What modules do you think are the most bleeding edge?

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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geecen
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Post by geecen » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:10 am

sempervirent wrote:I think of Elements as an example of something that's not widely explored in the modular world... mostly because there aren't a ton of people with the skills to develop something like that who are also willing to dive into Eurorack manufacturing. It was also a bold move because it's a physically large module, you can't really take away any of the controls and get the same results. I think that's a good thing, but a lot of modular users want everything to be smallersmaller&smaller which is going in the wrong direction IMO.

Then you have things like the Rossum Control Forge which seem to do just about everything and seem really versatile but from a UI perspective you're looking at something that's more like an Elektron unit than your typical Doepfer module. Some people have a deathly fear of screens and will avoid such modules despite their obvious utility (including a screen does change the psychology of the instrument somehow). You have market pressure to make everything smaller while also becoming more complex... it's like the iPhone 13, so thin and light that it doesn't exist.

There's a clear design trend that leads back to modules as universal black boxes, with screens and USB ports, running one or more alternate firmware versions with a generic reprogrammable UI... not all that different from a Waldorf Blofeld or an Eventide pedal, just with CV inputs. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing but there is a certain irony to it, given that many of us got interested in modular gear as a way of making music without computers.

That said, the analog world is pretty much tapped out, as evinced by the seemingly endless release of "new" modules that are really not that different from what's come before except for the logo on the front panel.
So true. You can take modular out of the 21st century but you can't take the 21st century person out of modular - or something. What people seem to want a lot of the time is a good vst with a few controls, low latency, small form factor and lowish price. I've never managed to set up my laptop to function smoothly enough for it to be fun to use a vst in this way. Ipads seem to be filling that gap successfully, as well as Elektron stuff etc. I think a lot of people would be perfectly happy with a VA synth in a lot of cases. The probllem might be in part that the big manufacturers are just catching on to how people like using this gear - ie not with a keyboard, lots of modulation, etc. I'm sure you could use something like the Blofeld engine, tweak the menus to give it more of a modular workflow adn maybe add a sequencer and it would be a great alternative. If you count all the voices it has loads of envelopes, lfos, filters and oscillators, but just arranged in a less accessible way from a modular point of view. Maybe someone will invent it soon: a hardware VA modular.

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Post by Grumble » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:17 am

geecen wrote: Maybe someone will invent it soon: a hardware VA modular.
Is this what you mean:

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suthnear
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Post by suthnear » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:47 am

As a person who lived through 80s music technology, I will avoid modules no matter how interesting they might be if they have an interface design that someone once described as painting the hallway through the letterbox. Anything that involves lots of button pressing, encoder dialling and copious hidden state should probably be left on the computer with its large screen. For example, I definitely think that the control forge advances the state of the art in modulation possibilities. Whether it will be worth the attendant cognitive load and loss of immediacy remains to be seen. For this reason, I am watching its thread with some interest.

I think Mutable Instruments tends to find a good balance between interesting and complex modules that are nevertheless easy to explore. The parasites versions, while very useful, definitely upset that balance.

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Post by suthnear » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:50 am

Grumble wrote:
geecen wrote: Maybe someone will invent it soon: a hardware VA modular.
Is this what you mean:
http://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-modular
http://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-modular-g2

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vytis
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Post by vytis » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:51 am

Opened this topic to post 'Frames' and glad to discover many here agree! A concept taken from animation, makes you patch differently, and then you can perform complex combinations from a single knob! :omg:

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Post by jimmie » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:51 am

to video is one thing.

is there a sample super super slow playing module?

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Post by suthnear » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:28 am

jimmie wrote:is there a sample super super slow playing module?
mungo g0 will granulise a sample loaded off an SD card and then you can play it as slowly as your slowest modulator

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Post by XponentOne » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:17 am

I havent used this but have had my eye on it for some time - Mystic circuits spectra mirror. Looks really interesting and im pretty sure ive not seen anything like it before.

viewtopic.php?t=166745&highlight=

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Post by Nofrenchtests » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:42 am

Noise Engineering, Mannequins, Monome and Mutable are companies that strike me as looking toward the future of novelty rather than reinventing past nostalgia.

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Post by asteraster » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:20 am

jimmie get a wav player and a Super Sloth
http://aster.bandcamp.com
https://soundcloud.com/asterlovesyou

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=4155341782 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 track=2133653811]

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geremyf
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Post by geremyf » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:25 am

I think by 'disqualifying' modules with more 'complex interfaces' you are not answering the question. ER301, Control Forge, and Rainmaker are the latest examples of bleeding edge and there is no denying that...this assertion based on the functions they offer, and the fact that they can't realy be found elsewhere. However, I will agree that there are plenty of modules that only do a single thing and have a more simplistic interface that are also bleeding edge. MI Frames certainly qualifies here, and I would make the argument that some older modules, like the E350 and SSF PTG, are 'bleeding edge' even though they aren't new.

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Post by MvK » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:48 am

The most forward thinking module is a whole modular system by itself: our Brain 8-)

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Post by Zymos » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:27 am

turin horsey wrote:Rossum Control for sure, and can't wait to see what the Morpheus can do, seems radically different to any other filters in modular.
And yet, Morpheus is based on a decades old synth.
Cutting edge in the Eurorack world...everything old is new again?

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Post by damase » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:29 am

soundmachines has a module that pulls voltage directly from your brain
they also have a module (the only one?) that converts CV to DMX

they dont get much hype though

gotta say that ER-301 is pretty forward thinking too

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Post by rutabaga40 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:51 am

Shapeshifter, Spectral Multiband Resonator (although still not getting on with that one yet), Rainmaker, Telharmonic, Tempi, E950 Circuit Bent VCO, many Noise Engineering modules, and all Monome modules.

On the purely analog front, I thought the Cwejman MMF1S presented a novel take and increased flexibility for filtering.

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Post by ibzieg » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:07 pm

Shapeshifter and Rainmaker for me. I find both to be a great balance of being really easy to use and powerful with zero menu diving, but also allowing deep programming if you have a specific idea.

I've gotten a huge range of uses from the Rainmaker: karplus-strong, formant/additive synthesis, chords, precise buffer manipulation and granular effects, glitchy drum repeats... finding new uses all the time. When I got it I felt like I had jumped years ahead in my eurorack setup because I could produce sounds I thought I would have needed 12 more modules to achieve.

One thing I love that they have in common is the assignable Mod inputs, so that you can still get the knob-per-function immediacy without sacrificing features.

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Post by Ceres » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:16 pm

digable-me wrote:There's bleeding edge musical technology, and there's bleeding edge music. I'm not sure the two are all that related.

I would say a module like Mutable Frames is right up there at the forefront. It's one of the few modules that is a totally new concept.
This. I didn't really want to get a debate going about making "bleeding edge music". I just wanted to talk tools and technology. I also don't think new really means better or more forward thinking. I think there are modules that came out years ago that are more relevant than ever and could still be considered "bleeding edge". I started the thread to get insight on what's moving and pushing boundaries from the technical perspective. Maybe find some things not on my radar.

I'm already discovering and taking an interest in stuff I didn't really know about before. The orthogonal and rossum stuff I find particularly intriguing but also intimidating.

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Post by captjrab » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:51 pm

Best cutting edge module? Your brain. You can make the most radical sounds never heard with what you already have.

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Ceres
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Post by Ceres » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:20 pm

Zymos wrote:
turin horsey wrote:Rossum Control for sure, and can't wait to see what the Morpheus can do, seems radically different to any other filters in modular.
And yet, Morpheus is based on a decades old synth.
Cutting edge in the Eurorack world...everything old is new again?
I think it goes back to incrementalism. None of the ideas come from nowhere. It's all incremental steps and improvements. I'm watching the Dave Rossum Superbooth 16 to better understand his modules. Rossum states that on the original Morpheus only some aspects weren't realized due to tech constraints at the time which are no longer the case. There are more control on this module than there were on that whole synth and it's modular and can be used with a host of other modules. There's nothing else like it in modularland as far as I know. So I think it qualifies.

The control forge reminds me of the Buchla Marf but modernized and looks like it might actually work. Not sure any original MARFs were 100% functional. So it's not a new concept but the implementation and tech are.

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Post by Ceres » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:23 pm

captjrab wrote:Best cutting edge module? Your brain. You can make the most radical sounds never heard with what you already have.
No need to flatter, you had me at hello :wink: :oops:

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Post by Worwell » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:33 pm

I would have said Just Friends a week ago but just got the Control Forge and its incredible. Those two plus Reaktor Blocks integration with the modular are what have me the most excited.

That said, I still get my favorite sounds out of Maths, a LPF and a delay. The immediacy of the classics keep me coming back.

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Post by Funky40 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:35 pm

totally agree with many of the more phylosophical posts ;)

the bleeding edge in modular is in my opinion to design a module that is initself TOTALLY coherent.
the stumbling blocks and also the gold lie in the details !

incloude the possibility to overdrive the input stage of a filter ?...or avoid it ?
both ways could make for the initself totally coherent, -kind of-, module. I think here many problems lie.
Very clear labelling incl. exact markings "could" compensate in this examples case ;)
But would YOU here rate a good labelling and marking as beeing "bleeding edge" ? ( sersiously)


my vote goes to:
watch the details !
do not only watch the "look, here i am with the newest feature set ever" modules .







This:...and even moreso what i put in bold:
sempervirent wrote:I think of Elements as an example of something that's not widely explored in the modular world... mostly because there aren't a ton of people with the skills to develop something like that who are also willing to dive into Eurorack manufacturing. It was also a bold move because it's a physically large module, you can't really take away any of the controls and get the same results. I think that's a good thing, but a lot of modular users want everything to be smallersmaller&smaller which is going in the wrong direction IMO.

Then you have things like the Rossum Control Forge which seem to do just about everything and seem really versatile but from a UI perspective you're looking at something that's more like an Elektron unit than your typical Doepfer module. Some people have a deathly fear of screens and will avoid such modules despite their obvious utility (including a screen does change the psychology of the instrument somehow). You have market pressure to make everything smaller while also becoming more complex... it's like the iPhone 13, so thin and light that it doesn't exist.

There's a clear design trend that leads back to modules as universal black boxes, with screens and USB ports, running one or more alternate firmware versions with a generic reprogrammable UI... not all that different from a Waldorf Blofeld or an Eventide pedal, just with CV inputs. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing but there is a certain irony to it, given that many of us got interested in modular gear as a way of making music without computers.
.

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Post by tthogs » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:43 pm

I feel like the Ornament and Crime is kind of a phenomenon. Not just the forward thinking CV generation apps, its the fact that no one company really owns / distributes it and it is completely open source, and anyone can contribute functionality to it. Im a bit newer to this world but in terms of euro so i might not have it exactly right, and i know certain companies like mutable are open source, which is rad. Its just exciting to watch this unique story unfold.

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Post by pieter » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:24 pm

In terms of new functionality in synthesizers, I would point to the rungler/benjolin and other modules that generate actual chaos.

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Post by Ceres » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:44 pm

tthogs wrote:I feel like the Ornament and Crime is kind of a phenomenon. Not just the forward thinking CV generation apps, its the fact that no one company really owns / distributes it and it is completely open source, and anyone can contribute functionality to it. Im a bit newer to this world but in terms of euro so i might not have it exactly right, and i know certain companies like mutable are open source, which is rad. Its just exciting to watch this unique story unfold.
Music Thing Modular shares a similar ethos. Definitely a very cool sharing way to do things.

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