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Some advice for a 5U newbie?
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Author Some advice for a 5U newbie?
mosaiclive
Hi, I'm in the process of purchasing a partial Dotcom system and have a few questions. I'm getting the Q107 and Q150 filters but would like to, at some point, add another "interesting" filter from MOTM. Any opinions on those? The MS-20 filter looks interesting.

Also, any other recommendations on other MOTM modules that complete a core Dotcom system? I've got all the basic bases covered but want to eventually add some "spice" to my setup.

I'm really excited about this system and any advice would be appreciated.
bwhittington
Depending on how you want to use your system, the MOTM-650 and MOTM-730 would add a lot to a Dotcom system. Otherwise, beyond those and additional filter varieties, I think MOTM-format has more unique functions to offer than MOTM itself.

Cheers,
Brian
essex sound lab
While not as far removed from your core system as other filter options, a number of us find the MOTM-440 to be a helluva filter. It was the first non-Dotcom filter I added, and am really glad I did. It adds some real gravitas.

You should also look at the STG filters, which are in Dotcom format and insanely great. An excellent way to easily add additional color to your system that you would almost certainly turn to a lot. There are some great YouTube videos from forum members that will give you a good taste of their flavors.

As for other modules, there's a ton of interesting MU and MOTM format modules out there from a variety of manufacturers. Which ones would be of most value to you would depend on what you intend to do with your rig. But acquiring the ones YOU find interesting and seeing where they take you is entirely valid too.
bwhittington
essex sound lab wrote:
acquiring the ones YOU find interesting and seeing where they take you is entirely valid too.


A lot to be said for that. I just saw that you bought Giorgio's system. Lot's of room to grow in those cases, but a nice-sized system to get a feel for where you want to go.

Cheers,
Brian
mosaiclive
Quote:
A lot to be said for that. I just saw that you bought Giorgio's system. Lot's of room to grow in those cases, but a nice-sized system to get a feel for where you want to go.


Yeah, I'm pretty excited to get the system and start experimenting. I'm not planning on adding anything until I get a feel for what I have and what I'll need/want. I'm just trying to get some input so I can start my wish-list early:)
essex sound lab
mosaiclive wrote:
I'm just trying to get some input so I can start my wish-list early:)


These should give you plenty to drool over, if you haven't already found them:

http://stgsoundlabs.com/

http://lunar-experience.com/home.html

If you do find yourself adding additional filters, you may want additional EGs and VCAs (as well as mults and mixers...I didn't look at the complement in Giorgio's system). An excellent EG choice is the VC-EG from Moon Modular. For amplifiers, STG's are a sonic improvement over the Dotcom units and make great use of real estate.

One of the things that attracted me to the 5U format is the "playability" of the larger form factor. It should come as no surprise that there are some REALLY nifty sequencing options for the format...and ways of fiddling with time, gates and rhythms in general. In addition to Roger's stuff (which is great...and months-to-years of fun on its own), both STG and Moon offer very interesting lines of sequencers and sequencer "utility" modules (although that term really sells them short!). Definitely worth looking into if you think that hardware sequencing is in your future.

And yes, there's all those lovely filters...and interesting sound generators in MOTM and MOTM-format (and sometimes in native Dotcom format).
snoop
Hi mosaiclive...

I have both the mentioned filters + I also have the korg MS 20 and minikorg 700s. My feeling is that if you use the to filters in series (HP-LP) you get 95% of the sound. Although the MS 20 is more out of control if you add a lot of resonance, you will get most of the usefull stuff with this configuration. I think the MS 20 is 6dbHP+12dbLP, so its not exactly the same. But soundwise it really doesent matter (in my opinion)

Try a very different filter: MOTM 410? It`s my favorite, and also the 440 if you want another LP
NV
If you're looking for an "interesting" MOTM filter, I'd consider the MOTM-410 Triple Resonant filter. There's a few demos on the MOTM site which provide a decent idea of its capabilities.

If you're just looking for a solid filter, I'd recommend the MOTM-440. Everyone should have one great lowpass filter in a system, and the MOTM-440 is about as good as it gets in my opinion.
mosaiclive
Thanks for all the great input/ideas. I own a Voyager with expander and CP-251 and a small Eurorack rig. Although it's a little more 'simple and straight foward', I find myself using the Voyager and it's modules WAY more than I do more euro stuff. I love the sound quality, build quality, and general feel of everything. I'm hoping that the 5U format gives me that same feel with the added advantage of true modular synthesis that I originally got into eurorack for.
sunsinger
essex sound lab wrote:
While not as far removed from your core system as other filter options, a number of us find the MOTM-440 to be a helluva filter. It was the first non-Dotcom filter I added, and am really glad I did. It adds some real gravitas.

You should also look at the STG filters, which are in Dotcom format and insanely great. An excellent way to easily add additional color to your system that you would almost certainly turn to a lot. There are some great YouTube videos from forum members that will give you a good taste of their flavors.

As for other modules, there's a ton of interesting MU and MOTM format modules out there from a variety of manufacturers. Which ones would be of most value to you would depend on what you intend to do with your rig. But acquiring the ones YOU find interesting and seeing where they take you is entirely valid too.


In total agreement here... MOTM 440 is very versatile with 3 channel inputs and a mixing section to create complex waveforms or to filter 3 different sources and mix them. Also 2 FM sources, one having a negative value.

The Mankato filter by STG Labs is also a very useful filter providing other functions, in addition to filtering, and has very a useful sonic palette.

I love my MOTM 480, a clonish device of the Yamaha CS80 which really does sound like a CS-80. I get gorgeous tones that are lush and very "round" for a bandpass/Lowpass filter.

I concur on the MOTM 650 as a control interface and use mine every day with Numerology as the sequencer. And the 730 is very useful to.

I like the Modcan Delays and the BBD Flanger alot for onboard CV effects. Other than that, there is alot on my wishlist too that I can't get yet..

So good luck with your startup.
drewtoothpaste
I have a hybrid synth.com / Modcan / MOTM system myself. Started with the synth.com and added the other stuff later.

The two modules you can't get in synth.com format that I personally find essential are the Modcan dual frequency shifter and the MOTM-480 filter. I process a lot of sampled/recorded sound thru my modular and send Rhodes/guitar/drums thru these two modules all the time.

The Modcan quantizer is great but synth.com makes a less expensive one and if you're just using it with a sequencer it's probably good enough.

Paul sells a converter board at synthtech.com (MOTM-995 I think?) which allows you to feed it synth.com power and gives you ten or twelve MOTM-type power jacks. This is the best converter board if you're running MOTM in a synth.com cabinet in my opinion.
chromium
Looking at what's already there, you might experience cravings for:


- LFOs (and/or more VCOs that can also serve as LFOs). Those dual LFOs w/reset that Megaohm just posted look pretty slick.

- Possibly a hardware sequencer and quantizer. You could always wait on this and control via MIDI, but thought I'd mention the Encore UEG here, now that they are avaiable again. $299 and you'll have an 8-step sequencer... or a complex EG... or an LFO... all in a dual width module.

- More VCAs for patches with complex modulations, fm, etc.. I find I can always use more VCAs - so any module that could serve as a VCA is alwyas a plus. I bought a Cynthia quad lopass gate used that I love, and it can serve a VCA-ish role if needed. Pan/fade module is handy too.

- Additional filters would indeed be handy.



Anyways congrats on the system! I started out with a similar setup, and I'd recommend enjoying it as is for a while, get a feel for it, look for creative ways to use the existing modules, and it'll become obvious to you where to best invest any additional money and space.

...and then brace yourself for depletion of all future discretionary income MY ASS IS BLEEDING

:cheers:
sandyb
congratulations on your new toy w00t

now,
go to www.modcan.com
drool at the many interesting b series modules.
spend lots of money ambulance
essex sound lab
chromium wrote:


...and then brace yourself for depletion of all future discretionary income MY ASS IS BLEEDING



...and available space! w00t
SynthBaron
drewtoothpaste wrote:

The two modules you can't get in synth.com format that I personally find essential are the Modcan dual frequency shifter
.


The only thing that's keeping me from buying one is that you can't get an "up" and "down" signal separately out of a single frequency shifter.
dude
save yourself the trouble. just look at the modcan 66b control module. SlayerBadger! 4 recordable/loopable/saveable voltage output channels. could be 4 lfo's. or whatever you can think of to record. also the stg mankato. extremely flexible freaky and fun. whatever you end up with, just enjoy.
NV
SynthBaron wrote:

The only thing that's keeping me from buying one is that you can't get an "up" and "down" signal separately out of a single frequency shifter.


The Dual FS seems very interesting to me too, but the lack of a feedback loop for either of the frequency shifters as compared to the 39B Frequency Shifter is a strong factor for me.
JohnLRice
There isn't a 5U module that I wouldn't like to have, if I had enough space, money and time etc! hyper

You've gotten great advice so far. I guess it comes down to what kind of music/sound/noise/o-scope patterns you want to make. (Or not even sending the output to anything and just sitting and looking at it for long periods of time can be fulfilling too! hihi )
sunsinger
NV wrote:
SynthBaron wrote:

The only thing that's keeping me from buying one is that you can't get an "up" and "down" signal separately out of a single frequency shifter.


The Dual FS seems very interesting to me too, but the lack of a feedback loop for either of the frequency shifters as compared to the 39B Frequency Shifter is a strong factor for me.


I could be showing my ignorance here, but I have a Modcan Dual Frequency Shifter, and there are two knobs on the front panel that say feedback on them. These are the feedback controls for the three "series modes". The modes that are in series (+ sign) will feedback into each other, or modulate each other. There are 3 operating modes where this is true. Freq 1 + Freq 2, Ring Mod 1 + Ring Mod 2, and Ring Mod 1 + Freq 2.

I get some pretty nice feedback results out of the thing.
dude
did he mean external feedback? as in, not being able to externally process the feedback loop in, say, a filter or other processing tool/device maybe?
sunsinger
Well, that may be, but isn't that what the audio input and output on the FS is for? Put tool or audio in, run through the series feedback loops and get processed signal out.

Or if he talking about the feedback as in the Super Delay and 39B FS. I have a Super Delay too, it pretty much functions the same way as the Dual FS from the feedback loop in series. But I did say this could be ignorance. I am pretty much still learning what's possible here. d'oh!
doctorvague
Another vote for the MOTM 440. That filter gets raves in every thread like this - there's nothing not to like about it. It's my most-used filter. And as Ron mentioned, a really nice mixer section with a reversible attenuator. I'm a believer in reversible attenuators, especially for filter CV inputs.
A new Korg flavored filter on the scene is here:
http://www.megaohmaudio.com/deltaVCF.html
I have one on the way. Looks like a really nice design with a VCA built in too. Pretty nice price/feature ratio. From the demos it seems to have some of that Korg non-linearity you won't find on most other filters.

Other modules I'd recommend are the Modcan Digital delay and Modcan VCDO. The delay is made of musical awesomeness. I can't stop overusing it. There's gobs of it on my videos if you want to hear it. There's VCDO on some of them too but I don't recall which ones at the moment.

I also have a MOTM 480 and an Encore UEG on the way so can't comment on those quite yet. The UEG is a lot of bang for $300, especially if you don't have an analog sequencer. People that have the UEG seem very happy with them. I ordered the MOTM version but it appears there's a dotcom version on the horizon as well.

Besides his filter offerings you might also consider STG's wave folder. I have the Post-lawsuit (Arp) filter and really like it, but it does need a companion mixer or signal processor for the way I like to use it. But for the price and space difference between that and say a MOTM 440 you could buy a dotcom mixer or signal processor to add to it and probably still be money ahead. Although I don't have one, the same concept would apply to the Sea Devils filter too.

Don't forget Oakley. I don't have any Oakley modules yet but people seem really happy with that stuff too. There are only a couple of VC EG's out there and Oakley makes one of them. Moon Modular makes one too. Since you seem to like the Moog sound you might want to take a look at Oakley's Super-ladder filter.

Have fun! w00t
Phil
NV
sunsinger wrote:
Well, that may be, but isn't that what the audio input and output on the FS is for? Put tool or audio in, run through the series feedback loops and get processed signal out.

Or if he talking about the feedback as in the Super Delay and 39B FS. I have a Super Delay too, it pretty much functions the same way as the Dual FS from the feedback loop in series. But I did say this could be ignorance. I am pretty much still learning what's possible here. d'oh!


What I meant was the external feedback in and out jacks and amount control on the 39B Frequency Shifter. Maybe I'm not entirely understanding how the feedback functions within the 65B Dual FS, but my impression was that the feedback operates by creating a loop between the two frequency shifters when run in series. If that's the case I suppose you may be able to rig up an external feedback loop by setting one of the shifters to 0 and then using the input and output for that channel in lieu of the external feedback in and out of the 39B, but then again I'm not certain if that's how the feedback functions within the 65B. If the frequency shifters are set in parallel, how does the feedback control function? Is it normalized as a depth control?
sandyb
doctorvague wrote:

...
There are only a couple of VC EG's out there and Oakley makes one of them. Moon Modular makes one too...

Have fun! w00t
Phil


add modcan to that list too smile
depending on exactly how much cv control you need i think (off the top of my head) bruce makes 4 cv'able EG modules. 2 have an overall timebase cv and two have cv of all parameters.
sunsinger
NV wrote:
What I meant was the external feedback in and out jacks and amount control on the 39B Frequency Shifter. Maybe I'm not entirely understanding how the feedback functions within the 65B Dual FS, but my impression was that the feedback operates by creating a loop between the two frequency shifters when run in series. If that's the case I suppose you may be able to rig up an external feedback loop by setting one of the shifters to 0 and then using the input and output for that channel in lieu of the external feedback in and out of the 39B, but then again I'm not certain if that's how the feedback functions within the 65B. If the frequency shifters are set in parallel, how does the feedback control function? Is it normalized as a depth control?


Yeah, that seems pretty cryptic to me too, on the surface.
The description for the module says that the feedback controls are all intrnal, but there is Through Zero operation, so you may be right about setting freq 1 to zero to get an external loop.

I know that in series mode, shifter 1 feeds back to shifter 2, and that the two shifters interact nicely when CV'ing the shift values for freq 1 and 2. I use separate LFO's to do that, running them at different but very slow speeds. Nice effects achieved. The 39B can't do that.

I guess that the FX value of the 39B Freq Shifter is probably alot more intense because of its external feedback loop channel than the 65B Dual FS Shifter. The 65B and 39B appear to do very different things. I do like the 65B Dual Frequency Shifter though. But mostly I love the 38B Flanger, and it gets quite a workout.

I really don't know enough about the parallel mode to answer any questions about them, since I use the more dramatic series effects most of the time.
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