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Your favorite cheap module
Old 31st May 2019
  #1
Gear Head
Your favorite cheap module

Other than attenuators, basic mixers, adders, static routers etc. what is your favorite "cheap" module? Especially interested in sound manglers, filters, effects, distortion modules etc. from small/independent developers out there. I feel like as a newbie there are so many people making modules and most talk is about the couple dozen bigger names making the expensive fancy modules.
Old 31st May 2019
  #2
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How cheap is “cheap”? Because Cold Mac is under $200 and I strongly recommend one at minimum.
Old 31st May 2019
  #3
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void23's Avatar
Anything Ladik makes.
Old 31st May 2019
  #4
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Derp's Avatar
Shut up and buy a Wasp now!!!



Actually, this thread is making it hard to resist going through my MG account module by module. I got started with cheap modules and I still show favoritism toward the cheap stuff because if it's cheap, you can buy more!!! There are so many great modules out there that are sub-$200.

Synthrotek has a lot of cheap modules that are really good if you can get past the political controversy of the guy. The Atari Punk Console and the Chaos Nand are awesome little noisemakers. Chaos Nand loves extreme modulation.

EMW is a really great company with tons of cheap modules. Most of them are clones (Moog Filters, SH envelopes, etc.) but there's a few originals in his lineup that are really good, especially for the price. Alias DVCO can get gnarly, the T-Drums are a whole bucket of fun, the Wave Compressor is super useful, and the Analog Drum Synth is one of my favorite modules in the whole system (an analog clone of a Korg ER-1 voice, who knew?)

The 2HP stuff is cheap and usually a lot better than people give them credit for. There's some modules where it feels like they really went too small, but the functionality makes up for it. (Their drum modules are a perfect example of this; kick, snare, and hats for less than $400 for the set, and they can do a whole lot, but it's way too crowded to work with them all at once in the same space.)

Check out some of the old and forgotten stuff, too. Analogue Solutions isn't as prominent as they used to be, but their old modules (especially their oscillators) sound awesome. The old Qu-Bit modules go pretty cheap, and there's a lot of useful stuff in their old lineup. Old Audio Damage effects are usually cheap and useful. Everybody and their mother used to rant and rave about Ornament and Crime, and now its super cheap. Flight of Harmony has a couple modules worth having that go pretty cheap (in particular the PLAGUE BEARER!!!) 4ms has a lot of modules that used to be must-haves (Atoner, Noise Swash, and Rotating Clock Divider) that are cheap now.

Older versions of modules are good to get a hold of as well. When Tides v2 came out, Tides became super cheap, so I got a second one for detuned foldable/shapeable sawteeth. Braids is cheap as hell now with Plaits out when in practice, they're very different modules.

Pick a few favorite DIY builders and keep an eye on them. The main guy I use has a system where he'll build a module, list it for a fair price, and then just keeps reducing the price until it sells. Not only can you score some good deals on the popular stuff (Radio Music, O_C, Temps Utile, etc.) but many of them make modules from guys that you forget about making modules until you see them up for sale. The Ginko stuff is becoming pretty affordable, Nonlinear Circuits is always weird and cheap (everbody into ambient/self-generation needs a Sloth or three), and one guy I buy from breaks out the odd Barton module with his own custom panels that look wicked awesome. (My 1song has a Kitten on it!)

Get on eBay and Reverb, and sort by price. Start from the bottom and work your way up. There are so many great forgotten/overlooked modules out there that sell way cheaper than they used to/should.

Also, don't forget to try out modules with different functions than what you were originally looking for. For instance, I know you mentioned sound mangling, but logic modules can not only spice up your triggers, but can be used to make some wild new waveforms when working at audio-rate. Sequencers being clocked by audio-rate oscillators are great for shaping new waveforms by hand. Even bland utility stuff like mixers can color your sound and make it your own.

Don't overlook modules that work as whole voices. Even if the voice sucks, you can still use components of it elsewhere in your system i.e. the Synthesizer Box kinda sucks on its own, but I'm constantly tapping into it for its LFO and envelope.
Old 31st May 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Shut up and buy a Wasp now!!!
I just received a Random*Source Haible Dual Wasp Filter, does that count?
Old 31st May 2019
  #6
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void23's Avatar
Let me add something else ... If you can put together a Lego set, any of the Music Thing Modular DIY kits are worth your time, they're really easy. Radio Music is wonderful as is their Spring reverb.

A Radio Music going through a 2hp Freez is the ultimate in sample mangling and can add some interesting depth to any patch if that's your sound.
Old 2nd June 2019
  #7
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DTM?
Old 3rd June 2019
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Summer Of Nebula's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
DTM?
+1

I am a DTM owner since a few days and I love what it does past 75%.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #9
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
DTM?
+1. I have the previous incarnation of this module and for it being "just a mixer", it's got so much character in it. It's especially good at saturating percussion.
Old 4th June 2019
  #10
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Ossicle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Of Nebula View Post
+1

I am a DTM owner since a few days and I love what it does past 75%.
+1

Also the THAT based Manhattan VCA, sounds so fresh and clear without being harsh.
Old 4th June 2019
  #11
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Summer Of Nebula's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ossicle View Post
+1

Also the THAT based Manhattan VCA, sounds so fresh and clear without being harsh.
Interesting, thanks for the hint.

Some Manhattan love here =)
Old 4th June 2019
  #12
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Ossicle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Of Nebula View Post
Interesting, thanks for the hint.

Some Manhattan love here =)
The VCA is fantastic. Even though it's just a VCA, it's one of my favourite modules. I'm having a hard time putting a mixer or an output module between the VCA and A/D because I'm afraid I'll lose that sound quality. Maybe it's just my imagination, I don't know. But I might just get another one for stereo.

Superb build quality too, the knobs turn so smoothly. The only issue I've had is that the offset pot has gotten a bit noisy after only a few months, like it was oxidized. But this may due to something I've done wrong myself.
Old 4th June 2019
  #13
Gear Head
To add some myself, I bought a Ladik D-333 and it has a fantastic gritty 12bit sound. Super cheap and great for drums and percussion.
Old 4th June 2019
  #14
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Derp's Avatar
This came up in another thread, but another fave cheap module of mine:



This is my go-to LFO module.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ossicle View Post
The VCA is fantastic. Even though it's just a VCA, it's one of my favourite modules. I'm having a hard time putting a mixer or an output module between the VCA and A/D because I'm afraid I'll lose that sound quality. Maybe it's just my imagination, I don't know. But I might just get another one for stereo.

Superb build quality too, the knobs turn so smoothly. The only issue I've had is that the offset pot has gotten a bit noisy after only a few months, like it was oxidized. But this may due to something I've done wrong myself.
Thanks for the recommendation. I get what you mean about VCA's having mojo. The Malekko VCA sounds big and mighty. With their CP3 being so good, I have no doubt that Manhattan's VCA will be awesome.
Old 4th June 2019
  #15
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Hmm, let's see... I would define "cheap" in this case as anything under 100€ so... my favorites would have to be:

1. Doepfer 106-5 SEM Filter

What's not to love about a great sounding SVVCF for 79€?! After buying a second one, I sold my t.o. SEM. Not quite the same, of course, but no regrets.

2. Manhattan Audio DTA Discrete VCA


I don't know how it does it, but somehow it improves the sound of everything I put through it.

Among the best 99€ I've ever spent.
Old 4th June 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
This came up in another thread, but another fave cheap module of mine:



This is my go-to LFO module.



Thanks for the recommendation. I get what you mean about VCA's having mojo. The Malekko VCA sounds big and mighty. With their CP3 being so good, I have no doubt that Manhattan's VCA will be awesome.
It seems they quit making that quad LFO, btw. I went looking yesterday and its now listed under legacy modules and not in the current lineup.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
2HP good price and space saving
Meng qi also very .
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

Q109 envelope generator, 92 dollars and i use it for a lot more then simple envelopes.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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mekanik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by breakline View Post
Other than attenuators, basic mixers, adders, static routers etc. what is your favorite "cheap" module? Especially interested in sound manglers, filters, effects, distortion modules etc. from small/independent developers out there. I feel like as a newbie there are so many people making modules and most talk is about the couple dozen bigger names making the expensive fancy modules.
doepfer a102 filter is really nice, its only partly a filter, imo that is... it does a lot of very strange and nice/weird things when FMed, plus it can filter sounds. i think this must be one of the best filters doepfer makes.

NE variatic erumption and numeric repetitor is also quite good for not much money. they are sequencers and burst generators.

a111-3 micro vco is very good!! also does lfo. with pwm!

2 vcas that can severely color sound to the better and beefier is the xaoc tallinn and wmd amplitude, both these are quite cheap. i think these are basically must haves for beefy analog tones!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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mekanik's Avatar
 

derp knows his ****! he has owned all modules ever created.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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mekanik's Avatar
 

also some of the tiptop single drum modules. I'm serieously thinking about doing a 10h marathon with only the rs808 rimshot and the erbe verb.

just kidding. buy yeah that rimshot is to die for. and i also really LOVE the sd909 snare. my god....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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mekanik's Avatar
 

i have both the dtm x2. stg mix. ma mix, ma vca. all are very very good modules. the dtm and the stg should in theory do the exact same thing but i think they are different. basically you need to have both!

the ma vca is good for clean sound. but so is the wmd amplitude. the wmp amp is probably my best vca. very precise and exact, my only one good enough for repeated kicks. also the ma vca has 2 cv inputs so its good for velocity.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
vekter303's Avatar
About 50 quids worth of grit and crunch...



...worth it for the name alone
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
DSC
Gear Maniac
 
DSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vekter303 View Post
About 50 quids worth of grit and crunch...



...worth it for the name alone
Looks interesting, kinda deep though?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
vekter303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC View Post
Looks interesting, kinda deep though?
Its pretty cool for what it is...

Im not I understand you though, you mean sonically or physically?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
DSC
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DSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vekter303 View Post
Its pretty cool for what it is...

Im not I understand you though, you mean sonically or physically?
Physically. Would not fit in a standard case, say like a TT Mantis.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
vekter303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC View Post
Physically. Would not fit in a standard case, say like a TT Mantis.
Haha, yeah...physically, that would make sense. I had probabaly amused only myself that you meant sonically

I guess it may be, I have sworn off the eurorack/modular in good old temperance fashion (white-knuckling it, hah) I have my phonic in a wee enclosure as a stand alone effects unit for my TR-626...

In fact this thread could be like my gateway drug!

Here kid, try this...first ones free
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mekanik View Post
also some of the tiptop single drum modules. I'm serieously thinking about doing a 10h marathon with only the rs808 rimshot and the erbe verb.

just kidding. buy yeah that rimshot is to die for. and i also really LOVE the sd909 snare. my god....
I want to get the 808 modules eventually, but I got the 909 modules a while back and I love them way more than I thought I would. I didn't really imagine myself as a 909 guy and got them to just fool around with, but they sound so good and are so much fun.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vekter303 View Post
About 50 quids worth of grit and crunch...



...worth it for the name alone
Damn you DIY kids and your cool modules that I lack the ability to build!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
vekter303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Damn you DIY kids and your cool modules that I lack the ability to build!
Relatively easy really! Soldering is all...

And another gateway experience, hah. Progressing to Shruthi filter board and then RE-303.
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