any help would be appreciated but would this work out?
Thanks for the positive feedback. Really glad to hear I'm going in the right direction, especially from such an experienced synthesist like you Lugia. The quad VCA will be on the "first to buy" list :)
Morphagene seems like a great choice too. I'll give myself some more time to think about that. But I gotta agree, Rainmaker seems to be an amazing delay module with endless possibilities. Definitely going for this one.
As for sequencing. Outboard gear is an option, thanks for the suggestions. At first glance, I like the Squarp Pyramid. But since I will be moving the system from my apartment to my studio quite a bit (which is another reason why I went for the Intellijel Case), I think the best option, in the long run, will be a sequencer in the system itself. Just not sure which one to get. Voltage Block + Varigate looks also nice. So many options.....
One more question: is the Sisters Filter enough to start, or should I put the Optomix on the "first to buy" also?
Total agreement here, Ronin...that Model D really has no place in a small cab of that sort...or, potentially, any cab. Consider that a Minimoog (which it's a copy of) is actually a very simplistic build, one which these days could theoretically be assembled in Eurorack in half the space of the Model D (or less!). Leave it in its own case where it belongs, use the space for something more productive.
As for that, again, Ronin's spot on. There's a serious, crippling lack of modulation sources, VCAs, timing/logic, filters, processors (pretty critical for ambient!), mixing and utilities. Stop working in this direction; instead, take some time to explore what other experienced MG users are doing, as well as looking at classic modular and patchable synths to see how they're designed and what implementations those designs help create. VCV isn't a bad idea, either...start with emulating something basic such as the Minimoog architecture in it BUT with the patchability that modular allows. See how this functions on that simple level...then begin experimenting with how to extend that. Translate the results into practice builds back here in MG. Also, examine what artists you enjoy and respect use, how they use it, and again how you can build onto that to make something that's very much your own.
You won't nail a design in 'one' unless you do massive research, and even then, it would be a real fluke to get EVERYTHING right. Make mistakes. Make lots of them. Screwing up on MG = no money lost. Not so much so if you try this with real hardware first.
You did your research well here...I don't see anything that I can really fault in this build. As for the VCA implementation, go ahead and put the Quad VCA in, since VCA control is such a basic function and you'll want all of the basics in place before making the final decisions.
As for the later bits: the Nebulae isn't a bad choice, and another option to consider if you can find the space would be MakeNoise's Morphagene. Replacing the Rainmaker, though...I wouldn't. If you want an insanely-comprehensive and complex delay line, that module rivals even some of the most complex and celebrated outboard gear, and that makes it an optimal pick for its purpose.
Sequencing: have you also considered outboard? I'm planning for a KOMA Komplex, myself...the concept seems very open-ended, capable both in studio and live work. It would also free up space for additional modules in the cab itself, while defining the sequencer as a proper controller by placement. But there's plenty of possibilities beyond that one, like the Squarp Pyramid or Kilpatrick's Carbon.
Here's what I see... I'm not trying to beat up on your decisions. But I see a lot of issues.
First, don't rack mount the Behringer. Your Eurorack space is expensive and the Boog is huge. Use that rack space for more modules. You can always patch to and from the Boog next to your rack.
There's a complete lack of LFOs. There's one in the Boog but it's extremely basic.
Envelopes. You have one envelope. But it's just a standard ADSR with no frills. Check out the Tip Top Audio Z4000NS. You get a ton more features including the ability to modulate each stage of the ADSR. That will be helpful for ambient in my opinion. You probably want more than one ADSR in your rig.
Filters? Filters can shape, blend your sound and modulate it when connected to modulators. There are many types and set-ups. I would investigate a two channel multi-mode filter.
Sequencers? Are you going to run this as a stand alone rack or connect it to your DAW? Both? How are you going to generate CV, gates, triggers?
VCAs? What's on the Boog isn't going to cut it.
Utilities? Buffered Mults, logic modules, envelope followers, quantizers, etc., there's an entire subset of utilities that you should have.
My thought is this. You're not ready to put together a rack. You need to learn more of the basics before spending your money so you're not wasting it or regretting your decisions. I would download VCV rack (it's free) and start patching. I think there's a virtual "Clouds" simulator in it as well other digital versions of Mutable modules. Put in the rack 2-4 ADSRs, a sequencer, two to three VCOs, and lots of VCAs. Make some things and modulate them.
Looking for some advice, tipps & tricks before jumping into the world of modular! Heads up - Long post ahead!
Some Background information:
I've been researching and learning about modular for about half a year now. Mainly from watching tons of videos, checking out this forum, reading Pacht&Tweak and now I finally want to get my hands on some modules. I think I got some basic knowledge built up but I learn a lot faster if I can actually try out some stuff I read and hear the outcome. I've been producing mostly electronic music (dub techno, micro house, deep tech) with Ableton and some outboard gear like the Nord Lead A1, Korg MS-20 mini and TR8.
What kind of sound would I like to achieve?
I really like the sound from Plaits and Tides. Absolutely love the chord modes on those modules, which I would like to use for making rhythmic, evolving patterns / soundscapes. I really like the sound of clouds. So I decided that I would get a secondhand Module or go for the microburst or microclouds, whichever is easier to get my hands on here in the Europe. I want Plonk to be my source of percussive sounds, which I would like to run through Rainmaker to create some interesting rhythm. Love how you can modulate the pitch of all 16 taps from Rainmaker. Batumi will be my main source of modulation. I also really like the way Nebulae works, especially the option to manipulate speed and pitch separate. I want to use Nebulae to record random samples from Plonk to create little Sample Packs. I once read that with a firmware update, you can record directly onto the USB stick. With Sisters I think I got a great sounding Filter, but I'm also open for suggestions. And I really dig the analog sound of the STO in combination with the Optomix Lowpass Gate, which also gives me some mixing capabilities.
For the Case, I want to go with Intellijel's 104HP 7U Case (+12 V output at 3000 mA, -12 V output at 3000 mA and +5 V output at 1500 mA. - I think that should give me enough headroom?)
For the first Modules I'm considering Plaits, Tides and Plonk as my soundsources, the 1U tiles for Midi, Ins & Outs, VCA/Mixer, a multiple, as well as a headphone amplifier for some utility. In the Future, I want to set-up Pamelas New Workout as a slave from the 1U Midi Module, which syncs to ether some hardware or Ableton (I hope that makes sense?). I also want to start with the quad VCA (or is the 1U tile enough for the start? From all I hear, you can never have to many VCA's :D), the Envelope Generator from Erica Synth, Batumi für modulation, and Clouds for effects. Does it make sense to start with these modules or am I going to fast?
I want to hold up on the eloquencer. At the moment, I'm not sure which sequencer ist the best choice (I'm also thinking about voltage block or 1010s Toolbox). So for the start, I thought I would use Arturia's Keystep.
I want to get to know my other soundsources first, before getting the STO. And I don't want to start with to much.
Next up in line to purchase after getting to know my first modules in the Starting Plan would be Rainmaker and the Nebulae V2. I looked at some alternatives, like the Tape Delay Unit Magneto from Strymon, Morphogene, or the sampler from 4MS, but kept coming back to these two. Maybe someone with experience with these Modules can give me some insight to why they chose one over the other?
Sorry for the long post, but I hope I could give some insight on what I would like from my future Modular System. I'm really looking forward to not only a great learning experience, but also the little sonic surprises you get while experimenting with different patches.
Thanks a lot for reading and any kind of feedback will be highly appreciated!
Yes, nothing against the Malekko 4hp via; I just meant that you might have trouble finding one.
You can't go wrong with the Intellijel vca. Xaoc Tallin or the Malekko Vca in 6hp should also be nice.
I don't know the 2hp-vca, but this has the advantage to give you two additional vcas of course, which is nice...
Eurorack enthusiasts have 2 disreputable sources of quantitative data on the community: random MW polls and ModularGrid's "in rack" count.
I wanted to provide the community with something a little more reliable and robust. Do you have 5 minutes to take this little survey? It will close on 31 December, and I'll publish a results report in January.
THE IMPORTANT STUFF
Your privacy will be respected. The results of this survey will be shared in aggregate only; individual responses will not be shared with any other individuals or entities. I'm a data analyst by day, have no Eurorack-related business interests, and am receiving no compensation for this survey or its analysis.
Thanks Phineas! Great to have your point of view. And thanks for the complements, too. :)
At first I took yr comment to mean that a quantiser could replace the VCA, but I see what yr saying - I could go for a smaller hp quantiser and then free up some space for a bigger VCA. :)
Any recommendations for VCAs I should be looking at? Maybe something like this?
I've built a few of these modules. They are super-fun builds, and handy functionality. I've used the AND gate and the VCA on several patches to good effect.
Also super helpful when your rack is running low on HP or power...
The "OR" gate saved me the other day; i wanted to patch together to modules at opposite ends of my rack and I didn't have a long enough cable. So I used the OR like a cable extender. Of course, then I decided it would be interesting to plug an LFO into the other input,... :)
Would love to see these listed on Modular Grid! Mystic Circuits is already listed as a vendor, so should be possible.
This looks like a cool set-up!
I think the Malekko vca is out of production (at least the 4 HP version), so you would have to buy that one used.
An alternative could be to choose another quantizer, for example from Intellijel, Doepfer, or Topobrillo or the Penrose quantizer... lots of possibilities.
This way you could free some HP and then choose another Vca.
Anyways, seems like a cool set-up that will sound absolutely great!
How's this look?
Re: the sampler, I was hoping for something that'd allow me to ‘slice and dice’ the samples in real time (hence my inclusion of the Morph). I'm guessing the TipTop Sampler is a little more basic than that. Not a biggie, tho...
I should also mention my other gear: Moog Sub 37, Korg Minilogue, Korg SQ-1 sampler, a bunch of Volcas, an Arturia KeyStep Pro, a Mackie 1202, chorus and compressor pedals. And a Lava lamp - without cv. ;) And the DFAM is under the tree for Xmas...
Re: the pipe, I'm not a big pipe guy by any means. Apart from synths, I'm also into motorcycles and blogging, and that was a pipe I purchased for a charity event called the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. More here: https://www.gentlemansride.com/ - I like the idea of smoking a pipe, but sadly the actual act itself didn't live up to my expectations. I think I'll just stick to whisky...
Agenda item #1 for you: remove the Neutron from this build. If you look at the functions it provides in the space it takes up, you'll notice that it's a bad use of space vs functionality. Try keeping it in its own cab instead. The Roland Aira module can go too, unless you have one, as it's discontinued AND the Eurorack Airas are notorious for huge power inrush draws on power-up, which could spell trouble for your P/S.
Nah, keep the Marbles. If you're shooting for that weird, jagged, tangential Autechre sort of direction, it'll help the whole rig (mis)behave in just the right ways. One point, though...move the P/S module to the left side to get it away from your audio sources (One, VCAs) in the top skiff to help avoid any noise that might sneak in through the P/S brick. This thing should sound crazy as hell, especially if you tandemed it with some sort of outboard granular processing.
BTW, what's that quarter-bent apple you've got in the thumbnail? It's a sharp look...
Nah. Obsoleted modules abounded, plus there was a lot of 'predictable' there. Instead, I tore it up, came up with this instead:
Now this is a superior piece of kit, tooled for the exact purpose. Around $750 cheaper, too. Maths (the correct one) stayed, added a Marbles for random sampling of CVs and the like. RCD got its expander (great for live performance). Went with a single quantizer with an analog shift register which allows subsequent CV levels to pass on to another destination times three. The 0 Sugar deals with weird logic-based gate scrambling, and a Pithoprakta Euclidean gate/trig sequencer was dropped in for generative timing trickery.
Second row has a dual mix/attenuverter/offset, two linear (for CVs) VCAs. I added a 4ms QPLFO for multiple slow (or fast) LFO sources to create gradual modulation shifts (important for good generative work)...and then a Rubicon2 for warped, spacy crossmod and TZFM. Kept the Plonks, then there's a 4-1 audio mix to sum it with the Rubicon2. After that, a Disting, because...it's a Disting, which is pretty much a Swiss Army Knife for most anything. The Doepfer A-106-1 (variation on the Korg MS-20 VCF pair) has an insert in its resonance path, for which the lo-fi Noise Reap delay is intended, although you could use it as a regular delay. And then a final VCA + envelope to send the results back down to the 2S for the final mix with the MiniBrute's audio and output.
Now these should get you where you want to go. Note, also, that some of these modulation sources can also be aimed down at the MiniBrute 2S to make it act in tandem with the Rack. No mults, also...I suggest using either Stackcables or inline mult widgets, as these save space in smaller builds like this.
Thanks Lugia! OK, here's the updated set-up below. I'm looking to create some ambient/Autechre type stuff with a heap of randomness in there and plenty of scope for the unexpected. I'm wondering if I should maybe lose the marbles and sampler and go for something like this (below, below):
The Angle Grinder seems pretty rad, though it's a bit big in hp and price for this rig. The 119 is cheapest and is probably as good as anything, so I'd go with that.
Aaannnnd right now I'm in multi vca land... If anyone has used and has opinions on the Sputnik Valve Mulitplier, Cynthia Octal, Doepfer 132-4, SSF Muton, Zlob Vnlcursal vca, Bubblesound Hex, please blip it here!
Yep...and with the LaserBox's output levels also working with normal synth CV levels, that would make for one crazy LFO bank...lots of phase-correlated modulation, weird Lissajous-based control methodology. Definitely not a sequencer, but if/when the need calls for something like that, it's convenient to flip that functionality.
Extra VCAs would be useful, yep...my suggestion would be to pull the buffered mult (you don't have enough destinations to cause a voltage drop that would necessitate one...use some stackcables or inline passive mults instead and save your space) and the blank and have a look at Malekko's VCA...it's a dual VCA module with switchable functions for linear and exponential response, fits in 4 hp.
The A-119 is probably the more cost-effective of the two. As for BOTH waveshapeable VCOs and a warped idea of what a filter is, Schlappi's Angle Grinder might be something you'd find entertaining. You get those, plus quadrature outputs which can come in handy when using the Angle Grinder as a phase-correlated modulation source.
You might add a mult into 2 hp of that 10. And with the remaining 8 hp, have a look at Doepfer's A-171-2 VCS. Basically half of a Maths, a very useful modulation source to say the least.
'Course, I wouldn't have put the M32 in there, though....it has a cab, plus it eats up a lot of space that could be better used for discrete Eurorack modules.
Plus, I think it was you, Ronin, that made the point that you can blow new firmware onto the Toolbox and change its function. That's also potentially a plus inasmuch as you can shift the entire working paradigm of a build just with a switcheroo on the Toolbox's EPROM.
Corrent. But 1010 Music has TWO series of units. The first series can run BitBox, FXBox, and SynthBox. The second series can run ToolBox and LaserBox. I believe the difference in the series are the physical inputs/outputs.
I have dangerously little idea what I'm doing and I'm 2/3rds the way through a bottle of red wine. Please don't call the cops...
Case would be a 3-tier jobby from Moog. I based the whole thing it one this:
Effects will be applied at the mixer (Eventide Space & Boss DD-550)
No, it's not the most impressive beast right now. Anything I need? A VCA?
All thoughts welcome!
I agree that it would be useful with a clock to drive Rene. Your existing synths may already have one that you can use. In principle, any LFO will do. For more features, Tempi is a good choice. Another popular option is Pamela's NEW Workout.
I am not sure about the quantizer, though. Rene2 has a pretty good one built in, so that may not be as urgent.
OK, so it turns out the keyword I needed was "offset." I think I searched for voltage offset and found nothing. Just the word offset, all by itself, finds modules that emit a constant CV. Here's a small one with a couple other handy features.
I think that if I configure the Behringer Neutron's assignable output to the oscillator 2 control voltage, I can turn the oscillator 2 tuning knob and emit from the Neutron's patch bay a constant, manually controlled CV. (Page 13 in the manual.) This seems like a straightforward way to control something in a modular system that has a CV control but no knob.
(By the way, this isn't a great sacrifice, because I often don't like the sound of the Neutron's two oscillators working together in sync, and I think it's because of the issue described in this YouTube video of a modification performed to correct the issue: )
OK, I'll leave this thread here for future searching newbies like me, and for educational replies, but here's at least one answer found on another forum:
Oscillators send a signal even with no input. even if there's nothing saying what pitch to play or when to start/stop - that is done by other modules such as sequencers, VCAs etc. This is true for VCOs - they'll make a constant tone and LFOs - they'll make a constant CV (dependent on settings)
Apparently, oscillators don't always oscillate, and perhaps they're the conventional way to get a constant CV, e.g., for a static setting on a CV-controlled pan: oscillator -> attenuvertor -> pan.
Hi! Consider, for example, the CV-controlled panning on this stereo mixer:
If I want to hold the mono audio at a constant place in the stereo image, say slightly to the left, during part of the song, what module emits that constant voltage? I expect a VCA with bias turned up to amplify zero if there's no input, resulting in zero output. Oscillators oscillate, but I want it to stay constant, so that the panning stays put, like a manual knob that I've left in place for now.
Things that send out voltages for pitch must emit constant voltage, but I only know about MIDI-to-CV modules and sequencers for that. These modules seem overly complex for driving a constant pan.
This is a pretty serious gap in my knowledge of how modular systems are working, but the odd thing is that I can't find any results when searching for "constant voltage" in the forums here, so I'm ignorant in a special way! Any help would be most appreciated.
Yes I saw the SSF, the ability to choose a frequency range from the input looks good. I've been trying to use my minibrute's gate extractor into my eurorack with a Tocante Karper for an input, and had lots of trouble. But anything that someone says they use and is reliable in lots of situations I'll look into. The Xaoc is probably overkill but I like that it has a line output as well.
Simple and basic...that'll work, actually. A couple of additions you might consider, though, would be an audio output module, a quantizer (definitely beneficial with the Rene2) of some type, and maybe the MakeNoise Tempi, as the Rene2 was designed to link with it for some extra timing trickery and it would be useful for triggering extra bits here and there. And while you're on a MakeNoise kick, why not put in a Pressure Points/Brains combo which can also work in tandem with the Rene2/Tempi to provide some direct hands-on control in addition to the Rene2's pads...plus gives you an extra 4-step touch-controlled sequencer to beef up the control capabilities.