Hi everyone!

First of all, I just want to say I'm really excited about getting started on my journey with module synthesis. I've had plenty of experience with softwar synthase and midi of the years and am reading everything I can to understand the science going in.

However, where I'm falling a little uncertain is where to start with a physical unit. Should I buy a semi-modular (Mother 32 etc) or just dive straight in and buy some modules (cheaper side to start out) ?

My gut says go semi-modular until I find out WHAT I want my synth to do etc and then start building but I'd appreciate advice from the seasoned synth-meisters! :)

Cheers and looking forward to learning as much as I can from you all.

Oli


Welcome :)

I am a bit of a beginner as well if I'm being completely honest. BUT if you don't know yet what you want your synth to do, I would say invest into a semi modular. That's what I did before I started filling a case. I went with a Mother32/0-Coast as my first synths. Going semi modular at first is a great choice if youre uncertain about anything. Diving straight into modular is confusing and expensive. But can be even more expensive if you dont know for absolutely sure what you need or where you're going with it. I regret nothing by going semi modular in the beginning. The Mother 32 is great for beginners. It can teach you so much about the building blocks of synthesis. And will teach you what you WILL need for basic building blocks for your modular. I learned the most just by repatching the Mother. But I do wish that I would have gone for the Mother32 and the DFAM. That things insane.

Anyways, yes. Go semi until you learn more and figure out what you want to do with your synth. Also I would highly recommend picking up a copy of the book Patch and Tweak. It will answer any questions you may have


Hi there! Thanks so much for the swift reply!

That's really useful insight, thanks so much!

The book, is already on it's way :)


I'll second that, having learned much of the basics myself on one of the greatest patchables in history, the ARP 2600. Having the prepatched signal paths was very useful inasmuch as I could see what a "conventional" flow was capable of, and also what patched changes to those signal paths might do. The 2600 in question here was located in Middle TN State's Electronic Music Studio through part of the 1970s and much of the 1980s, and I don't think a better educational analog synthesizer has been created since the 2600. It's something that Korg, through their ties with David Friend of ARP, should still consider reissuing, IMHO.

Good patchables for learning the modular basics that you can get these days include:

Moog: Mother32, DFAM, Grandmother.
Korg: MS-20 mini + SQ-1.
MakeNoise: 0-Coast (excellent for understanding West Coast concepts, btw)
Arturia: MiniBrute 2 and 2S (the 2 is keyboard-based, while the 2S revolves around a step-sequencer)
Plankton: ANTS!
Soundmachines: Modulor114
Dreadbox: Erebus, Nyx
Kilpatrick: Phenol (rather Serge-like...a great intro to banana-patch methods)
Pittsburgh: Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox, Microvolt 3900

...and I'm sure the list goes on. But anyway, by learning how these work in their normalized states (where applicable), it's easy to see how modules within those work, and how the patching process changes things around. And in most cases, these can be interconnected directly to modular systems, with the Korg and Moog devices being the only ones that have certain control signal tweaks that're necessary to make that work 100%. As for controllers (should you need them), my vote goes to Arturia and their Keystep and BeatStep Pro. Both are sequencers, the former also functioning as a keyboard controller and the latter being more pad-based.


Hi Lugia!

Thanks for your input! Have decided I'll probably go with the Mother 32 to get my head around basic signal flows and what each module does/ works with other modules and in time begin forming a rack of my own.

Want to thank everyone for their help, I've been a student of music and sound for half my life but only started my journey into modules so appreciate hearing from those more learned than myself :)


My 2 Cents... Having been in modular synthesis now for 3 or so years... and making mistakes, etc. Here is where I would suggest to start. Now, before I begin, I will say that I am really pushing Make Noise products, but that's because you can use their products to learn both East Coast and West Coast synthesis techniques. There is lots of great videos covering their products to help you learn some great synthesis theory. So, if i were to do it all over again.... 0 Coast, a Wogglebug, Maths, and maybe some 2 hp reverb/delay modules. Gives you a good start! A great start actually. And you can use all of these modules within your Eurorack system as it grows. I would suggest building your own case with a intelligel power supply if you want to save on a case. Do research, lots of it, before purchasing anything. Buy modules that are flexible and give you lots of bang/options for your dollars.

So why Wogglebug and Maths... they are great cv generators that are extremely flexible in how they can be applied and used within a modular system. Wogglebug can generate random events, and clocking, and cv. It also has oscillators of the experimental nature as well. Maths is Maths...;. and most likely, you will end up with one anyway. 0Coast is great as it has oscillator, stepped cv, clocking, a Maths inspired cv generator, and an AD envelope generator. It has lots of options as to what can be cv controlled by either within its own system or from other eurorack modules.

If you are looking for some modules that are relatively affordable, look at 2hp for your envelope generators, Amp modules, filters, sequencers... etc. Noise engineering also makes some good sequencers that are both flexible and relatively affordable. Happy Music Making.


Thanks Mark!

Really useful info. Indeed the maths and O-coast have come up in various threads I've read and I do like the look of them for sure.

As a core first noise maker, I'm sort of between the O-Coast and the Dreadbox Erebus V3.

I come from an drone/ambient and noise background and either of these seem like plenty to get me started for sure. Anyone have any experience with the Erebus??


Hi Lugia!

Thanks for your input! Have decided I'll probably go with the Mother 32, as I found a lot of good reviews about it at https://edubirdie.com/research-papers-writing-services, to get my head around basic signal flows and what each module does/ works with other modules and in time begin forming a rack of my own.

Want to thank everyone for their help, I've been a student of music and sound for half my life but only started my journey into modules so appreciate hearing from those more learned than myself :)
-- OHELEM

You did the right choice OHELEM. Mother-32 is really good for beginners. Hope your "journey into modules" will be successful and soon you will share your tracks with us.


Hello
Of course, you can first buy a semimodular synthesizer. Personally, I would not urge you to buy a moog synthesizer. Nothing against moog. I also have a voyager. I just think that the moog sound is least well integrated into mixes coming from modular synthesizers. Arp, Korg, Roland etc., in my opinion, fit much better in terms of sound. I would put directly on modules. Doepfer has a huge catalog of modules and is comparatively cheap. By the way, Doepfer is often underestimated. If it's supposed to be a moog I would recommend you the Behringer Model D Clone. Sounds fantastic and is cheap and taxable via cv. In addition a nices sequencer module. Personally, I'm a big fan of Intellijel products.
Have fun with the patching.