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best eurorack distortion modules?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Synth Noise  
Author best eurorack distortion modules?
Travis Morgan
thinking of expanding my rack to include some more fx type units
so i can elimnate having to bring additional pedals for live situations
anyone have any comments on some of the distortion modules that are floating around currently
thrasumachos
right now I'm using the RYO optodist, and I absolutely love it. Crazy distortion in 6hp. I also hear people use the A-119 for distortion, but I haven't spent enough time with mine yet to vouch for it.
mhtones
Plague bearer.
djpasica
Strakal Brulu is crazy hyper
EarlJemmings
Optodist, Plague Bearer v3, Noise Swash, Alex & June, and Malgorithm v1 in my 9u. Also had the Assmaster, but parted with it.

Optodist is very nice sounding, not brutal, but unique and always adds goodness. Also fun for a different flavour of plucked lpg style stuff.

Plague Bearer is always handy, bubbly, screamy, growly, and handy as an amp (at least in v3). Great in a feedback path, also commonly use it to get drums into my system for mangling. My first filter, and I don't really regret that much MY ASS IS BLEEDING

Noise Swash got me started in Euro really. I saw that and the Malgorithm and I was sold. Didn't get it until a few months ago, but it's great. As a sound generator, it's great to get it in a sweet spot and let it go in the background, and running anything through it is amazing. Leave it some room to breathe, and it will deliver. I believe the Mood cv out is chaos based, or at leased close to it. Great stuff. Put that into a quantizer or s/h for melodic fun. I'm getting a live set figured out based around running drums into it, loving the sound.

Alex & June is a wierd one, a filter done pretty much as simply as possible. When you get it (diy project) it comes with silicon diodes, and yellow leds. The diodes make it more like a regular filter, the leds more like an fsu module. Either way it'll turn whatever you put into it into a square wave. I've found it's not really all that versatile, I'll usually go to another distortion first. But it's cheap as chips.

Malgorithm was one of my first modules, got it with the Hertz Donut, and it is really much more than it seems on the surface. It adds some nice hardness to a sound even with the knobs open, but the bit depth and nyquist add a lot to a signal. Punch the rectify on for more brutal distortion, back off the input volume for a bit less scream. The volvulus modes are madness. Switch one adds a sort of pwm to your now square signal, switch two acts sort of like a filter, reminding me of the Bionic Lester, and switch 3 is just crazy. Add them together for maximum noise making. Next level is pluggin it into itself, and put a bit of cv into the bit depth knob (example of this from when I first got it here [soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/112352925" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /] Fell out of love with it for a bit, but spent some quality time with it and a scope, and I'm back.

Assmaster was nice, too subtle for my taste. Kicked teeth with drums though.

Oh, also use the comparator out of the maths. That's brutal.

And I guess I could put out the saturation on the mmvca, really good in some places. Some others it'll do basically nothing.

There are a ton of options in euro, and I'm so glad for it.
oscillateur
Yeah, you can get many different flavours of saturation/distortion from modules whose main function is not distortion.
craigie77
malekko vca all the way
IAMPelican
Good to know
chris_g
djpasica wrote:
Strakal Brulu is crazy hyper


Gonna second this one, fuzzy as all hell
ronaldroy
Having just got hold of a Malekko Megawave, I would have to throw that into the mix.
gooneybird
dwarthcraft devices... the great destroyer. pretty neat to use with drum machine and really beefs up everything you throw into it..little hard to control though.
knobbyfischer
Toppo Triple Wave Folder
aen
gooneybird wrote:
dwarthcraft devices... the great destroyer. pretty neat to use with drum machine and really beefs up everything you throw into it..little hard to control though.


Mwuhahahaha! Yeah, I think TGD is another thing altogether.
smcumber
I've discovered running anything into the Pittsburgh In/Out "In" channel with the high-gain setting cranked makes for crazy-awesome distortion. Responds great to dynamics, i.e. drum loops.
deleuzer
smcumber wrote:
I've discovered running anything into the Pittsburgh In/Out "In" channel with the high-gain setting cranked makes for crazy-awesome distortion. Responds great to dynamics, i.e. drum loops.


Thanks for this tip!
mrcharles
I'm for Dwarfcraft's Great Destroyer and the HAX ring mod...

Great stuff!
gonya
Really interested in Dwarfcraft- TGD for eurorack.. One of my favorite pedals ever... seriously insane!
MrNovember
While I haven't gotten the chance to try the eurorack version, the Dwarfcraft Great Destroyer is an amazing pedal. Plus Alessandro Cortini uses it in his set up so there's that
Noisefan
I recently picked up the Pittsburgh Collapse. Sounds like a bit crusher but more warmish analog. Nice mixed with original signal.
MrNovember
Noisefan wrote:
I recently picked up the Pittsburgh Collapse. Sounds like a bit crusher but more warmish analog. Nice mixed with original signal.

I just listened to all the demos on their website and that really does sound nice
I wish they weren't limited because I can't justify picking one up now
Barlov
Going to chime in with the other recommendations for The Great Destroyer. Pretty much had to get it after seeing Regis use it in his Boiler Room set up.
Solip7
I only have a Doepfer A-136, and although it's a decent FSU unit, I feel an oscilloscope would be more than useful to understand how the different parameters change the sound.

I sometimes use my Metal Zone pedal but I don't really like it with synths. I've ordered parts to build a Bazz Fuss standalone module, I hope it will turn good.
knobbyfischer
Barlov wrote:
Going to chime in with the other recommendations for The Great Destroyer. Pretty much had to get it after seeing Regis use it in his Boiler Room set up.


I recently picked one of these up and love it! I want to try out more from
Dwarfcraft. The prices are great - HAX is on my list.
fusionid
just ordered The Great Destroyer because of this thread Rockin' Banana!
Nevada
It's more of an overdrive effect, but Pitts VC Bend is pretty awesome in my book. It would probably be beneficial into a distortion.
Travis Morgan
ftr i ended up getting the great destroyer
but i haven't had much time to play with it yet

hopefully i'll get a bunch of free time over the holidays while i'm off work to see what this thing can really do
MB II
I just got hold of a grainshift and it makes an unholy racket pretty much unlike anything I've heard from a mod before, I call it the Ligeti effect.
It will distort, but it will also tunnel a sound through Hells dimensions, especially when used with dubjr to amplify the effect.
It really turns drones into something else.

I was expecting it to be like diskord, it probably is. But the things it's been doing in my rack I haven't heard come out of the PC. Think I might have to get a priest in to take a look at it.
Fp
doepfer A137 and wmd geiger counter screaming goo yo
jbaptiste64
wmd ultrafold get the job
Bataserpa
Any pedal interface (black locust, in out, alm sbg, etc) with a dod distortion pedal (death metal, corrosion, grunge, etc.) will destroy.

I am not happy with euro distortions so far
MrNovember
The Dwarfcraft Great Destroyer is an amazing pedal. I've never used the euro version, but I definitely feel like assigning CV to some of those parameters would be amazing. I've also heard nothing but good things about the Retro Mechanical Labs pedals and he's offering a few with CV now.
jbaptiste64
In Eurorack there is Strakal Brulu TouellSkouarn V2 with good feedback
poorness
Hey all. I'm actually looking for a Euro Distortion/Overdrive module and came across this thread.

Unfortunately, there isn't anyone who'd done a shootout of the various modules (not that I could find anyway), but it looks like these are some of the popular ones:
    Synthrotek 308
    RYO Optodist
    Dreadbox WL Drive
    Feedback PRE CR
    Vermona VCDrive
    Sythrotek Harben Octave Fuzz
    TouellSkouarn Strakal Brulu
    Dwarfcraft Devices The Great Destroyer
    Oakley Overdrive
    Hexinverter Battery Acid
    ZVex Fuzz Factory

NOTE: there are many other modules that add drive/distortion to a signal, but the ones above are purposely built overdrive circuits.
Klangzaun
Not a modul but modular: After checking a lot of overdrive/distortion option I kept the Dreadbox Epsilon, which offers some patch points as well.
soggybag
Does anyone make a EuroRack Big Muff?
OlivierWah
L-1 Tube Vca have an amazing tube-based distortion:

poorness
soggybag wrote:
Does anyone make a EuroRack Big Muff?

I keep thinking converting classic pedals into Eurorack modules is going to become a trend... but it doesn't seem to be happening. There have been a few. The Synthrotek 308 is essentially a Pro Co Rat. The Suiseki Phase Shifter is essentially an EHX Small Stone. There are a handful of others as well, but its not a pervasive phenomenon. There are also a few modern pedals that have been converted to Eurorack, e.g. LoFi Junky, Geiger Counter, etc. I'd love to see a Eurorack Phase 90 or DS1 or TS808 or...
soggybag
That's really cool they make a Fuzz Factory in a Eurorack. I've made a few of these for guitars foot pedals.

The circuit is simple. I wonder what's involved with bumping it up to a +-12 supply?
mt3
Before every synth module gets listed here...

It's like asking what is the best spice for cooking or the best color for painting.

Also, technically any module that modifies the input is distorting the signal.
Guinness ftw!
carlotter
Been trying to recreate an effect and am having some issues. Basically what sounds like heavy distortion / fuzz on a bass voice with reverb.

I'm using a DPO (left side) sawtooth into an maxed out Optodist on limiter mode into a Moog-style filter, however rather than getting that thick distortion it just sounds louder with some high fizz. Wondering if the Optodist is too subtle, or if I'm missing something (not the right waveshape? modulation?). I'm also wondering whether what they're doing is splitting the bass voice into a heavily distorted and a clean one and mixing that together.

A good example of the sound I'm trying to re-create is
5:07 on Abu Mogard Half Light of Dawn
...or most of Tim Hecker's distorted bass sounds on Ravedeath, 1972.

I've also got a few dirt pedals (RAT, Fuzz Factory etc...) which I could try but don't currently have anything to bring my output level down.
EarlJemmings
carlotter wrote:
Been trying to recreate an effect and am having some issues. Basically what sounds like heavy distortion / fuzz on a bass voice with reverb.

I'm using a DPO (left side) sawtooth into an maxed out Optodist on limiter mode into a Moog-style filter, however rather than getting that thick distortion it just sounds louder with some high fizz...


With the raw waveform into the distortion, all you'll end up doing is clipping the saw into a square. Where things start getting more interesting, is when you put the distortion later in the chain- try putting the filter before the optodist! Then maybe osc>mixer>filter>distortion and mix some of the distortion output into the mixer for added variation via feedback. Try the distortion after reverb or delay too!

Also, you should play with your pedals- you can use any vca, attenuator, or even the optodist to drop the level. But you can even try without dropping the level, it might still sound good.
carlotter
Aaaah, I see, ended up with a square wave which is why it didn't sound that
distorted...so it's more interesting to distort more complex sounds!

That's great, lots of configurations to try.
carlotter
Found what I wanted through the means of feedback loops! Optodist is definitely not too subtle!! Although I am lusting after a Great Destroyer....
Mostin77
EarlJemmings wrote:
Noise Swash got me started in Euro really. I saw that and the Malgorithm and I was sold. Didn't get it until a few months ago, but it's great. As a sound generator, it's great to get it in a sweet spot and let it go in the background, and running anything through it is amazing. Leave it some room to breathe, and it will deliver. I believe the Mood cv out is chaos based, or at leased close to it. Great stuff. Put that into a quantizer or s/h for melodic fun. I'm getting a live set figured out based around running drums into it, loving the sound.


I really need to start understanding my Noise Swash more. I DIYed mine about a year ago, It was also my first module, but I’m only just getting back into after searching on here about it and reading every thread I could find. I’d actually forgot that you can put audio through it and have just been using it as an oscillator!
I’ve also got the Atoner which I seem to understand a bit better. If anyone here wants to give me some pointers for using the Swash then I’d appreciate that.
tsintsi
how hard is the DIY noise swash btw? definitely wanna give it a try after seeing Pete Swanson use one!

for distortion I'll ususally run my system's output through my russian Big Muff that I've modified a bit, but I'd love something CV controllable! been eyeing the fuzz factory, plague bearer, and Erica Synth's "fusion" line of tube-based stuff - a tube ring modulator or chorus/flanger sounds amazing.

I'd like to give the 308 a shot because I love Rat pedals, but I'd also like to avoid supporting that company.
FetidEye
the noise swash is not that hard to diy.
(it was one on the first modules I made)
and it is so much fun!

not only as an effect but also as a very weird noises and tones generator!
ErwinTuijl
Came across this thread while searching for overdrive modules. My favorite distortion is to overdrive an EHX memory man (there's a preamp in there). Sounds really gnarly, and it would be convenient to have something with that same character, but CV controllable.

It's probably just a basic opamp distortion, but it's a sort of sound that is kinda hard to find in all the distortion modules i've checked thusfar
oberkorn
soggybag wrote:
Does anyone make a EuroRack Big Muff?

yes, Frequency Central does the Meth Amp, both as DIY and built modules
see http://www.frequencycentral.co.uk/?page_id=1489
sexcomputer
actually pretty surprised no one has mentioned the Bastl cinnamon. Cool filter that can overdrive in really interesting ways. I've got my eyes on a Timber, also from bastl. those dudes make interesting stuff.
thetwlo
Snazzy Hi-Gain!
dubstephead
Travis Morgan wrote:
thinking of expanding my rack to include some more fx type units
so i can elimnate having to bring additional pedals for live situations
anyone have any comments on some of the distortion modules that are floating around currently


What type of distortion? Harmonic (tube) or inharmonic (transistor)?

Either way this is my fav overall euro distortion atm -
joey
Snazzy FX HI Gain

underrated and fucking glorious
PapaLazarou
There's a quad PB up on reverb at the moment SlayerBadger!
joey
Bataserpa wrote:
Any pedal interface (black locust, in out, alm sbg, etc) with a dod distortion pedal (death metal, corrosion, grunge, etc.) will destroy.

I am not happy with euro distortions so far


seconding this, though i have a couple nice ones (hi gain!), overall I find most analog eurorack distortions just don't get as fucked as pedals do

my metal muff, dod grunge and death metal, boss metal zone, etc... all get way rougher than euro distortions

I wonder why this is
BailyDread
intellijel polaris has excellent saturation options, really can get extremely chaotic. of course, you can always boost a signal before the saturation module for even more saturation Miley Cyrus
boxxgrooved
A Doepfer A-137-1 can be picked up for cheap but it is definitely not cheap in sonic output
Delepathy
I'm surprised that not a single person has brought up any Metasonix modules yet. The RK2, 3, and 4 are wonderful for creating distortion and disarray. The R-56 can also distort a signal, be used for reverberation via a spring tank, and can be used as a PreAmp. The R-57 can distort and hard clip any signal beyond recognition, as well as work as a dual PreAmp. You can't get that quality of distortion anywhere else. I don't think the Erica Synths or Trogotronic tube modules sound nearly as good as Metasonix.
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