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Starthief's Eurorack adventure, 2016-???
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 ... 18, 19, 20  Next [all]
Author Starthief's Eurorack adventure, 2016-???
guestt
Hehe not half!!! thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up

I could have gone the other way and got a second Rings, but that would have made what I wanted to do incredibly complex and well, two Elements nails it perfectly in a relatively small simple package. The really nice thing about it is that there is a very slight variation between the two - it uses the serial number as a seed for some of the values I think, but yet they are close enough that they can be pretty much indistinguishable with very little effort. I am really happy grin
starthief
New plan.



-- replace A-133 with Streams. It's on the way. thumbs up

-- add Warps (Parasite). I think that's going to serve me quite well in feedback with Rings/Sisters/itself.

-- add CFM BHWR, though I may have to build one DIY. Or perhaps a Propust, a 2HP noise generator or some small basic utility.

-- alternately, if I find using the DPLPG without mounting it isn't too annoying, do that and have 4HP for a Kinks or Disting or the like. But that seems kind of messy and I will probably not.

I thought about moving the uZeus to the side, but having noticed the temperature difference between mounting it to wood vs. mounting it to rails, even before adding the AT and SPO, I think I will refrain.

Not entirely sure about the order of placement. It's a conflict between placing them for visual appeal vs. function. The AT relies on the SPO, so pairing them nearby makes sense, and Rings/Sisters/Warps will probably be in feedback systems together very frequently... hmm.
Djumpmonkey
Do you feel like you get enough modulation in your rig?

Streams, Peaks and Tides comprise my modulation and I really feel like I'm badly lacking.

My 3u84hp (Dixie II is the only module I don't have yet, gotta wait for funds)

starthief
Without Streams I feel like I almost have enough modulation. There are times when I wind up gating something and would rather have a decay envelope on it instead. I suspect with Streams added that will be eased. DPLPG too since it can be pinged with a gate/trigger.

Though adding Warps might increase the demand for modulation CVs again. That last 2HP could go to an envelope generator or LFO.

I do have a MicroBrute which provides an extra envelope and LFO, and I can configure my Thingamagoop 3000 as an LFO, or sequence a MIDI CC and convert that to CV.
Djumpmonkey
Yeah, I can see it being cool with a bit of additional external modulation.
starthief
DPLPG arrived today. I like it a lot. w00t

Played with it some with Ataraxic Translatron as the audio source. It pings nicely with triggers, and also sounds pretty great (and kind of softened subtly) with fast AR envelopes.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/298735166" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

The two channels sounding just a little bit different is useful for adding just a little bit of stereo magic to a mono signal without resorting to delay-based FX, too. I might find myself using it in that configuration quite a bit.

Between it and the S.P.O. I really don't feel the need for the A-133 anymore and have pulled it from my rack, to sell after the holidays. I've got things arranged and ready for two modules I've bought used to arrived: a DIY Streams coming from England and a Warps coming from California, both in the next few days depending on how USPS does so close to Christmas. wink And then I'll figure out what to do with the remaining 2HP.

starthief
It should maybe be obvious that the natural decay of a vactrol means it's not really usable for audio rate AM, but I had to try it to make sure. It's not. smile

Another nice use I find is running CVs through it, such as heavily slewed random voltages, and pinging it for a different modulation curve than Peaks gives.
starthief
An example of using pinged modulation CVs, among other things.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/298755167" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
starthief
Warps is here. It had Parasite pre-installed which saves me the trouble.

This is Warps blended between digital ringmod and XOR, with modulated phase self-modulation on channel 1 and sort-of-self-FMd sines from Three Sisters on channel 2; it's going into Rings V/OCT with Strum clocked at the same rate as the modulation envelopes. Starts with just the Rings output audible, and Warps fades in and I start noodling with knobs.

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A lot of people praise the delay in Warps Parasite but I'm not sure I'm in love with it; there are a lot of great VST delays, and the quirks of this one are going to take some getting used to. Many of the other modes are immediate wins though. For instance, I like the vocoder a lot more than I ever thought I would.

While I still feel like the Ataraxic Translatron is a bit of an outcast, I think Warps is helping to tie it together. I'm also finding better settings for it to use as a noise source for Rings.

With luck, Streams will arrive today; it's shipping from UK to US without a tracking number, but recent packages have tended to take about 11 days and that's what it's been.
starthief
I have a cable order from Perfect Circuit on the way, but today's patches tell me I didn't order enough additional Stackcables to get rid of my Erthenvar IVs. And I'm sometimes close to running out of passive attenuators too.

So I figured I'd try some options from Amazon made for headphones:

Belkin Rockstar Multi Headphone Splitter

Belkin Speaker and Headphone Splitter

In Line Headphone Volume Control

It's possible that the TRS jacks/plugs won't make proper contact with everything, but I figure, low cost = low risk. I'm especially hoping the inline attenuators work well enough for me. If not, I might build myself a combination passive mult / passive attenuator / breakout box.
starthief
Success. Those cheap inline attenuators work fine, and while they don't seem any sturdier than the Koma ones, the wheels on them are easier to adjust than the tiny slider. The Belkin hub is fine too. The regular splitter is apparently shipping separately.
starthief
This started off as just playing with Tides' High Tide (EOR) output and modulating Slope with an envelope for PWM, but threw a Bouncing Ball envelope from Peaks DMC at it, then got Warps and Three Sisters involved to rough it up some more, and added Rings as a second voice.

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Still waiting (impatiently) on Streams shipping. help:

Also now I have a Bastl Kastle on order, and joined the Kickstarter for Gecho Loopsynth, which should be fun.

My plan now:

-- evaluate Streams when it arrives. I strongly suspect its extra functionality will convince me it's a keeper, but there's a chance I'll feel I can replace it with either a Skis or a 4HP dual env and 2-4HP dual VCA.

-- if keeping Streams, the last empty space is likely to go to a 2HP LFO. The LFOs in Peaks aren't CV controllable, nor is the one in the MicroBrute, nor the Thingamagoop, and I use Tides as a VCO quite often.

-- the next major piece of gear, after selling some of my unused stuff and saving up a bit, is likely to be a 0-Coast. It makes more sense to me than getting another case yet.
starthief
Streams arrived, but one channel has a serious issue. Asking the seller about it, since it wasn't mentioned in the description or when I was asking about the module. Hopefully it can be resolved easily.

If so, I do think I like Streams' features enough to let it occupy the 12HP. The built-in filter is nice to have, I already found a nice patch that makes good use of the follower. Regular vactrol mode is a big meh, but I like the pinged vactrol mode better than my actual vactrol LPG since there's all kinds of control over its character.

Alternately, I could see putting a Function or Mini-Slew and a Skis in there. It means no filters, but the extra flexibility of a function generator and complete separation of simple D envelopes from VCAs, if I wanted that. But I think I'm favoring the Streams; I will get to play with a Function if I get the 0-Coast later as planned Mr. Green
dubstephead
baleen wrote:

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)


1+ for Zlob They also have a great 8hp 6 channel Vca +summing mixer and can overdrive nicely if desired. Its my go-to VCA. But I'm sure the 2hp one is great as well. Nice to see some Mannequins in there as well!
starthief
It's confirmed the DIY Streams has issues, and I'm returning it for a refund. I went ahead and ordered a new one from Perfect Circuit while it's on sale, and also a 2HP LFO which will complete the 3U. I'll have to think about rearranging them in a way that keeps the knobs accessible.
starthief
The new modules arrived Friday and I've been playing with them over the weekend.

Overall, I'm not quite sure how I feel about Streams. I like that it has a built-in filter, the vactrol emulation and the follower. It can sound pretty great for some purposes. Other times I have a bit of trouble with the dynamics -- I have some trouble getting it punchy without clipping at times. I need to work with it some more to decide whether to keep it, replace it, or add another ADSR or two.

The 2HP LFO does what it says on the tin. The max rate is a little slower than I'd like -- the manual says it has a range of 0.096Hz to 10.75, but I think I'd prefer doubling both ends. I could also wish for an attenuator built in (possibly giving up the gate output to make room?) But it has a good choice of shapes, despite a lack of random/S&H. The ability to sit partway between saw and square (for instance) yields fun results.

I'm going ahead with selling the Ataraxic Translatron, and will put in a Kinks instead.

I'm going to sell off some underused desktop synths and resist buying any more (except the Kastle I've ordered and the 0-Cosat I've decided on). I don't have much need for more synth voices, but I do think I'll add another 3U to give myself room for more utilities, modulation, control and processing.

For that second row, here are my current thoughts:

-- Clouds: I had been resisting looking at this, and then had a sort of hipstery "everyone else with Rings also has Clouds so I won't" attitude. But I think I could make great use of it.

-- Doepfer A-196 PLL: I will experiment more with the Dead Man's Catch PLL mode to be sure, but I suspect it's just not as crazy and fun as this thing.

-- Bionic Lester (mk 2 hopefully?): I really want to hear more demos of this, but I'm intrigued.

-- Frames: It's on my radar, but not a definite thing. I'd like to try one before buying, or at least see more about how people have been using it.

-- LS-1 Lightstrip: a bit of live expression and/or CV recorder seems like it'd be nice to have.

-- a basic mixer: I've been using Warps when it's not busy, or passive attenuators plus the summing inputs on S.P.O., when not just using multiple interface inputs. I have a cheap Behringer mixer but my current setup doesn't really allow me to keep it set up, so it's going unused. Even with it, a Euro mixer could be handy.

-- attenuators: I'm kind of sick of floating ones, honestly. The RYO Airtenuator isn't too bad but I haven't seen the complete ones in stock at US stores. An extra row will give me the luxury of racking some passive attenuation.

Now that I check Modular Grid, I see the total power draw will be more than one uZeus can handle and that's with some free space still, so I will plan on making it a second box. And for that matter, maybe a 6U so it's a bit more future-proof hihi or maybe I'll just rack-mount it.
starthief
Streams is still not sitting well with me in terms of dynamics, unfortunately. The compressor doesn't do anything for me (I prefer software compressors). The filters are handy to have, the follower is useful, but overall the module just isn't playing nice. Since I'm also planning to replace the Ataraxic Translatron, I have a bit of module chess to play here.

After hashing out my options, I think I'm going with the new 2HP VCA and a Function or Mini Slew.

That leaves 6HP in which I can add a second EG (2HP or Pico), filter (Pico VCF1 is a contender), Disting, Kinks, etc. according to what I feel will serve me best.


My Bastl Kastle arrived Tuesday and I've been very pleased with it. It wants a little bit more connectivity with my Euro stuff, which I can DIY on a breadboard or with a couple of 3.5mm-to-terminal-block gizmos. It doesn't work as nicely with my Olegtron 4060 as I'd hoped, but that's okay.
starthief
I'm really digging the Mini Slew! This is my first time using something like this. I have Tides, but an analog function generator/slew is something different.

As an envelope generator it requires a little bit more thought than an ADSR -- different responses from using Trigger (which always completes a full cycle) vs. Input (which may not hit the maximum level and may require a voltage boost, but won't "miss notes" if triggers are coming rapidly). But it's extremely flexible. [EDIT: after reading a bit here I found boosting the trigger voltage will make it retrigger reliably. But unreliable triggers can be useful too!]

As an envelope follower, again it took a bit of tweaking and my pocket oscilloscope to get the hang of it. Streams was a little easier to set up for following, the first time anyway.

As a portamento, it's really cool to be able to specify different rates for rising vs. falling pitch and to modulate the rates.

As an LFO it's just plain cool (but I'm used to that from Tides). grin

As a VCO, well... the manual says it roughly tracks 2-3 octaves, but 2 is extremely tricky to dial in. One octave is more realistic. And you can't tune it very high with Rise/Fall/Shape. It sounds nice for bass through an LPG though, whether using Vari-Out or the EOC or EOR pulse out. T-Comp has to be turned off for it to track, and it doesn't seem to help in any other situation.

As a trigger delay it works well -- admittedly I have never patched Tides as a trigger delay.

As an audio LPF it won't win any prizes. But for PWM and frequency dividing it's big fun -- all kinds of mischief in triggering it from Tides' High/Low outputs and then using one or more of its outputs to modulate Tides. grin

I'm not sure what else this thing might be capable of, but I'm very pleased with it already! w00t
starthief
0-Coast, Zlob Dual VCA, and Qu-Bit EON are all incoming, and I'm 95% sure the last 4HP will go to a Disting mk4 when those are available. hyper
starthief
The answer to "what else does Mini Slew do?" is LPG, sort of -- very different character from an actual LPG or from Streams -- and VCA thanks to the Vari CV input. Mr. Green

I'm also getting a somewhat better handle on using it as a filter. Quite often, the key for why it's not behaving like I think it should is the T-Comp switch.
starthief
I didn't post about the 0-Coast? Well, I love it. grin Except that mine came with a bad MIDI cable (sustained notes drop randomly; thankfully I had a spare cable to use instead) and the Dynamics indicator light didn't light up. Make Noise had me send it to them for repairs.

The EON is useful in my small system, but it's also going out for repairs/calibration. The tuning is a bit flat without the quantizer, and with the quantizer engaged it's a bit crazy. Also not entirely sure the noise range was working properly since I had to back off a bit from maximum to get the brightest sound.

Really loving the Zlob Dual VCA though. It's working much better for me, with whatever envelopes I feed it, than Streams did and the mix output is handy. Despite the warning about its 2HP possibly being wider than 2HP behind the panel, I didn't have any trouble fitting it in my skiff.

I wish the DPLPG had the same sort of panel layout. Somehow In, CV, Out makes more sense to me than In, Out, CV, and even after several weeks I'm frequently patching the DPLPG wrong.

At this point with the dual VCA, dual LPG, the ones in Warps and 0-Coast, and the internal one in Tides -- I really feel like I have more than enough VCAs. hihi And plenty of modulation, too.

My plan for a second row does have a couple more "incidental" VCAs as well as more modulation, but then it's probably going to need them with the addition of Clouds and Bionic Lester.
starthief
Instead of waiting on the Disting, I went for a Gozinta to "finish" the first 3U. Useful for overdriving audio and for boosting triggers into the Mini-Slew. My EON came back from repair too, and while the other oddities are fixed, the quantizer is still basically useless. Dead Banana Still, the non-quantized tuning is now no worse than V/OCT tracking on my Three Sisters, and mostly I expect to use it for noise and occasional envelopes anyway.

I finally ordered the furniture to redo the studio/office room, and that will arrive in a couple of weeks. Two IKEA Linmon/Alex tables and a matching corner desk. Should be a lot more desk space than we had in there before.

I've changed my mind on keeping my first 3U as a skiff. It's going to be racked in a sideless desktop rack stand along with the next row, and I'll get the upgraded uZeus power brick. I'm also putting a 1U power distribution gadget in the rack -- not unplugging wall warts all the time will improve my sanity and keep things tidier -- and adding a rackmount shelf for incidental small gear. Probably the CV.OCD will get mounted on there somehow.

I've got a Pittsburgh Lifeforms Mod Tools pre-ordered, waiting on the Disting mk4 release, and am starting to watch for opportunities to pick up some of the other gear on my planned list.

That list has evolved a bit over the past few weeks; Braids and Kermit have joined it and Clouds has dropped off (but whatever Olivier replaces Clouds with in the future is a strong possibility). I'm unsure about Bionic Lester and am going to delay that purchase.
starthief
I'm having a bit of a rethink about my expansion plans now. The reason I went into modular was to explore territory I wasn't reaching in software: the interaction between modules, much more interesting modulation, West Coast synthesis (which barely even exists in software), feedback, analog quirks and so on.

So I've changed my mind on Braids again. I'm sure it's a great module, and if I had one it'd probably get a decent amount of use. But it seems like it's more useful to someone not already sitting on a big pile of plugins. So I think I'm going to want to go for something a little more out there. I'm liking the idea of a Piston Honda especially because of the external input (I'm imagining it in feedback with Rings, among other things), but need to explore my options some more smile
starthief
Synchrodyne is the answer. I don't know how that flew under my radar before, since I've previously looked into switched-capacitor filters and PLLs.

And I just bought one on Reverb; a little more than what people have sold them for here, as expected, but still fair enough.

That also has me pulling Bionic Lester off my plan, and leaves some space in row 2 for the Sychrodyne Expander should I feel a desire for it, or for other things. smile
starthief
Well, holy crap. I have everything so far set up in the rack, and the Synchrodyne is currently bending my brain.

It's possible to get some conventional-ish filter sounds out of it, and certainly it can be used as a (quite nice) saw core VCO. But it's also full of madness. Gonna take a lot of messing with this thing to get a better feel for it.

I kind of can't imagine also trying to use the expander, at least not right now. eek!

Anyway. Tomorrow, new desks arrive (hopefully -- we still have a 12hr delivery window because they haven't called me yet) and we're tearing everything down, rearranging it and making it better. Which is good, because to make room to set up this rack stand I had to put away my Microbrute, so I have no keybaord set up. Going to have no anything set up in a few hours...
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