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Dot Com Vs.
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Author Dot Com Vs.
intuitionnyc
Hey All,

I have a Mos-Lab system and am looking to expand a tiny bit. I was wondering how the Dot Com stuff is for the modules below in comparison to other manufacturers (Mos-Lab, Moon, etc.).

LFO - I am assuming since it is just a module being used for CV it is not a big deal (unless you use the LFO as an oscillator in audio rates).

Envelope Generator - Would the character of the Dot Com EG's have a severely different characteristic (snappy-ness) than the Mos-Lab or other manufacturers?

Mixer and VCA's - I am assuming there might certain characteristics of both these modules that differ (how the overdriven signal sounds through them).

Any thoughts?
I am probably gonna get another LFO (prob an LFO++), a mixer and a VCA or 2. Thoughts?

Thanks for your time.
drob842
Some users really want a unified system, with modules from one manufacturer. I completely understand that desire, both from a functionality and aesthetic perspective. Putting such considerations aside and only speaking about how the Dotcom modules would integrate into your Mos-Lab system, I’ll offer my two cents.

I would absolutely grab the LFO++. I love it. It packs a ton of functionality into a single module and will work great with any 5U system.

Id say the same thing for the Envelope++. I’ve used EGs from four different manufacturers and I’ve never felt like there is anything lacking about Dotcom’s EG. When I first got a Moon Dual EG, I had the impression that it sounded snappier than my Dotcoms, but I kept A/B’ing and found there was no noticeable difference to my ears. For the price of a Mos-Lab 911 clone, you could get an Envelope++ with a bunch of great added features. I use the looping function all the time. That being said, I make ambient stuff, so I’m not particularly concerned about super snappy envelopes. YMMV.

Amps and mixers are where you will hear a difference. Not better or worse, but certainly different. Dotcom mixers and amps are very clean. You may not get the exact sound you’re looking for. A quick search will reveal that lots of folks around here, myself included, are lovers of the STG mixer. It can do clean, but it also has serious attitude. If I could only have one mixer, it would absolutely be the STG. Another consideration is that Dotcom uses 10-25Vpp audio signals, whereas Mos-Lab sticks to the original Moog specifications. I believe signal level is about half that of Dotcom. Also, Mos-Lab modules run off 12V power and Dotcom runs of 15V.

I’m not an engineer, like some others around here, but I believe all of the technical info I provided is correct. The rest is obviously just opinion, but I’ve played with a lot of Dotcom and Mos-Lab and it’s what my experience has been.

Good luck.
johny_gtr
Additional mixer or two will be good to amplify Mos-Lab/Synth-Werk levels of signals to other non-Moog-clones brands.
ranix
Quote:
Id say the same thing for the Envelope++. I’ve used EGs from four different manufacturers and I’ve never felt like there is anything lacking about Dotcom’s EG.


the envelope ++ is unusable as an envelope generator for audio signals in my experience because it suffers from extreme aliasing (see the envelope++ thread on this forum)

are you sure you have used this EG enough to recommend it?
drob842
ranix wrote:
Quote:
Id say the same thing for the Envelope++. I’ve used EGs from four different manufacturers and I’ve never felt like there is anything lacking about Dotcom’s EG.


the envelope ++ is unusable as an envelope generator for audio signals in my experience because it suffers from extreme aliasing (see the envelope++ thread on this forum)

are you sure you have used this EG enough to recommend it?


I’m sorry if it seemed like I was stating that I used the EG as an audio source. I don’t use it for that purpose, and I don’t think I implied that I do. Sorry if it seemed that way.
ranix
it doesn't work in the audio path

i.e. it cannot be used as an envelope generator for cv that affects an audio signal without amplitude modulating that signal and inserting noise into the resultant output

i.e. you cannot use it for controlling a vca's CV without getting noise

read the q179++ thread
drob842
ranix wrote:
it doesn't work in the audio path

i.e. it cannot be used as an envelope generator for cv that affects an audio signal without amplitude modulating that signal and inserting noise into the resultant output

i.e. you cannot use it for controlling a vca's CV without getting noise

read the q179++ thread


My apologies, I misunderstood and thought you were talking about looping the envelopes for use as an audio source, as Serge DUSGs are often used. I have read that thread and you’re right about the noise when used on VCAs. I guess I have not used it extensively on VCAs, as I typically use my Moon 511 or Q109 for those duties. I definitely should have noted that in my initial post.

CHILL WITH THE BOLD TYPE. You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
ranix
just trying to make sure the OP doesn't accidentally wind up with the wrong Dotcom EG when the Q109 is very good
drob842
ranix wrote:
just trying to make sure the OP doesn't accidentally wind up with the wrong Dotcom EG when the Q109 is very good


Understood. And your point is 100% correct. I can’t even discern tone on these damn boards. Thank you for correcting my statement to OP. For a traditional EG replacement, 109 is the choice.
MindMachine
My system is mostly Arrick dotcom with some Moslab.

I use Moslab VCA's for audio and voltage and a Q108 mostly for voltage now. They are both fine.

The STG Mixer is versatile and adds a little something if you want it to. I am getting another one. I also use a moog CP-251's mixer section mostly for CV mixing (everyone should have a CP-251!!!).

I was considering getting a couple of Moslab ADSR's, but other 'needs' keep bumping them. The Q109 is a fine full ranging envelope. I can use the Lag on the CP-251 as an AR if I need to.

For LFO duty I have a Megaohm 2LFO that is real nice (two LFO's in a single space) and the CP-251 for VC LFO duty. For my size system three LFO's is enough, plus I can use a Q106 if I need to. These are pretty basic and simple LFO's.
kindredlost
Ditto + to MindMachine's post.

I sometimes boost the output amplitude from the MosLab array by using a Q118 Instrument Interface or a Q125 Signal Processor only if it is noticeably quieter. Most of the time it is okay as is.

I personally prefer the MosLab mixer over the STG mixer for simple waveform mixing. It has a way of making those 901's sound so bittersweet. The way I had Eric at STG set my mixer up, it is not quite as friendly sounding. Way more aggressive and hard to tame. Be certain if you order one from STG you talk with Eric about how you want the mixer to function.

I also would recommend the Mega Ohm Audio LFOtwo. It is a very good LFO with SAW/TRIANGLE/RAMP variable slope knob and PULSE WIDTH variable as well as a way to reset the cycle from an outside gate or trigger. The slowest setting is very useful for long duration amplitude control. I use them all the time for ambient patches to automate events. The fastest speed is just under audio rate and great for tremolo or FM to a filter center frequency. All of it in a single space module. Can't beat it!

Also, don't forget to consider the Oakley/Krips1 VRG and/or the Looping ADSR. The ADSR is a very nice EG.
DrReverendSeance
The MegaOhm LFOtwo looks great! Unfortunately it is out of stock right now with a mystery note
Quote:
New version coming soon
hmmm.....
Rex Coil 7
I use three different mixer types. I have eight Dot Com mixers of the Q113 ilk (it should be noted that almost ALL of Dot Com's mixer modules use the exact same circuit board populated with exactly the same components). Two exceptions (to date) are the current rendition of the Q112 (very lately the Q112's PCB is only populated with half the components that all of the others have ... this is a recent practice by Dot Com ... so now the Q112 cannot be converted to a Q113, Q161, Q162). Along my synth mod project, I have purchased a number of mixers (Q113, Q161, Q162, and older Q112) and repanelled them for use as whatever type of mixers I need since they all use the same PCB ... well ... except the newest version of the Q112. The only other exception is the all new Q114++ which uses an entirely different PCB that is nearly twice the physical size as the old standard Q113 type mixer PCBs. The "standard" mixer PCBs are 2.625" eye-to-eye (center to center) ... while the new Q114++ is 4.375" (or is it 4.125"? ... can't recall just now).

I have one Q114++ mixer. That thing is an amazing mixer. It can do everything the Q125 Signal Processor can do. As well as what the Q147 distributor can do. It also has some of the Q118's tricks as well (signal boost by 1000%). Not to mention inverting, switchable AC or DC coupling. And, it also serves as a mixer (imagine that!). Super useful CV mixer, no doubt about it!

To round things out I also own one Suit and Tie Guy "Mixer" (must have taken him tons of time to come up with that module name ... nyuk nyuk nyuk). As far as audio signals go, the STG offers that spot on R.A. Moog modular CP mixer sound. Think "Welcome Back My Friends" live album ... that sawtooth scream Emerson used as lead sound so much, as well as PWM bass sounds.

As LFOs go, the buck standard Dot Com Q106 VCO makes an outstanding modulator. Add the Q161 waveform mixer and Q141 VCO Aid module, and you've created a powerhouse LFO. The Q106 offers a lot towards use as a modulation module.

This image (below) shows the Q114++ and the Suit and Tie Guy "Mixer" with it's DIY'd input panel (allows me to switch audio sources on and off instantaneously without disturbing the settings).

One thing I'd add about the STG "Mixer" ... if you carefully tweak the input level knobs whilst a signal is playing through it, a sortakinda Pulse Width Modulation .. or ~wave folding~ effect is clearly heard. That said, I have ordered an Oakley Quad VCA kit which will be placed ahead (upstream) of the STG Mixer. This will permit me to control the audio signals' gain levels before they hit the STG Mixer. Which in turn provides control over the "PWM/Wavefolder" effect the STG Mixer can produce by goofing with the gain knobs. So I can control the amount of distortion with Velocity if desired, or an LFO, or an Envelope Gen, or a manual real time controller (joystick, wheel, ribbon controller, expression pedal, after touch, et al).

I'm also currently working out an "aid" module for the Q114++ Mixer which will provide rotary switches (instead of toggle switches) to gain access to all five options per channel that are normally accessed by removing the module and fiddling about with jumper links. There will be a few other additions that open up more options within the Q114++ Mixer, as well.

In my opinion, Synthesizers.Com modules are the easiest ones to modify, since Roger provides a lot of little breadcrumbs to follow that encourage DIY modifications. They are also very easy to repair since all of the panel mounted controls are tied to the PCB via flying leads that are connected to the PCB with multipin connectors.

spinach_pizza
Speaking of LFOs, my best LFO is the dotcom Q106, hands down. That said, my most-used LFO is a Grove dual LFO, which is handy in that each oscillator is voltage controllable as well as having integrated VCAs (which can also be used independently). Very useful module!

Unfortunately I can't comment on moslab as I don't have any.
intuitionnyc
Thank you everyone for your help. I really appreciate the advice and commentary on your experiences.
Synthoholic
Are you on a dotcom power supply? Cause if I remember right you migrated over to a different cabinet.

I'd go with an STG mixer (though I think you probably should have just kept your CP modules). Very well built and tweakable to get amazing distortion. There is always Synth-Werk CP mixer clone like Seb's C3po and the Analog Craftsman polivoks mixer clone as well, but I don't have experience with that.

Did you ever get a Moslab 921? That is a fantastic design and one hell of an oscillator.

I don't have any problem with the envelope generators but the VCA was just average compared to the Moslab. The dotcom envelopes are ADSR though so that can screw up your muscle memory.

I purged my system of the dotcom voice and replaced it with the Moon Multimode filter and the dual envelopes. I don't regret that decision. The dual envelope is nice because they will both fire off of a single gate, but they are quirky in a nice way that almost emulates ratcheting.

I must disagree on the CP251 though. It's mixer has a tendency to be noisy for audio, the noise section has kind of a 60 cycle hum in it that renders it unusable for me (at least mine does). It's good for the attenuators , mults, LFO, Lag, but that's it. It takes another wall wart also.

I'm going to send you an email.
josaka
Quote:
Did you ever get a Moslab 921? That is a fantastic design and one hell of an oscillator.


its so good I am toying with the idea of selling my ABBB 921 and getting two 921 to fill the space !

the lack of hard sync is the only real obstacle..
coyoteous
josaka: Isn't clamping like sync?
josaka
yes .. a kind of soft sync.. very interesting but havoc with the tuning.
coyoteous
Synthoholic: I've gone back and forth over the years wanting some hardware made by modern Moog Music, Inc. (or Big Briar)... have vintage Mini, Sonic Six and a beat up Moog Drum (less than $400 total spent... nope, not missing a zero).

I say hardware, because I do have almost twenty USD total in all three apps, even though I don't have anything the Model 15 will run on yet (it's a trick to buy that way, too).

Anyway, I keep falling back to looking at CP251s, in particular... could have got one for $175 from robotspeak not too long after they came out, but thought even that was too much for what they did (almost bought a demo assembled Evenfall Mini Modular from them back then for $700, too).

Much more recently, I was browsing Moog stuff on Reverb and the best deal for a 251 was $300 that turned out to be for sale from Tara Busch, of all people... thought about it for a few minutes then moved on (mostly thought about her naked in her Motor Crash video, actually).

Man, all that MMI stuff just seems overpriced, but especially the pedals, littlest synths, etc.

So, I agree as much as I can never having used one... if you're reading this MMI, please make something really good at a reasonable price for me to buy from you.

I guess a used Mother 32 is about the best deal at sometimes $400 or less, but I've always talked myself out of it, and many times spent similar money on a couple or few MOTM or MOO modules instead.

The End
coyoteous
josaka wrote:
yes .. a kind of soft sync.. very interesting but havoc with the tuning.

Ah, I see... I have access to my bandmate's Model 12 when it's uncased and we're in the same time zone.

He doen't like me to do any repatching on it, but I do sometimes and put it back... I've played with that, though didn't find much... seemed to kind of work for LFO retriggering, if I recall.

Nice oscillator, for sure though... I wonder about a hard sync mod/option.

I have one 1-of-3 Oakley/Krisp1 that's probably my best VCO in MU... O/K1 Slim B, two Synthetic Sound 1200s and COTK ABBB not bad at all, either.
Rex Coil 7
coyoteous wrote:


I have one 1-of-3 Oakley/Krisp1 that's probably my best VCO in MU...


Does this particular VCO sound really good or is it something else about it that makes it your favorite?

I've been toying with the idea of adding a small two VCO voice, is why I ask. thumbs up
coyoteous
Rex Coil 7: Not 'or,' AND!

Sounds great (based on Mini Moog... hence the name) and I think may be the most full-featured MU VCO out there (well, next to the Krisp1 TZ... which is not Oakley, as I recall, and I have no experience with).

Dual PWM types and 'sync depth' are pretty unique features, too.

Get some!
JohnLRice
coyoteous wrote:
Rex Coil 7: Not 'or,' AND!

Sounds great (based on Mini Moog... hence the name) and I think may be the most full-featured MU VCO out there (well, next to the Krisp1 TZ... which is not Oakley, as I recall, and I have no experience with).

Dual PWM types and 'sync depth' are pretty unique features, too.

Get some!
Agreed! I used to have the big Oakley VCO and it was great! I remember the PWM sounding particularly special!
Rex Coil 7
I have some motorcycle parts (streetbike stuff .... '80s/90's) that I am soon about to unleash upon the eBaylanders and webwheelers that float above us on thermals among the other vultures ... selling bike stuff can be brutal ... anyhow I'll have a little bit of money to use. We'll see how that venture works out.

I'm really interested in putting together another 2 VCO voice panel, using different VCOs, ring mods, VCAs, and so on this time around.

cool
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