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The Modular Thread 2017 Modular Synthesizers
Old 31st January 2017
  #1201
I guess they are priced because they are somewhat unique designs, based on his years of experience using and fixing Buchla systems. Also, initially it was a one man operation. Although it looks like someone has input a good deal of cash to support the expansion of the line in recent years.
Old 31st January 2017
  #1202
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNotDedyet View Post
I'm in the same boat. I've got the Doepfer Quantizer, but really want one where I can enter the notes of the scale, and love the keyboard and playability of those with keyboards to add/remove notes.

The uScale doesn't have a trigger in to indicate when to quantize the next note. This can result in some trills, and not so good of trills apparently. They've also been talking about a firmware update for a pretty long time, and nothing so far. Some users have gotten pretty frustrated waiting. There's also an ADDAC, but that's expensive as hell. The TipTop is new, so there's not a lot out there about it. And the Penrose can struggle with exact tuning, getting up to twenty cents off a couple octaves out. (although there appears to be some IC upgrades and firmware upgrades that help)

The Arpitect also seems cool, appears to have a keyboard with LEDs, although it doesn't look to have the ability to play the notes you want in the scale. Instead, you choose the scale via a knob, then use another knob to mask notes. So, it's not immediately playable like the above.

Ornaments and Crime is also supposed to be fantastic, and four quantizers at once. But again, you have to select a scale and the scale isn't graphically represented. There is the ability to store I think four different user scales? I'm also not sure how one adds/removes notes on the go.

I wound up getting the Penrose kit as I like building modules myself and I think with the upgrades it will suffice for me. I think you could probably get a Penrose and someone to build it for you for quite a bit cheaper than the uScale actually. My guess is you could get someone to do it for about $50 or $60 as I've seen about $25/hour from builders, and it typically takes me between an hour or two to do a single, simpler module. Looking at the build guide, it's a pretty simple build - and that's coming from someone that's built ten to fifteen modules at this point. I think most of these builders have a lot more experience than I in that regard.
I have both a uScale II and O&C, and will probably sell the uScale at some point; the O&C does so much more.

Note selection and scale selection on O&C is menu based, but very initiative. Once you have something dialed in, the CV mods on O&C are much more musical than what you'll get out of uScale. And, yes, you can do what the Arpitect does with O&C also. There's a new quantizer in the 1.20 firmware that I haven't played with, but it's supposed to be even more musical.

My O&C ran $265 for a build. Check the DIY section on Muff's for a list of builders willing to do a commission.

If you don't go the O&C route, I'd pick the uScale over the TipTop. uScale has two, related outs allowing you to create simple harmonies based on the root note.
Old 31st January 2017
  #1203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oinkbanana View Post
it was me asking. I mentioned I have a P12 and I like to use it there lightly - how do you like it in yr modular setup?
Sorry about that pigfruitman. It's interesting. I like the EQ curves on it, so it gets used a lot to bump up treble and/or bass depending on the context. The 'decimate' and 'hack' controls, I'm not a big fan of. They seem to go from clean to noise with nothing in between. The drive is neat, though. It doesn't get used on everything, but it's a decent overdrive for dirtying up drums. Other overdrives get used more often in this regard, but I did find when I did my modular guitar video experiment thing that it sounds pretty good as a front end going into an amp. All in all, I don't think it was worth the money I spent on it, but I don't regret it because the width and girth controls are really cool fattening things up and/or adding air.
Old 31st January 2017
  #1204
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Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
I love Don't fear the reaper, one of my favourite childhood songs.
When I got my turntable, I lucked out and found a copy of 'Agents of Fortune' for $3.00 at the local Hastings. That's a very awesome record to listen to.
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1205
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Regarding Verbos, I was under the assumption that they were through-hole as well. It's got me wondering, for the people that have Verbos modules, are they really worth the cost? $400 for a dual envelope seems a little steep, and the Complex Envelope looks like a more expensive DPO but with some absent features. The harmonic oscillator looks uniqueish, but it's kinda the same thing as running a sequencer at audio rate, isn't it?
Old 31st January 2017
  #1206
Gear Maniac
 

I only have the verbos complex oscillator, but I would definitely say it's worth it. tracking isn't so great but there are some tones in there I can't get anywhere else.
Old 31st January 2017
  #1207
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joostoftoday's Avatar
My 2nd-hand Make Noise Skiff came in today but I have no modules yet.
Just a quick simple question: Is it dangerous to power to skiff on without any modules connected to it?
Old 31st January 2017
  #1208
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
I love Don't fear the reaper, one of my favourite childhood songs.
Go to :56 seconds in. No matter what when someone brings up that song or it comes on the radio I think of this...
Old 31st January 2017
  #1209
Quote:
Originally Posted by joostoftoday View Post
My 2nd-hand Make Noise Skiff came in today but I have no modules yet.
Just a quick simple question: Is it dangerous to power to skiff on without any modules connected to it?
My guess is no.
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
all up I'm happy with it now it's time to get back to my deepmind, it's way too hot to be messing with modules and cables right now..
You don't have to keep mentioning it and make us feel jealous about the bad weather we have to live with here I don't think it could ever be possible to be too hot to use modular in the UK. Impossible. Why is it too hot though if you have your modular in your house with aircon? Or do you like to compose outside in sun?
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1211
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joostoftoday View Post
My 2nd-hand Make Noise Skiff came in today but I have no modules yet.
Just a quick simple question: Is it dangerous to power to skiff on without any modules connected to it?
Nope, no danger.
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1212
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Open air modular picnics. I like it! Unless of course it's too hot or too cold (here).

What about the poor nature loving ramblers and naturists who prefer bird call, the sound of the sea or a bit of trad. jazz

“… the picnics are encouraging more synth heads to...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2dMQTWqVFM

Old 31st January 2017
  #1213
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
That kinda shocked me, i assumed Verbos were expensive because they were thru-hole, however your right they are SMT.

Yet another case of priced at what a customer is prepared to pay rather than what the product is actually worth and adding a reasonable margin.
I know right but the sound....it's just so hard and different, it's really like a platinum sword is how I describe it, I've left the best till last as I know how expensive the stuff is, it will be a super long road to get those 4 modules but I'm happy to be patient, it will be like 1 module every 2 months or more..
Old 31st January 2017
  #1214
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by justjools View Post
You don't have to keep mentioning it and make us feel jealous about the bad weather we have to live with here I don't think it could ever be possible to be too hot to use modular in the UK. Impossible. Why is it too hot though if you have your modular in your house with aircon? Or do you like to compose outside in sun?
I live in a very old house, been renting for close 10 years now, we don't have air con, surprisingly not many people in oz do compared to central heating in the UK where every house has it not every house has air con here, we suffer every summer with no air con, just using fans and it's close to 40c inside most days during the middle of summer.. Me being English I like the cold weather, living in London for 10 years I absolutely loved the cold, just give me a bomber jacket and some german paramilitary boots and I'm good to go..
Old 31st January 2017
  #1215
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joostoftoday View Post
My 2nd-hand Make Noise Skiff came in today but I have no modules yet.
Just a quick simple question: Is it dangerous to power to skiff on without any modules connected to it?
not all, I powered my brand new mantis case on yesterday without any modules in to test it, usually now days they have 3 lights inside, 3 LED's that tell if power is getting to all the rails, one for minus 12 one for +12 and one for minus 5v if I'm correct, the lights are their to fault find I've noticed, if you are having trouble with your case and modules usually one of those lights will be out and that tells you what the problem is..
Old 31st January 2017
  #1216
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justjools's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
I live in a very old house, been renting for close 10 years now, we don't have air con, surprisingly not many people in oz do compared to central heating in the UK where every house has it not every house has air con here, we suffer every summer with no air con, just using fans and it's close to 40c inside most days during the middle of summer.. Me being English I like the cold weather, living in London for 10 years I absolutely loved the cold, just give me a bomber jacket and some german paramilitary boots and I'm good to go..
I can appreciate that. I travelled around oz for a few months and stayed in many non air con hostels and also lived in Taiwan for 4 years in some places relying on fans. Having to take 2 or 3 showers a day became normal and the smell of sweat familiar But still I miss it; being able to live outside rather than being housed up most of the year is a much better living experience.
Old 31st January 2017
  #1217
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yeah the cold showers is common, took two yesterday and ended up wearing a cold wet towel around my neck and back of my head inside all afternoon, it's surprising how much it helps, as I sweat from just above my ears on the back of my head the cold wet towel was magic, I used to wet baseball caps and freeze them and when frozen take them out and wear them, that trick works good too..honestly the summers here are getting longer and hotter and hotter, I crave autumn and winter here 25c days..ahh I dream of them..
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1218
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BigSteak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
yeah the cold showers is common, took two yesterday and ended up wearing a cold wet towel around my neck and back of my head inside all afternoon, it's surprising how much it helps, as I sweat from just above my ears on the back of my head the most a cold wet towel was magic, I used to wet baseball caps and freeze them and when frozen take them out and wear them, that trick works good too..honestly the summers here are getting longer and hotter and hotter, I crave autumn and winter here 25c days..ahh I dream of them..
Alright I'm doing that baseball hat trick this summer.
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
Go to :56 seconds in. No matter what when someone brings up that song or it comes on the radio I think of this...
Pussey music
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1220
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by justjools View Post
You don't have to keep mentioning it and make us feel jealous about the bad weather we have to live with here I don't think it could ever be possible to be too hot to use modular in the UK. Impossible. Why is it too hot though if you have your modular in your house with aircon? Or do you like to compose outside in sun?
Air conditioning isn't enough if you have a large enough system. You gotta keep in mind that all these analog circuits generate a lot of heat. When the gear's turned off, the studio is the coolest room in the house, but within about fifteen minutes of turning it on, it becomes a sauna. This is where I get to really not liking the winter months because nobody else wants the AC on, so I'm hotter in the winter than I am all summer.
Old 31st January 2017
  #1221
Gear Head
 

Kinda broke my own "rule" (Yay, I'm in the club!) and got a batumi + poti used, even though I just got maths last week. Price was to good... And I'm getting another case, someone in my town made a really nice doepfer DIY and is practically giving it away (the case is really nicely made and she's selling it for less than just the kit would cost), so yay me! Feels kinda good to have another case coming, that way I won't have to worry about space to much and just buy what feels right. I see alot of DIY in my future (atleast turingmachine with expanders and a penrose quantizer!)

And about what music I like: Actually, one of my favourite synthalbums ever is the ambienty album by Venetian snares & Joanne Pollock under the name "Poemss". Very different from what Aaron usually makes, but after an initial struggle I really started to love the album. Definately a top 5 for me, but not for everybody.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJyd-CXPrvM
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Old 31st January 2017
  #1222
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Size / HP aside, are there any good reasons *not* to use a Moog Werkstatt as an additional Oscillator to accompany, say, a Mother 32 or a Minitaur? It seems like a good value, ignoring the size aspect. Dollar for dollar, is there a better option?

Your thoughts?
Old 31st January 2017
  #1223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummel View Post
And about what music I like: Actually, one of my favourite synthalbums ever is the ambienty album by Venetian snares & Joanne Pollock under the name "Poemss". Very different from what Aaron usually makes, but after an initial struggle I really started to love the album. Definately a top 5 for me, but not for everybody.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJyd-CXPrvM
Really nice. I liked also:

Kissing Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0-xtoGhEnc

Heads on Heels
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJD7Do9HdH4
Old 1st February 2017
  #1224
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justjools View Post
The whole album is fantastic, except for ancient pony which imo is the weakest track on the album, but still quite nice I think I can hear some of Aarons modular antics in a few tracks aswell, if I'm not mistaken.
Old 1st February 2017
  #1225
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummel View Post
Kinda broke my own "rule" (Yay, I'm in the club!) and got a batumi + poti used, even though I just got maths last week. Price was to good... And I'm getting another case, someone in my town made a really nice doepfer DIY and is practically giving it away (the case is really nicely made and she's selling it for less than just the kit would cost), so yay me! Feels kinda good to have another case coming, that way I won't have to worry about space to much and just buy what feels right. I see alot of DIY in my future (atleast turingmachine with expanders and a penrose quantizer!)

And about what music I like: Actually, one of my favourite synthalbums ever is the ambienty album by Venetian snares & Joanne Pollock under the name "Poemss". Very different from what Aaron usually makes, but after an initial struggle I really started to love the album. Definately a top 5 for me, but not for everybody.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJyd-CXPrvM
I've seen that album cover before on my travels, my eyes struggle to focus on it.
cool track the female vocal reminded me of "In heaven" the lady behind the radiator off Eraserhead.
Old 1st February 2017
  #1226
verbos..

Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
That kinda shocked me, i assumed Verbos were expensive because they were thru-hole, however your right they are SMT.

Yet another case of priced at what a customer is prepared to pay rather than what the product is actually worth and adding a reasonable margin.
they are smt, but unlike many euro designs with cheap opamps and small headroom chips, Verbos is all discrete transistors thru and thru. and that, to my ears, makes a big difference. not only with verbos, but with stuff like dreadbox, ajh synths etc. they all cost more than your regular doepfer or even intellijel module.


the way it was explained to me by a circuit designer, big difference is a transistor design can work equally well on 12V or 15V system (take a look at moog modular just for one example), but chip and dil opamp based systems have the quality of their output much more dependant on the power used. think this might the genesis of idea that often 5u systems sound more substantial to some eurorack setups. my conclusion was, and it was confirmed in practice, if you choose your audio path modules carefully, you can have equally big sound in euro.

another thing with transistors, instead of sudden/harsh breakup, when pushed in vcas and mixers and filter circuits, they step into nonlinearity gradually - saturation.

otoh, i still agree that Verbos could be tad cheaper, especially with their lousy quality control, and sometimes even lousy circuit design (scan pan, controls range on multi envelope, noise/crosstalk on early DFP etc)

regardless, still on my radar, because of their tone, especially CO, ATC, DFP and new 296ish Bark. tho [email protected] just showed a demo of his..
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Old 1st February 2017
  #1227
Morpheus filter module review
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Old 1st February 2017
  #1228
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
they are smt, but unlike many euro designs with cheap opamps and small headroom chips, Verbos is all discrete transistors thru and thru. and that, to my ears, makes a big difference. not only with verbos, but with stuff like dreadbox, ajh synths etc. they all cost more than your regular doepfer or even intellijel module.


the way it was explained to me by a circuit designer, big difference is a transistor design can work equally well on 12V or 15V system (take a look at moog modular just for one example), but chip and dil opamp based systems have the quality of their output much more dependant on the power used. think this might the genesis of idea that often 5u systems sound more substantial to some eurorack setups. my conclusion was, and it was confirmed in practice, if you choose your audio path modules carefully, you can have equally big sound in euro.

another thing with transistors, instead of sudden/harsh breakup, when pushed in vcas and mixers and filter circuits, they step into nonlinearity gradually - saturation.

otoh, i still agree that Verbos could be tad cheaper, especially with their lousy quality control, and sometimes even lousy circuit design (scan pan, controls range on multi envelope, noise/crosstalk on early DFP etc)

regardless, still on my radar, because of their tone, especially CO, ATC, DFP and new 296ish Bark. tho [email protected] just showed a demo of his..
Well now I'm even more shocked,
Even the most expensive Fairchild Jfet Discrete transistors SMT SOT-23 on mouser bought by the 1000 cost £0.093 each.
What you explained above may explain the sound but certainly not the cost.

Even a circuit with very cheap op-amps let's say TL074 will be at least 5 times more expensive than using top end discrete transistors.

When Verbos says I use Discrete transistors it's right what my brother always tells me bull$hit baffles brains

Last edited by cane creek; 1st February 2017 at 05:14 AM..
Old 1st February 2017
  #1229
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Morpheus filter module review
This (and the the hopefully upcoming Assimil8tor) are what pushed me over the edge to get into modular. Eagerly waiting to get my hands on one. Hoping to get a "Your Order has Shipped" email from Perfect Circuit any day now.
Old 1st February 2017
  #1230
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
This (and the the hopefully upcoming Assimil8tor) are what pushed me over the edge to get into modular. Eagerly waiting to get my hands on one. Hoping to get a "Your Order has Shipped" email from Perfect Circuit any day now.
Perfect Circuit just posted they have them in stock on FB. I preordered mine from Detroit Modular so hopefully they'll get em in the next day or two..
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