Euro Modular Synth ReadMe.1st

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

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0netwo0netwo
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Post by 0netwo0netwo » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:15 pm

i have an optomix, a qcd plus expander and a mother 32 for sale if you ever find interest in any of those modules

then hit me up

:hihi:

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Post by Netdewt » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:23 pm

Is there a general recommendation for a beginner setup? The options are so many - it's daunting!!!

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Post by PhineasFreak » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:37 pm

Netdewt wrote:Is there a general recommendation for a beginner setup? The options are so many - it's daunting!!!
try to visit somewhere or someone where you can play with a modular so you get an idea what you might want yourself:

think about what you want to do with your rig and what your budget is.

get the minimum you need to get started and increase one module at a time, learn each new module before buying more.

the minimum is probably a sound source (vco or some thing that cycles/oscillates at audio frequencies), a vca or lpg or filter and some modulation sources.

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0netwo0netwo
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Post by 0netwo0netwo » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:39 pm

maybe a clock also 8-)

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Post by Netdewt » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:08 am

0netwo0netwo wrote:maybe a clock also 8-)
What counts as a clock?

I am more interested in creating patterns and sounds than in "playing" music, so that is why I'm looking into modular. The Moog Mother 32 is tempting but if I enjoy it I'm afraid I'll regret not just going full modular. Maybe it's worth it for the basics though.

I know I need:
Oscillator - Doepfer A110
VCA - Doepfer A131
Filter - Doepfer A120 / Korgasmatron
Envelope - Doepfer A140 / Maths
LFO - Doepfer A145 / Maths
Sequencer of some sort?
Clock divider - 4ms / Doepfer
Power supply - TipTop Zeus or Doepfer
Case - 3 or 6U plywood

I'd like a sampler, but not at all necessary at first.

Sort of just taking the Doepfer #s from here as "the basics".
qu.one wrote: Image

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PhineasFreak
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Post by PhineasFreak » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:29 pm

Netdewt wrote:
0netwo0netwo wrote:maybe a clock also 8-)
What counts as a clock?

I am more interested in creating patterns and sounds than in "playing" music, so that is why I'm looking into modular. The Moog Mother 32 is tempting but if I enjoy it I'm afraid I'll regret not just going full modular. Maybe it's worth it for the basics though.

suggestions in red:
reasons why in green:
I know I need:
Oscillator - Doepfer A110 imo, starting on a budget - unbeatable
VCA - Doepfer A131 a132-3 lin/log dual vca pretty much same size but twice the vcas and switchable lin/log response
Filter - Doepfer A120 / Korgasmatron multimode e.g. as yet unreleased a121-2 similar size again but so much more options to explore and uses as a result. especially when playing with feedback and self osc waveforms resulting.
Envelope - Doepfer A140 / Maths a171-2 (half a maths kinda) similar size, does a billion other things too
LFO - Doepfer A145 / Maths a171-2 (half a maths kinda) similar size, does a billion other things too
Sequencer of some sort? needs a whole section of it's own i think
Clock divider - 4ms / Doepfer for the space consumed unbeatable - 4ms costs a touch more but far more complex module - also 4ms is a good entry level diy module
Power supply - TipTop Zeus or Doepfer possibly not necessary - see below
Case - 3 or 6U plywood doepfer lc6 or lc9 are about as cheap as it gets for a case with psu - everything you need already assembled, tested, guranteed and so forth all for a very good price.

I'd like a sampler, but not at all necessary at first.

Sort of just taking the Doepfer #s from here as "the basics".
a clock can be any signal, tho typically a square/pulse wave with the trigger occurring as the leading edge of the waveform shoots up from 0 V to 5 V.

in prractice this means that pretty much any eurorack lfo, looping/cycling eg or even slow vco can be used as long as theres a rising edge to at least +5v from 0v that is quite steep - i.e. depending on themodule being clocked, you may find not only a square or pulse will work but also a saw or even some unexpected waveshapes if the input has a schmitt trig input.

in laymans terms, a dedicated clock module, an lfo or a maths are all commonly used clock sources and any will do, but in practice a hell of a lot moe tings will serve as well.

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Post by Forehead84 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:56 pm

Great thread and I probably should of read this before starting out last year.

I read through and I'm not sure the 5V power rail was mentioned at any point. As a doepfer psu2 owner I find 5V power mysterious and a little scary, not sure why some modules use it and/or why some cases don't provide it. Even more confusingly my 4ms SMR has a 5V requirement but works without it - not got a clue what's going on.

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Post by PhineasFreak » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:30 am

i think considering the purposes of this thread its gonna be confusing to get too technical or deepinto the whys and wherefores, nevertheless:

- some eurorack modules require, as well as the standard +12V/-12V, an additional +5V supply.

- some eurorack psu's supply +5V to the appropriate rail as standard, some don't. those that dont require a little doohickey to be plugged into a spare module socket that supplies 5V power to that rail having generated it from the 12v rail.*

- many modules actually use a +5V power supply but generate it on the module itself from the 12V supply. Of these, some, can also draw it from the 5V rail on the case psu if available.

*once a +5V adaptor is fitted to a socket on the bus, all sockets on that bus have access to +5V power so no further +5V adaptors are needed for that bus. other buses without +5V supplies will still need adaptors if they are to house modules requiring a +5V supply.

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UniversalSolder
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Post by UniversalSolder » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:45 am

That is very interesting and helpful. Thanks guyz !

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Post by claptrap » Thu May 26, 2016 2:59 pm

Thanks everyone for this thread. Lots of great info here. Looking forward to getting started...

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Post by weirdo » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:21 am

Great thread, bookmarked. Thanks!

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Post by Viparita93 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:09 pm

This thread is absolutely the best! Thanks guys!

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Post by hiroaki93 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:55 pm

There's a lot of info in here, glad I read the whole thing! Thanks everybody!

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Post by Cfcarter » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:26 am

This thread helped me alot with my first eurorig!! Thanks!!

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Post by Paxxx » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:57 am

this thread rocks! Thanks to all involved.

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Audio levels

Post by jsepeta » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:47 am

I haven't built a Eurorack modular yet but I'm planning to. Most of my synthesizer experience the last 30 years has been with ROMplers and the Korg Poly-800 2 oscillator analog and DS-8 4-operator FM keyboard.

1) What should I use for taking input audio from an existing synth -- say my Kurzweil K2500XS - to use it as the starting point? I know I'm probably speaking sacrilege but try and keep an open mind. Is the output from a traditional ROMpler higher or lower than from an analog Oscillator like the Tiptop Z3000? BTW the Kurzweil isn't a traditional ROMpler, it's rather nice.

2) When taking audio out of a Eurorack modular, I expect I'll either be going into a small mixer (to my Yamaha studio monitors) or directly into my keyboard amp. Will the signal be hot or cold? Is the Pittsburgh Modular Outs any good?

3) What about using stompbox effects? I met Suit & Tie Guy and he was super nice and recommended this forum. He was sending out audio to a Korg SDD-3000 which sounded excellent but I'll probably be using my Boss RE-20 Space Echo. Do I run the risk of blowing the stompbox with a hot signal? Guitars send a pretty low signal.
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Re: Audio levels

Post by PhineasFreak » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:40 pm

jsepeta wrote:I haven't built a Eurorack modular yet but I'm planning to. Most of my synthesizer experience the last 30 years has been with ROMplers and the Korg Poly-800 2 oscillator analog and DS-8 4-operator FM keyboard.

1) What should I use for taking input audio from an existing synth -- say my Kurzweil K2500XS - to use it as the starting point? I know I'm probably speaking sacrilege but try and keep an open mind. Is the output from a traditional ROMpler higher or lower than from an analog Oscillator like the Tiptop Z3000? BTW the Kurzweil isn't a traditional ROMpler, it's rather nice.
modular levels are much hotter than the line levels of even pro studio equip so you'll need a way of boosting the signal - there are modules designed to do this such as the doepfer a-119
jsepeta wrote: 2) When taking audio out of a Eurorack modular, I expect I'll either be going into a small mixer (to my Yamaha studio monitors) or directly into my keyboard amp. Will the signal be hot or cold? Is the Pittsburgh Modular Outs any good?
signal will be hot direct from the modular, but if you use an output, mixer, vca or attenuator module then you can keep the levels under comtrol...
jsepeta wrote: 3) What about using stompbox effects? I met Suit & Tie Guy and he was super nice and recommended this forum. He was sending out audio to a Korg SDD-3000 which sounded excellent but I'll probably be using my Boss RE-20 Space Echo. Do I run the risk of blowing the stompbox with a hot signal? Guitars send a pretty low signal.
i honestly dont know the full answer to this personally so if no-one answers then i'd make this a query in its own right if it hasnt been asked in another thread...

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Great thread

Post by tigersi » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:59 am

Thank you so so much for this, I'm a noob and there seems to be so much to soak in. Very informative :sb:

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Post by stylesforfree » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:21 pm

life saver of a thread!

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SmartBits
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Post by SmartBits » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:04 am

This is a very nice visualization of a modular synth, might be interesting for starters:

http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/sp ... synth-360/

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Wavetable

Post by skeinmodular » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:27 pm

I've got both the Synthesis Technology Morphing Terrarium and NE Loquelic Iteritas, and, at risk of sounding like a simpleton, I'd like an explanation of the distinction between a wavetable synth and other digital oscillators like the Loquelic. Stephen of NE tried to explain it to me, but he's brilliant, and I'm not. I could not follow. That's why he builds the modules, and I just build cases for them. All I know is that both oscillators are ferocious and make excellent bedfellows, but I'd like to better understand them and why they're so complimentary in my system. There's a ton out there on the web on the subject, but I've appreciated the unpretentious spirit of this thread and feel comfortable asking you folks. Apologies if this question has already been answered.

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Auto Da Fe
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Post by Auto Da Fe » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:06 pm

This has helped me immensely as I make the jump from semi-modular to modular. Currently have a mother 32 and an 0-Coast. Picked up Braids and Rings on a whim during the sale at Perfect Circuit Audio. Excited by the opportunities for growth. This will make it less imtimidating.

Thanks to all who contribute!

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Re: Wavetable

Post by PhineasFreak » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:03 am

skeinmodular wrote:I've got both the Synthesis Technology Morphing Terrarium and NE Loquelic Iteritas, and, at risk of sounding like a simpleton, I'd like an explanation of the distinction between a wavetable synth and other digital oscillators like the Loquelic. Stephen of NE tried to explain it to me, but he's brilliant, and I'm not. I could not follow. That's why he builds the modules, and I just build cases for them. All I know is that both oscillators are ferocious and make excellent bedfellows, but I'd like to better understand them and why they're so complimentary in my system. There's a ton out there on the web on the subject, but I've appreciated the unpretentious spirit of this thread and feel comfortable asking you folks. Apologies if this question has already been answered.
sorry no-ones answered this - sadly i dont know the answer so hopefully someone else will...

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Best way to spend $3k to start

Post by MichaelInDallas » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:38 pm

Hi

I have seen many questions about the best modules to put together for a starter system on this thread but it has been awhile since it was asked and there are alot of new products out there (Muteable, Make Noise, Intelligel)...

I am very new to euro modular and could use some help. With other investments to much better spending money for really good quality up front and growing into it. Right now I am considering spending $2500 on a Doepfer Basic System 2 and then $500 extra on an Intellijel Metropolis sequencer or a Make Noise Math... Should I spend the entire $2500 on the Doepfer to get good value or piece together and individual component system ? Would the metropolis or Math be a good add or is it redundant to something in the Basic System 2 ? I am interested in very dark techno and acid house..

thanks for any opinions and your expertise

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Re: Best way to spend $3k to start

Post by PhineasFreak » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:04 pm

MichaelInDallas wrote:Hi

I have seen many questions about the best modules to put together for a starter system on this thread but it has been awhile since it was asked and there are alot of new products out there (Muteable, Make Noise, Intelligel)...

I am very new to euro modular and could use some help. With other investments to much better spending money for really good quality up front and growing into it. Right now I am considering spending $2500 on a Doepfer Basic System 2 and then $500 extra on an Intellijel Metropolis sequencer or a Make Noise Math... Should I spend the entire $2500 on the Doepfer to get good value or piece together and individual component system ? Would the metropolis or Math be a good add or is it redundant to something in the Basic System 2 ? I am interested in very dark techno and acid house..

thanks for any opinions and your expertise
you need to answer yourself a few crucial questions:

do you plan to do entire tunes live with simultaneous bass, lead, drums, pads etc all done on modular? or is it just to be a soundsource for sampling/recording tracks one at a time into a daw/multtracker?

will you be using modular effects and processing like reverb, delay, compression and the like or adding such things in a daw/via rackmount hardware/pedals later on?

are you experienced with making dark techno and acid house using other methods and hence have a rough idea of the tools required to achieve the sounds you want?

to make dark techno and acid house with a modular you can operate with just a doepfer basic system, if you are willing to use it as a monosynth just to record 1 track at a time, or you can use a basic system plus sequencing to do just a bassline or other monophonic voice. likewise you can synthesis your own drums using a basic system, but only one at a time, say by using a resonannt filter ping for bass and toms or noise for hi hats and cymbals.


to do whole songs with multiple voices or poly chords/pads or multiple drums then you will need more than just the doepfer basic system and to do such with modular sequencing would need poly sequencers or complex trigger sequencers for drums.

efex and processing like verb, delays and compression exist within eurorack but tend to be expensive and hp hungry. also they often dont hold up to the results you might be used to getting from other hardware or sogtware efex, but, the scope to involve the very cv's that are controlling your synth to also do the effects and processing can resukt in a very advanced and capable setup so the investment may be rewarding. bear in mind that such modules are no good without a basic setup to process so they arent wise to start off a system with, especially considering you should probably stick to the rule of learning the basics first and building up one or two modules at a time onc you have the bare minimum to make a working synth.

consider this long ramble and hopefully you'll hav more clue where you're heading! :party:

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