Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

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revaquarian
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Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:36 pm

My goal for my first Eurorack is use the Model D as a framework to build on. When I started putting this together, I even pulled up the Model D manual to get some ideas. So I've got 3 oscillator voices (2 of which will go into Beast's Chalkboard for octave switching), going into a mixer, then some filters options which would go into VCAs. I have some modulation sources and a multiple thrown in as well. Metasonix just because wow this could get dirty.

I tried to stay away from the MiniMod modules because I don't want something THAT close (also excludes the Behringer Model D). I've also tried to include a variety of modules since this is my first build. I figure maybe I'll learn which I like that way. I love the idea that I can get multiple classic monosynths in one build using filters. I've got Moog-type, Polivoks, WASP and Korg MS-20 which are my favorite sounds. Of course, I'll be putting a keyboard controller in front - probably a keystep.

It has been so hard to find videos of people using Eurorack rigs as monosynth lead machines. I'm talking prog rock solos ala Yes, Genesis, ELP. I've read on this site that a lot of people are bored by that kind of east coast rig. Maybe it's just because I don't know how to search!

Any notes, suggestions, or admonitions would be very appreciated!!

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1420385

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by hawkfuzz » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:57 pm

Mono synth in eurorack is best only if you have unique modules IMO. Otherwise you’re spending too much.

Plaits would be more interesting because it allows different timbres in a inexpensive package. There’s a few filters modules out there that allow multiple types of filter out of one module.

Do what you want but something like the Sub37 has a huge modulation matrix and great sounds. Pro 3/2 also.
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revaquarian
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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:16 pm

hawkfuzz wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:57 pm
Mono synth in eurorack is best only if you have unique modules IMO. Otherwise you’re spending too much.

I see what you mean compared to the sub37 or pro3. Here I thought I was doing pretty well on cost compared to a minimoog!

And holy moly I looked at Plaits - it does a lot. My concern is that I had wanted an all analog rig and wouldn't Plaits get me into analog modeling?

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by blaythe.steuer » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:48 am

plaits isn’t analog even a little

which isn’t a bad thing.

however eurorack is the most expensive way to get what you’re looking for sound wise. it is also one of the least efficient because you have to patch to get sounds and other basic connections. unless you see a lot of value added by patching i would absolutely suggest you get a standalone synth, semi-modular or not. you’ll get a whole lot more bang for your buck and (probably) a more ergonomic interface

however (again),

modular is FUN and patching is FUN and that’s also reason enough to get in to modular if you have the means to :)

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by Raindeer » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:55 am

I like your thought process. I think you can make your setup more interesting though since a basic triangle or square waveshape from 2-3 different analogue oscillators will not give you a dramatic variation of tones.

Perhaps consider a setup with 2x oscillators, envelopes and filters first and then decide how you like it before adding more - might be fun to tune them a fifth apart and play paraphonically. I’d also suggest more modulation, such as a bank of LFOs for the filter cutoff, resonance, PWM, reverb d/w etc. Also, how about a wavefolder to balance with your filters.

If you’re working with a Keystep then consider a MIDI to CV modules which will give you the chance to sequence one voice on one channel and play live on another (or of course just get a Keystep Pro)

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by JuliusRe » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:17 am

I would consider a module with multiple VCAs. Saves space and money :D e.g. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/intellijel-quad-vca
FS/FT (EU): Bastl Instruments Waver (230€), Ladik F-510 Synare VCF (70€) - open for offers :guinness:

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by hawkfuzz » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:19 am

revaquarian wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:16 pm
hawkfuzz wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:57 pm
Mono synth in eurorack is best only if you have unique modules IMO. Otherwise you’re spending too much.

I see what you mean compared to the sub37 or pro3. Here I thought I was doing pretty well on cost compared to a minimoog!

And holy moly I looked at Plaits - it does a lot. My concern is that I had wanted an all analog rig and wouldn't Plaits get me into analog modeling?
Yeah it's not even analog modeling. It's unapologetically digital which isn't bad. To me the only way to justify a eurorack monosynth is to make new sounds. The analog v. digital isn't a big deal as it was in the 80s when pocket computer that connect us in an instant didn't exist, especially in eurorack. All the modules you've picked out are very vanilla, which isn't bad, however, it doesn't justify the need for euro compared to the already mentioned monosynths.
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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by modeleus » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:03 am

blaythe.steuer wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:48 am
plaits isn’t analog even a little

which isn’t a bad thing.

however eurorack is the most expensive way to get what you’re looking for sound wise. it is also one of the least efficient because you have to patch to get sounds and other basic connections. unless you see a lot of value added by patching i would absolutely suggest you get a standalone synth, semi-modular or not. you’ll get a whole lot more bang for your buck and (probably) a more ergonomic interface

however (again),

modular is FUN and patching is FUN and that’s also reason enough to get in to modular if you have the means to :)
I don´t necessarily agree with that, he can build the model D functionality for less than what it costs and get a lot of extra features he can later explore. The basic connections can stay patched forever if he wants to, so he doesn´t spend time doing the same patch over and over.

The possibilities that modular brings to the table are not sound-wise exclusively also has the unique ability of evolving the instrument as you understand better synthesis techniques and you patch it differently.

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:58 am

Raindeer wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:55 am
I like your thought process. I think you can make your setup more interesting though since a basic triangle or square waveshape from 2-3 different analogue oscillators will not give you a dramatic variation of tones.

Perhaps consider a setup with 2x oscillators, envelopes and filters first and then decide how you like it before adding more - might be fun to tune them a fifth apart and play paraphonically. I’d also suggest more modulation, such as a bank of LFOs for the filter cutoff, resonance, PWM, reverb d/w etc. Also, how about a wavefolder to balance with your filters.
Love that idea - and I have more room for some complex wave maniulation. I was looking last night at AJH WaveSwarm. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about? It looks like it really adds a lot of texture to simple oscillators.

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:00 pm

JuliusRe wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:17 am
I would consider a module with multiple VCAs. Saves space and money :D e.g. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/intellijel-quad-vca
DONE! Thanks for the idea.

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:05 pm

modeleus wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:03 am
blaythe.steuer wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:48 am
plaits isn’t analog even a little

which isn’t a bad thing.

however eurorack is the most expensive way to get what you’re looking for sound wise. it is also one of the least efficient because you have to patch to get sounds and other basic connections. unless you see a lot of value added by patching i would absolutely suggest you get a standalone synth, semi-modular or not. you’ll get a whole lot more bang for your buck and (probably) a more ergonomic interface

however (again),

modular is FUN and patching is FUN and that’s also reason enough to get in to modular if you have the means to :)
I don´t necessarily agree with that, he can build the model D functionality for less than what it costs and get a lot of extra features he can later explore. The basic connections can stay patched forever if he wants to, so he doesn´t spend time doing the same patch over and over.

The possibilities that modular brings to the table are not sound-wise exclusively also has the unique ability of evolving the instrument as you understand better synthesis techniques and you patch it differently.
Thank you for this perspective! The more I read around here the more it sounds like I'm falling into a common beginner's pitfall (monosynth with Eurorack). I really want this synth do be able to go WAY beyond a Model D. But I want to definitely be able to reproduce some of those sounds. And yes - it probably means some of my patches will be semi-permanent (trunked?). I'm OK with that since I have a little more room for some fun things in the last 84 HP.

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by Raindeer » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:06 pm

revaquarian wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:58 am
Raindeer wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:55 am
I like your thought process. I think you can make your setup more interesting though since a basic triangle or square waveshape from 2-3 different analogue oscillators will not give you a dramatic variation of tones.

Perhaps consider a setup with 2x oscillators, envelopes and filters first and then decide how you like it before adding more - might be fun to tune them a fifth apart and play paraphonically. I’d also suggest more modulation, such as a bank of LFOs for the filter cutoff, resonance, PWM, reverb d/w etc. Also, how about a wavefolder to balance with your filters.
Love that idea - and I have more room for some complex wave maniulation. I was looking last night at AJH WaveSwarm. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about? It looks like it really adds a lot of texture to simple oscillators.
I was thinking of Intellijel Bifold or Joranalogue Fold 6 (for example), but have to admit I don’t even have a wavefolder except in Plaits waveshaping vco mode and the on/off one in WMD C4RBN

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by hawkfuzz » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:29 pm

If you want those things I'd suggest one of those semimodular synths that have some inputs and outputs that can go with a eurorack setup. It's going to save you money and give you a great foundation to build on.
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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:09 pm

hawkfuzz wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:29 pm
If you want those things I'd suggest one of those semimodular synths that have some inputs and outputs that can go with a eurorack setup. It's going to save you money and give you a great foundation to build on.
But those feel like cheating to me! It seems like I'd be missing out on using the building blocks at their most basic levels right?

I really am so surprised I've been unable to find very many cool videos of people ripping a Wakeman-esque solo on their modular rig. Wouldn't building a monosynth be a good and simple way to learn about modular synthesis? Buying a Grandmother or even a semi-modular feels basic to me. I want unique tones ya know? Something only my combination of modules could deliver.

I'm definitely sensitive to cost. I mean I know it's going to cost way more than a m32 or a sub37 but Model D's are going for $10k+!

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by hawkfuzz » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:30 pm

Cheating isn't a thing. I don't know why you'd have a purist attitude about the format. Semimodular combines what is commonly used, which is why it's ideal for jumping off.

If you want unique tones, it isn't in the format to worry about is my point. The M32 and the others of that series offer the same thing as a lot of modular systems which is why they're popular.

From the modules you have in your system it's the same "basic" as the Grandmother. What's great with semimodular synths is you can expand as you'd like and integrate ALL of the eurorack modules and never be without sounds and room to experiment. It was several months in before I had a "voice" because shit is expensive and if I just bought one of those M32s I would've been good from jump, but they didn't exist at that time.

The heart of modular synth is the connection flexibility. Being able to use a pitch to control the attack stage of an envelope at the same time as the LFO speed. These are all becoming possible in modern synths and more easily implemented without menu diving.

It also affords you the luxury to recalibrate as you buy a new module and discover you don't give a rat's behind about what you thought you cared about and just discovered the groove of your heart is X.
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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by frenchcustard » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:38 pm

one can learn plenty from semi modulars, they are in essence a bunch of modules put into a convenient package, you can use bits and pieces of them in your eventual modular case. i started with a microbrute and m32, i still use their sequencers, filters, envelopes, lfos, etc as parts of other patches. the uniqueness of tones comes from how you patch, not the specific gear you're using. follow your heart, get a strictly euro setup if you want, but starting with a semi would give you pretty decent start (and probably some proggy tones right away)
if it doesn't involve sonics, my interest in any module is in the 0% ballpark

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by frenchcustard » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:40 pm

hawkfuzz wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:30 pm
Cheating isn't a thing.
^^^this
if it doesn't involve sonics, my interest in any module is in the 0% ballpark

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by ari ellis » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:47 pm

revaquarian wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:09 pm
I want unique tones ya know? Something only my combination of modules could deliver.
A standard monosynth in modules is not going to give you any more "unique" tones than any decent modern hardwired monosynth. I would even go as far as to say that a laptop running ableton is capable of a significantly wider range of sounds than a large number of modular systems end up being (a dirty secret around these parts :hihi:).

If what you're going for is oscillators into a filter into a VCA, you will never get close to the power of something like a Pro 3 without spending a huge amount of money.

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by revaquarian » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:53 pm

frenchcustard wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:40 pm
hawkfuzz wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:30 pm
Cheating isn't a thing.
^^^this
Of course you guys are right. I've had this idea of a monster Eurorack monosynth for a long time and it's probably just that - an idea of something that isn't practical.

It's giving me a lot to think about.

The Pro 3 looks like it really can do alot. Maybe that is what has given me pause and why I lean towards vanilla modules. It's why anything with banks or LCDs or knobs that can be assigned to parameters turns me off and what draws me to modular in general. I hope its not coming off as pretentious because I really think that the stuff that gives you endless possibilities is cool. Again, I just always liked the idea of patching your signal all the way through.

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Re: Another First Eurorack Post - Mayonnaise Edition

Post by hawkfuzz » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:31 pm

You can do that with most things in some form. Digital connections are still connections.

If you got the itch mate I'd recommend something that's fun and self contained like the Volca Modular just to exercise the demons and get yourself a Pro 3 and see if you can't wiggle your way into some new things. Those are so cool sounding.

Even if you were physically connecting points in a patch does not mean your sounds are going to yield better sonics. That's in your knowledge of what you're doing. I played with VSTs in FL since '99 and still didn't know how to get what I wanted sonically until a few years ago...and am still not sure. This is the only reason I'm trying to articulate this to you.

I'd hate for someone to be 4k later and be mad that it doesn't do x or y that this cheap monosynth does with ease.
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