA for the square. Get something you like there, then add in another LFO to modulate the square. If you have a quantizer with a trigger, it's best because then you don't get slide-type functionality you would in this example. Now increase the speed of the modulating LFO. Now reset the LFO on occasion mid-cycle.

OK now, imagine you can use this "mini patch" elsewhere in your system. Do this on the V/Oct on your Rings or Clouds. (everyone has one of these, right? ) Use this modulated square or mix a couple modulated squares together and take the output to freeze clouds or trigger clouds. Hell, use it on any of the inputs on clouds or rings. Don't forget to play with the modulating LFOs shapes and speeds. Try modulating the squares with the outputs of a S & H. If you have a non-random ASR, "record the sequences of these outputs" at various times, then change the tempo or reset the thing clocking the ASR with the outputs of the ASR going into modulatable inputs.

And after you've tried all of these things, go back to step one and use audio rate modulation of the square wave and see if you like that. Don't forget to change the pitch of the audio doing the modulations.

Granted, I didn't come up with any of these on my own. I get these ideas or concepts from scouring threads here, on muffs or watching youtube videos. (mylarmelodies has some fantastic learning resources on youtube) The "Today my discovery was" thread at muffs is full of fantastic concepts I would have never thought of. I also research how people are using some of the modules I have, or watch the youtube videos on those modules frequently. Just recently I was made aware that I can use the WMD SSM with the expander as a trigger sequencer and not merely a switch - seems like a "duh" moment, but I hadn't conceived using it that way. The Allen Strange book is also great in providing different ways to do things, but most importantly that merely by thinking differently with your modular, there are tons of possibilities. There are also some threads on muffs on how to use certain types of modules. I didn't get how great sample and hold could be until reading through some threads on how to use sample and hold, then playing around with those ideas on my system - now mind is blown with all the possibilities of sample and hold. Same with an Analog Shift Register - random output or outputting incoming CV. I'm not creative enough to come up with this stuff on my own, but once I've tried it a few times in my system after getting the idea from someone far more experienced or creative than I, it clicks.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6302
Lives for gear
 
void23's Avatar
A little bit of Turing Machine Randomness, trying to simulate chording. Of course, the Turing starts giving me boring patterns whenever I tried to record this.

Old 1st January 2017
  #6303
BMD
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
I think because it's such a popular format, it attracts a lot of builders and some of them aren't as good as others. Something from Make Noise, Doepfer, or Studio Electronics is built to last whereas something from Pittsburgh or a DIY build isn't going to be as robust. I stay with euro for the crazy variety and versatility. In euro, if you can imagine it and can get the modules you need to make it so, you can synthesize it.
I have to say my experience is quite different regarding build quality. The Pittsburgh modules I own are among the most solid in my rack. I would put Doepfer at the other end of the scale, if the outs were any looser on my A-190-2 I could patch it with 1/4" cables.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6304
Lives for gear
 
justjools's Avatar
Some b stock deals for Dreadbox modules around and I just grabbed myself a Theta. I thought twice after if I should've gone for an Ypsilon but I needed a sample n hold and noise generator so Theta seemed a good deal at this price.

https://www.kmraudio.com/catalogsear...ult/?q=b+stock
Old 1st January 2017
  #6305
Lives for gear
 
cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
A little bit of Turing Machine Randomness, trying to simulate chording. Of course, the Turing starts giving me boring patterns whenever I tried to record this.

Wow, great sounding patch
Old 1st January 2017
  #6306
Lives for gear
 
cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justjools View Post
Some b stock deals for Dreadbox modules around and I just grabbed myself a Theta. I thought twice after if I should've gone for an Ypsilon but I needed a sample n hold and noise generator so Theta seemed a good deal at this price.

https://www.kmraudio.com/catalogsear...ult/?q=b+stock
If they'd of had a Omikron I'd of grabbed it.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6307
Lives for gear
 
ngarjuna's Avatar
Basically my last patches of 2016. Gave the Zvex a workout, already love that thing, absolutely filthy. Just killing time until the Avalon shows up (maybe Weds!!!!). I actually have one more video to finish from yesterday's patches yet if I can sit long enough today (back problems have curbed my modular habit this month).

Old 1st January 2017
  #6308
Lives for gear
 

New toys from MI means new toys/figurines for the studio as well
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Old 1st January 2017
  #6309
Gear Maniac
 
Strawberry's Avatar
Are we gonna keep using this, or start a 2017 thread?
Old 1st January 2017
  #6310
Lives for gear
 
ngarjuna's Avatar
I think I'll leave it to Derp, pretty sure he started the 2015 and 2016 threads which were quite epic.

Here's the other one from yesterday, not sure what this is...but lots of Lofi Junky.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6311
Lives for gear
 
ngarjuna's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMD View Post
I have to say my experience is quite different regarding build quality. The Pittsburgh modules I own are among the most solid in my rack...
I am happy with the quality of my Pittsburgh Oscillators as well (I have three of them, my only Pittsburgh modules). I do have a small design issue with that oscillator but it's a design choice not a quality problem (the master tune wheel is SO EASY to knock out of whack; but the other side of that coin is that it's an amazing free clocked LFO which you can very easily drive from slow to insane audio rates with a very short throw, something I do use [and hence why I just added more oscillators instead of replacing those]).

I tend to take proclamations about build quality with a grain of salt. Many, esp of the regulars in this thread, are fairly knowledgable builders but not every internet commenter has that kind of experience. And even lots of personal build experience only translates into some knowhow when it comes to manufacturing on a larger scale. Also personal preference seems to get lumped in with build quality (I can't tell you how many times I've seen people bemoan non-panel-bolted pots on Make Noise and Harvestman which, like it or not, is descended from a long tradition of expensive/exclusive synthesizer modules with non-panel-bolted pots). Then there's the matter of: was it just a lemon module (happens)? Bad manufacturing run on one of the parts (happens)? Older version of the same module (companies like Intellijel love to silently increment their designs)? Second-hander that got abused by its first owner? Hell I've seen threads where people stormed in to flame manufacturers only for it to come out later in thread that the user plugged it in backwards or some such.

That said I'm also very happy that people do share their experiences with modules, there's no doubt that the number and frequency of online horror stories impacts my buying decisions overall.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6312
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
I am happy with the quality of my Pittsburgh Oscillators as well (I have three of them, my only Pittsburgh modules). I do have a small design issue with that oscillator but it's a design choice not a quality problem (the master tune wheel is SO EASY to knock out of whack; but the other side of that coin is that it's an amazing free clocked LFO which you can very easily drive from slow to insane audio rates with a very short throw, something I do use [and hence why I just added more oscillators instead of replacing those]).

I tend to take proclamations about build quality with a grain of salt. Many, esp of the regulars in this thread, are fairly knowledgable builders but not every internet commenter has that kind of experience. And even lots of personal build experience only translates into some knowhow when it comes to manufacturing on a larger scale. Also personal preference seems to get lumped in with build quality (I can't tell you how many times I've seen people bemoan non-panel-bolted pots on Make Noise and Harvestman which, like it or not, is descended from a long tradition of expensive/exclusive synthesizer modules with non-panel-bolted pots). Then there's the matter of: was it just a lemon module (happens)? Bad manufacturing run on one of the parts (happens)? Older version of the same module (companies like Intellijel love to silently increment their designs)? Second-hander that got abused by its first owner? Hell I've seen threads where people stormed in to flame manufacturers only for it to come out later in thread that the user plugged it in backwards or some such.

That said I'm also very happy that people do share their experiences with modules, there's no doubt that the number and frequency of online horror stories impacts my buying decisions overall.

For my part "build quality" based endorsements are made on how robust things feel over any engineering knowledge. Any company could be completely pulling the wool over my eyes by having solid feeling pots like Mutable or Audio Damage. They could have the worst junk for components and I'd never know it . Clean lines and things I don't feel as though I have to be "careful" in normal use (Bastl I'm looking at you) are my main indicators of high build quality. I'm not interested in being careful while I am being creative since most of my creativity happens during manic episodes anyway.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6313
Lives for gear
 
ngarjuna's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
For my part "build quality" based endorsements are made on how robust things feel over any engineering knowledge. Any company could be completely pulling the wool over my eyes by having solid feeling pots like Mutable or Audio Damage. They could have the worst junk for components and I'd never know it . Clean lines and things I don't feel as though I have to be "careful" in normal use (Bastl I'm looking at you) are my main indicators of high build quality. I'm not interested in being careful while I am being creative since most of my creativity happens during manic episodes anyway.
Those definitely seem like build quality issues. For my part, I know less than most, I don't really build at all. And I'm not discounting opinions about build quality, it's possible for people to feel differently about the same experience. Just saying 'build quality' is kind of a catch all term that doesn't necessarily explain much to me; I prefer when people specifically explain what they don't like about a module or line of modules.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6314
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
Those definitely seem like build quality issues. For my part, I know less than most, I don't really build at all. And I'm not discounting opinions about build quality, it's possible for people to feel differently about the same experience. Just saying 'build quality' is kind of a catch all term that doesn't necessarily explain much to me; I prefer when people specifically explain what they don't like about a module or line of modules.
For me build quality is a continuum with things like Moog, Mutable, Intellijel, Access, and Elektron at the good end, and on the bad end you have Korg, Arturia, Bastl and that salty guy from Sweden selling his sh!tty (really really bad) drum modules on Muffs.
Old 1st January 2017
  #6316
Lives for gear
 
subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
I'm actually leaving them cables in for a few more days, thought id change the drums and record.
Then make a few more modular patches, record and upload a modular only EP on Bandcamp.
Do it man. I'd love to hear more of your music.
Old 2nd January 2017
  #6317
Lives for gear
 
cane creek's Avatar
 

Guys this thread is finished now.
Derp has started the new thread
The Modular Thread 2017
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