Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

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Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 2:49 pm

Do you think the combination of the Mother 32, Subharmonicon, and DFAM, would be a quality basis for the beginning of a Eurorack setup, and then you could eventually build onto it with other modules to expand on this foundation? Or would these three devices never be able to be a strong center from which to grow out from?

As a beginner in modular, this seems like a very inviting trio of devices, but I would hate to make the investment, if ultimately I were to find the Moog modules to be limiting in some way.

This rack, for example, would give you 120 HP left to add onto: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1209131

These videos were really impressive to me, though:



Last edited by FletchNYC on Tue May 12, 2020 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by folpon » Tue May 12, 2020 2:53 pm

You probably won't learn about synthesis in the same deep way you would by building sounds out of basic building blocks, but you'd have a lot of functionality. For the money, yeah, you could do worse.
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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 3:00 pm

folpon wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 2:53 pm
You probably won't learn about synthesis in the same deep way you would by building sounds out of basic building blocks, but you'd have a lot of functionality. For the money, yeah, you could do worse.
That's what I was thinking. You probably wouldn't have the same level of understanding of synthesis, but you would get a pretty big bang for yout buck, and could have quite a bit of fun with it all. It wouldn't be for connoisseurs, but could be great for those just wanting a thrilling hobby.

This rack, for example, would give you 120 HP left to add onto. Seems like an interesting idea: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1209131

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by Licudi » Tue May 12, 2020 3:19 pm

The Mother-32 and DFAM are a good combination albeit semi-modular but if you know what you want musically you'd be better off with a custom Eurorack. That's kind of the point. However, most people need to experiment to find where they want to go so as long as you like the Moogs' retro sound, they're a good enough starting point, particularly secondhand. Also they hold their value fairly well if you decide modular is not for you.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by Fedor » Tue May 12, 2020 3:27 pm

I see the appeal of the moog trio - uniform style, patch panel on one side instead of all over the place, etc.
But for the cost of those 3 units you can build a pretty decent starter system.
To me personally the Subharmonicon looks the most interesting - mother is kinda basic, and dfam just doesn't hit that hard.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 3:33 pm

Fedor wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:27 pm
I see the appeal of the moog trio - uniform style, patch panel on one side instead of all over the place, etc.
But for the cost of those 3 units you can build a pretty decent starter system.
To me personally the Subharmonicon looks the most interesting - mother is kinda basic, and dfam just doesn't hit that hard.
Yea, the softness of the DFAM has always been my problem with it. The sequencer also feels a little limiting.

Would it be difficult to reproduce the subharmonicon's features with individual modules? The poly-rhythms, the way the oscillators interact, etc.? People seem to feel it's fairly unique.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by luketeaford » Tue May 12, 2020 3:43 pm

I think Mother 32 + DFAM is a great combo. I am not convinced of the value of Subharmonicon yet. It seems a lot for what it is and not to have a lot of CV control.

The biggest problem I have with playing M32 + DFAM is that there is no good way to mix voltages, no legitimate S&H, no bipolar VCA, no inverters, no comparators, no logic. Everything else is fine, but if your patching requires these kinds of techniques, you're out of luck.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 3:53 pm

luketeaford wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:43 pm
I think Mother 32 + DFAM is a great combo. I am not convinced of the value of Subharmonicon yet. It seems a lot for what it is and not to have a lot of CV control.

The biggest problem I have with playing M32 + DFAM is that there is no good way to mix voltages, no legitimate S&H, no bipolar VCA, no inverters, no comparators, no logic. Everything else is fine, but if your patching requires these kinds of techniques, you're out of luck.
That's what I'm concerned about. These three devices feel like a brilliant way to get the ball rolling, but I fear that a year after you've been using them you might have some creative ideas that you can't really pull off with them as the heart of your eurorack. It's sort of like Apple vs. PC. When you want to try new things, a PC is just much more flexible. But an Apple is great if you don't really want to experiment much.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by Fedor » Tue May 12, 2020 4:19 pm

FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:33 pm
Would it be difficult to reproduce the subharmonicon's features with individual modules? The poly-rhythms, the way the oscillators interact, etc.?
It most certainly would cost more considering modules, case, power, cables, but it might be more interesting and unique.

I guess that is pretty much the difference - you either get a pre-made product that sounds pretty much the same in anyone's hands, or you take the idea you want to explore and push it wherever you want to go.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by Fog Door » Tue May 12, 2020 4:32 pm

I've got a DFAM which I love and I'm interested in the Subharmonicom although like luketeaford I'm not convinced it is quite worth the money. As somebody who has made the transition from standard hardware synths and semi modular to modular in the past 12 months or so, I absolutely could not recommend going with the trio of Moogs over a full modular setup. As Fedor says, that same outlay could gain you a very decent start in modular instead. well Eurorack anyway :)

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by synth.void » Tue May 12, 2020 4:34 pm

Great combo! It should be real easy to get rid of these on the used market once you outgrow them. I'd start with a single unit though, and get a Disting EX + power on the side :hihi: It takes little time to go from no rack to a full rack, at least it was for me. You'll quickly understand what's missing, and that might come in a form of the other two units.

Good thing is you get to keep them in the rack if your focus shifts to different eurorack modules. Other semimodulars, i.e. Microvolt in my case, are pushed out of the frame when the rack comes.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 4:37 pm

Fog Door wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:32 pm
I've got a DFAM which I love and I'm interested in the Subharmonicom although like luketeaford I'm not convinced it is quite worth the money. As somebody who has made the transition from standard hardware synths and semi modular to modular in the past 12 months or so, I absolutely could not recommend going with the trio of Moogs over a full modular setup. As Fedor says, that same outlay could gain you a very decent start in modular instead. well Eurorack anyway :)
Yea, I'm leaning towards just going modular, because I think it's a better investment in the long run, but this trio sure does seem like a great way to just plug in, and start making some pretty cool stuff.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by luketeaford » Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm

FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:53 pm
That's what I'm concerned about. These three devices feel like a brilliant way to get the ball rolling, but I fear that a year after you've been using them you might have some creative ideas that you can't really pull off with them as the heart of your eurorack. It's sort of like Apple vs. PC. When you want to try new things, a PC is just much more flexible. But an Apple is great if you don't really want to experiment much.
I have 2 M32s and a DFAM and love that combo despite my frustrations-- it's a limitation I'm fine with for the instrument (similar drawbacks to my other synths/modular instruments).

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 4:43 pm

synth.void wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:34 pm
Great combo! It should be real easy to get rid of these on the used market once you outgrow them. I'd start with a single unit though, and get a Disting EX + power on the side :hihi: It takes little time to go from no rack to a full rack, at least it was for me. You'll quickly understand what's missing, and that might come in a form of the other two units.

Good thing is you get to keep them in the rack if your focus shifts to different eurorack modules. Other semimodulars, i.e. Microvolt in my case, are pushed out of the frame when the rack comes.
I just looked up the Disting Ex, and that seems like a pretty awesome module. Definitely going to take a note to remember it in the future.

What did you mean by "power on the side"?

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by folpon » Tue May 12, 2020 4:51 pm

I'll add here that, like the venerable luketeaford, I also have a DFAM (and probably tomorrow will have a Subharmonicon delivered) which I use very comfortably alongside about 100hp of VCAs, comparators, logic, utilities, etc. So it's not really an either or, necessarily.
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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by Licudi » Tue May 12, 2020 4:55 pm

luketeaford wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
I have 2 M32s and a DFAM and love that combo despite my frustrations-- it's a limitation I'm fine with for the instrument (similar drawbacks to my other synths/modular instruments).
I have a similar set-up (three M-32s; sold the DFAM) and came to the same conclusion, albeit only after experimenting with additional envelopes, LFOs and VCAs. Now I'm happy now to work within the Moogs' limitations. That said, I still use a passive attenuator pod, which I'd say is essential to get the best from the Mothers.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by synth.void » Tue May 12, 2020 5:02 pm

FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:43 pm
What did you mean by "power on the side"?
I've just meant get something to power the modules and the moog unit.
FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:43 pm
I just looked up the Disting Ex, and that seems like a pretty awesome module. Definitely going to take a note to remember it in the future.
Look up Pamela's New Workout also!

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 5:11 pm

synth.void wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 5:02 pm
FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:43 pm
What did you mean by "power on the side"?
I've just meant get something to power the modules and the moog unit.
FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:43 pm
I just looked up the Disting Ex, and that seems like a pretty awesome module. Definitely going to take a note to remember it in the future.
Look up Pamela's New Workout also!
I've already got Pamela on my list! Would you say the Disting Ex is inviting for beginners? Sometimes those digital screens give me pause.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by seta666 » Tue May 12, 2020 6:15 pm

A 9U104HP or even a 9U84HP system with the 3 moogs plus some modules could be a beautiful beast. For a beguiner just a disting is more than enough, I recommend some utilities like kinks and links and a vca like veils.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by evilspock » Tue May 12, 2020 6:54 pm

FletchNYC wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:33 pm
Fedor wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:27 pm
To me personally the Subharmonicon looks the most interesting - mother is kinda basic, and dfam just doesn't hit that hard.
Yea, the softness of the DFAM has always been my problem with it.
LOL...uh, wuuuut?? The DFAM is the rudest, rawest, punchy, in-your-face, Nine Inch Nails/Aphex Twin-in-a-box analog sound module I've ever come across. If you haven't discovered that...you're doing it wrong. Try again!

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Tue May 12, 2020 7:57 pm

Licudi wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:55 pm
luketeaford wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
I have 2 M32s and a DFAM and love that combo despite my frustrations-- it's a limitation I'm fine with for the instrument (similar drawbacks to my other synths/modular instruments).
I have a similar set-up (three M-32s; sold the DFAM) and came to the same conclusion, albeit only after experimenting with additional envelopes, LFOs and VCAs. Now I'm happy now to work within the Moogs' limitations. That said, I still use a passive attenuator pod, which I'd say is essential to get the best from the Mothers.
Just curious, how do you keep all of the M32s in key with each other? Do you use a quantizer?

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by folpon » Tue May 12, 2020 11:09 pm

You tune the oscillators, either by ear or with a tuner, before you begin sequencing.
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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by lilskullymane » Tue May 12, 2020 11:21 pm

I also started with a mother 32 and expanded outwards. I have other oscillators that I like the sound of more (mangrove) and other modules that outshine the utilities (mi stages), but the longer I have the m32, the more I’m impressed by its usefulness -

connects my euro/buchla stuff to midi clock out from octatrack, cv crossfader, extra multiples, playable keyboard, sounds good in the mix with just about anything.

glad i started with it and while I wouldn’t say it’s the centerpiece of my euro setup, I won’t be parting with it anytime soon.

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Wed May 13, 2020 1:46 am

folpon wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 11:09 pm
You tune the oscillators, either by ear or with a tuner, before you begin sequencing.
Oh, cool. Thanks

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Re: Moog Mother 32/Subharmonican/DFAM, as the center pieces of a Eurorack?

Post by FletchNYC » Wed May 13, 2020 1:47 am

lilskullymane wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 11:21 pm
I also started with a mother 32 and expanded outwards. I have other oscillators that I like the sound of more (mangrove) and other modules that outshine the utilities (mi stages), but the longer I have the m32, the more I’m impressed by its usefulness -

connects my euro/buchla stuff to midi clock out from octatrack, cv crossfader, extra multiples, playable keyboard, sounds good in the mix with just about anything.

glad i started with it and while I wouldn’t say it’s the centerpiece of my euro setup, I won’t be parting with it anytime soon.
So you would recommend this trio of devices for someone starting out?

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