Hi all,
I've had some exposure to analog synths (1980s-90s), trackers with samples (90s), then took a break and restarted a year ago with a wavetable synth (Argon8x) and several soft synths in Logic (e.g. Sculpture). Because most of this was slow, plodding development of tunes in a DAW or other editor, I'm looking to break it all open and enjoy the unbridled live madness of modular.

I've added a bunch of 2HP oscillators because they take little space, yet seem quite capable. For noise, I went with something a little more flexible. Then there's LFO/EG and some effects. Finally, the Erica Black stereo mixer with PFL so I can hear first, then mix in. Planning on getting some patch-through cables to split the signal into stereo for the mixer.

I'm planning to use this setup with a Torso T-1. I thought I'd need the Bastl 1983 for that, but it seems there's more CV connectivity than I thought. So I guess that one can go. Saves me a pretty penny and 7HP.

I'd like to use this mounted into my racks in my home studio, yet take it out into a portable box when playing elsewhere. Is that doable?

I wanted to add the JPG here, but it seems like ModularGrid updates that infrequently. So here's the link straight to the rack config.

StarterKit on ModularGrid


Hi all,
I've had some exposure to analog synths (1980s-90s), trackers with samples (90s), then took a break and restarted a year ago with a wavetable synth (Argon8x) and several soft synths in Logic (e.g. Sculpture). Because most of this was slow, plodding development of tunes in a DAW or other editor, I'm looking to break it all open and enjoy the unbridled live madness of modular.

I've added a bunch of 2HP oscillators because they take little space, yet seem quite capable. For noise, I went with something a little more flexible. Then there's LFO/EG and some effects. Finally, the Erica Black stereo mixer with PFL so I can hear first, then mix in. Planning on getting some patch-through cables to split the signal into stereo for the mixer.

Hi Arrandan,

have you ever seen an actual eurorack module? you do know that 1hp = 1/5" - 2hp is tiny and the trimmers that they use are not very precise - tuning can be a pain because of this

also putting them next to each other will make them practically unusable...

I'm planning to use this setup with a Torso T-1. I thought I'd need the Bastl 1983 for that, but it seems there's more CV connectivity than I thought. So I guess that one can go. Saves me a pretty penny and 7HP.

I'd like to use this mounted into my racks in my home studio, yet take it out into a portable box when playing elsewhere. Is that doable?

theoretically - but I wouldn't start like that - I'd start with a mantis - yeah it's more expensive - but it will give you the ability to expand and it has significantly better power supply than the b-company - and won't fit in your 19" rack... but it is portable and is probably the best case for starters (hp/cost/quality of power/reputable company)

otherwise you'll be buying more racks in the near future as you realize that you need more modules to do anything interesting and have replaced your 2hp vcos with modules that you can actually play and enjoy using

I wanted to add the JPG here, but it seems like ModularGrid updates that infrequently. So here's the link straight to the rack config.

StarterKit on ModularGrid
-- Arrandan

good you didn't - they're crap for getting help - the link is 1000* better!

ok so you have 3 vcos, but nothing to mix them before hitting the 2 filters - it's kind of a typical subtractive synth concept to mix the 2 identical ones (slightly detuned) - needs a sub-mixer...

all your sound sources and sound modifiers are mono, but your end of chain mixer is expecting stereo inputs - needs a way of panning mono into a stereo field...

sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you go and buy this I think you will be seriously disappointed with what you can do with it - at least without buying quite a few more modules & more rack space

I suggest doing a lot more research into modular synthesis - read a good 10-20 newbie threads, of which there are a lot here and then create a new rack which might actually work....

there's a couple of hints in my signature...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


Hi Jim,

Thanks for your reply. It's very instructive. I did consider the 1cm limitation of 2hp. The buttons won't be very helpful, indeed. But since the notes will be coming from the Torso, I don't really mind.

Aside from that, yeah, you're right. There's several pieces missing. The stereo mixer just isn't a good match for a mono system. When in my home studio, I can plug it all into an audio interface and add stereo imaging any way I want to anyway. And you're right - the VCO-filter-effects flow needs a lot of work. I'm playing around with VCV Rack as we speak to learn more about that.

As for the Mantis - I like the suggestion. In the home studio, I have another 3U space for another 84HP for extension. I was considering the ES9 and some stuff I may not always want on the road for that. I built my own racks with that in mind. But I'll reconsider, because I read a lot of positive stuff about the Mantis.

And I have noticed it's probably a good idea to start off with 1 voice and to really understand what combinations and patchings are possible, before upgrading to several more.

Peter.


Hi Peter...

a well worn route is

a sound source, a sound modifier, a modulation source, a way to play and a way to listen...

sound source get something that's a decent size - remember it will need to be tuned - plaits is often seen as a good starter
sound modifier - either a filter or possibly a multi-effect like fx aid xl
modulation source - can't go wrong with maths - see the 'maths illustrated supplement' as a to why - it's a great jumping off point for learning patch-programming (a powerful technique in modular synthesis) and patching in general
a way to play - straight into your mixer - if you get clipping - insert some passive attenuators - they'll always be useful...
a way to play - midi->cv interface if that's what you want...

I'd also add a starter set of utilities - I usually recommend: links, kinks, shades and veils - or modules that cover the same functionality - kinks is discontinued, but there's at least one clone available, happy nerding 3*mia is a good substitute for shades

vcv rack's a great place to start...

have fun!

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


Hello,

I did some more research and validation on VCV Rack and here's what I'm looking at now. BTW, Jim, your signature is completely right. If sound sources are the organs, effects the muscles and sequencers the brains, then utilities are the skeleton. It's been a very enlightening week.

For the case - you were right that a single 84HP row is much too limiting. I looked at cases and because the Mantis is currently hard to get, I found the Intellijel 7U 104HP stealth case, which is portable and has feet and some external connections. It's double the price of the Mantis, but with its metal build and lid, I like it a lot.

New version is here: ModularGrid Rack

This is the basic version. I made a full version, which I'll link to at the bottom. That came out at over $6000, which is way beyond what I want to spend. So I stripped it down, mostly by removing features (some oscillators, the stereo bit) and sometimes by replacing bits by more cost effective parts (like the Droid for the Temps Utile or the chip osc + noise by a combo). That took the price down to about $2500, which is more manageable.

Top row is all utility. In this basic version, I'm using the Quadratt as the mixer. I like the idea of mixing patches with an external mixer, but on the road, I want to be able to output a single wire. I added the zeroscope for tuning and the occasional waveform check. It's much more cost-effective than a Mordax and I don't need much more. I filled it up with more utility that will always come in handy.

First 3U row has the Temps Utile, LFO, oscillators, a filter and the basic Befaco line+headphone out with cue.

Second 3U row has some randomness & and/or to take out beats at random, then clock div/mult. The Harmonaig is lots of fun - I played with it in VCV Rack. It's a keeper. The Zadar - if you can't tell: I like modules that are dedicated to one purpose, but offer lots of functionality within that scope. So I won't be adding an O&C, but I do have the FX AID (great suggestion!). Finally, a fun spring to round it off.

As for playing it, I'm looking at a hardware sequencer, preferably with pads. I mentioned Torso T-1 but it's all sold out and unavailable until August... I'm going to be using it starting April so I'm looking at an alternative. The Beatstep Pro is on my list, as is the SQ-64 and a couple of others.

So what do you think of this new setup?

The full version adds Mutable Ears+Rings, some more OSCs, filters, fx & VCAs, stereo (delay for imaging and pan for the rest) and the pretty impressive Droid with some expansions from Der Mann Mit Der Maschine. I love how versatile it is, yet dedicated to CV production and manipulation. There's an extra 3U row which corresponds to a 3U 19" row I have available in my studio rack. In it, I have the modules from the basic setup that I replaced by higher end modules (Temps Utile and the Feedback Static) as well as audio and MIDI interfaces. Here it is:

ModularGrid Rack


Please make the racks public - no click through!!!!

Hello,
BTW, Jim, your signature is completely right. If sound sources are the organs, effects the muscles and sequencers the brains, then utilities are the skeleton. It's been a very enlightening week.

I'd say that the utilities are the cardi- vascular system - cases are the skeletons perhaps

For the case - you were right that a single 84HP row is much too limiting. I looked at cases and because the Mantis is currently hard to get, I found the Intellijel 7U 104HP stealth case, which is portable and has feet and some external connections. It's double the price of the Mantis, but with its metal build and lid, I like it a lot.

New version is here: ModularGrid Rack

This is the basic version. I made a full version, which I'll link to at the bottom. That came out at over $6000, which is way beyond what I want to spend. So I stripped it down, mostly by removing features (some oscillators, the stereo bit) and sometimes by replacing bits by more cost effective parts (like the Droid for the Temps Utile or the chip osc + noise by a combo). That took the price down to about $2500, which is more manageable.

there's no need, in fact it's advisable, to buy everything at once - $2.5K, is more than enough to start with -in all likelihood you'll keep adding bits and pieces until you've spent at least $6k, if not considerably more - $100/month for over years is $6k - and 100/month is reasonably manageable... it's a few beers less a week,or so...

Top row is all utility. In this basic version, I'm using the Quadratt as the mixer. I like the idea of mixing patches with an external mixer, but on the road, I want to be able to output a single wire. I added the zeroscope for tuning and the occasional waveform check. It's much more cost-effective than a Mordax and I don't need much more. I filled it up with more utility that will always come in handy.

i'd spend a bit more and get a dc-coupled interface - even if it's a used RME or something for $150 - that way you can use vcv rack - including the tuner and oscilloscopes in there!!! and forget about a scope in the case - the screen is tiny and you can use an app on your phone to tune..

First 3U row has the Temps Utile, LFO, oscillators, a filter and the basic Befaco line+headphone out with cue.

Second 3U row has some randomness & and/or to take out beats at random, then clock div/mult. The Harmonaig is lots of fun - I played with it in VCV Rack. It's a keeper. The Zadar - if you can't tell: I like modules that are dedicated to one purpose, but offer lots of functionality within that scope. So I won't be adding an O&C, but I do have the FX AID (great suggestion!). Finally, a fun spring to round it off.

As for playing it, I'm looking at a hardware sequencer, preferably with pads. I mentioned Torso T-1 but it's all sold out and unavailable until August... I'm going to be using it starting April so I'm looking at an alternative. The Beatstep Pro is on my list, as is the SQ-64 and a couple of others.

beatstep pro is good - I've got one - works great... mostly because it's been around for a long time - and they fixed nearly all the bugs- I've heard of a few issues with the sq64...

So what do you think of this new setup?

The full version adds Mutable Ears+Rings, some more OSCs, filters, fx & VCAs, stereo (delay for imaging and pan for the rest) and the pretty impressive Droid with some expansions from Der Mann Mit Der Maschine. I love how versatile it is, yet dedicated to CV production and manipulation. There's an extra 3U row which corresponds to a 3U 19" row I have available in my studio rack. In it, I have the modules from the basic setup that I replaced by higher end modules (Temps Utile and the Feedback Static) as well as audio and MIDI interfaces. Here it is:

ModularGrid Rack

-- Arrandan

I'd try to aim for 3-4 voices max in a case this size - it's enough - otherwise there's not enough space for everything else you'll need...

I've got about 10 plus a bit of percussion - basically another 2 -3 modules - in something like 1000 hp and it seems about right to me...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


Hi Jim,

Sorry - had the rack private while I worked on them. They're public now.

i'd spend a bit more and get a dc-coupled interface - even if it's a used RME or something for $150 - that way you can use vcv rack - including the tuner and oscilloscopes in there!!! and forget about a scope in the case - the screen is tiny and you can use an app on your phone to tune..

Ah yes, the good old phone. Now there's an idea! Makes mental note - kick out the scope. Is there scope software for a phone as well? But then I'll really need an audio interface in the rack, e.g. that Expert Sleepers in my big setup.

In my home studio, I have a small Motu M4 interface. It has 2 XLS/TRS and 2 line in. It's confirmed DC coupled by Sweetwater so I can use that there. But I expect only the XLS/TRS to be DC coupled, so it's very limited. May want to invest anyway in that case.

beatstep pro is good - I've got one - works great... mostly because it's been around for a long time - and they fixed nearly all the bugs- I've heard of a few issues with the sq64...

Good to know. I also like the fact it has actual drumpads instead of just buttons.

I'd try to aim for 3-4 voices max in a case this size - it's enough - otherwise there's not enough space for everything else you'll need...

I've got about 10 plus a bit of percussion - basically another 2 -3 modules - in something like 1000 hp and it seems about right to me...

Yeah, I'm not aiming at more. There's plenty of oscillators in the big version but they can be used for modulation as well.


Hi Jim,

Sorry - had the rack private while I worked on them. They're public now.

Ah yes, the good old phone. Now there's an idea! Makes mental note - kick out the scope. Is there scope software for a phone as well? But then I'll really need an audio interface in the rack, e.g. that Expert Sleepers in my big setup.

there are definitely scope apps for iPhone - probably for Android too -but you'd have to find the one that works for you - can't say I've ever needed a scope though in 5-6 years of modular - I'd rate them as nice to have, rather than crucial - except for a few DIY builds

In my home studio, I have a small Motu M4 interface. It has 2 XLS/TRS and 2 line in. It's confirmed DC coupled by Sweetwater so I can use that there. But I expect only the XLS/TRS to be DC coupled, so it's very limited. May want to invest anyway in that case.

nb there's dc-coupled and there's dc-coupled - something advertised as such will definitely be dc-coupled on outputs - but not necessarily on inputs...

beatstep pro is good - I've got one - works great... mostly because it's been around for a long time - and they fixed nearly all the bugs- I've heard of a few issues with the sq64...

Good to know. I also like the fact it has actual drumpads instead of just buttons.

they're much more like buttons - MPC style pads, I guess - not like drumpads you can hit with a drumstick!

I'd try to aim for 3-4 voices max in a case this size - it's enough - otherwise there's not enough space for everything else you'll need...

I've got about 10 plus a bit of percussion - basically another 2 -3 modules - in something like 1000 hp and it seems about right to me...

Yeah, I'm not aiming at more. There's plenty of oscillators in the big version but they can be used for modulation as well.

-- Arrandan

I try to keep lfos separate - every time I buy a module that'll do both - I end up using them for vco's - tides, tides2, cali - all work as both lfos and/or envelope generators - but sound great as vcos - so they end up being used as vcos - and I try to forget that some of the lfos, filters, envelope generators etc I have can also be used as vcos - otherwise I'd end up with patches with all vcos and virtually nothing left for modulation, filtering etc

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


there are definitely scope apps for iPhone - probably for Android too -but you'd have to find the one that works for you - can't say I've ever needed a scope though in 5-6 years of modular - I'd rate them as nice to have, rather than crucial - except for a few DIY builds

I'm a very visual person, so I like having a view on how the wave reacts to certain changes, like modulation. So I'm going to get a headphone dongle for my iphone (like, yeah, it was too expensive to add one into the phone itself) and do some research on that.

nb there's dc-coupled and there's dc-coupled - something advertised as such will definitely be dc-coupled on outputs - but not necessarily on inputs...

The Motu M4 indeed has DC coupled outputs. DC coupling is new to me (like so many things), so some work to do here. I guess DC coupled out only means I can use it to send data from VCV Rack to the modular, but not vice versa? In that case, tuning with VCV Rack won't work. I just read an RME is similar to my M4, so I'd like to understand what you mean exactly here.

Anyway, as my primary aim is to uncouple myself from the dreaded PC screen that I spend all day in front of, I consider this a nice to have. It will remain in my studio rack and I won't be moving it into the Intellijel 7U case.

they're much more like buttons - MPC style pads, I guess - not like drumpads you can hit with a drumstick!

Yes, but at least they're velocity sensitive, unlike the SQ-64.

Yeah, I'm not aiming at more. There's plenty of oscillators in the big version but they can be used for modulation as well.

-- Arrandan

I try to keep lfos separate - every time I buy a module that'll do both - I end up using them for vco's - tides, tides2, cali - all work as both lfos and/or envelope generators - but sound great as vcos - so they end up being used as vcos - and I try to forget that some of the lfos, filters, envelope generators etc I have can also be used as vcos - otherwise I'd end up with patches with all vcos and virtually nothing left for modulation, filtering etc

With modulation, I meant wave modulation actually. I agree that LFOs are better kept separate. It's why I have the A145-4 in there. LFOs serve one purpose, VCOs another and as with my short rant about O&C, I don't like tools that mix up purposes.

Aside from this rather very interesting discussion, is there anything you think is wrong or missing from the basic setup? Having played with a similar setup in VCV Rack, it feels like a good starting point to me.

And thanks for all your help!


The only reason you'd need an oscilloscope in a typical studio...and it's a BIG one...is to check stereo phasing on your mixdowns. This becomes VERY critical if you're doing dance stuff, bass-heavy tracks, as you don't want panning and especially not out of phase signals in the frequency range below 120 Hz if the track in question is destined for vinyl.

Now, the other sort of display I'd recommend isn't a scope...but an RTA. Real-time Analyzers let you see the levels across the entire sound spectrum, and they can come in handy when trying to chase down hard-to-kill frequency "lumps" that're jumping out of the mix. And if you don't have a reliable set of monitors (and why wouldn't you? your monitor chain is probably THE MOST CRITICAL DEVICE in the studio), you can use the RTA to try and fix the discrepancies in the mix that your monitors are causing. But as far as that's concerned, I reiterate...they're the most critical part, and THEY should be fixed if you know you've got issues, tbh.


The only reason you'd need an oscilloscope in a typical studio...and it's a BIG one...is to check stereo phasing on your mixdowns. This becomes VERY critical if you're doing dance stuff, bass-heavy tracks, as you don't want panning and especially not out of phase signals in the frequency range below 120 Hz if the track in question is destined for vinyl.

Now, the other sort of display I'd recommend isn't a scope...but an RTA. Real-time Analyzers let you see the levels across the entire sound spectrum, and they can come in handy when trying to chase down hard-to-kill frequency "lumps" that're jumping out of the mix. And if you don't have a reliable set of monitors (and why wouldn't you? your monitor chain is probably THE MOST CRITICAL DEVICE in the studio), you can use the RTA to try and fix the discrepancies in the mix that your monitors are causing. But as far as that's concerned, I reiterate...they're the most critical part, and THEY should be fixed if you know you've got issues, tbh.
-- Lugia

can;t both of these be handled in a DAW? and the phasing issues be handled (at least to a large extent) by checking the mix in mono? which especially for bass heavy dance music is a pretty important step - as most clubs sound systems are effectively mono...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


there are definitely scope apps for iPhone - probably for Android too -but you'd have to find the one that works for you - can't say I've ever needed a scope though in 5-6 years of modular - I'd rate them as nice to have, rather than crucial - except for a few DIY builds

I'm a very visual person, so I like having a view on how the wave reacts to certain changes, like modulation. So I'm going to get a headphone dongle for my iphone (like, yeah, it was too expensive to add one into the phone itself) and do some research on that.

headphone dongle wont' really help except for audio - for low frequencies you'd still need a dc-coupled interface and a usb dongle for the phone - nb you only get 2 channels this way

nb there's dc-coupled and there's dc-coupled - something advertised as such will definitely be dc-coupled on outputs - but not necessarily on inputs...

The Motu M4 indeed has DC coupled outputs. DC coupling is new to me (like so many things), so some work to do here. I guess DC coupled out only means I can use it to send data from VCV Rack to the modular, but not vice versa? In that case, tuning with VCV Rack won't work. I just read an RME is similar to my M4, so I'd like to understand what you mean exactly here.

Anyway, as my primary aim is to uncouple myself from the dreaded PC screen that I spend all day in front of, I consider this a nice to have. It will remain in my studio rack and I won't be moving it into the Intellijel 7U case.

having mostly been in the same situation for most of my adult life, I've never had an issue being in front of a computer for a bit longer in order to do stuff I want to do - use a DAW, etc and for a long time if I wanted to watch any tv or movies it was also in front of a computer...

they're much more like buttons - MPC style pads, I guess - not like drumpads you can hit with a drumstick!

Yes, but at least they're velocity sensitive, unlike the SQ-64.

not via the trigger outs they're not - via midi they are I guess - never used mine other than via cv though

Yeah, I'm not aiming at more. There's plenty of oscillators in the big version but they can be used for modulation as well.

-- Arrandan

I try to keep lfos separate - every time I buy a module that'll do both - I end up using them for vco's - tides, tides2, cali - all work as both lfos and/or envelope generators - but sound great as vcos - so they end up being used as vcos - and I try to forget that some of the lfos, filters, envelope generators etc I have can also be used as vcos - otherwise I'd end up with patches with all vcos and virtually nothing left for modulation, filtering etc

With modulation, I meant wave modulation actually. I agree that LFOs are better kept separate. It's why I have the A145-4 in there. LFOs serve one purpose, VCOs another and as with my short rant about O&C, I don't like tools that mix up purposes.

I don't really see any wavetable oscillators - I think I'd want a more ergonomic quad lfo...

Aside from this rather very interesting discussion, is there anything you think is wrong or missing from the basic setup? Having played with a similar setup in VCV Rack, it feels like a good starting point to me.

And thanks for all your help!
-- Arrandan

yes: there are still issues:

temps utile, random triggers, clock divider and multiplier, buffered mults and harmonaig all seem a little superfluous - you have 8 trigger outs and 2 cv/gate/velocity outputs (all with probability iirc) on the BSP and no percussion and only 2 vcos in the rack...

in the larger rack - the droid stuff seems to be in a similar place - the chipz I would replace with a Maths, the 2 dvcas I'd replace with a veils - and I'm not convinced of the need for 2 dplrs - and I'm not convinced about the mix solution - no panning and no send/returns...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


headphone dongle wont' really help except for audio - for low frequencies you'd still need a dc-coupled interface and a usb dongle for the phone - nb you only get 2 channels this way

I'll just get myself one of those dongles for €10 and see if it does what I need. I also noticed that my Zoom H2n has a built-in tuner, but that's microphone based.

having mostly been in the same situation for most of my adult life, I've never had an issue being in front of a computer for a bit longer in order to do stuff I want to do - use a DAW, etc and for a long time if I wanted to watch any tv or movies it was also in front of a computer...

I hear you! And I have done the same. I find it very tiring. I'm aiming to be a bit more "Look mum no computer". Even if I don't use it all the time, it'll still be there to turn ideas from the modular into songs.

Yes, but at least they're velocity sensitive, unlike the SQ-64.

not via the trigger outs they're not - via midi they are I guess - never used mine other than via cv though

Oh blimey. I was actually eyeing the Digitakt as well, also because it'll be a fun standalone machine that I can take to family holidays without taking over the whole car booth. One of the reasons I took it off my list is the velocity sensitivity.

With modulation, I meant wave modulation actually. I agree that LFOs are better kept separate. It's why I have the A145-4 in there. LFOs serve one purpose, VCOs another and as with my short rant about O&C, I don't like tools that mix up purposes.

I don't really see any wavetable oscillators - I think I'd want a more ergonomic quad lfo...

Good point about the quad LFO. It also doesn't have a sine wave. As for the VCO - wavetable isn't necessary to do modulation. There's ring and FM etc that can all be done with two VCOs. I might actually want lots more VCOs if I'm going that route!

temps utile, random triggers, clock divider and multiplier, buffered mults and harmonaig all seem a little superfluous - you have 8 trigger outs and 2 cv/gate/velocity outputs (all with probability iirc) on the BSP and no percussion and only 2 vcos in the rack...

I am going to do percussion based on the noise generators.

I was thinking of using the Temps Utile, clock & random bits to to the rythm, but you're right - all of that is in the BSP... It's going to be much easier to control it all from there instead of programming it on the modular itself! It seems like I was walking on two parallel paths at the same time. It'll save me serious money that I can put towards a Maths.

And the Harmonaig - yeah, I'll need more VCOs if I want to use that at all...

in the larger rack - the droid stuff seems to be in a similar place - the chipz I would replace with a Maths, the 2 dvcas I'd replace with a veils - and I'm not convinced of the need for 2 dplrs - and I'm not convinced about the mix solution - no panning and no send/returns...

Yeah, that stereo bit... Always feels like a good idea to me, but I'm starting to feel it's not in its right place here. I'm going to keep it mono and do the stereo part in the DAW afterwards.


can;t both of these be handled in a DAW? and the phasing issues be handled (at least to a large extent) by checking the mix in mono? which especially for bass heavy dance music is a pretty important step - as most clubs sound systems are effectively mono...

-- JimHowell1970

They sure can...and if someone's more accustomed to the various display options that you can have in a DAW, then that's probably what they need to use. Me, I like the various displays right up in front, so what I use these days is a TC Clarity-M Stereo that gives me a phasescope, RTA, and a couple more tricks without robbing DAW processor cycles. It's definitely related to why I have a bunch of outboard processors along with the various plugins, as I can do a lot of that sound processing in outboard and then minimize the VST load in the machine.


The only reason you'd need an oscilloscope in a typical studio...and it's a BIG one...is to check stereo phasing on your mixdowns. (...)
Now, the other sort of display I'd recommend isn't a scope...but an RTA. Real-time Analyzers let you see the levels across the entire sound spectrum, and they can come in handy when trying to chase down hard-to-kill frequency "lumps" that're jumping out of the mix. And if you don't have a reliable set of monitors (and why wouldn't you? your monitor chain is probably THE MOST CRITICAL DEVICE in the studio), you can use the RTA to try and fix the discrepancies in the mix that your monitors are causing.

Hi Lugia,

Thanks for your post. I do have a nice set of monitors (DMAX SuperCubes) but this is besides the point of this thread. I'm looking to build an instrument, not to further expand my studio. So why the scope? I find it really useful to see what a filter, modulation or effect does to the waveform. As I stated, I'm a very visual person. I associate high frequencies with sharp angles on a screen. So when I put e.g. a low pass filter with lfo on cutoff frequency on a sawtooth, I see these ripples of higher frequencies come in as the frequency goes up and it starts to form the sharp sawtooth edge. It is the combined experience of seeing this and hearing it happen that gives me the full picture. It's a personal thing, perhaps, but it helps me. Also, of course, a realtime spectrum analyser is very useful for a variety of situations, particularly for mixing. So yeah, I'm looking to get some sort of visualisation on the phone for what the instrument is doing, even when not using it in my studio.


Thanks for your post. I do have a nice set of monitors (DMAX SuperCubes) but this is besides the point of this thread. I'm looking to build an instrument, not to further expand my studio.
-- Arrandan

Well, check my latest post above. I get the what and why of what's needed here, I'm simply offering options so that it's more apparent that there's solutions OUTSIDE of the DAW environment, as well as VST solutions within it.


Well, check my latest post above. I get the what and why of what's needed here, I'm simply offering options so that it's more apparent that there's solutions OUTSIDE of the DAW environment, as well as VST solutions within it.

I must have missed that one. I know the TC Clarity quite well - I have several units at work where we use it for sound normalisation to EBU R 128 for TV broadcast. It's overkill for what I have in mind at the moment, but thanks for the suggestion. If I feel the need to upgrade, I will definitely consider it.


So, here is version 3:
ModularGrid Rack
Very basic setup with v/oct coming from the BSP to the oscillators and triggers from BSP to Zadar. Then a couple of effects and modulations. I replaced one of the bOSC with a Plaits for more flexibility.


Hi,

I'd like to share some experiences now that I'm one month into modular. Before ordering, I spent 3-4 weeks researching and having the discussion above. I then moved to VCV Rack to try out the ideas before commiting to the purchase. It was very much worth the time and the effort. Looking back, I really didn't know what I was getting into

This is my current rack. The Melotus Versio is on the side because it's been ordered but hasn't arrived yet.
ModularGrid Rack

Some thoughts on what I built.

  • I have three mixers. Actually, four, if you count the octuple Doepfer VCA, which can do summing as well. Just today, I was using 4 channels of Veils with 3 channels of Quadratt and three of the Ladik. The octuple Doepfer is very useful when I use noise for beats. As Zadar allows me to lower the voltage, I can do attenuation in there anyway. So yes, more VCAs are better.
  • I have only two possibly melodic sources: Plaits and the bOSC. I absolutely love both of them, but it's limiting. I'm eyeing a Klavis Twin Waves mkii next.
  • I spent a bit more money on envelopes and drums, getting Zadar and Rample. I regret neither. They are both incredible modules. And I haven't even put my own samples on Rample yet!
  • One LFO only, but with multiple outputs. Also, I use Zadar as an LFO from time to time. It's unipolar, but hey, set the start point at the bottom instead of in the middle and it works just fine. Great to have complex LFOs when I want them! Ochd sounds nice, but it's not on my urgent list.
  • I thought I would save some money getting the Feedback modules. Really, they aren't bad. Static has a lovely variety of noise sources and Lo-Fusion is a nice analogue filter. But looking back, I regret not spending a bit more. I really miss a V-Oct for the chip noise and a hi pass filter. A different selection would've gotten me those immediately.
  • The Versio. I lusted for a Ruina Versio from the beginning, but my focus has shifted away from distortion. The Electus looked nice too but wasn't in stock. I can try it any time by flashing the firmware, but I'll definitely get to know the Melotus well before I flash it to something else.
  • Next up will be a Joranalogue Select 2 S/T&H and a Pamela to clock it. There's a random CV on the Static that I can use with this. Pamela will definitely be a great addition in the long run.
  • I'm currently using my BeatStep Pro for sequencing but I've been running into its limitations pretty quickly. Try long 3/4 (or any non-4/4) patterns, for example. So I ordered a Teensy to try out a Dirtywave M8 headless and if that works fine, I'll get a real unit. I worked quite a bit in ScreamTracker and FastTracker 2 so the workflow feels familiar.
  • I'm working on integrating the modular with my iPad, step by step. I bought an IK iRig Pro Duo to get a dual (stereo) input for recording, tuning and scope. Unfortunately, it hasn't been working well. I think it conflicts with the Motu M4 that's connected to the same USB hub. It's gone back and I'm eyeing an ES-9 next. Later on, AUM and Borderlands.

I've been really enjoying this setup so far. I like the limitations, as they force me to be creative. Some things turned out really well, some a bit less. You live and learn. To keep myself committed, I started a project where I do patching from scratch and publish a track after a jam every day. I just started a YouTube channel for this, you can find the link in my signature. I'm catching up the previous 2 weeks still, but the last few days are there. For the full list, check my SoundCloud playlist. Sorry for the blatant self-promotion, but it's more a request for review. Let me know if I should post that in another part of the forum!

Thanks for all your help here! I couldn't have done it without you


Awesome. Have fun!


  • I have only two possibly melodic sources: Plaits and the bOSC. I absolutely love both of them, but it's limiting. I'm eyeing a Klavis Twin Waves mkii next.
    -- Arrandan
    If you don't know, Zadar can be a VCO

If you don't know, Zadar can be a VCO
-- SamuelGeai

Hi Samuel,

Great tip! I remember reading about it. It's a bit fiddly though, trying to get the actual V/OCt working. That's why so far, I've refrained from using it as a sound source. But I might have a go at it tonight. I am already using Zadar as an LFO, where the speed is less crucial.


Hi,

I'm a relative beginner myself (started in 10/2021), so this is not meant to be "expert advice", but I'd like to share my experiences...

  • I have only two possibly melodic sources: Plaits and the bOSC. I absolutely love both of them, but it's limiting. I'm eyeing a Klavis Twin Waves mkii next.

I also have Plaits which, I think, is very versatile. A friend has bOSC, and I think it's a great, albeit simple, oscillator. I have the Dixie 2+, which is very similar to bOSC, feature wise. I don't think that Plaits & bOSC is a limiting setup. bOSC alone has 4 outputs that you can route through different paths, e.g. filters, wave-folders, effects in combination with a envelope+VCA per path that is sequenced differently, etc... Plaits has endless possibilities for modulation (models, parameters...) that you can work with and also two different outputs that you could treat differently. There's a lot of variation that you can squeeze out of these two oscillators...

  • I spent a bit more money on envelopes and drums, getting Zadar and Rample. I regret neither. They are both incredible modules. And I haven't even put my own samples on Rample yet!

Zadar is great, my friend has it, and I'll probably also get it some time. Rample was among the first 5 modules I bought, and I had a lot of fun with it. I sold it because I also had Erica Sample Drums, and thought this would be the more powerful sampler. I really regret selling the Rample and will maybe buy one again... I hardly ever use the Sample Drums...

  • One LFO only, but with multiple outputs. Also, I use Zadar as an LFO from time to time. It's unipolar, but hey, set the start point at the bottom instead of in the middle and it works just fine. Great to have complex LFOs when I want them! Ochd sounds nice, but it's not on my urgent list.

Ochd is overpriced in my view, but I haven't regretted buying it. It is in 95% of my patches. It is simple, easy to use and doesn't take up much space. The cost/benefit ratio is top...

  • Next up will be a Joranalogue Select 2 S/T&H and a Pamela to clock it. There's a random CV on the Static that I can use with this. Pamela will definitely be a great addition in the long run.

Pamela was also among the first 5 modules I bought. It's also one of the modules that gets a lot of usage. I started relatively simple, using it as a clock divider and euclidean pattern generator. As I learned about modular synths I've found many other ways to use it. Actually, if you use the stepped random, that's exactly what you get with noise + S&H, plus you'll have a lot of ways to control and manipulate it. Pam will grow with you. You can't go wrong with Pam's...

[...] I like the limitations, as they force me to be creative. Some things turned out really well, some a bit less. You live and learn. [...]

That's the spirit! Apply the first sentence to your Plaits & bOSC combo...

As you already have two Doepfer modules: I would recommend the Doepfer A-106-5 SEM filter. Sounds fantastic, from creamy to dirty to aggressive, has LP, HP, BP... incredible value for money!

Happy Wiggling!

Peter


Hi Peter,

I'm Peter too :-)

I don't think that Plaits & bOSC is a limiting setup. bOSC alone has 4 outputs that you can route through different paths, e.g. filters, wave-folders, effects in combination with a envelope+VCA per path that is sequenced differently, etc... Plaits has endless possibilities for modulation (models, parameters...) that you can work with and also two different outputs that you could treat differently. There's a lot of variation that you can squeeze out of these two oscillators...

Yes, you're right and re-reading what I wrote, it doesn't entirely convey correctly how I feel about it. bOSC is a great analog module, which is precisely what I wanted. I'm very happy with it. Plaits, however, seems like a gateway module. It introduces several types of synthesis but it's a bit limited in all of them. For example, the granular mode is 8 sawtooths, period. I like it and I use it a lot, but granular based on samples is much more powerful. It's that sense of exploring and finding the limits that I meant.

  • One LFO only, but with multiple outputs. Also, I use Zadar as an LFO from time to time. It's unipolar, but hey, set the start point at the bottom instead of in the middle and it works just fine. Great to have complex LFOs when I want them! Ochd sounds nice, but it's not on my urgent list.

Ochd is overpriced in my view, but I haven't regretted buying it. It is in 95% of my patches. It is simple, easy to use and doesn't take up much space. The cost/benefit ratio is top...

  • Next up will be a Joranalogue Select 2 S/T&H and a Pamela to clock it. There's a random CV on the Static that I can use with this. Pamela will definitely be a great addition in the long run.

Pamela was also among the first 5 modules I bought. It's also one of the modules that gets a lot of usage. I started relatively simple, using it as a clock divider and euclidean pattern generator. As I learned about modular synths I've found many other ways to use it. Actually, if you use the stepped random, that's exactly what you get with noise + S&H, plus you'll have a lot of ways to control and manipulate it. Pam will grow with you. You can't go wrong with Pam's...

I've actually changed my plans. Instead of the Joranalogue Select 2, I am considering the Intellijel Shifty. 4 S&H that can be shifted, but if you tell it to use just 1, then it's a plain S&H. Flexible in a different way than the Joranalogue. And for modulation (and also as an extra sound source), I'm eyeing the Joranalogue Orbit 3. I'm pretty much into fractals and mathematical chaos, so I really appreciate the patterns that come out of that one. It should work as a very interesting LFO-type modulator. As for PAM - I may hold off and just use Zadar with a pulse for the clock for now. I'm still sequencing with my BeatStep Pro and doing more sequencing in the modular (PAM - Euclidean etc) is not on the plans now. I'm getting a Teensy to try out a headless Dirtywave M8 to explore more in that direction.

Apply the first sentence to your Plaits & bOSC combo...

Heh :-) I've been doing that for the last almost 4 weeks on my one-track-per-day project. I noticed I was tending towards all saws and synthwave, so I moved away from that again with Plaits' FM mode for my track of 6 April. Yeah, there's a lot of live&learn in the bOSC-Plaits combo, but I want more!

As you already have two Doepfer modules: I would recommend the Doepfer A-106-5 SEM filter. Sounds fantastic, from creamy to dirty to aggressive, has LP, HP, BP... incredible value for money!

I'll check it out! Thanks for the tip!


Hi Jim,

About those BSP velocity sensitive buttons...

not via the trigger outs they're not - via midi they are I guess - never used mine other than via cv though

I've just tested this. The velo CV output works just fine. It outputs a very wide range between velo 0 and vel0 127. I've not metered it but I'm guessing 0-10V. When I pass it through an attenuator, it works nicely to control effects. For example, in Plaits in the granular sawtooth mode, I use it to control the spread of the frequencies of the sawtooth. The harder I punch the button, the more distorted it sounds. If you haven't yet, try it out - it's a nice way to control an effect per step with the BSP.


Hi Jim,

About those BSP velocity sensitive buttons...

not via the trigger outs they're not - via midi they are I guess - never used mine other than via cv though

I've just tested this. The velo CV output works just fine. It outputs a very wide range between velo 0 and vel0 127. I've not metered it but I'm guessing 0-10V. When I pass it through an attenuator, it works nicely to control effects. For example, in Plaits in the granular sawtooth mode, I use it to control the spread of the frequencies of the sawtooth. The harder I punch the button, the more distorted it sounds. If you haven't yet, try it out - it's a nice way to control an effect per step with the BSP.

-- Arrandan

yes, but isn't velocity cv just on the pitched sequencer channels - I thought you wanted it on the trigger sequencer outputs - ie how hard you hit a drum - I don't often use the BSP these days - although I may start again soon when I have a couple more percussion modules...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


yes, but isn't velocity cv just on the pitched sequencer channels - I thought you wanted it on the trigger sequencer outputs - ie how hard you hit a drum - I don't often use the BSP these days - although I may start again soon when I have a couple more percussion modules...

-- JimHowell1970

Yes, that's correct. The 8 drumpads are trigger only. So for the two pitched sequencer tracks, you can adjust another parameter in addition to trigger+V/Oct, which is what I did. I guess if I'm really desperate and I know a sequencer + drum part are running together, I can use the sequencer velocity to tweak something in the drum line. But that's probably my 3-track C=64 tracker mentality coming up again!


Back with an update after ordering, and receiving most of, what I planned for the last months. Sorry for all the broken links and screenshots at the top. I cleaned up my rack list recently.

  • Klavis Twin Waves mkii ordered, will pick it up tomorrow. Pamela idem. Select 2 has already arrived & I played around with it for some random drum triggering with Zadar as the clock.
  • I didn't get Ochd. Instead, I got an Orbit 3. It's different and very versatile, but will need some work to get used to it.
  • Ordered Squawk instead of an LPF All in one, got it over with.
  • Melotus Versio is great, but the Electus firmware is even greater! I love the clocked delay.
  • ES-9 added and it's brilliant. Using it with iPad and AUM.

I stopped my YouTube channel as it distracted me from the main event - making music. It also took a lot of extra time, which I don't have, making a track per day after a full-time job.

As for the BSP, I'm replacing it with an Oxi + Oxi Pipe. The Oxi is more advanced and focused on sequencing. The Pipe makes connecting it all very easy. Best of all, I'm hoping it will be small and light enough to travel.

Next, I'd like to start moving towards live performances. So far, I do record my tracks with some live manipulation, but it's very limited. Basically, I've pre-programmed the BSP and tweaked some parameters live. I want to move in the direction of jams that keep people entertained for longer stretches of time, e.g. one hour. I know my rack is sorely lacking in controls for that, so I've just added an Intellijel switched multi and an Instruo [1]f to start with. Advice with that would be very welcome!

ModularGrid Rack


advice:

use Pam's as the master clock in the rack - if you want to record, use an audio track with a kick on it every 16th note and run that through the es9 into Pams (set Pams to receive 4ppqn) ...

2nd filter/effects module would probably be a good idea - change things up quickly and easily... possibly more mixing... for sub mixes of vco outputs - before hitting filter/effects

possibly replace the doepfer lfo with something like batumi (4 channels) - consider a matrix mixer with big knobs (doepfer) for combining modulation sources to get more interesting modulation

consider a control module - harlequins context, tetrapad, mtm control etc - for controlling things better...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


Thanks for the advice, which is very useful as always, Jim. A bit deeper into them...

use Pam's as the master clock in the rack - if you want to record, use an audio track with a kick on it every 16th note and run that through the es9 into Pams (set Pams to receive 4ppqn) ...

I would be using an external sequencer. Tomorrow my Oxi One should arrive to replace my BSP. Can't I just send that one's clock into Pam's?

2nd filter/effects module would probably be a good idea - change things up quickly and easily... possibly more mixing... for sub mixes of vco outputs - before hitting filter/effects

possibly replace the doepfer lfo with something like batumi (4 channels) - consider a matrix mixer with big knobs (doepfer) for combining modulation sources to get more interesting modulation

I have 2 filters in there now - Squawk and the Lo-Fusion. Lo-Fusion isn't very dense but I've grown to like its raw sound. Perhaps Steve's MS-22 is similar and more in less HP, because both are based on the MS-20. We'll see.

LFO - Batumi, understood.

Matrix mixer - yes, I've been thinking about that. I saw DivKid's video on the Instruo Lion and it's an interesting non-standard approach to a matrix. Doepfer is of course a good standard. I'll need to look into matrix mixers more deeply, because there are so many different possibilities (attenuverters, ...)

consider a control module - harlequins context, tetrapad, mtm control etc - for controlling things better...

A couple of people I know send everything to a Tesseract Sweet Sixteen to keep control in one place. Harlequin - sounds interesting, but I don't really get it immediately. I need to look at it more in-depth. Tetrapad - it's been on my radar for a while now. Looks particularly good for live sets indeed.

Adding stuff is nice, but I'm running out of space. Add a tetrapad and all 3U is full. I feel like I'll need to just do it and decide what I will keep in the rack based on what actually works.


Thanks for the advice, which is very useful as always, Jim. A bit deeper into them...

NP

use Pam's as the master clock in the rack - if you want to record, use an audio track with a kick on it every 16th note and run that through the es9 into Pams (set Pams to receive 4ppqn) ...

I would be using an external sequencer. Tomorrow my Oxi One should arrive to replace my BSP. Can't I just send that one's clock into Pam's?

Possibly - the reason to use the Pams as master is that it's solid and it's easy to read the BPM - don't know the Oxi One at all - maybe you can clock that from Pams - altough vice versa is probably fine too

2nd filter/effects module would probably be a good idea - change things up quickly and easily... possibly more mixing... for sub mixes of vco outputs - before hitting filter/effects

possibly replace the doepfer lfo with something like batumi (4 channels) - consider a matrix mixer with big knobs (doepfer) for combining modulation sources to get more interesting modulation

I have 2 filters in there now - Squawk and the Lo-Fusion. Lo-Fusion isn't very dense but I've grown to like its raw sound. Perhaps Steve's MS-22 is similar and more in less HP, because both are based on the MS-20. We'll see.

It's easy to miss the odd module - especially if it's not a common one... but if you ask me the more the merrier - I've got at least 6 in the rack and a few external ones...

LFO - Batumi, understood.

Matrix mixer - yes, I've been thinking about that. I saw DivKid's video on the Instruo Lion and it's an interesting non-standard approach to a matrix. Doepfer is of course a good standard. I'll need to look into matrix mixers more deeply, because there are so many different possibilities (attenuverters, ...)

I saw that video too - but I think a standard one is much easier to work with and no special loopback plugs to loose!!!

consider a control module - harlequins context, tetrapad, mtm control etc - for controlling things better...

A couple of people I know send everything to a Tesseract Sweet Sixteen to keep control in one place. Harlequin - sounds interesting, but I don't really get it immediately. I need to look at it more in-depth. Tetrapad - it's been on my radar for a while now. Looks particularly good for live sets indeed.

This is something I've been considering for a while too... I've built a number of Tesseract modules and the Sweet Sixteen looks great... I've got a TNSM v2 to build at some point - it's back of the pile at the moment though - with 15 or so modules in front!!

Adding stuff is nice, but I'm running out of space. Add a tetrapad and all 3U is full. I feel like I'll need to just do it and decide what I will keep in the rack based on what actually works.
-- Arrandan

obviously time for another case then...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


Possibly - the reason to use the Pams as master is that it's solid and it's easy to read the BPM - don't know the Oxi One at all - maybe you can clock that from Pams - altough vice versa is probably fine too

That should be okay:

And anyway, if I link them up, both will show the same clock. Or should at least No fun memories of trying to get a BSP to work with a Korg SQ-1 as central clock. In the end it was quickly done, of course, but it required a computer to reconfigure the BSP, which I didn't have with me at that time...

I have 2 filters in there now - Squawk and the Lo-Fusion. Lo-Fusion isn't very dense but I've grown to like its raw sound. Perhaps Steve's MS-22 is similar and more in less HP, because both are based on the MS-20. We'll see.

It's easy to miss the odd module - especially if it's not a common one... but if you ask me the more the merrier - I've got at least 6 in the rack and a few external ones...

I'm definitely happy I added the squawk. The always-present HPF and the flexibility are just so handy. I've used both my filters in everything I've done since the squawk arrived.

Matrix mixer - yes, I've been thinking about that. I saw DivKid's video on the Instruo Lion and it's an interesting non-standard approach to a matrix. Doepfer is of course a good standard. I'll need to look into matrix mixers more deeply, because there are so many different possibilities (attenuverters, ...)

I saw that video too - but I think a standard one is much easier to work with and no special loopback plugs to loose!!!

That's a good point. And the Lion is TRS, too, which I understand for send/return, but that means it requires dedicated cables. Something standard has its advantages.

Adding stuff is nice, but I'm running out of space. Add a tetrapad and all 3U is full. I feel like I'll need to just do it and decide what I will keep in the rack based on what actually works.

obviously time for another case then...

Gateway drug! Escalating addiction!


Possibly - the reason to use the Pams as master is that it's solid and it's easy to read the BPM - don't know the Oxi One at all - maybe you can clock that from Pams - altough vice versa is probably fine too

That should be okay:

looks cool - hope you get on well with it - I'll have to find a review...

And anyway, if I link them up, both will show the same clock. Or should at least No fun memories of trying to get a BSP to work with a Korg SQ-1 as central clock. In the end it was quickly done, of course, but it required a computer to reconfigure the BSP, which I didn't have with me at that time...

yeah only issue with bsp... always carry a macbook pro is the answer...

I have 2 filters in there now - Squawk and the Lo-Fusion. Lo-Fusion isn't very dense but I've grown to like its raw sound. Perhaps Steve's MS-22 is similar and more in less HP, because both are based on the MS-20. We'll see.

It's easy to miss the odd module - especially if it's not a common one... but if you ask me the more the merrier - I've got at least 6 in the rack and a few external ones...

I'm definitely happy I added the squawk. The always-present HPF and the flexibility are just so handy. I've used both my filters in everything I've done since the squawk arrived.

I have an old Frostwave Resonator - which is a pedal format(ish) MS20 filter... more filters is always better than more vcos - mostly vcos are vcos - filters are where the character is 90% of the time

Matrix mixer - yes, I've been thinking about that. I saw DivKid's video on the Instruo Lion and it's an interesting non-standard approach to a matrix. Doepfer is of course a good standard. I'll need to look into matrix mixers more deeply, because there are so many different possibilities (attenuverters, ...)

I saw that video too - but I think a standard one is much easier to work with and no special loopback plugs to loose!!!

That's a good point. And the Lion is TRS, too, which I understand for send/return, but that means it requires dedicated cables. Something standard has its advantages.

yeah and it's trs to dual ts cables you need and no control other than where you plug the cables in...

Adding stuff is nice, but I'm running out of space. Add a tetrapad and all 3U is full. I feel like I'll need to just do it and decide what I will keep in the rack based on what actually works.

obviously time for another case then...

Gateway drug! Escalating addiction!
-- Arrandan

tell me about it - 8 cases... 1800hp-ish... cupboard full of effects pedals... etc etc... down to 4 guitars and only 1 bass though! so swings and roundabouts...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


looks cool - hope you get on well with it - I'll have to find a review...

It is very cool. I just had my first play around with it - with its 8x16 grid, it's a very visual way of working, which I like. It's a bit like the Deluge, but sequencer only. And it's tiny! The entire box it shipped in, containing the Oxi One, a carrying case, cables, and a module to connect modular with a single cable, fits into my BSP case!

It's easy to miss the odd module - especially if it's not a common one... but if you ask me the more the merrier - I've got at least 6 in the rack and a few external ones...

I'm definitely happy I added the squawk. The always-present HPF and the flexibility are just so handy. I've used both my filters in everything I've done since the squawk arrived.

I have an old Frostwave Resonator - which is a pedal format(ish) MS20 filter... more filters is always better than more vcos - mostly vcos are vcos - filters are where the character is 90% of the time

Well, coming from the Argon8x and having the wavetable mode in Plaits, I know there can also be a big difference between VCOs. The Argon has these incredible wavetables where you just go back and forth through the table and you've got an instant classic. But I see what you mean. I have doubted my Feedback Lo-Fusion for a while, but I really started liking its instant old-school warm grungy sound. That's character. Do you have the same feeling about effects, e.g. different reverbs/delays?

That's a good point. And the Lion is TRS, too, which I understand for send/return, but that means it requires dedicated cables. Something standard has its advantages.

yeah and it's trs to dual ts cables you need and no control other than where you plug the cables in...

Ugh.

obviously time for another case then...

Gateway drug! Escalating addiction!
-- Arrandan

tell me about it - 8 cases... 1800hp-ish... cupboard full of effects pedals... etc etc... down to 4 guitars and only 1 bass though! so swings and roundabouts...

Not looking forward to telling my wife I'll be adding a second case... It's not like she's not supportive - she likes that I'm making music. It's just me being very uncertain about spending money again on it. I also like the idea of having a portable system for performances - which will be new for me but I'm starting talks. One Intellijel 7U + Oxi + iPad is eminently portable. Add a second 7U and it becomes far less so. Or that's how it seems to me now. If you'd told me I'd be lugging around a 7U + BSP + bag full of cables/PSUs + laptop bag with iPad and macbook pro to workshops every week... "Add a second 7U" is a meaningless delta when you're already dragging Google's data center around


It is very cool. I just had my first play around with it - with its 8x16 grid, it's a very visual way of working, which I like. It's a bit like the Deluge, but sequencer only. And it's tiny! The entire box it shipped in, containing the Oxi One, a carrying case, cables, and a module to connect modular with a single cable, fits into my BSP case!

that's great - sometimes bigger is better, and sometimes the opposite

Well, coming from the Argon8x and having the wavetable mode in Plaits, I know there can also be a big difference between VCOs. The Argon has these incredible wavetables where you just go back and forth through the table and you've got an instant classic. But I see what you mean. I have doubted my Feedback Lo-Fusion for a while, but I really started liking its instant old-school warm grungy sound. That's character. Do you have the same feeling about effects, e.g. different reverbs/delays?

yeah I think there's a lot of character in effects... there can be both subtle and massive differences in almost all of them... probably why I have so many!

That's a good point. And the Lion is TRS, too, which I understand for send/return, but that means it requires dedicated cables. Something standard has its advantages.

yeah and it's trs to dual ts cables you need and no control other than where you plug the cables in...

Ugh.

exactly!

Not looking forward to telling my wife I'll be adding a second case... It's not like she's not supportive - she likes that I'm making music. It's just me being very uncertain about spending money again on it. I also like the idea of having a portable system for performances - which will be new for me but I'm starting talks. One Intellijel 7U + Oxi + iPad is eminently portable. Add a second 7U and it becomes far less so. Or that's how it seems to me now. If you'd told me I'd be lugging around a 7U + BSP + bag full of cables/PSUs + laptop bag with iPad and macbook pro to workshops every week... "Add a second 7U" is a meaningless delta when you're already dragging Google's data center around
-- Arrandan

well it all seems easily portable in a rucksack and 2 cases... so ok on public transport!! another option of course is buy a massive case for home and swap what you need into a single case for a gig...
I hope your wife is understanding...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


It is very cool. I just had my first play around with it - with its 8x16 grid, it's a very visual way of working, which I like. It's a bit like the Deluge, but sequencer only. And it's tiny! The entire box it shipped in, containing the Oxi One, a carrying case, cables, and a module to connect modular with a single cable, fits into my BSP case!

that's great - sometimes bigger is better, and sometimes the opposite

I was looking for a trade-off. The Oxi seems to have the perfect balance of a very solid unit in a very small footprint. I need to mention that I'm ironing out a few problems with Oxi, but they're very supportive and I'm sure it will get right eventually (2 out of 8 gates don't work). With that limitation in mind, it's already very, very good. Quite a learning curve, as the thing can do anything, but very well worth it.

yeah I think there's a lot of character in effects... there can be both subtle and massive differences in almost all of them... probably why I have so many!

I've been loving the Versio for that reason. Melotus now, Electus tomorrow, Ruina yesterday.

I checked out Harlequin's Context and it looks great! It solves the "can't adjust this knob accurately enough in realtime" problem. I knew there were programmers like this, and the Harlequin is pretty small as well.

One thing it can't do is reflash the Versio in realtime

Here's one version of a performance case that I could build. I swapped out the Feedback Static for a 2U noise source + VCNO, which has V/Oct for chip noise. Smaller hp together, but more flexibility. Top row is identical, 1U row adds a slew and a Quadratt. At the bottom: Batumi instead of LFO, matrix mixer, Tete+Tetrapad, Harlequin. And a few more [1]fs, which I'm finding very useful indeed. I'm not at the point where I'll be building this, but it's nice to get ideas. Feedback is welcome!

well it all seems easily portable in a rucksack and 2 cases... so ok on public transport!! another option of course is buy a massive case for home and swap what you need into a single case for a gig...
I hope your wife is understanding...

I can't complain so far :-) Talk about travelling light: I'm off for a weekend next, and I'll be taking Oxi + iPad + headphones. Curious to see how that works out. Nothing modular, though there is the Model D on iPad. It's a trial run of my summer holiday when we'll be travelling very light as well.