Let me start by saying that I’m really enjoying this conversation, it’s challenging my way of seeing my build and what’s possible with what I have. This is the exact reason I started this thread, and boy did I get what I asked for ! My brain hurts, but it’s a good hurt :-)
Garfield, you mention the second big rack, and Lugia talks about a 4ms pod. I also still have my 7U from Intellijel which I started on, it’s the case I use during short holidays to focus on some aspects of my modules. As much as possible, I would like to stay within the bounds of 14U for now. First of all, I do intend to move and I might get a bigger space and therefore a bigger desk, but that’s far from guaranteed and my desk is really cramped. I’m not dismissing the idea entirely but it would at least need to wait until March when I’m in the new house and I know what I can work with. There’s also the fact that confining myself to 14U is a good way to not go completely broke in the next months, if you know what I mean ;)
@GarfieldModular: To CV is a verb I use on a regular basis, definitely a thing lol.
The case you make for different kinds of VCA’s is pretty compelling. I have a switch for a +6db boost on each channel of the Intellijel Quad VCA which has been enough for me so far, but it's limited in use and it’s true that sometimes an extra « oomph » could come in handy, yet I still can’t bring myself to consider such a change for now. As Lugia said, I need to make a few theory builds, look at his take on it, and think for a long while. With this discussions, I’m starting to see patching my system in a new light so who knows, in a few days I might just change my tune regarding a « big » change in VCAs for the rack. I’ll definitely check out the demos of Punch !
Thanks for sharing your demo of the Erica Dual VCF, you got some really crazy sounds out of it :-) The more I look at that module, the more I want it. It wasn’t on my radar anymore after we talked about it almost a year ago I think, but now I remember why I wanted it in the first place, I really like the features and I/O it offers, very inviting to experimentation. What I’m after is filters that will go crazy in a « musical » way (to me, of course) when messed with, like the Belgrad for example. Playing with the span of the peaks while also bordering self-oscillation and a generous touch of cross-mod (thank you, Tito switch), I get such beautiful noises, it’s poetry to my ears. I have the same high hopes for the Erica filter… If I’m honest, I’m already very convinced, but I have a principle to at least sit for a while on buying decisions of that importance, for money as well as for build consistency reasons.
I’m sorry you also lost your answer and more importantly, thank you for taking the time to write another one, it must have taken you a while so thank you for that !
Logic & clock: I’m definitely convinced the Logic 202 is going to find its way in the build, now I’m even thinking 202 first and Kinks second. Because yes, I think that I should be able to manage a Kinks in there too and I feel like it would come in very handy as well, I’ve been eyeing it for a while already. Would it be too much with the 202 already in there ? For the clock, I’m still leaning on me being able to get the effects you describe (cool ideas indeed, all going in my little « to try » modular notes) with a Time Apprentice in the 1U section and sometimes an output or two from PNW. Definitely going to stare at this for a while as you very well put it, that remark will remain valid for the rest of this post :)
EG-like modules: I’m now starting to see what you describe, a big modulation section working as a CV orchestra of sorts, and yeah, it has my grey cells working triple shifts, but it’s beautiful. I have already approached patches of that nature thanks to having Maths and the crazy Zadar now in the build, but I never saw things in the light of a wider approach. I’m very sold on the Quadrax and its expander, a little less on the QPLFO, although I do understand your point and of course fully agree that using the O&C for LFO’s is somewhat sad. I removed the double ADSR for now to have more room, I’m thinking Stages can provide one (at the cost of 4 channels, but OK) and I could also install Hemisphere on the O&c and use a side to produce ADSRs. Also, I don’t find myself using those so much in the way I patch so far, actually that came as a surprise to me when I went from classic synths to modular. Less ideal, though, so if I can find a way for it to come back in the rack, why not.
Varigate8+: aargh, you make such good points and the more I think about it, the more I see it’d be a very very good idea, so much power. Must resist … the dark side…. My wallet just rose an eyebrow in disapproval, but he’s seen worse.
I already get a glimpse of the power of ready-to-drop sequences with the little memory on the VB, and it’s very nice indeed, I use it a lot. Having a hundred of those would be almost too much. I also need to think about wether or not it introduces too much complexity in the system, it’s not that I don’t like menus but I want to keep a relatively small number of menu/complex button combo based modules in the rack, in order to keep the flow going when I patch. Manual reading, demo watching and more pondering will happen before I actually buy anything anyway, but I have a sort of plan presented below and it’s in there. Feels a bit like a waste to sell a large gate sequencer (my Robaux SWT16+) just to get another, but I did get the Robaux before getting my VB, and now VG makes a lot more sense… Oh well, you live, you learn.
Bitbox: keeping it for now, but we’ll see in the long run, it would free up some nice cash and generous HP space, and I can do sampling easily in the MPC too. How easy and practical the workflow really is, I don’t know yet, still have to test the waters a bit but so far so good, which is why I haven’t touched my Bitbox lately. When it's all running together though, I'd have to see how practical it is to add sampling on the fly in my MPC workflow instead of the ease of having the Bitbox always there...
Voices: Wow, I just got schooled :-) Using the filters as voices is clearly something I don’t do often enough. I mean, I know of it, and I’ve done it a few times (even with the Viol Ruina which doesn’t really track 1/oct haha), but how ready am I to commit to that and rock those as VCO’s on a sort of permanent basis, man, we’ll see. But all these ideas you shared, pure gold. Believe it or not, I never patched a voice comprised of the PH and C-sL together, not once, shame on me. I guess my excuse is that they’re so complex in themselves, there’s so much to explore, that exploring them as a voice with another VCO is something that completely eluded me, maybe I was already having too much fun as is. I also can’t believe that I can only remember one unique time when I played with Belgrad as a voice, despite loving it so much (what a fun time that was). The build proposed below is still organized like I did it before but essentially it retains the same functionality if I’m not missing anything, and I’m thinking about copying it to another rack on MG and playing with module placement to try different approaches, or maybe copy your reworked build and start from there.
Stereo: yes, yes, and more yes, in fact that’s also an important reason why I’d like to get the Erica Dual VCF in there. It would also be my second Lester of sorts, I have this idea that it’s better to try different flavors when it comes to modules so closely tied to sound timbre, more variety at my disposal and all that, could be a gross misconception on my part, I really don't know but it's worked for me so far. Otherwise I would already own 3 or 4 Belgrad filters, and using them as voices wouldn’t be so rare anymore :-) That Takaab is a no brainer though, almost feels like I could use a couple (second eyebrow raise by my wallet).
Modulation: this is the section that I have the most ease approaching for some reason. It all makes sense, it’s like a word you’re looking for and someone just says it out loud for you, now sparse ideas that I could never link together in my head are starting to make sense. I guess it’s like with Maths, I’ll start getting new ideas by patching and experimenting, that is what makes it so hard for me to chose how to evolve without having tried that new build.
Tetrapad: aargh-bis, excellent arguments again. I’ve explained the situation above about extra cases but yeah, I totally see the power of casing that in a 4ms pod or some other small case. For now, it’s still in the 14U plans, but I’m not buying all the update at once anyway so I’ll have a lot of time and some practice with new modules to decide how things will go. My wallet just tore his eyebrows off in anger, I'll go patch to calm him down.
New version of the build I have as a result of your kind help, the first wave of pondering, thinking and other slight headaches (the extra bottom row is modules that I would sell as a result of the reshuffling - I may decide to keep the Mixups anyway, they come in real handy when I make smaller systems in the 7U travel case) :
DHL is coming tomorrow to pick up the Intellijel Quad VCA going in repairs (kuddos for an incredibly efficient and nice support team @ Intellijel) so I’ll be without proper VCAs (quite a few hidden in the system, not as flexible though), and even before that I didn’t have enough, far from it. Therefore I’m going to place an order soon for the double VCA 1U and I’d like to add another, probably the new Veils although Garfield did make me want to investigate more on that. Depending on finances (the house move might hurt a bit, I might need some extra furniture and all that), I’ll order soon after the Quadrax + expander and then the Tetrapad+Tête, in that order of priority. I have a local deal on the Erica VCF so I’ll check that out, and I’ll also order the Shakmat clock divider if DIY shops do deliver, I want to get on that soldering iron again, so much fun. Speaking of uncertain deliveries, does anyone know if EMW has retailers in the EU ? MG lists only Thomann but they don’t seem to have the Logic 202 on offer. If no one here knows, I’ll write them an email to ask if they can get it, we’ll see, EMW says on their website that due to COVID, their sales are temporarily paused so that might not be for the very near future :-(
Well, that’s it for me, I’ll go back to patching my current system and try some of the experiments Lugia suggested, this will help me think and decide what I buy first in a week or so.
Thank you as always for all the help and the time you spend on this, on top of helping countless others.
A little early, I’m wishing you all the best for 2021 and I send you all good vibes to inspire you while you make music !