Starter Setup ?

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Yes Powder » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:17 am

mfny wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:01 am
Its my impression that the 0-Coast is very much for the more weird side of modular ? I have not seen much in the way of it being used to make normal "bread and butter" sounds, but I assume it can do this ?
Don't buy into the "east coast vs west coast sound" hype; weird is what you make it. If you're into making glitchy blips, it can do that. If you're looking to do something more gentle tonal, it can do that too. It has a MIDI input for this very reason.
Though if you're still feeling intimidated by it, maybe the Mother32 would be more your speed.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Fog Door » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:25 am

normal "bread and butter" sounds
Not to discourage you if your heart is set on modular, but If you are looking for bread and butter, you would get far better value for your money with something like the Korg Minilogue XDM. I know that might not be what you want to hear though

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:12 am

Fog Door wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:25 am
normal "bread and butter" sounds
Not to discourage you if your heart is set on modular, but If you are looking for bread and butter, you would get far better value for your money with something like the Korg Minilogue XDM. I know that might not be what you want to hear though
Perhaps that meant not quite what I intended, I meant more along the lines of does this setup only do blips and drones vs being able to do that AND more "normal" sounds, in my case harsher leads for the most part.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Fog Door » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:13 am

OK fair enough, mfny.

If you are shopping at Thomann and really want to go full modular, what about starting with the Doepfer A-100LC3 low cost case?

Many, many forum members would disagree with me but personally I didn't find owning a semi modular a good way to start with modular.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by pmboos » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:16 am

I'm going to jump onto this thread and ask for some considerations.

I have several semi-modular synths - I started getting into them when Plankton Electronics put their Ants! on Kickstarter. I thought for that cost and the fact it came with the ability to also be controlled via MIDI it would be a good starting point to see if I liked it. Since then, I've picked up a Grendel Grenadier RA-9, a Hydronium, a Microvolt 3900, an Erebus v3, a Quadrantrid Swarm, and a 0-Coast. For sequencing I have an Orb, Crazy8, KeyStep, and two SQ-1s (plus some of those units have their own built-in sequencers). I also grabbed a couple of effects I can link in - the Dreadbox Komorebi and Plankton Electronics Spice. (I also have some Volcas I sometimes mix into this as well...)

I recently grabbed a Nifty Bundle - I liked what Cellz could do and well while Chipz didn't necessarily excite me per se, I thought it seemed a decent thing to be thrown in. I'm looking at what should be next... I don't feel like I need any more oscillators or filters per se. I still intend for my primary synths to be my semi-modulars. With 60hp remaining, I feel like it should be devoted to utilities of various sorts I can use, maybe another sequencer if something is really interesting. The only sound source that has caught my attention is the oscillator in the chromatic series from Dreadbox and Intellijel's Plonk for some percussive stuff.

What would be some recommendations? Here's what's been on my mind so far:
  • 1-2 Switches from DPW (to change paths of audio or CV/gate pairs),
  • clock dividers or multipliers and is there a recommendation to which direction to go - multipliers better? or dividers better? Or if you you think this way, go multipliers, if this way dividers...
  • VCAs/attenuverters
  • maybe a sequencer that offers ratcheting built-in
  • a tuner

Besides the general recommendations, if you have specific ideas of modules that would be cool because they make a great complement to something I have, I'd love to hear it. I already have plans to get a second Nifty case at some point (maybe a second bundle as Cellz is darn cool) and that I would fill up with the Chromatic series (as they look interesting in how they approach things and are very affordable.)

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful and informative options.
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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Muff McMuff » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:45 am

I would always go with what i like the sound of together with the constraints of how much cash i have to spend. So if the you like the sounds coming out of the 0 Coast that would the one, £300 - £350 secondhand , easy to get, quite often in great condition and hardly used. Secondhand is cheaper and if you find you don't really like it you could sell it for the same price as you bought it or take a £30 hit?

There are not as many demos of the new Pico system but it seems like a lot of modular for the money and if you built a rack around it i am sure it will be pretty cool. It might be harder to find a secondhand one though. Lots of M32's, 0 Coasts and Neutrons around secondhand and any hype from when they were the new thing has faded.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:04 am

Fog Door wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:13 am
OK fair enough, mfny.

If you are shopping at Thomann and really want to go full modular, what about starting with the Doepfer A-100LC3 low cost case?

Many, many forum members would disagree with me but personally I didn't find owning a semi modular a good way to start with modular.
So in terms of the full modular route I did price/list things up as best I could but honestly I don't think id feel comfortable going that route as my options are very limited on Thomann for some things and my budget I feel is maybe at least £200 or so off what I would need to make full modular from scratch work well.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:05 am

Muff McMuff wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:45 am
I would always go with what i like the sound of together with the constraints of how much cash i have to spend. So if the you like the sounds coming out of the 0 Coast that would the one, £300 - £350 secondhand , easy to get, quite often in great condition and hardly used. Secondhand is cheaper and if you find you don't really like it you could sell it for the same price as you bought it or take a £30 hit?

There are not as many demos of the new Pico system but it seems like a lot of modular for the money and if you built a rack around it i am sure it will be pretty cool. It might be harder to find a secondhand one though. Lots of M32's, 0 Coasts and Neutrons around secondhand and any hype from when they were the new thing has faded.
I cant do used, must be from Thomann, and I know this is a pain in the ass but .. *sigh*

EDIT: have taken the decision just now to instead ask Thomann for a refund rather then credit as I initially requested (due to concerns over currency conversion implications I was unsure about what to do)

As to the drama with Thomann I may as well link it here just to make sure people know what's up.. these are my posts elsewhere on what happened.

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopi ... 2&t=538664
https://www.elektronauts.com/t/digitone ... s/119791/2

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:56 pm

How does this look ? any further things id need or alternatives to what I have here from this retailer(in stock items only) ? Keeping in mind max budget is £600.
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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:48 pm

Also in terms of the preconfigured/built modular micro system type stuff new options have opened up so its these so far:

Erica Synths Pico System III

Make Noise O-Coast

Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900
Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV1 Blackbox

Wildcard(because well, its weird as hell but also looks cool): Empress Effects ZOIA

And of corse the more "mainsteam" choices of the various Behringer semi modulars to..

Somewhat spoilt for choice it seems ?

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Muff McMuff » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:45 pm

Well Thomann has a a lot of gear to choose from so thats a positive and i always check Thomann Uk for Doepfer prices which are very good if not the cheapest. The Pico 3 system module is £385 incl vat and looks like a great start point imo. Thats the module version so you will need a power supply. Tiptop Uzeus is £79 at Thomann but £70 at Andertons Music so ask for a price match. About £12 will get a new power adapter for the Uzeus off ebay. DIY a rack for almost nothing. I use wooden rails with my uzeus and it never gets very hot. Maybe spend the rest on Doepfer modules. There are lots of favourite Doepfer threads on Muffs like this one ... viewtopic.php?f=16&t=226419

Have you seen the AE Modular stuff? Thomann don't seem to sell these but it would seem reasonable to refund you if they cannot give you what you want? They look very cool and great value.
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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:04 am

mfny wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:48 pm
Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900
Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV1 Blackbox
So after looking into things more ..these two in particular are looking very interesting right now.

From the point of view of someone new to modular and synthesis in general what would be the crucial differences between these two in expected sound pallet ? as honestly for a newbie like me its hard to tell just by listening to a few YouTube demos/reviews.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by tmc4242 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:32 am

If you're interested in DIY, it looks like there are MakerSpaces on the Isle of Man. If they're anything like the one around here, you could probably go to one to build kits. And likely find tools and technical help too.

I'm heading to the Dallas Makerspace this weekend to build a couple of kits myself.

Good luck with your setup, whichever way you decide to go.

Todd

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Voltcontrol » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:13 am

mfny wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:04 am
mfny wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:48 pm
Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900
Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV1 Blackbox
So after looking into things more ..these two in particular are looking very interesting right now.

From the point of view of someone new to modular and synthesis in general what would be the crucial differences between these two in expected sound pallet ? as honestly for a newbie like me its hard to tell just by listening to a few YouTube demos/reviews.
I'd suggest listening to more material, because they sound different. Focus on sound results only, don't get lost too much in workflow nitpicking by the reviewers.

Out of the Pittsburghs the SV1 Blackbox fits best with the descriptions you've given of what sound you are after imho. Whether you'll expand into modular or keep it standalone, it is a good and great sounding choice.

I like the 0coast too, but again; Listen to more demo material to find what you like and dislike.
Ps I've had great results with the Behringer Crave too, which is a clone of the Mother 32 (and thus a simpler design than both the 0coast and SV1) and also with the Neutron. You could get one of those and a Neutron for the budget.. But still I have a hunch that the SV1 will give you what you're after.

Ps I'm planning to build a 9u case with this. If you have no woodworking skills a friend with some tools or local woodworking shop can sort you out. https://m.thomann.de/nl/doepfer_a100_di ... 1581758529
Built up case looks like this in basic form: https://m.thomann.de/nl/doepfer_a_100_l ... e_psu3.htm

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:40 pm

So here is a thing with the new Dreadbox Chromatic modules as a base ?

Cre8audio Niftycase
Dreadbox Hysteria VCO
Dreadbox Eudemonia combined VCA,Filter and Mixer

That's all about £350 ish..

Just missing an LFO or two and something like Maths ?
Last edited by mfny on Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:42 pm

Voltcontrol wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:13 am
mfny wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:04 am
mfny wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:48 pm
Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900
Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV1 Blackbox
So after looking into things more ..these two in particular are looking very interesting right now.

From the point of view of someone new to modular and synthesis in general what would be the crucial differences between these two in expected sound pallet ? as honestly for a newbie like me its hard to tell just by listening to a few YouTube demos/reviews.
I'd suggest listening to more material, because they sound different. Focus on sound results only, don't get lost too much in workflow nitpicking by the reviewers.

Out of the Pittsburghs the SV1 Blackbox fits best with the descriptions you've given of what sound you are after imho. Whether you'll expand into modular or keep it standalone, it is a good and great sounding choice.

I like the 0coast too, but again; Listen to more demo material to find what you like and dislike.
Ps I've had great results with the Behringer Crave too, which is a clone of the Mother 32 (and thus a simpler design than both the 0coast and SV1) and also with the Neutron. You could get one of those and a Neutron for the budget.. But still I have a hunch that the SV1 will give you what you're after.

Ps I'm planning to build a 9u case with this. If you have no woodworking skills a friend with some tools or local woodworking shop can sort you out. https://m.thomann.de/nl/doepfer_a100_di ... 1581758529
Built up case looks like this in basic form: https://m.thomann.de/nl/doepfer_a_100_l ... e_psu3.htm
SV1 Blackbox seems to be harder to find in stock here then I would like.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by pmboos » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:56 am

A semi-modular that will feel almost modular because of how much is not normalled and the number of patch points is Plankton Electronics Ants! you can have up to 4 VCOs and 2 LFOs or 2 VCOs and 4 LFOs. 2 Envelopes,1 VCF, Noise, Sample & Hold, and a few other tricks...

Here's a link to a vid by Perfect Circuit.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:16 am

Mate if you can, go to a store and try a few things out. I had a very different idea what I wanted then what I got when I started with modular. Im quite happy the way it turned out.

Schneidersladen is in Berlin. Funny town to visit. Go there, have a few beers, buy some modules. Perfect weekend in my opinion ;)

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:29 am

naturligfunktion wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:16 am
Mate if you can, go to a store and try a few things out. I had a very different idea what I wanted then what I got when I started with modular. Im quite happy the way it turned out.

Schneidersladen is in Berlin. Funny town to visit. Go there, have a few beers, buy some modules. Perfect weekend in my opinion ;)
There are zero local stores to try this stuff in, and anything not local would be a 3 hour boat trip or 30 min plane ride away at least.

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:50 pm

mfny wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:29 am
There are zero local stores to try this stuff in, and anything not local would be a 3 hour boat trip or 30 min plane ride away at least.
Mate that is a real bummer :(

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:32 pm

naturligfunktion wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:50 pm
mfny wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:29 am
There are zero local stores to try this stuff in, and anything not local would be a 3 hour boat trip or 30 min plane ride away at least.
Mate that is a real bummer :(
It is but honestly at this point in terms of modular thingys I have narrowed my options right down to the Pico III or the 0-Coast pretty much. based on price(Under £600 shipped) and availability(actually in stock at a UK retailer that seems "legit")

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by Moerder » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:54 pm

just saw that the Pico system 3 also has this slot for preset cards. there are videos on how to make the most of them too. I'd probably go for the Erica system over the 0-coast since I don't like the MN aesthetic much, but also the Pico gives you more 'traditional' individual modules that are labelled as such. true, you can do a lot of stuff with the 0 coast as well, but you might find yourself struggling with the layout and what influences what by just looking at it. the Pico is much clearer that way and could be a better introduction to learning modular and synthesis with a less steep learning curve, plus those cards give you some extra/expandable options for later. just my opinion though. either way, consider grabbing a handful of extra patch cables with your purchase ;)

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by mfny » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:21 pm

Pretty close to finalizing on this and pulling the trigger in the next 24hrs..

Seems like the Pico III does not have normal midi in ? hence the 0-Coast.. I have a good normal keyboard controller (Novation Impulse 61) for normal keyboard stuff but its midi only.
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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by cptnal » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:50 am

naturligfunktion wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:16 am
Mate if you can, go to a store and try a few things out. I had a very different idea what I wanted then what I got when I started with modular. Im quite happy the way it turned out.

Schneidersladen is in Berlin. Funny town to visit. Go there, have a few beers, buy some modules. Perfect weekend in my opinion ;)
No, buy modules then have beers. Doing it the other way round could lead to a world of pain. :guinness:

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Re: Starter Setup ?

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:12 am

cptnal wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:50 am
No, buy modules then have beers. Doing it the other way round could lead to a world of pain. :guinness:
Haha that is very true! Be aware that the money for beer may run out after the module shopping :despair:

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