What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

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What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by nexgen23 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:10 pm

I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t think these are bad modules and I’m NOT HATING on them, or discrediting their usability in some systems, they just don’t have anything to offer for me personally. I’d like to hear what others say as well. I have or have had modules from the manufactures of all of them, and they are great manufactures, the build quality is excellent and the customer support is generally awesome, they just don’t have features I like/need. I might get a little flak for this, but here goes:

I see a lot of love for popular modules, and excitement for modules that are coming out. Most of the time I feel that they are cool and I’d like to play with them at some point. However, there are some modules that are being raved about, or are announced and I think “meh” its not for me. I’ll give a few examples and try to explain why I feel that way.

1) Clouds/Monsoon/Typhoon/(possibly)Beads - don’t get me wrong I love MI modules (and their derivatives), I have at least eight Mutable/Mutable inspired modules in my rack right now. I tried a Typhoon and I just couldn’t get it to do anything I liked. I know a lot of people are Psyched about Beads coming out, but I can’t help but think to myself that I wouldn’t get anything out of it.

2) Milky Way - It’s an okay effects unit, but it just didn’t blow me away. I ended up selling my unit and getting an FX Aid, and am a lot happier with it.

3) Metropolis/Metropolix - This is the only module of these I have not owned, I do have a bunch of Intelijell modules in my rack however. I know the immediacy of it is great and I respect the idea behind it, but I think for the amount of space it takes up there are better options (Vector). I was excited when I found out about Metropolix for about 10 seconds, then I leared it only has two channels.

Honorable mention is Maths, yes Maths!! I’m not shitting on Maths, it is a GREAT MODULE, it just isn’t for me. I just need all those functions (see what I did there) broken down into separate modules so I can wrap my brain around them easier (I don’t want to think to hard when patching lol). It helps that Contour 1 is such a great module to help in the replacement of Maths (which is what I did with 2ea Contour 1’s).

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by _cyberAnalog_ » Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:01 pm

Intellijel Quadrax. On paper, everything always seemed very motivating. In reality I hardly used this module and it was "waiting" in the corner of the case to be really "discovered" by me. Several attempts did not lead to anything. I was constantly put off by "too many possible uses". Soon, after now almost a year of postponing, I will put this module up for sale.

Intellijel Plonk. This menu diving always put me off. And presets are known to be creativity killers.

Nebulae V2. I did not understand this module at all. Theoretically very useful, but in practice it was uncomfortable. Maybe the wobbly encoder knob? I have now replaced it with Beads (aka Clouds V2).

I will probably never again buy a module that even remotely has a menu (Plonk) or shortcuts (Quadrax) or modes (Nebulae).
The next thing I will do is to sit in front of the PC and click around with the mouse for hours with hundreds of VST plugins to "make" music... NOT!

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by nexgen23 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:01 pm

I'm on with some screens and menus, as long as they are not to deep (Zadar, Pams, o_C w/ Hemisphere for example), shortcuts and modes Im not a huge fan of (why my stages stays in harmonic oscillator mode).

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by starthief » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:29 pm

Ooh, a fightin' words thread :hihi:

Pamela's New Workout. Every time I mention I don't like it, people leap to its defense... and I'm certain that it's great for a lot of common uses. But I wanted to be able to process gates/triggers/clocks algorithmically, in chains of logic of my own choosing, not simply generate 8 outputs from one clock. Also I found navigating it to set things up wasn't very fun (and commonly, people solve that by setting it up for favorite functions and then leaving the menus mostly alone).

Ornament & Crime. To me this is mainly an odd collection of exotic music theory stuff I never used, a few interesting toys that I rarely use, and apps that feel better in one-knob-per-function form. I actually got my first one to replace Peaks, and yes, Piqued is powerful... but then I discovered the joys of analog function generators. I got a second one to run Hemisphere Suite, but quickly decided for my fill-in-the-blanks utility/modulation/odd patch needs, I preferred to either use Bitwig Grid or Teletype for more flexibility and/or better interface.

Disting. The mk4 is great value, and educational too if you haven't tried some of the (many!) functions that it has. I just didn't get on with the interface in the long term. Disting EX is friendlier in some ways but I still found myself avoiding it wherever I could and only using it for a few basic utilities... which I wound up getting in analog form instead.

DPO. In other hands it sounds beautiful, and it is an undeniable classic. For myself, I just didn't love it like I loved Hertz Donut mk2, Double Helix, and now Shapeshifter.

Cinnamon. Some people hate mini pots, I hate tiny little slide switches. And I had the wood panel, and didn't like that at all (mine was a charity auction win). And while it does get dirty, it didn't seem like the kind of dirt that I was particularly looking for.

Frap Tools 321. Those tiny slide switches... in black, hiding in the shadows of a black panel.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by studio460 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:38 pm

starthief wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:29 pm
Ooh, a fightin' words thread :hihi:

Pamela's New Workout. Every time I mention I don't like it, people leap to its defense... and I'm certain that it's great for a lot of common uses. But I wanted to be able to process gates/triggers/clocks algorithmically, in chains of logic of my own choosing, not simply generate 8 outputs from one clock. Also I found navigating it to set things up wasn't very fun (and commonly, people solve that by setting it up for favorite functions and then leaving the menus mostly alone).

Ornament & Crime. To me this is mainly an odd collection of exotic music theory stuff I never used, a few interesting toys that I rarely use, and apps that feel better in one-knob-per-function form. I actually got my first one to replace Peaks, and yes, Piqued is powerful... but then I discovered the joys of analog function generators. I got a second one to run Hemisphere Suite, but quickly decided for my fill-in-the-blanks utility/modulation/odd patch needs, I preferred to either use Bitwig Grid or Teletype for more flexibility and/or better interface.

Disting. The mk4 is great value, and educational too if you haven't tried some of the (many!) functions that it has. I just didn't get on with the interface in the long term. Disting EX is friendlier in some ways but I still found myself avoiding it wherever I could and only using it for a few basic utilities... which I wound up getting in analog form instead.
Well, at least now I have some cover—haha! Yeah, Pam's eight-outputs from one clock doesn't do me any good. Also, both Disting and O_c never held any attraction for me whatsoever (also, Maths).

However, I will defend Frap Tools' 321 with all my might! It's an excellent module which solves three problems at a small price, in a small package (I have two and will likely get a third). I love the ergonomics of my ALM O/A/x2 (if you have some right-angle patch-cables), but with the 321, I get a whole 'nother channel for the same price!
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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by brandonlogic » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:49 pm

starthief wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:29 pm
Ooh, a fightin' words thread :hihi:

Pamela's New Workout. Every time I mention I don't like it, people leap to its defense... and I'm certain that it's great for a lot of common uses. But I wanted to be able to process gates/triggers/clocks algorithmically, in chains of logic of my own choosing, not simply generate 8 outputs from one clock. Also I found navigating it to set things up wasn't very fun (and commonly, people solve that by setting it up for favorite functions and then leaving the menus mostly alone).
Funny, because for me, i use pams workout exactly to 'process gates/triggers/clocks algorithmically' by patching it's ouputs to other logic modules, sequencial switches, probability modules, etc. it just lets you dial things in and take advantage of those kinds of modules in very flexible and fine tuned ways.

Even more than that though, for me, pams workout is just essential to tie my system together. I am sending clock to nerdseq, flxs1, tetrapad, 4ms DLD, turring machine, octone, marbles, o and c, etc... often many of them at once. and they often need different divisions or multiplications of the main clock, also depending on the patch and the speed i want to run each module at (not to mention setting unique offsets/delays, 'slop,' swing, etc per device). and when i use clock sync input functions that's even another unique clock needed to spread around the system.

To have one central place to manage all these clocks is just completely essential. Without a doubt its the single most important module in my system, i dont know how i could do what i do without it.

i could see it maybe not being as essential in a smaller system though, although it has many advantages there too.
Last edited by brandonlogic on Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:02 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by pugix » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:51 pm

nexgen23 wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:10 pm
Honorable mention is Maths, yes Maths!! I’m not shitting on Maths, it is a GREAT MODULE, it just isn’t for me. I just need all those functions (see what I did there) broken down into separate modules so I can wrap my brain around them easier (I don’t want to think to hard when patching lol). It helps that Contour 1 is such a great module to help in the replacement of Maths (which is what I did with 2ea Contour 1’s).
I'm with ya on Maths. I have several Universal Slope Generators, based on the Serge. Have a MN Function too. My problem with Maths was that I could not like the mixing/offsetting features. I wish I had a pair of Joranalogue Contour 1s! Someday I probably will.
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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by rayultine » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:52 pm

I don't know how anyone can look at a Frap Tools panel and know what's going on.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by Gringo Starr » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:07 pm

starthief wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:29 pm
Pamela's New Workout.
I'll admit that I bought this module purely based on it's hype and seemingly useful nature. I anticipated using it a lot but I put it in my rack and hardly ever use it. I keep telling myself that at some point of the journey I'll be glad it's there. For now it's safe from the BST.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by nexgen23 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:42 pm

pugix wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:51 pm
I'm with ya on Maths. I have several Universal Slope Generators, based on the Serge. Have a MN Function too. My problem with Maths was that I could not like the mixing/offsetting features. I wish I had a pair of Joranalogue Contour 1s! Someday I probably will.
I also was not a fan of the way Maths handled the mixing/offset, having it in separate modules IMO is more flexible. Pair of Contour 1’s = <3


I use Pams as a glorified clock divider/multiplier (especially after I sold my 4ms RCD), it’s nice to have it for other functions if I need them, but most of the time I don’t. I like the 321, but am not a fan of that panel/label/switch color combo at all, someone needs to make a replacement faceplate lol, it is a super useful module though. I don’t think I could have any of the other Frap Tools modules, to cryptic for me (as are most Make Noise modules, I compromised with Mimeophon because its great at what it does). Disting and o_C for me are “necessary evils” I guess, I am not a fan of their menus, but I usually have one of my o_C’s (both on Hemisphere Suite) set to power up as logic and compare, the other is set to tuner and brancher, I change them as needed, these just seem to be the ones I use (or at least intend on using) the most. Disting usually just stay on whatever also I used last, and when I need it, it is there :) I can see how they could both be a pain in the ass though.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by Back Down the Path » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:50 pm

I won’t stand for this Pam’s slander. For me, is great because it just fucking works all the time every time and you can make it do exactly what you want it to do with very clear functionality if you want to go deeper. I have two!

My O_c has been a quad envelope generator 90% of the time and that’s fine but I do feel guilty that I just can’t bring myself to even try the others. Oh well.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by AlanP » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:55 pm

O&C. I just don't have the menu-diving gene.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by bronzebygold » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:01 pm

sequencers: Yes, sequencers.... The idea of using bursts of voltage as discreet "notes," as if synthesis was like a piano's hammer striking a string, seems contrived to me. I also don't like the vast numbers of bells and whistles that are somehow intended to make working with a sequencer more intuitive but in fact end up pushing the users towards certain patterns that happen to be easier on a particular piece of hardware (granted, it's a problem that exists in any creative medium).

quantizers: I also don't like quantizers. I don't like pitches that line up like neat little picket fences. I like to work with voltage as if it's clay. No presets, measurements, or preparations.

Mutable Instruments: I can see the appeal of Mutable Instruments. I appreciate the creativity that goes into them. I've even TRIED to like them, but I just don't. I don't like the designs. I don't like the sound. It's just not for me.

Pamela's New Workout: I suppose this goes along with my dislike for sequencers, etc. I figure anything Pam's can do, I can do in Max/MSP via ES-8, right?

Maths: It's undeniably a great module in a lot of ways, but I can't stand that changing curve shape effects function rise/fall time. I like parameters to be applied discreetly, at least to the extent possible in an analog module.

Spectral Multiband Resonant Filter: In general I'm not excited about "multiband" or "ensemble"-type modules. I think they usually sound highly distinctive. If you love that sounds, that's great I guess. But I get tired of it really quickly.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by klstay » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:11 pm

I am just now getting back into modular after having sold off my 5U system in 2013 which I started in 2005. (It got to about 140 spaces of mostly .com and some MOTM modules from various brands) I looked into a TON of modules and potential interactions with the whole initial 2X140HP "rack" as well as what I wanted to accomplish. I started by using a "layout" of Behringer 100 modules with a very traditional "east coast" mindset and then looked outward in each broad area (sound source, modulation, amplification, utilities, sequencing, FX) to try and zero in on a final design. Here is what I found before arriving at the final build now about two thirds in place. (None of the 100 series modules remained, but that dual VCA is really feature rich for a VERY low price IMHO)

First, I was stunned at SO MANY amazing developments and capabilities in the past few years or so. (That is a whole different thread...) I ended up looking at a LOT of stuff. Really a WHOLE LOT. There were MANY planned build revisions after watching & reading everything I could about this or that module. So, the evidently fairly popular items that ultimately got cut:

1. Pamela's New Workout - This was in almost until the very end. For me just too much abstraction in the interface for how I approach sound exploration.
2. Tides - Also in until the very end when Maestro + Morph 4 kicked it (and some other things) to the curb for me.
3. Piston Honda - If not for the E370 I probably would be excited about it.
4. Klavis Twin Waves - Again, E370...
5. Intellijel Quad VCA - Since I am not cost constrained here ultimately multiple Vincas took its place.
6. FX Aid - Sorry, E520 instead. Different animals really, but one is in and the other not.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by starthief » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:13 pm

Teletype has my clock needs more than adequately covered, and does a lot of other things besides... I've used it not just for clock source, multiplication/division, patterns etc. but CV addressable sequences with a 16n Faderbank, quantization to 5TET and other xenharmonic tuning, transposition of CV by arbitrary values, all kinds of custom algorithmic sequencing, "analog" shift register, bouncing ball burst generator, a utility to transpose modulation oscillators by "clean" integer ratios, etc.

Nobody's going to convince me PNW can do what Teletype can. Sure, the Teletype workflow would turn off a lot of people, but for me it's fantastic... Easy Mode coding compared to my day job.


Maths is not my ideal function generator, but it's a "close enough" compromise. The ideal would steal features from about 5 different modules. I do like Math's knob response, and have never regretted replacing Function, Mini Slew, 321 and Pico A Logic with a single Maths.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by Nonlocal » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:42 pm

intellijel rainmaker - just want to start by saying this is a VERY cool module, and I use it often enough to keep, just not as often as I expected. As flexible and beautiful as it is, the level of menu diving just becomes a serious setback when trying to make real time changes. Sure there are the two assignable attenuators, but with the number of customizable features there, it makes me really wish I could access them more immediately. I know that this is the price to pay for having a universal tap delay though, so it’s completely understandable that this is the way it is. I’m probably just being a bit greedy with a module that’s already very good, but Im personally not a huge fan of the “set and forget” style of it

MI rings - it’s very beautiful but, for myself, i quickly narrowed down this module to the same pretty sound that I eventually got kind of board of. I’m sure I just don’t have the skill to unlock the full potential it was intended for. Its actually funny though, I sold this module a few months ago and didn’t really regret it, but I did recently find myself wishing I could briefly play with that signature rings sound again. I guess it’s kind of an indulgence thing; I like chocolate pie, but I wouldn’t really want it more than once every few months or so

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by blaythe.steuer » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:53 pm

MI plaits for me. i couldn’t get it to ever really fit in with mixes in the way i was looking for. i dunno. does too much w not enough depth

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:17 am

maths
TOO FAR GONE

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by Raindeer » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:33 am

Disting Mk4 - I’d probably treat it like Netflix and just scroll through without ever picking anything.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by lisa » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:44 am

MI Marbles. Some folks manage to make it their own but to me it felt like a randomized preset machine for melodies and a rhythm box preset machine for beats. It was never fully my music when I used Marbles in a patch.
Somewhat unorthodox electro on my old trusty Monomachine. :boba:


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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by brandonlogic » Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:49 am

starthief wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:13 pm

Nobody's going to convince me PNW can do what Teletype can.
I don’t think anyone is trying to. Cool that teletype suits all your clocking needs though!
Last edited by brandonlogic on Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by nexgen23 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:52 am

klstay wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:11 pm
3. Piston Honda - If not for the E370 I probably would be excited about it.
4. Klavis Twin Waves - Again, E370...
I keep talking myself out of an E370, its a super cool looking module, and I'll probably end up with one at some point, but for not Synthbox, Shapeshifter (it's wavetable-ish lol), Assimmil8or and Disting EX (wavetable algo) have been scratching the wavetable itch for me. The thing that made me back out this pas time was that on Synthbox I get four voices each based off of the two wavetables and conventional oscillator, whereas with the E370 four voices = one of the oscillators for each voice. I know there is the flexibility of doing clouds and all, but something made me tell myself "no what you have is good enough for now" :) it was a proud moment for me.
lisa wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:44 am
MI Marbles. Some folks manage to make it their own but to me it felt like a randomized preset machine for melodies and a rhythm box preset machine for beats. It was never fully my music when I used Marbles in a patch.
I like to use marbles as a random gate/voltage source, and thats about it. I dont use it to generate any kind of actual sequence usually, unless I am experimenting and am being lazy :)
Nonlocal wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:42 pm
MI rings
I like to play with rings when I have ear fatigue and am want to hear something calming, I use it as a palette cleanser for my ears, lol
blaythe.steuer wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:53 pm
MI plaits for me. i couldn’t get it to ever really fit in with mixes in the way i was looking for. i dunno. does too much w not enough depth
Plaits is neat, and has a lot of sonic potential, finding what works in a mix can be challenging though.
starthief wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:13 pm
Nobody's going to convince me PNW can do what Teletype can.
If I was more code inclined I'd probably like Teletype (I've never messed with one so I cant say I dislike it either), I don't think PNW could replace it for someone who knows how to use Teletype, it appears to be very powerful.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by Daisuk » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:33 am

I don't like the menu diving and button combos on the mk3 IME modules one bit, which is a shame as they all sound great. I've also come to dislike Make Noise panels, I always struggle with finding the clock in on them for instance, and their general usage of icons and what have you in their panels is confusing to me.

I actually have one new and one old Pam! Love them. Just like Brandon logic I tend to need divisions and multiplications of the master clock spread out everywhere in a patch, and I always run out, so now I have two! Love them to bits. 😁
Last edited by Daisuk on Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by LunaticSound » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:34 am

The one module I am always on the fence about. The rainmaker. So often now I have been annoyed by the menus, found myself just using presets, had weird problems with it, like a crackling mix knob, noise floor and a not working dry/wet modulation, or just found the sound cold...

But then, whenever that happens, and usually when I write something about it here, I build some very unexpected crazy patch leaning heavily on it. Still, when I think about the fact, that this is similarly prized as a d0, the d0 is a 100x better deal. I have never touched d0 without something amazing happening, apart from the first three times, when I thought, it was broken 😆

I guess, I would sell it, but with the mix knob sometimes crackling I feel bad about it...

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Re: What are some of the more popular modules that you either are not excited about, don’t like or don’t find useful?

Post by yhf » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:08 am

Taking only the (more popular) modules in account that I have considered buying in the past, I say:

Batumi: I'm sure it is a powerful module, it just isn't for me as I don't need all of those quadrature and phase bells and whistles.

Ochd: I don't see any appeal in not being able to set those rates individually. Again, it might be useful to some, no doubt, it just isn't for me.

I got an A-145-4 instead, does everything I need it to do.

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