The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
The Modular Thread 2017 Modular Synthesizers
Old 1st March 2017
  #1921
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
I'm considering a cheap(ish) small eurorack starter case mostly for signal processing/FX (filters, LPG, distortion,are there stereo modules?, a kick drum, delay, maybe compression, VCA, Mixer, etc) My fixed-income is going to be reduced prematurely due to a certain American political party undoing healthcare reforms making any sizeable (over 150ish) investment impossible within a month or two. I've been looking at the Pittsburgh Modular Cell-48 which is ~$250 and comes with the power supply and whatnot. I have never soldered anything in my life although I do have an iron(never opened). I'm split between a Waldorf Blofield desktop and this modular setup (so ~$500 max).

Would a restricted budget be unwise for a foray into the eurorack realm? Does anyone have a Blofield and a modular? What does anyone think?
1.) Sorry about our prez.
2.) Check out Muff Wiggler for cheap cases. I've seen the Cell 90's go for as little as $150 there. If nothing else, a Happy Ending Kit is $150 and is a great starter system.
3.) If you're willing to brave the world of DIY, then you can get a great system for dirt cheap. If you're not, things do get a bit complicated. Look into modules from the cheaper manufacturers like EMW (I'm a big fan of theirs), Doepfer, and Noise Reap. Also, check Muff Wiggler as there's always cheap modules for sale there.
Old 1st March 2017
  #1922
Gear Addict
 
apropos of noth's Avatar
 

I have an MS-20 mini and use it with Euro often. Not as often now as I used to when I had less Euro (I'm now at nearly 18u/100hp).

Here are some MS-20 features that you can use directly with Euro with no modification:
  • Sample-and-hold
  • Second VCA
  • v/oct via "total" input
  • LFO
  • Envelope

Here are some features on the MS-20 that you can use from Euro easily:
  • External input
  • Filter
  • Amp

Finally, a lot of signal muxing is possible via the external signal processor on the MS, such as turning a Euro gate into an MS gate, bandpassing signals. In case it's escaped anyone's attention, the MS ESP is DC-coupled.

Like I say, don't use it quite as much as I did, but if you don't mind going outside your Euro case, it's a pretty fair amount of utility for the price you pay, and hell, you get a sweet mono-synth as a bonus. (And, oh yeah, the second VCA is a vactrol.)
2
Share
Old 1st March 2017
  #1923
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
I almost feel bad for sharing this after reading that poster's financial situation, but I was just naughty as hell:





These have both been on my radar for a long time and financing was available, so I figured what the hell.
3
Share
Old 1st March 2017
  #1924
Lives for gear
 
mutilatedlip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
I almost feel bad for sharing this after reading that poster's financial situation, but I was just naughty as hell:





These have both been on my radar for a long time and financing was available, so I figured what the hell.
I love the Mother 32. It's a fantastic synth and bang for buck is second to none, IMO.

Match it with a nice old reverb and it just comes alive. I saw another on sale today for a bargain, and I was so close to grabbing it. Still considering it now.

But AJH....
Old 1st March 2017
  #1925
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
I almost feel bad for sharing this after reading that poster's financial situation, but I was just naughty as hell:





These have both been on my radar for a long time and financing was available, so I figured what the hell.
How do you like the System-1m? There's a used one on craigslist going for 380 I've been looking into; with the MIDI-CV, multi-FX, audio interface looks good on paper but let me know how it performs when you get the chance.
Old 1st March 2017
  #1926
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutilatedlip View Post
bang for buck is second to none, IMO.
That's a large part of the appeal for me. Sequencer, Moog filter, and an additional oscillator is nice, plus I can use the case to build my little control boat:

Old 1st March 2017
  #1927
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
How do you like the System-1m? There's a used one on craigslist going for 380 I've been looking into; with the MIDI-CV, multi-FX, audio interface looks good on paper but let me know how it performs when you get the chance.
That's a good price right there.

I only just ordered the System-1m, so no idea yet how I'm going to get along with it until it gets here, but I've been pestering damn near everyone I can find that has one about it. As soon as you pop a patch cable in, it switches from polyphonic to monophonic which kinda sucks, but I'll live. Mostly been eyeballing it because I don't think there's enough digital stuff in the modular world.

I had a System-1 very briefly a couple years ago. It definitely sounded Roland, like a slightly lo-fi JP-8080, but still usable.
Old 1st March 2017
  #1928
Lives for gear
 
ImNotDedyet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
I'm considering a cheap(ish) small eurorack starter case mostly for signal processing/FX (filters, LPG, distortion,are there stereo modules?, a kick drum, delay, maybe compression, VCA, Mixer, etc) My fixed-income is going to be reduced prematurely due to a certain American political party undoing healthcare reforms making any sizeable (over 150ish) investment impossible within a month or two. I've been looking at the Pittsburgh Modular Cell-48 which is ~$250 and comes with the power supply and whatnot. I have never soldered anything in my life although I do have an iron(never opened). I'm split between a Waldorf Blofield desktop and this modular setup (so ~$500 max).

Would a restricted budget be unwise for a foray into the eurorack realm? Does anyone have a Blofield and a modular? What does anyone think?
Also do a search over at muffs on that power supply and case. Seems to have mixed reviews. You can also buy used when it comes to cases and modules, that will save you a lot of money. BTW, 48hp will get you roughly 3 medium sized modules and a utility or two, maybe up to 4 medium hp modules with no utilities or a 2 or 3 hp here or there. Not much and you'll be looking for a bigger case and more power.

You could also go the DIY route with a Doepfer A-100 DIY PS and some wood for roughly $200 and a lot more power and room.

Can you start out and go slowly with a limited budget? Yes.

How disciplined are you though, because it gets tough once you get started not to want a whole lot more than you currently have. If you can stay disciplined, I'd say go for it.

If you can't, I'd say avoid it until things improve financially.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1929
Lives for gear
 
subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
I've been looking at the Pittsburgh Modular Cell-48 which is ~$250 and comes with the power supply and whatnot. I have never soldered anything in my life although I do have an iron(never opened). I'm split between a Waldorf Blofield desktop and this modular setup (so ~$500 max).

Would a restricted budget be unwise for a foray into the eurorack realm? Does anyone have a Blofield and a modular? What does anyone think?
You don't want a cell48 for 250. You can get a used cell90 for that. Hell I'd sell you a cell90 for that! I have a long history with Pitts cases and their new structures are the best they've made. If you can go up $50 you could get a Structure EP-96 with a much better PSU and more HP.
1
Share
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1930
Lives for gear
 
justjools's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
I almost feel bad for sharing this after reading that poster's financial situation, but I was just naughty as hell:





These have both been on my radar for a long time and financing was available, so I figured what the hell.
I'm not at all surprised you've plumped for a Moog - I got one a few weeks ago and liking it. I would be interested to hear what you think about the System 1m. It does look like a good control interface and I do like the Plug-outs which I have without the hardware. I have been looking at the Atlantis and if I wanted an SH101 would go for this though I think, but you do have more options for expansion with plug-outs which is its advantage. Listening to it on demos, it does sound nicely digital which I imagine would fit well in the mix.

Nick likes it which is good enough for me. You can record all the live parameters to midi too!

Old 2nd March 2017
  #1931
Gear Maniac
 
cloud drift's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos of noth View Post
I have an MS-20 mini and use it with Euro often. Not as often now as I used to when I had less Euro (I'm now at nearly 18u/100hp).

Here are some MS-20 features that you can use directly with Euro with no modification:
  • Sample-and-hold
  • Second VCA
  • v/oct via "total" input
  • LFO
  • Envelope

Here are some features on the MS-20 that you can use from Euro easily:
  • External input
  • Filter
  • Amp

Finally, a lot of signal muxing is possible via the external signal processor on the MS, such as turning a Euro gate into an MS gate, bandpassing signals. In case it's escaped anyone's attention, the MS ESP is DC-coupled.

Like I say, don't use it quite as much as I did, but if you don't mind going outside your Euro case, it's a pretty fair amount of utility for the price you pay, and hell, you get a sweet mono-synth as a bonus. (And, oh yeah, the second VCA is a vactrol.)
Thanks so much for the info! Yeah I figure I would eventually keep it stand alone once my system grows.

Quick question, what does the VCA being a vactrol add? I'm aware of vactrols being used in LPGs, but not sure what makes them unique?
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1932
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
That's a large part of the appeal for me. Sequencer, Moog filter, and an additional oscillator is nice, plus I can use the case to build my little control boat:

I've never taken my M32 out of the case, but wouldn't you need to install rack rails in the empty Mother case to do that? Would there be enough room for the modules then?
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1933
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by justjools View Post
I'm not at all surprised you've plumped for a Moog - I got one a few weeks ago and liking it. I would be interested to hear what you think about the System 1m. It does look like a good control interface and I do like the Plug-outs which I have without the hardware. I have been looking at the Atlantis and if I wanted an SH101 would go for this though I think, but you do have more options for expansion with plug-outs which is its advantage. Listening to it on demos, it does sound nicely digital which I imagine would fit well in the mix.

Nick likes it which is good enough for me. You can record all the live parameters to midi too!

I'm curious how System-1m works out for me as well. I am a little leery of going down the Plug Out rabbit hole, though. With System 8 out, I think anyone with a System 1 or 1m is going to see a lot fewer Plug Outs, which is a shame because I'd love a Juno, Jupiter, and JX3P in a rack.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1934
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
I've never taken my M32 out of the case, but wouldn't you need to install rack rails in the empty Mother case to do that? Would there be enough room for the modules then?


It's got space for sliding nuts in there. I hate sliding nuts, but the idea is for this to be a permanent fixture, so I guess I'll live. ...somehow.
1
Share
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1935
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post


It's got space for sliding nuts in there. I hate sliding nuts, but the idea is for this to be a permanent fixture, so I guess I'll live. ...somehow.
Gotcha...I didn't realize you had the rack kit, and thought you were planning to put the M32 module in a larger rack and use the empty base. That makes a lot more sense...good idea, too.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1936
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
Gotcha...I didn't realize you had the rack kit, and thought you were planning to put the M32 module in a larger rack and use the empty base. That makes a lot more sense...good idea, too.
Oh no, that's totally the plan is to stick it into my monster rack and use the empty case to load up with Soundmachines modules. That photo was just one I pulled off the interbutts to show what's hiding under the module. I think the case has eight nuts in place by default, but I have a couple bags of sliding nuts not being used.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1937
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Not that sexy, but just ordered one of these for my Z-DSP:

1
Share
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1938
Lives for gear
 

Finally figured out how to get sample playback working with the Disting MK3 last night...so, here's William S. Burroughs talking about Cut-Ups, cut up:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRHxiwzg...recycledcities
3
Share
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1939
Lives for gear
 
ImNotDedyet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent View Post
Finally figured out how to get sample playback working with the Disting MK3 last night...so, here's William S. Burroughs talking about Cut-Ups, cut up:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRHxiwzg...recycledcities
It can be a bit of a bear, huh?
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1940
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNotDedyet View Post
It can be a bit of a bear, huh?
Yeah, to say the least. Now that I've figured it out, I need to check out the Favorites list option so I can avoid the menu diving hell of the Disting.

I also want to see if it can handle sample chains, à la the Octatrack, Analog RYTM etc. Seems like that would be the way to go to fit a whole lot of material onto a memory card and maximize the 64 sample slots. Of course, if that works then you could really go nuts with different samples on each channel in a chain, since you can play a different sample on each channel of the Disting...probably too much headache and setup for my liking, but it could potentially be useful.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1941
Gear Addict
 
Blackdog128's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNotDedyet View Post
I've not used those, but it's the same concept as the airtennuator, which are a bit cheaper. Another really nice thing about the airtennuators is you can pretty much arrange them in the air so the pot faces you.

I don't see why those cables wouldn't work though. All one needs for attenuation is two jacks and a pot. (which is essentially what the control on that cable is)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tapedseams View Post
I read somewhere (probably Muffs) that the throw on the slider was very hard to dial in small increments. The Airtenuators however use standard pots which give the expected control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
Yep, that's about right. It's not for really fine tuning. If you need to roughly cut the level in half or something like that they're great; but if you need to dial something in carefully...I don't know, I found that to be very difficult.

I personally use them as input attenuators for modules that get pissy about levels: Instant Lofi Junky, some of my FM inputs, the inputs on the NLC wave folder (it really wants 5V peak to peak, if you feed it standard 10V p-p you get folding at the zero positiion.
...
Thanks all! That's good info. I'll check out the Airtennuators as well as the Koma attenuator cables.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1942
Gear Addict
 
apropos of noth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud drift View Post
Quick question, what does the VCA being a vactrol add? I'm aware of vactrols being used in LPGs, but not sure what makes them unique?
A vactrol-based VCA has a certain fall-off response based on the characteristic of the optical sensor. Gives it a little bit more character in the tail-end of its envelope.
1
Share
Old 2nd March 2017
  #1943
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar


Can we talk about generative synthesis techniques? I feel like I'm at that tipping point where all of this should be possible for me to do now. The only things that I really want in order to bring this together after watching the above video are a 4ms RCD, a Wogglebug, and an Ultra Random Analog. The thing is, I understand the techniques in the video, but I'm having trouble picturing everything coming together as one cohesive generative idea. I know the Wogglebug and RCD will help a lot to keep things moving, but I'm still having trouble with the concept of the whole piece being one non-repeating composition. Any thoughts on techniques and theories?
1
Share
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1944
Lives for gear
 
subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post


Can we talk about generative synthesis techniques? I feel like I'm at that tipping point where all of this should be possible for me to do now. The only things that I really want in order to bring this together after watching the above video are a 4ms RCD, a Wogglebug, and an Ultra Random Analog. The thing is, I understand the techniques in the video, but I'm having trouble picturing everything coming together as one cohesive generative idea. I know the Wogglebug and RCD will help a lot to keep things moving, but I'm still having trouble with the concept of the whole piece being one non-repeating composition. Any thoughts on techniques and theories?
My cynical answer is Turing Machine + O_C = done.

Really though I can get some generative stuff going on in my humble system. Random melodies can be as simple as random voltage -> attenuator -> quantizer -> VCO (or just skip the quantizer with digital modules with them built in). You can really replace any voltage source for random in that chain, like 2 LFOs out of sync mixed together (Maths). What I find more difficult is random rhythms that are still in time and don't get boring. URA has this neat trigger out that is synced to the clock and does these really cool random fill things. I think the hardest bit is random mixing/arranging. I really don't have the system for that. I just run out of VCAs and I haven't really figured out how to keep it evolving over long periods of time. I'm curious about unorthodox mixers like RxMx combined with CV switches. That's what it seems to me is required to do longer patches where you actually want random but musically coherent changes.
2
Share
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1945
Lives for gear
 
void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by subdo View Post
My cynical answer is Turing Machine + O_C = done.

Really though I can get some generative stuff going on in my humble system. Random melodies can be as simple as random voltage -> attenuator -> quantizer -> VCO (or just skip the quantizer with digital modules with them built in). You can really replace any voltage source for random in that chain, like 2 LFOs out of sync mixed together (Maths). What I find more difficult is random rhythms that are still in time and don't get boring. URA has this neat trigger out that is synced to the clock and does these really cool random fill things. I think the hardest bit is random mixing/arranging. I really don't have the system for that. I just run out of VCAs and I haven't really figured out how to keep it evolving over long periods of time. I'm curious about unorthodox mixers like RxMx combined with CV switches. That's what it seems to me is required to do longer patches where you actually want random but musically coherent changes.
I'd add a Euclidean rymthm generator for both of you. I'm using Frames with Parasites, but there are many others. I actually haven't tried the one in O_C yet, maybe tonight.
1
Share
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post


Can we talk about generative synthesis techniques? I feel like I'm at that tipping point where all of this should be possible for me to do now. The only things that I really want in order to bring this together after watching the above video are a 4ms RCD, a Wogglebug, and an Ultra Random Analog. The thing is, I understand the techniques in the video, but I'm having trouble picturing everything coming together as one cohesive generative idea. I know the Wogglebug and RCD will help a lot to keep things moving, but I'm still having trouble with the concept of the whole piece being one non-repeating composition. Any thoughts on techniques and theories?
A couple thoughts here-
Random voltage is great but you can get just as much "random" mileage from a deliberately melodic sequence that is cleverly clocked and triggered as well. I like to create "feedback" loops in my clocks by clocking things in a big chain (QMI2-Octocontroller-QCD-Grids-Pittseq-QCD-Maths-quadra-QCD-quadra-Mini Slew) that eventually makes it back to a few different clock ins of any of the devices already in the chain, so it's all triggered in time with my Octatrack or DAW but as crazy and f'ed up as I need it to be. Careful wiggling can yield "venetian snares-esque" results as far as drum triggering and melody chopping. Splitting off of those various end of cycle vs end of rise points to trigger different envelopes that allow modulations to affect that clock chain but it takes a mess of attenuation to pull it all off to the point of me getting excited about buying a couple more Triatts and at least 2 ASDRVCA's by WMD/SSF. Modules like these are finally becoming the "fun" stuff for me as my patches get more complex (and musical).
4
Share
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1947
A little something I figured out today...relevant to the topic above-

I needed a way to sync my DAW/Octatrack's "1" with the "1" of the Octocontroller and therefore everything after it because when I press stop on the computer the modular doesn't stop on it's own (I would love to hear how anyone makes their modular stop). So I put in a midi track at the beginning, creating a 2 measure lead-in with ticks at the beginning of each measure which I send to a QMI2 gate out to the Octocontroller's reset. Now all the modulations are as quantized (or unquantized) as I want and completely synced. before it was a crap shoot whether anything would actually sound the same after pressing stop and starting again, now it all just works. This had been bugging me for a while so i thought I would post it in case anyone else was having the same issue.
1
Share
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1948
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post

Can we talk about generative synthesis techniques? I feel like I'm at that tipping point where all of this should be possible for me to do now. The only things that I really want in order to bring this together after watching the above video are a 4ms RCD, a Wogglebug, and an Ultra Random Analog. The thing is, I understand the techniques in the video, but I'm having trouble picturing everything coming together as one cohesive generative idea. I know the Wogglebug and RCD will help a lot to keep things moving, but I'm still having trouble with the concept of the whole piece being one non-repeating composition. Any thoughts on techniques and theories?
Check out Muff postings with the word "Krell" both in the eurorack and general modular forums. Definitely good info there. The basic concept for krell (and I'm no expert) is around function generators cycling, and using End of Cycle or Decay to clock a random and going from there. Those threads go into other techniques too.

I've found that randoms that take CV (which I believe a Wogglebug or URA can) can provide more variety then those that can't. So it can help keep things moving or allow you to dial in to something you like more.
2
Share
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1949
Lives for gear
 
void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
A little something I figured out today...relevant to the topic above-

I needed a way to sync my DAW/Octatrack's "1" with the "1" of the Octocontroller and therefore everything after it because when I press stop on the computer the modular doesn't stop on it's own (I would love to hear how anyone makes their modular stop). So I put in a midi track at the beginning, creating a 2 measure lead-in with ticks at the beginning of each measure which I send to a QMI2 gate out to the Octocontroller's reset. Now all the modulations are as quantized (or unquantized) as I want and completely synced. before it was a crap shoot whether anything would actually sound the same after pressing stop and starting again, now it all just works. This had been bugging me for a while so i thought I would post it in case anyone else was having the same issue.
You need to send the Octocontroller a reset trigger. Don't know how / if you can send a square pulse from the Octatrack, but if it's possible, sending it on the first beat of you sequence should do the trick.
Old 3rd March 2017
  #1950
Lives for gear
 
subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
A little something I figured out today...relevant to the topic above-

I needed a way to sync my DAW/Octatrack's "1" with the "1" of the Octocontroller and therefore everything after it because when I press stop on the computer the modular doesn't stop on it's own (I would love to hear how anyone makes their modular stop). So I put in a midi track at the beginning, creating a 2 measure lead-in with ticks at the beginning of each measure which I send to a QMI2 gate out to the Octocontroller's reset. Now all the modulations are as quantized (or unquantized) as I want and completely synced. before it was a crap shoot whether anything would actually sound the same after pressing stop and starting again, now it all just works. This had been bugging me for a while so i thought I would post it in case anyone else was having the same issue.
Resets are a pain when they're not there. I decided to do the same thing with a get-off-my-lawn A160. But rather than midi I'm using one of my unused audio outs to send a CV pulse sample. I've been messing around with syncing everything with a pulse sample to pretty good results. Load up a sampler and pu tin whatever your PPQN needs are. On the BSP I dedicate one of the drum outs to reset.


As far as "I would love to hear how anyone makes their modular stop" you have to turn down the volume and watch the light show
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump