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Starthief's Eurorack adventure, 2016-???
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18, 19, 20  Next [all]
Author Starthief's Eurorack adventure, 2016-???
SavageMessiah
Rubicon 2 is pretty fantastic, if a little big. I really love the sound of the sine run through the warp circuit. I'm looking forward to pairing it with a generate 3 when it comes out to make an awesome TZFM both ways complex oscillator.

I just got a HD mk3. I was thinking about how to duplicate it's phase distortion stuff using the shaper input on shapeshifter but the thought of patching the subtle ramp shapes you need to make that work well turned me off so I just bought the damn thing. I have no idea how it compares to the HD mk2 but it's a goddamn monster. Within like 10 minutes of setting it up I'd made some of the best sounds I've ever made.

I keep meaning to try your complex osc unit for ER-301. I made my own but it kinda sucks.

I have too many oscillators/everything. At some point I need to make some hard choices and pare this mess back a bit.

The thing I always end up using rainmaker for is multiple taps, with different pitch shifting on each, all with resonant bandpass filters. It ends up making this weird swarming, insectile, chittering accompaniment to drones. Probably not worth the HP just for that but... see previous comment.
starthief
Hmm, since the tap side of Rainmaker will do combs too when set fast enough, I could definitely play with that aspect of it more.

The thing I liked about the HD mk2 is it's just very immediate to use -- one knob per function, traditional complex oscillator architecture. It just feels really good.

The mk3 is a departure from that, but its fold section is admittedly way more appealing than the mk2. I hope to try one at Knobcon smile
SavageMessiah
Usually I much prefer one knob per function (and the shared state on the controls kept me from getting one for a long time) but HDmk3 doesn't bother me at all. I think it's because it has feedback about the actual settings on the screen. You can't see the whole state at once because of the modality of the mixer controls but you just poke the button for the bit you care about and its right there. It felt immediate in a way that that sort of shared control usually doesn't.

I was looking at the rubicon 2 manual after I posted earlier and realized that I've never really messed with the symmetry. I'd imagine that under hard sync the symmetry would provide yet another way to produce timbral shenanigans, while still tracking pitch. Gonna give that a try today.
starthief
Hmm, I just wrote something earlier this morning but must have fumbled the post button.

I had insomnia last night, sat up thinking and came to a realization: I've been avoiding the ER-301.

It's technically capable of doing a lot of what I want, but here I am wanting a Hertz Donut, an analog wavefolder, and a simple standalone delay again. Chalk it up to workflow, emotional connection, etc.

I think I've talked myself into HD mk3 rather than mk2. If I don't love it, which seems unlikely, I can always make that change later.

For a wavefolder, Bastl Timber. Both the folder and drive sound pretty great to me and it offers more than usual variations, all pretty great-sounding.

For a delay I've gone back and forth, but I think I've settled on Prism as being reasonably priced, appealing in its simplicity and yet versatile. Mimeophon is pretty much the Make Noise interpretation of my "dream delay" feature list from a few months ago, but I fear some of its tricks will become easily recognizable gimmicks. Microcell might be cool for the Parasite delay, but is pretty much the antithesis of a focused and simple module.

So what else have I used the ER-301 for?

- For 8 of the last 9 tracks I've recorded: nothing. For the other one, just a noise source. That should have been a big clue to me but I didn't really notice until now.

- A harmonic oscillator... or really, an additive oscillator with manual & voltage control over partial levels, but not scan/tilt. Stages Orouboros is a little bit primitive in that role, but I have a 4ms SMR on the way which I suspect will do very nicely. (And if not, there's my excuse to go for a Verbos HO.)

- A dynamics manager for feedback loops... AKA, a compressor. Maths + a VCA, or a Bastl Dynamo, or MSCL or something could fill that role. I haven't decided what yet.

- I did use it to extract gates from a Kermit LFO once. w00t I also used its scale quantizer, which is pretty good but that only applies to itself. So I'll keep my uO_C for situations like that.

So at this point, I have a pretty firm plan for Synth Farm 3.0, minus figuring out specifically what I want for compression. And I'll have a whole empty row in my case, shouuld Knobcon show me that I need something else.
starthief
Already did some trades and buys. HD mk3, Prism, Dynamo, Origami, and T-Rackonizer.
And that SMR arrives Saturday and my Panharmonium is just 2 days old It's a whirlwind SlayerBadger!
dekemcculo
can't wait to hear your thoughts on dynamo seems like a great module wish there was more about it on here (of course i have 2 cold macs now so i feel like i've got those duties covered personally hihi was going to suggest a cold mac for you for compression and sidechaining and then remembered that I already did that lol)

would love to hear what you'd do with a timber too - seems like it would be an interesting addition to your palette !

does this mean you're thinking about moving away from the 301, or are you just acknowledging that some of it's functionality you'd rather do with other tools? if so - what do you hope to use it for in the future?
starthief
dekemcculo wrote:
can't wait to hear your thoughts on dynamo


I had one a while back, but with a wood panel.

I like the top section a lot -- the combination of functional blocks makes really nice signals either for compression/expansion, or for modulating timbre dynamically. Works nicely with filters.

The bottom section is kind of weird, and I wish they had just put a VCA in there to make it a complete compressor. But once in a while it's useful for something a bit off the wall.

I completely spaced on Cold Mac's envelope follower feeding back to Survey ... now I kind of wish I'd used that as my excuse to go ahead and try Cold Mac. I might still, one of these days, have to find another excuse wink

dekemcculo wrote:
would love to hear what you'd do with a timber too - seems like it would be an interesting addition to your palette !


I wound up going for the Delta Sound Labs Origami instead, just because it was conveniently available in a trade but also has a sound I like smile

dekemcculo wrote:
does this mean you're thinking about moving away from the 301


I moved fast on this and traded the 301 this morning. I'm rarely this decisive, but it was clear to me that this is the right direction for me.
autopoiesis
I think you'll like the Timber (for at least a few months hihi ). it's the nicest sounding wavefolder to my ears after the serge wave mults. I've thought about getting a second in a 204hp system. oh, just saw that you got a different folder instead, lol

what made you move your Maze along? didn't it get the Fade thing before that? I'm really tempted to get one as I could use a matrix mixer, but I'm not sure if its 0-99 steps of amplitude are enough to finesse feedback patches with.
starthief
autopoiesis wrote:
what made you move your Maze along? didn't it get the Fade thing before that? I'm really tempted to get one as I could use a matrix mixer, but I'm not sure if its 0-99 steps of amplitude are enough to finesse feedback patches with.


The fade update was released about a week after I sold mine lol

I found myself not sequencing changes with it as much as I originally imagined, and used it as mostly an awkward sort of matrix mixer.

0-99 steps definitely wasn't good for pitch sequencing, and the calibration/scaling was never very exact on mine.
Phitar
starthief wrote:
autopoiesis wrote:
what made you move your Maze along? didn't it get the Fade thing before that? I'm really tempted to get one as I could use a matrix mixer, but I'm not sure if its 0-99 steps of amplitude are enough to finesse feedback patches with.


The fade update was released about a week after I sold mine lol

I found myself not sequencing changes with it as much as I originally imagined, and used it as mostly an awkward sort of matrix mixer.

0-99 steps definitely wasn't good for pitch sequencing, and the calibration/scaling was never very exact on mine.


Glad I caught this.... I've been wanting a matrix mixer and had pretty much decided to get a 138-m or maybe a Circuit Abby Neo PCB and panel. Only thing that has stopped me so far has been the 20HP size. One of my buds said the Maze could do the same thing with a smaller footprint. I was doubtful of that.... Think you have (or had) both. Which do you prefer or is there something else you might recommend?
SavageMessiah
Your buddy was not wrong, you can totally use it that way, it's just not as immediate as having a knob for every route. It has it's own advantages as a matrix mixer though (besides the sequencing/morphing) - you can modify multiple routes simultaneously.

I'll admit I don't use mine much (I'm actually the one who bought starthief's, heh) because it turns out I don't have the patience/forethought to make multiple presets for sequencing - I'm more of a "flail around like an idiot until some thing cool-sounding appears" kinda guy. I keep meaning to bug the developer about adding some randomization features.
starthief
I prefer the A-138m. The size is worth it IMHO.

u-he CVilization, whenever that's going to be released, might be worth looking at. 10HP if I remember right, and it's a matrix mixer with a bunch of other features. I don't know if the interface is going to feel friendly or it's going to require cheat sheets and mystery lights and weird button press combos.

Another option if the A-138m is too big to justify, would be a 4x2 matrix mixer. Rebel Tech and LPZW both make them and there are probably others.
starthief
Some thoughts on new gear so far:

Panharmonium:
- It's certainly unique among modules, and software too.
- It's not the easiest thing to work with. It takes some time to dig in and learn it, and some effort and restraint, if you want nice sounds.
- IMHO it works best in a background role, harmonizing with, doubling or sustaining sounds from the input -- usually with a slower clock or a tempo-synced one.
- I wish it had an input gain knob.
- I'm not sure whether I'm going to hang onto it in the long term, but I think it deserves an extended trial at least. There might be a lot more useful techniques than I've encountered so far, and firmware updates might give it a boost. And it's pretty fascinating!

Prism:
- The filter, though DSP rather than analog, sounds pretty decent. It doesn't self-oscillate.
- Delay sounds good, but doesn't track V/OCT, there's lots of slew on rate changes, and it doesn't take modulation very well (no Karplus, flanging, chorus, or phase modulation). Even in clocked mode, multiplier changes have a big slew and doppler on them instead of a clean crossfade.
- Putting feedback and the delay's wet/dry on one knob is... mostly okay actually, since chorus wouldn't work anyway. But no wet/dry for freeze mode is a bit of a shame.
- Clocked delay mode remembers the last clock tempo if you don't have a clock patched, which is kind of weird, but okay.
- The decimator is okay and gains a lot from being paired with a filter.
- I'll hold it for now, but it won't surprise me if I go for a different delay sometime.

SMR:
- I am deeply unsure about this module right now. The scale paradigm is clever but I just don't know if I'm going to adapt to it, or vice versa.
- I do love the light show wink
- I really wish I could use just one V/OCT input instead of multing it. It's not uncommon that I'd want it to track the pitch of another VCO, which means multing twice. Which means I might need a proper buffered mult.
- It's not tracking pitch very well at all right now. The adjustment method in the manual didn't seem to do anything, but then, I believe it's got firmware V4 on it. V5 seems better in terms of tuning range and transposition. But...
- I was unsuccessful at updating to V5. No light animation as described in the manual and nothing from the output. I wrote to 4ms support about it.
- I believe that once I get it updated and calibrated, that I'll be able to use it as an additive oscillator the way I want to -- though it might not be the most straightforward thing.
- Aside from that, I did manage to get some neat patterns out of it. Panharmonium can follow its output pretty easily smile
Phitar
SavageMessiah wrote:
- I'm more of a "flail around like an idiot until some thing cool-sounding appears" kinda guy.


Me too! 100%. thumbs up


starthief wrote:
I prefer the A-138m. The size is worth it IMHO.

u-he CVilization, whenever that's going to be released, might be worth looking at. 10HP if I remember right, and it's a matrix mixer with a bunch of other features. I don't know if the interface is going to feel friendly or it's going to require cheat sheets and mystery lights and weird button press combos.


I'll probably go the Doepfer A-138m route. Knobs just seem more natural to me for mixing. The u-he caught my interest when first announced but I'm afraid that one is gonna need an always on hand reference guide like you said. The Maze manual had me scratching my head as it was and I prefer to limit cheat sheets to the Distings and O_C when I occasionally decide to change algo's... Thought about going with fewer channels to save space but I have a sneaky suspicion that if I go that route I'd wish I gone for the 4x4 to begin with. Guess I'll just suck it up and look for ways to increase rack size. Thanks for your input folks!
starthief
I'll skip the sad story about our incompetent postal carrier, and say that I got my Hertz Donut mk3 this evening but not the other stuff that's coming. That's OK though, more time to concentrate on Donutty goodness.

- That display is freakin' tiny and I have lousy eyesight. Seven virtual sliders a little bit awkward to read immediately. But in actual usage, it's really no big deal at all, and I prefer it over a bunch of obscure color coded LEDs.

- The overall feel and layout isn't quite as nice as the mk2; it seems kind of crowded and chaotic. There are 6 different styles of knob on it plus sliders, so it's kinda like a web page with too many different fonts. I might also have preferred all the jacks at the bottom. But again: in actual usage it's fine.

- The sound. At first I felt like maybe it's not as full and weighty and yet have that little touch of razor-sharp crystalline dust that HDmk2 has in my nostalgic memory. It definitely can have an edge to it, but more the sound that I tend to associate with Noise Engineering. But a bit more tweaking and experimenting and I started to get a better handle on it and bring back some of the old sorcery -- I can dial in something a bit like the HDmk2/Kermit style noisiness. And then HOLY SHIT MARTHA I FOUND THE HOLY GRAIL.

we're not worthy

(I was using op B to modulate A and Main, and monitoring Main and Aux in stereo, and hit one of those frequency ratios that drops everything by an octave and makes it suddenly weigh 17 tons and writhe. Oh yeah.)

- The architecture: I've expressed doubts before about the 3-osc setup rather than the more traditional complex oscillator style, and losing the triangle, saw and square outs,and the discrete FM steps mode (easily changed though), and the whole paged interface vs. HDmk2's one-knob-per-function setup. But now that I use it, I understand why things are the way they are, and I agree with nearly all of it.

So, yeah. It's good. Mr. Green

As with the mk2 I don't feel that its folding modes are a substitute for an analog wavefolder. But they do add bite, growl, sizzle and whatever and I like them a lot more than the mk1.

I have no doubts about this module, and thank you to people on multiple forums who said good things about it because you were right. smile
SavageMessiah
The one thing I don't like about HDmk3 is that it loses all state that is not reflected in a physical control on restart unless you save a preset. It sounds so absolutely monstrous that I'll give that a pass though hyper
thetwlo
starthief wrote:

- That display is freakin' tiny and I have lousy eyesight.

yeah, it's too small. It's what a hate about the PH3. It's an important, great module, why make it miniaturized? It needs a legible display and another 8-12hp to be serious. Fuck these tiny modules--they are worth the space if they're worth using.
JES
thetwlo wrote:
Fuck these tiny modules--they are worth the space if they're worth using.


I feel the same way.

I’m also considering a HD mk3 anyway...
starthief
SavageMessiah wrote:
The one thing I don't like about HDmk3 is that it loses all state that is not reflected in a physical control on restart unless you save a preset.


Yeah, that is irksome. To convince it to start up with both operators set to Follow and +1 octave like I want, you have to save a preset that way, tell it to start up in preset mode, and tell the preset manager to handle "M+F+Ops". And then if you leave Preset mode it'll switch to something else. It should at least have a way of manually saving a default state for menu settings, even if it's not saved on shutdown.

thetwlo wrote:
starthief wrote:

- That display is freakin' tiny and I have lousy eyesight.

yeah, it's too small. It's what a hate about the PH3. It's an important, great module, why make it miniaturized? It needs a legible display and another 8-12hp to be serious. Fuck these tiny modules--they are worth the space if they're worth using.


+1 This module could be about 24-26 HP, have a display the size of the one in uO_C or Rainmaker and left a little more room for fingers, and nobody would have complained about the size. (If they did, they'd be wrong.)

Mine's going to have an 8HP wavefolder next to it that only has two smallish knobs, three jacks crammed side by side, and a lot of empty space in the middle. Eurorack is weird sometimes.
starthief
Delta Origami: it's a wavefolder. It sounds good. It's got no additional features, like a second input, crossfading, bias etc. but it does the job well.

Bastl Dynamo: it's what I remember, only aluminum instead of wood. The panel's much easier to read and it doesn't badly mismatch everything else.

Jomox T-Rackonizer: I'll have to think about this one some more. To me it feels not like an effect to apply to a voice in a modular patch, but its own instrument that has its own demands. So it's a question of whether I want to use that instrument.

It simultaneously can't handle overly loud input (it kind of shuts itself down), and generates bursts of overly loud output without sticking to very careful feedback settings. Of course some of the more fun things it does are through abuse of feedback. I should try pairing it up with tanh[3]. Dynamo/Tallin can keep levels fairly steady too.

I recorded a patch with it last night where SMR and T-Racko (with Dynamo/Tallin) fed each other. The process felt a bit more distant to me, like I was directing instead of acting, if that makes sense. This isn't how it feels when I set up feedback loop driven patches with other gear.


So, my general thoughts now:

- I'm not selling anything until KnobCon that wasn't already on my to-sell list. Give myself a little more time with the new modules I'm not sure about -- Panharmonium, SMR, T-Racko, Prism -- and then sniff out alternatives, and also think some more about this whole "focus" thing.

- I'm not buying anything until KnobCon either.

- 4ms tech support was surprised by my trouble with the firmware update and wanted a video of the process to double-check me, so I sent that.

- The simple additive patch I wanted to do with SMR? I'm not going to sweat it all that much. I'm not going to buy other gear just to do it; in a pinch I could use Stages for it, and it's not a patch I want to use all the time anyway. I'm going to try to give SMR a fair chance on its own merits. It does do some cool things, it's just that it has its own ideas about how to do them and we might have creative differences wink

- In working with this stuff, I need to patch pretty much like I normally would rather than pushing to use the new stuff intensely, and see how, or if, it integrates.
thetwlo
wow! that was fast!
already listed the Panharmonium for sale. I see.

Still not sure about it myself, need to spend some more time with it, but, in a smaller/limited(intentionally) system it's an odd one.
starthief
thetwlo wrote:
wow! that was fast!
already listed the Panharmonium for sale. I see.

Still not sure about it myself, need to spend some more time with it, but, in a smaller/limited(intentionally) system it's an odd one.


Yeah, I tend to change my mind immediately after I decide "wait until Knobcon" for anything Dead Banana

My thought is:

- right now nobody else is reselling it, so if I intend to sell, it's probably best not to wait.

- what I like most with Panharmonium is freezing a moment of sound, and harmonizing it with the continuing audio stream it came from.

I realized: Clouds does that too. Among other things. And both its sound and methods probably suit the way I work a bit better. And I kind of want that Clouds Parasite delay too.

I see now that avoiding Clouds for almost three years was a mistake. After all, I have two Rings to patch into it... lol
cg_funk
So, after all the module flux, do you still use the Monome Teletype?

I have a Just Friends, and I'm thinking up trading up my Eloquencer for something more algorithmic.
starthief
Yeah, I really like Teletype.
starthief
Right now I have a bit more empty space than my blank panels can cover:




Despite all the emptiness I still nearly ran out of patch cables in today's recording. Modular Addict is supposed to restock their cables soon and I'll pick up a few more.

Panharmonium: sold

Supercell: arriving Monday

E370: boxed, will ship out Monday to trade for a black-panel E352.

SMR: 4ms couldn't figure out why the firmware update doesn't work, and this is apparently the only time this has happened -- so I'm sending it in for them to check out.

T-Rackonizer: I moved it front and center to give it more attention. I no longer feel like it necessarily has to dominate a patch, but I still think it's a very ornery module.

I'm not thrilled with it as a no-input feedback monster, because I've patched much more controllable and rewarding ones myself.

As an effect, it sounds best when it's right at a threshold -- depending on the program, either just barely self-sustaining, or solidly sustaining delay/reverb but not blowing out. Unfortunately sometimes it will just fall over the edge without warning.

When it does, there are 4-6 knobs that you have to potentially back off -- and you have to pull back so far that you lose the magic and are at square one again. It desperately needs some kind of internal one-knob limiter to keep itself in check.

I admit it sounds pretty great when it's in the zone, but it's a pain in the ass.

My most likely course is to pick up Mimeophon, dump T-Rackonizer, and only keep Prism if I think it's still worth having for the filter etc.

Cold Mac vs Planar: this is the battle going on in my head now. I could use a crossfader -- both of them are that, plus a lot more, and look like a lot of fun. There are great arguments to choose either one, or both. Hopefully I can settle this at Knobcon smile
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