Hello all, I've been playing with this stuff in software for quite a while but I'm still learning. I have had a Neutron for about a year and there are several stumbling blocks I'd like to resolve. Namely: Need more attenuverters EGs (with cv controllable a/d) and mults, frequently wish I had a 3rd oscillator for FM or a simple 3rd voice [in spite of knowing how to use both the lfo and filter (with feedback waveshaping) as oscillators], a source of logarithmic decay, a different filter for a distinct 2nd voice, a sequencer better than my keystep, a way to sample sounds i create so they don't just disappear after a jam session, a full wave rectifier so i can patch up an envelop follower, and obviously a mixer/VCA module to compliment all that.
Here is the planned 1st stage build which solves these problems: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1283086
And if you're curious to the (current) ultimate plan it is here: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1282666
The Neutron won't be racked (usually). It's there for reference and for when I fly (more on that later).
From left to right, top to bottom, here is my reasoning behind each module choice:
- Case: intellijel 7u is the only carry-on compatible case. Simple as that.
Mults: mults. 1 buffered for pitch, 2 unbuffered for flexibility as passive mixers
LPG: Ok. Doesn't solve a problem but a cheap 1u lpg will no doubt free up a vca/filter combo some of the time.
1u VCA: doubles as a 2 input mixer. This gives me 8 VCAs total not counting frames (2 neutron, 2 1u, 4 quadropol). This configuration has 6 potential oscillators AT LEAST (2 neutron, fm ogre, filter 8, neutron lfo, neutron filter) not counting the quadrax or sampler. They will be used.
Headphones: because I don't want to have to use my outboard mixer in every situation
usb: convenient for powering my keystep
Hermod: CV Seq/Samp capabilities are a primary reason for buying in. It also gives me euclidean which I really want without needing a dedicated module for it right away. I like the generative idea but i also want to be able to write and store traditional sequences and a pyramid + 8 channel midi interface would cost twice as much. It also follows the 'pattern of patterns' workflow which I fell in love with with seq24/36/48/64/66 and continued to love in Caustic.
bitbox micro: I have no love for the alternate firmwares available for bitbox mk2. Bitbox micro does what I want (velocity and pitch autosampling!) in a smaller footprint. I can also sample any envelope/lfo/noise as an extra cv source when needed. Spending the extra money on the mk2 for a firmware that may never include velocity multisampling is a non-starter for me. But even if it did, until I really know i actually need 16 tracks (I probably don't) it seems a waste of hp and 1-2 hundred bucks.
Kinks: The best bang for buck way to get a full wave rectifier in my system so I can envelop follow and duck those kicks.
FM Ogre: Most versatile tzfm oscillator I could find. Sample in allows tzfm of any sampled waveform. It also does linear and log, and even gives a taste of granular and PM.
Filter 8: Wanted a 2nd filter with notch capability (working towards 3 required for formants). This does that, and damn near everything else. All of the FMs, octrature phase output (in spite of my software experience the idea of quad/octrature phaseplay is new to me and this is really exciting). It can also be an lfo or an oscillator self-patched to almost any waveshape. And it's multiple outputs can be amplitude normaled without eating attenuators.
Quadrax + expander: Most flexible cv a/d eoc EG i could find. Does log a/r which is important for percussion because my vca choice is linear.
quadropol: Originally was set on an intellijel quadVCA, but I needed 2 more hp available to rack the neutron for travel and found this -- and it's way better. It does almost everything the intellijel does but It lacks the +6db boost and the lin/exp switches. However the quadrax has variable response so that doesn't matter. Yes it's more expensive, but it also provides a dual LPG, and I found a triple 2hp attenuator to pair with it to make up for the lack of cv attenuators. The 2hp partner isn't part of the initial build, due to the ATN8 (below). I'll get the 2hp if I need it later and after my upcoming move. The result of 10hp quadropol + 2hp triple attenuator = intellijel quadVCA + 2 ring modulators (minus 1 cv attenuator and exp. response option) for less $$ and less hp than a quad + 2xRMs.
Plancks 2: Ok. This one is just for fun. I love the idea of setting up an fm snare and morphing it into a ride cymbal in the middle of a performance. What can I say.
Lifeforms MicroSequence: Also a fun buy that doesn't directly address my above goals but aids my interaction with the instrument. A more hands on performance oriented quantized low-hp sequencer to compliment the divey keystep-programmed hermod.
Neutron: Already have it. Starting point.
ATN8: absolutely best bang for buck/hp attenuvertor + mixer. Allows me to attenuate and combine my kick duck cv with the EGs of 3 other voices and still have 1 pair of attenuvertors left over.