Modules indispensable for drone

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

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studio460
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by studio460 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:18 pm

studio460 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:41 am
Everything in my rack! Haha! Drones are my jam! All I'm making are spaceship-engines, robot-chatter, alien Morse code, and warning-buzzers.
• All my formant and speech modules.
To add-on to my original post a bit: I have a lot of speech/formant modules. Notably, the Synthesis Technology Circuit Bent E950 and limaflo motomouth formant-filter (driven by a Tiptop Z3000 oscillator); both are outstanding with a rich, high-fidelity audio-output. The others tend to have a screechy quality (e.g., Flame Talking Synth, EMY, etc.), but are also good for certain things. Anyway, taking a speech fragment and slowing it down in Phonogene makes for excellent drone-beds. I'll also use my ISD Sampler for lo-fi slowed-down playback.

Probably my best "speech synth" is the built-in text-to-speech synthesis-tool in macOS using the voice of Siri. Press OPTION + ESC and she will speak any highlighted text. I use this a lot as an input to my ISD Sampler.
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by gringostar » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:17 pm

Rings as a filter - the nastier the things you feed it the better it sounds
Bionic Lester mk3 - comb filter mode is perfect for drones
Double Andore mk2 - for drones this almost feels like cheating with the built in crossmod between channels
Maze - matrix mixers are great for drones, one you can sequence is ever better

A few things I've learned about patching drones is that I typically never use reverb outside of the one innate to rings since i find it turns to mush quickly and that multing a single complex oscillator and putting that one signal through a multitude of filters, effects, and wave folders panned into different parts of a stereo spectrum works great

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by authorless » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:29 pm

Lots of subtle modulation. A looper - I like to build a drone out of sounds with a long attack and release with changes between each "note" so there is always some changes as they overlap and replace one another.
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by 3hands » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:38 pm

Hmm for me it’s Monsoon, warps, Orgone Accumulator, some S&H trickery and the planar to control it all.
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by namon » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:05 pm

al_ert wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:00 pm


And how would you do so? Any example patches?
Yeah so I'll run something like double pressure points clocked super slow, say 30bpm. Use those three channels to control say three channels of a fixed filterbank, split and invert and control three more channels. That's a pretty nice spectrum of control over things.

Or the opposite, run a sequencer at basically audio rate controlling a vca, or a series of them.


Basically looking at sequencers more as a very customizable envelope generation gizmo. And one that can be very hands on and playable.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by thelowerrhythm » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:19 pm

This thread is exactly why we need that subforum. Learning so much here. Appreciate the Radigue notes above. I tend to not even use delay or reverb at all. I think the very concept of a "drone" can be reduced and rebuilt in a number of ways. I like them still and dry.

Indispensable may have been a bit hyperbolic in the post topic, so sorry about that. I guess I meant, what do you find essential for yourself (which is how everyone is responding). I should have mentioned attenuation myself, as I tend to put an attenuator between every single input and output.
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by thelowerrhythm » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:40 pm

namon wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:05 pm
al_ert wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:00 pm


And how would you do so? Any example patches?
Yeah so I'll run something like double pressure points clocked super slow, say 30bpm. Use those three channels to control say three channels of a fixed filterbank, split and invert and control three more channels. That's a pretty nice spectrum of control over things.

Or the opposite, run a sequencer at basically audio rate controlling a vca, or a series of them.


Basically looking at sequencers more as a very customizable envelope generation gizmo. And one that can be very hands on and playable.
Amen.
"Ah yeah, you’ve got that strange blend of apathy and self-flagellation that somehow gets you where you want to go."

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Jumbuktu » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:58 am

I don't think any modules are indispensable for any particular genre, but the Synthesis Technology E350 and its successors are instant drone material. An E350 and two LFOs is a complete drone machine.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Grumble » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:16 am

I am struggling to make a good drone with my diy synth.
For now this is the only way for me to make a decent drone:


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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by crumb dinger » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:41 am

Echoing the fx-less drone paradigm here. I tend toward harsher drones/almost noise and I love to use any audio rate modulation, but especially for/as sync, to smash things together. Cross-modded audio rate sources tend to take on lives of their own. Just Friends' is my go-to weapon for this as it has all the trigger ins and a number of run modes that just rock for this application (Floom). Pretty much any suitably complex osc with enough modulation will do it for me though, Akemie's Castle and Cyclebox are both beautiful monuments to drone. QPAS and Sisters add a whole lot to my patches, too.

On that note, I always go for stereo! Cold Mac really helps with this. It allows you to inject any third signal between two pre-existing ones in a number of fun ways, at audio rate. When I'm feeling less inspired I will admittedly just toss whatever into Rainmaker/Erbe Verb for instant madness. Those two are just as effective as voices, which is maybe more how I see them tbf, even when they're taking audio in.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Naenyn » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:41 am

EASYBOY wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:46 am
VCOs that Support PWM are a drones little helper.
A matrix mixer is always nice coupled with slow modulation (wonder how many posts it takes till NLC triple sloth is mentioned (seems To be the rings into Clouds meme for droners))
Could I get a deeper explanation of the matrix mixer thing? I don’t really understand how to patch them yet...
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by DaShmoop » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:05 am

My secret sauce for drones is the Chase Bliss Mood(granular micro-looper/delay). Mind boggling design and it colors the sound in a delightfully lo-fi way. It's very playable and the whole thing is one big sweet spot once you learn the wiggle. The clock knob is quantized to 5ths and octaves so it always spits out harmonically related content. I think having an external pedal like that can be nice for live performance because it's at the end of the chain, not wrapped up in CV and patch cables, and can allow easy elaboration and development of the existing theme without interfering with the patch at all.

As far as specific modules, I'd say either Marbles or Cold Mac. Marbles is a great modulation source. Sending quantized pitch CV to non-pitch CV control, like the rate of an LFO, can have really interesting effects and embed subtle rhythmic movement in a drone. It's really fascinating at audio rates. And Cold Mac, Cold Mac is an absolute unit.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by EASYBOY » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:03 am

Naenyn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:41 am
Could I get a deeper explanation of the matrix mixer thing? I don’t really understand how to patch them yet...
Its just an easy tool to mix everything into everything.
The NLC Clump even does that with CV. The Doepfer one is a little more basic.

I mainly mix signals together which i send into different filters.
This way you can get lots of variation.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by FetidEye » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:11 am

I mainly use FM/PM VCO's (Akemie's Castle, PDO) , wavetable VCO's (Orgone Accumulator) , slow LFO's (uLFO + Doepfer) , Equalizers(Serge res EQ, Monotropa), noise sources and slow sequencers(PP, Rene)
I layer all this together with some mixers and add FX. Also, a Radio music or the RF Nomad for weird samples .

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Carlsborg Expert » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:17 am

MossGarden wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:53 am
DivKid Ochd + some attenuverters make for a superbly simple and effective modulation source for drones
+1 for the Ochd.

My favourites for atmospheres and at the moment are the Spherical Wavetable Navigator from 4MS, the Arbhar from Instruo, the Rainmaker from Intellijel and the Desmodus Versio from Noise Engineering. They all play perfectly together and leave nothing to be desired.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Sonic0boom » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:31 am

Perhaps not indispensable, but fun nonetheless, is the Animal Factory Coma Reactor delay unit. Works great as a delay, of course, but using the feedback knob, it will self-oscillate for some nice drones. What makes it interesting is it has a send and receive prior to the main output so that you can route the audio to another fx module, take that audio back in, and then it is mixed and sent to the out. You can separately control feedback on that send/receive audio path. The module doesn't have much CV modulation, but you can modulate wherever you send that intermediary audio.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by namon » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:47 am

Naenyn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:41 am

Could I get a deeper explanation of the matrix mixer thing? I don’t really understand how to patch them yet...
Though often used for cv I tend to use matrix mixers really only with audio, that being said a fairly straight forward patch that I would put together could be something like
Vco, mixer, wave shaper, filterbank.

Channel one input would be my vco

Channel four output into filterbank whoa main output is my monitoring output

Channel three output into wave folder

Channel two input from the wave folder

Channel three and four input could be a multed signal from the ffb or individual outs from the same or what have you

So sending the vco to the main outs (and through the end of chain ffb) lets me sculpt the original signal right, than also sending that voice to the wave shaper and mixing those two signals together like you would a regular mixer.
The fun starts when you feedback all those together, so being able to send the the incoming wave shaper, back into the wave shaper, while also taking the outgoing ffb signal, and feeding that back into itself while mixing that feedback loop with the wave shaper loop.

With modulation on the routing, via sequencing or free running or what have evers you can build a really interesting undulating mess of feedbacks and over/under tones with very little as your root sound source. AM modulation works really well here. Envelope followers, logic basically all the fun stuff.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by starthief » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:10 am

Naenyn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:41 am
Could I get a deeper explanation of the matrix mixer thing? I don’t really understand how to patch them yet...
A 4x4 matrix mixer is basically four separate 4-input mixers. Very handy for general mixing in mono or stereo, and also for effects sends and feedback routing.

A very simple patch would just be a mono source and a mono delay:

Source into input A
Delay into input B
Output 1: monitor
Output 2 into delay input

Now:
knob A1 controls your dry mix level
knob A2 controls the delay send level
knob B1 controls the delay mix level
knob B2 controls the feedback.

You could mix multiple sources, or expand into stereo (and have the ability to narrow or reverse the stereo field, e.g. for ping-pong delays), or add another effect (and then control the routing order and serial/parallel routing just by turning knobs without repatching) or combine those.

Some matrix mixers have a bipolar option so you can invert phase, which is useful for feedback patching. Some have CV inputs or can have their mix levels automated, or have mute switches.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by starthief » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:13 am

Also, a fun thing to do with matrix mixers is to run 4 gate signals (from a clock divider for instance) into the inputs, and then mix them at different levels to generate different CV values based on their combination. Nice for generative sequencing.

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by esmooov » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:18 am

If I could only pick one drone box, it would be the ResEQ. Once this thing goes into full feedback, it makes some of the sweetest, unexpected, and most musical drone sounds I've ever heard. You can use pan out its comb outputs to sweep the drones around the stereo space. You can modulate the feedback amount by patching the out through a VCA and back into the in. But most fun is just playing it like an instrument, feedbacking into a blackhole or some other massive reverb and just slowly Hainbach-ing the knobs. It's especially great if you like doom style drones that occasionally fire a brief scream into the background.

Here's a little drone patch that's mostly just ResEQ -> Fx Aid. There's an LFO driving a VCA in there too but most of what you're hearing is just "playing the ResEQ"

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Naenyn » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:33 am

Thank you for the matrix mixer ideas, everyone! :tu: Going to have to try them...
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by strettara » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:41 am

Not a module, but you can lay down some amazing rich drone with the Blippoo Box.
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by dooj88 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:23 pm

strettara wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:41 am
Not a module, but you can lay down some amazing rich drone with the Blippoo Box.
you know he's not making those anymore?

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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by Pelsea » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:50 pm

Telharmonic + A110 pulse into Erbverb, all controlled by sloths.
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Re: Modules indispensable for drone

Post by scuto » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:02 pm

thelowerrhythm wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:19 pm
I think the very concept of a "drone" can be reduced and rebuilt in a number of ways.
This! I think its malleability is why I am enjoying reading others' takes and thinking about how to integrate some of them into my workflow.

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