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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Video series on creating a modular for live performance
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author Video series on creating a modular for live performance
underthebigtree
This is the first in a series of videos documenting the design and evolution of a live performance rig for modular synthesizers. I've been working with Eurorack for the last couple of years in a studio setting, and have learned over time what modules and types of modules I like and don't like. I decided over a year ago to migrate much of my system to a portable case suitable for live performance, as well as bringing to other recording studios.

This series will show my thought process, and will look at each sub system, and how they work together as a whole to make a improvisation-oriented live performance system in Eurorack.

lumena
Tried the link and got 404 error
authorless
Fixed that for you...

art decadence
This looks excellent! can't wait to see more.
lumena
Samehere nanners
uebl
thumbs up
underthebigtree
Hi folks -

I've just posted episode 2. Sorry about the 404 on the previous video - there seems to be some kind of devil magic to posting Youtube links here that I have not figured out. Let's try again with the new episode:

uebl
applause
Just make sure to not use https:// links, but just http:// and everything should be fine (same not only goes for videos, but also for SoundCloud links etc.).
lisa
You have a good voice for these types of videos and there’s something about a man of mature age sittning in shorts on the floor unboxing a new toy. wink

Looking forward to the videos about the actual live oriented modular setup.
underthebigtree
Thanks for that, Lisa. I was born with a radio voice, which comes in very useful at my day job, where we record dialog all day long.

Of course shorts! I live in Southern California - what else would I wear? My typical uniform is a black t-shirt, shorts, and a pair of Teva sandals.

And everyone loves their new toys, regardless of their...level of chronological maturity wink

On a more interesting note, I am in the middle of writing the script for the next episode, which is on the large-scale design and layout of the instrument. Part 4 will then be on the master clock and pulse streams. That will be the episode where we get away from the abstractions and large-scale thinking, and get into the detail of how the modules work together. smile
lisa
underthebigtree wrote:
That will be the episode where we get away from the abstractions and large-scale thinking, and get into the detail of how the modules work together. smile

Sounds interesting! thumbs up
Azharak
I will be following this series intently - mana from heaven.
Subbed.
underthebigtree
Episode 3 is up!

This one is all about design and layout, breaking down the modular into systems that interact with each other. And there is a bit on the amazing Steevio, who's ideas for polyrhythm, harmony, signal routing, and groove within a modular system are highly influential on my design.

There's a ton of analysis and theory that I wanted to get through. Next time we get into the actual modules.

lisa
Nice! 8 voices though, that's a lot to keep track on in a live situation. woah
blacklight
You talk about the ADSRs, have you thought about the Intellijel Quadra?
It can do quad AR. AHR. and Cycle! They go down to some nice and snappy timings aswell.

How are you approaching stereo out to the mixer? do you just do 2 mono imputs and pan them left and right or do you have to merge the mono eurorack cables into a stereo trs?
underthebigtree
Lisa: You are absolutely right - 8 tracks is too much to keep track of at once. But the plan is not to be using more than a few at a time - and if it turns out to be too many voices, either for space or practical reasons, then I will pare down for sure.

Blacklight: Thanks for the tip on the Quadra. I love Intellijel stuff, so I will definitely check it out.

As far as the mixer, I plan on having each voice out to the mixer as a separate line. That way, I will have control over level, pan, reverb amount, etc. I mention my current thought in the video, which is to use the 1U Link modules to connect the modular to the mixer via DB25->TRS cables. We shall see!
uebl
If I were planning a 12U for a rhythm-oriented live rig (I suppose that's what you're doing, right?), I'd rather have my stereo mixer within the case, especially with the amount of voice you're aiming for. Of course it eats up a lot of "valuable" space, but having everything inside the rack is very appealing, at least to me. The WMD performance mixer would give you control over level, pan, aux send/return return, headphones out etc.

Looking forward to the next episode!
JohnLRice
hi Nick, nicely produced video series! SlayerBadger! thumbs up

Something I did that you might also want to consider for your live case is to modify and combine a Doepfer A-182-1 switched multiple and a regular passive multiple.
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2671680#2671680
underthebigtree
Hey John -

Thanks so much for the compliment. I completed writing part 4 last week, and was going to try to finish it this weekend, but the Plaits video I just did that was supposed to be a quick listening session turned into an hour-long extravaganza. So next week I should have part 4 up.

Your idea is so great. I went to your post and studied what you did for about 10 minutes before it finally clicked. Turns an 8-in, 2-out box into 4 2-in, 2-out boxes. Makes much better use of the space if you don't want to have every possible input go to each voice. I really like it, and will think carefully about how I can incorporate it into the signal routing for my rig. Thank you so much for sharing. hihi
underthebigtree
uebl wrote:
If I were planning a 12U for a rhythm-oriented live rig (I suppose that's what you're doing, right?), I'd rather have my stereo mixer within the case, especially with the amount of voice you're aiming for. Of course it eats up a lot of "valuable" space, but having everything inside the rack is very appealing, at least to me. The WMD performance mixer would give you control over level, pan, aux send/return return, headphones out etc.

Looking forward to the next episode!


Uebl, I agree with you. I think it is much better to have the mixer in the case, and that's what I had been planning all along...until I started putting it together on Modular Grid. That was when I saw just how much less space I had than I wanted. Off-boarding the mixer was the first of what will be many trade-offs. Then there is that not-insignificant fact that the Mackie costs 1/3 of what the WMD does...
uebl
Yes, I know. Cost is always an issue. I currently try to transform my 6U/104HP without mixing and effects into a fully-contained 7U/104HP incl. sub-mixing/mixing and effects. Talking about limited space and hard decisions.. wink
Aaronautical001
Hi,
Just found this thread and watched the first video. Just wanted to say: great, well thought out presentation on a very interesting topic. Looking forward to watching the rest - great work!
Aaronautical001
Just watched the second video. One aspect that you didn't discuss (presumably as it wasn't a high priority?) was the ergonomics. When I started building my eurorack system, I went for the portable Doepfer cases, which I have since expanded to two a-100 P9 and a a-100 base case. So similar form to the low cost cases you have on your studio set up. A friend of mine started in eurorack and built his own case, which looks a very similar design to the one you purchased.

I have to say the ability to have the top case at a slanted angle rather than simply vertical for me looks to be a massive benefit. I find the Doepfer top cases a little uncomfortable/ feel cramped to use without being angled, perhaps my solution would be to have them on a higher table top, but I'm currently limited in where I can locate them in my office.

Looks to me the case you bought is an excellent choice and very well built. Congratulations on the purchase.
Looking forward to the rest of the videos.
folpon
underthebigtree wrote:
Hi folks -

I've just posted episode 2. Sorry about the 404 on the previous video - there seems to be some kind of devil magic to posting Youtube links here that I have not figured out. Let's try again with the new episode:



Wow! Great video, underthebigtree. Also I'm shocked to find that there's another wiggler who lives in Sherman Oaks! What a small world... smile
underthebigtree
Hi folks -

I'm happy to say that episode 4 has just been posted! In order to explain clocks, I ended up doing an overview of rhythm and rhythmic nomenclature, including stuff like polyrhythms, swing, compound time signatures, etc.

But hopefully it is worth the slog. At the end, I demonstrate every single aspect of my clocking system, including a manual swing circuit, buffered mults to distribute pulses cleanly, and having access to every subdivision from 64th notes to 64 measures in length.

Hope you like it!

clarke_e_cat
These videos are really freakin' awesome man, thank you. Loads of food for thought.
ersatzplanet
If a live performance synthesizer is the goal, I hope you will consider some controller modules in the rig you are building in this series. As a manufacturer of performance modules, I find typically they are the last things that a person buys for their rig. The money they have is typically spent on more sexy modules and the user puts up with manually reaching through the spaghetti of cords to turn knobs till their rig grows big enough, or the hassle grows larger enough' that they think differently. For me I use a performance skiff that sits in front of whichever section of my studio rig that I bring to the gig. It of course works on other peoples rigs too. It is sort of a demo skiff for the modules I make (I also have a second one that has joysticks from other makers) and looks like this:



We also make a family of often forgotten additions to a performance rig, LAMP modules to provide lighting in a performance situation. Many time a modular performance is the player only being lit by the lightshow being projected behind them. Not an optimal situation for live performance. We make LAMP modules to remedy this:



I hope this post doesn't come across as just an opportunity for me to advertise my products, I sincerely believe that performance modules are sadly not as prominent in people's rigs as they should be. These are voltage controlled systems after all, they should have controllers in them. I am often a little bummed out to see post of peoples large rigs that have NO performance modules at all in them.
underthebigtree
Hi James -

I absolutely agree about the need for performance interface, and appreciate your bringing it up here.

I was going to touch on that in a future episode. Here is what I've thought about thus far, though:

1) In my case, I'm actually a trained pianist/keyboardist, so interfacing with a keyboard-type device is second nature to me. My obvious primary choice would be my Minimoog Voyager Old School (no patch memory, no digital anything), which has tons of voltage sources. But it is big and takes up space.

2) The wild card in my system are the two 1U rows. I was thinking about either getting four force sensitive resistor tiles from Pulp Logic: http://pulplogic.com/product/fsr/
And tying them together, or DIY'ing something myself.

But in general, having a performance interface is hugely important, and I really like the stuff that you and your company produce. hihi

-Nick
lisa
underthebigtree wrote:

Nice review of the fundamentals. smile
ersatzplanet
underthebigtree wrote:
Hi folks -

I'm happy to say that episode 4 has just been posted! In order to explain clocks, I ended up doing an overview of rhythm and rhythmic nomenclature, including stuff like polyrhythms, swing, compound time signatures, etc.


I just watched your clocks video and noticed something missing from your discussion of clock dividers. There are two different types of clock dividers out in Euroland. I call them "Mathematical" and "Musical". What is the difference? Mathematical dividers look at the clock input and wait until the division before outputting a pulse. A divide by 4 would be like this - one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, etc. The musical dividers output a pulse on the downbeat and then counts to the next downbeat - one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, etc. The original Doepfer dividers were mathematical in nature for instance and nowadays many dividers have switches or internal jumpers to change the type.

The easy way to tell which one the divider you have is, is to hit the reset input. On a Mathematical divider, all outs will go low, on a Musical one All go high. This is very important in synchronizing separate sequencers in a verse/chorus use where you want the sequences to start or change on the downbeat (the first note of a bar and not on the last note).

Some Graphs:
The Mathematical versions:


The Musical Ones:


These differences are only notices when bar boundaries change or at the start and stop of the sequences. Also you can change one kind into another by using inverters. It is something to be aware of though. I have seen many users wondering why the syncing between sequencers can go off when the sequential switches they are slaving to these dividers outputs and the switch changes on the four and not on the one.
underthebigtree
Thank you for that excellent addition to the conversation, James. I had never heard of this before! I learned something new.
Zube
These videos are great. So is your whole channel. Keep it going!
underthebigtree
I am delighted to say that I've just published part 5 in the series. This one is all about sequencers.



Now it is seriously time for Guinness ftw!

The next episode, part 6, will be on signal routing. But I think I'm going to do a couple of smaller episodes before that. Stay tuned!
Misk
great videos! subscribed smile
minigmgoit
I’ve watched all the videos you did. I just loved how excited you were about your new case
Class
I have really enjoyed this series, especially the clocking and sequencing episodes.

I have to try to understand how you setup Pam’s and utilities, for swing and such.

Great work, thank you.
marcmuon
really enjoyed this video series, thanks for doing it!
pinkilae
Great channel, thanks!
tewnty_two
Great series so far, Looking forward to more!
dave999z
So excited to have found this. Great job.
909one
This is awesome. I was just watching #5 a little bit. What module do you use to combine voltages with two separate sequences? Can Maths do this? Is the "Precision Adder" something that does this?
JohnLRice
909one wrote:
This is awesome. I was just watching #5 a little bit. What module do you use to combine voltages with two separate sequences? Can Maths do this? Is the "Precision Adder" something that does this?
Yes, the Doepfer or VPME T43 are great for this:
underthebigtree
It took a while, but I have finally completed this series. Part 6, on tying it all together, ended up being three videos: an overview, then a module by module description of my live rig, followed by an improvised performance using the system.

Thanks to everyone who has watched this series - it has turned out to be some of the most popular videos I've done.





And here is the whole series in a playlist:
Designing a Modular System for Live Performance - Series Playlist
Zube
great stuff! This series has been very helpful to me. thanks for making these videos!
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