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Thinking of starting a Frac system...need advice.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Fractional Rack Modules  
Author Thinking of starting a Frac system...need advice.
GYS
I am pretty new to the modular world. I have a few eurorack modules in a Doepfer minicase, mostly catered to letting me to interesting modulation and timing stuff with my Oberkorn sequencer.

I know that eventually I will want to expand my modular set up to include more traditional synth components and lately I've really been drawn to the Frac format.

I've always let my gut dictate what I go for in music gear, and for whatever reason, my gut is telling me Frac would be cool to explore. 8_)

Soooo...I have some questions:

1. Is it absurd to gravitate to Frac format given that I'll just be starting a system? I know Eurorack is insanely popular and there have been posts here wondering if Frac is dying....is it? hmmm.....

2. Will Frac modules play nicely with my existing eurorack modules, Oberkorn, and my synths (Oberheim SEM patch panel, SH-101)? Are CVs the same between the two formats?

3. Will Frac modules play well with each other? Do different Frac companies have different power requirements, or can I get a rack and just go crazy with whatever modules I want?

4. Does Frac afford a decent variety in oscs, filters, and modulation sources? Filters are going to be a big part of my set up; in general I'll be using this system to create quirky bloopy techno, acid, and detroit/german techno weird stab sounds.

...think that's it for now. Thanks for your help!
xart
I would hate to see any format die...I try and support all of them. If a system is 'open' (modular) and it can make dumb noises and blinky lights to keep me off the street at night ....I'm all for it. thumbs up


THAT SAID

If I was starting right now I would make a choice and go EURO or 5U-MU. I can't think of any advantage of starting with FRAC for a new system....in 2010.....its NOT cheap and the blacet PSU and racks are the same price as the .COM/MU/5U stuff. . . .

The good news is that all this junk works together for the most part...and mixing and matching is great . If you are in love with the FRAC stuff....go for it....but in 2010 your really missing out on a booming 5U/euro scene...

(if you are into DIY the blacet kits are a great way to go!..other than that...yes frac is dying.....fast.)
parasitk
GYS wrote:
I am pretty new to the modular world. I have a few eurorack modules in a Doepfer minicase, mostly catered to letting me to interesting modulation and timing stuff with my Oberkorn sequencer.

I know that eventually I will want to expand my modular set up to include more traditional synth components and lately I've really been drawn to the Frac format.

I've always let my gut dictate what I go for in music gear, and for whatever reason, my gut is telling me Frac would be cool to explore. 8_)

Soooo...I have some questions:

1. Is it absurd to gravitate to Frac format given that I'll just be starting a system? I know Eurorack is insanely popular and there have been posts here wondering if Frac is dying....is it? hmmm.....

2. Will Frac modules play nicely with my existing eurorack modules, Oberkorn, and my synths (Oberheim SEM patch panel, SH-101)? Are CVs the same between the two formats?

3. Will Frac modules play well with each other? Do different Frac companies have different power requirements, or can I get a rack and just go crazy with whatever modules I want?

4. Does Frac afford a decent variety in oscs, filters, and modulation sources? Filters are going to be a big part of my set up; in general I'll be using this system to create quirky bloopy techno, acid, and detroit/german techno weird stab sounds.

...think that's it for now. Thanks for your help!


1. Frac isn't dying, it's just not growing. Beyond Blacet, that is. It's a touch absurd, timing wise, but I think that's a good thing!

2. Pretty much yes, but some Euro modules are exceptions from what I've heard. (Mostly older ones?)

3. Absolutely. No different requirements. Plug and play. Maybe Bugbrand is an exception, but it's not like those are easy to get anyway (especially since there will be no more minijack'ed Bugbrand modules!)

4. VCOs... not so much (do you DIY?). Filters, a bit. Modulation sources? Hell yeah.

Frac is a great format to DIY in, so if you get the bug for that you're in good shape. It's also a good format to bananafy if you're into that.
parasitk
I'll add it really doesn't cost much to add a Frac rack and Blacet PSU to augment a Euro system with Frac-specific goodies. People (mostly Euro users) make a big deal over it, but it's not. Really, it's not.

It only really matters if you want to mount everything in a really slim portable case. Most Frac stuff is deeper than most Euro. If everything is sitting at home in a standard rack or whatever it's easy. Do it! SlayerBadger!
xart
thumbs up
parasitk wrote:
I'll add it really doesn't cost much to add a Frac rack and Blacet PSU to augment a Euro system with Frac-specific goodies. People (mostly Euro users) make a big deal over it, but it's not. Really, it's not.


This is exactly what I do....some of the blacet designs are a 'must have' and very unique in the modular world....

Do not be afraid to to mix formats! Patching FRAC and EURO work just fine 98% of the time.
Ekofisk
I started a frac-modular 7-8 months ago and haven't looked back. My main reason for going this route was the Bugbrand stuff which is *really* great. As has been said, it's not easily obtainable now, but it's not impossible to get either.
One positive thing about the stagnation of frac, is that a lot of people are dumping theirs. I picked up most of my modules second hand at really good prices (not all, but most). There doesn't seem to be much of a market for it these days, which means you should be able to build a decent system fairly cheap.
A negative aspect of frac is that lot of great modules are extremely difficult to get as they are out of production (Wiard 1200, Bananalogue). But most of these have in one form or another made their way to euro, which means that they at least are obtainable.

Another positive thing I found is that the whole addiction thing gets a bit dampened by not being bombarded with new modules all the time (not that that stops anybody from branching out and going crazy elsewhere). I find this quite satisfying in a way.

Get a rack or two of the frac essentials (Miniwave, EG1, most Bugbrand) and take it from there.
rezzn8r
Ekofisk wrote:
One positive thing about the stagnation of frac, is that a lot of people are dumping theirs. I picked up most of my modules second hand at really good prices (not all, but most). There doesn't seem to be much of a market for it these days, which means you should be able to build a decent system fairly cheap.


I would agree with this statement. I decided to augment my 5U system with frac about 6 months ago. If you're patient, and watch the buy/sell, even the Unobtanium is obtainable.



xart wrote:
thumbs up
parasitk wrote:
I'll add it really doesn't cost much to add a Frac rack and Blacet PSU to augment a Euro system with Frac-specific goodies. People (mostly Euro users) make a big deal over it, but it's not. Really, it's not.


This is exactly what I do....some of the blacet designs are a 'must have' and very unique in the modular world....


Ekofisk wisely suggests the miniwave, eg1, and bugbrand stuff. To this I might add the Binary Zone. The BZ is a special module, indeed. SlayerBadger!
Ekofisk
The BZ, for sure! d'oh!
parasitk
Beat me to it! Binary Zone FTW.

When I sold some of my Frac system this one was a definite format-specific keeper (along with the MiniWave)!
johnnymad
just stay on the look out for frac sales. i might be parting ways with some of my frac to afford a new amp very soon. possibly tonight. twisted
rezzn8r
Analogue Haven appears to still have Flight of Harmony and STG modules in Frac. I'm pretty sure Metalbox stuff is still available. Synthasonic have a few modules, and Paul just posted regarding the Cloud Generator and Morphing Terarrium for frac. There is also the Voice of Saturn stuff.
Still a wide variety of choices in the format.

And if you decide to go BananaFrac, Bugbrand should be an option. nanners It's peanut butter jelly time!
Ekofisk
Banafrac is the ONLY way to frac. It's peanut butter jelly time!
rezzn8r
wish I had the balls to banana-fy my system sad banana
Entrainer
I'm thinking of expanding into FRAC in about 2 months from an 18U euro rig.
The thing pulling me in is the Metalbox stuff...

Gated Comparator
Slope Detector
Wave Multiplier

And the Mankato...
rezzn8r
the metalbox matrix mixer looks sick, too. And then there's the ears...
Kent
Entrainer wrote:
I'm thinking of expanding into FRAC in about 2 months from an 18U euro rig.
The thing pulling me in is the Metalbox stuff...

Gated Comparator
Slope Detector
Wave Multiplier

And the Mankato...


Add the Burst Generator to that list and then cry like a 9-year old. Shit, the Tube VCA is NOICE as well. Grab that one. The Mankato and Wave Mult are at the top of my list. The Wave Multiplier is tied as my favorite Frac Module; tied with the Binary Zone.
werock
As others have noted between Blacet, Metalbox & the new Paia stuff, there should be plenty to keep you interested for a good while. Add in some of the out of production stuff at Analogue Haven and you get yourself a good system.

In fact, there is too much for me to get in to my 2 rack case very frustrating
oozitron
I have sold many Frac modules over the last two years, but only as a way to fund DIY modules that replace them. But my DIY things are ALL in FRAC smile

Drew
anadeji
While FRAC isn't growing, You can't beat the value and sound quality you are getting... That and i've found some great deals on stuff ex-frac'ers are ditching.

GO FRAC GO
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