Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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mixxalot
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by mixxalot » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:39 pm

I tried out both Plaits and Rings in VCVRack and love them both so looking at buying them for my setups. Maybe I get Plaits and Qubit Surface.

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Gringo Starr
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Gringo Starr » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:10 am

AMillionMonkeys wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:29 pm
Pianos have been popular instruments for centuries but people still use them to make music. No one cares if your Rings sounds like the other rings just like no one cares if your piano sounds like a piano.
Amen to that. I was thinking exactly along the same lines. And the only people who are going to know it’s Rings when they hear it is a very minuscule percentage of the population.

However I understand the desire to want to not sound like everyone else. If you’re gonna grab something else, as mentioned already, the Qu-Bit surface sounds great imo.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Funky40 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:36 am

you can replace a filter with another filter, even if they dont sound 100% the same,
but you can´t "replace" Rings with another "resonator".
Rings is unique, .....maybe try to look at Rings as exactly this.
I think i never used rings like quasi all of the demos of the first 1-2 years sounded.
I like that "typical Rings sound" when i listen to other peoples music here.
But its not what i want to patch.
Rings has a 100 facets, if not a thousand.

btw. Not saying Rings would "replace" any other "unique" resonator ;)



i totally agree
AMillionMonkeys wrote:
Pianos have been popular instruments for centuries but people still use them to make music. No one cares if your Rings sounds like the other rings just like no one cares if your piano sounds like a piano.


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mrhooks
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by mrhooks » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:36 pm

Gringo Starr wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:10 am
Amen to that. I was thinking exactly along the same lines. And the only people who are going to know it’s Rings when they hear it is a very minuscule percentage of the population.
It's a bit of a dilemma. Only other Eurorack users are going to know it's Rings, and even so, not all of them are going to care. Your average listener certainly won't. However, synthesis is about sound design as much as it is about music, so I understand the desire to create unique sounds. Me, I'm not good enough at this to worry about it. I'm happy just to create patches that I like with no regard for uniqueness, and sometimes recreate other people's patches as a learning exercise.
WTB: original MI Rings panel
Also looking for someone willing to make a couple small changes to Rings firmware

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Funky40 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:19 pm

mrhooks wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:36 pm
However, synthesis is about sound design as much as it is about music, so I understand the desire to create unique sounds.
yeah, and thats where Rings "can" play an important role in a euro modular !



Rings is a super super usefull contributor "as just one building block" within more complex patches.
i think some folks here just don´t get that aspect of it.


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mrhooks
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by mrhooks » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:25 pm

Funky40 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:19 pm
yeah, and thats where Rings "can" play an important role in a euro modular !
Very true, and that might actually make a module like Surface, which lacks an audio in, less desirable. It may not be Rings, but it's still physical modeling. How different will it really sound, and is that difference enough? If I felt compelled to avoid Rings, I would probably avoid physical modeling altogether. If you want to use physical modeling, you can always find ways to make it sound different from "typical" Rings ambient patches, rather than depend on the module to do that for you.
WTB: original MI Rings panel
Also looking for someone willing to make a couple small changes to Rings firmware

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by vrfats » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:33 pm

Mutable style ambient music isnt my favorite thing but FMing my rings with sine waves through a VCA took it some more interesting percussive places for me.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by HenryBurlingame » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:09 pm

desolationjones wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:49 am
Consider the c1 instead of the d0 if you are wanting a more compact resonator/PM setup.

d0 is more "modular" since it is just two incredibly flexible delay lines, but you will be engaging a lot of filters, VCAs, EQs, compressors, etc. in your quest for sick feedback. Nothing wrong with that, in fact I have a skiff dedicated to it!

c1 can be loaded with impulse responses, either as a shortcut to patching your own resonators or as an element in a larger PM patch (e.g. it excels as an instrument body EQ). OR it is a single delay line in the bitbucket emulation mode, which is on-par with d0 in terms of flexibility AND has additional controls for sample rate manipulation.

I have not compared the shortest delay times between c1 and d0, nor their resolutions. John is very responsive to email inquiries, though, if you need more technical details.
I talked with John about this and he also mentioned that the c1 is possibly a better choice for physical modelling as it can do the short tuned delays too. The fractional delay is adjusted on the c1 by the frequency control, like changing the material or tension, compared to the d0 delay time which is adjusting the length of the object. (the c1 has a length control too but it doesn't have the fine control that the d0 has for accurate pitch tracking).
ultar wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:18 pm
My advice: buy Rings. A full size model, not a clone with tiny trimmers as knobs. Small turns can have a huge influence on sound and function so the larger knobs are crucial. Yes it does the pretty ambient string thing but it is wayyyy more versatile and dense. As some others have already mentioned it is awesome for processing audio signals and it is a drone monster when fed back into itself. A personal favorite move is patching noise into the strum input to initiate a drone. Sometimes I use it just as a weird reverb.
I think this is what I am going to do. A lot of the other options sound like a lot of fun, but Rings has most them beat as far as a combination of immediacy and versatility. I will give it a shot and see if I can't make it do what I want :).
ultar wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:18 pm
As for Rings sounding like not-Rings, I released an album around the concept almost exactly two years ago :)
Thanks for posting this starthief, it really helped!

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MuadMusic
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by MuadMusic » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:53 pm

Here's a demo of the Dual Resonator mode for the Z506 Swiss Daisy DSP that I published recently.


Let me know what you think of this application of resonators.

See also Modular Grid:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/zebra-syn ... daisy-dsp-

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by lisa » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:58 pm

I love Rings and the Rings sound. I never get tired of it. However, I have heard really boring (ambient) music with Rings as the main sound source. So, to me Rings is exciting but boring music isn't. ;)

Here is the first track I ever made using Rings. It's just Rings modulated by Maths. Drumbrute drums and 0-coast bass to back it and nothing else.

909, manic trilling courtesy of Make Noise René and DPO, wavetable bass by Disting and some soft melodies by the Korg Minilogue. I mainly sat and watched it all unfold. :eek:


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Whelm
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Whelm » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:22 am

lisa wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:58 pm
I love Rings and the Rings sound. I never get tired of it. However, I have heard really boring (ambient) music with Rings as the main sound source. So, to me Rings is exciting but boring music isn't. ;)

Here is the first track I ever made using Rings. It's just Rings modulated by Maths. Drumbrute drums and 0-coast bass to back it and nothing else.

That track is great. Also that video is fucking wild, did you cut that too?

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by axm311 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:21 am

Whelm wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:22 am
[Also that video is fucking wild, did you cut that too?
+1, great work if you did!

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Sync
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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Sync » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:57 am

I'm sure we all have had the dream of somehow discovering some brand new amazing sound that no one has ever heard before. But it seems to me you're most likely to come across that by happy accident at this point, rather than by design (unless you're John Chowning, and maybe not even then). No doubt there are a few exceptions out there among the math prodigies who are probably calculating waveforms completely algorithmically rather than using off-the-shelf gear, but yeah, I've been dreaming that myself ever since I bought my first synth in 1976 and I've yet to happen on a "sound" that's truly new and astounding as I might dream such a thing.

That said, it's also true that there are quite recognizable sounds where you can peg what kind of gear made it-- my favorite example of that is the old Roland Jet-Phaser which has a unique fuzz-phaser sound that is instantly recognizable (but that few people actually ever use, as it's pretty obscure and a bit of a one-trick pony).

I wouldn't say though that Rings is one of those, or that Karplus Strong systems will tend to be like that, as they're designed to emulate physical instruments but can be modulated in quite a variety of interesting ways so they're very versatile and can sound pretty realistic, emulating instruments that have stood the test of time sound-wise-- it's versatility that counteracts the "sameness" of the sound of a piece of gear, and Karplus Strong is not the synthesis mechanism that I would think of when it comes to categorizing something as of "limited versatility."
--

Sync

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by wildfrontiers » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:49 pm

starthief wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:24 pm
1: A plucky, mallet-ish voice a la Lightbath, R Beny etc. Not using the audio input. (There's nothing wrong with this, and also, no reason you can't process it with as much gusto as you would an electric guitar.)
Funnily enough, I almost exclusively use Rings with the audio input. Just thought I should clarify that, I'm a spreader of the "audio-input-is-what-makes-Rings-so-special" gospel

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by starthief » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:02 pm

Good to know! My mistake, some of the modular-based music I listened to early in my journey is all running together and confused in my head.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

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

wildfrontiers wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:49 pm
Funnily enough, I almost exclusively use Rings with the audio input. Just thought I should clarify that, I'm a spreader of the "audio-input-is-what-makes-Rings-so-special" gospel
As someone currently with nothing like Rings, but this thread bookmarked out of curiosity, after following along so far I’m now halfway inclined to acquire a Rings and only use it with audio input. ;)

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by MuadMusic » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:09 am

Lisa. Love the track. Great beat (I'm a drummer). Watching the video was too distracting from the music (for a first listen), so put it in another tab.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Kattefjaes » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:14 am

This is another "hipster cred" question thread- there's no reputational prize for only using modules that no-one has heard of. People honestly don't care, beyond how it sounds ;)

You're asking for an alternative to Rings. If you like what Rings does, consider getting Rings. Enjoy it. Maybe patch it in weird ways. Read Émilie's notes on ways to patch it, too, some nice ideas there. It rewards experimentation beyond just a gate/trigger to strike it and a little tune in the 1v/oct.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by HenryBurlingame » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:53 am

Kattefjaes wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:14 am
This is another "hipster cred" question thread- there's no reputational prize for only using modules that no-one has heard of. People honestly don't care, beyond how it sounds ;)

You're asking for an alternative to Rings. If you like what Rings does, consider getting Rings. Enjoy it. Maybe patch it in weird ways. Read Émilie's notes on ways to patch it, too, some nice ideas there. It rewards experimentation beyond just a gate/trigger to strike it and a little tune in the 1v/oct.
Already ordered, should be here Friday :hyper: . Never knew asking this question would bring up such strong emotions from people, when I asked for alternatives to Kermit mkIII I just got offered alternatives to Kermit mkIII :deadbanana: .

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Kattefjaes » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:57 am

HenryBurlingame wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:53 am
Already ordered, should be here Friday :hyper: . Never knew asking this question would bring up such strong emotions from people, when I asked for alternatives to Kermit mkIII I just got offered alternatives to Kermit mkIII :deadbanana: .
Eh, ambivalence would be far worse! :hihi:

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by minatorymodular » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:02 pm

I've been following not so much for hipster cred. Rings has been out for a while. With modules like Clouds, there's now a lot of vaguely-Clouds-territory modules (Arbhar, Morphagene, Nebulae, etc.) that offer different options and stylings. I think the resonator concept is cool and it'd be interesting to see the branching concepts inspired by it.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by HenryBurlingame » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:09 pm

minatorymodular wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:02 pm
I've been following not so much for hipster cred. Rings has been out for a while. With modules like Clouds, there's now a lot of vaguely-Clouds-territory modules (Arbhar, Morphagene, Nebulae, etc.) that offer different options and stylings. I think the resonator concept is cool and it'd be interesting to see the branching concepts inspired by it.
This is exactly what I was hoping, that I would have a few similar options to look at. But it seems rings is still pretty unique in the things it does. Most of the other digital physical modeling options lack the resonator input part, which is what I was really after...

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Kattefjaes » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:13 pm

minatorymodular wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:02 pm
I've been following not so much for hipster cred. Rings has been out for a while. With modules like Clouds, there's now a lot of vaguely-Clouds-territory modules (Arbhar, Morphagene, Nebulae, etc.) that offer different options and stylings. I think the resonator concept is cool and it'd be interesting to see the branching concepts inspired by it.
It absolutely is. I don't know about you, though, but I was barely whelmed by the demos of the Qu-Bit Surface, and the Plonk feels more limiting though. It feels like if you want something vaguely modelling-ish, it's still the pachyderm in the place. That audio in, especially, really makes it worthwhile.

It has been quite a few years, it's true. It's probably long overdue some better competition, but that is probably testament to how well-designed it is for its niche.

That said, I get really cranky about the "I want a thing like this thing that's really popular, but I want a cooler brand so I can adopt a more-obscure-than-thou attitude". If people want to be esoteric poseurs just for the sake of it, they should damn well do their own homework 8-)

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by gran_syth » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:12 pm

It's maybe also a testament how similar all physical modelling actually sounds. testament to Rings indeed, but also an indication that there are (at least currently) severe limits to what can run on micro controllers or lower spec CPUs.

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Re: Alternatives to Rings in 2020

Post by Kattefjaes » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:17 pm

Good point,

That said, for the simpler stuff (Karplus-Strong etc.) it's fun to patch stuff up for yourself sometimes.

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