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Modular Basics and Newbie How-To
Old 12th April 2019
  #1
Modular Basics and Newbie How-To

Per suggestion by @ mutilatedlip If you cool cats can think of anything else that needs to be added to this post, please let me know and I'll get it up here.

Modular system planner: Modular Grid - Plan your modular synthesizer rack on ModularGrid
Forum dedicated to modular: Muff Wiggler - MUFFWIGGLER
Doepfer's website (has a lot of example patches): detour to www.doepfer.de
Synthesizers.com's Site (dealer for Dot Com modules and has a lot of example patches: Synthesizers.com - Analog Modular Synthesizers for Electronic Music by Synthesizers.com
Guide to choosing a system: SOS Guide to Choosing a Modular Synth (This page is nine years old, but mostly still relevant for deciding which format to start with.) - The SOS Guide To Choosing A Modular Synth |

Reputable Dealers:
Perfect Circuit Audio
Detroit Modular
CONTROL Modular
Analogue Haven
Noisebug
Control Voltage
Switched On Austin
Meme Antenna
Juno records

And for DIY...
Thonk - based in UK
Modular Addict
Synth Cube

And my favorite warning:

RED STRIPE DOES NOT ALWAYS GO DOWN. Even if your modules and buses are keyed, pay attention to the markings on the module. Also, sometimes the power cables that you are given are assembled backward.

And remember, you can never have too many VCA's!
Old 12th April 2019
  #2
@ Reptil can we has a sticky?

Old 17th April 2019
  #3
Sure :-)
It's not complete (retailers outside N-America, DIY) but I'll try add some things in the next few days in this post, so you can add it.
New users also please also see here: Mod Picks
Old 19th April 2019
  #4
Deleted 80b9b09
Guest
I'm repeating myself but just for newbies:

When planning on Modular Grid, keep your eye open to make sure there isn't an odd HP somewhere. It can translate to major headache when finishing your case.

So my friend says...
Old 19th April 2019
  #5
Deleted 80b9b09
Guest
...oh and keep clear of the Electronic Music Forum. It is anger-inducing.

This is a place of healthy positive debate and some of the guys round these parts have been so incredibly helpful at times I'd have probably given up on modular.
Old 22nd April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Stevism's Avatar
This guy Tuesday Night Machines made a great set of tutorial videos:



Full playlist here: YouTube
Old 27th April 2019
  #7
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Reputable Dealers...
One to add in Europe:

ScheidersLaden

https://www.schneidersladen.de/en/
Old 29th April 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Bignatius's Avatar
Lesser-expensive Power Supply option for your case (thanks to @ Derp and others for the tips):

* $85 -- uZeus without WallWart
* $20 -- universal Power Supply from Amazon
* $36 -- two "Silta" Flying-Bus Cables from Frap Tools
Old 29th April 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
void23's Avatar
Cheapest, decent cases I've found for Tip Top kits ... even with shipping to the states.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/thon_19_koffer_6_he.htm (I have this one)
https://www.thomann.de/gb/thon_19_koffer_12he.htm
https://www.thomann.de/gb/thon_19_koffer_12_he_live.htm

For a US distributor with something similar (I have this one).

https://www.audiopile.net/MXC-008

And for a nice stand for those cases ...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Old 15th May 2019
  #10
Deleted c40a31f
Guest
Some beginning advice in this video for people interested in starting up a 5U modular Also content on the new Noise Engineering 5U modules.

Old 6th June 2019
  #11
HSi
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HSi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutilatedlip View Post
...oh and keep clear of the Electronic Music Forum. It is anger-inducing.

This is a place of healthy positive debate and some of the guys round these parts have been so incredibly helpful at times I'd have probably given up on modular.
It seems much calmer in this section.
Old 14th June 2019
  #12
one more to add in Asia and US Dealers:

Modularfreq
https://www.modularfreq.com
I would appreaciate hearing your thoughts. It would be a pleasure and honor if we be able to serve you in the future .


Last edited by Reptil; 22nd June 2019 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: -
Old 28th June 2019
  #13
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mekanik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post

RED STRIPE DOES NOT ALWAYS GO DOWN. Even if your modules and buses are keyed, pay attention to the markings on the module. Also, sometimes the power cables that you are given are assembled backward.

And remember, you can never have too many VCA's!
don't tell me it depends on the purity of Saw waveform of said oscillator.

As I said a crank up the resonance than Release to halfway and Attack on max then I adjust the Decay....or was that before the Attack came down?

Old 28th June 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Don't forget Vintage King!

https://vintageking.com/instruments/...modular-synths
Old 19th January 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
Analoghaven

Does anyone have any other quality resources for modular lately.

analoghaven.com is fairly up-to-date. (the owners are really great and highly responsive)

Or the affinity:
Https://schneidersladen.de/en/

or to see what is going on
https://www.schneidersbuero.de/

foxtonemusic.com is effectively a reseller for reverb.com (although the owners here were great people as well)


Does Anyone have any other recommendations of modular sites?
Old 20th January 2020
  #16
I like Analog Haven. Got a lot of my stuff from there some years ago.
<moderator hat on I'll merge this with Derp's thread about general info. >
Old 21st January 2020
  #17
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gruvsyco's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY___ View Post
Does anyone have any other quality resources for modular lately.

analoghaven.com is fairly up-to-date. (the owners are really great and highly responsive)

Or the affinity:
Https://schneidersladen.de/en/

or to see what is going on
https://www.schneidersbuero.de/

foxtonemusic.com is effectively a reseller for reverb.com (although the owners here were great people as well)


Does Anyone have any other recommendations of modular sites?
I’m kind of surprised foxtone does much of anything outside of Buchla anymore. I would think Eric Fox pretty much has his hands full running that ship. Awesome customer service btw. I had some missing cables on the Buchla system I purchased and Eric, Marc and crew were on top of it in no time at all.
Old 21st January 2020
  #18
Deleted c40a31f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY___ View Post
Does anyone have any other quality resources for modular lately.

analoghaven.com is fairly up-to-date. (the owners are really great and highly responsive)

Or the affinity:
Https://schneidersladen.de/en/

or to see what is going on
https://www.schneidersbuero.de/

foxtonemusic.com is effectively a reseller for reverb.com (although the owners here were great people as well)


Does Anyone have any other recommendations of modular sites?
In addition check out:
https://www.noisebug.net/

https://patchwerks.com/

https://www.ctrl-mod.com/

https://www.controlvoltage.net/

https://www.detroitmodular.com/

https://www.synthesizers.com/index.html

and of course the melting pot of most modular synth info:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/index.php
Old 22nd February 2020
  #19
Gear Nut
Noob question.

Is there a way to run independent filters at the same time? Would you need separate VCAs?

I'm slowly building a eurorack to use to expand my Moog grandmother. Basically, I'd like to know if I can run one oscillator through the regular Moog lp filter and the other oscillator through another filter in my rack. I'd use the same envelope to modulate them both, but can I run both outputs to the same vca?

The reason I ask is because the grandmother manual says something about unlinking the vca from the built in filter if something is patched into the vca input. I guess this would be like running parallel filters?
Old 22nd February 2020
  #20
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Bignatius's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M_cubed View Post
Noob question.

Is there a way to run independent filters at the same time?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M_cubed View Post
would you need separate VCAs?
Not necessarily, but it's often helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M_cubed View Post
I'd like to know if I can run one oscillator through the regular Moog lp filter and the other oscillator through another filter in my rack. I'd use the same envelope to modulate them both, but can I run both outputs to the VCA?
Sure.

I have a GM, too. Something like this (from memory, not in front of it at the moment):

* GM VCO1 Wave Out to GM VCF Input
* GM VCF Output to GM Mixer VCO1 Input
* GM VCO2 Wave Out to some other VCF Input
* Some other VCF Out to GM Mixer VCO2 Input
* GM Mixer Out to GM VCA In
* GM Env Out to GM VCA Amt In

(No VCF Envelope in this case, just on the VCA)
Old 22nd February 2020
  #21
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Yes.


Not necessarily, but it's often helpful.


Sure.

I have a GM, too. Something like this (from memory, not in front of it at the moment):

* GM VCO1 Wave Out to GM VCF Input
* GM VCF Output to GM Mixer VCO1 Input
* GM VCO2 Wave Out to some other VCF Input
* Some other VCF Out to GM Mixer VCO2 Input
* GM Mixer Out to GM VCA In
* GM Env Out to GM VCA Amt In

(No VCF Envelope in this case, just on the VCA)
Oh ok thanks.. for some reason I didn't even think of patching waves directly to the filter then back to the built in mixer. That makes a lot of sense, thanks!!!
Old 4th March 2020
  #22
Gear Head
Retriggering Envelope

Hi dear modular community!

Another newbie question:

I want re-triggering envelopes on all my semi-modular synths, or in other words, legato-off mode, to have the filter cut off re-triggering every time I press a key, just like what the Pro-One offers.

I understand this can be done with an external ADSR module. I stumbled across the Doepfer A-140-2 that I could buy used for 100 bucks. Any thoughts on that one or would you recommend something different?

It should be not too expensive but also no garbage, easily available and of course potentially universal -in the likely case that I might extend the Eurorack system ;-)

I am planning to patch the ADSR mainly with the MS-20, but also with other gear, since re-triggering envelopes are not very common.

Any hint is much appreciated!
Old 4th March 2020
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
Hi dear modular community!

Another newbie question:

I want re-triggering envelopes on all my semi-modular synths, or in other words, legato-off mode, to have the filter cut off re-triggering every time I press a key, just like what the Pro-One offers.

I understand this can be done with an external ADSR module. I stumbled across the Doepfer A-140-2 that I could buy used for 100 bucks. Any thoughts on that one or would you recommend something different?

It should be not too expensive but also no garbage, easily available and of course potentially universal -in the likely case that I might extend the Eurorack system ;-)

I am planning to patch the ADSR mainly with the MS-20, but also with other gear, since re-triggering envelopes are not very common.

Any hint is much appreciated!
Just make sure whatever device is spitting out CV/Gate is retriggering the envelopes, and you'll be fine.
Old 4th March 2020
  #24
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Just make sure whatever device is spitting out CV/Gate is retriggering the envelopes, and you'll be fine.
So if we look at the Doepfer, CV is actually equivalent with Trigger / Retrig. ?
Old 4th March 2020
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
So if we look at the Doepfer, CV is actually equivalent with Trigger / Retrig. ?
More that it's the gate signal. For a note to not retrigger, the gate signal would need to remain steady. A retrigger would require the gate to stop temporarily so that when it opens, it retriggers the envelope. So that's going to depend on your CV/Gate source as to whether that signal is going to be continuous or have a break in it.
Old 4th March 2020
  #26
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
More that it's the gate signal. For a note to not retrigger, the gate signal would need to remain steady. A retrigger would require the gate to stop temporarily so that when it opens, it retriggers the envelope. So that's going to depend on your CV/Gate source as to whether that signal is going to be continuous or have a break in it.
Ok for a very specific example: can I retrigger the MS-20 filter with a Doepfer A-140 or do I need some converters?
Old 4th March 2020
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
Ok for a very specific example: can I retrigger the MS-20 filter with a Doepfer A-140 or do I need some converters?
Not quite how that would work. You have to send a gate signal to the A-140 first, and then that would generate the envelope for the filter. You can use the K-2's trigger output to kick off the envelope, but whether it's going to play legato or retrigger is up to the K-2, which I don't have an answer as to how/if it handles legato.
Old 5th March 2020
  #28
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Not quite how that would work. You have to send a gate signal to the A-140 first, and then that would generate the envelope for the filter. You can use the K-2's trigger output to kick off the envelope, but whether it's going to play legato or retrigger is up to the K-2, which I don't have an answer as to how/if it handles legato.
Interesting point. If the filter is retriggering or not depending on the synth's legato settings, then it could be that it is not possible at all?

I am digging through the net for days now to find an answer and it looks like many synths have that issue. There are many discussions about that. No solution. Sure most people don't want retriggering but for me it is essential for one single piece of music.

I know the Pro-One can retrigger but I want the MS-20 to do that too :-)
Old 5th March 2020
  #29
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Bignatius's Avatar
Using an external module, say... an Envelope, that behaves exactly as you want (in lieu of the built-in one) is the beauty of modular distilled into a single, simple, Use Case.
Old 5th March 2020
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
Interesting point. If the filter is retriggering or not depending on the synth's legato settings, then it could be that it is not possible at all?

I am digging through the net for days now to find an answer and it looks like many synths have that issue. There are many discussions about that. No solution. Sure most people don't want retriggering but for me it is essential for one single piece of music.

I know the Pro-One can retrigger but I want the MS-20 to do that too :-)
Yeah, if the K-2 can't do it, then neither can any envelope you attach to it. The most straightforward workaround would be to get a more comprehensive MIDI-CV module, but then you're looking at a solution that costs more than the synth itself. Alternatively, you can get a specialized module that converts CV movement to trigger signals, but that's also adding cost, and you'd lose decay/sustain usability.
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