Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

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lazarusgordon
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by lazarusgordon » Fri Dec 25, 2020 4:06 pm

i didnt say that i tryed also with envelope because i thought the gate should completly shut the sound even just with gate out of keystep to CV of vca.
Bytheway, even with the envelope generator. it doesnt work. envelope is working on top of continuos sound of VCO

please help. im going crazy

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WarpHead
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by WarpHead » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:10 pm

lazarusgordon wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 4:06 pm
i didnt say that i tryed also with envelope because i thought the gate should completly shut the sound even just with gate out of keystep to CV of vca.
Bytheway, even with the envelope generator. it doesnt work. envelope is working on top of continuos sound of VCO

please help. im going crazy
Can u list the VCA and modules you are using and tell us again how you have patched them with the Keystep? Does your VCA have a knob/dial (labelled 'offset' for example)?
Don't believe the hype.

WTB: Schippmann Omega-Phi Mk2.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by lazarusgordon » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:52 pm

ARTURIA KEYSTEP
VCO (2hp)
VCA (doepfer A 130-2)
ADSR (2hp)

"pitch out" of KEYSTEP to 1v/oct of VCO (2hp)
"gate out" of KEYSTEP to "gate in" of ADSR(2hp)
"out" of ADSR(2hp) to "cv" of VCA (doepfer A 130-2)
"out" of VCO(2hp) to "input" of VCA (doepfer A 130-2)
"out" of VCA (doepfer A 130-2) to the mixer


the vco is never silent. there is continuous sound from it.
when i press the keys on KEYSTEP the envelope works on top of the continuous sound amplifying that sound.

why the gate doesn't close it to silence?

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by lazarusgordon » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:28 pm

Paul_N wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:58 pm
Thats normal - the gate is fully opening the VCA. Try patching the gate output to trigger an envelope, the envelope output is then patched to the VCA CV input.
by connecting gate output of keystep to the gate in of the envelope am i not triggering it ??

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by lazarusgordon » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:41 pm

ehi maybe i understood...

should i keep the gain of vca to ZERO when is controlled by envelope?? of course, no?
im an idiot

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SonarBk
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by SonarBk » Fri Dec 25, 2020 9:11 pm

So.... here’s a question in three parts -

1. How do you deal with the differences in voltage expectations between modules?
2. Is it really important to plan that out in advance with each module in a system or could it make sense to deal with it later with offsets & attenuverters?
3. Are there happy accidents that can come from voltage mismatches or is it just something to avoid?

Thanks for advice!!!

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:27 am

lazarusgordon wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:41 pm
ehi maybe i understood...

should i keep the gain of vca to ZERO when is controlled by envelope?? of course, no?
im an idiot
Exactly, the VCA controls the amount of sound that passes by, when nothing is patched into its CV control you still can control the amplitude of the signal with the GAIN/BIAS pot. Then when you add the CV control, in this case the ADSR, both signals add up and that gives you the total amplitude of the resulting signal.

When you want the ADSR to control completely the sound the GAIN/BIAS pot must be full closed. A nice example for when you want to add both parameters is when controlling dynamics of sounds (percussion, hats, noise, etc), you fix the minimum level you want for that particular element with the GAIN/BIAS pot and then you add modulation on top of it.

Some VCAs are tricky as they doesn´t allow you to add both parameters. If nothing is patched to the CV you can control the Gain with the pot, but if you patch something in, the pot will change its functionality and will start attenuating the CV.

Hope you solved the problem.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:38 am

SonarBk wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 9:11 pm
So.... here’s a question in three parts -

1. How do you deal with the differences in voltage expectations between modules?
2. Is it really important to plan that out in advance with each module in a system or could it make sense to deal with it later with offsets & attenuverters?
3. Are there happy accidents that can come from voltage mismatches or is it just something to avoid?

Thanks for advice!!!
1. You must read the manual twice before buying anything. If you can´t get the info you want you should email the manufacturer so you can avoid problems afterwards.

2. Is it preferably that you double check those things twice even if you can fix them later. If you buy the right tool you won´t need to waste another module to fix the problems occurred. Maybe even paying a bit more will make you spend less money, as everything will be more precise by itself.

3. Digital modules are tricky as many need 5V gates or triggers and 10V signals may damage them. Try to know if the module is electrically protected against accidents. The pulse width of the triggers also may affect, if it is very very short.
With modulation many modules won´t respond to a modulation bigger that +-5V. That it is completely fine, but if you send a +-10V LFO you must be aware that during a gap while the LFO gets back to the +-5V range your signal wont change.

Let the happy accidents be made by yourself instead of by unread manufacturers specs.

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SonarBk
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by SonarBk » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:48 am

modeleus wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:38 am
Let the happy accidents be made by yourself instead of by unread manufacturers specs.
Very well said. Thanks for all the clear info.

In your opinion, does that mean its better to design a case that sticks to same voltage range and avoids outliers, or is it more about knowing exactly what's happening with each module?

I imagine that mixing CV can give unpredictable voltage amounts that need to be tamed by utilities before sending around - my first module purchase was a Division 6 voltage meter for this reason - and that would also mean you really need to know what all of your modules take. So from that perspective, maybe 0-10 ppv modules in the system isn't an issue IF its planned and has good reasons.... (this later point is also me trying to think through my attraction to Verbos but wary of the voltage difference and some build issues that people seem to have)....

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:25 am

In my opinion the most important thing is to be aware of the nature of your modules, ie: if you have a VCA that opens completely at 5V you must remember to attenuate the incoming CV if it is in the 10V range so you can get the desired effect.
The most "frustrating" part is when you feel that the modular is out of control. Most of the times, knowing that tiny tricks can make the experience much more rewarding.

Also be aware of the modules sold without certain protections, you don´t have to be an engineer to patch so is it possible that accidents will occur. Is a shame when one of those happens and kills a module.

The beauty of modular is the ecosystem where it all lives and the many combination with different modules that you can make. But you must procure that everyone is talking "the same language" voltage-wise. :chug:

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by ProgRocket » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:43 pm

How often does this happen? I am patching for 3 years now with around 60 modules. And i don't know most of my outputs or input-ranges. That's because more than half of the manuals don't specify all the voltages of all in and out jacks. Nothing broke so far. I wonder of this is really such a big deal. I do wish that i knew and would remember all those specifics for each jack though.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:22 am

ProgRocket wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:43 pm
How often does this happen? I am patching for 3 years now with around 60 modules. And i don't know most of my outputs or input-ranges. That's because more than half of the manuals don't specify all the voltages of all in and out jacks. Nothing broke so far. I wonder of this is really such a big deal. I do wish that i knew and would remember all those specifics for each jack though.
It´s not just a problem of breaking things, ill give you an example: imagine you´ve got a VCA that fully opens at 10V but you are only using 5V envelopes to CV it. The VCA will still work but the signal that you are getting out of it is half of what it can be.
Later on when you record it you will feel that the volume can be cranked up a bit and you will amplify it on the computer (or other gear). And here is where the "problem" happens as you are also amplifying the noise coming through the circuit.

When you don´t control this voltage difference in your equipment you can get a worst Signal to Noise Ratio and get a result that maybe isn´t what you are looking for.

For most of the users this particularities may be way technical, but are key factors if you want to control your system in all its extension.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by ProgRocket » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:58 am

Good example. But what about the real dangers of breaking stuff?

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:17 am

How many people you know with a broken module because it was connected to the power backwards? I know a couple of them...
When you mix unexperienced user and a manufacturer that thinks that its clients are mostly engineers, things can get burned.

If you place 10V into a trigger input that goes directly to a microcontroller you will have a very big problem, as you have to desolder one of the most expensive part of a module and burn its original firmware again, which many manufacturers won´t provide. So you end up having to buy a repair service order from the manufacturer because you have made a mistake due to a lack of protection that the manufacturer should´ve be aware of in the first place.

Maybe this tips aren´t for you, maybe you were lucky enough that any mistake you made had the right protection, but with the increase on users and manufacturers (many of them DIY) the risk of damaging your precious instrument is just around the corner.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by interpolate » Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:47 pm

I apologize ahead of time for a very simple question, and thanks for your time.

I'm looking for a "voltage range converter". Does something like this exist?
Example: Rene outputs voltages 0-4v. I want to use that as CV for a module that accepts voltage -10 to 10.

I realize I can accomplish this a number of ways like:
* Subtracting 2 volts (so -2 to 2) and then multiplying by 5 volts. This requires a preicion adder and multiplier.
* Doing some Maths magic where I run the input into input 3 then sum output in input 2 (although I am not sure whats going on here and it is taking up two channels of maths)

I was hoping there was some generic swiss army knife plugin that translated between the typical (-10,-5,0) to (5, 10) voltage ranges.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:08 pm

interpolate wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:47 pm
I apologize ahead of time for a very simple question, and thanks for your time.

I'm looking for a "voltage range converter". Does something like this exist?
Example: Rene outputs voltages 0-4v. I want to use that as CV for a module that accepts voltage -10 to 10.

I realize I can accomplish this a number of ways like:
* Subtracting 2 volts (so -2 to 2) and then multiplying by 5 volts. This requires a preicion adder and multiplier.
* Doing some Maths magic where I run the input into input 3 then sum output in input 2 (although I am not sure whats going on here and it is taking up two channels of maths)

I was hoping there was some generic swiss army knife plugin that translated between the typical (-10,-5,0) to (5, 10) voltage ranges.
For instance: Befaco A*B+C. Check if you can Amplify voltage and not just attenuate it, if you have the 0-4V signal and you want a 0-10V you need an amplifier. The Befaco utility gives you x2 amplification and the full offset voltage swing (-10, 10V)

The trick is to attenuate/amplify the input signal and then add or substract the offset voltage. With those two key parameters in mind choose the tool that is better suited for you (HP, channels, price, CV control...)

If you were looking for an automated tool with a module database built-in that adjusts the levels automatically I think it doesn´t exist for the moment : )

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by VirgilGuitars » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:08 pm

I have a feeling that I may be watching these vids all evening....

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by VirgilGuitars » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:29 pm

:roll: So I no longer believe "ignorance is bliss" after reading this thread. I'm kind of getting a little nauseated after my shopping spree and wondering what I may have gotten myself into. I have what I thought to be a pretty cool inventory of modules and the Rackbrute 6U and the last thing I suspected would be that it would be easy to fry a module by putting in a cable somewhere that shouldn't "go there".

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:33 am

VirgilGuitars wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:29 pm
:roll: So I no longer believe "ignorance is bliss" after reading this thread. I'm kind of getting a little nauseated after my shopping spree and wondering what I may have gotten myself into. I have what I thought to be a pretty cool inventory of modules and the Rackbrute 6U and the last thing I suspected would be that it would be easy to fry a module by putting in a cable somewhere that shouldn't "go there".
Shouldnt't happen so often, many established manufacturers have that in mind. Dangers may exist when you buy DIY projects made by a non engineer. If you want to publish your rack we can maybe spot the "potential issues".

Music should be made by musicians not by engineers. Engineers should provide the tools so musicians could use them without having to get into the tiny engineering details.
As modular has expanded so vastly, people should be aware that not every module is well thought, and could worsen your whole system, as total quality is defined by its weakest point.

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VirgilGuitars
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by VirgilGuitars » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:11 am

Ahhhh, that's one of my thoughts - like how can some of these really common mods be so popular if they're killing each other - I did set everything up on modulargrid.net AFTER I purchased most of the items - with one thing left(right), which I'm getting today. Should I start a new thread? - I didn't see (I would imagine it gets a bit overwhelming here) a thread where the newbies are posting they're prospective systems. I'll dig around. Thanks!

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by modeleus » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:44 am

They just create a new thread and title it something like "comments on my first rack" or something like that. They usually add a link to their ModularGrid or just a screen capture of the rack.
Don´t be shy!

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by VirgilGuitars » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:59 am

Thanks!

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by nikoi » Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:31 am

:omg:

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Aiyn Zahev
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Aiyn Zahev » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:07 pm

Hey all. I'm really stuck on which case to get for myself. Is that a question suited to the main euro-rack forum?

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pekbro
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by pekbro » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:19 pm

Aiyn Zahev wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:07 pm
Hey all. I'm really stuck on which case to get for myself. Is that a question suited to the main euro-rack forum?
Maybe the main eurorack or the modular synth general discussions would get more responses. Did you have any cases
in mind? Incidentally, they are pretty easy to make. I started making 2 x 84hp 6U cases this week and in the end they
will cost me roughly as much as one of those intellijel 7U 104 hp cases, and they will nice linear power supplies in them.

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