How do you use your Eurorack?

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How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by wcniedba1 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:40 pm

I am just starting to get into Eurorack/Synthesis. I've been a hobbyist musician for a long time (mainly guitar and drums). For me this is totally a hobby. But I'm curious as to how people are using Eurorack's (especially those who are dumping $20-30K+ into these systems). Are you using it for studio? Live? And are you hobbyist, pro or semi-pro?

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by starthief » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:27 pm

I've got about half that much in my setup, counting my DAW and non-modular gear (and some of it is beta test gear so it didn't cost that much).

I am a serious amateur -- not in it for the money, but for fulfillment. I release albums on a somewhat frequent and regular basis, with pay-what-you-want pricing usually, but I don't make much effort to promote them. I make a living as a software developer, but I make music to be alive :)

(I do have some history as a semi-pro performer -- as a drummer with St. Louis Osuwa Taiko. It was a hell of a lot of fun, but also a hell of a lot of work every week that didn't really leave me time and energy for my own creative pursuits. I was a lot more productive and fulfilled musically after I left, and didn't get into Eurorack until a few years later. But I am no doubt in worse physical shape now! Sometimes I miss the group aspects and the stress relief...)

My setup is studio oriented, though my recording process is live and improvisational once I'm set up. I record the full mix in one take, with effects baked in, and then edit that to some degree. I like to keep it spontaneous and commit to it, instead of endlessly tweaking and second-guessing. Most of my parts are drones, manually played parts or simple looped sequences. Along with the modular I occasionally also use a Lyra-8, Yamaha Reface CS, or one of handful of software synths. I use a DAW as mixer, effects host, recorder, and occasionally as a looper or as an extension of the modular (using Bitwig Grid).

I don't shoot performances or demos on video, I just stick to audio. My little studio corner is like me -- functional, but kind of cobbled roughly together and not pretty :lol:

[edit] Since other people are mentioning their genres, I go for something along drone ambient/"angrient" lines for the most part.
Last edited by starthief on Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by lisa » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:37 pm

Amateur, doing it just for fun. I put out 5-10 tracks/year.

I have two rather big cases (420hp each) that I run separately, for variation.
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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by cierny_vlk » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:50 pm

I'm a hobbyist who likes to make a wide variety of different types of synth-based music: minimal techno, post-punk, harsh noise, IDM, synthwave, lo-fi glitchy stuff, etc. I've filled 624hp (along with a few external synths), and that should be enough to keep me occupied for quite a while. I'm just starting to put an album together for fun, with zero intentions of ever making money as a musician. This is all purely a self-actualization trip.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by bemushroomed » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:00 pm

947HP. Hobby/toy(s) (I don't release stuff)

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by ATW » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:09 pm

A music-making and sound design sandbox. Like Starthief I'll record patches in one take, and then do a bit of editing and such in Ableton and Twisted Wave. I send one stereo pair out to my Focusrite. Sometimes I'll approach a patch with a specific goal—to record a melodic or percussive part for a song I am working on in Ableton. Other times it will be to get a cacophonous percussive patch going, or drones/pads and atmospherics, or a chopped up/rhythmic sample element.

It continues to be the best crash course in synthesis I've found. On days I want to be 'macro', I can reconfigure my portable case to be a control skiff, a complex oscillator (current state), or groovebox with percussion + vco + filter + fx + basic sequencing altogether. I can also zoom in on another day and focus on specific timbres with a module, or editing a few samples to drop into a wav player, explore euclidean rhythms, make a drum patch using only noise sources, do a generative patch, etc.

The ability to (relatively) easily reconfigure cases, modules, and signal flow lets the instrument evolve with you—it is both a strength and a weakness, though—watch out for 'analysis paralysis'.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by dubonaire » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:22 pm

I'm a semi-hobbyist. I have 1008 hp. I use it differently at different times, lately I've been using it more for sound design. I was planning a gig this year at a dance party (without the modular) but that plan all fell apart obviously.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by plogbidman » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:36 pm

Size is not a good criteria to juge a modular in my opinion. Ok, big size matters, essentially because the number of modules is greater. But a bigger modular doesn't necessarely mean a better modular. The most important thing is the central idea, the axial concept, the force of the structure. A massive unstructured modular is only an addition of module. But a smaller modular well structured can be much more powerful and versatile. My first modular was a Doepfer Basic System. That system is beautifully structured. Actually, it's a system much more powerful than expected, not at all a simply basic modular.
I use modulars only to create all sort of sequences.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by Gringo Starr » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:18 pm

I write pop songs presented in a mostly typical format. Vocals, drums, guitar, bass, and synthesizers for the most part. My modular system feels more like an escape from working on those songs. Sometimes it delivers happy mistakes that end up being a seed for a new pop-song which is nice. Strangely enough that seed is often removed by the time it's over.

For the longest time I would approach my modular system with absolutely no idea on what I was going to do. I would end up trying to make huge symphonies of sound with various parts. Sometimes I had great results and often times it was a fun but wasted several hours. Recently I've been trying to approach my modular system with something already in place. It could be a bass line, an acoustic guitar, or keyboard progression. I'm finding that I get much better results this way when I have an anchor going in.

How I use modulars seems to be evolving over time though. There are still modular approaches I have yet to deeply explore like adding the WMD Sequential Switch Matrix or the Turing machine to my system. So who knows what I'll find there or where I'll end up. That's one of the reasons I truly love modulars. I find it interesting to see how people build their systems and what their approach to using it is. It's all unique to me and I love it.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by a773 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:33 pm

I write melodic music with pop forms and jazz elements. I’m serious about my music but can’t make a living from it. Have also done some sound design for real money with the system.

I currently put out a new track every two weeks on YouTube. I play live from time to time, but during this summer I hope to be finished with a setup that’ll allow me to perform longer sets incorporating old tracks.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by Parnelli » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:35 pm

Mine is a bucket list dream come true! I built it for me as something to do when I retire so I didn't go stir crazy. I enjoy it so much, and it is like therapy to me, I forget the troubles of the world whilst I wiggle away. I am very happy with what I have built, as well as my progress in learning how to best integrate it into my life musically. I am getting to a point wherein I would like to share with others my creations, I won't go so far as to call them music, not just yet.

In fact there is a UFO festival in Cedar City (if it doesn't get cancelled) in a couple of weeks, and I would like to set my cabin tent up in the camping area, put my synth inside, and do a little (what I call) Space Truckin' just to see the reaction I might garner....

Of course if there was anyone there in an altered state of mind that might not be a good idea, I dunno.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by scragz » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:38 pm

Meditation tool, make cool noises and relax. Occasionally I will make a multi-part composition that goes somewhere and record a live take. Kinda into the ephemeral right now though, just patching for that moment and not stressing about accomplishing anything.

Hope to do live noise performances again with other people if the world ever goes back to normal.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by mkasthe » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:47 pm

Total hobbyist, wanted some creative outlet to avoid going insane at work and to an extent it's probably the adult version of Lego, which has always been my favorite toy :)

Have ~500HP of space in 3U + ~250HP in 1U, which is going to be a hard cap for a while

Mostly post my crap on IG, probably to prove that this is not just a crazy money pit and I can create something with some semblance of musicality
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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by SIN_formant_A1472V » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:15 pm

I mostly use my eurorack gear as if it were any other piece of equipment in the studio. Just really another synth or set of synths rather, but definitely the best sounding and of the highest potential as far as what it yields.

As far as actual uses, I will use it for everything, ambient patches, basslines, leads, glitchy drum stuff, really solid subtly morphing kick drums, squelchy basses, generative patches, all sorts of stuff. I sort of let the synth take me where it is going to take me, sometimes just plugging something into something random creates the piece for me.

I don't play live, have zero interest in it, too much investment in time and money, seems kind of pointless to me these days but I'm just tempermental. I love making music but I am not really a people person, so anything live is really taxing for me. It's 100% in the studio and I edit and edit and edit performances in Pro Tools and make tracks, but don't really worry too much about releasing them. I wouldn't call it a hobby because I have done things, but mostly in the art world as sound/video installation. I'll probably be releasing something soonish, but not really sure what the details of that are at this point.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by Stice » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:56 pm

I use it in a variety of ways. I make kicks with it, and hats, and I make stabs/single-shot samples with it. I sometimes record ideas or themes from it and use them for the basis of other things. I use it to play all kinds of parts in larger compositions, sequenced by Cirklon or Live - with varying degrees of manual interaction. I use it for meditation/therapy, and sound exploration. I find it endlessly fascinating and so I use it as a way to learn things too - electronics, logic, musical concepts, history...

I use it in the studio as a hobbyist. I happen to think modular in general (not my specific studio setup) would make the best live setup possible for me, if I was younger and had more time and had any interest in playing out.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by oilpanic » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:07 pm

I typically do songs in logic using very basic emulated monosynths. Once the composition is decent I run the various parts through the Eurorack. After that the tunes don’t sound anything like before and they take on a life of their own.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:49 pm

My goal has been sound design for film for a very long time. I also do sound design and presets for VST. I have had jobs working for DSP companies in various roles from sales + product rep to beta tester and coder. Moving out of the computer and into eurorack was the missing piece and counter point to what I believe is a very powerful and simultaneously very limited way to make music. After playing in bands and mixing bands both live and in the studio, after teaching piano to noobs, I got extremely bored with popular music. This is the path of avant garde painters who make joke pieces after they paint perfect portraits. You get to the point where nothing really tickles your fancy so you constantly explore what has not been done or explored. If music makes you love music or music makes you hate music those are both emotions. What I find pleasing now is probably very repulsive to the average listener. But I think as long as I feel something I will keep making my noise music. I still get a kick out of recording sound libraries as well. Being the supplier of the raw material of human emotion of the future is an interesting position to be in.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by pekbro » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:11 pm

Mostly interested in using the stuff for film as well. I am an artist and graphics guy with a good deal of experience
in film production. My goal is to be able to combine the two, although I tend to get caught up in one or the other
instead of both. Also, I just have a natural affinity for gadgets and mechanical stuff. Fixed arch synths have a lot
of draw for me as well.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by Tenderosa » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:28 pm

I have 166hp, had a hard cap in a 126hp case but then also filled a 40hp one to recreate a particular monosynth I'd loved & lost. I use it in a small studio with ableton also filling in some modulation CV roles on top of recording & fx. I play live with some version of it a couple of times a year and normally do a couple of album releases a year as well. It has paid for itself a few times over from live & installation and video scoring projects but not making money in the making a living sense by a long shot. In 2020 land have gone to using it mostly as a video scoring rig which I'm loving, playing modulation moves over different passes.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by diggida » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:13 pm

I'm a professional musician, producer, composer, and engineer (many hats!). I'm a guitarist by background and education, though I grew up a band kid and my career has led me to a place of playing anything i can get my hands on, haha(I literally play 6-8 instruments in a band I tour with a lot...or did tour with before all this shit.)

As a producer/composer I'm always looking for new/interesting sounds and/or new ways to interface or be inspired by an instrument. I spend ALL day on computers with endless soft synths, etc. and while I use them daily, I find the process uninspiring. What I DO find inspiring, especially in the synthesizer world, is new (at least to me) ways of discovering sounds or musical ideas.

I have a friend/colleague who is a pretty well known synthesizer expert (among other things) and one day shooting the poo with him he had his giant Moog modular generating endless waves of interesting musical tapestries and I left that day feeling like I had to dive into that world and see what it was all about. I'm still a neophyte, but it has very much improved my understanding of synthesis (which was already pretty good) and I've come up with all sorts of cool musical sounds that I've used in film scores and music productions I've been working on.

Short version: its fun and cool and expensive.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by DalNiente » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:57 am

I found Eurorack as an alternative to writing "serious" music, which is my daytime job as a contemporary composer. For me it's all about the patching, meditation, listening and enjoyment. That's why I'm not really interested in producing or releasing my tracks, most often I'm not even recording. After six years of working in the music business it's quite relaxing and empowering to let loose, that's why I prefer to do noise/ drone/ glitch music: music that is not based on precise compositional decisions but rather randomness, chaos and generative settings. I tend to prefer working with very small and minimal setups, focusing on only a few modules that I put together as miniature instruments (so far two constellations of 48HP an 64HP). It encourages me to get creative and to really spend time with the one or two modules that I love at the moment, before trying out something else. As I said in the end it's all about me having fun during the process and feeling inspired by the act of controlled interaction and sonic contemplation.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by Martebar » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:08 am

I am a hobbyist who makes electronic music on his free time, releases music occasionally and played live a few times.

I have a (very) small rack compared to others here, it's a 3u 84hp which follows a "synth voice + sequencer" template like the System Cartesian or the Random*Source Mantra, but with mostly MI modules. I use it as an idea generator for my techno tracks. Usually record a jam of it with just a kick from my DAW and then build tracks around the recording.

But now that I have setup a more complex recording system with overbridge on my Digitone and the recent addition of a Typhon, I am able to record up to 8 synth voice at once, which is of course overkill and totally unmanageable for my brain, but I might start multitrack jams from now on.

I also recorded a series of tracks with the modular plugged into the Digitone and straight into a recorder just to bring the performance aspect in the picture and totally bypassing the computer.

When I play live I do it without the modular, it is totally based on the octatrack which I use as a dub mixer to re-arrange stems and loops coming from my modular, my synths and my DAW. I control it with a Launch Control XL and have a Space Echo as a send effect. I am really tempted to work on an improvisation based octatrack + modular combo but is is not for today. I have many live setups ideas in mind, but never have even three days of patience available to work for an extended on one of them.
Last edited by Martebar on Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by jube » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:32 am

I’m a web developer by day. When I was a kid I used to play the saxophone and play with reason and ableton. I got into modular as a hobby that does not require me to sit behind a computer.
Also, I enjoy the fleeting aspect of creating music with modular. I only record snippets with my iPhone camera & mic when jamming. Making tracks is not a goal.
Last edited by jube on Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by cptnal » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:02 am

I'm in the hobbyists-bored-with-computers camp. I don't hold with the idea that your system must be focused or serve a function - I want mine to keep surprising me, and it does. That makes it potentially open ended and yes, I have dumped that much cash on it. But you can't take it with you, and it's paid for itself in joy.
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Re: How do you use your Eurorack?

Post by dreamdead » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:45 am

Voltage controlled nightlight

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