Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

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studio460
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Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by studio460 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:17 pm

#1. Interstellar Radio:

I ordered an Interstellar Radio from Schlappi Engineering based on a couple of limited YouTube videos expecting kind of a one-trick pony: radio-tuning noises. Right out of the box, it was WOW! So much sonic-range, with such interesting detail and harmonic content!

Plus, it's ALL sweet-spot (not one tiny 1mm-range of the pot). Now I want to buy everything Schlappi makes! (Angle Grinder is NEXT on the list!) Incredible dynamic-range and hi-fi sonic quality. What other hidden gems have you found?
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Re: Which one module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:23 pm

Most recently? Hmm. Qu-Bit Nebulae 2.

But I've been fekkin with this shit since '77 so there's been a lot of ~blown me away~ in that time.

'Spose the Intellijel Rubicon2 and the Happy Nerding FM-Aid were also more revealing once I powered them up myself, compared with what was out there in the way of demos and such at the time.

Oh! And the Erica Synths Pico VCOs ... 3HP wide, 32-odd waveforms (wavetable, non-interpolated), LFO mode ... a bitch to tune with that itsy bitsy trimmer for the only panel mounted pitch control ... but I got over it. Really useful little bastards ... and only $112 bucks brand new and shipped (Vintage King).

(... take out that second ~which~ in the subject line ... it sounds weird ... just the first ~which~ is needed ... "which one module unexpectedly blew you away" .... that'll do ... signed, One Pedantic Bastard)
Last edited by Rex Coil 7 on Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
5U MODULAR NORMALIZING PROJECT (for your entertainment) viewtopic.php?t=78836&highlight=
.. given the choice between conformity and self respect, I choose the latter.
.. dominion - noun: control or the exercise of control . power . possessed and controlled domain . sovereignty . having dominion over the world . supreme authority . absolute ownership . power . authority . jurisdiction . control . command ... power ....... power .......... power.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by studio460 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:25 pm

That's good to hear since I just bought a Nebulae v2. But then again, I kind of expected it to be awesome.
Last edited by studio460 on Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by comacomfort » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:27 pm

Happy nerding fmaid.

You can run drums into it. Whole mixes.

I love running plaits into it, in chord mode.

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Re: Which one module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:27 pm

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:23 pm
Oh! And the Erica Synths Pico VCOs ... 3HP wide, 32-odd waveforms (wavetable, non-interpolated), LFO mode ... a bitch to tune with that itsy bitsy trimmer for the only panel mounted pitch control ... but I got over it. Really useful little bastards ... and only $112 bucks brand new and shipped (Vintage King).
Glad you ended up liking them. Still have two in my setup. Modulation for days. Can't beat the price/hp ratio anywhere else.


Since we are talking euro, the dispersion delay always blows my mind in different patches. Although, most NlC is just wonderful in combination with other manufacturers.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:33 pm

studio460 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:25 pm
That's good to hear since I just bought a Nebulae v2. But then again, I was kind of expected it to be awesome.
Work with it, and be patient ... not with the module, with YOU. I've been futzing with it for a few weeks now. There's still plenty of depth yet to discover. Without any doubt it's no better than whatever it is you put in it .. so experiment with different sounds to destroy. After a bit of time, you'll develop a sense for which kinds of sounds will produce which kinds of results in the Nebulae2. I've found that I get a crap ton of variety by loading manic, frenetic sounds with a lot of movement in them. That movement can be pitch movement, or maybe a lot of harmonic content (think recording two VCOS in a hard sync sweep, then once that's in the buffer slow it down, pitch it down, play it backwards, slap it around, really give it the business!). Other "movements" can be drum loops/riffs, or even the sin of sins .... snatching interesting sounds from audio demos of various modules on line.

... shit .. .did I just say that out loud? .... ;)

And the Nebulae2 loves to be modulated .... not super deep, and not super fast (audio rate) ... just more ~sane~ depth levels and frequencies. Once there, if you've loaded the right kind of stuff into the buffer (recorded) ... magic happens ... or HORROR happens .. some of the sounds can be truly inspiring stuff, or sound as though your spleen just shot out of your butthole. Pick one, you get to chose.

:lol: :lol:

I like to patch all four outputs of the O_C in Quadraturia mode (I think ... the LFO one) into the Neb2 and just let it sing. I'm only just starting to work with triggering some of the button functions while playing. I could go on about it, but suffice to know that it's plenty deep enough to keep you happy for a long time. Does it track 1v/oct all sounds you've made with it? No, but that's more about how one uses it rather than some design deficiency or lousy engineering. Not all audio sounds good when pitched from a frozen state or a looped state. That said, not everything I've loaded into it worked well for sortof ~playing~ those sounds as if they were a VCO. But again, I feel that is more about how I've been trying to use it ... some captured audio isn't optimal for that.
5U MODULAR NORMALIZING PROJECT (for your entertainment) viewtopic.php?t=78836&highlight=
.. given the choice between conformity and self respect, I choose the latter.
.. dominion - noun: control or the exercise of control . power . possessed and controlled domain . sovereignty . having dominion over the world . supreme authority . absolute ownership . power . authority . jurisdiction . control . command ... power ....... power .......... power.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by studio460 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:45 pm

Thanks for the pep-talk/tutorial! Yes, I've been thoroughly mystified by most of its features. I got a ton of modules all at once, so I haven't had a lot of time with any of them. But, yeah, super-excited to learn more and get the best from it!

Now if you could say the same about the E560 Deflector Shield I just bought . . . the module was immediately disappointing—no doubt from my lack of knowledge on how best use it, I'm sure. It's the only module I've bought (out of many) that I wasn't giddy about the moment I plugged it in. It seems to hyper over-modulate any input—very screechy with a microscopic sweet-spot. Hopefully I'm just not using it right.

Still, among my favorite modules is my ISD Sampler. It's the very first module I bought, and I had read about it beforehand so I really wanted it—I was super-lucky to find one on Reverb the moment I decided to jump into modular; which has it been, like what? Three weeks? So simple, and it just works. So awesome and fun! It's the perfect stocking-stuffer!
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Re: Which one module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:51 pm

NeolithicElectrophones wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:27 pm
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:23 pm
Oh! And the Erica Synths Pico VCOs ... 3HP wide, 32-odd waveforms (wavetable, non-interpolated), LFO mode ... a bitch to tune with that itsy bitsy trimmer for the only panel mounted pitch control ... but I got over it. Really useful little bastards ... and only $112 bucks brand new and shipped (Vintage King).
Glad you ended up liking them. Still have two in my setup. Modulation for days. Can't beat the price/hp ratio anywhere else.
Yea, they're actually very useful, and they sound very nice ... some of the waveforms are really potent, filled with harmonic content, lots to work with. And a few flavors of noise at the ass end of Bank2. Nice! I recorded some audio of one of the Picos into the Nebulae2 ... I modulated the pitch with a slowish complex LFO so the pitch would move around well enough, and I manually swept through both banks of waves will recording into the buffer. WOW! .... did that make for a lot of serious red meat for the Nebulae2 to gnaw on! Really great harmonic sweeps, many sortof vocalish sounds (some downright disturbing!) .. the more you feed that Ne2 thing the more it delivers. And those Pico VCOs deliver in spades for that application. I don't find that the Pico VCOs respond to audio rate modulations very well ... but I didn't really expect them too, being digital wavetables and such. It's pretty much just a lot of fizzy noisy stuff that sounds as though it's laid over the top of the original waveform that you're trying to modulate. Wave folding the duller/darker waveforms works with mixed results, but I still have a lot of work to do with 'em Picos.
5U MODULAR NORMALIZING PROJECT (for your entertainment) viewtopic.php?t=78836&highlight=
.. given the choice between conformity and self respect, I choose the latter.
.. dominion - noun: control or the exercise of control . power . possessed and controlled domain . sovereignty . having dominion over the world . supreme authority . absolute ownership . power . authority . jurisdiction . control . command ... power ....... power .......... power.

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Re: Which one module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:04 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:51 pm
I don't find that the Pico VCOs respond to audio rate modulations very well ... but I didn't really expect them too, being digital wavetables and such. It's pretty much just a lot of fizzy noisy stuff that sounds as though it's laid over the top of the original waveform that you're trying to modulate. Wave folding the duller/darker waveforms works with mixed results, but I still have a lot of work to do with 'em Picos.
Agreed. They serve me much better as modulators than carriers. Some attenuation helps when modulating, but I agree that the range is too narrow with most stock pot values. You can cascade a signal through a number of 250-500k attenuators, but who has the time to set that up besides DIY diehards ;)

I have two sandwiched between an FMOGRe and two Plague of demons from NLC. They're mostly there for sine or hairy wave FM duties. Since I've had them them, I've dreamed of a 6hp metal shaft pot version, with decent FM, sync and the programming option the pico drum had. Loading your own waveforms on these would be killer even though the stock is great. Pitched noise is something most tiny VCOs lack.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:24 am

NeolithicElectrophones wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:04 am
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:51 pm
I don't find that the Pico VCOs respond to audio rate modulations very well ... but I didn't really expect them too, being digital wavetables and such. It's pretty much just a lot of fizzy noisy stuff that sounds as though it's laid over the top of the original waveform that you're trying to modulate. Wave folding the duller/darker waveforms works with mixed results, but I still have a lot of work to do with 'em Picos.
Agreed....
... I think what may help me with tuning those Picos is this thing ($40 bucks!) ....

LINK: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/sssr-labs-sm800b-wobla

It's not passive! Puts out 0-5vdc ... or 0-10vdc ... or center the slider (0 volt), move up and you get part of a bell curve 0-5vdc increase in voltage, move below center and you get a different 0-5vdc part of the bell curve increase in voltage. The front mounted toggle switch provides those options. You may also order it ~upside down~ or ~right side up~ (jacks at top or bottom of panel). They'll also sell you an extra panel if you wish so that you may flip-flop the module at will.

... yeeeyup.
5U MODULAR NORMALIZING PROJECT (for your entertainment) viewtopic.php?t=78836&highlight=
.. given the choice between conformity and self respect, I choose the latter.
.. dominion - noun: control or the exercise of control . power . possessed and controlled domain . sovereignty . having dominion over the world . supreme authority . absolute ownership . power . authority . jurisdiction . control . command ... power ....... power .......... power.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by daphnid » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:40 am

Shapeshifter, Random Source ResEQ, 4ms Dual Looping Delay all had me in a manic hole for hours when I got them.

I literally put like 30 different drum stems through the ResEQ and tweaked away for an entire afternoon, I just couldn't stop wondering what everything I'd recorded in the past month would sound like through it.

I also wrote one of the coolest parts I'd come up with in like a year on the Akemie's Taiko the day I got it. Love that thing.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:43 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:24 am
... yeeeyup.
:bananallama: Need to grab a couple of those for sure, thanks for the heads up.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by moremagic » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:16 am

the first time i modulated delay time on the echophon i thought id fallen into outer space. still aint heard another delay do *that*
the other would be the doepfer 4x 4 mixer, i knowed itd be useful but just how useful shocked me, even when i only had 8 other modules to play with it

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Gringo Starr » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:40 am

I usually have moments of being blown away with many modules but rarely is it consistent.

However I fell in love with the Erica Synths Black Stereo Delay. Every time it puts a smile on my face. I bought it because I liked the demos but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by maudibe » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:16 am

Late to the party, I bought a PNW and despite watching the demos, was blown away how easy it is to use and get so much out of it. Now I want another.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by carsenic » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:35 am

Another Nebulae v2 vote, I was torn for a while between that and Morphagene but am so happy I ended up with the Neb. It's been keeping me endlessly inspired and I always get interesting results out of it.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by x2mirko » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:26 am

ER-301. I of course already had somewhat of an idea of what I was getting when I ordered it a few years ago, but I was more than just impressed when I got it. Both because of how much easier it was to use than I had imagined and because of how the interface inspired usages that I hadn't thought of in advance. I bought it as an "audio utility" for sampling and delays and such and it became so much more. It has influenced how I make music in many ways. When I have an idea that I would've used to implement in Max or SuperCollider before, I tend to first try to realize it on the ER-301 because that's often times actually easier (plus afterwards it's available to be recalled in my modular synth, so it's way easier to interface with).

And pretty much every firmware upgrade since then had the same effect of blowing me away and inspiring me again.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Polyterative » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:34 am

It's probably going to be strange to encounter someone mentioning an utility module in this thread but I just want to tell about my experience with the 333 module by Frap Tools.
What initially was a simple mixer and mult turned an incredibly flexible solution for all kinds of piping.

I never thought I would use it as much as I do. Also the -6dB is great.
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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by pugix » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:57 am

Ieaskul F. Mobenthey Mr. Grassi.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/ieaskul-f ... ter-grassi

Not so easy to understand from the description. I picked up Mr. Grassi in a collection of used Mobenthey modules I bought. It's both an audio generator and a sample and hold, six actually. When touched it generates all sorts of noisy sounds, and when released, the outputs hold at a random CV level. It's a perfect controller to go with IFM modules. But I didn't understand it until I touched it!
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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by bemushroomed » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:07 am

Unexpectedly.. i'd say the Nanozwerg Pro. I got it super cheap, i do love all-in-one synth voices but i've also sold off quite a few so i wasn't expecting much, and at this price especially. It's my favorite monosynth, better than Atlantis (sold).. just so much fun and often exactly the types of acid/aphex twin'ish sounds i'm looking for.

Unlike the OP i was not impressed by Interstellar Radio at all, sold mine after a year of trying to make something useful with it. Each to his own. Probably fun for noise addicts.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by suthnear » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:26 am

fx-aid - sounds so much better than I was expecting and just unbelievable support by igorrr
joranalogue generate 3 - considering how long I have been doing this I just wasn't expecting to like an oscillator as much as I like this one

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by mixxalot » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:11 pm

Mimeophon as I was not expecting more than a delay FX module. Has far exceeded my expectations. Cursus Iteritas is better than initially expected as well when heavily modulated and sequenced.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by rayultine » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:19 pm

FX-aid, westlicht performer, toppobrillo stereomix, Uoki-Toki polyvox vcf, verbos random sampling

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by x2mirko » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:11 pm

Polyterative wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:34 am
It's probably going to be strange to encounter someone mentioning an utility module in this thread but I just want to tell about my experience with the 333 module by Frap Tools.
What initially was a simple mixer and mult turned an incredibly flexible solution for all kinds of piping.

I never thought I would use it as much as I do. Also the -6dB is great.
Oh that's also a good module to point out. I've had the same experience. Once I had it in my rack, I got more and more ideas on how to use it. Very cool utility.

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Re: Module which unexpectedly blew you away?

Post by Scott » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:27 pm

Mimeophon for sure. Absolutely love it and I really like what I can do with the Morphagene. The pairing of the two keeps me constantly amazed and inspired.

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