I'm creating a rig aimed at ambient & granular, and am interested in hearing about other people's favorite oscillators for ambient.

I've been out of modular for a while and there are so many more VCOs in just a few short years. I don't have a strict sound in mind, but I'd like to get something somewhat versatile. I don't have a preference for digital or analogue. It's likely I'll end up with two oscillators in any case. Thanks.


My recommendation for a small versatile ambient setup would be the Synthesis Technology E352 Cloud Terrarium or even Mutable Instruments Plaits.


My recommendation for a small versatile ambient setup would be the Synthesis Technology E352 Cloud Terrarium or even Mutable Instruments Plaits.
-- farkas

I had Braids before and got a lot out of it, so have been looking at Plaits. Will check out the E352 also. Thanks


Fun VCOs? OK...the first one on my list is a double VCO that sortakinda can link the VCOs together in various ways. In a sense, it's the "poor man's Buchla 258": https://www.modulargrid.net/e/noise-reap-paradox

Another great complex-ish dual VCO, with its own onboard ring mod: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/void-modular-gravitational-waves

And then there's this, from Intellijel: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/intellijel-rubicon-ii

In all of these cases, the VCOs that are part of these modules have ways to crossmodulate, which in the end yields some rather complex spectra. With the right additional modules to get control of these, they'll yield some amazing textures and timbres.


Fun VCOs? OK...the first one on my list is a double VCO that sortakinda can link the VCOs together in various ways. In a sense, it's the "poor man's Buchla 258": https://www.modulargrid.net/e/noise-reap-paradox

Another great complex-ish dual VCO, with its own onboard ring mod: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/void-modular-gravitational-waves

And then there's this, from Intellijel: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/intellijel-rubicon-ii

In all of these cases, the VCOs that are part of these modules have ways to crossmodulate, which in the end yields some rather complex spectra. With the right additional modules to get control of these, they'll yield some amazing textures and timbres.
-- Lugia

Great - lots to check out - thanks Lugia


Mutable Instruments Plaits wins easily


I would also go with Plaits or the Erica Pico Synths Modules


4ms Ensemble Oscilator


I like my E352 for Drone stuff

https://www.facebook.com/BrokenFormAudio

Got a Mantis Case and a Squarp Hermod for sale,PM Me


4ms Ensemble Oscilator
-- dadodetres

Wow...had not heard of this one before...looks REALLY interesting

JB


Braids and Plaits were mentioned. Also almost any wavetable voice would work. By changing the "index" in the wavetable synth you can get very nice timbral changes without doing a lot of work to get them. The same with Braids and Plaits as far as adjusting the timbre.

With an analog VCO (saw, triangle, square, etc.), you'll need a lot more modules to get any deep changes to the timbre. That can be a lot more expensive and an lot more room in your case.


We are launching this module. Maby you would like it. It is a high resolution wavetable oscillator. Very nice to reproduce complexe textures.
More demo are about to be released.. Tomorow


I'm creating a rig aimed at ambient & granular, and am interested in hearing about other people's favorite oscillators for ambient.

I've been out of modular for a while and there are so many more VCOs in just a few short years. I don't have a strict sound in mind, but I'd like to get something somewhat versatile. I don't have a preference for digital or analogue. It's likely I'll end up with two oscillators in any case. Thanks.
-- gumbo23

I just got the Instruo CS-L and it’s wonderful. Check it out!


@gumbo23, @farkas, @Broken-Form: +1 on the Synthesis Technology E352 Cloud Terrarium.

But this fundamental remark: ambient music cannot be defined by an instrument but by the use one makes of it.

Brahms and Debussy used the same violin in their orchestra, but their music is so different... The use of a DX7 by Brian Eno is not the same by Jean-Michel Jarre. And Plaits will serve ambient as well as techno.

Focusing on the choice of a module too often distracts from the problem of creativity. I am not immune to this either. And the question comes up again every time you power up your modular ;)


@Sweelinck - great post, couldn't agree more!!!!

It's how you use the instrument... any instrument (or module) can be used to make any type of music

Utility modules are the inexpensive, dull polish that makes the expensive, shiny modules actually shine!!!

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


The modbap Osiris is also worth a look, you can’t go wrong with Plaits though.


I will second the 4MS Ensemble Oscillator and also recommend the 4MS Spherical Wavetable Navigator. Same company, two very different synths geared I think towards generative/ambient music. I wound up selling my Ensemble to justify buying the SWN, but now I wish I had them both, they are beautiful and do very different things. Someday I’m sure I’ll wind up with another Ensemble.


I will third the 4ms Ensemble Oscillator. You can get some really beautiful drones with it and then use CV to affect the spread and it just gets better.


I will third the 4ms Ensemble Oscillator. You can get some really beautiful drones with it and then use CV to affect the spread and it just gets better.
-- xnax

Modulating Spread and Root (and balance just for levling) makes indeed beautiful drones.


Oh. 4ms is based a 20-minute drive from my house.

This could get expensive.


Oh. 4ms is based a 20-minute drive from my house.

This could get expensive.
-- ProggyBoog

Ya think? 4ms has created some AMAZING shit over the years, with my faves being their ridiculously long modulation times available on the PEG and QPLFO. Plus the SISM is an excellent and CV-controllable modulation screw-with-er. The only ding I've give them might be the module sizes, but when you notice how well you can screw with the controls, you realize that that's ergonomics in action.