NLC's A Plague of Demons

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Peng33
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NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by Peng33 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:28 pm

I just picked this up, sight unseen (unheard?) from Reverb for under $150, and the new price from NLC assembled is $280. I need a main VCO for my fledgling rack...all I have right now is Chips that came with the Nifty Bundle. Looked online a bit before I pulled the trigger, and there is very little info out there for this module. I want an analog VCO at this point in time, because I plan to use my Kurzweil K2000 and Korg DW8000 as digital voices in my setup, and I figured an analog oscillator would benefit me more right now, taking into account my other synths, than would a wavetable or other digital voice module.

But is there anything I should know about this module? Any reason to regret my purchase?

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by aragorn23 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:59 am

I find it to be a very capable VCO with decent tracking and lots of modulation possibilities. It's also through zero, which is a nice bonus.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:06 pm

aragorn23 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:59 am
I find it to be a very capable VCO with decent tracking and lots of modulation possibilities. It's also through zero, which is a nice bonus.
This has been my takeaway as well. I have two right next to each other in a 9U drum/drone rack. They get along quite well.

If this is your first analog euro oscillator, it might take some getting used to because the layout and tuning isn't as obvious as most other VCOs. For example, the cv knob acts as an offset to the frequency for tuning,something not often seen in euroland.

The reason I opted for two is because where this module really shines imo is audio rate sine fming. Some attenuation is needed like any audio rate fm but the results are pretty out there even for FM territory. With some revrb on it modulated from something like the hypster it sounds like a bunch of alien gibbon hybrids fighting.

One is great on its own though and the only warning would be to be careful not to enjoy it too much because once the NLC bug bites, it bites hard :hihi:

There aren't a lot of vids on youtube or other stuff on a lot of Andrew's designs. Having built almost everything he has offered I can say confidently that he doesn't put out uninteresting modules or flawed concepts ever. I'm guessing sloths(triple sloth) is the most popular module by him, I love what it can do but it isn't even in my top 30 of NLC. Deep catalog with so much good stuff. A criticism I hear is that the demos are chaotic and noisy, but anyone who has patched long enough should be able to see the immense possibilities the signals that come from NlC modules are capable of when paired with other manufacturers. NLC and Mutable sing very beautifully together for example. Personally love the dry demos. The amount of fx in modular demos is too damn high!

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by Peng33 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:48 pm

NeolithicElectrophones wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:06 pm
NLC and Mutable sing very beautifully together for example. Personally love the dry demos. The amount of fx in modular demos is too damn high!

Yeah, the more NLC stuff I see, the more it (they) intrigue me. I am thinking about getting a Marbles to drive Plague of Demons, and also thinking of picking up either (maybe both?) a Numberwang or a Brain Custard. Which of the two would be most effective at taking Marbles' outputs and doing something with them, to take to Plague of Demons?

Unless there is another way to use these three/four that I am not aware of yet.

Also, I plan to get either Triple Sloths, or the individual modules if I decide on an Intellijel Palette. I am guessing this would fit in nicely as well.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:56 pm

For taking marbles outputs and doing stuff with them I wouldn't use either. I would grab a Hypster or maybe a neuron difference rectifier. Another cool option would the 8bit cipher or cellular automata sequencer. Could get a lot of milage from marbles with any of those.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by Peng33 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:16 pm

I found a Numberwang for $100, and I am itching to pull the trigger, because it is a really decent price. However, even though I *sort of* know what it does, I am not sure what it can be used for. Heh. That statement seems to describe a lot of their stuff.

Thanks for the help and input, btw.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:03 pm

Peng33 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:16 pm
Thanks for the help and input, btw.
Happy to help, NLC is a gift in modular, always down to talk their stuff.

If you plan on using marbles gate outs a lot and want more variety the numberwang could help. Definitely understand the temptation to grab modules at a huge cost reduction, but for a smaller setup numberwang outside of gates won't add any functionality.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by bemushroomed » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:21 pm

are the gates of from numberwang really chaotic or are they more controlled / rhythmical, or a mix of chaotic and controlled?

I like NLC and i've used (and sold) a lot of the modules.. often they are too chaotic to be used musically i think, awesome if you're into absolute chaos though.. my favorite that i absolutely will keep is let's splosh, very useful module for getting more modulation options. i wouldn't mind something similar for gates, though i would like if it was in time with other triggers. didn't really care for either GENiE or FFchaos...

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by scragz » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:40 pm

bemushroomed wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:21 pm
are the gates of from numberwang really chaotic or are they more controlled / rhythmical, or a mix of chaotic and controlled?
It's my understanding that Numberwang is pretty much Let's Splosh for gates. The outputs are directly related to the inputs and not just influenced by the inputs like on the more chaotic stuff.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:47 pm

bemushroomed wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:21 pm

I like NLC and i've used (and sold) a lot of the modules.. often they are too chaotic to be used musically i think, awesome if you're into absolute chaos though.. my favorite that i absolutely will keep is let's splosh, very useful module for getting more modulation options. i wouldn't mind something similar for gates, though i would like if it was in time with other triggers. didn't really care for either GENiE or FFchaos...
A lot of the modules definitely need to be tamed a bit for more standard "musical" applications. There should tons more attenuator love in euro discussions in general imo. This is especially true for NLC because some of the voltage changes are quite nuanced with attenuation. The more chaotic modules seem to really shine as the input to quantized resonators like rings or elements in "ringified" mode. What i love about NLC and other places like Soma or folktek is the "organismic" feel to it all. Movement and nonlinearity is a nice approach to getting unique results.

Totally agree that a chaotic trigger generator would be nice with a switch to change back to gates. I've used gates more than trigs until lately. I'll have to check if wangernumb tracks triggers well tomorrow.
Last edited by NeolithicElectrophones on Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by bemushroomed » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:23 am

scragz wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:40 pm

It's my understanding that Numberwang is pretty much Let's Splosh for gates. The outputs are directly related to the inputs and not just influenced by the inputs like on the more chaotic stuff.
sounds like a module i would really like then :)

@NeolithicElectrophones attenuators, yeah, i can sometimes be rather lazy myself and just not use it because it adds even more spaghetti/complexity, especially so if the patch is super complex already, but yeah, it does a lot to add them for the kind of stuff NLC does..

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by smithjohn » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:49 pm

I was a bit let down by the PoD FM capabilities when I had one. Or maybe it was just too much cranking everything to the max? I felt there was a kind of samey sound that was hard to escape no matter what modulator pitch settings were involved.

A ton of waveform outs was useful though :tu:

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by andrewF » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:42 pm

smithjohn wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:49 pm
I was a bit let down by the PoD FM capabilities when I had one. Or maybe it was just too much cranking everything to the max? I felt there was a kind of samey sound that was hard to escape no matter what modulator pitch settings were involved.

A ton of waveform outs was useful though :tu:
There are 4 different pots, a signal input and a CV input for setting up FM patches.
If you have the Gain pot at max, then any incoming CV will be ignored (unless it happened to be a negative voltage), so not much variation would happen.
The best results are from injecting a signal or using the feedback pot, then using CV to control the gain of the FM signal. I always use the PoD in this way, very rarely control it via the regular CV inputs.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by bronzebygold » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:50 pm

How does PoD FM compare to Generate 3? Is there too much overlap in their timbres to justify getting both? Would they be able to blend at all?

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by batch » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:54 am

@NeolithicElectrophones - what are your top 5 or so NLC modules? I have Triple Sloths which I love and am clearing some space in my case and want to add some more but e choice is a little overwhelming.
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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:39 am

batch wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:54 am
@NeolithicElectrophones - what are your top 5 or so NLC modules? I have Triple Sloths which I love and am clearing some space in my case and want to add some more but e choice is a little overwhelming.
Not sure if this will help or make it even more confusing, might help to see your rack and know what kind of stuff you want to make, but here it goes...

VCOs-

A Plague of demons-for the reasons stated above

Cem3340- not sure why this isn't talked about more often in 3340 discussions tbh. Solid as heck and the pan pulse is really unique sounding.

Filters-

Resonate- If the DIY vactrols are matched well the amount of tone sculpting you can get is really crazy. Resonance can scream when cranked but also be dialed in well.Adds a lot of weight to simple waveforms and complex audio alike.

Dispersion delay- Three cascading or independent bandpass filters each coupled to a pt2399 echo ic. Can get anything from smooth and wonderful lo-fi type tape loop textures all the way to cranked glitchy madness on it.

Modulation
Feague- Although it's a filter as well, the quadrature sine outs in LFO mode are great for panning patches and setting up rhythmic drones.

Hypster- Hard to describe what i love about it so much, I guess while some chaotic signals can get sharp quickly, I find most of the chaos NLC designs has a more rounded and "blurpy" organic feel.

Logic
Divine CMOS- Another one I don't see mentioned much, but if you like pseudo-ring modulated weirdness it's really fun. I enjoy feeding it a signal and routing the outputs into frames then putting the mix out of that into a reverb. Sweep with a sine on frames and its can get really nice sounds.

Divide and conquer- Favorite analog clock divider in euro. Nice to have odd outs.

Honorable mention-

Giant bono. This one actually might be my favorite concept and the ergonomics are great with smaller knobs than davies, I just don't end up using it enough so it isn't in the top category and is currently shelved. But oh man, send it into elements in ringified mode and the textures are insanely gorgeous imo.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by Flexyflier » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:42 am

I really love the NLC modules...
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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by foliephonics » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:27 pm

Flexyflier wrote: I really love the NLC modules...
3 rows worth of NLC at least ? :yay: :yay: :yay:

Triple Sloth was my very first module after a semi-modular. Never looked back ! :banana:

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by batch » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:52 am

Thank you!! Super helpful
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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by Peng33 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:51 pm

NeolithicElectrophones wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:03 pm
Peng33 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:16 pm
Thanks for the help and input, btw.
Happy to help, NLC is a gift in modular, always down to talk their stuff.

If you plan on using marbles gate outs a lot and want more variety the numberwang could help. Definitely understand the temptation to grab modules at a huge cost reduction, but for a smaller setup numberwang outside of gates won't add any functionality.
So I have been thinking about getting a Pittsburgh Modular Game System, which has gate (I think...not sure if it uses triggers or gates or if either one works) inputs for the L/R and Up/Down for the joystick, and a few other gates for some of the other functions. So if I end up getting it, it seems Numberwang might be a decent module to pair it with, so there is chaos going in and some order from the chaos coming out.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:44 pm

Peng33 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:51 pm
NeolithicElectrophones wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:03 pm
Peng33 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:16 pm
Thanks for the help and input, btw.
Happy to help, NLC is a gift in modular, always down to talk their stuff.

If you plan on using marbles gate outs a lot and want more variety the numberwang could help. Definitely understand the temptation to grab modules at a huge cost reduction, but for a smaller setup numberwang outside of gates won't add any functionality.
So I have been thinking about getting a Pittsburgh Modular Game System, which has gate (I think...not sure if it uses triggers or gates or if either one works) inputs for the L/R and Up/Down for the joystick, and a few other gates for some of the other functions. So if I end up getting it, it seems Numberwang might be a decent module to pair it with, so there is chaos going in and some order from the chaos coming out.
Yeah, Numberwang is great for combining multiple gates into cool patterns. If you go the NLC route check out Cellular automata and wangernumb as well.

Personally prefer Wangernumb over numberwang but that's only because it matches up with more of the music I liek to make. The roulette function makes it a burst generator and the vco, while very simple can make some weird noises. Can be used as a tracker and for creating square wave sub-octaves as well. Just all around useful module.

Cellular automata is a great module for creating interesting patterns from gate and cv inputs as well. NLC describes it's function better than I ever could.

" a 16 cell gate and pattern generator using cellular automata rules 90 & 150. It will run thru a process driven by a clock signal and requires a signal on one of the seed inputs (anything crossing 1V) to start a new process or alter the current one.
A process without seeds may run for hours or minutes, depending upon the start point and clock rate.

There are 3 CV outputs, two based on what is happening on each half of the circuit, one reflects the pattern created by the active cells. Each cell has a gate output."

I've never seen them up for sale on reverb (for good reason since they are amazing), but you can buy direct from Andrew at NLC's website. He ships fast , packs well and is all around great to deal with.

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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by 3hands » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:56 pm

Im going to become an 8 year old and say Numberwang is my new favourite word.
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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by jabberbased » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:38 pm

You never run out of interesting ways to use many nlc modules.
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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by jabberbased » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:08 pm

Flexyflier wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:42 am
I really love the NLC modules...
Me too ;)
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Re: NLC's A Plague of Demons

Post by far » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:30 pm

Also going off topic from PoD but Jerk Off is my fave NLC module. Literally use it in every patch for adding organic sounding slight variance in envelopes or LFO's etc.
Not sure if it's not as widely available(?) as I think it was one of NLC's first Eurorack modules, I'm pretty sure it was NLC's first workshop module or if the Hypster covers similar territory, I haven't tried Hypster.

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