megarat wrote:I love my Data, it has completely transformed how I use my Eurorack rig
Can you expand on this? I'm considering adding one to my rig but not sure if I would use it enough to justify the HP
When I spoke with the Mordax rep at Seattle's Velocity event recently, he described the Data is akin to having a "light switch" in your rack, in that it allows you to visually see what you're doing. I can't think of a better metaphor.
Specifically, using the oscilloscope when sound-sculpting, or the voltage monitor when working with control voltages, they give me visual feedback that is extremely helpful. Actually seeing how my tweaks affect the waveform(s) while listening to the impact on the audio just makes it that much more clear what I'm doing, and it improves my results. I don't use it 100% of the time, but pretty darn close.
I also use the spectrum analyzer when sound sculpting, as I occasionally have the frequency spectrum of a sound that I want to approximate (e.g., piano) and being able to see the spectrum of the working sound helps me get closer to my goal. Going by ear isn't nearly as efficient.
Sometimes I have questions like: "If I want to control the tempo of my Pamela's New Workout (using the CV1 input), what is the exact voltage window that corresponds to 120BPM?" With a Data, that's easy as pie.
And then there's troubleshooting. Jacklights only go so far. Being able to see everything usually allows me to immediately identify the problem instead of futz about blindly.
The Data has some other tools that are nice, and while they're not unique, they save space by not needing separate modules for them. Specifically, I'm thinking of the tuner, and the cool feature of the voltage monitor where you can output specific voltages on the four outputs. (The voltages are still produced even if you switch to other "programs" in the Data, such as the oscilloscope. Very handy.)
I don't use the clock, and I haven't yet put the spectrograph or "wave output" feature to good use. The latter serves as 1-2 LFOs/VCOs in a pinch, and it's nice to know that they're there, so maybe they'll come in handy someday. Mordax is allegedly adding sequencer functionality to the next firmware update, but I don't see much use for that either.
I don't perform with my Eurorack rig, and I can see why you would want to save the space in a performance rack for something else, but for home/studio use, I can't imagine my life without it.
(And for full disclosure, my opinion and views are certainly colored by my background in computer science and electrical engineering, as I've regarded the oscilloscope as a useful tool for more than half my life. When I first got into Eurorack, it only took about ten minutes for me to think, "Golly, I wish I had a scope so I could see what I was doing." (And for a while I had my rack set up near my old Tektronix analogue scope, for this very purpose, but that was hardly convenient.) So my brain was crying out for a tool like this from the start, and since all of our brains are different, YMMV.)
I can't think of anything else to add, so I hope this was helpful.