Ah, it makes sense.

A few days ago I was watching DivKid’s video on the Joranalogue Filter 8.Tthe filter has two inputs and I was expecting it to work as a regular audio mixer, but it kind of adds one signal on top of the other and drives the filter, which is also interesting.

However, other filters like the Tonus VCF also have two inputs and the resulting output doesn’t seem to sound louder, so I guessed these are different types of mixers.

Doing some research on this topic this morning I’ve seen some mixing modules calling this ‘unity’ and ‘average’ mode mixers, I’m not sure if that’s the official name though. Anyway, I would say the ring modulator outputs the sum and difference of an ‘average mix’, right? That’s pretty cool.

Regarding the VCOs tuning, I’ve started doing some of those ‘ear training’ exercises and so far is proving to be much harder than I expected, I guess I’ll get it at some point but for now I won’t relay too much on my ears.


Thanks again Footage,

That blog is very interesting indeed.


Thanks Lugia,

It seems like I got the whole quantizers thing wrong and now I see how I'd still need to tune the VCOs. In fact I've listened the "180db_" track many times before but it never occurred to me why it sounds like that, VCOs out of tune, that makes sense now.

Up until now I've been using an app to tune the VCOs, I guess I'll have to train my ears a bit if I want to do it your way. Time to practice I guess!


Hey thanks for the links,

I'm a big fan of MylarMelodies and Divkid, I already knew about the Why we bleep podcast but I wasn't aware of Esoteric Modulation and I'm enjoying it a lot.


I was wondering how do you guys tune your modular synth. Some systems have quite a lot of VCOs and tuning may take some time, do you tune them one by one? also, do you use something like a guitar tuner or a mobile app?

There seems to be some modules to help with the tuning, are they worth it? or is there any other way to automatically tune the VCOs? I'm not sure if you could just send the VCOs through quantizers and have them tuned with no effort.


As for modular synths my main source of information so far has been youtube, but sometimes I’d rather read an article than watch a 20 min video, but the only blog with up to date information and interesting articles I know is perfectcircuit.com’s Signal.

What is your source of information and how do you keep up to date with module releases and music production news? Is there any website / blog or app that I should know about?

Also, how do you learn about modular synth artists and new music releases?


Yes, it makes sense to move the P/S to the bottom, good idea. Thanks Lugia!


Just a follow up to keep this rack up to date,

So far I’ve bought the 6U rack, one MI Plaits and the Intellijel’s Quad VCA. It seems like I’ve taken Ronin1973’s advice as a mantra - ‘Once you feel you've mastered these modules, you'll be in good shape to decide what's next’ - and I’m allowing myself plenty of time to learn how everything works before deciding what’s next.

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Right now I feel I’m short on modulation sources and my next purchases will probably be the Zadar or the Batumi, and one filter too, as I’d like to use different filters for the Minibrute’s VCO and the Plaits.

Regarding the filters, I reconsidered the Polaris and I’ll probably get one of the G-Storm filters instead. I’ve been listening a lot to the System80’s Jove recently and it’s totally rad, the G-Storm’s JP6-VCF is only 8hp and it should sound pretty similar as both are based on the Jupiter 6 if I’m not wrong. Also the JP6 includes a small mixer which will be very useful in this small system.

Although I’d rather avoid using the computer at all, I find it useful to record some sessions to track my progress and see what sounds good and what doesn’t. Once I’ve got it on the DAW I can’t refrain myself from adding some effects, and I like to use a lot of them! So I though it would be a good idea to add a Clouds clone in the rack too. The Monsoon looks pretty cool and would fit perfectly in the rack.

I’ve also seen the Levit8 recommended in a different thread, and I think it’s something I may need at some point, I could use it as a mixer but also as an attenuator. I’m already short on attenuators as I’m currently using the ones in the Minibrute, and as I add more sound sources I’m probably going to need some kind of mixer, so the Levit8 seems like good choice for this rack too.

Anyway, I’ll probably keep updating the rack as I’m getting new modules and learning more about modular synths.

On the other hand, I’ve been reading it’s not a great idea to have the sound sources besides the power supply, should I move the Plaits to the bottom row instead or is this something I shouldn’t worry about?


Thanks Ronin1973, all that information has been super useful!

So far I've been able to sync my synth with Reaper. In fact it was easier than I expecte, both the Minibrute 2s and the Drumbrute Impact have USB port and all I had to do is select the device in the Reaper settings and send clock signal out from the DAW.

I've also been experimenting with recording my songs in multiple tracks, one track at a time as I don't have any audio interface yet, but it has allowed me to test things out and make sure I understand why I need the audio interface and what I need it to do.

I also have more doubts and questions though, how do you guys do the multi-track recording? do you group multiple instruments in one track or do you strictly use one track per instrument? I find myself easily mixing more than 5 tracks at a time, would I need to get an audio interface with that many inputs? or should I be doing overdubbing with the DAW?

In my mind I would be doing everything with the modular synth and once ready, I would use the DAW for recording all at once in multiple tracks, so I can do the final equalisation in the computer. But I'm not sure that's doable with an audio interface that only has a couple of inputs.

I'm also facing an issue I forgot to mention in the original post. It is about the volume of my recordings, when I listen any of them, all sound way lower than any other audio so on my phone I would need to go full volume to listen it properly. I'm already 'normalizing' the audio in Audacity, I'd expect it to bring the sound to the max volume, but it doesn't seem to work that way, what am I missing?


Hey thanks Ronin1973,

I've been looking around and it looks like something like the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 would be a good place to start, what do you think?

And if I understood correctly I could plug my gear into the Audio Interface and then to the computer via USB, I wouldn't need the mixer at all. This way I could even record multiple tracks at once using something like Reaper, which looks great by the way, thanks for the suggestion.

Then, having the sound in different tracks would also be easier to equalize, right? let's say I record the mix using Audacity and all I have is one audio file, no tracks and so, could I still equalize it properly? I guess it's more difficult and the results wouldn't be as good.

Anyway, do the same concepts regarding equalization and compression apply when playing live without a DAW? do I need equalization modules and so on? or is it something completely different?


Thanks a lot Lugia, it is very useful and I'm sure I'll be re-reading it a few more times while I do my research on the topic.


This may be a bit offtopic, so I'm sorry if MG isn't the place for this questions. It turns out I'm not only new to modular but to music production too, and there're some basics I still don't get. I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

The issue I'm facing is about sound quality in general. When I record my music it doesn't sound as clean or proffesional as I would like. My setup is quite simple at the moment, this is what I'm doing:

  • One MI Plaits sequenced by a Minibrute 2, the out of the Plaits connected to the master input of the Minibrute so it gets mixed with the main out.
  • The main output of the Minibrute goes into a desktop mixer.
  • I also have one Drumbrute connected to that mixer.
  • The main output of the mixer is then connected to the computer line-in for recording.
  • In the computer I'm using QuickTime player for audio recording and I tried adding some compression with the Audicity software too.

I think this are some of the problems, but I'm not completely sure and I don't know how to fix them:

  • I'm using a cheap mixer and it may be adding some background noise. Well, this is easy to fix, get a better mixer, but... is it my main problem?
  • Using the computer line-in may be adding even more background noise. Do I need some kind of controller o external gear to properly record my music?
  • QuickTime player doesn't sound to be the best option for audio recording, should I use something more like Ableton? is there anything simpler? I've never used Ableton and it looks pretty complex.
  • Audio compression and equalization: I really don't get these two, I tried adding compression because it seems like everyone is doing it, but what is it? how does it work and how does it affect sound? Regarding the equalization: how can I get it right? how can I know if the mix is well equalized? how can I mke sure it sounds right in different headphones or speakers? and What gear or software should I use for equalization and compression?

There may be more problems with my recording process and I'd appreciate if you guys could point me in the right direction. Also feel free to suggest articles, videos, books or anything else that you think could help me understand the basics of sound recording.

Thanks!


Well, unfortunately the DrumBrute Impact is not connected to the modular, but I guess you meant the Minibrute 2S anyway. Yes, I plan to handle the sequencing portion with its sequencer, it's a 3-track and I think it will be enough for this small set-up.

I'll check out the Poti expander and the Blue Lanterm's mixer, thanks for the suggestions!


Thanks a lot for your comments, it's been super useful!

Based on the feedback I'll be getting the rackbrute 6U instead of the smaller 3U and I'll replace the shapeshifter with a couple of plaits, which are smaller and cheaper too. I still like the shapeshifter a lot though, and having some extra space in the case I might buy one at some point.

As for the filters, I'll go with the Polaris and the Optomix. The G-Storm's Tonus is really interesting and having the input mixers makes it a good candidate for a small system like this, I'll keep it in my 'cool modules' list jus tin case I want to add more filters in the future.

Xaoc's Zadar seems to be a reasonable replacement for the Quadra given the cost, features and size. The Quad VCA I was planing to get still seems a good choice so far.

Regarding the effects I like the Chronoblob 2 suggested by Lugia, but I think I'll get a Pico DSP instead of the Purrvrrb. The Pico DSP is smaller and can provide different effects. The Erbe-Verb sounds really great and I might buy one once I know a bit more about modular synths, for now the Chronoblob 2 and the Pico DSP will work just fine.

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The top row is a bit more expensive than my original rack proposal, but it will be much more flexible and much more fun to play with.

The second row of the case are some modules I'm still considering:
- Most of the time I'm already using all the LFOs in the Minibrute, so I guess having the Batumi will be really useful.
- The 2S clock a bit limiting, as Lauprellim said, and I've been considering the 4ms clock dividers, but having the Pamela's New Workout would give many more options.
- A part from that I think I may be short on mixers, maybe I could add the MI Links or something similar if need to.

I'll be getting my first modules in the next few days . Anyway, I'm still open to suggestions if you guys think I got this rack all wrong or if there are some modules I should reconsider.


Hey, thanks a lot for your suggestions Lugia.

I've been doing some research on these modules as I didn't know them all. I think getting a pair Plaits is a great idea, and the chronoblob2 is also a fantastic suggestion.

Having the delay and reverb in two separete modules makes complete sense, however, I'm not totally sold on the Purrvrrb because it doesn't have any cv and I'd have to tweak it manually. Maybe I don't need the cv as much as I think I do, but I guess I'll make some more research for the reverb module.

The filters you suggested are pretty cool too. I like the G-Storm's one a lot, but wouldn't an Intellijel Polaris make more sense? It would save 2 hp and provide more filter types. Not sure if the Tonus just sounds better or if the mixer makes it worth the extra 2 hp.

I find the Optomix quite interesintg, isn't it like an VCA + VCF? if so, would I still need the Quad VCA at this point? having a couple of Plaits and being able to use the Optomix as an VCA may be enough, or how would I use the Quad VCA in this system?

I'm also considering replacing the Quadra with a XAOC Devices Zadar, there's not a lot of difference on the price and the Zadar seems able to provide many more shapes.

Complete noob as you see, but really appreciate the help and all the knowledge I'm getting here!


Hey guys, thanks for the replies,
I'll consider getting the 6U rack, I think it's the sensible choice just in case I need more space in the future. Regarding the modules sizes, I guess the shapeshifter and the erbe-verb are the guilty ones, can you suggest smaller replacements for them?

I've watched a couple of videos about the Expert Sleepers Disting suggested by Laupellim, it seems a very powerful module, however, at this point I'm not sure I would know how to use it or how to patch it with the 2s, there's a lot I still need to learn. Right now I lean towards something that can produce smooth and soft sounds, as the 2s can already pretty harsh.


Hi there!

I recently got a drumbrute impact and a minibrute 2s and I'm now planing to expand it with some modules. I'm a complete noob and I'd like to make sure if this setup makes any sense at all or I'm getting it completely wrong.

I wouldn't get all the modules at once - this modular thing is quite expensive - so I'd buy one at a time starting with the shapeshifter, which I could patch with the minibrute 2s sequencer and VCA. From there I think it makes sense to get more VCAs and envelope generators before getting the erbe-verb, otherwise my patches are going to be very limited.

Does this rack make any sense to expand on the minibrute 2s?

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