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(Poll)What's YOUR ideal size (U/HP) for a performance case ?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]

What's your favourite case size for playing out ?
6U - 84HP
14%
 14%  [ 14 ]
7U - 84 HP
7%
 7%  [ 7 ]
6U - 104 HP
29%
 29%  [ 29 ]
7U - 104HP
10%
 10%  [ 10 ]
9U - 84HP
10%
 10%  [ 10 ]
12U - 84HP
5%
 5%  [ 5 ]
12U - 104HP
15%
 15%  [ 15 ]
Other (tell us more)
7%
 7%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 97

Author (Poll)What's YOUR ideal size (U/HP) for a performance case ?
koyl
I'm currently building myself a eurorack system meant for live performances and now that my small case is almost full, I'm struggling with the choice of my next case.

The main question is: should I go for a foldable 12U 104 HP that will contain all of my modules, or should I split my whole system into a 6U or 7U 104HP performance case (as in transportable) and another studio case.

Both options have valid points:
*With the 12U, I'll have everything with me at all time but drawbacks are weight, size and having everything on hand might not be so manageable when playing live.

*The 6/7U will be easier to carry around, will be more limited in term of options, which might prove to be more stimulating and/or managable in a live setting. But since I have different projects (an industrialish beat-driven electronic one and an ambient/drone one in which I loop guitar & vocals on top of the synth sounds), it may require that I change the modules in the performance case often.

I'm sure a lot of people have and will face this dilemna and will have to answer this very same practical and "philosophical" question for themselves so It'd be great to hear about the thoughts of people who tour or often play out with modulars.

What kind of setup are you using ? How and why did you end up with ? What's your experience with going out with your modular ? Do you have external gear ? etc...


Let's not make this thread about my case (pun intended Miley Cyrus ) and feel free to add any stories/advices that might help us with this topic.
flx
For me weight and portability have become the deciding factors, as I generally travel by public transport.

My first "portable" all-in-one DIY case turned out way too heavy, although I still like its concept very much:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e--4qI0hro

Thread: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1626201

Then I used a portable 19" (84hp) 6+2U mixer case and a bag which was better although the number of modules was limited of course. It's now my "experimental" Klangbau Rack smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J6yS-kMc9M

As a second case I got a portable Bastl Instruments Rumburak (6U 104hp), which hit the sweet spot regarding size & weight:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPJ4vAsYqZ4
Spacey Blurr
I would like to have two touring cases that can close with the patch cables.
7U 84hp + 7u 104hp
I'd rather have two portable cases than one 12U case.
Also the 84 can fit carry on flights.

Currently I have the 7U 84hp synthrotek case. I haven't played out with it yet.

I've played out locally with with my 6U 84hp case that is big and lidless.
No issues transferring that but wouldn't want to tour with it.
I play with other hardware too in my performance.

If I was doing only modular I would love to have two 7U cases full of modules.
koyl
Thanks guys, this is all very interesting that you both choosed to go for several smaller setups.

It resonates with what I heard from Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner otr James Cigler in the Modular Podcasts videos: Despite having a lot of modules at home, they both chose to play out with 6U cases and ended up loving the limitations it implies.

@flx:
I've only watched the video of your DIY case (will watch the others later): great build and great ideas. The fact that you went though building it but went for a smaller, less all-in-one, solution says a lot.

@spaceyblurr:
My current case is a 7U 84HP synthrotek case, and I considered doing what you want to do: keeping it and buy a 7U 104HP later. I might use one for each project, or have two setups that I could use with any projects, but which would have different flavors.
The problem I have with this is I'd have to buy utility modules twice, like the Tiles, or a MIDI interface (I currently using a Beatstep Pro but would like to switch to an Octatrack in the future so I can use field recordings or concret sounds which is a big part of my sound when I make track with a DAW.). But I may not need a fancy MIDI interface on both, especially if one case has a sequencer in it.

I can't remember where I read this but someone here explained that he was travalling with 2 x 6U case instead of a 12U because, if he gets in trouble when boarding on a plane with his case(s), he can ask a friend to carry the other 6U. I thought that was pretty clever.
Some 12U have dimensions that will fit carry on limitations but they are often outside of them when it comes to weight.
wsy
I really like the Home Depot "Ridgid" branded case. You build it out with TipTop Z-rail as up to 12 HP; it's really tough
(definitely dustproof, may also be waterproof), costs only $20, and you have 150mm of vertical depth to spend any
way you like.

Mine is built out with 60mm of depth in the base (leaves ~40mm of knobspace) and the lid is still empty so I can add more
rails and modules when I want.

Full build thread is at:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=134976&postdays=0&po storder=asc&start=50

Here's what it looks like (or looked like back then; lots has changed.)



- Bill
koyl
Nice ! And your options are still openned thanks to the possibility of putting modules in the lid too.
It'd be interesting to see how it is now: Did you expend it ? Or is it still 6U with other modules ?
And you you play live with other gear or just the 6U ?

I'm asking because I'm very much interested in knowing if it's possible to "overcome" the playing time/number of modules relationship.
I've read here and there that you can't do much more than a 40 minute sets with a 6U.. but I also saw proof that it may not be true at all !
I watched Blush Response Boiler Room video yesterday and he does more than our hour with a 6U, an Octatrack and a Rytm, and it's quite varied.
So I'm just curious about how to pull this out.

@flx:
You Klangbau rack video is very inspiring !
I had never heard of Klangbau before.. I guess I still don't spend enough time here.. seriously, i just don't get it
Lots of great modules in there: The mini-tube VCA, the Waveshaper etc.. I'll have to get a closer look to them.

I like your DIY utility stripe at the bottom, especially the "select" switch on the right side. I'll have to get 1U blank panels and build some for myself to use to route what's coming in and out of my loopers (DLD and Reflex LiveLoop). I had been thinking of simple on/off switch but this is way better !
I guess the switches you used are 3-ways On-Off-On right ?
wsy
koyl wrote:
Nice ! And your options are still openned thanks to the possibility of putting modules in the lid too.
It'd be interesting to see how it is now: Did you expend it ? Or is it still 6U with other modules ?
And you you play live with other gear or just the 6U ?

I'm asking because I'm very much interested in knowing if it's possible to "overcome" the playing time/number of modules relationship.
I've read here and there that you can't do much more than a 40 minute sets with a 6U.. but I also saw proof that it may not be true at all !
I watched Blush Response Boiler Room video yesterday and he does more than our hour with a 6U, an Octatrack and a Rytm, and it's quite varied.
So I'm just curious about how to pull this out.


The longest I've "played out" on it was about an hour and a half, but that was "Halloween noises" for
Halloween... not dancing, not "active listening", just setting the background ambiance without some cheezy
tape loop that repeats every ninety seconds or so.

The rack was changed from the photo as well (from memory here, don't yell if I don't have it exactly right or the
HP count is wrong / won't fit):

It was something like:

Top row:
* Row Power 40,
* Turing Machine,
* Turing Machine Volts expander,
* Ultra Random random source,
* Harvestman Kermit (complex LFO)
* O'Toole oscilloscope
* Harvestman Hertz Donut Mk II (complex TZFM LFO/VCO)
* Synthrotek DLY
* WMD MMF
* WMD DPLR
* Optomix
* Maths

Bottom row:
* Rene
* Radio Music
* Pressure Points
* 4MS Spectral Multiband Resonator
* modDemix
* Erbe-verb reverb
* Rosie (output interface)

.... all going to a Crate Limo amp I stuck in a garage window facing incoming audience.

With all that sequencing / semirandom, I did not have to actually "play" the synth; I could let the sequences
unfold and occasionally wiggle a little - or go out and hear how it would sound to the audience.

Comments were uniformly good. Will do again.

- Bill
ngarjuna
I voted "Other" and would propose: dual 6U cases. Not quite the same as a 12U. Gives you the option to play "fuller" sets with the whole setup or, based on how you organize them, smaller satellite sets on one or the other. Almost all the advantages of both the 12U and 6U setups.

FWIW personally I gig with 3 6Us (one has a tile row so it's actually a 7U), an iPad, a Macbook, drum controller and a desktop synth.
flx
koyl wrote:

I've only watched the video of your DIY case (will watch the others later): great build and great ideas. The fact that you went though building it but went for a smaller, less all-in-one, solution says a lot.

Thanks! I would still love that all-in-one solution if I had a car grin As others have said though, limiting yourself to a smaller rack can be cool too. Before I built that case I restricted myself to 6U 84HP for a few weeks (I usually played with 12U at home back then) and it was an awesome experience with a bunch of fun jams.

koyl wrote:
I watched Blush Response Boiler Room video yesterday and he does more than our hour with a 6U, an Octatrack and a Rytm, and it's quite varied.
So I'm just curious about how to pull this out.

Having an Octatrack and Rytm, or any other sequencer/sampler/drum machine will let you increase your playtime a lot. You could for example bring some pre-made background tracks and play your modular live on top of those. Or play the modular first, then play with your other gear while re-patching your modular, play with modular again, etc.

koyl wrote:

I guess the switches you used are 3-ways On-Off-On right ?

Yeah, manual switches are really awesome! I have an A-Off-B and an A-B switch. If the A-B switch doesn't have anything patched on one of the sides, it acts as an on/off switch.
koyl
@wsy: Thanks for the details.

ngarjuna wrote:
I voted "Other" and would propose: dual 6U cases. Not quite the same as a 12U. Gives you the option to play "fuller" sets with the whole setup or, based on how you organize them, smaller satellite sets on one or the other. Almost all the advantages of both the 12U and 6U setups.

FWIW personally I gig with 3 6Us (one has a tile row so it's actually a 7U), an iPad, a Macbook, drum controller and a desktop synth.


That's quite an extensive setup ! cool

I'm more and more leaning toward this kind of setup. It makes plenty of sense, espacilly with my different musical projects and uses.
I don't have a car so the 6U or 7U would be convenient if I have to take public transportation. And if I ever work on more needy stuff (I, for example would love to do live music for dance acts (not EDM, I'm mean dancers ! ), I guess (and I hope) there'll be more means at my disposal to carry the gear.

flx wrote:
koyl wrote:

I've only watched the video of your DIY case (will watch the others later): great build and great ideas. The fact that you went though building it but went for a smaller, less all-in-one, solution says a lot.

Thanks! I would still love that all-in-one solution if I had a car grin As others have said though, limiting yourself to a smaller rack can be cool too. Before I built that case I restricted myself to 6U 84HP for a few weeks (I usually played with 12U at home back then) and it was an awesome experience with a bunch of fun jams.

koyl wrote:
I watched Blush Response Boiler Room video yesterday and he does more than our hour with a 6U, an Octatrack and a Rytm, and it's quite varied.
So I'm just curious about how to pull this out.

Having an Octatrack and Rytm, or any other sequencer/sampler/drum machine will let you increase your playtime a lot. You could for example bring some pre-made background tracks and play your modular live on top of those. Or play the modular first, then play with your other gear while re-patching your modular, play with modular again, etc.


Yes, having only a 6U would be kind of heart breaking and I guess getting another rack, a performance rack or a studio one (waaay cheaper) is the way to go.
I have this sort of fantasy of being able to have everything at all times (some kind of God complex ?) while being totally aware that I make more music if I focus on a few things and setting limitations. And I kind need changes to stay inspired so it makes sense to focus on a few modules and change them when I start to get bored..

I've spend the latest nights on Modular Grid trying setups and figuring out what to do, and it starts to make sense, especially with an Octatrack.
I plan to have 2 VCOs in the case, play one from an octatrack MIDI track (that would be the more static one.. maybe for basslines and such), while I would play the other VCO with a live:more random oriented seq in the case (probably a René). I could loop the 2nd VCO in the OT while I change the sound/seq of it in the rack..
I could work very well with carefully chosen VCO (I'm tinking of a Loquelic and a PistonHonda or complex VCO (Sputnik or DPO).

I actually recorded 2 track like this for my Techno project back when I had an Octatrack and an OP-1 and it works very well.

flx wrote:


koyl wrote:

I guess the switches you used are 3-ways On-Off-On right ?

Yeah, manual switches are really awesome! I have an A-Off-B and an A-B switch. If the A-B switch doesn't have anything patched on one of the sides, it acts as an on/off switch.

Perfect ! It might replace my need for a Mutamix. Time to order some 1U blank panel, switches and jacks. nanners
sellanraa
90 hp 6U+Octatrack is my primary setup for most sets. If I'm doing pop I may drop in the OP1 too.
koyl
I recently found this thread on the same subject matter.

sellanraa wrote:
90 hp 6U+Octatrack is my primary setup for most sets. If I'm doing pop I may drop in the OP1 too.

How do you split the duties between the OT and the Rack ?

I'm curious to know if you have filters in your rack (since you could use the in the OT) or if you're using the OT' Midi LFO to replace LFO you could have in Eurorack etc...
felix
I've performed with a few sizes (including a doepfer monster) and 2 rows of 104hp feels perfect to me. I actually use a MakeNoise CV Bus case though, so I guess technically that's 7U x 104.
koyl
Glad to find you here felix. You and Robin Rimbaud sayings in the Modular podcast are why I created this thread.

I saw your system in the "show your system" thread and it's definitely interesting to see the your only VCO is the DPO and to listen to the huge range of sounds you get out of that on your Bandcamp. SlayerBadger!
sellanraa
I try to use the OT primarily for sampling and effects and then I use a MIDI2CV module for potentially 4 MIDI channels. Ultimately, I end up using the MIDI on the OT mostly for just clocking stuff. I ended up taking the effects/sampling power out of my modular and so now that is purely synthesis. So they each have sort of discrete jobs within the setup while still having a fair amount of overlap depending on how I want to use the OT track assignments and such. I think they're a great pair though with a wide range of possibilities.
felix
koyl wrote:
Glad to find you here felix. You and Robin Rimbaud sayings in the Modular podcast are why I created this thread.

I saw your system in the "show your system" thread and it's definitely interesting to see the your only VCO is the DPO and to listen to the huge range of sounds you get out of that on your Bandcamp. SlayerBadger!

Thank you! I'm very happy to hear that.

I will say that it gets help from the Telharmonic too. I tend to use the Telharmonic as kind of a chord or harmony to what the DPO is doing. I use the Flux/Centroid pretty conservatively too, so it's not always super obvious what the Tel is filling in.

But, I also tend to use the DPO as two separate oscillators that "influence" each other - rather than one single complex voice. For example, I often tune VCO A and B to intervals of each other and have separate output paths for each - I will play with FM and timbre modulation during the course of the patch, but largely it's behaving more like two separate VCOs.
koyl
felix wrote:
koyl wrote:
Glad to find you here felix. You and Robin Rimbaud sayings in the Modular podcast are why I created this thread.

I saw your system in the "show your system" thread and it's definitely interesting to see the your only VCO is the DPO and to listen to the huge range of sounds you get out of that on your Bandcamp. SlayerBadger!

Thank you! I'm very happy to hear that.

I will say that it gets help from the Telharmonic too. I tend to use the Telharmonic as kind of a chord or harmony to what the DPO is doing. I use the Flux/Centroid pretty conservatively too, so it's not always super obvious what the Tel is filling in.

But, I also tend to use the DPO as two separate oscillators that "influence" each other - rather than one single complex voice. For example, I often tune VCO A and B to intervals of each other and have separate output paths for each - I will play with FM and timbre modulation during the course of the patch, but largely it's behaving more like two separate VCOs.

That was one of my favourite thing to do back when I had a DPO. I was able to coarse a lot of indian-like instruments sounds by inter-FMing the 2 VCOs so one would reach the pitch slower than the other. Just enough to give that quarter-tone flavor while remaning in the occidental scale system.
xenosapien
pretty much my go-to technique for the DPO as well!

I just love feeding them both different CV sequences, but having the "follow" value up until about 70-ish percent on OSC A, so I will always get 'slewed', slightly weird sequences without any additional modules.

FYIW:
my "ideal" performance case size would be 6U - but with that I´d also have to take my Octatrack, since sequencers would take up too much space in the case for that...

So either 6U@104hp + Octatrack, or 2x 6U cases (I have one 104hp and one 85hp case, smaller one housing the sequencers).
Outtatune
Enjoying this thread and listening to the sounds of some who have posted here. Awesome stuff! I'm new to playing out with modular but my whole rig is built with portability and flexibility in mind. My 12U x102HP Amalgamod, Octatrack, and a backpack is one man/one trip portable. I started with 9U x84HP but quickly filled it up. The 12U was available locally and I've been a happy guy ever since.

I'm really tempted to add an analog poly synth to the rig as an additional controller and sonic layer (P6!)... but that would involve carrying more than I want to the gig, and people watching me play might expect decent keyboard chops :(.

koyl
@xenosapien & Outtatune: Ho do you split the duties between the Octatrack & Modular ? Are you not overwhelmed by the number of things to take care of (especially you Outtatune because you have a 12U) ?

I'm asking because this question is at the core of the choice of case I'll have to make. Since I want my system to have synth voices + do live-looping + external processing, it has become quite clear a 12U might be a better option. BUT I'm afraid that managing the modular & OT will be too complicated.
I'm very curious about how you do it.
Outtatune
koyl I'm only 18 months into my modular journey and my first live show was only a few months back so take what I say with a grain of salt. Prior to solo modular I was a keyboard player in various cover bands through the years.

I find it easy NOT to be overwhelmed by 12U + Octatrack because... I'm not that smart. I don't use even half the functionality of either the Octa or the modular! I'm still learning both the science and the art of this and both are deep enough that the process of discovery will be there for some time.

Here is my workflow:

The Amalgamod is designed so that you can keep it patched when its closed. That means I can pre patch and practice sets in advance. Some might not want that, but that's my comfort zone. I've got 4+ full voices in my rig plus a bunch of both manual and wired switches plus a tonne of modulation plus sequenced sample and MIDI playback... but I never use it all at once. I try to keep it simple.

Everything is driven by the Octatrack. It provides master clock and two channels of gate+CV via Yarns, and the MIDI out of Yarns loops to Erica's MIDI to Trigg module, giving me 8 sequenced triggers. Using the A150, A151, and Branches I can programmatically turn things on and off or reroute them.

The Octatrack is also my output mixer using four Through Machines, so a double tap on the Octa STOP button stops the clock and mutes the audio, while a single tap would stop the clock but let envelopes and reverb tails do their thing. That leaves me "only" four channels of sample playback on the Octa.

Octa inputs A and B are set up as a stereo pair with no effects, and take the output of my Erica Stereo Mixer. That is fed with stereo sources such as Rings, Clouds, and my Pico DSP and any mono source I want to have CV pan control over. Inputs C and D are set up as mono to stereo and have two "flying leads" connected that I can patch where I want into the modular. Lately I've been trying to be consistent with how I use Octa effects on C and D so when I reach for a lead I have a thought in mind... "ooo... I want Dark Reverb on this... grab Lead C" for example.

For practice/composition or just daily screwing around the Octa's main outs go to a Zoom H5 and I use headphones for monitoring. I could/should be able to set up cue monitoring via the 'phones as well but again I'm not that smart. You mention live looping is your thing, and to be honest I've never tried it. I've sampled my modular and use treated samples in sequenced Octa playback, but I've never done the live loop thing.

My last thought is weight. The 12U Amalgamod is plastic and aluminum and weighs nothing. Power is via external bricks. A 12U wooden case with an internal PSU will probably weigh a lot more. FWIW 6U x104 plus a 3U x104 skiff is probably what I would have ended up with if the Amalgamod hadn't come my way (I purchased it second hand from a mate).

Here is the full rig at home last night. Working on a track inspired by @felix... who has some very cool stuff on his Bandcamp BTW.

I hope this long post helps!



felix
Outtatune wrote:
Everything is driven by the Octatrack. It provides master clock and two channels of gate CV via Yarns, and the MIDI out of Yarns loops to Erica's MIDI to Trigg module, giving me 8 sequenced triggers. Using the A150, A151, and Branches I can programmatically turn things on and off or reroute them.

The Octatrack is also my output mixer using four Through Machines, so a double tap on the Octa STOP button stops the clock and mutes the audio, while a single tap would stop the clock but let envelopes and reverb tails do their thing. That leaves me "only" four channels of sample playback on the Octa.

Octa inputs A and B are set up as a stereo pair with no effects, and take the output of my Erica Stereo Mixer. That is fed with stereo sources such as Rings, Clouds, and my Pico DSP and any mono source I want to have CV pan control over. Inputs C and D are set up as mono to stereo and have two "flying leads" connected that I can patch where I want into the modular. Lately I've been trying to be consistent with how I use Octa effects on C and D so when I reach for a lead I have a thought in mind... "ooo... I want Dark Reverb on this... grab Lead C" for example.

That's a nice way to set it up. I won't worry too much about wether or not you're using the OT's "full" potential. I find that it's really easy to use so much of the OT that you totally paint yourself into a corner and end up fighting against it instead. So much can be done with just having it generate clock and process via Thru+Neighbor machines as you're doing. In fact, when I do stuff where the OT is doing lots of sampling and processing I have to really scale back what I'm doing on the modular to keep from getting totally confused and lost. For example, a favorite technique:
Setup track 1 for recording into buffer 1. I like to set a one-shot trig on step 1, but not armed.

Setup 2-4 tracks as flex and each with buffer 1 as the source. Turn the AMP hold time down and set short-ish releases so that you really only get 1-2 steps long of a sound. Lay down some triggers and P-lock different pitches, start points, fx stuff, etc.

Now, hit play and at different times, manually arm track one (Hold track 1 button and tap "Enter/Yes". At this point, when step1 comes around, it will sample the input for however long you set the recorder buffer for (I usually just do 16 steps) and the other tracks will start playing totally tweaked playback of that buffer.

I'll usually just feed a sine wave in and get this huge elaborate sound collage.
Sending more elaborate signals in to be sampled starts to get to unwieldy.

Outtatune wrote:
Here is the full rig at home last night. Working on a track inspired by @felix... who has some very cool stuff on his Bandcamp BTW.

Honored! Thank you! Would love to hear when you finish.
authorless
I am at 15u/84hp. Probably going up to 18u/84hp this year.
koyl
@Outtatune: Thanks a lot. It does help and inspire !
If I end up going for a 12U, that's not to use everything at all time but more to have more tools at my disposal to adapt to the track or live set I'm working on.

If I use live-looping with external source, I'll probably use only 1 or 2 synth voice. But If I could also do a techno track with 4 synth voices, beats in the Octatrack and no live-looping.

Having 12U of modules also allow to prepare several voices that you can switch on and off for different part of a live-set.

Thanks for the head-up on the Erica MIDI to Trigger: Really nice way to use it and to spare a trigger sequencer. I was planning to get a Varigate8 to trig things on the Reflex LiveLoop and DLD but this might do the trick.
koyl
So after weeks of intense debate with myself, I'm now able to answer my own poll.
My system is now a full 9U 84HP, I'm very happy with what I have and can do a lot but I also wish for a few specific modules (like the Benjolin or a Jupiter Storm) and more utilities.
This made me took the decision of going for a foldable 12U. Having less would have had me splitting hair about what modules to chose for each show so having everything at my disposal makes more sense. (I don't really plan to buy more modules when this case is full.. or it'll be a new case for a specific purpose).

I placed the order yesterday and will have to wait 3 or 4 weeks before it's ready.
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