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new in eurorack : ambient stuff
Old 22nd January 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

new in eurorack : ambient stuff

Hello there, im going to start this adventure. I want to build a modular to create some ambient stuff.

My question is if you have to choose 5 or 6 modules to start, what would you choose?

My idea is at least, buy a Magneto for delays , thats the only module i think i have in mind, but need the other important stuff to start-



thanks!
Old 22nd January 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
For me, TipTop Z-DSP with Halls of Valhalla would be at the top of the list. Those reverbs are just incredible. I once sampled and looped my farts going into one, and even those came out as a a beautiful wash of ambience.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #3
Clouds?
A complex oscillator?
A random voltage module?
A good stereo filter?
A function generator or ADSR?
A two channel or stereo VCA?

(Minimum)
Old 22nd January 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
I'd choose rings:

mutable rings, optomix, radio music, pamela's new workout, Batumi OR Ultra Random plus FX. A quad VCA would be good too.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #5
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
Hello there, im going to start this adventure. I want to build a modular to create some ambient stuff.

My question is if you have to choose 5 or 6 modules to start, what would you choose?

My idea is at least, buy a Magneto for delays , thats the only module i think i have in mind, but need the other important stuff to start- thanks!
Magneto is a good start. It's huge (meaning deep so pay attention to that when buying a case to ensure that it will fit) and expensive, but it sounds soooo good. Clouds with the custom Parasites firmware would be a good second choice.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 

Clouds?
A complex oscillator? ----> maybe Inte*llijel Designs Rubicon II?
A random voltage module? ----> maybe Wogglebug?
A good stereo filter?------------> maybe MORPHEUS¿
A function generator or ADSR? ---> maybe A-140 or Pingable Envelope Generator?
A two channel or stereo VCA? ----> maybe a mixer like VC Stereo Mixer?
Old 22nd January 2019
  #7
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
Clouds?
A complex oscillator? ----> maybe Inte*llijel Designs Rubicon II?
A random voltage module? ----> maybe Wogglebug?
A good stereo filter?------------> maybe MORPHEUS¿
A function generator or ADSR? ---> maybe A-140 or Pingable Envelope Generator?
A two channel or stereo VCA? ----> maybe a mixer like VC Stereo Mixer?
Rubicon II, pick your poison. Don't have one but looks like it should be just fine. I know there are some big fans of the Endorphin.es Furthrrrr Generator here, but damn, than thing is expensive. Food for thought, I get my best drones out of an E352 and prior to that, the Erica Black Wavetable VCO.

I never really liked my Wogglebug. It's there in my rack, but far from my goto random source. If you can swing the extra ~$100, a Marbles would be a lot more fun and useful.

Morpheus wouldn't be my first choice on a filter. It is stereo, but I almost always run the filter before any device that adds a stereo field to the audio signal. Additionally, the Morpheus suffers from being a bit of a "preset machine". It sounds great, but it's not the most immediate of devices. So many different choices for filters in general ... You can't go wrong with a Doepfer version of whatever filter chip gives you the sound you like. Also, though I don't own one, Ripples is a really good implementation of the Roland sound with simultaneous, multiple outs.

I'm going to give you the stock answer for a function generator, Maths. Yes, everyone has one but there's a reason, it's basically the CV swiss army knife of euro.

For a VCA, either the Mutable or Intellijel quad VCA modules would be fine. I wouldn't go smaller than a quad.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #8
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ModularOverkill's Avatar
 

Only 5 or 6 modules? Then it's probably going to look like all the other small ambient rigs out there which are mostly MI/Intellijel based. That said:

PNW or ADE-32 for clocking/lots of modulation
Plaits for oscillator
Tides for modulation and chords and VCO
Marbles for random
Clouds if you want to sound like every bloody ambient demo on YT...ZDSP if you don't
DLD or Tapographic delay
Old 23rd January 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
5 or 6 modules to start, what would you choose?
Tonestar 2600
Folktek Channel
EoWave Quadrantid Swarm
KOMA Electronic Field Kit FX
Make Noise Maths
TipTop Z-DSP

That would be a fun setup.

Others to consider:
Korg Volca Modular (would work well with the Folktek)
Erica Synths VC Delay. or Erica VC BBD Delay (I really like how these sound. better IMO than the Magneto)
KOMA Dynamo is quadrophonic panning (if you're into that, I'd like to try out some day)
Befaco Muxlicer or Malekko Heavy Industry Voltage Block (more CV sources)
Make Noise Phonogene or Morphogene (just lovely)
ER-301 never used one, but you can do a lot with it.

Old 23rd January 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Tonestar 2600
Folktek Channel
EoWave Quadrantid Swarm
KOMA Electronic Field Kit FX
Make Noise Maths
TipTop Z-DSP

That would be a fun setup.

Others to consider:
Korg Volca Modular (would work well with the Folktek)
Erica Synths VC Delay. or Erica VC BBD Delay (I really like how these sound. better IMO than the Magneto)
KOMA Dynamo is quadrophonic panning (if you're into that, I'd like to try out some day)
Befaco Muxlicer or Malekko Heavy Industry Voltage Block (more CV sources)
Make Noise Phonogene or Morphogene (just lovely)
ER-301 never used one, but you can do a lot with it.

I like these suggestions. I’d maybe not suggest the 301 for a beginner to modular if only because it’s a totally blank slate and might be frustrating for someone new to the format, tho if they’ve used something like Reaktor 6 before it’s a similar approach. That said, it could certainly be the foundation of any rig since it does so much...going that way, I’d compliment it with modulation and hands on controls.

Koma Field Kit FX is a very good suggestion btw, as it would not only provide FX like spring reverb and delay, but also a 4 channel audio mixer. Great, inexpensive little device that can live outside of your rack and be useful with a modular setup or anything else.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
Clouds?
A complex oscillator? ----> maybe Inte*llijel Designs Rubicon II?
A random voltage module? ----> maybe Wogglebug?
A good stereo filter?------------> maybe MORPHEUS¿
A function generator or ADSR? ---> maybe A-140 or Pingable Envelope Generator?
A two channel or stereo VCA? ----> maybe a mixer like VC Stereo Mixer?
Yeah, see 'void23' post. I wouldn't pick any of the above.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
I'm going to give you the stock answer for a function generator, Maths.
Yep.
And I wouldn't be starting with Magneto either.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #13
I'm sure the ER-301 would be frustrating for me as well, at first. It's got a bit of a learning curve, right? But worth it, it seems.

Instead of a Maths you could also go for a Befaco Rampage. Different variation on the same theme.
(Before those two, it was the Bananalogue VCS, that was the go-to function generator for a few years)
Old 23rd January 2019
  #14
Gear Head
 

thanks! will learn more about that , one thing, do i need always,something like Make Noise Rosie for connect all the stuff to external mixer or monitors?
or mixer modules /vcas have connections for external monitors,headphones,etc...?
sorry for the silly question..
Old 23rd January 2019
  #15
Gear Head
 

and btw, i ask for about 5 modules because i think 5 is enough to start to make something, but maybe i need more?
i mean, i know, its essential vcos or synth module, some filter, some envelope module ( 1 envelope for every vca?) or something like that, and a vca(how many?) or mixer, but like i wrote in last post, its essential too something like Rosie, for connect all the stuff to external audio monitors? its essential other modules for interconnections ?
Old 23rd January 2019
  #16
The trouble is you arguably need more complexity and variables to make 'ambient'. Just a single oscillator drone (even filtered) isn't going to cut it.
You can go mono, but as soon as you pick stereo modules like Magneto you might need stereo filters or a stereo output. Not so much if Magneto is the last module in your chain.
A VCA in very simple terms is just to control the sustain of your sound (patch).
You could in theory have no VCA and just let your ambient sound play non stop.
Also, quite a few sound producing modules have their own internal VCA now.
A simple VCA will connect to an outboard mixer or audio interface. But there are also mixer/output modules with extra features like panning and headphone outputs.

No one can really advise you, as it's so personal and subjective.
From what I'm seeing, there is a ton of second hand modules at cheap prices, especially on Ebay. I would start there.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #17
@ vagon
- if you have an external mixer, a module like the Make Noise Rosie is not needed. The signals from modulars are nice and hot so you'll have no problem using any good mixer. You would need minijack-jack cables, or some mult module with minijack-jack connections.
(if you don't have an external mixer; alternatives to the Rosie: Befaco Output V3 or Hexmix - Bastl Ciao! - Roland System-500 531 - ACL Audio Interface - GRP Stereo Out Module - WMD Performance Mixer - Toppobrillo Stereo Mix etc.)
- I cheated because I recommended self-contained modules. It would be a good idea to start with a semi-modular module, so you have a filter, lfo, envelope, vca and vco already. Oh I forgot to mention Birdkids The Raven, as alternative to the Tonestar.
- Chrisso has a good point; buy secondhand.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #18
Gear Head
 

thanks guys, im starting with this because one friend is giving me for free 3 modules:
braids, clouds and erbe verb. so i would like to complete this set up with something that can work.
anyway im still learning a lot of things, so, sorry for dumb questions.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #19
Braids is a decent sound source and has it's own VCA (I think).
Old 23rd January 2019
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
thanks guys, im starting with this because one friend is giving me for free 3 modules:
braids, clouds and erbe verb
That's pretty darn generous! Maybe add something like Maths to that trio, and you'll have the start of a pretty good ambient drone generator.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #21
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Braids is a decent sound source and has it's own VCA (I think).
Yes, it has it's own VCA and EG, but I wouldn't cheap out and pass on getting a proper VCA and function generator.
Old 24th January 2019
  #22
Yep, Maths is a great addition to those 3 modules.
Plus maybe a multi-fx like the Tip Top or Erica synths.
I’m seeing loads of used Maths on my local Ebay.
Old 24th January 2019
  #23
Gear Head
 

THANKS!
Old 24th January 2019
  #24
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intuitionnyc's Avatar
I agree with Maths.
If you are starting out and getting a smaller case, I don’t recommend too many FX modules (especially something as huge as Magneto. That processing can be done outside the rig.
A cool stereo mixer with VC panning like Praga can be cool, but again, mixing can be done outside the rig (but could be a pain).
Complex Oscillators, I love DPO, E352 or Shapeshifter. Of those, I would say E352 or Shapeshifter.

Just my thoughts.
Old 13th February 2019
  #25
Gear Head
 

hello again!, this is my idea of the future modular setup,as i said i already have clouds,braids,erbverb and marbles.
whats four opinion? any changes?
Old 13th February 2019
  #26
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
hello again!, this is my idea of the future modular setup,as i said i already have clouds,braids,erbverb and marbles.
whats four opinion? any changes?
Wow, where do we start? First, half the modules in that rack are discontinued. Second, there's a ton of duplication ... Braids + Rings is everything Elements can be, but much better. Why an Erbe-Verb and a Z-DSP? Why a Nebula and Clouds? You also have no VCA's, no filters, and very limited modulation. Finally, no utilities like noise or S/H nor anything to manage clocking. How do you plan on "playing" this thing? I'm not sure if you have an analog at home, but if you do, look at the front panel. If not, it's pretty evident on images of a Moog Sub37 or a Korg MS-20. All the components in that chain basically represent your minimal setup.

Clouds, Braids, Marbles and an Erbe-Verb are a good starting point. Start with those as the core of your system and build around them. Add a newer Maths, not the v1 in your rack, a nice quad-VCA / mixer, maybe a Kinks and Links, and then a filter (either a Doepfer than fits your tastes or a WMD MMF) and start from that.

Pro tip: I really wish I had gone with an Intellijel 7u as my first case. It's more expensive at first, but there a lot of functionality to be had with 1u tiles, saving your valuable 3u HP's for the more fun modules.
Old 13th February 2019
  #27
Gear Head
 

thanks! noted!!!
Old 13th February 2019
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
Wow, where do we start? First, half the modules in that rack are discontinued. Second, there's a ton of duplication ... Braids + Rings is everything Elements can be, but much better. Why an Erbe-Verb and a Z-DSP? Why a Nebula and Clouds? You also have no VCA's, no filters, and very limited modulation. Finally, no utilities like noise or S/H nor anything to manage clocking. How do you plan on "playing" this thing? I'm not sure if you have an analog at home, but if you do, look at the front panel. If not, it's pretty evident on images of a Moog Sub37 or a Korg MS-20. All the components in that chain basically represent your minimal setup.

Clouds, Braids, Marbles and an Erbe-Verb are a good starting point. Start with those as the core of your system and build around them. Add a newer Maths, not the v1 in your rack, a nice quad-VCA / mixer, maybe a Kinks and Links, and then a filter (either a Doepfer than fits your tastes or a WMD MMF) and start from that.

Pro tip: I really wish I had gone with an Intellijel 7u as my first case. It's more expensive at first, but there a lot of functionality to be had with 1u tiles, saving your valuable 3u HP's for the more fun modules.
maybe? about the case i have a pittsburgh EP-208
Old 14th February 2019
  #29
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MarcB's Avatar
what sort of ambient music ?

this is Plaits, Clouds, Pams New workout, Disting MK4 and Korg SQ1 and some multiples. Just random noodling without any aim.

Modular Intro -01 - MBS - Instaudio

This is Clouds, NW1 and Doepfer BS1 sequenced by an Oberkorn MK3, recorded with a Grainspace VST reverb

Fornax A - MBS 2018 - Instaudio
Old 14th February 2019
  #30
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vagon View Post
maybe? about the case i have a pittsburgh EP-208
Your updated case looks a bit more reasonable / realistic. Standard advice, buy the biggest case you can afford (208hp is a good start) and start slow. You'll figure out what you need over time as you learn your system. Also, a reminder that a "what should I buy" post will yield 10 completely different recommendations from 10 different people.

Most of us had grand plans when we started and I'd bet that our racks don't look anything like those original plans. Many of us probably also have cases / drawer's / boxes of "shame", filled with modules we're too lazy to sell yet, but don't meet our needs any more given shifts in musical style, techniques, and knowledge.
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