I am trying to close out the final spaces in my modular system. When I first got the Make Noise Black & gold shared system (original in the 7U Enclave case), I knew virtually nothing about modular (and not much else about any synth, really; as far as music is concerned, I come from the DJ side of things. Large music collection, lots of gear, but nothing on the production side).
A friend had been getting me into Modular once he started augmenting his musician collection during the resurgence of analog synths. I had seen I Dream of Wires, the expanded 4hr cut, which was my sum total knowledge that got me entering the synth world with some semi-modular gear. I purchased the Mother 32, DFAM, 0-Coast and even the grandmother. Progress was slow and I never got too deep into patching bc I was majorly expanding the DJ setup with all kinds of crazy lights and then suddenly, my friend with all the synths, passed away.
All his gear was way over my level, but it was just going to go to strangers on e-bay, so thanks to Hurricane Harvey, I had flood money bc I was not going to rebuild. I was uniquely positioned to help the family and I bought a lot of synths from the estate. He had a twin 94hp Pittsburgh Rev 1 (before lifeforms) system I knew would have been the better system to learn on, but I also knew Make Noise was the cutting edge one, but with a notoriously steep learning curve.
First thing I noticed when purchasing the B&G shared system was that mine was not up-to-date. Tempi wasn’t in there and Rene was completely different. My Optomix was not the latest (I have added since and it is also black despite the rack view), but my ModDemix, MATHS and Wogglebug were latest versions. Immediately, I found myself building out a new skiff to catch the updated modules, which included tempi, Morphagene (retaining Phonogene), Brains and Pressure Points, which I expanded to maximum allowed of two units. To fill in some gaps, I picked up Disting MK4 and 2hp Pluck and Arp bc I can’t stand a skiff with blanks and want it filled ASAP.
Then I started watching YouTube tutorials. I was clueless on patching and Make Noise tends to favor Buchla or Serge type systems over Moog’s subtractive synths, which I understand more. I get that basically I am in driver’s ed still watching videos and reading manuals, yet to be behind the wheel and I’m trying to figure out if I want a McLaren or a Bugatti and what trim options I should get when the thing is probably going to stay in the garage anyway, so I am sure requests like these are annoying, but after investing in another skiff to pick up some of the new Make Noise modules and an attempt to solve the problem of no drum kits, I started creating a final skiff for rhythmic variations and drum modules with an interest in more on-the-fly live playing simply bc this is the most expensive system in the house by far and so far my least favorite. Friends aren’t impressed when I turn it on a make a buzzsaw sound. We all much prefer the other synths with presets and what not, but I’m not giving up yet. I mean, of course the easier gear shows off better. Presets!
YouTube videos backfired in a way bc they kept showing other gear I liked so I went a bit berzerk and now have maybe 30 synthesizers, 20 of which are various drum machines and keyboards with about 10 being tiny boutiques (roland & Volca). It’s a stupid amount, taking forever to setup, update and load soundbanks. That’s taken up the bulk of six months and I have barely made a dent in those, but watching all the videos showed me they do have drum modulars and live play rigs which usually have all kinds of clock modulators. Now, I like all my modules to be black face, but in addition to the Semi-modulars I had before (M32, DFAM, 0-Coast, Minitaur, Grandmother and both Mini&MicroBrutes plus an 84 hp Roland System-1m with I believe the System 100M loaded out), I ordered a vpme.de Eucliean Circles V2 with 6 switches in it’s own external enclosure that will affix outside the skiff, as do my semi-modular on various clamp mounting platforms.
Workflow I tried to keep like with like, so in the oscillator skiff, I have about 8hp to spare that I was thinking of loading up with 2hp Kick, Snare, HH and maybe Play for a very tight fit alongside of pluck and in between the BIA and MI.
That leaves about 12-13hp in the rhythm section for clock modulation. Tempi can do it, but it is complicated and I was looking at something more with switches that could drop out kick, snare, HH, etc. on the fly. Circles may handle that but most live rigs seem to have Pamala’s workout or the 4MS rotating clock div, usually with these DIY switching Mult mods. I think I need a clock mult and div for my drums. I have no logic modules. I didn’t even know those existed until about a week ago. Obviously, if I move the Numeric Repetitor up to the oscillator skiff, I would have 20 hp clear in the rhythm/sequencer skiff. Would be nice to have a combo drum module with 4 part voicing and a single signal out, but that is probably asking too much bc that would eat up my clock modulation space. I have line rack mixers and tuner in the system, too.
I plan to use Tempi and the Renes for more slow, in-depth programming, so the goal now is fast rhythm changes using compact clocks/triggers/gate modules.
Anyway, sorry for the length. Any black faceplate suggestions welcome. I don’t mind blunt criticism. That’s just the history of how this came to be.