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I wanna start "euro-racking" - seeking advice
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Author I wanna start "euro-racking" - seeking advice
ekkoarkitekt
Hi everybody

I´m new here - decided to "delurk". I want to start building myself a modular synth, that i can create some music on and expand over the next years. It´s a huge (and exciting) world, and I would like some advice. I´ve been reading some posts here already and also read the sound on sound april article in order to get some kind of overview, but now i need to go more in detail. It´s time to start some modular planning Mr. Green .
I want to go for a doepfer 9U case, so I´ll have some room for future expansions, and I plan on getting a lot of doepfer "bread & butter" kind of modules (and also some doepfer "non-bread+butter") and plan starting with 2 vco´s from another brand. In general i just want to get started with a basic system and then later on add what i need...
Ok now some more precise questions:
1) I´ve added a couple of "quad-modules": A-143-2 Quad ADSR and A-132-2 Quad VCA because i figured they might come in handy later on, when I have more modules. But what are the quality of those? Would I be better off just getting two individual VCA´s and ADSR´s? At first i planned on the quad-LFO, but decided it would be nice with VCLFO...
2) I´m kind of a midi-novice (know it might sound stupid in 2009) so I have a little hard time figuring out if the A-190-1 is better for me compared to the low-cost A-190-2. Basically I just want to be able to play the synth from a keyboard from now and do all the knob-turning "by-hand"...If i need more midi-functions later on I could always get an external unit (Kenton or something) and save on rackspace...
3) I´m attaching a picture of the modules i plan on for now. When you more experienced modular-players see my choices, are there any obvious (well, obvious to you I guess...) "mistakes" I´m about to do? I know this depends on what i want to do etc, but I guess I´m just seeking some basic advice...

Anyway thank you for your time and advice.
e-grad
You most likely don't want the Quad VCA as your sole VCA!

4 audio inputs! Great! 4 audio outputs! Great! One common CV in? Will be lame for most applications.

I think the A120 is one of the more boring Doepfer VCFs. Never understand why this goes with the basic systems.

I'd definately take a Polarizing Mixer.
jenamu6
OK my 2 cents

The quad VCA is lame.....only 1 CV in....almost useless.

The QMMG will give you: 4 filters(hi or low), 4 lpgs, 4 vca's and a mixer.

Dump the 2 filters and get a Borg.........this will also give you a LPG and a much better filter.

Dump the digital noise in favour of a Noisering, it will give you noise, clocks, oscilator, semi random cv's and more.

A Maths will give you much more flexibility than the Quad ADSR.

It will cost a little more, but will give you a much better synth.

But that;s just my point of view.
e-grad
jenamu6 wrote:
Dump the digital noise in favour of a Noisering, it will give you noise, clocks, oscilator, semi random cv's and more.

There's no digital noise in the sketch above.

If money is bad I think the A118 a great value for the money. If there are funds for a noise ring the better.
modularplanner
possibly get the uLFO in place of 1 A-147 and the VCO Ring Mod. uLFO is a pretty awesome oscillator in itself. I'd also go for the Maths in place of the Quad ADSR. QMMG in place of the Quad VCA. But all this depends on you being able to spend a bit more. You will have a nicer sounding and more flexible system though I think.
MrTea
I initially had some of the same ideas as yourself. I was heading for mostly Doepfer and analogue solutions because they're cheap.....but there's a world of possibilities out there and I highly recommend spending some time checking out what's available from other manufacturers.
ekkoarkitekt
Thanks so far everybody. Great input. Thanks for the advice on the Quad-VCA - hadn´t thought about the lack of cv in...I´ve seen the MATHS and the QMMG on various pictures on this forum, and found their layout a bit confusing, so i guess i couldn´t figure out what they were meant for hihi Now I have checked it out a bit and it makes a bit more sense to me - guess if i get it and play around with it it´ll get even more clear to me. I guess i could always add some regular VCA and ADSR later on...
Good point about swapping one of the lfo´s and the vco ring mod out with something else. I got interested in the AFG from Livewire and the Cwejman VCO-6. Drawback is i´d loose ringmod but i´d get a load of other possibillities and i could always ad ringmod later on i guess...
I´ve done an updated version of the eurorackplan with some of the suggestions and the cwejman. This is getting a bit expensive - this is pretty much the ceiling of what i can afford (actually a bit above...). Of course I know modular adventuring is moneyconsuming, but i´d rather go for something i´ll (hopefully) be happy with and then wait a bit longer before i expand it - that´ll just give me more time to practise my patching-skills hihi.
What are your opinions on the midi-interface?

Thanks again
jonkull
ekkoarkitekt wrote:
What are your opinions on the midi-interface?


What is your goal with this modular? Will you be using it to make standard basses and leads or drones and noises?
ekkoarkitekt
If i should do a priority i would say it´d primarily be drones and noises for now since i have other synths that´ll cover my basses/leads at the moment.
I guess in the long run i would like it to do both basses/leads and also drones/noises...
jonkull
Then a MIDI interface may be a waste of space. When I first put my modular together I bought a MIDI interface and ended up selling it because it wasn't necessary for drones and noises. I'd get something else for now and if you need MIDI pick it up later on. I'd also recommend adding a waveshaper. I like the Toppobrillo Triple Wave Folder but that's because it's the only one I've used other than the ones built in to my Hertz Donuts and Anti-Oscillators.
ekkoarkitekt
Hmm. The thought of not having a midi interface actually never occurred to me hihi I´m kind of a piano-player-guy so maybe I´m clinging to keys in front of me...

Is the toppobrillo thre waveshapers in one module? And how is the A-136 waveshaper from doepfer? It is priced considerably lower but if the toppobrillo = A-136x3, then difference is not that "bad"...
jonkull
Yes, the Toppobrillo is 3 waveshapers in one module. I've never used the A136 so I can't really comment on it.
dbuyense
ekkoarkitekt wrote:
Hmm. The thought of not having a midi interface actually never occurred to me hihi I´m kind of a piano-player-guy so maybe I´m clinging to keys in front of me...

Is the toppobrillo thre waveshapers in one module? And how is the A-136 waveshaper from doepfer? It is priced considerably lower but if the toppobrillo = A-136x3, then difference is not that "bad"...


I don't like the a136 much at all , maybe some one can come on here and defend it so you get more than my point of view on it. If your thinking of adding a waveshaper the stg wavefolder and toppobrillo triple wavefolder are usually highly recommended.I don't have either the stg or toppobrillo but from demos I've heard they sound like much better choices over the a136.
Karl Jeffers
The A-136 is great for lfo/cv wave shaping.
For distorting audio, the a-137-1 is much better. It can do subtle asymetric tube overdrive to bleeding ears grind.
D/A A/D
I love my A118... I don't really see a analog noise module that comes close in euro... SOMEONE MAKE A Noise Cornucopia for euro!!!
SkeletonKey
There is also the A-132-3. After the huge versatility of a QMMG, I think it is the most precise vca available in euro for the price.

You also might wanna consider changing the 138-a for the 138-c. The polarizing mixer giver you a little more versatility.

I also strongly suggest a Phase Locked Loop (A-196) or a Wogglebug or Noisering..... so many choices available!
wetterberg
Hej Ekko! Shame I didn't see this earlier, I had a synth geek out with a buddy of mine on Nørrebro all day! :(

That latest layout you did looks bloody great - I would personally get the uLFO instead of the cwejman (yeah guys, I would) and then assess the system from there - then, if you decide you really need another oscillator then you can always use the uLFO for LFO duties only.

reg. waveshapers I absolutely ADORE the a-137-1! It's in my top 3, along with the osc-02 and the uLFO right now. A must have for wave warbling, distortion, subtle overtone stuff etc.

anyway, we copenhagen-ish based modular geeks meet up every now and then to geek about with synths, you should join us! Guinness ftw!
ekkoarkitekt
Thanks for the advices and all. It´s very much appreciated...this whole modular world is big and it feels great gradually narrowing in on specific modules.
I did a new rack-plan (yes I know - again hihi ). This time i removed the midi-interface (not quite sure about this - but i the idea of an external interface kind of grows on me). Also added the uLFO, polarizing mixer instead of the linear one and added a wave-shaper. Good point about utilizing the uLFO mainly for lfo duties later on if (or more likely when...) i add more oscillators...
@ wetterberg: It´s great meating another cph-based modular-geek in here. Sure we should meet up for some geeking and Guinness ftw! .....oh now i get it....it´s guinness in that big glass...that explains why ken macbeth uses this emoticon a lot, being scottish and all...
Anyway here´s the newest plan:
Soy Sos
Welcome ekkoarkitekt,
you'll love the Z3000 and uLFO combo. The Z3000 also makes an excellent LFO and the uLFO makes a great VCO. I picked them up for just that reason! Also a lot of fun to be had with the sample and hold. You might want to consider at some point putting in the a-138d crossfader / effect insert module. It can handle level matching to put in any kind of fancy to cheap pedal or FX unit you have on hand. Think of it as a possible distraction to gear lust. Get bored, grab a fuzz pedal!
SquidInSquidInk
ekkoarkitekt wrote:
Hmm. The thought of not having a midi interface actually never occurred to me hihi I´m kind of a piano-player-guy so maybe I´m clinging to keys in front of me...


There are plenty of MIDI-to-CV interfaces available that don't take up rack space - like the Doepfer MCV4 or Kenton Pro Solo. Several analog synths and sequencers can also be used as converters (like the Future Retro stuff).

Also, you don't really need that slew limiter if you have a Maths.
Soy Sos
Oh check these too:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10295

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4257&highlight=ultra
amnesia
Frankie say :
Don't do it
timmah
ekkoarkitekt wrote:
that explains why ken macbeth uses this emoticon a lot, being scottish and all...


guinness is Irish. Damn Swedes. lol
ekkoarkitekt
timmah wrote:
ekkoarkitekt wrote:
that explains why ken macbeth uses this emoticon a lot, being scottish and all...


guinness is Irish. Damn Swedes. lol

d'oh! Keep forgetting - too much guinness i guess hihi
Ken MacBeth
...good point! Actually- I use the beer glass a lot on here too!! beer!
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