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Starting a modular with BugBrand
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Author Starting a modular with BugBrand
Hi all,

I have for some time been wondering how to start my first modular (and putting it off). It seems my decision was made for me today, by Tom Bugs (finally) having some modules up in his shop. I have been wanting a BugBrand modular since I first came aware of it, so I ordered the four modules available today.This means Frac is now what I am starting off with.

I know this is probably not the easiest way to start a modular, but this is how it's gonna happen. smile

This means I'm going to need a frame and a power supply, right? I was thinking of getting one of those starter systems that Blacet do, with a bigger frame, or something. Does this sound ok? I reckon that's gonna give me at least a few starter modules to stsrt interacting with the BugBrand stuff. Any other ideas are most welcome.

Also, is there anyway to incorporate my Moogerfoogers (low pass, Freqbox and RM) into this? As long as I have a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch cable, I'll be ok?

For the record, the modules from Bugbrand are:

1 x PRC2 - BugCrusher - Minijack
1 x PRC1 - PTDelay - Minijack
1 x CTL1 - Touch Panel - Minijack
1 x PRC4 - Dual LPG - Minijack

Any tips or ideas are most welcome!
And I also have a BoardWeevil and PCweevil.
Ah-ha --- I'm writing you an email right now!
You've picked a pretty awesome time to start a Frac system actually! Check out the Buy / Sell part of the forum & you'll find a metric shit-tonne of used frac goodies thumbs up
1/4" to 1/8" cables, wired tip-to-tip and shield-to-shield, are fine. No problems. I use my Moogs with my Euro-rack and Frac stuff all day long. A couple of the Blacet items put out some monster voltages or require them (the Quad VCA Mix comes to mind & the Frequency Divider too).

Moogs tend to deal with +/-5VDC. The Blacets that I mentioned can go higher than +/-10VDC.

But generally, it ain't a problem.
DGTom: Any specific modules you'd recommend?

Kent: Glad to hear it.

Thanks for the info, guys!
nice choice to get started with! you will like the bug modules.

to begin, a few quick thoughts.
you should pick up a blacet power supply, a rack or two, distribution boards, and power cables (one/distro).

(one per rack)
(one per psconn)

while you're at it there are a few blacet modules that will get you off the ground quickly
depending on availability though, you might also see what tom will be making available.

first things that come to mind are

a VCO or two
an EG or two
a mixer
a linear VCA

i really like the blacet micro lfo.
the miniwave is one of the most wickedest designs in the modular world.

thats about it for now. im sure tom will give you some great advice!
Thanks for all the tips and encouraging words, all!

I can't wait to get this thing started...
Mood Organ
Welcome to Fraclandia. + congrats on scoring the BugBrand stuff... all the minijack versions have sold out already, I was too slow...

Highly recommend the Bananalogue VCS!
Thanks again, all!

After looking around, it seems oscillators is one thing there might be shortage of. What does everyone use for oscs?

Again, anything specific I should consider?
Mood Organ
The Blacet VCO is excellent.

Another thing worth considering is the new Oberheim SEM reissue. 2 VCOs and a 12db/8ve filter, LFO and 2 envelopes and it's got a patch panel. Sounds effing great.
Yeah, I'd forgotten all about the SEM. I had been considering it before it came out, but now, with my new-found modular soon-to-be joy, it looks like it might have to be reconsidered.
Damn..I wanted a bug modular so badly.....but thought it would take too long to wait (for me waiting is always too long)
So I ordered a new Euro rig............and now this comes up.
the bug modular is fantastic - I'd try and find out from Tom if he's going to have minijack versions of the joystick, the eg, vca/drive, weevil to start with, but you will end up wanting multiple modules of everything

the other company to consider is Metalbox - their wave multiplier / tube vca module is great, as is the matrix mixer, bi-n-tic vco/filter, in fact like bugbrand it's all good

as mentioned above the vcs is nice, and 1200 series wiard does come up but is gone quick

welcome to the frac world!
Mood Organ
Metalbox and Wiard are both fantastic. I'd also suggest the Flight of Harmony modules in Frac...
great to see a new frac addict in the making! applause

so much good stuff available second hand right now.
you can build a super nice system very quickly.

also don't forget its quite easy to build a simple voltage regulator to get your blacet 15v power down to euro 12v for those euro 'essentials'.
Ekofisk wrote:
DGTom: Any specific modules you'd recommend?

A good place to start is Blacet. HUGE recommendation for the Blacet VCO;

this thing is a powerhouse. Really precise, every waveform you could ever want & more; the VC Waveform out is especially magic!

the Binary Zone;

Some much fun in tight package, use it as a complex LFO, gate sequencer, add a quantizer for note sequencing, clock it from a squarewave VCO & build big thick layers, nothing scientific just good clean fun!

Another one I really love is the Micro LFO;

Loads of little extras that make it a great modulation source.

Maybe one of the best VCADSRs you can get?

Sorry to rattle on, but I love these modules so much, they may look a little wierd & seem abit strange at first glance but they are all top quality & make for a really powerfull system, each module has a few tricks up its sleeve which isn't always obvious but once you get familar with their strange ways you'll be amazed at what you can do.

Quite a few of these can be had for great prices from fellow wigglers at the moment;

Another one to grab while you can is the discontinued Quad Mix VCA, four VCAs, a mixer, a high gain pre-amp, super clean & super flexable.

Another big thumbs up for;

Awesome modules, AMAZING quality.
Thanks for all the replies, guys. Much appreciated.

So basically, I just went apeshit, and bought a lot of stuff!

So far:

- Bugbrand CTL 1
- Bugcrusher
- Bug Dual LPG
- Bug PTD Delay
- Time Machine Rev B
- Dark Star Chaos Rev B
- Frequency Divider
- Final Filtre
- Quad Mix VCA
- 2 x blacet dual linear vca
- blacet micro lfo
- blacet stonz phaser

And I will be ordering a Blacet VCO, Mixer and some EG.

I realize this is a fairly diverse bunch of potentially not very useful moduels, but I think that sounds like fun as well! but are there any glaring omissions I should be made aware of?

I also have a Studio Electronics ATC-1 which I was hoping to use like an midiconverter/osc of sorts, as it responds to midi and also has a CV out. Would this work?
that looks like a fantastic system to start out with! glad i could help you out with some of it. wink

i also recommend the wiard 1200 series if you can find them, easily the best quality frac modules i've encountered (and i've encountered a lot)!
This sounds fantastic!

hell of a way to start off applause

I would say the only real ommision is an Envelope Gen. (or 3) & a VCO, tho the ATC-1 will work for sure, if it needs a little gain chan. 4 on the Quad Mix will handle that no problems.

With regards to mixing the only thing missing is a polarizing mixer for CVs, between the Quad Mix & the 2 Dual Linear VCAs you've got 2 x 2 into 1 mixers + a 3 into 1 mixer, all voltage controlled thumbs up

Some mults. will come in handy as well.
"I would say the only real ommision is an Envelope Gen. (or 3) & a VCO"

You mean in addition to what I hope to order from Blacet? (1 VCO, 1 EG and a mixer)
ah sorry, mis-read that part d'oh! I think at least one more envelope would be needed (I forgot the Final Filter has an AD generator on board) because you've got 6 (or 8 counting the LPGs) VCAs there & only 3 modulation sources, I'm abit nuts for envelopes tho - 9 & counting - because I like working with lots of complex, intertwined gate sequences so one sound will often have 2 or 3 envelopes controlling differant aspects of its timbre.

That said, one cool thing about LPGs is you don't always need an EG, often pulses / gates will do nicely & I often use a micro LFO to control both parts of a dual linear VCA - one of the best things about modulars is problem solving & often limitations lead to great ideas & sounds grin
Thanks for the info!

I hadn't really started counting the ins and outs, just sort dive in at the deep end, and see what I'm missing (having fun in the process)!

So, apparently, I should get some mileage out of above-stated system before encountering inevitable limitations and getting more stuff?
there are certain bread and butter modules which become more and more important as your system grows. i'd say passive attenuators, mixers, mults and vcas would be at the top of that list. they are kinda boring in themselves, but they really bring a system alive and allow you to do a lot more. my passive attenuators probably get used more than any other of my modules.
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