I think you nailed the spirit of the West coast. I find it quite funny that this system doesn't feature a full VCA. Very counter-intuitive to much of the advice on this forum.
Never think that Temps Utile gets enough credit. Really had a long of fun with it. The clock timing section seems like a blast to fool around with (especially with a circular logic cycle that affects temps)
Definitely...the reason that those caught my attention is that while we have a wealth of MONO submixers, the amount of STEREO submixers is pretty skimpy at present. Not only do these do that on a massive scale, they're inexpensive and super-simple. Now that's value! Plus, if you want to hard-pan signals to the left or right, you can do that for four stereo signals with the same module, and even have some panning "leeway" by careful adjustments of the input levels.
Had a peek at Paratek's new MKC8-CTEPEO mixers...for those of you using performance mixers with a BUNCH of effects modules that output in stereo, this is a killer way to sum down those effects outputs and then send the whole composite mess back to your performance mixer's stereo AUX return. Or if you're running stereo voicings, this is what you'll need to sum a huge pile of stereo oscillators, VCFs, whatever. Very smart module...
Yeah the Eloquencer is my favorite modular sequencer now that I have in my setups and I have quite a few now of various types.
My workflow is very productive now on modular whether I make dance/techno or ambient generative stuff. I was able to really breathe life into my boring Doepfer basic VCO and make the crazy Anti-oscillator musical. I'd love to try out the Erica Synths Black Sequencer and Vector sequencers some day.
The problem with using "top review" modules is that nobody but NObody reviews things like attenuverters, VCAs, etc...the "boring" stuff that actually makes the "sexy" modules with the top scores do what they do.
For example, the "Mesh" does work as a mixer and a set of attenuators. But they're not attenuVERTERS, which means you can't use them to invert modulation signals, such as inverting envelopes for VCF modulation. And this has NO VCAs at all, which means you have no way to use modulation signals to affect amplitude over either modulation signals or audio. Plus, no STEREO mixer, which really cripples what the Monsoon and Delta-V are capable of spatially.
I suggest that you stop worrying about the individual modules themselves, especially following reviews of them for the reason I mention above. Instead, look at GROUPS of modules as a unitized subset...for example, envelope generators need some way of controlling AND inverting them. Inverting a single LFO signal results in TWO modulation signals that work in a 180-degree quadrature arrangement, meaning that one LFO rate can determine TWO phase-opposed modulation results. And so on.
What I'd suggest is that you spend some time looking at MG builds by experienced synthesists. If you see a certain module that you find engaging, then pay close attention to what it works WITH, in addition to what it does. These so-called "utility"-type modules are what makes a build like the one above work...but it's ESSENTIAL to know what you need for the "sexy" stuff, otherwise you're building a system that's hobbled by the dread "Sexy Module Syndrome". Don't fall into that trap...thankfully, you've got a whole row for expansion, so you might still be able to dodge that bullet.
You know... in hyper space there is lot of freedom and there aren't many rules, but there is one though and one is promised to be held on to that and that is this:
Once a full planet's nation or something like that is able to go in hyper space then it's allowed to take the information you found in hyper space back to where you are from and share it with the rest of your living beings on that planet or place you are from. Earth has not been reached that stage yet where everyone is able to go into hyper space, so as long as that's the case things as taken pictures (old fashion though, nobody does that in hyper space for ages) and take that back to a place that has not been (fully) freed up in hyper space like our Earth is, well, sorry but that's just not done, you just can't do that I am afraid.
For example "lift-off", I totally understand what you mean, however in hyper space that is such a 20th century expression... you know... I better not mention that there ;-) In hyper space one would rather call it "being transferred", or something like that.
So what we all should do is this: if we all can just make even better music than we already do, put all our efforts into even more "hyper spacey" kind of music, perhaps if we would do that all together, we could hyper space the entire Earth into hyper space, then there are no more secrets to be kept and you can take whatever photographs you would like to.
How about that, hey? ;-) Meanwhile (while we are not hyper spaced yet as one union) let's keep up the good work and enjoy our music. Thank you very much in name of hyper space beings and planet nations and their humble servant, named Garfield.
P.S.: Lugia, I am still on nothing else than just "modulargrid.net" ;-)
Hi, this is what I have built in the last 18 months..its been a steep learning curve..(still learning).. its settled in a nifty case.. i have another nifty and am awaiting them shipping the double case rack ears to have two .. one above the other..hoping i can fill it with modules to keep me going for a long while..(famous last words)..I have tended to buy modules where I have watched or read a good review , but with no clear plan.. i realise i need to be more focused.
So.. what to do next ? please feel free to suggest anything.. i know i will be asked quite rightly what do i intend to do ..genre wise..
lets say i am not tied to anything apart from i have a dfam which i like to use my eurorack to compliment rhythmically...hard techno if i am pushed into a genre... i am not neccessarily needing effects right now, as i am enjoying what i can do with the basic waveforms.
Music style is Ambient, IDM.
All sequencing happening from external by Korg Electribe (4 midi channels), supported by Korg SQ-1 (2x CV, gate).
Output from Intellijel Mixup goes directly into a digital mixer (12 bus, 16 channel) and 16 track digital multitrack recorder (@48kHz, 24 bit sampling), with full EQ and effects available on all tracks and final mix.
Right now it's only stepping in as a dual quantizer and a fixed 12 step mini sequencer @Lugia. I plead innocent lol
Thank you as always @GarfieldModular, every time I record something my first thought is "I've gotta share this with Garfield" so I'm glad on this occasion we achieved liftoff. Next time you visit Uremap 64T please take some photos and perhaps I can use them as album covers 🧑🚀
West coast rhythm machine you say? I highly recommend something that can do Euclidian rhythms and logic like Pamela New Workout or VPME Euclidian Circles! For percussion modules, Noise Engineering BIA is a must as it can do a lot of stuff if you modulate it. I also love Plaits. Here is my compact techno dance machine as an example:
I use 4 percussion modules and Eloquencer with WMD 4TTEN and Praga 4 channel CV mixer that has VCAs built in. Works great.
Plus Eloquencer lets me sequence random, pendulum, 8 channels.
Sure...what the hey, right? So...
Some of this is based on encounters with Buchla and Serge stuff in the past, with some updating because Eurorack.
Top: Quad free-running LFOs are paired with a three-in attenuverter/mixer for creating composite modulation, leaving one LFO free at all times. Kept the Quantum Rainbow 2, but added a Make Noise FXDf so that one noise signal can be divided into even tighter noise bands, similar to the Buchla comb filters and how you can use them for the same sort of thing. Dual quantized VCO next, and for screwing around with that, there's an Antimatter Crossfold, which allows simultaneous waveshaping via combination of the VCOs (or a VCO and noise source). The 6x Mix is to provide three two-in mixers for composite spectra of noise/VCOs/Crossfold. Then the MEAT...SIX lowpass gates, plus a dual multimode VCF (mainly for bandpass/highpass use, but your mileage may vary). After that are two pairs of Omsonic six-in stereo panning mixers with FX Aids; these are intended to sum down sources, process them as two separate 2-channel sources, then the Antimatter V3kt handles your quad sound projection.
Bottom: Temps Utile, Fractio Solum for CV over clock division/multiplication, then a Knights Gallop algorithmic pattern generator. After this is a pulse counter, then a probabilistic pulse skipper, leading to a Boolean logic module plus a Bytom for pulse summing/distro. Eight EGs are after this for control of the LPGs, etc. The Tonic is a sequencer that derives CV outputs from incoming pulsetrain info, and to help make that even more nuts, there's a Pithoprakta probabilistic sequencer. This ENTIRE ROW is intended to function as a single device for generating and manipulating timing signals, taking them from being simple clock/pattern outputs from the Temps Utile (which also has four CV ins for direct modulation of various parameters) through various stochastic and logical processes to arrive at the ENTIRE sequencing and control system for the upper row's parameters, from CV to gate/trigger signals.
But wait! Where are all the VCAs!? Don't need 'em in here, since the vast majority of what's going on involves timing pulses; there's very little in the way of CV going on, much of which has been optimized for MANUAL control. Instead, we have the Boolean gates, which are kindasorta a substitute for VCAs for tampering with pulse behavior instead of modulation amplitude. And up top, you have the array of LPGs (half of which is a VCA, remember?), plus a filter that can either be fed audio OR it can be "pinged" with a high resonance setting, which can give you two different ringing filters from the same general FM control. Mixing with the panning submixers is manual (which is a little different, given that you have to determine levels BEFORE the submixer, not ON it) but we get back to CV control when we get to the quad spatializer at the end of the audio chain.
Pretty nuts, actually...I wouldn't mind messing around with this sort of a "drum machine", although it doesn't have the "Teen Beat" setting found on my Seeburg Select-a-rhythm.
Oh this is lovely relaxing music. Close your eyes and let go, let go earth and go into hyper-space. You can imagine (eyes still closed) the stars you see slowly moving by, the serious emptiness of the galaxy, your music, planet Uremap 64T here I come ;-)
Oh this is fantastic, this could go on and on for me and I am still floating around in hyper-space...
You have done it, I left earth again ;-) Thank you very much for sharing this and kind regards, Garfield.
What would be your suggestion for a basic roadmap? Start with the ability to bring in voices from outside the rig, in order to focus on building out (and learning how to use) the brain/control within the rack?
Right...Jim's got the right idea, actually. Start with one of the basic oscillator "voice" sections (the Noise Reap one, actually...get used to all of the crossmod and sync possibilities there), plus the stereo submixer and probably the Linnaeus, as it'll have the steeper learning curve. But the problem with the timing "brain" section is that ALL of those modules are intended to work as a unified subsystem, so it's difficult to take it apart. In fact, there's a lot of that going on...for example, the Blip and the Branches can function together to switch between pairs of different envelope contours. And then there's all of the comparators, discriminators, etc that read modulation curves and then output timing pulses based on the Befacos, the free-run LFOs, etc etc. which get combined via the Logic 202 and Bytom modules to create more complex composite gate signals. But then, that's the difference between a pile of random modules in a box and something crafted as an intentional instrument. With random modules, you can just toss 'em in the cab as you like...but taking something like that build apart is sort of like ordering a Steinway, but insisting that you can add the bottom two octaves worth of keys, action, and strings later. Doable...but inadvisable.
Actually, though...using something multifunctional such as the Monome Crow and many others to cram more functionality into a given space is a good way to get past that 2 x 104 stricture. But then, you risk winding up with a modular that requires loads of menu-diving to get something generative up and running. The key is in finding a balance between that and the simplicity of not having to menu-dive.
Yep...in many cases, you WANT "redundant" modules, particularly VCOs. That's why the VCOs in the subsystem with the dual Paradoxes + quad VCA are both the same. If you detune those to get that warm, rubbery detuned result (even better with the Paradox, as they have some weird internal crossmod and sync abilities), that's what you'll get. As opposed to if you paired a Plaits with a Doepfer Basic VCO, which would result in both different spectral qualities AND behavior.
As for the Temps Utile, I like the fact that it can be modulated by more (4 CV ins as opposed to 2) basic mod signals, plus it's actually a bit less menu-dive-dependent than the Pam's. Otherwise, it does much the same things...but the Temps costs around $100 less. And if you can duplicate functions AND save money...that's the right route!
For modulation, I really like using Mutable Instruments Marbles and Acid Rain Labs Maestro. These give me tons of ways to split and generate patterns at various tempos and clock speeds and randomness as well. Pamela New Workout is a great clock module that also has euclidian pattern sequencer and logic options plus modulation tools.
My brain was starting to think in hi-hat patterns, so I figured it might be time to try something new. I shifted around my 208 rack to see if I could prove @Lugia's "208's not enough for generative" maxim wrong, patched it up, stepped back, and got this:
You can see the rack here, Monome Crow is doing a lot of work as it dual quantizes through the circle of fifths:
It turned out pretty well I think, but there's not enough timbral or dynamic variation, and a little too much reverb (what's new?) so I'm gonna take another crack at it once I shift some modules around and add a bit more modulation and VCAs to see whether it's possible to go a bit deeper here.
start with a single voice and all the support modules that are needed for that - but instead of buying a single vca, buy a quad etc etc etc get to know them inside out and then add as needed as slowly as possible
only noobs think of redundancy in modular - at least from just looking at a rack
a module is redundant if and only if you never use it - and the only person who can work that out is the actual user of the rack - this is because how you patch may be different from how I patch etc etc
duplication of both functionality and specific modules is useful once you get past a couple of voices
Wow, I can't thank you enough.
About quadratt and maths, I know they are two different things but since maths can be a mixer/attenuverter I asked about the redundancy of quadratt in the previous setup.
I knew rainmaker was too big for this setup and I was looking for reasons to keep it 😆.
I don't get why temps utile is better than Pam in this context but I'll study more both and try to understand why.
Ok wow, that's a major amount of feedback – much more than I was hoping for. You've given me a comprehensive research plan and what an ideal state looks like, to work back from so thank you very, very much!
What would be your suggestion for a basic roadmap? Start with the ability to bring in voices from outside the rig, in order to focus on building out (and learning how to use) the brain/control within the rack?
There was a lot of stuff in the original build that just didn't seem as if it worked together. Plus, you had some misunderstandings about a few modules, such as the difference between Maths and the QuadrATT (the former is a modulation source, the latter is just a quad attenuverter/mixer). In the end, I decided to rebuild the whole thing as a three-voice setup, keeping the Octatrack use in mind. I came up with this:
It's SORT OF the same...but things have either been reinforced or shifted to more capable/better sized modules.
Top row: Shapeshifter and QPAS...then I started having some fun. The QPAS is tandemmed with a CV stereo crossfader; this allows you to select two stereo output pairs from the QPAS and crossfade between them for more timbral complexity. Then I added two pairs of Noise Reap Paradoxes, which are dual crossmodulating VCOs, then these go to a Veils clone so that you can CV around through the VCOs to do some complex timbral stuff there, or "mixsequencing" between the four VCOs before this goes to a G-Storm clone of the Roland JP-6 multimode VCF. Notice that the VCF also has a dual input, which allows you to "break out" a VCO or two and feed them directly to the VCF, bypassing the CV mixing from the Veils clone. Lastly, I added the mo'fo of all nasty, dirty VCOs, the Schlappi Engineering Angle Grinder, for in-your-face leads. This goes to a Font, which is a Ripples clone. We'll get back to the audio in a bit...
Tiles got changed a lot. The MIDI interface is now at the left end, to feed the VCOs. Then there's a Noise Tools, which gives you noise, clocking, a slew limiter, plus a sample and hold. The QuadrATT got shrunk down to a DuATT to provide some modulation attenuation/polarization control for the VCOs' CV/mod inputs. Next is a sneakily-added passive LPG, which in tandem with your noise gen can serve as an extra percussive. Since the Rainmaker was simply too large for this sort of build, I added a stereo delay (or chorus or reverb) back in with an Intellijel Multi-FX, then the line I/O is next to this.
Bottom row: I swapped the Pam's for a Temps Utile, which I think will work out better in this build. Your Disting EX is next to this, followed by a dual sample and hold, then the Shifty analog shift register. After this, there's a buffered mult, which you'll want if you decide to put ALL of the VCOs under a single pitch CV. I switched out the Maths for a Befaco Rampage, which is the same general sort of thing minus 2 hp. This then allowed me to drop in a Batumi for CV controlled LFOs, and a Roti Pola which is there to allow you to invert/mix complex modulation signals from the Batumi. Another Veils clone provides VCAs for the CV/modulation signals, then the Zadar. I upped the FX Aid to the full version, and then put in a Toppobrillo Stereomix mkii; this provides final level VCAs for four audio inputs, CV over panning, and CV over FX sends. It also has FX send/return (stereo return) jacks, a headphone preamp (which can be switched to CUE for isolating mixer strips for tuning, etc), and mutes on all inputs. A mixer like this is pretty essential for audio control, especially if you ever intend to use the system live.
This is pretty beefy now. Technically, you can source as many as FOUR different sources from this build, including the noise-to-LPG routing I mentioned. I'd actually consider taking this out for live gigs myself, which is saying something. This should be more than suitable for your purposes, plus it's open-ended enough that it'll play nicely with the Octatrack.
Not bad...but the signal flow is all over the place, and with generative work, that's BAD. You need a much more coherent arrangement so that, once it's all up and flying, you can easily deal with any subsystems that aren't functioning as expected. Also, the 4 x 84 arrangement makes things pretty dense; shifting to something considerably larger will make the build much easier to sort out and program. farkas also makes a good point, in that VCAs + free-running modulation sources are one of the keys to making the generative process work.
Instead of 4 x 84, a better choice might be 4 x 140 via two of those Behringer powered cabs (provided we get some verification of the P/S stability and reliability of those power supplies). Another idea might be 3 x 168, using a three row Doepfer Monster case, where we know the power situation is already tried and tested. In fact...
OK...now THIS is a serious generative build!
You'll notice what seems to be a disproportionately-large section of clock-based modules. These are there to extract timing info from a large amount of different internal (and external, hence the ES-8 in the bottom left) modulation sources, and then to process these via a Boolean logic module + a Xaoc Warna trigger/gate combiner/distributor to create composite clocking signals. Plus, these also work in tandem with the two sequencers; one of these is a Time's Arrow, which is a purely generative CV/gate sequencer, and the other more "determinate" one being a Tiptop Z8000. A quad quantizer deals with the CVs from this array, plus a sequential switch steps through the four CV outputs from the Z8000. The Derivator next to the Time's Arrow outputs gates based on CV movement, and the VC Trigger Source is a "pick-off" for trigger pulses when CV thresholds are passed. Next to the Logic 202 is a dual-channel probabilistic skipper for gate pulses, and the Fractio Solum is a CVable clock divider/multiplier for further manipulation of the Pam's signals. Above that group is another set of timing and randomization modules, plus more CV manipulation.
In that section, you have a buffered mult, then the Triple Sloths. After that is a Verbos Random Sampling source, which contains your noise sources as well as Buchla 265-esque random weighting for random signals (VERY necessary!), plus a 4-out analog shift register which replaces the Intellijel module. Then the Wogglebug, and after that a Min/Max derivator for CV manipulation based on arithmetical values. The Compare 2 contains two window comparators, which are special comparators that can output a pulse based on crossing two different thresholds, also containing some logic. These can also be CV controlled so that the generative processes can change the various thresholds while running. The Tool-Box has some more utilities, plus another "normal" comparator. The SISM is next; this is a fully-CVable mixer for CV and modulation sources that can also perform inversion plus 4ms's "shifting" methodology for gradual changes. After that, Branches serves as a pair of probabilistic switches, and then you have a Zlob hex VCA for amplitude control of modulation signals.
Top row above this contains a few more modulation sources. The Pachinko is a 12 hp clone of Marbles, then there's a pair of Befaco Rampages to serve as complex CV-controlled modulation sources/modifiers. After that, we get into the voicing...first up is a pair of quantized dual VCOs from Klavis, then a quartet of Noise Reap VCOs in dual modules, which have the ability to cross-modulate and use VCO sync on each other. Last up is a pair of Plaits clones. Each of these oscillator sets has four VCAs for summing, so that you can use the generative processes to sort of "strum" through each set of oscillator outputs. The VCA groups (all Veils clones by Codex Modulex) sum at a manual stereo mixer, then we get to the filters, both of which have stereo I/O, and there's a Happy Nerding CV crossfader to sweep between the two stereo VCFs. The last thing there is a Xaoc Katowice, which is a stereo frequency-dependent signal divider (sort of like a crossover, but with CV control), with the idea being that you can "Y" between it and a direct feed to the Performance Mixer so that the generative processes can be made to exclude bandwidths from the summed voice signal at times, and at others you can have the full feed via its mixer strip pair.
Below the voicing section are envelopes and LFOs...there are eight free-running LFOs, the Batumi + Poti for CV controlled LFOs, then what really should be termed an "envelope sequencer" via the incredible Erogenous Tones Radar/Blip pair, which gives you eight basic envelopes...but given the way this works, it's possible to also generate sequentially-chained envelopes for composite modulation signals. Next is effects...the dual frequency shifter, then a 12-tap stereo delay, and finally a Stasis Leak, which gives you CVable stereo chorusing, tap delay, and reverb. The little white thing at the end is a Konstant Lab PWRchekr, which is useful for keeping an eye on your power bus performance.
Last up, mixing. I went with WMD's Performance Mixer here to allow some very complex automated mixing which also included dual FX sends for the delay and Stasis Leak. The Happy Nerding OUT gives you transformer-isolated 1/4" outs, plus a second stereo input that can be used for parallel mixing of another stereo source in with the mix from the Performance Mixer. It also has a headphone preamp for convenience, as does the Performance Mixer where you can also send signals to the CUE bus for tuning and adjustment without affecting the overall mix.
This thing ain't no joke! There might seem to some to be way too much going on with timing and modulation, but you have to keep in mind that all of that is the build's CONTROLLER...while you can certainly patch this up "normally" and use a MIDI source from your DAW or, as long as it's class-compliant, a MIDI controller, the main intent here is to set up complex patches that are basically self-regulating and self-adjusting so that the build can "free-run" and...well, generate audio from a large amount of interlinked parameters. And THAT is what generative is all about.
And yeah, it's spendy as hell...but then, when you do generative RIGHT, it tends to cost quite a chunk of change due to the necessary amount of specialized control modules needed to act as the generative system's "brain".
Playing around with this idea of a multi function West coast rhythmic box. This is not something that I have strong plans to build, but regardless thought it could be a fun question to pose to the MG racks community. Wondering if people had suggestions for this type of system.
Hello guys, what do you think about it? What would you replace and why?
I sequence externally via octatrack, I'd like to run just a melody from octatrack and derive other sequences from shifty/rnd etc., so that I can use the octatrack for audio mangling and live resampling and I can focus more on sound manipulation than on melody.
Music genres: ambient/techno/idm/experimental.
Is quadratt redundant with maths? I'd like to free up maths for more complex duties.
What about the vca section?
Disting ex will be my swiss army knife and Pam's the master clock.
My english is not that good, anyway I hope that everything is understandable