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PSA: went modular and lost interest in synths.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #1
PSA: went modular and lost interest in synths.

So in November I built a very modest eurorack modular with some room for growth in the skiff (I have queued about $1700 worth of modules I want to add to it with the remaining space in the small skiff). My budget was $600 and I waited for black friday and saved about $100 from the sales. You can imagine $700 worth of eurorack (including skiff) doesn't go very far but I made it work and have a cool little noise maker with room to expand.

I was not expecting to lose all interest in synths though. Since taking the modular plunge, I've lost all interest in purchasing anything not eurorack modular. I didn't realize quite the impact dipping into the eurorack waters would have on my synth GAS. I have several posts on here where I troll modular to no end, but now that I've tasted and seen/heard, it's changed who I am.

My GAS for #tradSynths has gone from a 100 (100 being max GAS) seeing all these new synths come out to about a 5 after going modular. No exaggeration.

A part of me has changed forever because of this happening, and I haven't come to grips with it yet. Please share thoughts, thanks.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

The honeymoon phase will likely pass, or at least lessen.

If not, it's not the worst thing that could happen.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #3
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lost_the_peace's Avatar
 

I like eurorack.

I like polyphony and recall too.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #4
I spent 2k on something that sounded like a $300 neutron before I realised it might not be for me. Bought softubes modular and all its add ons just to see if its maybe more expensive popular modules like braids and clouds might be what I was missing but no...that kind of modular is not going to be my thing. Im not a sound designer and my rather tame style if music is better served by fixed architecture.

Saying that full systems appeal to me and I think one of the behringer systems might make it on a table as it won't require too much investment
Old 3rd February 2020
  #5
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Stevism's Avatar
It happens. But you need to keep it in perspective. Why are you only excited by euro stuff? Is it because it’s unique, or you’re fascinated by how it can tie in to what you already have? Are you pursuing a sunken cost fallacy, where you feel you need to justify money already spent by staying the course? Do you just love patching?

I’ve been there. Ignored my other synths at first. But that gets old. I bought a synth that was kind of the opposite of my euro (ultranova) and it was breath of air to have polyphony / presets / etc again (even though I had other synths, it was like rediscovering this). But now, synthesis was more interesting to me. I approached fixed synths in a way I hadn’t before. Self modulating / self playing patches, etc. deep synths with deep modulations are much more satisfying to me now. Makes me want to get a pro 2 or peak or something, just don’t have the cash.

Why don’t I have the cash? Because as I was getting bored of my 104hp of euro...I investigated what had come out in the few years since I built my system. Ended up buying a new case and another 104 hp and spending like $3k or something.

Result? Awesome stuff. Really gave new life to my old modules and reinvigorated my interest. But I didn’t just focus on it, I use it as part of the rest of my setup. It has its strengths and weaknesses. Arguably some critical weaknesses that make it annoying to use it as the end all be all. But it’s a blast to play with and explore on.

So anyway...it happens. You’ll get over it.

Or not. And that’s fine too.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #6
Gear Head
 
Serotoninja's Avatar
PSA: went Nord Modular G2 and lost interest in eurorack
Old 3rd February 2020
  #7
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lost_the_peace's Avatar
 

Stuff I find euro is great for:

* Exotic percussion and bloops
* Drones
* Unconventional patterns and sequences
* FX processing / mangling

Because it has a shed load of this stuff to get you there:

* Complex oscs
* Modulation
* Analog domain lin and TZ FM
* Sequencers and controllers
* FX processing / audio mangling (I have 2x aux bus to euro ^^ for a sh1t load of delays, granular, filters, etc )
* Filters
* Crazy sheet like Noise Engineering

Like our Scottish/Yank friend says there are hella good budget mono options these days too. If I wanted traditional subtractive I'd look here first.

Euro is really not great for speed and productivity, and it's unruly.. I tend to find it follows its own course too rather than what I intended (maybe that's my experience showing )

That's fine, it just means I have mine glued to a sampler, and lay foundations first with other shiz.

Really love it but personally I wouldn't achieve what I'd like on its own, at least not without walls of it.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevism View Post
I’ve been there. Ignored my other synths at first. But that gets old. I bought a synth that was kind of the opposite of my euro (ultranova) and it was breath of air to have polyphony / presets / etc again (even though I had other synths, it was like rediscovering this). But now, synthesis was more interesting to me. I approached fixed synths in a way I hadn’t before. Self modulating / self playing patches, etc. deep synths with deep modulations are much more satisfying to me now.
nice, I look forward to when this happens then. I'm currently only excited by the euro stuff (and not by synths) because I can only imagine what might be possible with more modules. I bedroom produced electronic music for a while, never really got into deep patch design with VST's as I never liked the results I'd end up with, and the process wasn't much fun after a while.

Having a blank canvas now with physical hardware without any existing signal path connections is very intriguing. The aspect of being able to customize every piece of the final object is very cool as well, (for the gamers) it's almost like assigning attribute stats to your character in an mmo or rpg.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Old 3rd February 2020
  #9
M32
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I almost have the opposite feeling.
Modular is great and quirky, but some things are very cumbersome and take ages.

In a fixed synth architecture, levels and modulation ranges of envelopes etc. have been tweaked to an optimum range, making it super easy to get to a particular sound,
whereas in modular i spend so much time getting gain staging right, setting up the patch, routing, attenuation, clocking, the envelope linear-exponential behaviour vs the vca, etc...

i've spent a lot of time with the modular, great fun & experimental exploration, but the amount of it i've actually used in a finished song is quite small. Especially for bread-and butter sounds a fixed architecture is so much easier, and usually you can save presets, so at least the essence of your track will be easily recalled when you pick it up again.

Also, when you get a complex patch and are having fun throwing things around it's so easy to get lost experimenting, then realising you had the perfect sound fifteen minutes ago, but no way of getting it back. being able to press save some time along the way saves a lot of frustration.
Old 3rd February 2020
  #10
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Stevism's Avatar
@ raffivegas sure thing! I just do it as a hobby and I don’t have nearly as much euro as a lot of people, but I hope my insight has given you some food for thought.

Modular is awesome!
Old 3rd February 2020
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
ralphNYC's Avatar
I had a similar experience- but for me it was losing interest in guitar gear when I started getting into synths.
Old 4th February 2020
  #12
haha yes that happens
< moved thread to the modular mania forum >
Old 4th February 2020
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
you didn't maybe happen to go to Rekall and purchase one of their dream vacations on Mars, did you ?
because if you did, I'd go into hiding and change your identity if I were you. before cohagen gets his full report.
Old 4th February 2020
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
haha yes that happens
< moved thread to the modular mania forum >
I foresaw this happening (my post getting moved). I wrote this for my electronic music production synth friends as I was writing it from their perspective, not a modular manic's perspective, but I did ultimately wish for this to get moved, so I'd say it was perfect, got exposure with the synth-kin, and now the modular manics, which I have likely become :D

Now to figure out what else I can sell to fund my next module. Oh, here kitty kitty...
Old 4th February 2020
  #15
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Is “ the one I bought” your current modular on MG?

If so, awesome selection. Not familiar with most but going to research

You have vids or music with it?
Old 4th February 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevism View Post
Is “ the one I bought” your current modular on MG?
ha! Maybe in a few years It should actually be called "the one I'll buy"... I only have a few modules, don't laugh, but this was the only way I'd get into modular, so I did it.

my current setup is... very spartan.



Old 4th February 2020
  #17
DSC
Gear Maniac
 
DSC's Avatar
I share your initial experience into modular, but then I wanted to go deeper. I now have a deep respect and admiration for the builders/designers and engineers as I too have spent more time 'behind the panel' and have learned how/what electrical components make our glorious little blinky light and knob filled world actually function.

Easy is as easy does. Too easy makes it toooooo easy. For me, when things start to get 'difficult' then it becomes more interesting. Obviously not for everyone.

So if you have a troubleshooting mentality and yearn for more knowledge, jump behind the panel and discover yet another fascinating world.

Custom semi-modular quad CEM3340 OSC with quad wavefolder anyone?

Old 4th February 2020
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
When I first got into modular, the sound design capabilities wowed me. Once I started sampling the modular? That's when I lost interest in fixed-architecture almost entirely. Now it's modular and samplers and a second workstation with VA's for when I want to work fast. Being absolutely honest? That second workstation really doesn't get used often. I'm very tempted to sell off for more modules.
Old 4th February 2020
  #19
Me after 4 years into eurorack —>

I sold most of my other gear to finance my 9u 84hp case and no regrets at all. I am planning a new case atm.

But there are so many interesting synths out there!
They will pair nice with my eurorack
Old 4th February 2020
  #20
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cane creek's Avatar
 

I went down the eurorack rabbit hole for approx 7 years, nowadays i'll buy Eurorack or other hardware synths just whatever take my fancy. I wouldn't like to think i only had eurorack, infact I'm looking forward to the Osmose i pre-ordered.
Old 4th February 2020
  #21
DSC
Gear Maniac
 
DSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
infact I'm looking forward to the Osmose i pre-ordered.
Yep, so did I
True advancement can come from anywhere.
Old 4th February 2020
  #22
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Stevism's Avatar
@ raffivegas thank you for sharing! Awesome start. No way would I laugh, I’d say it away better to jump in than wait around and think about it.
I’d say something to consider would be using vcv rack via an interface to augment your system for now
Old 5th February 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Like everyone else has said, the honeymoon phase will likely pass. I finally took the plunge in May 2016, and eurorack quickly became my main focus and I started to poo-poo any fixed architecture stuff, including what I already owned and had previously loved. But time went on, and my interest in eurorack waxed and waned a little as I felt the limitations of my then limited setup and saw all sorts of other cool stuff that wasn’t modular. Ultimately modular is still my main thing, but I’ve become a little more realistic about it-I don’t need to spend $6K on a rack that will do what $3K in fixed architecture would do, and do better and more efficiently. Ultimately, it’s about the best tool for the job-sometimes that’s modular, sometimes it isn’t. As long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’re fine.
Old 7th February 2020
  #24
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Bignatius's Avatar
I, mostly, feel the same.

Like, oh, *this* is what synthesis is.

*Now* I'm a synthesist.

The rest feels like Ramen vs Home Cooking.

Both have their place.
Old 7th February 2020
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Ramen
noodling around.
Old 7th February 2020
  #26
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pekbro's Avatar
 

Definitely my interests have evolved since getting into modular. The only thing it has really
pushed me away from, is software. As for hardware, primarily I like modular, but fixed architecture
devices, both in and out of the rack provide a lot of interest for me now. Though outside of modular,
a particular instruments suitability for working in tandem with modular hardware, is a much more of a priority.

If I only had the wherewithal to sell all of my software, I could likely buy a lot of hardware with it.
If I could sell every single one of the 1400 vst plugins I have for only $30, it comes out to $42k
That would take a while to do likely, also I don't really want to sell them unfortunately.
Old 7th February 2020
  #27
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pekbro's Avatar
 

*double
Old 7th February 2020
  #28
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Bignatius's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by raffivegas View Post
noodling around.
ramen noodling.

lovely/funny.

I'm naming a song that now.

Old 10th February 2020
  #29
IEC
Gear Nut
 
IEC's Avatar
 

I kind of justify my euro crack addiction by reminding myself that it saved me from my previous general synth addiction. In stark contrast to seeming most people i mainly use my euro for subtractive style stuff and it has increased my productivity by a few orders of magnitude! (not joking)
Old 10th February 2020
  #30
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Bignatius's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEC View Post
it has increased my productivity by a few orders of magnitude! (not joking)
Me, too.

Never more productive, inspired, or as much fun.
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