and how do you patch the fx aid in to the LHS?
mix out to fx aid?
I go directly to a smallish Yamaha mixer - clouds is on the send but sent back to a stereo in for a bit of feedback
I'm not sure how you intend to patch these
in both cases what you are patching in to them would make a huge difference
also how you intend to patch out on the left hand version - the rhs is obvious
and how you intend to patch internally on both of them
they really just look like some modules thrown together without much thought behind how they would be used
You also can sleep better at night because of possible DC signal on your output will be filtered away if you use a proper audio interface module; though your mixer might take care of that too, but as I said, I sleep much better at night knowing I don't need to worry about all that because I am using an audio interface module. Up to you of course but you can't say you haven't been warned :-)
Almost all interfaces are AC-coupled - which will filter out any low frequency DC signals
If your interface is DC coupled, then rejoice - you can use it for CV too (Expert Sleepers and RME for example)
Yes modular levels are much higher than line level, but almost all mixers/audio interfaces can cope with this - either through turning their gain down - or by attenuating on the way out - which is a lot of what most output modules do - they may also alter the impedance and "balance" the signal - but these are unnecessary
In my experience (I don't have an output module) sending straight from modules to a mixer is fine - sometimes you get a bit of unwanted clipping - just turn the signal down a bit before hitting the mixer (I use a small old yamaha one at the moment)
For me the only reasons to get an output module of any sort would be either I need headphone out directly from the modular (I have a rebel technology mix02 for this, when I need it) or because I was playing out a lot - in which case balanced outs would make sense - for longer cable runs to FOH mixer
I would buy the case, Maths, Disting, Veils, one of the vcos (BIA or Plaits) and one of the effects units and start with that - I'd also add MI Links and Kinks (as a superb utility starter set - you need more utilities) - and learn those modules well (including a few from Disting)
that may leave you with some cash in your pocket for future purchases once you actually have played with a modular, and then go slow - it's not a race - when you are ready for another module - add one or 2 modules at a time*, learn how to integrate them with your existing modules and repeat
*some modules benefit from extra utilities to get the most out of them - clouds needs attenuators, for instance, so sometimes a couple of modules are a better purchase than just one
104hp is not a must - it may work out better value ($/hp) and stave off buying another case by a few months in the future, though
Personally I always recommend 6u 104hp as a good starter size
This will also allow you to buy an actual MI Rings - so the person who created it actually gets paid!
And I would go for an MI Marbles over a Turing Machine
Otherwise, just get your minimum viable synth (4 or 5 modules) and then go slowly, ignoring what you think you want now, for what you actually need once you've started patching - more utilities probably
Now you have an SD card - check out favourites - this allows you to group some algorithms together so that you can switch between them easily - and it makes it more likely that you will learn these, so not be so frustrated at having to use a manual / look up table most of the time
The menu is not particularly difficult to navigate, nor is it particularly complex, it's just big and lots of simple - too much to hold in your head at once - so don't try
Just remember that input 1 modulates the same param as the knob, input 2 is the main input other than that unless it's stereo input algo 3 is cv and that the bottom 2 are outputs and concentrate on your favourites, you'll remember them in a couple of weeks and then only need the manual if you need something out of the ordinary - Buchla conversion for example
I agree with garfield get a bigger case - 6u / 104hp is a great starter size (and mantis is one of the best $/hp in eurorack)
I think I'd want a better mic input - Little Mikey is the only one I know of - but it will be a better bet than microphonie - at least you get the choice as to how bad it is depending on mic, placement etc as opposed to being forced down a particular route - plus phantom power should you need it
Another option would be Ears - which is an updated microphonie - which adds an envelope follower, which is quite useful
or a doepfer A119, this will take a dynamic mic, and it probably will distort, but it does have an envelope follower and a gate extractor
If I went for Little Mikey, I'd want to add an envelope follower (disting has one and a pitch follower)
Your output from clouds for example to a mixer will definitely work
With an original clouds (and a lot of clones) you will want attenuators for cv inputs
If it was me trying to do this I would go for the Little Mikey, Disting mk4 (envelope follower), Maths (or Rampage, I prefer Maths - google illustrated manual), MI Kinks and possibly a used Phonogene or a supercell, and add a filter - ripples is nice - I'd also want to look at sampler modules and how to trigger them whilst playing the piano - create a loop, process it and then re route the piano in so that you can process that differently (in the future perhaps)
And leave the rest of the case empty - it will fill up at some point in the future, probably just before it's time to buy another one!!!
ie get a few things that will allow you to do what you want to do - process your piano - and then slowly and organically grow from there, instead of planning all sorts of stuff
Yes Maths and veils first is a good start - then seriously take a look at links and kinks as the next 2 modules!
Veils will work perfectly for that application and for that matter the opposite (getting non-modular up to modular levels, as it has up to +20db gain)
It is unlikely that you will fry anything - most modules have input limiters which will clip the signal, to the range they specify, but will not fry at full modular levels, this generally applies to almost anything that you can stick a signal into - mixers and audio interfaces - you don't want that for these
But isn't that half the attraction of modular, that you can have a selection of whatever and mix and match?
Plaits has an lpg emulation, so the filter and vca are tied, you may not want this and want to just filter instead of use a vca, or the opposite, or have more control on the relationship between the filter and the vca (swap which is first, use different envelopes for the vca and the filter, etc)
Personally I'd choose the mantis over the rackbrute for a few reasons - I don't like it aesthetically and it uses a power input module that reduces the amount of hp available immediately, the mantis is also efffectively 33hp bigger (power is 5hp)
However, as you are a minibrute owner, I can also see the appeal of it... and it can be connected to the minibrute and there's a bag
that fits both together and it's a bit cheaper
As for modules - to start with I would concentrate on modulation and utility as that will add most to the minibrute
So I'd either go for maths (or Pams) and a quad cascading vca (the intellijel that you mentioned, but also look at veils)
I'd also get mutable links and kinks as they are such a great utility started package
Then and only then would I consider adding an extra voice - plaits is a pretty decent choice - especially as you could use the model selection cv input to sequence the model - so you can hit it quite fast and change the percussion instrument between hits
Then I think I'd be tempted to grab an analog filter, probably a multi-mode one, and whichever of Pams or Maths I didn't get earlier
And a disting!!! - it's just so handy to have, really, really useful
And then some basic utilities - sequential switch, clock divider, maybe a matrix mixer
But go slowly and have fun
If it was me and based upon what you've said and that you've already ordered it I would keep the PM
I'd probably get one of the voice modules next along with an envelope generator (pams will work well for this) and something like an SQ-1 (yeah yeah I know external, but small and quite cheap) - treat this as a stopgap until you decide what you really want to use for sequencing
After that I'd want one of the fx modules and a quad cascading vca (for modulation purposes mainly) and some basic utilties (at the very least a kinks - for the price and size it is really worth it)
I would then play this for quite a while and try to grow organically - ie I need a XXX module
Regarding the Bitbox - only you can decide, but a possible solution is to get more stop gap modules - I find I want as a minimum for percussion about 4-5 'voices' - kick, snare, open and closed hats and one other thing for accents or whatever - I find using plaits for primarily hi hats, as I was for a while a bit of a waste, personally - but it does sound great!
The polyend module I would leave for a long while in the future - I'd work out how to use the other modules first and only add this if/when you feel it's necessary
I missed that the 6->2 mixer was a 2hp model already
I think my advice about disting still stands - you are correct about it saving the last setting, using the favourites feature greatly improves the usability too - but it's better I think to use the disting to guide you on what modules you should buy, very very occaisionally that might be an actual disting!! - but always keep at least 1 in the rack for emergencies
I think it would be very very frustrating playing back midi files from a disting - no interaction - turing machine might work though!
EDIT - I actually just looked at the info for the PolendPreset and it would appear that it may be usable as a CV sequencer too - which would cover you for that - but it looks really complicated to me! good luck with that!
I'd also consider mixing outside the box as slumberjack suggests, it would free up quite a lot of rack space, or you could just add an extra case when you need it, I really like the performance mixer and I want one (maybe this year), but it is a bit big for this size case
Go slowly... it is not a race
personally instead of 6 distings, I'd get one and play with it a while - it's a great module but a lot of people don't like it as it has (some) menu diving
I think you have a poor ratio of utility modules to 'feature' modules - but if you go slowly you can work that out
I'd go for a cheaper smaller mixer than the 6->2 mixer for that purpose
you almost definitely need more vcas (the ones on the WMD PM are great for your audio, but what about modulation??) - I'd get something like a veils or intellijel quad cascading vca (and replace 3 distings with it)
how are you going to sequence the bassline etc w v/oct?
As has been stated you can use modules that generate chords, but this is actually fraught with frustrations - ie it's a real pain in the ass to keep everything in key
or you could use a multi-channel precision adder (or 2) to transpose
or you can use a sequencer with a lot of channels - where you have to program every note in etc
or you can get a sinfonian - the uber-quantizer/chord progression sequencer
personally after considering all the choices - I'm going to go for a Sinfonian
the other issue of this and most of the other options is how to actually play the chord - there are only a few polyphonic modules - I'm going to go with an Expert Sleepers General CV (and midi expander) and send chords to both the general midi and to some va keyboards and a stage piano that I have
Muffs seems to be down again - I suspect teething troubles with the new server software
So maybe, with a little patience and you'll be able to find the original link easily
when I click on the link I get a different rack!!!
noob mistakes abound
these small cases are very expensive for each HP - get something 6u/104hp - a mantis for example (really good value) and space to grow into - without this you will just buy another case within a couple of months - or at least want to!!
and then go slowly - minimum viable synth - a sound source, a sound modifier, a modulation source (missing) and something to play it with and something to enable you to listen to it - add a disting mk4 - just so you can learn what different modules can do - if you constantly use the same algo, then buy that module and use disting for something else
and buy a quad cascading vca (veils or intellijel, for example) you will not regret it ever
after that only buy a module once you have learnt each module well and the rack as a whole well
BUT my advice is if you think that this is what you want from modular - get a mom32 or crave or something similar instead
there's no plumbing
by that I mean there's not enough utilities for half the modules there, let alone for the 23 modules that are there - matrix mixers/sequential switches/vcas/unity mixers/mults/lpgs/attenuators/attenuverters etc etc etc
they'll be much more useful in terms of getting the rack to gel as an instrument than adding an extra sequencer - and way cheaper too!
maybe show us what you've actually got...
perhaps the befaco instrument interface?
not seen any diy modules like batumi to be honest
maybe this: https://pushermanproductions.com/product/void-modular-dual-adsr-12hp-pcb-black-gold-aluminium-panel/ for the adsr???
yeah to a large extent it is access to knobs - in the case of the veils it's a cascading quad vca - so in a lot of cases I use it as effectively a mixer that has vca on the inputs
but I was really being more generic (ie not just about vcas) - it seems a lot of people want to get more and more, smaller and smaller modules into the same space - I don't find small dense modules fun to use - and the few 2 hp modules that I have with knobs are always sandwiched between 2 larger modules with space around the edges near the knobs on the small modules, I even do the same with disting, as I find the knobs are difficult to get to with a lot of jacks/knobs around it
NP about links and kinks
re: "veils is quite big for a quad"
saving space is not everything - playability is also inportant - I find larger modules easier to play
I find myself writing a lot of replies to beginner threads too - mainly on Muffs and Reddit
Most beginners do not even appear capable of reading a post 3 down from the top which has 90% of the answers they need
Most of the issues are about cramming too much functionality in a small rack with little or no utility
or trying to save money with an effects only rack to start with hehehe
In terms of a manual - a quick start - "read this before wasting your money" guide - with links to more in depth coverage may also work
as for how to describe cv I'd go even further back and talk about pressing a key on a keyboard (gate and v/oct) and twiddling a knob, then how that relates to both midi and cv
and I'd add a list of things to list when posting beginners questions - what other gear they have, mixers, outboard, computer, audio interface, other instruments etc etc what sort of music they hope to make etc etc
I'd get a bigger case
also I'd want full size versions of the MI modules (I have them and they are nice to use - I can imagine anything smaller being a bit fiddly
if's definitely possible you would want more vcas (get a quad cascading one - veils or intellijel are good starter vcas) and attenuators (clouds or derivitive can easily take up 4 on it's own)
focus more on effects/modulation sources and utilities (especially as you already have so many voices outside the rack)
there seems to me to be some overlap between things (do you really need midi in and marbles??) and a few things I'd want missing (mostly utiltities)
I'd also try to work out how you'd use it and in conjunction with your existing semis before buying anything
and when you do buy - only get as little as you can - ie a minimum viable synth - learn it well and then add modules sparingly, learning each modules ins and outs before you get another
NB disting is one of those modules that either you hate (it's too complicated because it has a menu) or find indispensable - only you can tell
If I had the same requirements
interface with instrument
interface with pedals
interface with computer (vcvrack)
I would do this instead - minimum viable starting synth:
buy a tip top mantis (better hp/$ ratio and still portable)
get a rack mounted instrument interface (either doepfer or befaco)
get a rack mounted pedal interface (or 2) - possibly ALM SBGs, maybe doepfer or addac
get a rack mounted expression pedal interface (or 2) probably addac
get a disting mk4
get an es8 or es9
get mutable instruments links and kinks (a basic utility powerhouse, you will want something like these sooner or later)
get a quad vca (the one you have in the rack already seems ok, personally I'd go with veils)
get one of the effects modules from above - either the morphagene or the mimeophon
why get in the rack interfaces instead of the intrfx:
I just googled it - it seems ok for what it is but you'd probably want 2 or 3 anyway: 1 for bass in, and at least one or 2 for effects pedals and on top of that it didn't appear to have any more functionality than level and format swapping - don't you want envelope and pitch following and gate extraction?!? and using an expression pedal or 2 to control the modular whilst you are playing bass is also useful
after those I'd probably want to get maths, the other make noise effect and maybe a vco next
but, I'd want to go slowly and learn each module pretty well and how it interacts with other modules first and when selecting the next module to buy I'd like to think I'd consider if I have enough utilities to support my new module, and if not what I would need to add and then get it at the same time
you could try self-patching marbles a bit - probably find you need more utility modules - which would be where I would start to add to get the most out of this system - kinks, a few mults (or stackcables), a sequential switch, a matrix mixer all great for extending, modulating and moving modulation to where it needs to be - which in this case is marbles!!!
another great module for adding to modulation, especially over longer time periods, is the nlc triple sloth - 3 slow, slower and slower chaotic modulation sources - great for mixing in with other modulation
what are you currently using your disting for most?
how are you sequencing v/oct? maybe something to address that - otherwise, a small utility mixer, a couple of attenuators (2hp) and a disting mk4 would be my votes to just plug the physical gap and (any) gaps in functionality
I'd be tempted to go with a smaller mixer - you've got relatively little to mix for audio
the best advice is to go for as little as possible
maybe just get stages, the filter, plaits and the quad vca to start with and add a disting - and a sequencer if you need it
play the hell out of them and learn as much as you can about each module - try using different disting algorithms to see what they do and think about why you might want them. or not as the case may be - if you find yourself using the same one constantly then buy a module for that mode and use disting for something else
I'd watch out for all the smaller modules you have there - a lot of them are going to be difficult to use unless you have baby fingers
a lot of the 2hp demos videos show them with blind panels between
I find that having a module that has a bit of space around it (say a mutable one) either side is a decent solution - this goes for pretty much anything up to 4hp - disting is really fiddly unless you have space around at least the knobs
try posting an actual link to the rack not just a picture of it - amazingly there are thousands of modules and nobody knows all of them
you have made mistakes 1 and 2 in modular newbieness
filling the case up too quickly - with no room to expand
getting all shiny trendy modules and forgetting about the plumbing
You have way too many voices and appear to be quite light on utilities for so many modulation and audio sources and destinations
veils and blinds together in such as small case is too much as I think are 2 tides (even if they are different models)
possibly a good exercise is to explain (here or to yourself) your reasoning behind picking each module and question why you haven't selected more basic utility modules
I would reduce* the number of 'voice' modules (voices/vcos) to 1 or 2, keep one effect, rene/tempi, veils and one modulation source and work out how these combine (probably with additional utility modules) to produce interesting audio - you may want to strongly consider getting a disting mk4 as well - it will help you understand what different types of module do and guide you on your path
*this may just involve sticking them in the cupboard for now and reintroducing them when you are actually ready for them
just to re-iterate - get the biggest case that you can see yourself filling over a year or 2 or 3
generally this will be at least 6u and 84hp
mostly this is as a long term money saving strategy - I know it might not seem it in the short term
generally the best bang for buck (cost/hp) is the tip top mantis - which is a great case, although some dislike the aesthetics - but not as much as I hate the rackbrute
doepfer and ladik both make very useable, inexpensive modules that are not tiny and have real knobs on them - but are generally bigger than 2hp and often cheaper than the 2 hp equivalent
the 2hp modules are great - for sticking between larger modules - if there is enough space to get to them easily - tbh I find the same issue with a lot of 4 hp modules too
just take a look at the 2hp youtube videos - they've almost always got blank panels between the modules
all good advice, multiple sequencers - so you can sequence the sequencer (ie transpose)
the simple ones are really useful
even if in the future you decide you want a more complex sequencer, you can use the simpler ones for transposing or for general CV generation
how are you currently playing/sequencing???
too many sound sources and processors and not enough utilities
for me, I'd want both a mutable instruments kinks and links, an lfo (preferably with multiple outs) and an envelope generator and attenuators/attenuverters - so probably maths or batumi and some 2hp trims, disting never hurts, an lpg and probably a filter
if you're restricted for space by the rack I'd get rid of either the rainmaker or clouds and the smr to make space
otherwise just get a bigger case
Kinks is really useful in 4 hp (there's a wave modifier, a comparator, noise and sample and hold) and so is disting (yeah it's a bit difficult to use, but it' so useful)
Marbles could add a nice degree of randomness into the mix and maybe a smaller vco (dixie 2 or something) and an lpg (lxd)
1 get a 104hp 6u rack - maybe tiptop mantis - but check with the airline that the dimensions are good to go - I know they are in the eu, but not sure elsewhere - and remember to pick up the case - it's cheap and poorly built but will get you going
2 find an actual store near where you want to go - one or all of these 3
Analogue Haven (Los Angeles, CA)
Big City Music (Los Angeles, CA)
Boutique Pedal NYC (San Diego, CA)
and check what they actually have in stock - probably not a lot of time to order things in if they don;'t have them
3 some of the modules you have in the rack are not easily available anyway - so that makes things a bit easier - giekses nodrums may not be available (think he only sells from his own site, but may be wrong), snazzy dronebank - and the maths you have there is the old version - so i'd ditch all those and
4 you probably don't need both the turing machine (if you could find a built one) and permutations just get marbles!!
4 I'd really look at kinks - it's really useful in 4 hp - the same for disting - which even has a pitch follower and a tuner, both of which maybe useful
if you really want the intellijel 1u in a diy case i'd not bother with the endplates
if you want to use endplates for the 3u and possibly a row of pulp logic sized 1u then make a couple of correctly sized endplates out of some thin wood
microbrute has a sequencer, but it is only 1 channel - so you can only have one sequence running at one time and the number of slots for saving is low, if it's anything like the sequencer on my minibruteSE which I think it is
also not sure how you'd trigger/synch the beats - never had a volca
I also have a BSP and for sequencing a drum machine/bass/lead it's perfect + it has loads of slots etc - much better than my minibruteSE - I use it for sequencing a modular synthesizer and triggering
another option which may be possible is to use a precision adder - but then you are into buying a rack etc - which you may not want to do at the moment - and you would be limited to a specific interval
another option is to not worry so much - get the dreadbox module and try it - you may get what you want from tuning the microbrute and the dreadbox to different intervals - you might want a guitar tuner (there are free ones for your phone)
tbh I'd do this and then get a BSP (pretty cheap used) if needed or go in a totally different direction (if you want to keep your money - run and don't look back - there's a reason they call it eurocrack!!!)
yes clouds should have enough gain to deal with line level - not tried it to be honest but if that's what the spec says then that's what the module does (it's mutable instruments!!!)
the big question though is not what audio are you going to feed into it, but what are you going to modulate it with???
clouds loves modulation - and attenuated modulation at that!!!