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A newbie needs help - learn/build a dark sounding eurorack
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author A newbie needs help - learn/build a dark sounding eurorack
Azharak
Hi!
I am a completely green in the field of synthesis and synthesis terminology (i only know what i have picked up here and on youtube over the last couple of months), and a poor university student, going into one of the worst hobbies that a poor man can get into – eurorack synthesis. I know this is a wall of text, but to those of you who want to help me, I send a sincere thanks.

I am still eating my way through the "N00bies" post, aand i have been looking into the recommendations for a dark-sounding eurorack, but i am sort of sitting at a weird area between many different types of eurorack.

--

I already have a ableton launchpad, a KP3 and a launchpad from when I was in high school – but I found I really need the tactile dimension of touch modulation and keys, and some nob twisting. When I got to fool around on a eurorack once, I was sold. But I like limitations, and i find that they spur my creativity more than hamper it – restrictions bring me clarity. I think it is better to buy a small basic setup and expand from there, learning my options as I go. But I want to be sure that my initial setup works, none-the-less.

Can you help initiate my journey into eurorack synthesis? I am seeking to build a rack that while made for improv/live usage also allows for evolving, self-playing patches – a rack that allows me to generate and explore thick, granular, dark, evolving soundscapes full of clicks and grit, or ambience to put underneath the leads that I am going to play on a keyboard synth / tetrapad combination. My guess is that I care less for truly massive, complex systems, and that the idea of sacred, sacred churclike resonance and hard-glitchy percussion inspires me.

I consider starting out buying a Korg minilogue + a Behringer neutron and letting the minilogue control the neutron, combining those with the KP3 and learning how to experiment on a keyboard while learning the basics of synth modulation. Then I will slowly begin adding modules to the rack. You can dissuade me if you think jumping straight into eurorack synthesis is a better idea.

--

Here is the music that inspires me, so you can hear where I want to go.

The sounds of Lorn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QT6bUM-Geo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mauV2NdCs60
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx9saFlZGpY

Ludowic’s insane, thick, evolving jams
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ-I3QC1omI

The lush, dark soundscapes of the haxan cloak
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iBaQrDW544
and here is his supposed live rack
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/611824

The insane, reverb-filled soundwalls of Samuel Kerridge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXScUrunfKM

The looping soundscapes of Amulets (who does not use a eurorack either.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVon_9VmMEc&t=164s

and this is not so much the music, but more regarding rack-size and lightning-fast modulation with which Baseck improvises.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6znhx2mdxGU&list=PLmlIVpe6F8wLLLaUvIxW U907iP-4VaMYH&index=1

Or some starting droning kit made for somewhere in between these two would be fantastic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcu57sbBh2E&t=2s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCG3_r4eYRU
----

I would rather want a smaller rack that could theoretically be brought out of my home than one with unlimited sound-design capabilities – but I must strike a balance between that, and using modules that allow me to experiment and “find my sound”

I have a rough idea of what a basic rack needs (mixer, vcf, adsr, oscs to send around… lfo’s, lots of reverb probably with what I want to do, and some filters) the problem is that while I have the most basic knowledge, Id o not yet know how things interact. In addition, i am trying to save money, and most of the touch-sequencers (rene/voltage block, I am looking at you, you lovely things), the absolutely twisted sampling (morphagene) or crazy amps (trogotronics m227 or 227) are not cheap at all. If I can get the opportunity to sample, loop, and slowly break the loops down, that would be fantastic, as it allows me to improvise and forces me to re-adapt.

I do not know what precise modules to use, but it would be really swell to add a module to make noisy percussion to contrast the droning.

-----

Here is a rough overview of what I think would be some fitting modules to build up overtime, discounting rene and morphagene.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/612770

The rack probably has some glaring oversight in the lack of filters, VCO's or prices and includes all i could dream off - what shouldd i cut

Over the next half year, I predict I can save up 1200-1800 euro’s if i work a lot. I would rather want a smaller rack that could theoretically be brought out of my home than one with unlimited sound-design capabilities – but I must strike a balance between that, and using modules that allow me to experiment and “find my sound”. Please recommend me something else if you find that I am on the wrong track, or if I could cut corner that would allow me to get a rene for even more intuitive impro, varigate, or the morphagene for more sound-insanity by sampling and ripping samples apart?

I can always add another 1-rack case, but I plan on starting with a 2-rack rack – how many HP would you recommend for a rack made primarily to stand at home, but one that I can take with me around in cases of need?
In any case, thank you for reading.

Any comment is appreciated – I am here to learn.

- sorry for all the edits. I made a lot of errors
Tago Mago
For percussion this dual LPG from Make Noise is great and not expensive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSrw9Xh0vUM
starthief
You'll probably want at least one LPG, as they're darker and have a more organic feel (IMHO) than VCAs. (But don't skip the VCAs either.)

I think some 259-ish complex oscillator would serve you very well -- Hertz Donut, DPO, Furthrrrr Generator or Double Helix perhaps, or the Rubicon/Dixie/uFold combo. They may seem expensive, but it's two VCOs, wavefolding, some internal VCAs and other stuff that "glues" it all together, and it gives you a lot to explore.

(If not that, I'd recommend at least getting one basic VCO along the lines of Dixie, STO, one of Doepfer's, Sinc Iter, Bermuda etc. as it'll be useful on its own, can feed Rings' input or modulate other things.)
nolongerhuman
Out of curiosity, I went and watched/listened to pretty much all of the examples you posted.

I'd probably want access to quite a few analog VCO's for that sound. Lot's of layers going on in pretty much every example. Take a look at a pair of Dixie 2+s maybe.

Obviously reverb... and in this case you may be better off with an outboard box, Eventide Space or H9 would be my pick in this case.

Aside from or along with more complex sampling like the Morphagene, you might want to get something like a Tiptop One or Pico Drum, and prep/treat some of you samples in advance on your computer and trigger them from your rack. I do this with samples that would be impractical to build up in a smaller travel rack.

Also second the above LxD idea. Everyone should have one. Perfect for percussion.

The minimum case size I'd want would be 6U 104hp, but honestly, unless sequencing outside the case completely, it's going to be difficult to do. You don't want to sacrifice playability (understandable) but "playability" usually, as in pretty much always, means lots of HP.
b4
If portability is key, how about taking a system from one manufacturer with tutorials and patch ideas to get you going?

How about starting with a Make Noise 0-Coast and a recorder? Your KP3 can be a nice sampler to record and expand.

If you want to go bigger, I'd think about the Make Noise System Cartesian. An endorphin.es Shuttle System with a MIDI controller or iPad/iPhone seems also portable and flexible. Taking the drums from a drum app and generating drones, basses, leads etc. via the Furthrrrr Generator plus the Grand Terminal is also an option.

I personally was patient for a longer time and saved money for a Shared System and love it a lot.

Just my two cents. Hope it helps.
grep
I think your first big investment will be a good case. If you want something portable I would recommend the Intellijel 7U x 104HP. It's fairly light with a built in handle. Option for a gig bag. A 1U row to take care of some utilities. A couple of solid power options. The lid has enough clearance to leave it patched. And it looks great!
MarcelP
Azharak wrote:
Hi!
I am a completely green in the field of synthesis

a poor university student, going into one of the worst hobbies that a poor man can get into – eurorack synthesis.

but i am sort of sitting at a weird area between many different types of eurorack.


When I got to fool around on a eurorack once, I was sold.

You can dissuade me if you think jumping straight into eurorack synthesis is a better idea.

In addition, i am trying to save money,

- what shouldd i cut

Over the next half year, I predict I can save up 1200-1800 euro’s if i work a lot.

Please recommend me something else if you find that I am on the wrong track,

Any comment is appreciated – I am here to learn.



Hi!

OK - I have been a bit naughtily selective in my quote picking but they all give me certain thoughts about what honest advice to give and my honest advice is.... keep out of Eurorack for a while.

Research modular techniques, create music some other more cost effective way, develop a clearer more focussed idea about the music you want to create, and if the nagging feeling that you still want to go modular is still there after say a year AND you have saved substantially more than you thought you might ever need for it, then dive in.

Eurorack is expensive - even minimal teensy racks are not great value for the functionality in my opinion. It is immensely time consuming. A modular is a harder instrument to play /control than any other, if only because you are re-inventing your instrument each time you patch. There are far more "efficient" ways to get the sounds in your head out into the air.

That said - it is really great fun, I mean REALLY great fun...but you need to be absolutely certain and well informed before you make the smallest commitment. Because it really is a slippery slope and your modular will demand 100% commitment...

(Note: this is purely my opinion, other opinions are available and may carry greater weight.)
flashheart
MarcelP wrote:
Azharak wrote:
Hi!
I am a completely green in the field of synthesis

a poor university student, going into one of the worst hobbies that a poor man can get into – eurorack synthesis.

but i am sort of sitting at a weird area between many different types of eurorack.


When I got to fool around on a eurorack once, I was sold.

You can dissuade me if you think jumping straight into eurorack synthesis is a better idea.

In addition, i am trying to save money,

- what shouldd i cut

Over the next half year, I predict I can save up 1200-1800 euro’s if i work a lot.

Please recommend me something else if you find that I am on the wrong track,

Any comment is appreciated – I am here to learn.



Hi!

OK - I have been a bit naughtily selective in my quote picking but they all give me certain thoughts about what honest advice to give and my honest advice is.... keep out of Eurorack for a while.

Research modular techniques, create music some other more cost effective way, develop a clearer more focussed idea about the music you want to create, and if the nagging feeling that you still want to go modular is still there after say a year AND you have saved substantially more than you thought you might ever need for it, then dive in.

Eurorack is expensive - even minimal teensy racks are not great value for the functionality in my opinion. It is immensely time consuming. A modular is a harder instrument to play /control than any other, if only because you are re-inventing your instrument each time you patch. There are far more "efficient" ways to get the sounds in your head out into the air.

That said - it is really great fun, I mean REALLY great fun...but you need to be absolutely certain and well informed before you make the smallest commitment. Because it really is a slippery slope and your modular will demand 100% commitment...


thumbs up x1000
Azharak
Guys - you rock SlayerBadger!

MarcelP wrote:

Research modular techniques, create music some other more cost effective way, develop a clearer more focussed idea about the music you want to create.


---

Yeah, i'll see if i can vocalize my style better at a later point. But terminology-wise, I wish i could do more than point with split fingers at ludowic and lorn, but with a much more minimalist approach, but more droning, with thicker walls of sound.

---

I'll hold of with the euroracking until i have saved up a lot more, and then i'll probably still dive in, if i know myself to any degree - i was just in love with the feeling of 'jamming' with the rack i tried.

After i've gotten to know the terminology to select modules better in the far future, then ill dive in.

My own guess is that i should start with a cheap semi-modular synth (my own guess is a neutron + keyboard + some more stuff at a later point.) Then the question remains if i could change "some more stuff" into an effects module that i could hook whatever i do up into, so i am slowly learning the principles in a tactile way. Ie. using the euroack modules as auxiliary elements.

That seems to kill many birds with one stone? hmmm.....

---

Thank you so much for the advice everyone. Then ill return with a very basic starter rack idea at some point in the future.
Agawell
have you tried vcvrack?

just a thought, it's free

and you can use it to augment a real modular if you decide to once you have more money
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