Dear All,

I had an interesting weekend with a good friend of mine, testing and playing around with my new Eurorack system and we had a lot of fun, and I learned a lot from this weekend's session. For me as a beginner that was a very good session and tons of "lessons learnt" for me.

While patching around on my system, I was quite happy with most of it, though it became quite clear that I had lack of a few VCO modules (and a few effect modules might be needed too). Thus... indeed I am looking to plan a few extra VCOs in my setup.

Important for me is that the VCO module isn't too small. I have now a Doepfer A-110-1 (standard VCO) and a Doepfer A-110-4 QZVCO, both great modules, especially the A-110-4 allows you to get some nice and funny effects, and I realise that a VCO module shouldn't get smaller than the A-110-4, while patching I realised the A-110-4 is small enough (almost too small with its 8 HP) when you have it plugged with cables and trying to reach the knobs ;-) So minimum width for a VCO module is for me 8 HP or larger. Of course, if there is a fantastic VCO with 6 HP I still might consider it but I don't want to save space here just for the sake of saving space and having troubles during patching and when using the knobs.

Preferable I like to have an analogue module but if it's digital and one doesn't have to go through menus or many button clicks then I am fine with that too. Important here for me is that it's easy accessible and self-explanatory.

I had a look in my own list I made in Excel and set the filter to VCOs, 131 VCO modules I got listed and I am not going to ask for all 131 modules if they are good or not, just one particular module I would like to have your opinion about: how is the Make Noise STO? Is that a good and useful VCO? I had already tested it, it was not too bad, but I am not sure about it. Okay a second module: how about the Erica Synths Black VCO version 2?

Budget-wise, always difficult of course, it shouldn’t get as expensive as Endorphin or ACL but everything good below that, I could consider it.

If there is anyone who like to share some experience with some of his/hers VCO modules, which ones are good (and comfortable) to use, preferable with FM, then please don't feel shy and let me know about it ;-)

Thank you very much in advance and kind regards,

Garfield Modular.

Hello All,

I was hoping for a few reactions. Any comments about oscillators, experiences with them (good or less good) is welcome. I am looking for one or two more oscillators and appreciate your input to this matter very much.

Thank you very much in advance and kind regards, Garfield.

Beefy VCOs with a twist, hm? OK...try some of these on for size in your build:

Instruo Cs-L, tona, troika
Dove WTF Oscillator
Make Noise STO (yep! good choice), DPO
Pharmasonic Digisound VCDO (I have the original...quite can step thru the fixed wavetables)
Pittsburgh Lifeforms Primary VCO, Lifeforms Double Helix Oscillator
Erica Black Wavetable VCO
VOID Gravitational Waves (probably the cheapest complex VCO)
Mannequins MANGROVE
Synthesis Technologies E340 Cloud Generator, E350 Morphing Terrarium, E352 Cloud Terrarium
Moseley Cosmopolitan
Intellijel Rubicon II, Shapeshifter
WMD Phase Displacement Oscillator mkII
Harvestman Hertz Donut mkIII, Piston Honda mkIII
Sputnik Dual Oscillator
4ms Spherical Wavetable Navigator
Rossum Trident
Hexinverter Mindphaser
1010 Music Waverazor

Trying to stay under $600 here. But this is a good cross-section of some of the more capable and interesting VCOs out there. You'll notice that some of these are actually not single VCOs, also...there are several dual oscillators (some in Buchla-like "complex" arrangements), a couple of triples, and the six oscillator 4ms module. Another not expensive thing you might add alongside one of these and your existing VCOs would be a Doepfer A-196 PLL module, which is a strange little thing (VCO, filter, phase-lock loop) that can do glitchy, sync-like behavior while tracking the audio of another VCO. See what works!

Hi Lugia,

Oh that's fantastic, thanks a lot for your reply and providing me a list of "homework" to check out! :-)

A few I considered already like the Instruo Tona and the Intellijel Rubicon II however all the oscillators from your list are all good pointers and it looks like that I have to do a lot of reading, testing, verifying and making the puzzle of oscillators even more difficult but also nice challenging, I like that so no worries there.

A few brands might be difficult to get directly from a dealer here in Europe but I will check them all, especially those I can get here in Europe.

Thanks a lot again and kind regards, Garfield.

Synthesis Technology e330 is a great VCO at a decent price point. It would compliment your two analog VCOs nicely and offers finger friendly wiggling.

+1 for the Synth tech e330, I liked that one a lot.
You might also want to check out the Malekko Osc and Anti-Osc. They make up a fantastic combo and are not too expensive if you find them second hand.

Hi Oilpanic and Phineas,

Thanks a lot for pointing out the Synthesis Technology E330 VCO to me. I just watched a video about it and that might be just a VCO I was looking for. Pity that my dealer nearby doesn't carry this brand, so I might have to buy it "blind". I certainly will put this on my wish list!

Thanks again and kind regards, Garfield.

As I said, I liked it a lot. There is a really good demo on youtube on the e330. The only minus might be that it does not go down super low; but you can still get some nice bass out of it, so that's ok I would say.

I'm late. But I have an Intellijel Rubicon II. You can get into some seriously gnarly tones with some creative patching including self-patching. There are a lot of built in attenuators and attenuverters.

It's not cheap. But it's a great first choice for an analog VCO.

Hi Ronin,

No problem, good advice comes never too late :-)

Hmm... interesting... I had already a look at the Intellijel's Dixie II+ and I heard about the Rubicon II but haven't really check it out yet, I guess its price was stopping me from doing so :-) Do I see this correctly that the Dixie II+ is actually a small version of the Rubicon II or are there some significant differences between them that I should be aware off?

Thank you very much for pointing out that one and I will check at my dealer if they have the Rubicon II for testing it, best would be if they got the Dixie II+ for testing too, so I can compare them.

Kind regards, Garfield.

+1 for Synthesis Technology E330.. tried to make some kickdrum sound with it, after watching (Must watch on youtube : Tobi Neumann “how to make analog kick drum”).. and damnn!!, it can sculpt so many punchy sounds that make my beloved BIA sounds like cheap toy in comparison..

So get it and upgrade to E352 later on.

The Dixie II+ is a basic VCO. It really doesn't do much more than any other basic oscillator. It has a sub oscillator, which is a nice feature if you make a lot of bass sounds or a sub factors into the sound of your patch (not always bass).

The Rubicon 2 is more of a complex oscillator due to its "through zero" capabilities among other features. You'll also see that reflected in the price. You can substitute the Rubicon for a Dixie... but not the other way around if you start diving deep into features.

I have the Rubicon 2 and I'm considering the Dixie as an additional VCO... I have a Z3000 but prefer the workflow of the Intellijel stuff.

Hi Nniikkoo (Niko? :-) ) and Ronin,

Nniikkoo/Niko, thanks a lot, I definitely will consider the E330, though I don't have a dealer where I can test it, but it's on my list :-)

Ronin, thanks a lot for your information. Yes I thought already it would be something like that but it's good you had confirmed that in details. So looks like I have to go for the Rubicon 2 then, instead of the Dixie 2+ :-) I will change in my wish list the priority of Dixie 2+ (lower the prio) and prefer in my list the Rubicon 2 (higher prio).

I got the Doepfer A-110-4, it's a more simple VCO but also has this "through zero" capabilities, fantastic what you can do with that, so since the Rubicon 2 got that capability as well, I am really thinking of that Rubicon 2 now (instead of Dixie 2+); it's just the budget ;-) But yes, you are right, it's worth it to go that extra mile (i.e. extend the budget) and go for the Rubicon 2 instead.

Thanks a lot and kind regards, Garfield.

The Rubicon 2 makes sense for a mature rig. For a skiff... I wouldn't think so as getting a nice palette of modulation sources out of skiff would be a bit difficult (sources, attenuation, attenuverting, etc.).

I've managed to get some sounds out of it that put it in league with some of the coarser sounding Noise Engineering stuff. ALSO... it has an LFO mode that can go pretty slow. So you can use it as a source for complex modulation of other oscillators/filters etc.

For me, the value is there due to its usefulness. But the cost rises proportionally. :)

Hi Ronin,

Skiff? I don't have that, at least not yet, my desk is pretty full with some Doepfer A-100 casings. I might consider a double Intellijel 7U case because I am recently a lot away from home and don't have much time left to play with my modular system (when I am back home) but I put that "traveling case" on hold till next year and then will check if I want really a traveling case or not. Let's see.

Oh that's good, that the Rubicon 2 got an LFO that can go quite slow, sounds good too :-)

Kind regards, Garfield.