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The Modular Thread 2017 Modular Synthesizers
Old 3rd January 2017
  #91
Gear Nut
 

Made my first modular purchases of the year: 20 3ft 1/8" cables, and 10 3ft 1/8" to 1/4" cables, to patch between the Euro and MOTM. Does anybody else get a sense of satisfaction from just having (maybe) enough patch cables?

Also bought an MI uScale on Muffs, will be here next week.

The biggest thing is this: my new trio (bass, drums, and me on keys and modular) booked our first gig in mid-Feb. Looking forward to it, but also feeling a little intimidated, I'm still kind of fitting my setup together. Looking at a few options to get more modular voices together quickly:
1. Build/buy a small 5u rack to hold a single subtractive voice of MOTM modules, like 2 oscs, a filter, 2 envelopes, a VCA, maybe an LFO.
2. Get my SEM repaired, it recently stopped responding to gate inputs, and a few other CV inputs have never really worked on it.
3. Buy another voice-worth of Euro and a case. Am now kind of thinking a SynthTech E330 osc, a Maths and an MMG, these are all modules I want eventually.
4th option is to do all of the above...
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Old 3rd January 2017
  #92
Gear Addict
I come from a guitar background and in doing some reading I'm finding there's quite a few parallels between guitar and modular. With electric guitars the sound source is the actual guitar- or, more specifically, the pickups- and it goes (if you chose) through a plethora of effects pedals with varying functions and then into the amplifier, which features (aside from just volume/gain) an EQ section. It's interesting, because in the electric guitar world everyone is obsessed with keeping their core tone (guitar -> amp) as pure as possible, spending big money on magic patch cables and whatnot. It didn't occur to me that the tone of a vco can be coloured the same way as a guitar signal, but I just read an interesting thread on Muff discussing how (as with guitars/pedals) the more you have between the oscillator and your amp the more the vco tone is changed, even if just slightly. It's good to know that everything in the chain affects the tone of the vco, I will keep that in mind moving forward.

So how would the DPO compare sonically to two STO's? Also, what's the difference between running a dual VCO module as opposed to two single VCO's? Currently I'm aiming at the Furthrrrr Generator as I'm finding the tone to be very organic and alive (slightly fuzzy), but will check out all the others you guys recommended in more detail. I'll also start exploring VCF options. The thread I read stated that even a VCA will colour tone, is that true? I'd of thought the amplifier is neutral. Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 3rd January 2017
  #93
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAndImprov View Post
Does anybody else get a sense of satisfaction from just having (maybe) enough patch cables?
I've got the right number of patch cables, but never the right lengths. I'm always either running out of long cables or using ten footers to patch modules right next to each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAndImprov View Post
The biggest thing is this: my new trio (bass, drums, and me on keys and modular) booked our first gig in mid-Feb. Looking forward to it, but also feeling a little intimidated, I'm still kind of fitting my setup together.
I don't envy you at all. I can't book a gig for a band I'm in unless we've had at least three months of biweekly rehearsal sessions. And all those live electronics? That scares me. I've been in the audience of or on stage where too many things have gone wrong.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #94
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
I come from a guitar background and in doing some reading I'm finding there's quite a few parallels between guitar and modular. With electric guitars the sound source is the actual guitar- or, more specifically, the pickups- and it goes (if you chose) through a plethora of effects pedals with varying functions and then into the amplifier, which features (aside from just volume/gain) an EQ section. It's interesting, because in the electric guitar world everyone is obsessed with keeping their core tone (guitar -> amp) as pure as possible, spending big money on magic patch cables and whatnot. It didn't occur to me that the tone of a vco can be coloured the same way as a guitar signal, but I just read an interesting thread on Muff discussing how (as with guitars/pedals) the more you have between the oscillator and your amp the more the vco tone is changed, even if just slightly. It's good to know that everything in the chain affects the tone of the vco, I will keep that in mind moving forward.
Totally. Modular has taught me to look at everything from guitars to production itself as one big modular signal chain. I think the tonal differences of a VCO passing from one module to another are especially exacerbated in Euro where so many of these modules were designed to overdrive their inputs. VCA's totally color tone as well, especially stuff like Doepfer and Malekko that are designed to overdrive.Guitarists have the advantage there in that aside from the overdrive and distortion units, there's at least an attempt to level-match from one pedal to another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
So how would the DPO compare sonically to two STO's?
Different colors entirely. You have to keep in mind that with the DPO, even though it is two oscillators and you can split outputs off of it, it's really just one complex oscillator. The Final output in particular lets it get grungy and nasty in a very fun way because there's so much intermodulation going on. The STO on the other hand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Make Noise
The Sub-Timbral Oscillator is the more subtle and melodic friend to the DPO's complex harmonic lattice.
The emphasis on the STO is its sine waves. It's easiest to think of it as a sine wave generator that has a bit of gentle waveshaping going on and a suboscillator. With some modulation of the waveshaper, you can get very FM-esque tones. It can sound very pretty all the way up to just a tiny bit grungy.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #95
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
I don't envy you at all. I can't book a gig for a band I'm in unless we've had at least three months of biweekly rehearsal sessions. And all those live electronics? That scares me. I've been in the audience of or on stage where too many things have gone wrong.
I get that. As you may have figured out from my screen name, I come from the jazz/improvised music world, so I'm pretty comfortable with going out there and taking risks. Plus, the bassist and drummer in this band are killer players that I have worked with a bunch for years. But the concept of this band is that each of us is providing some kind of electronic/machine-time element along with our main instruments, the bassist does live looping, the drummer does laptop beat-making, I'm doing modular stuff, and this is the first time we've tried to integrate all of this into one band. We've tried some distributed sync stuff between the 3 of us, but that seems a little too advanced and risky, at least for this show. So we're taking the approach that one of us provides the machine time for each tune or section of a tune, and the others play along in human time. But even that has elements of risk.

Also, the place we're playing is really low-key, a local brew pub that feels like basically playing in a living room, but with better beer. Figured it'd be a good place for a soft-opening for this band.
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Old 3rd January 2017
  #96
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAndImprov View Post
I get that. As you may have figured out from my screen name, I come from the jazz/improvised music world, so I'm pretty comfortable with going out there and taking risks. Plus, the bassist and drummer in this band are killer players that I have worked with a bunch for years. But the concept of this band is that each of us is providing some kind of electronic/machine-time element along with our main instruments, the bassist does live looping, the drummer does laptop beat-making, I'm doing modular stuff, and this is the first time we've tried to integrate all of this into one band. We've tried some distributed sync stuff between the 3 of us, but that seems a little too advanced and risky, at least for this show. So we're taking the approach that one of us provides the machine time for each tune or section of a tune, and the others play along in human time. But even that has elements of risk.
Well good luck to you, man. It sounds exciting and I hope it works out.

Quote:
Also, the place we're playing is really low-key, a local brew pub that feels like basically playing in a living room, but with better beer. Figured it'd be a good place for a soft-opening for this band.
I always felt bad because in Austin, there used to be this club called Room 710 that was like that. They'd have free shows on Tuesday and the bands are paid in beer, so most of us took advantage of that by just doing our on-stage rehearsals there instead of renting a rehearsal space and getting Pabst in the process.
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Old 3rd January 2017
  #97
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lineofcontrol's Avatar
 

Wmd/SSF collab modules are excellent.

I just got the Spectrum VCO and it's very very good. Paired with the Mysteron and the Braids it will be epic.

Best part is that there is an octave switch. I do a lot of octave up and down for variations. Pwm and lfo modes are brilliant too.
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Old 4th January 2017
  #98
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAndImprov View Post
The biggest thing is this: my new trio (bass, drums, and me on keys and modular) booked our first gig in mid-Feb. Looking forward to it, but also feeling a little intimidated, I'm still kind of fitting my setup together. Looking at a few options to get more modular voices together quickly:
1. Build/buy a small 5u rack to hold a single subtractive voice of MOTM modules, like 2 oscs, a filter, 2 envelopes, a VCA, maybe an LFO.
2. Get my SEM repaired, it recently stopped responding to gate inputs, and a few other CV inputs have never really worked on it.
3. Buy another voice-worth of Euro and a case. Am now kind of thinking a SynthTech E330 osc, a Maths and an MMG, these are all modules I want eventually.
4th option is to do all of the above...
5. (Super-duper explosive GAS inducing option). Get this-

or this (with your own modules of course)-

Spendy, but tight little packages for live. And "if" you need more space pair it with one of these maybe-
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Old 4th January 2017
  #99
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
5.
Spendy, but tight little packages for live. And "if" you need more space pair it with one of these maybe-
: The Waldorf does look like a nice piece, but I'm trying to move the modular stuff away from keyboard control, I'll have plenty of onstage already. But the Mantis, though, that is dead sexy! And about the size I'm thinking for this setup.
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Old 4th January 2017
  #100
Lives for gear
 
Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
No shortage of VCO choices in Eurorack.
Funny enough with all those VCOs I feel there is a shortage with specific VCOs in Eurorack. For example 3340s became available again but no SH-101 VCO are on the market. On the other side there are tons of similar sounding Moog style VCOs (e.g. Doepfer, AJH...)
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Old 4th January 2017
  #101
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
*Pro tip) how to clean modular..?



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Old 4th January 2017
  #102
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
Wmd/SSF collab modules are excellent.
I have the Toolbox and love it. Great bits of functionality in a small hp module.
Old 4th January 2017
  #103
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ngarjuna's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
I come from a guitar background and in doing some reading I'm finding there's quite a few parallels between guitar and modular. With electric guitars the sound source is the actual guitar- or, more specifically, the pickups- and it goes (if you chose) through a plethora of effects pedals with varying functions and then into the amplifier, which features (aside from just volume/gain) an EQ section. It's interesting, because in the electric guitar world everyone is obsessed with keeping their core tone (guitar -> amp) as pure as possible, spending big money on magic patch cables and whatnot. It didn't occur to me that the tone of a vco can be coloured the same way as a guitar signal, but I just read an interesting thread on Muff discussing how (as with guitars/pedals) the more you have between the oscillator and your amp the more the vco tone is changed, even if just slightly. It's good to know that everything in the chain affects the tone of the vco, I will keep that in mind moving forward.

So how would the DPO compare sonically to two STO's? Also, what's the difference between running a dual VCO module as opposed to two single VCO's? Currently I'm aiming at the Furthrrrr Generator as I'm finding the tone to be very organic and alive (slightly fuzzy), but will check out all the others you guys recommended in more detail. I'll also start exploring VCF options. The thread I read stated that even a VCA will colour tone, is that true? I'd of thought the amplifier is neutral. Thanks again for all the help!
Quite different indeed. For me the STO is all about the VARI out, there's just nothing quite like it. It calls itself a waveshaper which is accurate enough but the shape it makes is weird and imo quite musical. The FM is super musical too compared to the Sputnik's control range which goes from zero to insane in the first 10% of the pot. But personally I agree with Derp, the STO is a great companion to a CO.

That said, go with what grabs you. I'm sure Furthrr is sweet. Just worth checking out all the various 259-ish demos and maybe pondering a pair of 258-ish before you commit, they're reasonably expensive modules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Funny enough with all those VCOs I feel there is a shortage with specific VCOs in Eurorack. For example 3340s became available again but no SH-101 VCO are on the market. On the other side there are tons of similar sounding Moog style VCOs (e.g. Doepfer, AJH...)
The whole modular scene trends away from rare and obsolete chips for obvious reasons. That doesn't change the fact that there is a whole boatload of VCO design available, certainly more than just Moog, Arp, Roland, Yamaha, Buchla, Serge, Wiard clones though there are explicit clones of all the aforementioned.
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Old 4th January 2017
  #104
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
Something a bit different and messed up, I sometimes feel like screaming really loudly till I explode when battling all my creative urges, on the one hand I can't stand copy cat artists who directly copy others style unashamedly, and at the other end I cringe when people try to be too..err experimental or conceptual, so where does that leave one when trying to come up with something original..???
yeah that's why I feel like screaming..
ahh well I'm sure there's tons of new original music right around the corner, there always is..
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Old 4th January 2017
  #105
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
LMFAO...you tube is so funny really...they have filed a complaint of copyright that my track is copied from a Neil Young track called Clementine...WTF really..!!??
Old 4th January 2017
  #106
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
LMFAO...you tube is so funny really...they have filed a complaint of copyright that my track is copied from a Neil Young track called Clementine...WTF really..!!??
Dude you're famous!
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Old 4th January 2017
  #107
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
every single sound I use is hand made mine or I paid for it via the Propellerheads shop, every video I use is from the public domain and still they send out these ridiculous claims..
Old 4th January 2017
  #108
Lives for gear
 
Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
The whole modular scene trends away from rare and obsolete chips for obvious reasons.
Aren't SH-101 popular in the modular scene any more? Aren't ALM, DSI and Acidlab part of the scene? Aren't 111-5 more expensive than they once were new any more because of being popular in the scene? And what's up with those various Polivoks clones using old stock soviet ICs that came to the market recently? And, finally, shouldn't chips covered by copper to protect them from identification, running some proprietary software, as used by Roland, also be considered as "rare"?
Is the WHOLE scene really trending away from all of this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
That doesn't change the fact that there is a whole boatload of VCO design available, certainly more than just Moog, Arp, Roland, Yamaha, Buchla, Serge, Wiard clones though there are explicit clones of all the aforementioned.
If so, which VCOs are recommended to mimic the sound of an SH-101? Which one replaces a System-700 VCO? Which one could one use to nail an SH-09 VCO?
Old 4th January 2017
  #109
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ngarjuna's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
LMFAO...you tube is so funny really...they have filed a complaint of copyright that my track is copied from a Neil Young track called Clementine...WTF really..!!??
I've been around that circle with Bach publishers, really sucks. YouTube makes the whole automated process a nightmare for people defending themselves from clearly nonsensical DCMA filings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Aren't SH-101 popular in the modular scene any more? Aren't ALM, DSI and Acidlab part of the scene? Aren't 111-5 more expensive than they once were new any more because of being popular in the scene? And what's up with those various Polivoks clones using old stock soviet ICs that came to the market recently? And, finally, shouldn't chips covered by copper to protect them from identification, running some proprietary software, as used by Roland, also be considered as "rare"?
Is the WHOLE scene really trending away from all of this?

If so, which VCOs are recommended to mimic the sound of an SH-101? Which one replaces a System-700 VCO? Which one could one use to nail an SH-09 VCO?
What I said was there is a ton of variety available, which there is, not that there was a 1:1 clone for any possible obscure synthesizer Eigenwert could think of. Though I'm pretty sure you understand that and are just being argumentative.
Old 4th January 2017
  #110
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Eigenwert's Avatar
I don't think an 101 is that obscure... On the other hand I think the Polivoks is obscure.
Old 4th January 2017
  #111
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Ammo case arrived today, so ill be making this into a 55HP portable case,
Only Power & Rails to add.

Would make great melody machine.



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Old 4th January 2017
  #112
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
LMFAO...you tube is so funny really...they have filed a complaint of copyright that my track is copied from a Neil Young track called Clementine...WTF really..!!??
Good luck with that. I've actually lost the rights to some of my own tracks on YouTube. There's a music video I did that I'm not allowed to monetize and I'm still furious about.
Old 4th January 2017
  #113
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cane creek's Avatar
 

@fiddlestickz I just can't get your DMT Circus to stream,
i get the first 10 seconds then it stops, all other youtube videos working ok
Old 4th January 2017
  #114
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Derp's Avatar
You guys complaining about Clouds being complicated have no right to complain anymore... I put Dead Man's Catch on my Peaks and wow is that a confusing interface! It does a lot so it's expected since it's only got five LED's, but it's still just insane trying to decipher what mode I'm in. I may have to use Cane's trick and make a little cheater card for it if I continue to use it with the alternative software.
Old 4th January 2017
  #115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
You guys complaining about Clouds being complicated have no right to complain anymore... I put Dead Man's Catch on my Peaks and wow is that a confusing interface! It does a lot so it's expected since it's only got five LED's, but it's still just insane trying to decipher what mode I'm in. I may have to use Cane's trick and make a little cheater card for it if I continue to use it with the alternative software.
I need to read up on what that does before I try it, but you make it sound scary.
Old 4th January 2017
  #116
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
I need to read up on what that does before I try it, but you make it sound scary.
It's like the Disting. You simply need the cheat sheet. First to know where which 'algorithm' is, then to know which knob does what.

I bet at least some of the Mutable stuff gets a bad rap w/ regards to usability because the alternate firmwares are stuffed so full of stuff and people, when voicing their experience with the modules, don't really make a conscious distinction between the OG and alternate firmwares.
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Old 4th January 2017
  #117
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Derp's Avatar
Power woes again... Anyone got any solutions for power supplies that push out 3 amps or more on the +12 rail?

The Synthrotek Super Power Blue is the only one I've found so far, but this power inrush thing it does has me peeved: That WMD Softstart died so now I'm back to it only powering up once every seven or eight tries, usually on the first start, but not always. Ideally, I'd like to have one power supply per six row rack. If I can't get this working, what I'm considering doing is just replacing everything with an armada of uZeus's (I know they get a lot of flack, but the only issue I've ever had was the default power supplies being overpowered) and having two uZeus's per 6 row rack (so three rows per uZeus.) I've reconsidered the Doepfer, but even the PSU3 is fairly underpowered for my needs. Any thoughts?
Old 4th January 2017
  #118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Power woes again... Anyone got any solutions for power supplies that push out 3 amps or more on the +12 rail?

The Synthrotek Super Power Blue is the only one I've found so far, but this power inrush thing it does has me peeved: That WMD Softstart died so now I'm back to it only powering up once every seven or eight tries, usually on the first start, but not always. Ideally, I'd like to have one power supply per six row rack. If I can't get this working, what I'm considering doing is just replacing everything with an armada of uZeus's (I know they get a lot of flack, but the only issue I've ever had was the default power supplies being overpowered) and having two uZeus's per 6 row rack (so three rows per uZeus.) I've reconsidered the Doepfer, but even the PSU3 is fairly underpowered for my needs. Any thoughts?
My Doepfer 9U Monster case is 3/4 full no issues. So far it's just rock solid.
Old 4th January 2017
  #119
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by josker View Post
It's like the Disting. You simply need the cheat sheet. First to know where which 'algorithm' is, then to know which knob does what.

I bet at least some of the Mutable stuff gets a bad rap w/ regards to usability because the alternate firmwares are stuffed so full of stuff and people, when voicing their experience with the modules, don't really make a conscious distinction between the OG and alternate firmwares.
Original firmware for Mutable stuff is usually pretty complicated as well, though. Parasites only added two extra modes to Clouds, so navigating that interface wasn't made much harder with Parasites. And the alternative modes in Elements are just a pain to access (especially the FM synth, though in fairness that was designed as an easter egg.) Tides has always irritated me in switching modes. In all fairness though, before Dead Man's Catch, Peaks was very easy to use. Expert mode is just a one second hold on the mode switch which now blinks once for channel one and twice for channel two, and the alternative functions are just a long-press away with a blinking light instead of a steady light to indicate which function you're using and those functions being closely related to the functions that they are blinking for.

I think what Oliver fails to realize is that while he's concerned with packing in features, but keeping the module cheap, so the interface suffers (that is a noble cause and all), I think most of us are willing to pay more for modules with a couple extra buttons, knobs, and switches. The long-press thing on the Clouds is just nutty and could be solved by two rows of eight buttons, and then only Parasites users have to get used to long-presses and crap like that. I don't know about you cats, but I would have paid more for a more intuitive interface.

Last edited by Derp; 4th January 2017 at 06:02 PM.. Reason: Clarity Like my Bootie
Old 4th January 2017
  #120
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
My Doepfer 9U Monster case is 3/4 full no issues. So far it's just rock solid.
Yeah, but those things are powered by four PSU3's to make it happen. If I'm going to double up on underpowered PSU's, may as well go for something cheaper and not so DIY-oriented.
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