best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

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bubblefunk
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best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:15 pm

i'm aware that filters play the biggest part in a synth's sound, and that wavetable & FM oscillators etc. give a whole different range of tones, but i'm looking for regular analogue modules like cwejmann's CTG-VC "complex transient generator" which seems to be a lot of people's choice for best envelopes, and one member noted that the "envelator" imparts a "woody" sound that sounds interesting, though i'm not looking for "extra features" like looping there.

what i'm looking for is basic building blocks (minus wavetable, FM, & filters) that make the most high end or distinctive sounds that stand apart from everything else. i found virtually NO "best sounding" (whatever) threads here and though this would be a good place to start one.

what are some really outstanding and/or unique sounding

- ADSR/envelope generators
- analogue oscillators
- VCAs
- ring modulators
- envelope followers
- sample and holds (sonic difference?)
- slew limiters (sonic difference?)
- waveshapers


or any other functions that contribute strictly to sound quality or lack there of, not including effects either

i'm trying to re-imagine my "arp of noise" dream machine (tons of filters = a room fool of SYNTHESIZERS) after deciding to swap out its control forge & expander & pamela's workout as it seems that bitwig would do everything they can, and more, in a way i'd prefer as i'd rather draw envelopes & pitch bends than noodle them. i'm NOT a noodler. i want to build an INSTRUMENT for sound design & playing.

so... let's stop talking about FUNCTIONS for a second here, and talk about SONICS... and yes... i'm a proud GEARSLUT!

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bubblefunk
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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:22 pm

i've noted that triangle oscillators seem to be really popular, but have never read WHY, for example & can't remember either of the two ring modulators i read about in a review that supposedly sound really "fat".

in looking to replace the ADSRs from what was originally an "erica row", i noticed that one company has both korg & sequential ADSRs which is what started me wondering as why would they need both other than sound? i always thought one ADSR is pretty much like any other.

as to waveshapers, i think i've read topobrillo & serge are supposed to be "best"

COMPARISONS between like modules are appreciated too.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Gringo Starr » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:33 pm

bubblefunk wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:22 pm
i always thought one ADSR is pretty much like any other.

as to waveshapers, i think i've read topobrillo & serge are supposed to be "best"
One ADSR pretty much like the other? Mmmmm kind of but there are some differences. I personally prefer Cwejman ADSR’s over any others I’ve had experience with in Euro but that’s just me. I also have a Befaco ADSR which I like as well but it does feel a bit different in use. I believe they can have different curves set by the designer which can create subtle but noticeable differences.

Waveshapers are extremely subjective. There’s not a best. I find the Bastl Timber to be one of the best. Just depends on what resonates with you. There are a couple Eurorack waveshaper videos on YouTube worth checking out. :)

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Gringo Starr » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:35 pm





While you’re at it there’s also this


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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by luchog » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:05 am

Metasonix has about the most unique and distinctive sounding gear. Not for everyone; but if you're looking at noise/crunchy/distorted sound, it's a great starting point.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Joey P. » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:03 pm

LPGs have a sound. I love the 12db on the LxDx.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:31 pm

"Waveshapers are extremely subjective."
well that's true of ANY piece of gear. some people love 303 filter sweeps... i despise 'em and don't much care for "cheesy 1970's sci-fi" sounding moogs and am very much an ARP fan with a side order of CS-80 & oberheim. that's why i mentioned DISTINCTIVE... gear that really has its own sound. i'm really into organic sounding textures... more of a filter thing, but there's plenty of discussion on those. i love both the morgasmatron and the similar "high end" (to my ears) sounding studio electronics' CS-80 clone with their difference being one sounds more woody... and the other more like a tin roof... also cool. i dig rubbery, juicy, fat & vocal sounds, but again, that's mostly filters.

"Metasonix has about the most unique and distinctive sounding gear. Not for everyone; but if you're looking at noise/crunchy/distorted sound, it's a great starting point."
absolutely! someone called their discontinued last i knew all tube synth "angry R2D2, but it sounded more like a drunk dalek to me... very angry for sure. a bit atonal, specific & industrial for my tastes where i'm a big fan of 80s biggies: brian eno, EARLY devo (moog... i know, but they thrashed it), vangelis, gary numan, & even bill nelson's synth sounds, and the art of noise (before they dropped zang tum tum & got pretentious and more pretentiouser) is probably my biggest influence. i really dug metasonix's drum machine too... more than their synth which was too resonance prone. not a fan of filter resonance either... sounds like annoying distortion to me. as to tube distortion, i really wanted to get into that, but outside the box with stomp boxes & preamps. i don't know why techno artists don't grunge their VSTs up at all. can't stand fizzy digital sound... looking at you 303!

that waveshaper shootout is a must see when i have the time. my synth would also have the one in the intellijel's shapeshifter which i picture using way more than analogue VCOs, except for them super fat square waves i love so much. i originally planned on flanking the studio electronics' CS-80 with the serge folder and serge variable Q filter, but will definitely check the video out.

i forgot to add MIXERs to my list. one filter brags about it's moog mixer circuit.

i planned on the "core" of the synth to be a complete intellijel voice with dixie IIs & plonk, but the manufacturer who sells both oberheim & korg ADSRs made me think things aren't the same between brands and that "woody sounding" description of envelator made me want to drop the erica & intellijel ADSRs i planned for that and the ever popular cwejmann which it seems many consider the "top" builder even if his gear comes in 3 different colors that don't match anything else in a black & white (or even silver) rig. that really bothers my artist's eye. don't get me started on the super popular brand whose graphics i despise. LOL

hopefully more weigh in on standard modules that have distinctive voices. i want to get as far from moog sound as possible. ;P

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by dooj88 » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:46 pm

removed

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:47 pm

was liking the befaco in that demo... it sounded bright and juicy until it really started getting twisted which was cool too. just skimmed the videos. was liking the first 2 in the first video and a later one that all sounded fat. the metasonix was too grungy, and other were muffled sounding. awesome find. i'd give you a thumbs up if i could.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:37 pm

that's it? no-one has anything more to add?

maybe there's an analogue synth forum at gearslutz. they're all about mojo there.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Parnelli » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:07 pm

I think that just about any module can sound "unique" in the hands (or rack) of the right person.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Multi Grooves » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:19 pm

Schippmann filter VCF01 and VCF 02 are something special sonically. They offer so much shaping options around resonance...esp the newer one.
...but Cynthia, my Daddy never had a heath kit..

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Multi Grooves » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:22 pm

I think WMD MME was seen for a long time as [italic] the [/italic] the envelope of choice before Zadar turned up. It is still a very comprehensive generator. I guess the options it offers is a good path for uniqueness?
...but Cynthia, my Daddy never had a heath kit..

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:02 pm

Multi Grooves wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:19 pm
Schippmann filter VCF01 and VCF 02 are something special sonically. They offer so much shaping options around resonance...esp the newer one.
already have a VCF 02 in my dream rack's bottom row that started out as an erica polivoks plus most of the stuff in it now, though it used to have that THICK sounding retro looking vermona that i liked for its sound and the way it matched everything.

i'm looking for something(s) to fill a gap left by a pair of dixie II+ in my intellijel row now, so ARP of Noise is still in flux and likely to change.

here's where i'm going (NO NOODLING, 303 filter sweeping, or quantizing allowed! it's a synth to be played and beatbox envelope followed)

Image

look at all them filters!!!!

go gearslutz go!!!

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:06 pm

just added greyscal cyclebox to the rack and it fits perfectly.

i love greyscale... ESPECIALLY where makenoise is concerned.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by Pyrrhix » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:12 pm

bubblefunk wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:15 pm

- analogue oscillators
- ring modulators

The Pittsburgh Primary Oscillator has some very unique waveshapes compared to other standalone analog oscillators. It has a proper beefy sound too. The Livewire AFG has some very unique waveshapes as well, though I can only judge that one from online demos.

When it comes to unique sounding Ring Mod, I would have to give that to the Moddemix. I honestly don't really like how it sounds, but there's no doubt it doesn't sound like any other Ring Mod I've heard. The Laurentide PRM-2 is also quite unique sounding.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by mixxalot » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:18 pm

IME/Harvestman modules like Piston Honda and Kermit as well as Richter Wiard modules have their own thing going on.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:18 pm

mixxalot wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:18 pm
IME/Harvestman modules like Piston Honda and Kermit as well as Richter Wiard modules have their own thing going on.
to me... in their demos... the piston honda & cyclebox 2 sound a lot alike. i tried to demo the kermit to find out what it is and what it does, and am listening to a hertz donut (cool name!) demo and am kind of liking the early devo "angry moog" sounds. like i said, shapeshifter rules VCOs by my tastes and i actually like the erica black wavetable better than cyclebox & piston honda too because of its vocal waves. i laughed out loud watching a demo where an LFO made it go "whoa-oh-oh-oh" and then when it got pitch shifted... i just loved that effect.

found a kermit demo... not liking it... too basic sounding & not unlike a standard VCO, but it could just be the demo. i've noticed that a lot of gear demos (just watched some sequential prophet & oberheim videos) suck as they demo the most basic & boring stuff where i'm into wild brian eno & classy vangelis type sounds. demos never sound a fraction as good as synths sound on records, but i imagine effects play a huge part of that.

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:23 pm

The Pittsburgh Primary Oscillator has some very unique waveshapes compared to other standalone analog oscillators. It has a proper beefy sound too. The Livewire AFG has some very unique waveshapes as well, though I can only judge that one from online demos.
there's a perfect example of what i was just talking about... THIS video makes the pittsburg sound boring like those moogs that i just don't like


whereas this one shows off a lot more character

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by hawkfuzz » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:26 pm

STO
THUMPR BC SC

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:30 pm

STO
sounds like a VST to me. if i had my dream machine, i'd use all those filters to fatten VSTs up.
Richter Wiard modules have their own thing going on.
was listening to this video

and the malekko DOES have an interesting twisted sound going on, but the graphic artist in me hates that goth style graphics. i don't like graphics in general on modules... makenoise in particular, but eric's busy looking circuit board kit modules along with that annoying jellyfish on their black wavetable bother me big time. as respected as cwejman is, i hate that he (?) does three colors... and none of them are black, white or silver. looks have nothing to do with a module's sound or function, but they matter to me. i ain't EVER buying ANYTHING with skulls, demons or flames.

...or my little pony! HAHAHAHAH! google "clopper"

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by bubblefunk » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:46 pm

to show just how "squarewave through moog retentive" (HAHAHAHAHA!) i am when it comes to looks... this was my orignal concept for the arp of noise after numerous revisions that STILL left me bothered that there was no way to properly center the 'showcase filters"

Image

i started re-designing the concept once it occurred to me that i, theoretically, should be able to everything pamela and control forge can do using bitwig & expert sleepers. as i intend to play, perform or edit EVERYTHING going into my dream synth, i'd rather edit my modulations in my DAW.

(i'm so "old school"... i still call those midi sequencers)

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by brandonlogic » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:59 pm

first thing that came to mind is mutable warps! look into it, very underrated module!

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by far » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:33 pm

I don't think the word 'best' belongs in music or musical instruments talk.
As for unique sounding, Jupiter Storm should defo get a mention

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Re: best & "most unique" sounding standard modules?

Post by daphnid » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:02 pm

bubblefunk wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:31 pm
i don't know why techno artists don't grunge their VSTs up at all. can't stand fizzy digital sound... looking at you 303!
Oh but they do! Most producers I know use external gear to process their tracks made in the box. Often for overdrive through a pedal or mixer preamp. Also analog delay, old rack gear, and spring reverb are common, and often distort very nicely. Also when tracks get mastered they go through all sorts of outboard gear as well, including saturators.

That said I know people who can work magic with VSTs, there are some great saturation and distortion plugins out there you just have to know how to use them. I've heard some very raw, raunchy techno made exclusively in Ableton.

As for unique basic modules I just got a Stochastic Function Generator and it's lovely.

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