Doing more with less

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snakejaw
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:02 pm

ersatzplanet, thanks for posting your setup! Sound sources, matrix mixers, filters. I'm starting to work with something similar. This is inspiring. How do you like the 4ms VCA Matrix? I have a Nonlinearcircuits Cluster 4x8 VCA matrix mixer that I've yet to really explore.

Here's Simon Grab's setup from the video. Simon seems like a nice guy. Maybe the comments on eurorack are a bit on the harsh side. But I like his enthusiasm and encouragement to just go deep and learn and explore with what you have. It's certainly _one_ path. Doing more with less.
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ersatzplanet
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by ersatzplanet » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:52 am

snakejaw wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:02 pm
ersatzplanet, thanks for posting your setup! Sound sources, matrix mixers, filters. I'm starting to work with something similar. This is inspiring. How do you like the 4ms VCA Matrix? I have a Nonlinearcircuits Cluster 4x8 VCA matrix mixer that I've yet to really explore.
I really like the VCAM. I wish some things were a little different but understand the panel size restraints govern a lot of it. When you plug in an external CV, the knobs turn into level controls for the CV and no longer are initial level controls for the VCA, which they are when no CV is plugged in. It acts as though there is a bias voltage normalized to the CV in and is replaced when you jack in. Patch it up can become a cable nest in no time but I guess that can be expected with 16 VCAs. The most common use I patch is stereo out and 2 AUC sends which it is over powered for.

Mixers or VCA mixers are important with the modules I have chosen since, if the module is not stereo, I create the stereo movement with it. The VCAM is also great for Quad stuff. I seldom get a chance to do quad. Idid a recent show in quad though and it was great. The mute button array helps sending stuff around.

If you can afford the cash and the space, it is a great module. They can be chained and stacked too so you can make combos of ins and outs with more than one module.
-James

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notmiserlouagain
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by notmiserlouagain » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:20 am

Snakejaw:
I liked that setup too, that crazy monitor mixer has 320 pots on it! I found no
live footage of Mr. Grab on the toob? The studio stuff is much more "organized" than I expected...

Ersatzplanet:
If I may ask it is sometimes mentioned/criticized that the vcam has log control law for cv
(unlinearised 2164), which should theoretically be okay for audio. :hmm:
Did that ever get in your way before?
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by Johnbomb » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:18 pm

I believe that this consideration depends greatly on one's position on the ideas of vision vs exploration. For example, if I have a sound in my mind, I'll use however much gear I need to find it. On the other hand, if I don't know what I want, often I can find inspiration by taking a single module or two and looking for some kind of sideways/bass ackwards patch. I may know where I'm going but I like to stop and smell the roses :)

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ersatzplanet
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by ersatzplanet » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:17 pm

notmiserlouagain wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:20 am
Ersatzplanet:
If I may ask it is sometimes mentioned/criticized that the vcam has log control law for cv
(unlinearised 2164), which should theoretically be okay for audio. :hmm:
Did that ever get in your way before?
I have had no problems with the unit but have to admit I primarily use it with audio and do not really mix CV signals much through it. I could see that the log response of the VCAs would lend a unnatural feel to a DC control signal though, mainly when turning the knob. The way around this is to use CV control of that VCA with a CV in that is tailored to compensate for the feel you want.
-James

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by windchill » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:15 am

snakejaw wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:02 pm
ersatzplanet, thanks for posting your setup! Sound sources, matrix mixers, filters. I'm starting to work with something similar. This is inspiring. How do you like the 4ms VCA Matrix? I have a Nonlinearcircuits Cluster 4x8 VCA matrix mixer that I've yet to really explore.

Here's Simon Grab's setup from the video. Simon seems like a nice guy. Maybe the comments on eurorack are a bit on the harsh side. But I like his enthusiasm and encouragement to just go deep and learn and explore with what you have. It's certainly _one_ path. Doing more with less.
Image
Somehow I'd completely missed Simon Grab's work; very interesting.
I think he makes an important point with his criticism of current modular stuff. There's certainly interesting work being done but the scene is definitely becoming homogenised, with special purpose modules being used only as intended. As Simon says - not enough creative abuse.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:14 pm

I hadn't heard of him either until I saw the earlier post in this thread by twistedneck.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:19 pm

ersatzplanet, or anyone else, how do you find the knob spacing on the VCA Matrix. Is it fat fingers friendly?.

ersatzplanet wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:17 pm
notmiserlouagain wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:20 am
Ersatzplanet:
If I may ask it is sometimes mentioned/criticized that the vcam has log control law for cv
(unlinearised 2164), which should theoretically be okay for audio. :hmm:
Did that ever get in your way before?
I have had no problems with the unit but have to admit I primarily use it with audio and do not really mix CV signals much through it. I could see that the log response of the VCAs would lend a unnatural feel to a DC control signal though, mainly when turning the knob. The way around this is to use CV control of that VCA with a CV in that is tailored to compensate for the feel you want.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by gonkulator » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:28 pm

snakejaw wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:19 pm
ersatzplanet, or anyone else, how do you find the knob spacing on the VCA Matrix. Is it fat fingers friendly?.

tolerable, certainly not cramped. But they are sticks, so you have to deal with that.
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:48 pm

Thanks, gonkulator. I think I can deal with that. I'm sorely tempted to get a VCA Matrix.

Edit - ordered one. This will be my third matrix mixer after an NLC Cluster and an A-138m. I'm hoping the VCA Matrix will combine the best features of the other two.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by ersatzplanet » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:57 pm

gonkulator wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:28 pm
snakejaw wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:19 pm
ersatzplanet, or anyone else, how do you find the knob spacing on the VCA Matrix. Is it fat fingers friendly?.

tolerable, certainly not cramped. But they are sticks, so you have to deal with that.
That is about the gist of it. They are just the pot shafts but not too close together. The matrix mute buttons are well spaced too. Like I said though, when all the VCAs have CVs plugged into them, that section gets really crowded. One not obvious feature is that the brightness of the lit mute pushbuttons, changes with the CV input, so they work really good at monitoring what is going on.
-James

James Husted - Synthwerks, LLC - www.synthwerks.com - info@synthwerks.com - james@synthwerks.com
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by Rob Kam » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:03 pm

Ann Annie crafts something beautiful from a tiny modular system

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:03 am

I just put my new 4ms VCA Matrix in the case. It has a nice, saturated sound when you crank the levels, but the signal doesn't break up into a wall of distorted noise (so far). Of course, I'll no doubt add distorted noise at the output sometimes. If your case is flat or angled, the staggered jacks plus right angle cables keep things tidy for those who are into that kind of thing. And of course, bliken lights make everything taste better. Pretty nifty.


20200224_203114.jpg
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by vidret » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:30 am

snakejaw wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:03 am
I just put my new 4ms VCA Matrix in the case. It has a nice, saturated sound when you crank the levels, but the signal doesn't break up into a wall of distorted noise (so far). Of course, I'll no doubt add distorted noise at the output sometimes. If your case is flat or angled, the staggered jacks plus right angle cables keep things tidy for those who are into that kind of thing. And of course, bliken lights make everything taste better. Pretty nifty.



20200224_203114.jpg
that right angle jungle is impressive. good stuff.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:49 am

I find that, in practice, it's a finger-friendly, well tamed garden! :hihi:

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ersatzplanet
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by ersatzplanet » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:18 pm

snakejaw wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:03 am
I just put my new 4ms VCA Matrix in the case. It has a nice, saturated sound when you crank the levels, but the signal doesn't break up into a wall of distorted noise (so far). Of course, I'll no doubt add distorted noise at the output sometimes. If your case is flat or angled, the staggered jacks plus right angle cables keep things tidy for those who are into that kind of thing. And of course, bliken lights make everything taste better. Pretty nifty.



20200224_203114.jpg
Dude! is that a Synthwerks SP-4DP with the graphics removed? Or panel put on reversed? Don't like my graphics? I'm Bummed...
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by 3hands » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:56 pm

I have a fairly large system, but just finished my new EP (link soon), using 4 synths (one of those being the modular) and a 909. Yes I could have used my Oberheim, Ensoniqs And other gear but did it all with The MS20, Jupiter 6, 9 unit eurorack, Roland SH3a and the aforementioned drum machine. And I enjoyed limiting myself to that. So when I start work on my next EP (already gathering ideas), I can use a different set of instruments (my 3p, Ensoniq ESQ1, Oberheim Matrix 6, DW8000 and maybe borrow an 808 or something so it’s completely different sounding. That’s the nice thing of having a bigger system... you can purposely limit what you use in the short term in order to gain a wider palette of sounds in the long term.
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by snakejaw » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:57 pm

No. It's a Behringer clone! :hihi:

Actually, I just flipped the panel. I LOVE the module! I flipped it because of the right-side-up/upside-down lettering scrambling my pea brain.
ersatzplanet wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:18 pm

Dude! is that a Synthwerks SP-4DP with the graphics removed? Or panel put on reversed? Don't like my graphics? I'm Bummed...

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by Xomrys » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:44 am

Well there's no picture without a frame... no revealing without something else being concealed.

With a small system the concealment is obvious, you just don't have certain modules.

But there'ss also concealment with a large system. Here it's easy to get stuck in certain patterns where you converge upon only the "best" way of patching, for instance always using dedicated oscillators rather than a slope generator or some weird filter-feedback patch. These formulaic ways of managing the bigness by doing things "properly" are precisely what conceals... you never reveal all of the weird, suboptimal possibilities where the real magic can happen.

so I think all systems (within reason) are roughly of the same "size", where size refers to the number of distinct patching possibilities you're likely to pursue. Or -- even if you also make fewer distinct patches with a really small system, you're more attuned to precise tone variations at different positions of the knobs (helped by larger formats with easily read parameter value markings with the knobs -- I think Moog did this best). so more is revealed -- more 'resolution' that is, even within the same patch.

so if the 'effective size' will always be the same same, it's probably better or more cost-effective to have a physically smaller system.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:18 am

I think Adrian Utley has found a healthy balance based on the chat in the Why We Bleep podcast. Somewhere in there (it's long) he talks about only owning stuff he uses and getting rid of the rest, really only using analog gear and samplers, and finding the beauty of working with a well-thought out instrument like the 2600 that has its limits but at the same time so much to explore. I think that's the sort of thing Eno was getting at. Obviously he has a shit ton of enviable gear but he treats each piece as its own limited but expansive complete instrument.


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Re: Doing more with less

Post by naturligfunktion » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:34 am

3hands wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:56 pm
I have a fairly large system, but just finished my new EP (link soon), using 4 synths (one of those being the modular) and a 909. Yes I could have used my Oberheim, Ensoniqs And other gear but did it all with The MS20, Jupiter 6, 9 unit eurorack, Roland SH3a and the aforementioned drum machine. And I enjoyed limiting myself to that. So when I start work on my next EP (already gathering ideas), I can use a different set of instruments (my 3p, Ensoniq ESQ1, Oberheim Matrix 6, DW8000 and maybe borrow an 808 or something so it’s completely different sounding. That’s the nice thing of having a bigger system... you can purposely limit what you use in the short term in order to gain a wider palette of sounds in the long term.
I like this! I have so far made two albums and for each I have used radically different instruments (for the third I use guitar say whaaaaaat). It's great to have a lot of things so you can limit yourself with less :)

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ersatzplanet
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by ersatzplanet » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:52 pm

snakejaw wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:57 pm
No. It's a Behringer clone! :hihi:

Actually, I just flipped the panel. I LOVE the module! I flipped it because of the right-side-up/upside-down lettering scrambling my pea brain.
ersatzplanet wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:18 pm

Dude! is that a Synthwerks SP-4DP with the graphics removed? Or panel put on reversed? Don't like my graphics? I'm Bummed...
Oh, you didn't like the upside down logo when flipped. I understand a bit, that is why I avoided text as much as possible. I have a Choices Joystick and the upside down text next to the right side up text takes a little getting used to. I guess I cover the bottom logos on mine with "track listing" tape most of the time.
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by Mr_Sulcus » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:39 pm

This is my rack for a run of ambient gigs in the next month or so. The thing I've found with really small setups is that while you want to make the most of every hp, its better to use them wisely rather than just cram as much in as possible.
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Re: Doing more with less

Post by 3hands » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:08 pm

naturligfunktion wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:34 am
3hands wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:56 pm
I have a fairly large system, but just finished my new EP (link soon), using 4 synths (one of those being the modular) and a 909. Yes I could have used my Oberheim, Ensoniqs And other gear but did it all with The MS20, Jupiter 6, 9 unit eurorack, Roland SH3a and the aforementioned drum machine. And I enjoyed limiting myself to that. So when I start work on my next EP (already gathering ideas), I can use a different set of instruments (my 3p, Ensoniq ESQ1, Oberheim Matrix 6, DW8000 and maybe borrow an 808 or something so it’s completely different sounding. That’s the nice thing of having a bigger system... you can purposely limit what you use in the short term in order to gain a wider palette of sounds in the long term.
I like this! I have so far made two albums and for each I have used radically different instruments (for the third I use guitar say whaaaaaat). It's great to have a lot of things so you can limit yourself with less :)

Thanks! I would love to get some bass guitar I to my tracks at some point!!
Gum is fun, but not on a cat.

My minds an art gallery.

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Re: Doing more with less

Post by naturligfunktion » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:14 am

3hands wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:08 pm
naturligfunktion wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:34 am
3hands wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:56 pm
I have a fairly large system, but just finished my new EP (link soon), using 4 synths (one of those being the modular) and a 909. Yes I could have used my Oberheim, Ensoniqs And other gear but did it all with The MS20, Jupiter 6, 9 unit eurorack, Roland SH3a and the aforementioned drum machine. And I enjoyed limiting myself to that. So when I start work on my next EP (already gathering ideas), I can use a different set of instruments (my 3p, Ensoniq ESQ1, Oberheim Matrix 6, DW8000 and maybe borrow an 808 or something so it’s completely different sounding. That’s the nice thing of having a bigger system... you can purposely limit what you use in the short term in order to gain a wider palette of sounds in the long term.
I like this! I have so far made two albums and for each I have used radically different instruments (for the third I use guitar say whaaaaaat). It's great to have a lot of things so you can limit yourself with less :)

Thanks! I would love to get some bass guitar I to my tracks at some point!!
Mate I really enjoy jammin' with the electric bass guitar! You tend to play a bit different types of basslines than when you either programme or play them on the keyboard. Instant switch up :)

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