Minimum modules needed to produce sound

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fwwilkes
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Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by fwwilkes » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:40 pm

What is the bare minimum needed to produce sound with a euro rack? Could I simply run out of an oscillator into a mixer and get sound?

I’m gearing up to go the module route and likely won’t be able to purchase more than one module at a time. My plan is to get a powered case then purchase modules in order of necessity. If the first piece of gear I purchase after the case is an oscillator will I be able to start making noise? And yeah I’m aware that an oscillator on its own will get really boring really fast.

Cheers!

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oldenjon
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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by oldenjon » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:44 pm

All you need is an oscillator, mixers are useful if you have more than one source although they do have attenuators which would act as a volume control for your oscillator. A solution is to find an oscillator with an integrated mixer. Another is to buy a voice module that has VCO, VCF, EG, and VCA like Doepfer A-111-6.
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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by luketeaford » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:00 pm

You could also get a single module that WILL be at least some fun on its own. Something like the Serge DUSG or Make Noise Maths can be an LFO, and oscillator, a low quality filter, an envelope, etc. etc. and might be more interesting as a first module.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Pelsea » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:28 pm

How do you plan to control this? If you already have some MIDI keys, you should start with a MIDI to CV converter (some cases include them) and start making noise in month 2. Plaits will then keep you entertained for a month at least.
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fwwilkes
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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by fwwilkes » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:18 pm

Thanks for the replies.
Pelsea wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:28 pm
How do you plan to control this? If you already have some MIDI keys, you should start with a MIDI to CV converter (some cases include them) and start making noise in month 2. Plaits will then keep you entertained for a month at least.
I wasn’t planning on triggering at first, just mess around with whatever drone the oscillator produces.
luketeaford wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:00 pm
You could also get a single module that WILL be at least some fun on its own. Something like the Serge DUSG or Make Noise Maths can be an LFO, and oscillator, a low quality filter, an envelope, etc. etc. and might be more interesting as a first module.
I was thinking of getting something like the Piston Honda. I’ll primarily be using this stuff for noise/industrial/ambient so something like that should entertain me until I add effects. Any oscillators one might consider for that type of music?

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by smithjohn » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:17 am

Piston Honda would be probably good. Also Noise Engineering Loquelic Iteritas or another of their oscillators seem well suited to industrial.

Plaits is a fun osc with a built-in VCA but overall it's quite smooth sounding. Nothing you couldn't fix in the future with waveshapers, distortion or Ring mod :party:

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by LDT » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:54 am

Plug a cable into an amp and turn up the volume. Tapping and holding the bare jack, will produce clicks, pops and a nice bass tone. Essentially both bass and drums.

Ok, I am joking. Kind of. Because there is truth to it also. And making more with less is definitely a concept worth noting.
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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Agawell » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:30 am

Piston Honda is a relatively expensive oscillator (a new one is just over 500€ at Thomann)

Instead I would consider buying a very basic, but more complete set up to start with for roughly the same price - this way you will learn more about modular synthesis - and whilst you learn to use the modules you have you can save for the next module

possibly a few of the dreadbox chromatic series or doepfer or ladik

you can probably get 4 or 5 modules for the price of a new Piston Honda

and then pass it through a super cheap distortion pedal (or buy a distortion/waveshaper module - dreadbox dystopia) to add some dirt before monitoring

I'd also get a SQ-1 or a keystep for sequencing

then save up for the Piston Honda

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Inju » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:05 am

Moog Mother 32. You can take it out and put it in a Eurorack later. You can litterally be content with just the Mother 32 for a long time. Master the sequencer. I would not suggest the Maths or the Piston Honda as a first module. Maths as a second module, absolutely, but not as a first. The Mother 32 has its own Eurorack case, power, mixer, voice, sequencer, etc. To be honest for someone new that wants to make very interesting sounds, the second module may then be an effects unit, like the Pico DSP. Then you can start buying the crazy things to make it your own, i.e. Benjolin.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Richard deHove » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:20 am

Another vote for a semi-modular. You'll have much more fun in the early days and it'll still be useful later. Or if you insist on the module route, then perhaps two cheap oscillators. At least that way you can cross-modulate them together and get lots of interesting effects.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by luketeaford » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:14 am

fwwilkes wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:18 pm
I was thinking of getting something like the Piston Honda. I’ll primarily be using this stuff for noise/industrial/ambient so something like that should entertain me until I add effects. Any oscillators one might consider for that type of music?
I wouldn't start with an oscillator probably (but I'm weird) and would definitely not add effects until you have sufficient CV sources for them. Some modules can create very unusual sounds by feedback patching them: specifically Wave Multipliers (VCM) and the Erbe-Verb come to mind-- but you still need a lot of CV to make that feedback interesting if you're not just wiggling knobs with your fingers.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by reppiks » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:20 am

IFM Fourses!!!

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Inju » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:45 am

luketeaford wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:14 am
fwwilkes wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:18 pm
I was thinking of getting something like the Piston Honda. I’ll primarily be using this stuff for noise/industrial/ambient so something like that should entertain me until I add effects. Any oscillators one might consider for that type of music?
I wouldn't start with an oscillator probably (but I'm weird) and would definitely not add effects until you have sufficient CV sources for them. Some modules can create very unusual sounds by feedback patching them: specifically Wave Multipliers (VCM) and the Erbe-Verb come to mind-- but you still need a lot of CV to make that feedback interesting if you're not just wiggling knobs with your fingers.
You realize that a Wavefolder and Wave Multipliers are effects.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by luketeaford » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:27 am

Inju wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:45 am
luketeaford wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:14 am
fwwilkes wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:18 pm
I was thinking of getting something like the Piston Honda. I’ll primarily be using this stuff for noise/industrial/ambient so something like that should entertain me until I add effects. Any oscillators one might consider for that type of music?
I wouldn't start with an oscillator probably (but I'm weird) and would definitely not add effects until you have sufficient CV sources for them. Some modules can create very unusual sounds by feedback patching them: specifically Wave Multipliers (VCM) and the Erbe-Verb come to mind-- but you still need a lot of CV to make that feedback interesting if you're not just wiggling knobs with your fingers.
You realize that a Wavefolder and Wave Multipliers are effects.
Precisely why I advised having plenty of CV sources, yes. :tu:

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by fwwilkes » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:53 am

Agawell wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:30 am

Instead I would consider buying a very basic, but more complete set up to start with for roughly the same price - this way you will learn more about modular synthesis - and whilst you learn to use the modules you have you can save for the next module
Richard deHove wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:20 am
Another vote for a semi-modular. You'll have much more fun in the early days and it'll still be useful later. Or if you insist on the module route, then perhaps two cheap oscillators. At least that way you can cross-modulate them together and get lots of interesting effects.
Inju wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:05 am
Moog Mother 32. You can take it out and put it in a Eurorack later. You can litterally be content with just the Mother 32 for a long time. Master the sequencer. I would not suggest the Maths or the Piston Honda as a first module. Maths as a second module, absolutely, but not as a first. The Mother 32 has its own Eurorack case, power, mixer, voice, sequencer, etc. To be honest for someone new that wants to make very interesting sounds, the second module may then be an effects unit, like the Pico DSP. Then you can start buying the crazy things to make it your own, i.e. Benjolin.
I already got an ma-20, sq-1 and minilogue so I got plenty to hold me over. I guess I’m just trying to figure out a roadmap for transition into module stuff.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by starthief » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:02 am

For absolutely minimal, you could probably go for a 2hp wide blank panel and tap it against things to produce sound.
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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by sleepmute » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:07 am

I'd get a 0-Coast. It'll work well with your SQ-1 and MS20, it sounds great when run through the Minilogue (I like using it to augment the bass, and you can connect the pitch and gate via MIDI), and it has every basic module function you'd need. Then you could decide later on if you wanted any additional rack modules.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by konjurer » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:57 pm

I'm new as well. Sounds like budget is a big issue. I wanted to dip my toe into the eurorack waters without spending a fortune. I went with the cre8audio Nifty CASE. For $199 you get a powered, 84hp case. The case already has a host of connections built into the case such as MIDI break out into CV1, CV1, GATE1, GATE2, mod, clock, and two outputs. Even comes with the power supply cable and connectors for US and most European countries.

But wait there's more! You can buy the Nifty BUNDLE for $269 and you get TWO modules to get you started. Here are the modules:

Cellz, a touch pad/controller-sequencer-arpeggiator.
Chipz, with TWO oscillators and an LFO. One oscillator has a filter and the other has PWM. The LFO has 2 outputs that divides 1 pulse into 4 for some nice percussive ideas. The two LFO outputs can drive the two oscillators quite nicely. Plus, you get 5 patch cables to get you going.

A complete eurorack system for $269 with plenty of room to add modules over time.

Here is the minor down side. The two modules are really not that great sounding in my opinion. But for $70 you get two fully feature modules that work really well together. Chipz is really noisy with lots of artifacts in the sound - cre8audio states that is intended but not my thing. Cellz is hard to program melodic stuff - although you can do it. However, these two modules give you enough to get started making some interesting sounds.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Tun » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:12 am

You already have midi gear. I agree that Plaits is a good starting point, get a cv.ocd, HEK and Plaits and you’re good to go. It won’t cost much and Plaits is incredibly versatile.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by Pighood » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 pm

One. Drop any module on the floor.
*phnert*

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by dekemcculo » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:52 pm

if you're set on euro then semimodular or nifty as someone mentioned is the cheapest way to start—I started with 0-coast and it's great and can continue to fill in essentials as you slowly expand.

If budget is an issue and you want to make some sick noise in non-euro ways I'd recommend the bastl kastle, underrated synth and you can learn in practice how modular patching feels. also it's an easy DIY job which opens up all sort of possibilities in eurorack for more affordable DIY options (AI synthesis, Bastl, Music Thing Modular, Befaco etc). Also kastle and pocket operators is literally endless fun.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by multimas » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:44 pm

I returned to electronics after 35 years of doing other things in the life, I'm building my rack just for fun and curiosity (I missed a few generations ....), after a few weeks and a thousand euros spent i'm sure that to make something interesting requires LOT of modules.....

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by luketeaford » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:48 pm

multimas wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:44 pm
I returned to electronics after 35 years of doing other things in the life, I'm building my rack just for fun and curiosity (I missed a few generations ....), after a few weeks and a thousand euros spent i'm sure that to make something interesting requires LOT of modules.....
Welcome! I think you'll find you can do a whole lot with the right patching. The eurorack scene has sort of become dense with complex software modules like the ER-301 and others and more "plain" modules that nonetheless offer CV over everything.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by multimas » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:00 pm

luketeaford wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:48 pm
Welcome!
Thanks, yes, I'm having a lot of fun, I didn't find any particular difficulties despite many years having passed, the last time I made patches was with one of the first Korg MS20 arrived in Italy I think in 1980.

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Re: Minimum modules needed to produce sound

Post by insoul8 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:01 pm

I would definitely go for something like the 0-Coast or Mother32 to start. They will both give you all you need to start, are self contained, and will integrate seamlessly with any future modules you buy.

Check this out:


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