I can't stand the spaghetti patch mess. Its driving me nuts.

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

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909one
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I can't stand the spaghetti patch mess. Its driving me nuts.

Post by 909one » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:51 am

I figured I'd post here cause this is mostly in regards to playing out with modular. I'm about a year into Euro. Been playing out a bunch lately with my small system, 2 rows of 104hp. Always improv stuff and in conjunction with guitar and a bunch of pedals too. So far its been a duo situation, usually with a drummer or another modular player. Because of this I'm loading my system to the brim with various ideas/voices to have at hand to call up, which obviously requires a lot of patch cables. I'm constantly switching back and forth to guitar too. Because I have to quickly jump back and forth to the modular it makes it really frustrating to weed through all these cables to get at what I need quickly. Yeah, I could just play modular and not guitar, but I'm really interested in integrating the two.

I know its modular and it comes with territory, but just seeing if y'all have any ideas for patch cable management while you are playing.

Also, I must mention, I create new patches every time I play almost, so not looking for a permanent solution.

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Post by authorless » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:32 am

Some more info would be helpful. What do your patches usually look like? Do you go to shows pre-patched, patch when you are there, or patch live?
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Post by lisa » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:04 am

The issue is that you connect your guitar to different parts of your Eurorack during shows, and that’s a hassle due to all the cables?
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Post by zeit » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:51 am

I don't own any modular stuff *yet* so take this w/ a grain a salt but I've been eyeing this website for a while...there's some cool modules...no filters or vco's though...I might go for this when I can afford it. :p

http://www.hinton-instruments.co.uk/pap ... lar/pinmix

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Post by batch » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:13 am

If you are leaving things permanently patched try Velcro ties.
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Post by cretaceousear » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:29 am

Coloured cables and your own rules on what each colour signifies?
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Post by Rigo » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:35 am

How many modules are in the case ? If it is full of super dense tiny modules I can imagine that it's moderately horrible to dive into.

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Post by CrysWiz » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:09 pm

cretaceousear wrote:Coloured cables and your own rules on what each colour signifies?
+1
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dubonaire
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Post by dubonaire » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:27 pm

This might not help you but the best solution to this is to use modules which have all the I/O at the top or bottom. Examples are Intellijel, Synthesis Technology, Cwejman, some Doepfer. And combine with some that have I/O at one side eg some Doepfer. So then you can tie your patch cables in pathways around the knobs.

Also, a lot of people like to use thick patch cables but I prefer thinner ones like Doepfer.

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Post by tiego » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:35 pm

The key controls / modules placement on the edges , care on this placement of modules show you what are the best routes .
That may take trials and time.
then having cables of all sizes. Shorter ones if they are not in the way.
I guess thinner cables can make it easier , but i just recently decided to set aside my cheap thin cables after noticing approaching or touching them created (ground loop...?) really noticeable noise in some patches. Including Doepfer ones . (I know it does not cure the core noise problem , but use a thicker shielded cable and the noise is gone under...)

as said before velcro double sided tape used for audio cables help too

Anyhow this remains spaghetti territory ,and even though it may be tough to get thru all this to find the sweet pots

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Post by 909one » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:47 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Here's some more details:

-While there are some cables coming to and from guitar pedals, its mostly the actual patch cables for the Eurorack modules.
-I'm setting up patches beforehand.
-I do have every voice color coded.
-I do have a bunch of modules with tight spaces.

After some thought on this, I'm thinking the main culprit is the thickness of the patch cables themselves. I have those thick ones that Mutable sells. I'm going to try something like those Noodles cables.

Also, while I've re-organized my case a bunch recently, I've been doing it by type of module, VCO, VCA, etc, and general signal flow I use on my patches. However I might need to need to consider modules with certain jack placements being in certain areas.

I also might need to just make a bigger case where I can put space between the modules.

I really think I could benefit from something like the C/V bus that Make Noise has, but I'm not about to drop $600 on a case just to get it. I wish the sold it separately.

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Post by authorless » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:44 pm

We could probably help more if we had a pic of your system.
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dubonaire
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Post by dubonaire » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:49 pm

909one wrote:Thanks for the replies.

Here's some more details:

-While there are some cables coming to and from guitar pedals, its mostly the actual patch cables for the Eurorack modules.
-I'm setting up patches beforehand.
-I do have every voice color coded.
-I do have a bunch of modules with tight spaces.

After some thought on this, I'm thinking the main culprit is the thickness of the patch cables themselves. I have those thick ones that Mutable sells. I'm going to try something like those Noodles cables.

Also, while I've re-organized my case a bunch recently, I've been doing it by type of module, VCO, VCA, etc, and general signal flow I use on my patches. However I might need to need to consider modules with certain jack placements being in certain areas.

I also might need to just make a bigger case where I can put space between the modules.

I really think I could benefit from something like the C/V bus that Make Noise has, but I'm not about to drop $600 on a case just to get it. I wish the sold it separately.
Good idea to consider jack placement over signal flow - also these cables might be useful for you:

viewtopic.php?t=203120&highlight=

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Post by ersatzplanet » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:22 pm

Start building up a controller skiff. This is mine. I can put it in front of whichever cabinets I'm taking and control almost everything from one spot. You may still have to reach through for modules that don't have a CV input for what you want to tweak but hopefully those are rare. Programmers can change major settings. Switches can change patch cords. If planned correctly, you don't have to dive much at all.

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Post by vromr » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:13 pm

For cables that don’t move much I choose mute colors and size them very short when they’re close their destination or very long so I can route them *around* the back of the case. This has worked wonders.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:59 pm

Try using right angled patch cables for everything that you know you wont repatch live and then use normal straight patch cables for things that will get changed live.
Last edited by JohnLRice on Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by 909one » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:35 pm

JohnLRice wrote:Try using right angled patch cables for everything that you know you wont repatch live than then use normal straight patch cables for things that will get changed live.
Ah good idea!

Thanks for all of these ideas.

So one thing I tried last night was changing my case layout. I had made a case a few months ago that essentially unfolded and you could play like an ARP 2600; bottom half is a Midi control and SQ-1 and top half is the modules. I removed each section and just tried patching the module section on its own, like most people do. I found that much more comfortable and easy to access the modules. I think laying mostly horizontal as opposed to vertical I like better, as gravity isn't pulling all of the chords down over the modules below it.

I'm really into investigating how to make the experience for playing the modular the most comfortable and ergonomic as possible, like any other instrument. I've spent years trying different guitars that felt the best on my body, so same thing here. The more I play this the more I'd like it feel like one complete instrument and less like a collection of stuff.

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Post by R.U.Nuts » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:04 am

vromr wrote:For cables that don’t move much I choose mute colors and size them very short when they’re close their destination or very long so I can route them *around* the back of the case. This has worked wonders.
This! Thinking about the lenght of your cables is important. In the beginning I thought it's good to always use the shortest possible cables for each connection in order to reduce the sheer amount of wires sprawled across my system. But this led to stiff clusters of wire on a lot of important spots. So I bought a whole bunch of long cables so I can hang them around the case and that eased up the situation significantly.

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Post by Tumulishroomaroom » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:14 am

JohnLRice wrote:Try using right angled patch cables for everything that you know you wont repatch live and then use normal straight patch cables for things that will get changed live.
Just bought a load of Tendrils and It's night and day really. With a case fully patched, even with velcro, I really had to dig for a while to find the right controls, now everything lays flat, it's as if the case wasn't patched.

They are not the best cables to just quickly try an idea so it's best to keep a few normal cables on hand too, but right angled ones are a BIG improvement.

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Post by Esgal » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:55 am

ersatzplanet wrote:Start building up a controller skiff. This is mine. I can put it in front of whichever cabinets I'm taking and control almost everything from one spot. You may still have to reach through for modules that don't have a CV input for what you want to tweak but hopefully those are rare. Programmers can change major settings. Switches can change patch cords. If planned correctly, you don't have to dive much at all.

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Post by DeanG » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:20 am

I would ditch the modular for a semi mod with patchbay like neutron, mother32, or minibrute 2s. Unless you are definitely using sounds from the modular that are necessary and you can't get from a semi. The fixed architecture gives a repeatable that you can master, while the patch bay allows experimentation and variation and remains out of the sight lines. I am looking at it as performance capability, not ultimate sound potential. I have found the neutron very close to modular flexibility but even ditched that for an se02 with no cables and haven't looked back. my 2cents.
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Post by 909one » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:51 pm

DeanG wrote:I would ditch the modular for a semi mod with patchbay like neutron, mother32, or minibrute 2s. Unless you are definitely using sounds from the modular that are necessary and you can't get from a semi. The fixed architecture gives a repeatable that you can master, while the patch bay allows experimentation and variation and remains out of the sight lines. I am looking at it as performance capability, not ultimate sound potential. I have found the neutron very close to modular flexibility but even ditched that for an se02 with no cables and haven't looked back. my 2cents.
Yeah, I already owned a Mother , a 0-coast and a MiniBrute, and I ditched them all to buy modular. I see what you are saying, but I didn’t particularly like any one of them enough to keep them. I’m very picky about timbre and I’m getting close to having what I like in the fully modular zone. Plus there’s just not enough flexibility with those units in their own. The music I’m playing with modular stuff is pretty experimental and part of the fun is creating something new every time and challenging myself to come up with something that inspires me. I get bored really fast with fixed synths, even semi modular, like Mother and 0-coast I got bored as well.

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Post by 909one » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:24 pm

DeanG wrote:I would ditch the modular for a semi mod with patchbay like neutron, mother32, or minibrute 2s. Unless you are definitely using sounds from the modular that are necessary and you can't get from a semi. The fixed architecture gives a repeatable that you can master, while the patch bay allows experimentation and variation and remains out of the sight lines. I am looking at it as performance capability, not ultimate sound potential. I have found the neutron very close to modular flexibility but even ditched that for an se02 with no cables and haven't looked back. my 2cents.
Yeah, I already owned a Mother , a 0-coast and a MiniBrute, and I ditched them all to buy modular. I see what you are saying, but I didn’t particularly like any one of them enough to keep them. I’m very picky about timbre and I’m getting close to having what I like in the fully modular zone. Plus there’s just not enough flexibility with those units in their own. The music I’m playing with modular stuff is pretty experimental and part of the fun is creating something new every time and challenging myself to come up with something that inspires me. I get bored really fast with fixed synths, even semi modular, like Mother and 0-coast I got bored as well.

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:33 am

There isn't a solution I'm afraid.
I've played live a few times, and had similar concerns though. I opted for making seperate instruments. I looked at what I was going to be doing, mainly, then constructed a skiff to do just that, if you need more than one fine.
I never ever trust pre-patching a complicated patch, chances are it will never power up sounding like it did at home. You either put up with this patch madness, or you have to change the way you look at it, and just go with the flow as an unpredictable messy improv/performance instrument!

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Post by Steevio » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:13 pm

velcro ties ! invaluable and a colour coded patch system that makes sense

its easy to repatch, you loosen the velcro tie, move the patch cable and re-tie.
If you need to do it fast, or the cable has a long convoluted route just have some extra cables on standby to do an un-tied swap.

also use as many switched multiples, switch Matrices etc. as you can so you dont need to repatch so much, just re-route.

also do a route schematic of your rig so that every module is in the optimum position to keep connections as short as possible.

also if you have alot of very long cables draping across from one side to another, think about using a pair of Doepfer 180-9 multicore modules. Two cables replace 14. (seen in the photo below connecting the two cases together)

invest in lots of cables so you can always have the correct length, and try to get hold of thin cables with memory, that stay where you put them, not fat rubbery floppy ones.. Analogue Systems are the best, but hard to find..

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