BEST VCF at the moment ??

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carlkh
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BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by carlkh » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:31 pm

I am looking for a nice sounding VCF to complete my first 104HP rack.

If you have any recommendation please let me know.

Best regards
Carl

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thealienthing
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by thealienthing » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm

Oof. I’m looking for a good first filter as well. Also, to add to the request, what is good first diy filter?

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synonymist
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by synonymist » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:52 pm

carlkh wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:31 pm
I am looking for a nice sounding VCF to complete my first 104HP rack.

If you have any recommendation please let me know.

Best regards
Carl
Hello Carl. Without criteria or a standard, there can be no "best". Sonic character, size, cost, functionality, user interface, availability, etc. What are your requirements for this filter module?

Within that, what does "nice sounding" mean to you in this case? Most filters sound at least okay. :) It is the subtle or not-so-subtle differences that make certain filters desirable to some people; this within a wide range of variation among all filters.

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suboptimal
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by suboptimal » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:01 pm

If you want a real answer you need to get more specific about your goals.

The correct answer is Cwejman, but there are tons of dope filters out there. If you can have only one, something like Three Sisters is a good idea, but if you can get away with a single channel, I love the WMD Aperture.

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Voltcontrol
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by Voltcontrol » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:13 pm

Which is your favorite synth? A whole lot of filter designs have been adapted to eurorack format.

I always need a Doepfer Wasp filter and if I had the space I'd add an AJG Gemini 2412 instead of a single Oberheim SEM style filter. If money was no object a Cwejman would be nice.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by lisa » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:16 pm

Joranalogue Filter 8 will be a contender, no matter what the criterias might be.
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by sir stony » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:22 pm

Yeah, this question needs to be more specific. Modern, clean and controlled or vintage, wild and dirty character, single or dual, slim design or big, wiggle friendly knobs, an affordable, decent jack of all trades or a fine sound designers tool...? I would probably name a different module for each of those requests.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by carlkh » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:26 pm

All,

Thanks for your responses.

My long term goal in my Eurorack journey is to produce Melodic Techno sounds/songs and hence am most probably looking for a typical, dark, beefy techno filter (i guess ?)

I am not very experienced in electronic music production (specially when in comes to modular synth), but for instance i really like the sound of the filter in the Moog Mother 32 ...

Perhaps I should look further into filters in general before buying the VCF for my rack ?

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by nios » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:27 pm

That's a rather difficult question because hp size / price may be factors here. You'll see tons and tons of racks with things like Ripples or Polaris in them and those are fine VCFs, just more of convenient for their size/function/cost considerations, instead of being balls-to-wall most complex and wide-ranging capability. Xaoc Belgrad is also way up there, is far more versatile than most its size since it's a dual filter, and might well be the best fit for a 104hp for its sound/function vs hp size. I just wish Belgrad was stereo, that matters a ton to me but may not be a big deal to others. Same goes for Rossum Evolution which is also an exceedingly excellent filter (besides not being stereo). Rossum Linnaeus I have yet to explore so can't really comment on, but it looks very promising.

However the "best" regardless of size is to me, currently, the SSF Stereo Dipole. Unsurprisingly I love it because it's amazing for stereo, but also can fill several roles and you can pull all sorts of neat tricks out of it, self-patch it, process different sound sources out of each half etc. There are a couple strong contenders in the larger filters too like AJH Gemini or Intellijel Morgasmatron etc, which give different capabilities/sound palette.

I must also say, I just got an IME Bionic Lester mkIII, and I'm absolutely utterly in love with the thing because of the flexibility of its routing (assignable destinations, CV-able state variable, CV-able internal VCAs with pleasant-sounding distortion/fuzz at the top end etc) and particularly how exotic it sounds running in dual comb filters. And of course it's stereo capable in addition to mono mix (which unfortunately is not CVable, that would have been awesome). It's an odd-hp module (15, compared to 14 on Belgrad) so might be more like 16 in a rack, but at this moment it's basically second only to Dipole in my view and just looking at it wants to make me power up my rack to play with and just listen to.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:45 pm

I think you would learn a great deal from Joranalogue Filter 8.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by deadbeat » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:47 pm

Ripples is a great VCF =)

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IEC
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by IEC » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:25 pm

since you have no idea what you need, i would proritise cheapness and try a few, doepfer makes a of cheap/good filters. try some out!

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brandonlogic
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by brandonlogic » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:36 pm

carlkh wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:31 pm
I am looking for a nice sounding VCF to complete my first 104HP rack.

If you have any recommendation please let me know.

Best regards
Carl
Define ‘nice’

Listen to filter demos and pick which one you like best.
Don’t let anyone tell you one filter is better than another.
Last edited by brandonlogic on Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by Dragonaut » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:37 pm

There are a ton of best filter threads. Best thing to do is start looking through those and start watching youtube videos. My personal favorites are the Synthesis Technology e440, LiveWire Frequensteiner, Bastl Cinnamon, and the XAOC Belgrad.

My advice:

For your first filter make money no option (as much as possible) and listen for the filter that makes you say, "WOW."
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by VZvision » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:53 pm

carlkh wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:26 pm

I am not very experienced in electronic music production (specially when in comes to modular synth), but for instance i really like the sound of the filter in the Moog Mother 32 ...
For something Moog-like, you may want to check out AJH’s transistor ladder filter. But as far as use-case in techno I agree with the above that a more Swiss Army knife type filter may be a better choice...Filter8 would fit that bill. Would also listen to a few since filters can be really subjective....trust your ears :tu:

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by ToddOMG » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:02 pm

I think filters are quite possibly the most personal taste of all modular components. They all sound SO different, and peoples needs for them are also very different.

It all comes down to personal preference, no matter what. So research and YouTubeing are absolutely essential to picking out a great filter. Moreso than other components in your rack! At least, sonically speaking.

I personally like distorted and gritty big filters, so my top three are TRSHMSTR, Cinnamon and Cloak and Dagger. If you don't like distorted filters, then your top three will be totally different. ;)

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by starthief » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:58 pm

It's highly personal, as others have said. My own favorites among those I've tried are:

Serge VCFQ: Probably my favorite for lowpass character, it's really lovely when FM'd, and it pings nicely. I still need to play with it a bit more in low frequency mode as a slew, wobbly bipolar CV source etc.

FIlter 8: I'm pretty sure it was inspired by the design of the VCFQ, but it has its own sound(s) -- quite a few of them really -- and enhanced features. Not quite as good at pinging as VCFQ but very easy to keep it sustained to act as an octature LFO/VCO, and makes a great phaser.

Ripples: Solid all around filter, nicely tweakable. Pretty clean unless you overdrive it, then it's not. :mrgreen:

Three Sisters: nice sound, brilliant with FM, neat set of features. It was my first filter and I probably should have kept it, but then I probably wouldn't have tried many other filters if I had, so... :hmm:
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by Blairio » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:22 pm

Perhaps given the the OP has only 104 HP to play about with, a filter no more than 4HP wide might be useful.

The last filter I bought was the Electrosmith 2144, which is based on the re-issued SSM2044 filter IC. I chose it because:

It sounds very smooth, with not too much lower frequency drop off at higher resonance values. In fact it comes quite close in sound to the MI Ripples / Tip Tip Z2040
It has two inputs! This means that if space is an issue, you don't need to have a mixer to combine two VCOs signal before the filter
It is only 4HP
It was only around 100GBP for a full assembled version. A kit is also available
It looks pretty cool too

https://www.electro-smith.com/modular/2144-lpf

It is however a 4 pole low pass filter only, whereas something like MI Ripples (8HP) is more flexible, with 2 and 4 pole low pass options, a bandpass option, and a built in VCA. As long as the OP wants their filter end of chain, then that could save on the space & cost of a separate VCA module.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by northerntao » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:38 pm

Second the Gemini 2412 - amazing duel SEM style filter. Cleaner and far more tweakability than the Doepfer SEM it replaced. Funny enough, I also have a Wasp filter in the same case for a bit of nastiness.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by mrhooks » Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:28 am

For a small (6HP), basic multi-mode filter, I really like the Happy Nerding HN VCF. The WMD/SSF MMF is similar - smaller at 4HP, but it lacks some of the HN's features (drive, 3-pole LPF, attenuverters for every knob).
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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by calvinsomething » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:32 am

No mention of QPAS yet?


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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by TTHX » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:28 am

My favourites so far are:
Doepfer Wasp
Kilpatrick K6501 // PHILTER
Happy Nerding MMM VCF - based on Moog so this might fit your bill.

But the QPAS sounds wicked, I just don't have the space lol.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by Bjarlstedt » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:08 am

I've been on a long filter hunting journey trying to find the, for me, perfect filter and settled down with a Three Sisters and an Amp & Tone. I've bought/traded and sold over 15 filters over these few years, but the two I've got now are the ones that will stay (for the time being at least).
But trying to pin down what filter that is the best or whatever is a difficult task since it depends on the rest of your system and what taste you've got. There are too many out there to choose from, so just get a versatile one and see if it suits you. Good luck! :tu:

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by Voltcontrol » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:18 am

lisa wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:16 pm
Joranalogue Filter 8 will be a contender, no matter what the criterias might be.
mdoudoroff wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:45 pm
I think you would learn a great deal from Joranalogue Filter 8.
Good shout. Thirded.
VZvision wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:53 pm
carlkh wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:26 pm

I am not very experienced in electronic music production (specially when in comes to modular synth), but for instance i really like the sound of the filter in the Moog Mother 32 ...
For something Moog-like, you may want to check out AJH’s transistor ladder filter. But as far as use-case in techno I agree with the above that a more Swiss Army knife type filter may be a better choice...Filter8 would fit that bill. Would also listen to a few since filters can be really subjective....trust your ears :tu:
Ah, even one more.
It is very nice but a somewhat expensive filter though.

If affordability is important:
For your style of music a simpler SEM (I'd pick that over the classic ladder filters like the Doepfer A-108, but that's partly taste), Doepfer A-106-5 as SEM example.
A Doepfer A-121-2 would also be nice, just listen to what it sounds like in the Dark Energy.
Mentioned different flavors from one manufacturer on purpose by the way so you can compare sound examples.
Ps don't forget to check the A-106-1, the MS20 filter fits some techno tastes well. And as mentioned before: The Wasp filter, A-124.

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Re: BEST VCF at the moment ??

Post by Fallingman » Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:02 am

I’m still new to ER, and I went with Joranalogue Filter 8 as my first vcf. Very happy with my purchase.

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