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Recommend a distortion module?
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Author Recommend a distortion module?
GilgaFrank
I've come to the conclusion that my modular would benefit from distortion. Lots of distortion. So I'm looking around for suitable DIY projects. Not bothered at al about CV control, just a plain vanilla nasty old distortion unit.
causticlogic
Without knowing what you want to use it on, I'd say look into the Flight of Harmony Plague Bearer. And even if I did know, I'd likely make the same suggestion.
geecen
Frequency central make a modular version of the big muff with preamp for getting signals into the modular.

But if you don't care about CV you might as well just use guitar pedals as long as you don't mind them.at the end of your signal chain. I'd try the cheap Chinese clones on eBay first, or for diy ypucsn get PCBs from a lot of places for the classic designs.
Jarno
I have a PCB with a woolly mammoth-esque fuzz (PNP germanium) and either a MXR distortion + or Tubescreamer. Has a bipolar supply of the opamp section, and a eurorack PSU.

Usually 150 euros, but for a limited time only, 7.50euros shipped.
w00t
Troubleshooter
What about battery-acid CV IDOW version DIY kit (hexinverter)?
The musikding "DAS PLUS" or any other MXR distortion plus clone is also great if you are into acid-sound-oriented distortion.

Also have a look into the boss bx series mixer input stage overdrive sound. Great for synth and analog drumcomputers.

The tubescreamer is indeed also one of my favorites.
Jarno
Or a wavefolder, the Ampeg Scrambler was basically a diode wavefolder for bass guitar. Still have to finish my wavefolders project, so I can't say I ran audio through one of them, but it should work well as a distortion (not subtle, probably).
Paradigm X
I just finished an Oakley Overdrive II last night actually, sounds superb. A tubescreamer type overdrive along with a Wavefolder.

The best thing about it tho is both parts are usable separately, or in series, and both feature a wet/dry control, so everything from subtle warming to full on distortion are possible.
Grumskiz
The RYO Optodist is another great DIY option. It has vactrol based CV over Gain and an LED based limiter that produces nice clipping and blinking lights.
DGTom
Jarno wrote:
I have a PCB with a woolly mammoth-esque fuzz (PNP germanium) and either a MXR distortion + or Tubescreamer. Has a bipolar supply of the opamp section, and a eurorack PSU.

Usually 150 euros, but for a limited time only, 7.50euros shipped.
w00t


This sounds real interesting!

I've got a Mooer Bass Fog which is purportedly related to the woolly mammoth & it's an A+ 110% turn your sounds inside out device... favorite use for it at the moment is running it after an analog echo for infinite repeat / clock noise textures.

def. a 'send' effect rather than an 'insert' one tho!

Lottsa love for the TS here as well! I've been toying with the idea of building a stereo one, with stepped controls, you know for mastering... not really... but really!
Jarno
The "Germanium Woolly Mammoth" is really creamy and round, and with the controls you can really change it up, from slight edge to thick synthy tones (on bassguitar, that is).
The tubescreamer for mastering could work, but I think you'd need to add a wet/dry control, there's the 500-systems colour module, which I believe has the wet dry control.
http://www.diyrecordingequipment.com/collections/colour

Oh wait, they have it in eurorack as well! Pretty good!
Did anyone hear it? (or has it in their rack)
rhythmdial
Grumskiz wrote:
The RYO Optodist is another great DIY option. It has vactrol based CV over Gain and an LED based limiter that produces nice clipping and blinking lights.
+1 for this
also the Doepfer A-136 can crunch up a million ways and there is a mod somewhere online or in here for the input stage maybe, to make it handle more range.
Rockin' Banana!
MacSynth
Grumskiz wrote:
The RYO Optodist is another great DIY option. It has vactrol based CV over Gain and an LED based limiter that produces nice clipping and blinking lights.

+1 on this.

Another great DIY option would be the L-1 Tube VCA
Jarno
MacSynth wrote:
Another great DIY option would be the L-1 Tube VCA


That's based on the Ken Stone 1sj24 tube VCA, right?
I built the Befaco variant of that VCA, really nice VCA, pretty crunchy though, not particularly warm and tube-y.
Sandrine
As a curiosity: I designed a distortion processor about a year ago that can emulate just about any type of distortion and phasing into stereo, note following etc. Also is controllable with MIDI, has delay and LFO, EQ. This was to fit inside a performance box but was thinking about transforming it into a modular (euro)

I documented the build and made samples http://www.freshnelly.com/showbox-fx.htm#distpic
EATyourGUITAR
GilgaFrank
Lots of great suggestions here, thanks people. The Frequency Central Meth Amp was already on my list, I've built a lot of Rick Holt's modules previously and they really are top quality. I'll look into the RYO too. And I just remembered that I have some of the miniature tubes for the Ken Stone VCA which could be pressed into service in an overdrive circuit.

I'd really be interested in adapting classic guitar pedals for use with a modular. Schematics for things like the Rat and Tube Screamer are widely available but I'm not sure how to adapt these for the higher signal voltages of a modular synth, all suggestions welcome.
rhythmdial
I've used the ProCo RAT well enough and also sent/received using the c1t1zen 2hp aux module "pedal pusher" for signals that needed a bump or lowering to sound their best
would be slick to have a RAT as an actual module though yeah
MacSynth
rhythmdial wrote:
I've used the ProCo RAT well enough and also sent/received using the c1t1zen 2hp aux module "pedal pusher" for signals that needed a bump or lowering to sound their best
would be slick to have a RAT as an actual module though yeah

iirc the Synthrotek 308 is kinda based on the rat, also available as DIY-kit
MacSynth
Jarno wrote:
MacSynth wrote:
Another great DIY option would be the L-1 Tube VCA


That's based on the Ken Stone 1sj24 tube VCA, right?
I built the Befaco variant of that VCA, really nice VCA, pretty crunchy though, not particularly warm and tube-y.
Yes, I believe it is based on ken stones design.
geecen
Sandrine wrote:
As a curiosity: I designed a distortion processor about a year ago that can emulate just about any type of distortion and phasing into stereo, note following etc. Also is controllable with MIDI, has delay and LFO, EQ. This was to fit inside a performance box but was thinking about transforming it into a modular (euro)

I documented the build and made samples http://www.freshnelly.com/showbox-fx.htm#distpic


That sounds interesting!
Jarno
Sandrine wrote:
As a curiosity: I designed a distortion processor about a year ago that can emulate just about any type of distortion and phasing into stereo, note following etc. Also is controllable with MIDI, has delay and LFO, EQ. This was to fit inside a performance box but was thinking about transforming it into a modular (euro)

I documented the build and made samples http://www.freshnelly.com/showbox-fx.htm#distpic


Wow, that is gnarly hihi
Nice one!
meursault
Try doing your own Gristleizer... there are schematics online. It might be a fun - but risky, dunno - endeavour...
EATyourGUITAR
GilgaFrank wrote:
I'd really be interested in adapting classic guitar pedals for use with a modular. I'm not sure how to adapt these for the higher signal voltages of a modular synth, all suggestions welcome.


use any attenuator in your system to attenuate modular audio signals before they go to the input of the guitar effect. then coming out of the guitar effect you only need some clean gain to get it up to the +/-5v signal we expect in modular. exactly how much gain will depend on exactly how much headroom you have in the guitar effect. with clipping diodes involved this can often be +/-0.7v or less. this is also in the area of clean guitar signals at +/-0.7v on my strat after a single stage NPN preamp. an inverting opamp with 10K(input)+68K(negative feedback) should do it but this does not factor the output impedance of the guitar effect. this is fine for low output impedance guitar pedals. all of them are AC coupled with good and bad results. you may want to increase the low end by making the input caps larger on every circuit designed for guitar.
calaveras
The Turbo Rat has a stupid amount of output level. I've used it as a headphone amp, clean boost, and to pummel random consumer electronics so hard that they literally blew up.
I've heard some chatter that the more recent versions suck more than the old ones, but musicians have a habit about saying that about everything!
Don't know if it'll get in the neighborhood of 10vpp. But if any pedal could be thrown into a modular without accomodation for level I'd put money on the Turbo Rat.
Oh yeah and no mention of the Malekko Assmaster module? It's out of production for some mean spirited reason, but if you see one in the wild, catch it.
I love the pedal version, it's ended up being used on my X0X, drum machine, vocals, Taurus and even once or thrice on the actual bass guitar.
GilgaFrank
The simple answer attenuate, process, amplify set s me thinking that I should perhaps just play around with a few transistors and guitar pedals.
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