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Moon 592 Modulation Matrix Ensemble - users comments?
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Author Moon 592 Modulation Matrix Ensemble - users comments?
Rex Coil 7
Six Channel Reversible Modulation Matrix. 12 sources x 12 destinations with neg-200% x pos-200% attenuversion. Slick, all ready to go.

I've been developing some type of cv distribution rig of my own, but screw that .. this looks the biz in 5U. My uses for this would not include 1v/oct distribution, that is an entirely separate thing in my rig.

I was going to put two Q147 distributor modules on the bus outputs of a Q113 eight channel mixer creating a sortof cv mixer/distributor (I already own all of that btw). But this Moon rig is a far better choice, or so it seems. Appears to be reasonably easy to norm up to a few things on either side (if desired). Uhm .. wait .. maybe not, I suppose it depends on what Moon gave us. From what I've seen they tend to use pcb mounted jacks, which I would guess will make it more difficult to install switching jacks on the channels that would be normalled. Unless they've made provisions for that already. Hmmm ... like I said it all depends on what Moon left ... I am SO FRIGGIN SPOILED BY ARRICK ROBOTICS GEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arrick's stuff is so easily modded, y'know?

And I can't recall a negative comment about Moon other than complaints about cost (in my opinion obtaining quality equipment built overseas will end up costing more .... there's various taxes involved, and there's that ~quality~ thing happening ... I'm tolerant of a reasonable and accountable price difference ... rather than paying for perceived value ... said another way, I tend to shy away from the non-logic of "if it costs a lot it must be good").

However my enthusiasm for their designs is very new, so I'm certain there are things to learn about them. Hence, this thread to elevate myself from discovery honeymoon fanboy to better informed customer.

Any comments?

REPLY TIER: I'm DIY Positive ... can build a through-hole kit that will pass a function test, and I do ok with hatchet, axe, and saw.

thumbs up

Thanks!
Rex Coil 7
Found this on Noisebug ....

http://noisebug.net/site/effects/index.cfm?ID=472

"... Using the connectors on the rear of the in/ out submodules, internal pre-wiring is possible ..."

So there's that .... they made normaliing all easy. Well ..... haven't seen what "connectors" might mean, so I guess "easy" might be a bit premature.

There's that ~cost~ thing jumping out ... $455 plus shipping for the whole kit ... main panel and the two satellite panels.

Seems steep, until you think it through. There's a lot going on.
kindredlost
Aren't the Q147 and the Moon M592 mostly useful for (DC) control signals such as pitch/envelope CV's and Gates?
I don't use my Q147 as an audio signal distributor. Perhaps they are okay for this but wouldn't it introduce an offset bias signal? hmmm.....
I have no idea of the M592 spec.
bwhittington
There was a thread on this set fairly recently that might be worth perusing.

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=59078

Both the inputs and output modules have headers on the back of their pubs for normalled routings. Or if you wanted, I assume you could do without the passive input modules and use only hardwired connections by tapping into the ribbon cables that connect the modules.

As the other thread reveals, I am a fan of the system. It is perfectly solid, and most of the Moon stuff I've used has been outstanding, though there have been a few user complaints over the years. Mainly software issues with the quantizer set, which as far as I can tell is still not a recommendable product.

Happy to offer more specific thoughts later if you have more questions, but I am typing this from my phone in a coffee shop right now, and this counts as a long message for me in that setting. Mr. Green
VinceL
The next step up from the Moon 592 is the series of 590 custom modules. They provide 12 individually switchable channels. The 590v modules are designed for v/oct signals and the 590g modules are for other cv's.

The cost is quite substantial, but they provide a tremendous amount of flexibility.

Mr Whittington has the best of both since he has integrated 2 592's with his 590 modules. I am using 2 of the 592o output modules with my 590 modules.
It is easy to do this integration since the 592 uses the same bus as the 590 modules.
JohnLRice
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
And I can't recall a negative comment about Moon


As you might know, I'm a pretty big fanboy of Moon Modular! hyper w00t screaming goo yo SlayerBadger! I consider Gert, the owner/designer/main guy a friend and I do testing and demos for them. I've even suggested some design mods and modules that they've implemented so I am quite proud and pleased about that! nanners I'm like a Moon Evangelist! eek! hihi

I try to be open, honest and non-biased as possible though, but I only have my own opinions to offer. cool

As far as physical construction goes, I think they are one of THE best in the business as far as looks and quality. The modules are usually not easy to modify/repair though since pots and rotary switches are usually directly soldered to the PCBs and reassembly can be a challenge since the LEDs are often on very long leads and need to go back into little panels holes etc.

For modules that use software/firmware, there have been some bugs that have slipped through and have been especially troublesome for early adopters. Many have been resolved/improved over time but a couple weird ones remain, as far as I know (the versions of some of the modules I have are often the first off the assembly line or even pre-production betas). None of the remaining bugs stop me from getting things done as I know work-arounds or just avoid doing something that will cause a problem.

Sometimes people will complain about a "bug" but often it's not a bug, it's just the way it is designed. Some people have a very rigid idea of how a module should work and if it doesn't work that way, it must be bad. While I might agree for practical things like water faucets and car brakes, I don't agree with this for creative tools like synth modules. What at first may seem like an odd behavior can be effectively used once understood.
LesMoMo
kindredlost wrote:
Aren't the Q147 and the Moon M592 mostly useful for (DC) control signals such as pitch/envelope CV's and Gates?
I don't use my Q147 as an audio signal distributor. Perhaps they are okay for this but wouldn't it introduce an offset bias signal? hmmm.....
I have no idea of the M592 spec.

You can feed the 592 with anything that is accepted by a patch cord. It is DC-coupled and results may be on the odd side, though cool
JohnLRice
LesMoMo wrote:
You can feed the 592 with anything that is accepted by a patch cord.
How about this one? twisted
ualslosar
That patch cord would make one HOT guitar....Plugging that into a synth would produce what Gomez Addams would say "Swell wreck, wasn't it?"
JohnLRice
ualslosar wrote:
That patch cord would make one HOT guitar....Plugging that into a synth would produce what Gomez Addams would say "Swell wreck, wasn't it?"
thumbs up
Rex Coil 7
Oh .. hells bells .... For the love of .... AHHHHRG!!!! Ok, I dunnit agin.

I've forgotten to mark another of my own threads as ~watched~ ... it makes me seem ungrateful for the help ... I'm not ungrateful, I'm just an idiot!

Hang in there with me, I'm still pestered by this severe ptsd shit that has so many ill FX on one's life (short term memory problems being one of them ... as is social withdrawal). The VA has finally (after years now) properly diagnosed my situation and it's finally being properly addressed. Years of un-needed Rx narcs, any number of "let's toss another dart at this guy and see if that one works" approaches to things as well. ~Ahem~ ... ok, totally oversharing here ... my apologies for the hijack.

Back on topic, thanks JLR and Whitt ... Moon stuff seems like very well thought out designs (if not supremely well intended, even if execution was less than stellar on some releases).

I really like the idea of the mod matrix, but in my case I'm thinking it's more than I require. After thinking all of this over, I may end up with an inspired simplified version of this notion. Perhaps something like an 8x8 "trunk line" type idea ....

8 3.5mm jacks on a panel in the modulation cab, and 8 1/4" jacks on another panel in the main cab. Connect the two via truck line snake (type? ... perhaps a DB type cable such as the DB25 setup used in some Moog systems). Some destination jacks may be normalled to a function input, and still others may be left available for ambiguous mod patching. Both the source ends, and destination ends may be augmented with A/B toggles to A/B between two sources and/or two destinations per ~line~.

Or something like that. While less sophisticated than the Moon system, it may be enough (and expandable as a concept easily enough). Minimal investment to boot.

Thanks again for helping out ... now, I see I have a couple of other recent threads of mine that I spaced marking as watched that I need to read and participate in. I simply must get past this tendency of mine.

(NOTE re; Q147 Distributor .... it works beautifully with DC or full on audio signals. I've used one for a few years to route my bass guitar signal to three separate parallel destinations for processing and then remixing. The remixed processed signal is then sent to a 2nd Q147 for a 2nd time to split the processed signal among three separate bass amp systems that I use the Distributor's level controls to produce a proper amp mix while an stage. So ... Dist > Parallel processing > Mix > Dist > Amps. If you stick a jumper on the only two available pins (a single unused two pin header on the PCB) then the Q147 provides up to 200% gain levels per channel ... so the Q147 can be used to deal with gain structure issues as well as simple signal distribution. The pos and neq settings are also helpful with audio signals if there are any phase cancellation issues in the signal chain (hey, it happens!).

And since the Q147 is opamp based (TL074) it is as pristine sounding as any mixer or distributor can be. What I put in is precisely what I get out ... no tonal coloring that I can hear whatsoever. This is true with Arrick's mixers and distributors that are TL07x based in my experience.)
JohnLRice
Hey Rex,

Glad you are getting your health issues sorted out! Hug

Have you considered the Moon 591? It is a passive router, just rotary switches and jacks but it is only $150 and I think it would be difficult to DIY something that looks as nice for much less money. (It's only $150)
http://www.noisebug.net/site/effects/index.cfm?ID=168


And a feature you might like is that has multi-pin connectors on the back for all the inputs and outputs so if you are setting up some custom buss routing this might be helpful:
Mark11Audio
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Oh .. hells bells .... For the love of .... AHHHHRG!!!! Ok, I dunnit agin.

I've forgotten to mark another of my own threads as ~watched~ ... it makes me seem ungrateful for the help ... I'm not ungrateful, I'm just an idiot!

Hang in there with me, I'm still pestered by this severe ptsd shit that has so many ill FX on one's life (short term memory problems being one of them ... as is social withdrawal). The VA has finally (after years now) properly diagnosed my situation and it's finally being properly addressed. Years of un-needed Rx narcs, any number of "let's toss another dart at this guy and see if that one works" approaches to things as well. ~Ahem~ ... ok, totally oversharing here ... my apologies for the hijack.

Back on topic, thanks JLR and Whitt ... Moon stuff seems like very well thought out designs (if not supremely well intended, even if execution was less than stellar on some releases).

I really like the idea of the mod matrix, but in my case I'm thinking it's more than I require. After thinking all of this over, I may end up with an inspired simplified version of this notion. Perhaps something like an 8x8 "trunk line" type idea ....

8 3.5mm jacks on a panel in the modulation cab, and 8 1/4" jacks on another panel in the main cab. Connect the two via truck line snake (type? ... perhaps a DB type cable such as the DB25 setup used in some Moog systems). Some destination jacks may be normalled to a function input, and still others may be left available for ambiguous mod patching. Both the source ends, and destination ends may be augmented with A/B toggles to A/B between two sources and/or two destinations per ~line~.

Or something like that. While less sophisticated than the Moon system, it may be enough (and expandable as a concept easily enough). Minimal investment to boot.

Thanks again for helping out ... now, I see I have a couple of other recent threads of mine that I spaced marking as watched that I need to read and participate in. I simply must get past this tendency of mine.

(NOTE re; Q147 Distributor .... it works beautifully with DC or full on audio signals. I've used one for a few years to route my bass guitar signal to three separate parallel destinations for processing and then remixing. The remixed processed signal is then sent to a 2nd Q147 for a 2nd time to split the processed signal among three separate bass amp systems that I use the Distributor's level controls to produce a proper amp mix while an stage. So ... Dist > Parallel processing > Mix > Dist > Amps. If you stick a jumper on the only two available pins (a single unused two pin header on the PCB) then the Q147 provides up to 200% gain levels per channel ... so the Q147 can be used to deal with gain structure issues as well as simple signal distribution. The pos and neq settings are also helpful with audio signals if there are any phase cancellation issues in the signal chain (hey, it happens!).

And since the Q147 is opamp based (TL074) it is as pristine sounding as any mixer or distributor can be. What I put in is precisely what I get out ... no tonal coloring that I can hear whatsoever. This is true with Arrick's mixers and distributors that are TL07x based in my experience.)


I will add my .02 Euro into this mix... I too am a huge fan applause SlayerBadger! applause thumbs up It's peanut butter jelly time! of the Moon product line, and I too have quite a few modules. I can't stress enough that even the "starter kit" of one 590VI and 590GI with the 12 x 12 "trunk" panel in the long run, "may" be a better choice for a few reasons...

1.) The work has been done and tested... big name and small alike use these in their larger modulars... Hans, Ed, myself, VinceL, B Whittington... it connects behind the panels with a wide flat ribbon, and for cabinet to cabinet, the DB25 has already been done by another one of the Wiggler's... so you have support already built in. It is also powered to give you positive indications of whats going on, which routing or voltages are going where... very handy, and it looks awesome too.

2.) Expandable !!! You know you want to... down the road... thumbs up Already set to expand! Bonus...

3.) Options, even if you decide to later "try" out a few of the other Moon's... many of them already are set for compatibility behind the scenes... one of the things Gert likes to do, is really utilize panel space and have multiple functionality per module... the new 544 is a prime example of that. As well as the 505 Filter...

4.) Less R&D headaches for yourself... I bet the time and cost you would invest in trying to do your own design, would be more than what you could get from the Moon.

Here's some colorful inspiration... applause applause applause applause applause applause




ok, this last one is powered off, but I had to show you the Gate Summer switches too... LOL

thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up

Rex Coil 7
All of that gate stuff they do, isn't that mostly for synth'd percussion?

Sorry if I'm an ignorant boof, but I have a hard time trying to understand what else I'd use all of those gate-oriented modules for other than firing EGs.

About the mod matrix. Best I can figure it consists of purely passive circuits (a generalization on my part, admittedly). My system is pretty modest (4 vcos in the audio path, main cab is only 28sp capacity). By design. Setting boundaries is important when designing a performance instrument. The expansion comes from whatever I can manage within those boundaries. Keeps the project ~somewhat managed~. smile

All of that having been said, at minimum, I'll use the Moon system as direct inspiration for whatever I may cook up. I mean, at least I'm savvy enough to recognize ~good~ when I see it. The concept rocks, doubtlessly.

smile
bwhittington
The 592 is definitely not passive. The middle row amplifies (up to 200% with a jumper setting) and inverts, and then the inputs can be mixed. Simple electronics concepts still, but a little more involved than your first guess. There would be a big advantage to a DIY version that was customized to your specific needs. One module doesn't really have nearly enough channels to be your sole routing interface, and two don't quite meld together seamlessly (shared inputs are possible, but not shared outputs, limiting mixing options to within one module). The Moon version is nice, but if you went nuts and made your own version, that would be pretty neat.

I guess a passive version would most easily work like a midi patch bay, where outputs have selectable inputs instead of the opposite, letting you mult signals but not mix them. That with an attenuator after the switch/selector would functionally approximate the EMS approach, if with a very different interface.
bwhittington
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
All of that gate stuff they do, isn't that mostly for synth'd percussion?

Sorry if I'm an ignorant boof, but I have a hard time trying to understand what else I'd use all of those gate-oriented modules for other than firing EGs.


When typing on this topic in another thread, I realized that no one had addressed this part of your post.

While you could patch up the 590 trigger modules as the most absurd trigger sequencer on the planet, I've only ever tried that once (see video below). I think it used the 563E outputs patched into the 590 trigger bus.

I usually just use mine as a convenient mult or logic OR. The signal flow for me is trigger to 590 input module, with 10 EG's assignable to the 12 trigger sources. The EG's are then routed to the 592 modulation matrix where they can be mixed, inverted, etc, and the 592 outputs go into VCA's or filters. Eventually, I would like to normal the outputs to selected VCO fm in's, filter cv, and vca's, but I haven't nailed that down yet.

So for me the modules are used for a tidy interface, which tends to encourage me to experiment more with layering more EG's together. Most of its functionality could be achieved with a few patch cords and a mult, but when is that ever the point. hihi Actually, that would usually mean a LOT of mults, and pesky repatching, so the modules add a really nice flow to patching, I think. Someone could take the same interface in a different direction for a live performance or something, but that is how I use them.

bleeds_on_keys
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
All of that gate stuff they do, isn't that mostly for synth'd percussion?


You can also use gates for triggering sequencers at specific times "one-off" instead of having them run constantly. Think kinda like Carl Palmer hitting one of the drum triggers in "Toccata" but different.
bwhittington
Just to keep fanboying this set, it may be worth mentioning that I recently sold off some utility modules because I realized that, spacious as it is, the 592 set satisfies several of my needs for distributor, active attenuator, signal processor, mixer type modules. You get six function "cells" per four spaces with on unit, and something like cv distribution would consume more than one, but of course I have two 592's, for 12 such functions in a total of six spaces as I have it configured.

I still have a couple other utility modules scattered around my synth, but I like the feel of having a lot of those functions in one central hub, which is also integrated with my cv bus of course.
Jsharpphoto
bwhittington wrote:
...I recently sold off some utility modules because I realized that, spacious as it is, the 592 set satisfies several of my needs...


I did the same thing. I realized that I was wasting a ton of space with things like the dotcom "Signal Processor" when the 592 does the exact same thing. But then I realized it doesn't do "offset". So I needed to keep the dotcom signal processor, but Im minimizing it into a CP panel with the instrument interface. So it'll still be "around" but not taking up valuable space.
bwhittington
Jsharpphoto wrote:
I did the same thing. I realized that I was wasting a ton of space with things like the dotcom "Signal Processor" when the 592 does the exact same thing. But then I realized it doesn't do "offset".


Great minds! Mr. Green

Actually, you can add an offset by leaving input one unpatched (normalled to 5v) and mixing it with your output to be offset. Congratulations, you just used a third of the module, but it can be done!
Rex Coil 7
bwhittington wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
All of that gate stuff they do, isn't that mostly for synth'd percussion?

Sorry if I'm an ignorant boof, but I have a hard time trying to understand what else I'd use all of those gate-oriented modules for other than firing EGs.


When typing on this topic in another thread, I realized that no one had addressed this part of your post.

While you could patch up the 590 trigger modules as the most absurd trigger sequencer on the planet, I've only ever tried that once (see video below). I think it used the 563E outputs patched into the 590 trigger bus.

I usually just use mine as a convenient mult or logic OR. The signal flow for me is trigger to 590 input module, with 10 EG's assignable to the 12 trigger sources. The EG's are then routed to the 592 modulation matrix where they can be mixed, inverted, etc, and the 592 outputs go into VCA's or filters. Eventually, I would like to normal the outputs to selected VCO fm in's, filter cv, and vca's, but I haven't nailed that down yet.

So for me the modules are used for a tidy interface, which tends to encourage me to experiment more with layering more EG's together. Most of its functionality could be achieved with a few patch cords and a mult, but when is that ever the point. hihi Actually, that would usually mean a LOT of mults, and pesky repatching, so the modules add a really nice flow to patching, I think. Someone could take the same interface in a different direction for a live performance or something, but that is how I use them.



Ok, so what I was trying to convey is that these trigger modules are only used for "one shot events" such as firing an EG .... at least that's my (mis)understanding of their use.

hmmm.....

So it's a ton of triggers that can be shipped of to any number of modules, all timed/clocked separately (while still sync'd) if desired to create various syncopated events ... do I have it right yet?

That's what I meant by "percussion" .... one shot events. Like any gate or trigger is used.

Or is there some other use I'm neglecting?

(To be clear, I'm not speaking of distribution, which is what the mod matrix is about ... there's sortof two topics interweaved here).

On the Moon ... I didn't mean to convey that IT is passive, I simply meant that the basic mod matrix can easily be passive if DIY is a consideration .... it's why I said "this is a generalization on my part" when I mentioned passive circuitry in distribution matrices.

Lastly ... regarding offsets, scaling, slew, etc .... when the FEK is someone going to do a MATHS in 5U? Or some reasonable facsimile of one?

Dead Banana (just ranting with a point to make ... a 5U MATHS would be the shyz-niddle! 2sp please.)
dslocum
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

Lastly ... regarding offsets, scaling, slew, etc .... when the FEK is someone going to do a MATHS in 5U? Or some reasonable facsimile of one?

Dead Banana (just ranting with a point to make ... a 5U MATHS would be the shyz-niddle! 2sp please.)


...Stay tuned....
JohnLRice
I finished modifying my 592 Modulation Matrix. Besides just swapping out the 6 pot knobs for smaller ones (mentioned in recent thread) I added 6 switches to the output module to switch between 100% and 200%.

Rex Coil 7
JohnLRice wrote:
I finished modifying my 592 Modulation Matrix. Besides just swapping out the 6 pot knobs for smaller ones (mentioned in recent thread) I added 6 switches to the output module to switch between 100% and 200%.

Sweet! Dang it that's so nice.

I wish I had the space .... and the money. lol
JohnLRice
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
I finished modifying my 592 Modulation Matrix. Besides just swapping out the 6 pot knobs for smaller ones (mentioned in recent thread) I added 6 switches to the output module to switch between 100% and 200%.
Sweet! Dang it that's so nice.
I wish I had the space .... and the money. lol
Thanks! For those interested in how to do the modifications here's some in-process pictures:

Drill panel


Install switches




Make cables for switches


Attach switch cables


Reassemble module


Cables made for main module and attached




I think it's a bit funky since I didn't take the time to find some square 4 pin .100 connectors to mate to the jumper positions on the 592 and just used what I had in my parts bin. It would have been much simpler and cleaner to just have cables soldered to the switches and that could just plug into the jumper positions but with what I had I ended up soldering one wire to each of the 6 positions. I ALMOST didn't do it the way I did since all the 'common' positions of the 6 jumper sets were showing continuity so I might have been able to just have a single wire soldered to the main module and then chained all of the 'common' switch terminals together but . . .those common jumper points don't show continuity to the 0v rail hmmm..... seriously, i just don't get it and on the off chance that there is some 'Moon Magic' in the design I did things the 'safe way' . . . partially because another recent modification on a Moon 551 that seemed completely logical didn't work as expected so I was gun shy! meh oops
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