Starthief's Eurorack adventure, 2016-???

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starthief
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Starthief's Eurorack adventure, 2016-???

Post by starthief » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:02 pm

So let's say, hypothetically, that I'm starting a 75HP DIY skiff with:

Elements: 34HP
Warps: 10HP
Tides: 14HP
Peaks: 8HP
uZeus: 4HP
-----------------
70HP

I figured the last 4-5HP will get filled with utilities based on what I feel my needs are once I've experimented with this some. But I'm still considering.

Weak argument against VCAs: Elements, Warps and Tides all have some VCA capability built in, and inside my DAW there's stuff like VolumeShaper. (But that doesn't help with CVs!)

Argument against multiples/mixers: I do have an external mixer for audio, and passive mults and attenuators for things that can tolerate those. I plan to get a CV.OCD when they're available again, which will have the bandwidth to send multiple copies of CVs or gates as needed anyway.

That said, I figure my best bets are one of these:

-- a 2 or 3 HP dual VCA, and something else (DC mixer most likely, or buffered mult or...?)

-- 5 HP of VCAs.

-- Disting. Granted, it's only one VCA and only if it's not doing something else. But it *can* do lots of other things, even if some of them are redundant.

-- Something else?
Last edited by starthief on Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:23 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by chysn » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:04 pm

Kinks does a lot of stuff in a small space, if you decide against a VCA, and you quadruple down on your Mutable theme.
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Post by baleen » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:13 pm

Bastl has a few options in 5hp (I have the ABC mixer, love it, and the Cinnamon filter, love it).

Erica Picos are 3hp (lots of options there, I use the EG with...

Zlob has a 2VCA in 2hp (kinda deep, had to push it all the way to the far end of my rack to get it to fit)

there's all the 2hp stuff too.

As someone who has Elements and Rings, unless there is something very particular to Elements you want, 34hp is almost half of yr 75. Rings has some overlap but is nonetheless a different thing, but swapping one for the other will free up 20hp. my :75: just sayin, etc.

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Post by Varthdader » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:34 pm

Bastl Grandpa. 5hp of samples you could use thru Elements and/or Warps and modulate trigger with High/low tide in Tides etc....

It will be an eyesore next to the all-MI panels tho...maybe get it repanneled thru Magpie or wait till they finally release Bastl metal panels.

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Post by starthief » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:46 pm

chysn wrote:Kinks does a lot of stuff in a small space, if you decide against a VCA, and you quadruple down on your Mutable theme.
Good point.
baleen wrote:As someone who has Elements and Rings, unless there is something very particular to Elements you want, 34hp is almost half of yr 75. Rings has some overlap but is nonetheless a different thing, but swapping one for the other will free up 20hp.
True, 20 HP is a lot. I think I prefer having the exciter built in, and I do like the "bigger" Ominous Voice. And in general, I simply have been more impressed by what people have done with Elements than with Rings.

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Post by baleen » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:46 pm

Varthdader wrote:Bastl Grandpa. 5hp of samples you could use thru Elements and/or Warps and modulate trigger with High/low tide in Tides etc....

It will be an eyesore next to the all-MI panels tho...maybe get it repanneled thru Magpie or wait till they finally release Bastl metal panels.
I love my Bastl/MI mashup so hey whatever

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Post by baleen » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:08 pm

starthief wrote:
chysn wrote:Kinks does a lot of stuff in a small space, if you decide against a VCA, and you quadruple down on your Mutable theme.
Good point.
baleen wrote:As someone who has Elements and Rings, unless there is something very particular to Elements you want, 34hp is almost half of yr 75. Rings has some overlap but is nonetheless a different thing, but swapping one for the other will free up 20hp.
True, 20 HP is a lot. I think I prefer having the exciter built in, and I do like the "bigger" Ominous Voice. And in general, I simply have been more impressed by what people have done with Elements than with Rings.
valid!

what are you planning to use Peak/Tides for?

QUESTIONS!

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Post by Varthdader » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:36 pm

baleen wrote:
Varthdader wrote:Bastl Grandpa. 5hp of samples you could use thru Elements and/or Warps and modulate trigger with High/low tide in Tides etc....

It will be an eyesore next to the all-MI panels tho...maybe get it repanneled thru Magpie or wait till they finally release Bastl metal panels.
I love my Bastl/MI mashup so hey whatever
I love my Bastl/MI/Makenoise combo too, but I do accept it as an acquired taste.

I love the Bastl wood look (I think Rumburak is amazing looking) but they are hard to combine having thicker panels...

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Re: DIY Mutable-filled skiff with 5HP left...

Post by flashheart » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:53 pm

starthief wrote:Weak argument against VCAs: Elements, Warps and Tides all have some VCA capability built in, and inside my DAW there's stuff like VolumeShaper. (But that doesn't help with CVs!)
VCAs can be used for modulating modulations.
starthief wrote:Argument against multiples/mixers: I do have an external mixer for audio, and passive mults and attenuators for things that can tolerate those. I plan to get a CV.OCD when they're available again, which will have the bandwidth to send multiple copies of CVs or gates as needed anyway.
Again, mixers aren't just for the final signal, you may need to add, offset CVs.
I'm not buying a maths though, not my idea of fun...

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Post by starthief » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:18 pm

I love the look of Bastl's plastic non-Euro stuff in frosted translucent plastic. My spouse even thinks the Trinity XOR and MonoFM are adorable. Their Euro panels make me sad though :hihi:

More relevant, I kind of went through a granular phase before and I'm not too keen on it at the moment.

baleen wrote:what are you planning to use Peak/Tides for?
I expect to put Dead Man's Catch and Parasite on them (as well as Parasite on Warps).

Really, there are lots of combinations I foresee. The first scenario is both of them modulating Elements and/or Warps. Tides is a strong VCO in its own right though, and that leaves Peaks still available for modulation duty, or as a (second!) PLL oscillator. With Warps' oscillator too, there are a lot of complex FM possibilities.

Probably won't use Peaks for drums so much -- drums are ridiculously well covered in my DAW, yet these days I still wind up using a squarewave kick and LSFR noise or 808 samples more often than not :hihi:

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Re: DIY Mutable-filled skiff with 5HP left...

Post by starthief » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:22 pm

flashheart wrote:VCAs can be used for modulating modulations.

mixers aren't just for the final signal, you may need to add, offset CVs.
I know... I did say they were weak arguments :)

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Post by indigoid » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:42 pm

Doepfer A-114. Or a 4hp Dixie if you can find one.

And a 1hp blank.
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Post by indigoid » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:43 pm

Also: a wider skiff :sb:
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Post by starthief » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:03 pm

indigoid wrote:Doepfer A-114
Or a Circuit Abbey Twiggy if I could find one...

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Post by Phase47 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:21 pm

Links!

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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:40 am

buffered mult? why? it really depends if you use your synth for 1v/oct stuff. you did not tell us what cv/midi controller etc.. does elements have a quantizer? I think you definitely need to get an analog filter in there. low pass or band pass will do it.
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Post by Roy72 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:51 am

Eowave have some good 5hp options, the Zone BF dual LFO does a lot in 5 hp

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Post by starthief » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:42 am

EATyourGUITAR wrote:buffered mult? why? it really depends if you use your synth for 1v/oct stuff. you did not tell us what cv/midi controller etc.. does elements have a quantizer?
Controlled by MicroBrute CV/gate (sequenced from DAW or played live); I also plan to order a CV.OCD when they're available again, making buffered mults unimportant.

Tides Parasite does have a quantizer, so there will probably be times when I drive it from other CV sources.
EATyourGUITAR wrote:I think you definitely need to get an analog filter in there. low pass or band pass will do it.
My MicroBrute has a lovely Steiner-Parker filter, but I don't think its CV input tracks 1V/octave. [EDIT: And of course, it can't be separated from the MB's VCA, which in turn can't be separated from its gate, so the use cases for it are pretty limited.]

But I think a filter is a lower priority than some other things, I expect; since this setup is primarily about modal/FM/wavefolding, the main use of a filter would be for feedback IMHO. A Disting could pull filter duty if I didn't want to dedicate permanent HP to the task.

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Post by causticlogic » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:34 am

I figured you'd end up here sooner or later. :cloud:

One thing you might consider is mounting the uZeus on the back or side of your little skiff to free up slightly more room. That would give you 9hp and would allow for a bit more to work with. Just a thought.

Personally, I'd want to be able to manipulate CV and audio a little more mid-patch. You have some versatile modulation sources, but not a lot of ways to mix them. Perhaps something like the SSF Blender would be a good idea. It's kind of a mixer, VCA, crossfader, ring mod thing. I realize it's 6hp, but if you mount the uZeus outside of the rack area, you would have room.

If not, probably look into the smaller CV mixers and VCAs like you mention.

Otherwise, maybe something like Doepfer's A-184-1...though I think something with mixer ability would be most beneficial.
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Post by starthief » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:24 am

Interesting thought! There should be clearance to sneak the uZeus onto the side, though it might test my limited "crapentry" skills.


Another thought I have is maybe skipping the Warps. It is a damn cool module, but perhaps not so essential in a small setup like this.

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Post by Varthdader » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:58 am

Funny how it never occurred to me to just not mount both my Uzeus to the rails and fix them inside the rack...

I now have 8hp to add modules to!

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Post by starthief » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:45 pm

New plan:

Rings
Peaks
Tides
the uZeus mounted on the side.
39HP of free space instead of 5.

After finding some of the demos where people feed Rings with external sources, I am as impressed with Rings as I am with Elements. I feel like this is quite a lot of room to experiment with until I'm ready to open my wallet again in the distant future.

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Post by starthief » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:30 pm

That above plan is finalized. I have a Peaks and Tides and already I feel like I've opened up a can of infinite whoop-ass on my MicroBrute with them. Rings is shipping tomorrow (I won it in the auction at KVR).

Probably going to add VCAs soonish, but I feel like I'm staring into the abyss with this already. 30 years of experience with non-modular synths hasn't prepared me for this level of awesome :deadbanana:

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Post by starthief » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:20 am

Practical things I learned last night in my first few hours of modular wiggling:

-- When I bought cables, I chose the length based on skiff size without thinking about patching between my MicroBrute and modules. Chaining 4 Erthenvar IV cables together to bring the MB's gate output to two inputs is a huge mess :doh:

-- a cable hanger is suddenly important. Ordered the one from Control that comes with 10 patch cables, solving both these problems.

-- self-tapping screws don't, when the rails are oak. I'm gonna need to drill pilot holes. No big deal.

-- MicroBrute's gate out does not reliably feed 3 inputs unbuffered -- but I have a CV.OCD on its way.

-- Tides in PLL mode can't track a MicroBrute without boosting the signal, but it's hilarious to hear it try.

-- Utility priority: attenuators, inversion, VCAs; I don't actually find myself desperate for a mixer yet. But the MicroBrute's CV ins (especially the filter) want less voltage than Tides and Peaks are pushing, and Koma attenuator cables are awkward. Also, Tides really wants some negative envelope action from Peaks. So I've bought a Doepfer A-133 from a fellow wiggler; I will probably throw some passive attenuators and LPGs in as well.

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Post by Djumpmonkey » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:12 am

starthief wrote:-- Utility priority: attenuators, inversion, VCAs; I don't actually find myself desperate for a mixer yet. But the MicroBrute's CV ins (especially the filter) want less voltage than Tides and Peaks are pushing, and Koma attenuator cables are awkward. Also, Tides really wants some negative envelope action from Peaks. So I've bought a Doepfer A-133 from a fellow wiggler; I will probably throw some passive attenuators and LPGs in as well.
If you want to stay Mutable Attenuaters, Inversion and some VCAish action + Mixer is all available on Blinds. It's not much as an amplifier, for which I'd hoped, but it is absolutely boss for mixing, attenuation, attenuversion, and just all kinds of other stuff. I use bare minimum 3 channels for each patch I do. I've considered Shades to save space, but the I would miss the CV too much.
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