MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

First modular! Some Modcan A!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author First modular! Some Modcan A!
thunderheart530
Hi everyone I just traded a few pieces of equipment that I wasn't using for a Modcan A setup and an original Arp Odyssey 2800 that needs a little TLC!

I've never had a modular system before but I have used them and have a basic understanding. Is there anything you can tell me that I should I know? I patched up a basic mono synth on it but what are some other cool tricks to try?

Also what can you guys tell me about this system? I couldn't find a ton of information online besides the fact that these are Modcan type A's.



DrReverendSeance
Hi thunderheart530

That is quite a set up to start with!

If you are already familiar with the basics, you might find the “book of bad ideas” a source for some fun things to try. https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=93120&highlight=

I also found the Allen Strange book on electronic music helpful for discovering the possibilities of a modular system. It can be difficult to get ahold of, but you may be able to locate it at your local university music department library. You’ll want the second edition (with excercises to try).

I don’t know much about Modcan A other han it uses banana cables, but I’m sure other wiser members of the forum will have more to offer on this format.
DrReverendSeance
Double post
bwhittington
It sounds like you stumbled into buying something top-notch! w00t Your module selection may limit you somewhat at first, though. Control is really really great, allowing very specific modulation sources. But a few are older modules--nothing wrong with that by itself--that may have less features than might be ideal.

The VCO stands out. I haven't used it, but it does not have as many simultaneous outputs as others, which would help get the most out of it in a small system. The one obvious "trick" I see is to patch the B Out into the Osc A CV in and twiddle the Osc A CV knob. You could also try patching it to the Osc B CV with the knob turned very low, but that can get kooky. Switch the waveforms, too. Or you could make the filter resonate and use that output to modulate those two inputs. And then route that signal into a VCA before sending it to those inputs and use Control to open and close the VCA. I'm wasting your filter as a modulation source, but we're just experimenting here. Then of course you should send B Out to the filter, or wherever else you can.

XY and Quadraphonic go together nicely for joystick controlled mixing. Hopefully it will pass DC signals from your modulators and allow you to blend some elements of Control with an envelope and with a gate sequencer output, say. lol I used to have a few of them, but I honestly don’t remember.

You can run a the gate sequencer channel through a VCA an modulate with Control to create random-ish voltage sequences for your VCO tuning or whatnot. The result will be like a sample and hold that is a bit out of sync and slews the signal. Quite possibly in a very fun way, depending on your interests.

You might need some manual control and creative wandering to push the limits of this specific set, but I sure wouldn't throw it out of bed. Great stuff! Modcan stuff is tops, and Cynthia modules can be very interesting as well. You can definitely step beyond typical monosynth territory with these.


User manual: http://modcan.com/amodules/A%20Series%20manual.pdf
Dave Peck
thunderheart530 wrote:
.... an original Arp Odyssey 2800 that needs a little TLC!



(Sorry, OT!)

I'm just wrapping up the process of restoring my Odyssey II and I found something you should know about - You know how the old faders are very difficult to source, unless you want to pay huge bucks to have them all replaced with LED faders? Not so! I found a guy who makes these cool little adapter boards that allow a modern low-profile Bourns fader to fit in an Odyssey! These are great, especially if you don't need an entire set. Mine are already on the way. Check it out:

https://www.gmusynth.com/collections/retrofits/products/cts-to-pta-ada pter-spacer

I'm across the bay from you. Shoot me a PM.
oblis
Congrats thunderheart530! w00t That’s my old system...I recognize those side panels...had them made at fpe. Miss the Modcan A format!
bwhittington
Oh, so that must have been one of my 33A's, too? hihi Did you sequence this with MIDI? I was enjoying trying to get my head around the module choices. Seems like this system would be cool used with external MIDI and with one more VCO (to me, anyway).

On further thought, I'm pretty sure the 33A is good with DC? And I didn't see the multimode filter the first time I looked at it. Really love that filter. You could modulate both VCO's with its pretty sine as discussed above and still have a filter to spare.
oblis
bwhittington wrote:
Did you sequence this with MIDI?


No MIDI, I used it with a Serge Creature/Gator panel.
thunderheart530
DrReverendSeance wrote:
Hi thunderheart530

That is quite a set up to start with!

If you are already familiar with the basics, you might find the “book of bad ideas” a source for some fun things to try. https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=93120&highlight=

I also found the Allen Strange book on electronic music helpful for discovering the possibilities of a modular system. It can be difficult to get ahold of, but you may be able to locate it at your local university music department library. You’ll want the second edition (with excercises to try).

I don’t know much about Modcan A other han it uses banana cables, but I’m sure other wiser members of the forum will have more to offer on this format.


Thanks for the "Book of Bad Ideas" and the Allen Strange suggestions. I have not heard of either so I will start reading!

bwhittington wrote:
It sounds like you stumbled into buying something top-notch! w00t Your module selection may limit you somewhat at first, though. Control is really really great, allowing very specific modulation sources. But a few are older modules--nothing wrong with that by itself--that may have less features than might be ideal.

The VCO stands out. I haven't used it, but it does not have as many simultaneous outputs as others, which would help get the most out of it in a small system. The one obvious "trick" I see is to patch the B Out into the Osc A CV in and twiddle the Osc A CV knob. You could also try patching it to the Osc B CV with the knob turned very low, but that can get kooky. Switch the waveforms, too. Or you could make the filter resonate and use that output to modulate those two inputs. And then route that signal into a VCA before sending it to those inputs and use Control to open and close the VCA. I'm wasting your filter as a modulation source, but we're just experimenting here. Then of course you should send B Out to the filter, or wherever else you can.

XY and Quadraphonic go together nicely for joystick controlled mixing. Hopefully it will pass DC signals from your modulators and allow you to blend some elements of Control with an envelope and with a gate sequencer output, say. lol I used to have a few of them, but I honestly don’t remember.

You can run a the gate sequencer channel through a VCA an modulate with Control to create random-ish voltage sequences for your VCO tuning or whatnot. The result will be like a sample and hold that is a bit out of sync and slews the signal. Quite possibly in a very fun way, depending on your interests.

You might need some manual control and creative wandering to push the limits of this specific set, but I sure wouldn't throw it out of bed. Great stuff! Modcan stuff is tops, and Cynthia modules can be very interesting as well. You can definitely step beyond typical monosynth territory with these.


User manual: http://modcan.com/amodules/A%20Series%20manual.pdf


This Dual VCO 46A is fucking with me! I didn't realize it could do so many different things! I'm so used to dealing with production synthesizer Oscillators that I didn't really think about how much a few simple tricks have to offer. Thanks for the tips!

Dave Peck wrote:
thunderheart530 wrote:
.... an original Arp Odyssey 2800 that needs a little TLC!



(Sorry, OT!)

I'm just wrapping up the process of restoring my Odyssey II and I found something you should know about - You know how the old faders are very difficult to source, unless you want to pay huge bucks to have them all replaced with LED faders? Not so! I found a guy who makes these cool little adapter boards that allow a modern low-profile Bourns fader to fit in an Odyssey! These are great, especially if you don't need an entire set. Mine are already on the way. Check it out:

https://www.gmusynth.com/collections/retrofits/products/cts-to-pta-ada pter-spacer

I'm across the bay from you. Shoot me a PM.


Woo you are reading my mind! I definitely have to replace all of the faders before I can go into any other problems that are going on. I'll definitely be PM'ing you when I get a small grasp on this modular setup... Those LED faders are definitely on my mind though Dead Banana

oblis wrote:
Congrats thunderheart530! w00t That’s my old system...I recognize those side panels...had them made at fpe. Miss the Modcan A format!


Say whaaaa. Right on! Its a bitchn system! I'm picking up one more module sometime this week that was getting repaired and then it will be complete!
thunderheart530
Okay this is the only module that has me a little confused...

I found a description here

https://www.cgs.synth.net/modules/cgs89_gate_sequencer.html

Im sending CV and GATE from the beatstep pro into the system. The gate goes into the clock in on the Cynthia Stone Gate Sequencer and the CV into the Dual VCO 46A.

I kind of understand what it can do. I've been using the Gate Out A to trigger the envelope and messing with the row of A switches for different gate trigger lengths...? I think? WTF AM I DOING.

bwhittington
thunderheart530 wrote:
I kind of understand what it can do. I've been using the Gate Out A to trigger the envelope and messing with the row of A switches for different gate trigger lengths...?


From your description, I'm just going to take a guess that you should shorten the release on your envelopes at first to understand what is happening. I think you might be changing the length by retriggering the envelopes. The switches should just be turning the gates on/off, but if the envelopes overlap, if can seem to just be one long blur. If you shorten them, its behavior might seem more clear. Or it could be something else?

You might not need to use the gate sequencer since regularly if you have an external sequencer, though it does still have applications muting or changing the timing of your sequence, or just using it independently for rhythmic accents of course.
thunderheart530
bwhittington wrote:
thunderheart530 wrote:
I kind of understand what it can do. I've been using the Gate Out A to trigger the envelope and messing with the row of A switches for different gate trigger lengths...?


From your description, I'm just going to take a guess that you should shorten the release on your envelopes at first to understand what is happening. I think you might be changing the length by retriggering the envelopes. The switches should just be turning the gates on/off, but if the envelopes overlap, if can seem to just be one long blur. If you shorten them, its behavior might seem more clear. Or it could be something else?

You might not need to use the gate sequencer since regularly if you have an external sequencer, though it does still have applications muting or changing the timing of your sequence, or just using it independently for rhythmic accents of course.


That is exactly what I was doing! I would shorten the envelope and when I switched channel A's row of toggle switches it would add some unpredictability to the gated part of the sequence coming from the Beatstep Pro. It sounds really cool but the switches were unpredictable? I couldn't wrap my head around exactly what was going on when I moved them. It seemed that switch 1 position would effect switch 2 position which effects switch 3's position and so on. It was pretty late at night so I'm going to read more about it again tonight.

However, what is the "generic" way to use this module? Or is there one?
bwhittington
I've never used one, but it should just be a gate into the clock input, which should cycle through the lights, and then patch a yellow gate out to your EG. The red outputs should be for each individual stage.

For the purpose of testing, start with a short Length setting, too, or maybe just use the pulse outputs, which I assume are short triggers.
JohnLRice
thunderheart530 wrote:
bwhittington wrote:
thunderheart530 wrote:
I kind of understand what it can do. I've been using the Gate Out A to trigger the envelope and messing with the row of A switches for different gate trigger lengths...?


From your description, I'm just going to take a guess that you should shorten the release on your envelopes at first to understand what is happening. I think you might be changing the length by retriggering the envelopes. The switches should just be turning the gates on/off, but if the envelopes overlap, if can seem to just be one long blur. If you shorten them, its behavior might seem more clear. Or it could be something else?

You might not need to use the gate sequencer since regularly if you have an external sequencer, though it does still have applications muting or changing the timing of your sequence, or just using it independently for rhythmic accents of course.


That is exactly what I was doing! I would shorten the envelope and when I switched channel A's row of toggle switches it would add some unpredictability to the gated part of the sequence coming from the Beatstep Pro. It sounds really cool but the switches were unpredictable? I couldn't wrap my head around exactly what was going on when I moved them. It seemed that switch 1 position would effect switch 2 position which effects switch 3's position and so on. It was pretty late at night so I'm going to read more about it again tonight.

However, what is the "generic" way to use this module? Or is there one?
Congrats on the sweet Modcan A! w00t screaming goo yo

If you haven't tried it yet, take the Clock Out of your BeatStep Pro to run the Gate Sequencer and then use the Gate Out of the Gate Sequencer to fire your envelope generator+VCA. That way your modular voice will be firing in sync but you can turn certain steps/stages on and off to create rhythmic pattern variations. Here's sort of an example but using totally different stuff . . but it may give you some ideas, starting at about 1:30 (I hope Mr. Green ) https://youtu.be/St-Z7hZcqmY

I know you just spent a bunch of money but, why not spend some more? hmmm..... eek! w00t hihi I'm just thinking that a little modular side car of modules might make things easier and allow you to greatly expand what you can do with your modular? Lots of ways to go but I'm most familiar with Moon Modular products so I'll suggest those. Below is an image of a small self powered desktop case with 3 modules.

On the left is the 599 Jack Interface which is just a panel with 8 groups of three interconnected jacks, a 1/4", a banana and a 1/8" (3.5mm). I think something like this would be very handy for you to intereconnect your Modcan A, standard synths and Beatstep Pro etc. Plus it is a passive module so you could get just it and make your own case or use screw it to a couple little blocks of wood etc. (also you could make a DIY version that would fit into your Modcan A case in that empty space)

On the right is the single channel 551 MIDI to CV interface. With it you can use any synth, drum machine or computer that has a standard MIDI out to control your modular.

In the middle is sort of the opposite of the 551, the 4 channel 552 CV to MIDI interface. With it you can you your modular to control your MIDI synths!


All the Moon modules and case can be purchased at Noisebug in Pomona CA
http://www.noisebug.net/site/effects/index.cfm?ID=157

There are other fine manufacturers that make small cases and related modules to some of the ones above but do a search on the forum to find discussions on the pros and cons of all the choices. cool
thunderheart530
JohnLRice wrote:
thunderheart530 wrote:
bwhittington wrote:
thunderheart530 wrote:
I kind of understand what it can do. I've been using the Gate Out A to trigger the envelope and messing with the row of A switches for different gate trigger lengths...?


From your description, I'm just going to take a guess that you should shorten the release on your envelopes at first to understand what is happening. I think you might be changing the length by retriggering the envelopes. The switches should just be turning the gates on/off, but if the envelopes overlap, if can seem to just be one long blur. If you shorten them, its behavior might seem more clear. Or it could be something else?

You might not need to use the gate sequencer since regularly if you have an external sequencer, though it does still have applications muting or changing the timing of your sequence, or just using it independently for rhythmic accents of course.


That is exactly what I was doing! I would shorten the envelope and when I switched channel A's row of toggle switches it would add some unpredictability to the gated part of the sequence coming from the Beatstep Pro. It sounds really cool but the switches were unpredictable? I couldn't wrap my head around exactly what was going on when I moved them. It seemed that switch 1 position would effect switch 2 position which effects switch 3's position and so on. It was pretty late at night so I'm going to read more about it again tonight.

However, what is the "generic" way to use this module? Or is there one?
Congrats on the sweet Modcan A! w00t screaming goo yo

If you haven't tried it yet, take the Clock Out of your BeatStep Pro to run the Gate Sequencer and then use the Gate Out of the Gate Sequencer to fire your envelope generator+VCA. That way your modular voice will be firing in sync but you can turn certain steps/stages on and off to create rhythmic pattern variations. Here's sort of an example but using totally different stuff . . but it may give you some ideas, starting at about 1:30 (I hope Mr. Green ) https://youtu.be/St-Z7hZcqmY

I know you just spent a bunch of money but, why not spend some more? hmmm..... eek! w00t hihi I'm just thinking that a little modular side car of modules might make things easier and allow you to greatly expand what you can do with your modular? Lots of ways to go but I'm most familiar with Moon Modular products so I'll suggest those. Below is an image of a small self powered desktop case with 3 modules.

On the left is the 599 Jack Interface which is just a panel with 8 groups of three interconnected jacks, a 1/4", a banana and a 1/8" (3.5mm). I think something like this would be very handy for you to intereconnect your Modcan A, standard synths and Beatstep Pro etc. Plus it is a passive module so you could get just it and make your own case or use screw it to a couple little blocks of wood etc. (also you could make a DIY version that would fit into your Modcan A case in that empty space)

On the right is the single channel 551 MIDI to CV interface. With it you can use any synth, drum machine or computer that has a standard MIDI out to control your modular.

In the middle is sort of the opposite of the 551, the 4 channel 552 CV to MIDI interface. With it you can you your modular to control your MIDI synths!


All the Moon modules and case can be purchased at Noisebug in Pomona CA
http://www.noisebug.net/site/effects/index.cfm?ID=157

There are other fine manufacturers that make small cases and related modules to some of the ones above but do a search on the forum to find discussions on the pros and cons of all the choices. cool


This is some killer info! I had to mess with the beatsteps clock but I got the right signal and its awesome!

All of those modules (especially the 599) seem extremely useful! Damn, I have had this thing for 5 days and im already thinking about buying more? Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana

Thanks for the advise!
bwhittington
thunderheart530 wrote:
I have had this thing for 5 days and im already thinking about buying more?


You start with this:




You end up with this (and no house, car, girlfriend, etc):

Flareless
bwhittington wrote:
....

You end up with this (and no house, car, girlfriend, etc):



we're not worthy
Huba-Swift
That's an amazing start thunder, I don't know much about Modcan other than it's top notch status.
You may already know this, but Modcan has descriptions for some of their modules on their site, explaining their functions. http://www.modcan.com/amodules/control.html
thunderheart530
bwhittington wrote:
thunderheart530 wrote:
I have had this thing for 5 days and im already thinking about buying more?


You start with this:




You end up with this (and no house, car, girlfriend, etc):



...but I don't have a house, a car, or a girlfriend... am I going to sell my left testicle for more modular?

Huba-Swift wrote:
That's an amazing start thunder, I don't know much about Modcan other than it's top notch status.
You may already know this, but Modcan has descriptions for some of their modules on their site, explaining their functions. http://www.modcan.com/amodules/control.html


Thanks man! I am truly in awe of how beautiful it sounds. Functionally I was trying to get an SH 101 and mod it so getting this is like a turbo SH 101 on steroids from outer space. I couldn't be happier. In the future having some "stranger" modules and another oscillators to mess with will be in order but I wanna exploit all the sounds that come out of this in combination with the Arp Odyssey 2800, modified Polysix, and Emu Emax before "upgrading".
JohnLRice
thunderheart530 wrote:
bwhittington wrote:

You end up with this (and no house, car, girlfriend, etc):


...but I don't have a house, a car, or a girlfriend... am I going to sell my left testicle for more modular?
eek! w00t PM'd for testicle! (I sold both of mine long ago! hihi )
thunderheart530
Okay! I just received the other module which was supposed to be fixed and paid for but wasnt! I have a tech that im going to take it to but I cant find a whole lot of information online about it. Can anyone provide any insight as what exactly this module does?

I know what an LFO is... Supposedly this psycho lfo has 4 LFO's that modulate each other? Then the clock on the bottom?...

JohnLRice
Hi,

I've never used that particular module but an ASR is an Analog Shift Register and what it does it that it takes a control voltage input and then outputs it to the first output on the first clock tick, and on the second clock tick it outputs the original CV on the second output and produces what ever is at the CV input at the first output.

If you search on modular Analog Shift Register or similar you'll find a lot of good explanations and examples. I made a silly picture explanation once, I'll see if I can locate it.

Ahh, here it is, and read the entire thread, good info there from all:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1990829#1990829
thunderheart530
JohnLRice wrote:
Hi,

I've never used that particular module but an ASR is an Analog Shift Register and what it does it that it takes a control voltage input and then outputs it to the first output on the first clock tick, and on the second clock tick it outputs the original CV on the second output and produces what ever is at the CV input at the first output.

If you search on modular Analog Shift Register or similar you'll find a lot of good explanations and examples. I made a silly picture explanation once, I'll see if I can locate it.

Ahh, here it is, and read the entire thread, good info there from all:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1990829#1990829


Holy shit this thing is amazing! So you get the "delayed" cv signals out, which can be clocked from multiple sources, an LFO which can go from sine wave to insanity (I think) which can be synced to the same clock source and you get (from what im understanding) a clock source? Or does it need to be generated from a cv signal? Pretty wild module.
JohnLRice
thunderheart530 wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
Hi,

I've never used that particular module but an ASR is an Analog Shift Register and what it does it that it takes a control voltage input and then outputs it to the first output on the first clock tick, and on the second clock tick it outputs the original CV on the second output and produces what ever is at the CV input at the first output.

If you search on modular Analog Shift Register or similar you'll find a lot of good explanations and examples. I made a silly picture explanation once, I'll see if I can locate it.

Ahh, here it is, and read the entire thread, good info there from all:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1990829#1990829


Holy shit this thing is amazing! So you get the "delayed" cv signals out, which can be clocked from multiple sources, an LFO which can go from sine wave to insanity (I think) which can be synced to the same clock source and you get (from what im understanding) a clock source? Or does it need to be generated from a cv signal? Pretty wild module.
I'm sure it will make more (or less? hihi ) sense once you start patching it up and experimenting.

It looks like the ASR section CV input can be fed CV from the LFO just by flipping a switch. Then patch the clock out into the ASR clock in. Then patch the three ASR CV outs to the CV in of three VCOs (or something similar etc etc) I'd try that first and see what you think. cool
KSS
@bwhittington That's funny, but
Pretty sure the owners who ended up with that set of Modcan monoliths are doing ok in the house, car and relationship bits. hihi Jus' sayin'

@ thunderheart530
The Stone CGS on that Psycho ASR is a clue to where you'll find the answers you seek. Google CGS synth. You'll find a listing of Ken Stone's circuits and PCBs, which Cyndustries used extensively in their Modcan format modules. Two modules on that site will be the Psycho LFO and the ASR. You might also have some luck with the Wayback
Machine at internetarchive.org to find the Cyndustries pages for the actual module you have.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group