Best Fixed Filter Bank?

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wily
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Best Fixed Filter Bank?

Post by wily » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:11 pm

Hey gang, I'm looking to add a fixed filter bank to my 5U system. :help:

I'm wondering if anyone has an (informed) opinion on merits between the YuSynth FFB and the Synthesisers.com (Q127 & Q140) FFB? Are there any other options worth considering? I'm looking for what you'd expect, old Moog filter bank sound for sonic sculpting and drones.

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this has been discussed before, I couldn't find a post.
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Re: Best Fixed Filter Bank?

Post by EPTC » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:49 pm

wily wrote:Are there any other options worth considering?
Oh man, abandon your wallet - Yep, indeed, there are.

If you want the moog sound, you'll want to search for FFB and "Inductors" - Most models with inductors go north of $1,000 - but you'll be very happy with the results.

Dotcom makes amazing products but their FFB is often considered a bit underwhelming. I think the MosLab 914 doesn't have inductors but people really love it. COTK makes a dreamy 907 FFB with inductors that's the bee's knees but tough to acquire. Top shelf seems to be the Synth Werk 914 with inductors. But I think that's north of $1500.

Great pursuit though. Inductor-based FFB's are truly wonderful organic things.

If you have a decent iPad interface, another $30 option is the FFB in the Moog Model 15 app, too. A lot can be enjoyed just by patching into that digitally and it's pretty close. It's also a good and persuasive brochure for the $10,000 model 15 reissue, ha. But based on your post you might be completely thrilled by the fidelity and options of the moog ipad app - I'd totally try that.
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Post by ranix » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:58 pm

the dotcom ffb is fun. I got the expansion with each band on its own output but in reality I never end up using it. The price is right :75:

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Post by Klangzaun » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:41 am

I had never the chance to compare them directly.

I money doesn't count, go for the Synth Werk FFB with inductors.

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Post by Dave Peck » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:35 am

Here are a couple of alternatives - the Serge resonant EQ and the modcan FFB 41B. Unfortunately neither is currently available as a pre-built module as far as I know.

Both of these have a cool feature - 'odd' filter bands are sent to one output while 'even' filter bands are sent to the other, which can allow you to do all sorts of unusual stereo-ized processing of a mono signal.


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Post by wily » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:05 am

Ouch I was looking at the YuSynth and DotCom FFBs at ~$400USD, is the Synth-Werk 907A four times better? ;/
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Re: Best Fixed Filter Bank?

Post by wily » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:36 am

EPTC wrote:
wily wrote:Are there any other options worth considering?
Oh man, abandon your wallet - Yep, indeed, there are.

If you want the moog sound, you'll want to search for FFB and "Inductors" - Most models with inductors go north of $1,000 - but you'll be very happy with the results.

Dotcom makes amazing products but their FFB is often considered a bit underwhelming. I think the MosLab 914 doesn't have inductors but people really love it. COTK makes a dreamy 907 FFB with inductors that's the bee's knees but tough to acquire. Top shelf seems to be the Synth Werk 914 with inductors. But I think that's north of $1500.

Great pursuit though. Inductor-based FFB's are truly wonderful organic things.

If you have a decent iPad interface, another $30 option is the FFB in the Moog Model 15 app, too. A lot can be enjoyed just by patching into that digitally and it's pretty close. It's also a good and persuasive brochure for the $10,000 model 15 reissue, ha. But based on your post you might be completely thrilled by the fidelity and options of the moog ipad app - I'd totally try that.
Thanks for the comprehensive response, this is a deeper rabbit hole than I realised. :deadbanana:
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Re: Best Fixed Filter Bank?

Post by wily » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:38 am

oops double post
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Post by alternating.bit » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:40 am

I actually own two FFBs (both of the ones you inquired about initially). I like them both though I tend to lean more towards my Yusynth. Much of it has to do with the layout to be honest, plus my Yusynth is a much more sturdy build it being an MOTM tough metal face and all. I think you'd be pleased with either one though.

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Re: Best Fixed Filter Bank?

Post by Tronman » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:05 am

wily wrote:Hey gang, I'm looking to add a fixed filter bank to my 5U system. :help:

I'm wondering if anyone has an (informed) opinion on merits between the YuSynth FFB and the Synthesisers.com (Q127 & Q140) FFB? Are there any other options worth considering? I'm looking for what you'd expect, old Moog filter bank sound for sonic sculpting and drones.

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this has been discussed before, I couldn't find a post.
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Post by Flareless » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:40 am

I've got the Yusynth and am very happy with it. While it doesn't have an option for a breakout board for each frequency it does have multiple inputs as well as outputs for "Odd" and "Even" frequencies as well as a main output (all available simultaneously).

As others have mentioned, nothing beats inductors for sound quality but without breaking the bank, the Yusynth FFB is a great option.
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Post by cornutt » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:17 am

For those who have one of the ones with inductors... Do they have any problems with hum or noise pickup?
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Post by Synthoholic » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:22 am

Wily,
I actually sold my dotcom to Alternating.bit. So the dotcom had quite a bit of volume drop for me, and the resonant quality just wasn't there. Kazike of COTK confirmed that he had one in stock and never sent me the invoice for it, so I purchased the Synth-Werk 914 and I absolutely love it.

There are two video demos of the Moog 907a and the Moslab 914. You can clearly hear that while the Moslab does sound great, there is something about the Moog that really makes those plucks sound like violins and other instruments.

Another alternative that you might not have considered is going the the Moog 10 band eq route. A dear friend of mine who is now deceased used to be a Moog artist back in the day and preferred his 10 band to the 907a. You can find those in the same price range as some of the FFB offerings, and I think it is a little more versatile being able to drive it a little harder, but you might want to be prepared to have some maintenance performed on it.

Then there is always the Moogerfooger Murfs of various versions. I lean towards the non-midi versions. Those actually are very nice sounding and of course you can animate them.


Cornutt, I do get pretty bad hum with my 914 but that is because it is situated really close to both the power supply and where the power enters the system. Moving it will more than likely solve this but I haven't had the inclination to move it yet because that would require taking lots of stuff out of the cabinet, and I'm about to get some new cabinets soon. This is why I haven't shot a video demo for mine yet.

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Post by EPTC » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:15 pm

I have the inductor COTK 907 and couldn't be happier with it. It makes everything sound really human.

There's some really interesting eurorack ones that I'm still curious about - Verbos' lovely lookin Bark filter and ADDAC's AC601 look (and sound) really nice. It seems like the CV options in eurorack make the non-inductor FFB offerings more interesting.

If I were going the Synth Werk route I'd want one of their FFBs along with their set of 901 oscillators. But that's reaching unobtanium to me in terms of cost.
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Post by EPTC » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:52 pm

cornutt wrote:For those who have one of the ones with inductors... Do they have any problems with hum or noise pickup?
I've noticed mine picks up transient transmissions from other modules, so distanced placement to other modules and the power supply is important - I think that's why the FFB is on the top left of the case on the Model 15 - away from everything with nothing on top - they place the attenuator right next to it, too, possibly as an additional buffer.

The most obvious noise issue for me was when I had mine placed next to an RF Nomad. Inductors and Radio Receivers didn't really mix well. Or they mix too well, perhaps. The RF Nomad picked up the filter frequencies from the FFB too, which was kind of cool but very difficult to control or anticipate.
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Post by Jsharpphoto » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:42 pm

I have the Yusynth FFB with individual outs. It's awesome. A great middle ground between the low cost of the dotcom (which doesn't sound very good) and the super expensive inductor based designs that cost over a grand, and take 6-8 months for delivery.

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Post by josaka » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:45 pm

personally I think that FFB are part of a few modules that have become a bit outdated.. because it was in a moog doesn't meant that they are "needed" but.. its part of the cult these days so I guess people "need" one..

a polymoog resonator should be enough..? 200$ 2u..

I feel the same about huge step sequencers.. there are so many great alternate options for both these things and would leave a ton of space for other more "interesting" modules :) I cannot find a reason other than "nostalgia"..which is powerful.. but my cash is going elsewhere..
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Post by AlanP » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:48 pm

as far as ffb's go, it's always nice to have options :)

plus they're useful in feedback patches.

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Post by Ramases » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:29 am

josaka wrote:personally I think that FFB are part of a few modules that have become a bit outdated.. because it was in a moog doesn't meant that they are "needed" but.. its part of the cult these days so I guess people "need" one..

a polymoog resonator should be enough..? 200$ 2u..

I feel the same about huge step sequencers.. there are so many great alternate options for both these things and would leave a ton of space for other more "interesting" modules :) I cannot find a reason other that "nostalgia"..which is powerful.. but my cash is going elsewhere..
Outdated modules?

Using that logic, you could say that modular synths as a whole are outdated and everyone who has one is just buying into the cult! With a very small number of exceptions modern module designs are in some way rehashing/tweaking/improving what went before.

I don't think modules become outdated and no longer useful in a system. FFBs and step sequencers (really all modules for that matter) can be used in plenty of interesting ways.

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Post by Squattamolie » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:01 pm

Jsharpphoto wrote:I have the Yusynth FFB with individual outs. It's awesome. A great middle ground between the low cost of the dotcom (which doesn't sound very good) and the super expensive inductor based designs that cost over a grand, and take 6-8 months for delivery.
I don't own it myself but I had Jason from FSFX build one about a year ago for the school I work at, it is very cool. When I got it, I installed it into my own system to fart around The vid below was made for a closed FB group for the electronic music class, hence why I was saying some things that may seem obvious....

[video][/video]

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Post by josaka » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:56 pm

Ramases wrote:
josaka wrote:personally I think that FFB are part of a few modules that have become a bit outdated.. because it was in a moog doesn't meant that they are "needed" but.. its part of the cult these days so I guess people "need" one..

a polymoog resonator should be enough..? 200$ 2u..

I feel the same about huge step sequencers.. there are so many great alternate options for both these things and would leave a ton of space for other more "interesting" modules :) I cannot find a reason other that "nostalgia"..which is powerful.. but my cash is going elsewhere..
Outdated modules?

Using that logic, you could say that modular synths as a whole are outdated and everyone who has one is just buying into the cult! With a very small number of exceptions modern module designs are in some way rehashing/tweaking/improving what went before.

I don't think modules become outdated and no longer useful in a system. FFBs and step sequencers (really all modules for that matter) can be used in plenty of interesting ways.
well you need osc and your basic filters so that's not exactly true.. the main thing for me is the space they take up.. vs the creative sounds you can get from other means/modules.. external sequencers are just as good if not better now and the fbb is big vs the amount of use it gets.. like I say its personal and they are things developed for a system that is used very differently now.. computers/midi were not around.. so having a sequencer and eq/filter in your modular was much more important.. not so much now.

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Post by EPTC » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:20 pm

josaka wrote:the main thing for me is the space they take up
I think this is a better argument on your part. The original statement, "what's the value of hardware sequencers and classic filters" is a bit of a funny comment.

If you record a waveform of a hardware sequencer pulse and compare it to a digital one you'll visually see very subtle changes in timing and pulse on every note that are not exact - making the music less redundant. Also the knobs and switches are a total holiday to play with.

Can't even consider your point about an FFB being out of date. That's like saying "we have Yamaha synths for strings, why do we still have violins?"
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Post by ach_gott » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:20 pm

I have a couple of Juergen Haible FFBs. Just got them a couple of months ago and love 'em to death... they have a very nice grumble when the lower frequencies are mixed at greater than unity. I can't say whether they're better or worse than any other FFBs as these are the only ones I own. It's the non-inductor implementation.

I don't fuck with plug ins too often so I have no point of reference there but I don't just put them at the end of the signal chain which seems to be josaka's assumption.

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Post by josaka » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:07 pm

ach_gott wrote:
which seems to be josaka's assumption.
it is.. ?

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Post by wily » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:23 pm

Excuse the thread resurrection. I ended up getting the FSFX/YuSynth FFB with individual outs and FSFX Haible Resonators from wigglers. These meet my needs well.

As an aside, I was pretty interested in looking at the AJH synth FFB914 when it was announced...
The new FFB914 features fourteen vintage style fixed frequency, inductor based filters.
...but it looks like they've, uh, taken some liberties in describing this FFB as "inductor based":
[...]we have used Gyrator based active inductor circuitry which exactly replicates the vintage passive inductor / capacitor based filter design[...]
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