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blacet newbie seeking advice!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Fractional Rack Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author blacet newbie seeking advice!
scozbor
g'day mates hihi


Well I am on the verge of placing a Blacet order and I just thought I'd ask for some advice from you pro's!

I can really only afford to get 3 modules + rack and power, so I was thinking of going for more of a processing type set-up than a synth to start with.

So the I/O was my first choice. That way I can plug in bass/synths/noise boxes/mic etc. Isn't it possible to get some CV modulation out of the I/O?

Next choice was the Klang Werk. Only because it's the last run and everybody seems to love them. I'd hate to not get one now and miss out because I know I will want one later!

And then it is either the Binary Zone or the Improbability Drive. I can't decide. I guess I am really looking for modulation options with this module. Can you tell me which would be more useful?

Now I know you are going to say 'what about a filter?!'.

Well I am undecided about this. I would like to get the Filthy Filter and will at one stage. The thing is there is a guy here in Australia (lives quite close to me actually) who is about to release his first frac rack modular kit! And its a MS20 filter clone with modulation options. So I want to support him I think...

Any advice greatly appreciated!
(oh and nice to meet you! smile )
Muff Wiggler
hey hey! great post. I hope you've come to the right place - lots of opinions and info and experince here. The great thing with modulars is there's no 'set' advice, you can build whatever stuff you dream up and it'll be a lot of fun no matter what. And you'll always want more no matter what.

I like your thinking on your startup plan here - all makes perfect sense to me, and the idea to start with a 'processing rig' is quite smart! You can achieve that with less modules than you need for a 'flexible synth voice', it's a good goal, and it's easily extendable into a synth voice or whatever else you dream up.

really interesting to see an initial plan with NO vco, vca, vcf or eg in it. not a bad thing at all!

first question this begs - and you sort of answered it - you are building a processing rig. Do you have stuff to process with it? otherwise it's a wasted plan wink but I already know you have bass/synths/noiseboxen/mic, so that sort of answers this.

I/O is good thinking considering this. I won't talk you out of it! Yes you can get CV out, from the envelope followers, with lag control. It's a good choice.

Now, just to be the devil's advocate - consider QuadMixVCA in its place. While you cannot get really modulation sources out of it like the I/O, and it doesn't look like a directly competitive option to the I/O, think of this - it is also being discontinued. It is extremely useful. The 4th channel is a preamp, so it gives you that ability to boost your external sources for processing within your modular. And it's also 4 vcas. And it's also a 4-into-1 mixer. Also a 3-into-1 mixer with a seperate 4th channel you can use as a VCA. When I started my system I had one Dual Linear VCA, one EG, one VCO and one VCF. A huge mistake was buying the Dual Lin VCA over the QuadMix VCA - the latter offered SO MUCH flexibility it would have made the wait for more modules a LOT more interesting.

Anyway, that's just something to think about - the I/O may still be the best choice for you.

Klang Werk - yep, in a processing rig, essential. And the extras onboard will all be really useful in a small setup.

Binary Zone vs. Improb Drive is a TOUGH ONE. Really hard call. If you are looking for modulation options strictly, the BZ is the better choice. However you can cover SOME of a similar ground (with less flexibility) to the BZ using the s&h out on the Improb Drive. AND, the Improb Drive offers very flexible digital and white noise, which are one of the most compelling modulation sources around, in particular when used with filters. You cannot get anything like white noise with the Binary Zone, but you can get something sort of like the Binary Zone's output from the Improb Drive's S&H.

Tough call. The lag option in the BZ is really fun as well, and you'd be missing that with the ID.

Great call on the filter!! And awesome news about another frac developer. And it's an MS-20 clone!! super sweet. And it's great to support your friend and a new frac developer. Always a great choice.

You know what that makes me think?




please show us what he's up to if and when you can!

cheers & good luck - keep us posted on your plans!
scozbor
Muff Wiggler wrote:

You know what that makes me think?




please show us what he's up to if and when you can!


yes yes! here is the link>>
http://www.somaticcircuits.com/

there is no real information there, I only know about the filter from speaking to him. But you can see the Malfunctonator which is a noise box I just finished. 3 Square OSC each with freq knob, triggered by 3 LFOs, then mixed together with amp modulation (I think). Great for rhythmic stuff! Really comes alive with a filter/effects.

which leads onto my next question! will I have any trouble building these modules? My electronics skills are limited to the above mentioned noise box and a few DIY guitar-type learners kits (to practice soldering basically!) I have all the basic tools.

Thanks for the reply muff wiggler. You really have me thinking about the quad vca now (especially the discontinued part). I do like the idea of getting an envelope out of the I/O though...

And I have an outboard tube pre-amp so I can always amplify mic/guitar through that before sending into the modular can't I ? Can I plug other synths directly into the other inputs on the quad VCA?

Is it correct to say that with either the BZ or Improb Drive i will be getting kind of 'stepped' modulation? Or is this what the lag is for on the BZ?

i guess it's more useful to have s+h and a noise source than just BZ modulation at this stage?

(surely I can get a micro LFO too!!? it's only a little bit more cash!!!)
consumed
scozbor wrote:
will I have any trouble building these modules? My electronics skills are limited to the above mentioned noise box and a few DIY guitar-type learners kits (to practice soldering basically!) I have all the basic tools.


no. blacet's kits are excellent and provide everything you need except for solder.


Quote:
Thanks for the reply muff wiggler. You really have me thinking about the quad vca now (especially the discontinued part). I do like the idea of getting an envelope out of the I/O though...


i considered suggesting the quadmix over the IO. the mixer functionality on the quad is what makes it a contender IMO. however, for your limited rig, an IO would probably make more sense considering the envelope followers available. ALSO: blacet will be replacing the quadmix VCA with another module, which is yet unannounced.

the klang is a great pick.

Quote:
And I have an outboard tube pre-amp so I can always amplify mic/guitar through that before sending into the modular can't I ?


these will probably not get your levels up to 5-10v peak-peak.

Quote:
Is it correct to say that with either the BZ or Improb Drive i will be getting kind of 'stepped' modulation? Or is this what the lag is for on the BZ?


yes, that is what the lag is for on the BZ.
Quote:
surely I can get a micro LFO too!!? it's only a little bit more cash!!!)


yes indeed. grin

and welcome. =)
scozbor
Thanks consumed!

I'm going to keep firing questions until I make a decision! Sorry if I'm being annoying but I want to get this right...

OK so the klang werk is a definite.

And if I can afford an LFO as well it will be the Improb Drive. Otherwise it will be the Binary zone I think. The noise source would be more appealing in a synth type set up, but I guess it would be good with the klang? I'm not sure..

Is the quad mix VCA an exceptional module? Is it unusually powerful? Do you think blacet will replace it with another similarly spec'd module?

So I will be limited to processing synths and computer output (loops etc) with the quadmix. And this is with the D input only? This doesn't seem so bad. Would be good to have a mixer also. I don't want to be kicking myself later for missing it. If someone says YOU REALLY DONT WANT TO MISS THE QUADMIX i'll get it haha Mr. Green

in which case it's going to be quadmix,klang,improb,(maybe LFO)
Kwote
i wouldn't worry about getting the ultimate small setup right now. there is no such thing.

i started off small too. got an I/O, Filthy Filter and Dual Linear VCA. not too long after that I got the micro lfo and on and on.

i've taken it as it comes and now i have two frac racks full of modules, a module i have yet to build and i'm on the verge of getting a few more modules or so and of course another rack/psu to house/power them.

all this in less than a year. i got my first stuff june 07
thermionicjunky
I've had success using a few different external tube preamps for driving my modular. If you have access to a voltmeter, that should let you know. It's o.k. if the signal is slightly low, as long as the preamp is not unusually noisy.
Muff Wiggler
scozbor wrote:
So I will be limited to processing synths and computer output (loops etc) with the quadmix. And this is with the D input only? This doesn't seem so bad. Would be good to have a mixer also.



actually, it woks as BOTH a the same time.

The "D" input has a preamp in it for boosting the signal - but it is handled seperately from the A, B & C channels.

You can use A, B & C as a "3 into 1" or "2 into 1" mixer, and still use channel 4 as a preamp.

Possible configurations:

- 4 seperate VCAs (exponential vcas)
- 3-into-1 Mixer with a seperate VCA on channel 4
- 3-into-1 Mixer with a seperate preamp on channel 4
- 2-into-1 Mixer with a seperate VCA on channel 4
- 2-into-1 Mixer with a seperate preamp on channel 4


finally, the preamp can also be used to clip and distort signals for an overdriven sound from your modular which is quite nice

hopefully this makes sense and clears up a bit about this module 8)
consumed
scozbor wrote:
Is the quad mix VCA an exceptional module? Is it unusually powerful? Do you think blacet will replace it with another similarly spec'd module?


its a very useful module in that you get four expo vcas, a mixer and a preamp in one module. blacet will be replacing it with some equivalent module, although i dont have any details on it. blacet usually makes announcements pretty close to when a module becomes available.
scozbor
thanks heaps everyone!

sounds like the quadmix vca, klang werk, improb drive, and lfo is the go!

and then the somatic circuits filter when it comes out (soon apparently!)

I'm beginning to think I might get a rack for blacet stuff and another rack for other manufacturers.

I'll let you know how it all goes! hyper
scozbor
well plans have changed thanks to sandy in the buy/sell/trade forum!

I just bought the dark star chaos!! SlayerBadger! eek!

So my setup now will be the dark star, quadmix VCA, klangwerk, and micro LFO. i'm stoked!

when I saw the dark star there I just couldn't let it go! OK now it's time for everyone to tell me how awesome it is!

has anyone got any samples of it? i can't find many online...
no...wait.

please can someone make me a sound using the dark star, quadmix VCA, klangwerk, and micro LFO??????????????????????????????love

c'mon pleeeeeeasssee! lol
Muff Wiggler
oh it's awesome smile

there's your noise source for moulation... and lots of other stuff

is it a Rev. B?

if it's an 'A', don't worry, it can easily be modded to Rev B if you want the extra features.....
sandyb
Muff Wiggler wrote:
oh it's awesome smile

there's your noise source for moulation... and lots of other stuff

is it a Rev. B?

if it's an 'A', don't worry, it can easily be modded to Rev B if you want the extra features.....


it's a Rev A
scozbor
just placed my order!

quad mix, dual filter (couldn't resist!), LFO, Klangwerk (+ dark star and somatic circuits VCF[dual, 2 freq, 2 q, 6 cv amt, 6 switches, and 8 3.5mm sockets] coming soon)

i'm so fucking excited eek!
Kwote
scozbor wrote:
just placed my order!

quad mix, dual filter (couldn't resist!), LFO, Klangwerk (+ dark star and somatic circuits VCF[dual, 2 freq, 2 q, 6 cv amt, 6 switches, and 8 3.5mm sockets] coming soon)

i'm so fucking excited eek!


that's a great set of stuff to start out with. you're gonna be busy.
Muff Wiggler
holy crap! awesome startup configuration! you are going to have serious fun!

exciting indeed hyper
scozbor
wooooooooooooo w00t

got my stuff!
put together the power + rack!
got the dark star in there!

and it makes soundz 8)

now if only i didn't have heaps of uni work to do i would start building the rest of it :neutral:
Muff Wiggler
hyper congrats! w00t

enjoy..... but see to your studies too!
scozbor
help HELP help

about to place another order!
looking for advice / opinions!

Current:
dark star, LFO, klang werk, dual filter, quadmix VCA

Proposed order:
splitter/mixer, dual VCA, binary zone, input processor

Thoughts:
i know i know i don't have mod filter options yet! but i have a DIY filter coming soon which sounds kinda like a dual filter + CV and attenuation (more info soon!)

binary zone is a definite i think. i want weirdo mod

The only real question is the input processor. i like the look of those ENV outs, but is that all I need it for? I am having no problems getting stuff into the system.

VCO is tempting. I won't have an envelope though. would still be good for drones and mod etc. I can get drones out of the dual filter and lfo though i guess.

Stonz is also tempting! I also have the Jomox T-Resonatotr coming though! not a phaser but will surely be able to get some flanging out of it.

Any other suggestions?
scozbor
hyper update hyper

current thoughts are to be just a bit more in debt and get VCO, ENV, binary zone, splitter/mixer, and dual linear VCA.

ouch in the hip pocket though!
will have to stop for a bit @ 2 racks full hihi
matt.patey
scozbor wrote:

The only real question is the input processor. i like the look of those ENV outs, but is that all I need it for? I am having no problems getting stuff into the system.


The I/O module is really handy. I often find myself using it to turn external sounds from a sequencer (e.g. I use my 707) into gates or triggers. If you try plugging say the crash out right into the gate in of an env for example you won't get a gate that way.

scozbor wrote:

VCO is tempting. I won't have an envelope though. would still be good for drones and mod etc. I can get drones out of the dual filter and lfo though i guess.


Remember that you can always use your VCO as a fancy LFO, too :-)

scozbor wrote:

Any other suggestions?


If you're fitting your frac racks into a 19" rack space then I _highly_ recommend getting an Ad Infinitum rack multiple (http://adinfinitummusic.com/UM410.html). 10 four way multiples or 5 seven way multiples. It can also be used as a fixed mixer, which is extremely handy.
Kwote
scozbor wrote:
current thoughts are to be just a bit more in debt and get VCO, ENV, binary zone, splitter/mixer, and dual linear VCA.


this sounds about right. the I/O and the Stonz are nice.. but they can easily wait.
scozbor
matt.patey wrote:

If you're fitting your frac racks into a 19" rack space then I _highly_ recommend getting an Ad Infinitum rack multiple (http://adinfinitummusic.com/UM410.html). 10 four way multiples or 5 seven way multiples. It can also be used as a fixed mixer, which is extremely handy.


This is looking very good! thanks!
Can i basically use this instead of the splitter/mixer ??
That would be good as it frees up a double module space!
Cat-A-Tonic
I was under the impression that using a multi as a fixed mixer was against the rules, or at least frowned upon for some reason.

The splitter mixer set wouldn't be that desirable if they didn't have buffers and attenuators.
I was going to try and cheat the space issue and see if I can fit them into the rack ears. If/When it happens I'll let you know.
Kwote
Cat-A-Tonic wrote:
I was under the impression that using a multi as a fixed mixer was against the rules, or at least frowned upon for some reason.

The splitter mixer set wouldn't be that desirable if they didn't have buffers and attenuators.
I was going to try and cheat the space issue and see if I can fit them into the rack ears. If/When it happens I'll let you know.


yeah. don't use a multi as a mixer. you will not be a happy camper.

needless to say you can never have enough mults, mixers or vcas. Mr. Green
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