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-   Modular Mania - All Things Eurorack and Modular Synths/Effects (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/modular-mania-all-things-eurorack-and-modular-synths-effects/)
-   -   Took the first steps, now what? How to decide? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/modular-mania-all-things-eurorack-and-modular-synths-effects/1219887-took-first-steps-now-what-how-decide.html)

smitty.west 17th June 2018 10:26 AM

Took the first steps, now what? How to decide?
 
I've wanted to get into modular for several years now, but always put the money into something else. Last year I got my first module-- ModCan Quad LFO-- on a complete whim, but, again, got side-tracked and didn't go anywhere with it. Today I saw Big City Music post they got in some Cwejman's so in a moment of weakness I bought one of the MMF-1S' and I'm now up to those two modules. Still no case- I'll be sorting that shortly (going for a 9U A-100 style).

My two choices are admittedly random, but I'm keen to learn them and make them work.

What I'm wondering now is... where do I go form here and how do I ultimately decided which modules to get moving forward?

How do you guys decide which filter, oscillator, adsr, effects, etc. to go with?

I'd like to have a 2-3 oscillator synth with a couple nice filters and some nice spacial effects. Which is responsible more for the overall sonic character of a synth, the oscillator or the filter? It's something I've always wondered... I like triangle and sine waves so it'd be nice of the osc's I get have at least one of those (I know some omit them).

I'm wanting to make BoC style music, as well as some house and techno stuff- not really interested in bleeps and bloops, but more musical stuff.

I don't want to go too overboard and get too many modules at once, but would definitely like a few more so as to have a congruent system, capable of doing what I want, at my hands. What pieces should I be looking at next? How did you personally decide?

Really excited for this and will keep you guys updated.

chrisso 17th June 2018 11:44 AM

I can't believe you bought a Cwejman on a whim. confoosed
The module you bought is a multi-mode filter I think, so that is going to have your filtering covered for a while.
The best advice I can give you is to go into a store and try a bunch of stuff out. Everyone has different favourite modules and different favourite brands. So likely this thread will have 100 different bits of advice in a few days time.
It's very hard, nigh on impossible to filter sine and triangle waves, they are too pure, with not enough information in the wave to filter out or shape.
I surprised myself when I checked it out, but both oscillators and filters have a major impact on the sound of a synth. Filters are obviously more immediate, but most oscillators have a signature sound.

slaughtrhaus 17th June 2018 04:00 PM

Whatever you do, don’t be one of those weirdos who has already decided against Make Noise Maths without knowing what the hell is going on in modular. That’s just creepy.

lineofcontrol 18th June 2018 10:58 AM

I think it's a bit weird you bought 2 modules to do... Nothing with them yet! Lols.

Do you have any other semi modular gear at all that you could patch these 2 with?

You've purchased 2 excellent products so that's a start! Get a case and power. And then you can play the self oscillating filters and modulate with the lfos to begin.

Coorec 18th June 2018 11:42 AM

I congratulate you on pure sluttery in its finest form.

Without knowing what else you got (fixed synths like Minimoog, etc.) its hard to recommend anything, but an oscillator and a waveshaper should be cool to acompany your LFO and filter. Also some VCA's and/or mixers.

Derp 18th June 2018 10:53 PM

https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/36663189.jpg

You bought Cwejman.

...on a whim!?

That's some class-a sluttery right there!

You've got a radical start, you've just gotta keep going. Get you some oscillators and Maths (or similar but the simple truth is that Maths is a great universal modulator/learning tool). What you think you want your modular to do is probably going to change drastically as you start filling in the blanks.

...on a WHIM!?

smitty.west 20th June 2018 02:31 AM

ha, if only you guys knew some of the impulsive decisions i've made in the guitar domain, costing tens of times what the cwejman cost. i've got the sickness bad.

my next purchase will be a case/power. i'm backwards, what can i say... also have been looking at some oscillators and adsr's, but not sure which route to go.

question: what has more impact on the final sound we hear, the oscillator or the filter? i was looking at various different oscillators and know they're the foundation of a sound, but have no idea which direction to go. last year i was looking at the furthrrr generator, but now am thinking of maybe going with two individual ones, maybe 2 x sto's or 2 x mangrove's, rings, i don't know... will each one have a drastically different core tonality to the next?

also, what are you guys digging for adsr's?

yeah, i keep hearing maths is a must, will pick one up.

er-301 looks wicked, but will steer clear for now as it seems to deep for me right now.

def want a nice sequencer and a delay + sampler, too.

chrisso 20th June 2018 12:13 PM

I already answered your question (above). Yes, BOTH oscillators and filters have signature sounds and both impact the final sound of your patch.

Derp 20th June 2018 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smitty.west (Post 13377948)
question: what has more impact on the final sound we hear, the oscillator or the filter? i was looking at various different oscillators and know they're the foundation of a sound, but have no idea which direction to go. last year i was looking at the furthrrr generator, but now am thinking of maybe going with two individual ones, maybe 2 x sto's or 2 x mangrove's, rings, i don't know... will each one have a drastically different core tonality to the next?

Both, really. Filters you probably already know first hand how much that changes the sound. With oscillators, there are so many different kinds to pick from. Complex ones like Furthrrr and DPO sound nothing like STO's which sound nothing like Z3000's which in turn sound nothing like Braids... When you're starting out, there's a tendency among newbies to stock up on filters, treating the system like an east-coast voice because filter characters are so dissimilar from one another. A lot of veteran wigglers end up getting rid of their filters and just vary the tone via waveshaping or complex oscillators. Personally, I like both ways of operating, especially when done in conjunction.

I would recommend a Braids to start with for an oscillator? It's digital and all that, but because it has so many synthesis methods, it'll give you a little flavor of the different tones you can get in modular. From there, you can refine what you like. Or heck if you've got the cash to spend, get a Furthrrrr (I've never heard anyone say they didn't like complex oscillators) and something like Braids or Plaits to complement it.

smitty.west 20th June 2018 11:50 PM

Wondering if any of you have experience with the following oscillators and could comment on them:

ADDAC 701
Analogue Systems RS-95E
Cwejman VCO-2RM
Macbeth X-series

I'm mainly interested in the ADDAC and 95E for their more vintage character, though with a Model D I wonder if the 701 might be slightly redundant. I know it's based off the Moog modular/COTK 921 so not exactly a MiniMoog sound, but perhaps somewhat similar character? RS-95E is also very intriguing.
Cwejman VCO-2RM I don't know much about, but have heard great things. And Macbeth, I like most things of his I've tried- I owned an Elements for a while.
The Furthrrr Generator was my top pick when I was getting into this last year, but now I'm not so sure. I will revisit it and do some research again.

I really do want at least two VCO's so am wondering if I got say a 701, if it's necessary to pair it with another 701 for when I want to do some detuned 2-osc stuff? Would it sound weird blending two different vco's for that kind of thing? That's maybe why the appeal of a dual-osc is greater, but at the same time it would be nice to explore different voices.

Regarding filters, I'm not going to go crazy... will just use the MMF-1S for now and in a few months maybe try something else.

How is the Mannequins stuff by the way?

I'm really uncertain of which VCA or ADSR to go with, will do some more research in that area.

As for sequencers, do you guys prefer to use external ones or eurorack ones?

smitty.west 20th June 2018 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derp (Post 13378965)
Both, really. Filters you probably already know first hand how much that changes the sound. With oscillators, there are so many different kinds to pick from. Complex ones like Furthrrr and DPO sound nothing like STO's which sound nothing like Z3000's which in turn sound nothing like Braids... When you're starting out, there's a tendency among newbies to stock up on filters, treating the system like an east-coast voice because filter characters are so dissimilar from one another. A lot of veteran wigglers end up getting rid of their filters and just vary the tone via waveshaping or complex oscillators. Personally, I like both ways of operating, especially when done in conjunction.

I would recommend a Braids to start with for an oscillator? It's digital and all that, but because it has so many synthesis methods, it'll give you a little flavor of the different tones you can get in modular. From there, you can refine what you like. Or heck if you've got the cash to spend, get a Furthrrrr (I've never heard anyone say they didn't like complex oscillators) and something like Braids or Plaits to complement it.

Thanks for this. I will look into the Braids for sure. The Furthrrr was at the top of my list last year and so I will revisit that idea again. I also managed to try a Verbos complex osc at a shop last year and quite liked that. Lots to consider...
I do like the idea of bypassing filters and adjusting the tone via waveshaping or complex oscillators, but I think that's beyond me for the time being so I might start in a more conventional way and grow into that.

chrisso 21st June 2018 12:06 AM

I'll go on record and say the Cwejman Eurorack stuff is wildly overpriced and overrated. I've had most of the mainstream modules and they were no different in sound or build quality to many other much cheaper Euro modules.

smitty.west 21st June 2018 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisso (Post 13379866)
I'll go on record and say the Cwejman Eurorack stuff is wildly overpriced and overrated. I've had most of the mainstream modules and they were no different in sound or build quality to many other much cheaper Euro modules.

cool. i mean i wouldn't know enough about it to fervently deny/defend it, but if modular is even somewhat similar to the guitar domain in terms of the bs hype myths they use to sell ****, i wouldn't be surprised...

chrisso 21st June 2018 07:26 AM

Nothing wrong with Cwejman, just not in sound or build worth the extra $$$ in my experience.

mutilatedlip 21st June 2018 11:27 AM

I would recommend AJH Minimod oscillators. They're lovely.

I also have an Erica VCO1 which is dirty yet weirdly smooth if that makes sense. And the Roland VCO which - if you're after that particular character - manages it perfectly.

Maths is a pretty decent and workhorse of a module, also.

I use a couple of CP3 style mixers. They add a really nice layer of dirt to anything you put through them. Personally, I have one Feedback Modules version, and the Manhattan Analog.

Whatever you get, you really can't go wrong. You'll always find a use.

Ladik and Doepfer do some good low cost modules as well, just for the boring stuff if you don't want to spend a fortune.

chrisso 21st June 2018 03:10 PM

Agree to the above.
They are bread and butter analog oscillators, not complex, but the AJH are well built and sound good. Very affordable too.
Roland also good.
Apart from Maths I like the VSL D Envelope.
Most if not all the Erica Black Series are excellent, and well built. A lot of my system is Erica Black.

Derp 21st June 2018 06:46 PM

In favor of Doepfer, they were referred to as cheap and boring, but their filters have a lot of variety in their characteristics. Off the top of my head, I've got three of their filters, and each one sounds unique. The Wasp filter is practically a must-own for its cheapness and bizarre (in a very fun and good way) character.

chrisso 22nd June 2018 09:55 AM

Analogue Systems modules never used to fit into a Doepfer format case, and also used a different power ribbon. Not sure if anything has changed, but I would avoid AS unless it fits seamlessly alongside your other modules.

Derp 22nd June 2018 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisso (Post 13382392)
Analogue Systems modules never used to fit into a Doepfer format case, and also used a different power ribbon. Not sure if anything has changed, but I would avoid AS unless it fits seamlessly alongside your other modules.

Good point, there. Analogue Systems still use a different power supply and have different hole locations than standard Eurorack. You can make it work with an adapter on the power side and either a little gap between modules (this will waste about 2HP spread between both sides of the module), or if you use sliding nuts instead of threaded rails, you can make it squish together. Just be warned that the sliding nuts will drive you nuts.

lineofcontrol 23rd June 2018 11:22 AM

If you are starting out you just can't go wrong with Braids or the newer version Plaits.

As the below video shows in a very musical way...


Reptil 26th June 2018 10:53 AM

Cwejman prices were raised by about 40% 3 years ago. Something to do with a change in swedish labour laws.
Since then I sold all of my modules (for what I paid for it). It's same price level as Buchla 200e. Well... then.. easy choice if you have the cash innit?
For a simular high end eurorack braind (but slightly cheaper) I'd sincerely recommend ACL.
I know I've made a video and all that gooof but seriously impressed with the designs.

buckan 7th August 2019 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smitty.west (Post 13379842)
Wondering if any of you have experience with the following oscillators and could comment on them:
ADDAC 701
Analogue Systems RS-95E
Cwejman VCO-2RM
Macbeth X-series

I'm also very curious, are there any $100-300 VCO alternatives to Macbeth X-Series in terms of rawness?
Or better go for $500+ Studio Electronics Tonestar 8106, 2600 or Boomstar 3003 Desktop (not a eurorack format unfortunately)?

DSC 7th August 2019 02:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mutilatedlip (Post 13380537)

Whatever you get, you really can't go wrong. You'll always find a use.

This is the essence of eurorack modular!!!! Sometimes what you think you want to use for this and that turns out to NOT be what you thought and then it gets used for something else entirely. Try everything with everything, and then try it again... and again... kfhkh

Look into VCV rack. I think I would have done that if it was around when I started my trip down the rabbit hole kfhkh

Reptil 9th August 2019 11:46 AM

Thread is a year old: What happpened @ smitty.west ? I'm curious. :)

Lisa 19th August 2019 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reptil (Post 13388868)
Cwejman prices were raised by about 40% 3 years ago. Something to do with a change in swedish labour laws.

No, no new labour laws in Sweden that would explain any mentionable price increase.

Ossicle 21st August 2019 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus (Post 13373570)
Whatever you do, don’t be one of those weirdos who has already decided against Make Noise Maths without knowing what the hell is going on in modular. That’s just creepy.

I did just that. hidz

Reptil 26th August 2019 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisa (Post 14156744)
No, no new labour laws in Sweden that would explain any mentionable price increase.

Thanks for the correction. kfhkh
I looked it up and they stated higher manufacturing cost. What that exactly entails, I don't know.

Bhang 28th August 2019 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smitty.west (Post 13373294)
... Today I saw Big City Music post they got in some Cwejman's so in a moment of weakness I bought one of the MMF-1S' and I'm now up to those two modules.

BEWARE that Cwejman modules are powered in reverse to other modules. They used to use different cables ( reversed header on the power cables).

Just be aware of this so you don't accidentally blow up one of your modules right off the bat.

buckan 28th August 2019 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smitty.west (Post 13373294)
... I bought one of the MMF-1S' and I'm now up to those two modules. Still no case- I'll be sorting that shortly (going for a 9U A-100 style)...
What I'm wondering now is... where do I go form here and how do I ultimately decided which modules to get moving forward?
How do you guys decide which filter, oscillator, adsr, effects, etc. to go with?
I'd like to have a 2-3 oscillator synth with a couple nice filters and some nice spacial effects.
I'm wanting to make BoC style music, as well as some house and techno stuff- not really interested in bleeps and bloops, but more musical stuff.
I don't want to go too overboard and get too many modules at once, but would definitely like a few more so as to have a congruent system, capable of doing what I want, at my hands. What pieces should I be looking at next? How did you personally decide?

Based on gearslutz, I went this way (my own rank is higher first), and skipped some useful but not fantastic Erikasynth and Doepfer modules
For six modules I suggest
- VCO1 Studio Electronics Tonestar 2600
- VCO2 one more from below
- VCF1 Malekko Heavy Industry Dual Borg
- VCF2 Bubblesound SEM20 Multimode Filter
- Bubblesound cvWS
- STG Soundlabs Wave Folder
My complete lists
VCOs:
- BOUGHT
- Studio Electronics Tonestar 2600 (most like a playable synth)
- Studio Electronics Tonestar 8106
- Thomas Henry CEM3340 VCO MAXIMUS
- Timo Rozendal CEM3340 VCO
- Timo Rozendal SDSV (not tried yet, maybe very good)
- Animodule Li'l VCO
- Bubblesound VCOb
- Richter Anti-Oscillator
- ADDAC 701
- MFB Nanozwerg Pro
- ELBY-DESIGNS ASM321
- Circuit Slices Dual Oscillator (nice sound but only one of its two OSC worked and no response from support)
- Mutable Instruments Braids (nice and sharp)
- Synthesis Technology E340 Cloud Generator (not so JP-8080-like)
- TipTop Audio Z3000 MKII VCO*(to laboratory-like sound)
- Waldorf NW1 Wavetable
- Pharmasonic SYS-100 VCO (not tried yet)
- Pharmasonic SY-CORE mk2 (not tried yet)
BUY LIST
- AJH Synths Minimod VCO
- Richter Oscillator II (similar to Wiard Oscillator)
- Analog Solutions RS95E RS95N
- Aion Modular 921
RARE
- Macbeth XSeries Dual VCO
- Livewire Audio Frequency Generator AFG
- Plan B Model 15
VCFs
BOUGHT
- Malekko Heavy Industry Dual Borg
- Bubblesound SEM20 Multimode Filter
BUY
- Manhattan Analog Discrete SVVCF
- Vintage Synth Lab VCF74 MK2
- STG Sea Devils Filter
- STG Post Lawsuit Filter
- STS Serge Variable Q VCF
- AJH Gemini
- Toptop Forbidden Planet
WAVESHAPER/FOLDERS
BOUGHT
- Bubblesound cvWS
- STG Soundlabs Wave Folder
BUY
- Doepfer (many)
- SSSR Labs SM630 AWS
- TipTop Fold Processor
- Toppobrillo Tripple wave folder
- Elby Designs Wavolver II
- Yusynth Waveshaper
- Serge Triple+ Waveshaper
- System80 Waveshaper
- AniModule SOB
- Abstract Data ADE-10 Reactive Shaper
- Intellijel uFold/uFold II

Bignatius 30th August 2019 12:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buckan (Post 14135972)
I'm also very curious, are there any $100-300 VCO alternatives to Macbeth X-Series in terms of rawness?
Or better go for $500+ Studio Electronics Tonestar 8106, 2600 or Boomstar 3003 Desktop (not a eurorack format unfortunately)?

Cranial Saw