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Shared System or Voyager XL ??
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author Shared System or Voyager XL ??
nikarga
Fellow Wigglers.. am in a little bit of a dilemma to say the least..
I been wanting to get into modular for some time and have enough saved to go down that route with a serious setup.

For background, I am not a keyboard player.. I love electronic music and ambient stuff.. and I am familiar with subtractive synthesis..

I'm about to pull the trigger on a Make Noise B&G shared system.. but then stumbled across the Voyager XL.. Im hesitant to pull the trigger on the MN because I'm struggling to find many melodic demos - with the exception of 1 demo video, the videos are generally like hearing 2 animals chewing metal rods whilst fucking noises (as someone else has mentioned previously).

No offence to some of the creative geniuses out there, I can appreciate the complexity but... its just not something which really interests me.

The main reason for going modular was to get into some funky west coast stuff and to escape some of the linearity of my Elektron boxes.. Can I achieve the same with a Voyager XL?

Make Noise B&G looks awesome and I like the fact it is self contained. I would also add I have no interest in building a modular from scratch or researching different components - I am aware of the flexibility of building from scratch.. I am just not interested.

I can't help but feel that if I am to buy ONE instrument that will last a lifetime, the Voyager XL is up there.

I like melodic stuff and own an OB-6 (love the notch filter), an Octatrack and, an MD UW+.. I am looking to compliment my polyphonic setup..

In your expert opinion, what would you recommend, the Voyager XL or the MN Shared System? hmmm.....

I want to have fun..

The experimentation, looks, forward thinking and awesomeness of the B&G is bad ass crazy... But - the sound, build, patchable approach of the XL is also very appealing and perhaps the best of both worlds? It's also no longer made.. I think it will be a classic in years to come?

Any MuffWizdom will be GREATLY appreciated - sorry if this post sounds redundant... applause thumbs up
Helmey
nikarga
I have an XL and a 24U Eurorack system and I'd suggest doing some more research. If you just stumbled upon the Moog Voyager XL, then there's probably some other awesome gear you've missed out on.

The Shared System is very nice, but dated at this point. The good thing is that it is a nice selection of modules that enable infinite possibilities. The bad thing is that you will have to work hard to get the melodic sounds you want. It's not instant gratification. It also can be the beginning of a incurable addiction to Eurocrack if you're not careful... And the writing on the modules is cryptic as hell. I hate their graphics, but love some of their modules.

The XL is a beautiful instrument, but it is pretty basic in terms of functionality. There's no arpeggiator or sequencer or effects, and the patch points are all CV, not audio patch points, so it's really a simple, expensive, handmade, semi-semi-modular monophonic synth. If you're not a player, it's a bit of overkill as it's so huge and heavy, but it does sound terrific and the 61-key keyboard is magnificent on a mono synth. Sadly, it's the least used keyboard in my arsenal and I use it for my Xpander controller more than I do as a synth.

There is a glut of really great new gear out there. Before you pull the trigger, make sure and look at synths like the Oberheim Two-Voice (don't own, wish I did), the Dave Smith Pro-2 (own and love it) and whatever new gear is coming at NAMM. (I'm praying for a new Korg Arp 2600) These modern classics have many of the features you are looking for, and much more, and will definitely stand the test of time just as well as the Voyager.
nikarga
Helmey, thanks for this information. I have both the Voyager and MN on hold into NAMM. I think the Korg Arp 2600 if released could be killer.

Thank you for the valuable advice.. i know the XL is big.. just saw awesome when I hear stuff like this:



I love the fatness and simplicity. I guess I also prefer the melodic sounds that Alessandro Cortini does with his Easel - what attracted me to modular.

I dont always have the cash for this type of gear so would rather buy 1 great piece of kit rather than another few boxes. I am aware with the same money I can buy another 2 Elektron boxes, a Dominion 1 and still have change. The problem is that then I try to incorporate too many things and lose focus.

How versatile is the XL in patching? Is it maybe worth saving some money and buying the Electric Blue Voyager instead? Fwiw, I'm not keen on an RME and have heard mixed reviews on its build.. id rather own the keyboard version.

Is the shared system really that dated? Thats what worries me.. the Voyager Line has been around for donkeys years and is still a super synth no matrer how much people bitch about its sound. Personally I prefer it to the Minimoog D but thats all subjective..
nikarga
I should also mention I don't want to buy more DSI gear.. i listened to the Pro 2 and it is truly great..

Different animal so not a fair comparison but was more impressed when I demo'd the OB-6 which resulted in me walking out the door with..

I know it doesnt have a sequencer or arpeggiator but I can sequence it wih my OT and soon my Cirklon so not too fussed. Am more interested in the modular aspect of the XL as there are literally no real demos out there.. the additional LFO is cool.. even if overall rather rudimentary when compared to full modular.

The appeal of the MN is also to refrain from going euroack crazy - not destroying the aesthetics of the B&G is also a motive.
cyclopeatron
This is not meant to be snarky at all, but if you are not willing to put the time into understanding how to build a modular system from the ground up the MN Shared System will most likely (1) frustrate the heck out of you, and/or (2) be used to only 10-20% of its capacity and be a let down. IMO it's a system for intermediate/advanced synthesists who want to play with generative processes. Based on what you're saying I am guessing you probably wouldn't get much use out of a large part of the system unless you have the drive to explore and experiment - which it seems you may not since you don't want to grow your own system (?).

If you want a great sound for melodies with some nice modulation capabilities the XL would be a better bet. Better grab one while you can! They've been discontinued due to part supply problems. I'd love to have an XL! They're amazing machines. (But don't really sound "west coast" to me).

If you want easy "west coast stuff" without building your own system, try a 0-Coast or Sound Easel.

IMO you should buy the XL and when you get more money and learn patching a bit better, try to grow your own rack organically.
nikarga
Thanks for the advice. To clarify, I intend to learn whatever I end up getting. I have the basics of synthesis down fairly tight, the traditional VCO-VCF-VCA.. ive watched all the MN vids and understand quite a bit - have also read the manuals and it intrigues me..

The only thing I was wondering was how flexible the patching is on the Moog... i know that the shared system will keep me busy, will I get bored with the Moog?

I dont mind a bit of deep diving but you do make a point that the XL wont be available for ever as its now discontinued.

Anyone with experiece patching the Moog? No matter how rudimentary when compared to a modular, can you still make enough combinations/sounds to keep you busy for a while?

Drones, mutating and evolving soundscapes etc? Away from obvious bass and lead patches..
luketeaford
The shared system can be used for melodic pieces -- it's all about how you patch it. I routinely use mine for melodic "rock" sort of material in addition to "west coast" influenced weirdness.

The Voyager XL's selling points seem to me: the ribbon controller, a really nice keyboard, and a versatile, polished modern subtractive synth voice. I have limited experience having only played around with one in the Moog showroom for 15-20 minutes.

Basically, if you want drones, mutating and evolving soundscapes with the Moog, I'm sure you can, but it's going to take some effort. I think it's fair to say it doesn't have capabilities as broad as the shared system, which will be more difficult to make play nicely with the rest of your setup (no MIDI unless you get a third party module which you seem uninterested in), and more difficult to get your head around. If you're not drawn to the particular set of modules that comprise a shared system, it may be difficult to recommend (even though I love mine). Guinness ftw!
cyclopeatron
nikarga wrote:
Drones, mutating and evolving soundscapes etc? Away from obvious bass and lead patches..


If this is what you want you should absolutely go with the MN system. The Voyager is not the best choice.

And if you want to play with creative patching, and be entertained that way, the MN is a no-brainer. That's pretty much the purpose of the Shared System. Thats not really what the XL is about...

In my mind the only advantage of the XL - the thing the MN can never do - is patch memory. Pretty much everything else you can get from the MN by buying a few extra modules or controllers.
nikarga
I mean Maths is a beast, Optomix concept of VCFA is original, Rene looks very intuitive and I like the fact it has effect modules in there (although I have an H9 Max which rocks).

Any examples of melodic stuff on the Make Noise i can listen to?
Ive seen Eurorack examples using the mighty Clouds and Er-101 sequencer (what a beast).. but i care specifically for the MN shared system only..

Would love to hear some melodic demos if you have any to share!

nanners
nikarga
This is the only melodic MN Shared System video I've seen.. coincidently by the same guy who did the Voyager XL demo i posted above.. the guy is a genius:



If there are more examples of MN melodic stuff, I would really love to hear them. Rockin' Banana!
luketeaford
I think there are quite a few out there -- This thread of Shared System patches is uncurated but will give you some idea of the system's flexibility:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=77764&postdays=0&pos torder=asc&start=0

Here's Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith using a lot of Make Noise stuff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcb-xv174GM

This album of mine is mostly (at least sort of) melodic and is 100% Shared System except for one track which uses a Minibrute filter and one which has backing chords by three overdubs of an MS-20 mini)
https://soundcloud.com/luketeaford/sets/un-jeune-homme-de-nulle-part

Also Make Noise/Walker have some very melodic demos on their YouTube account -- I'm thinking of the Rene Plane of Composition patch in particular.

Also check out James Cigler's Make Noise demos, and Peter Speer has a handful of melodic MN tracks (though I can't recall if they are a shared system, but the point is his work is great)

I'm leaving out so many others here, but there is a lot of talent around! we're not worthy
cyclopeatron
I have to be honest I don't really understand what you're asking for. It seems like you're pretty familiar with both systems. The comparison you're proposing about as apples-to-oranges as you can get. They both sound very different and each will give you a completely different experience.

Another thought... If you want the incredible, thick Moog sound with the flexibility of modular patching you should look at the AJH MiniMod system:

http://www.ajhsynth.com/Minimod.html


Then if you later decide you really want to branch into Buchla-sounding territory you can get a DPO and/or Optomix to add in there!

I have MN and AJH (including DPO and AJH VCO) in my system. They're really different but all fantastic.
nikarga
cyclopeatron wrote:
I have to be honest I don't really understand what you're asking for. It seems like you're pretty familiar with both systems


Indeed, I mean i know what they do - am just curious how easy it is to make thick creamy sounds like the Moog.. and how versatile the Moog is. Is it easier for one to replicate sounds of the other?

Sorry for the confusion - i like the convenience of the Moog and the fact its a modern classic. But if its modulation is extremely basic, then I should probably get the MN..
cyclopeatron
nikarga wrote:
how easy it is to make thick creamy sounds like the Moog.. and how versatile the Moog is. Is it easier for one to replicate sounds of the other?


The MN shared system will never sound anything like a 3xVCO Moog.

The Moog is not capable of making sounds like a DPO/Optomix rig.

They sound totally different! But both great!

nikarga wrote:
i like the convenience of the Moog and the fact its a modern classic. But if its modulation is extremely basic, then I should probably get the MN..


Again - why not the AJH MiniMod System? You get the Moog sound and the modular... uhh... modulation. And it would be a fraction of the price.
Helmey
nikarga wrote:
Helmey, thanks for this information. I have both the Voyager and MN on hold into NAMM. I think the Korg Arp 2600 if released could be killer.

Thank you for the valuable advice.. i know the XL is big.. just saw awesome when I hear stuff like this:

I love the fatness and simplicity. I guess I also prefer the melodic sounds that Alessandro Cortini does with his Easel - what attracted me to modular.

I dont always have the cash for this type of gear so would rather buy 1 great piece of kit rather than another few boxes. I am aware with the same money I can buy another 2 Elektron boxes, a Dominion 1 and still have change. The problem is that then I try to incorporate too many things and lose focus.

How versatile is the XL in patching? Is it maybe worth saving some money and buying the Electric Blue Voyager instead? Fwiw, I'm not keen on an RME and have heard mixed reviews on its build.. id rather own the keyboard version.

Is the shared system really that dated? Thats what worries me.. the Voyager Line has been around for donkeys years and is still a super synth no matrer how much people bitch about its sound. Personally I prefer it to the Minimoog D but thats all subjective..


Don't hold your breath on the 2600. It's only a personal dream/prayer. we're not worthy

Cool video. He didn't do it with just his Moog. I heard a ton of Strymon. The patching on the XL is primarily for voltage control, there is little ability to self-patch audio (none on the front panel), which limits its usefulness, although there is an external audio and filter input. My goal was to incorporate some Eurorack with my Moog, but that has proven to be a less-than-perfect solution due to some known voltage scaling issues.

FWIW, build issues - electronics - have been a problem for me with Moog generally, including the XL. That's why the new name doesn't do anything for me anymore and I won't recommend them. But if it's what you crave...

The Shared System isn't a old product in people years, but it's old in product years. Since the Shared System came out, MN [and others] has released a lot of new modules. I was hot on the Easel as well, until I heard about the build issues with the new units. I'm having plenty of fun with my Euro system.

You may want to learn more about the Eurorack market if you are really interested in patching. It's hard to be in 'just a little'. There is a lot going on and a lot of other 'systems' that might be more suitable for what you want. I wouldn't want to start with Rene as my first sequencer. It's quite daunting.

One aspect of Eurorack to consider is that it is made for people who want to build their own custom synthesizers. The choice of modules is very personal and based on your workflow and preferences. You get to pick exactly what you want, and how much. That is why buying a system somewhat defeats the purpose of getting into Euro, and why putting together a system requires so much research [and trial and error].

It's good you are spending carefully. Better to hold out until you are absolutely sure of what you are buying. The Voyager XL starts to look cheap once you start pricing out Eurorack systems, so I understand your reluctance to get into that swamp. Good luck!
loydb
For less than the price of either, buy a 0-coast and two or three Mother-32s, and save the rest of the money to build out a small Euro skiff once you have some idea of wtf you want to do...
BlackMarbleFelix
One aspect of Eurorack to consider is that it is made for people who want to build their own custom synthesizers. The choice of modules is very personal and based on your workflow and preferences. You get to pick exactly what you want, and how much. That is why buying a system somewhat defeats the purpose of getting into Euro, and why putting together a system requires so much research [and trial and error].

THIS
BlackMarbleFelix
I would say if you want to make melodic-type modular music you might want a quantizer. MN system doesnt have that. Even though you "can" make melodic music with it, I dont think its the best set of modules for that.
BlueWolfSe7en
First thing I thought of when reading the initial post was, (as cyclopeatron says), an AJH system. As mentioned you could later add some more West Coast style modules.
Drop Alan an email, he's a top bloke! info@ajhsynth.com
Helmey
BlackMarbleFelix wrote:
I would say if you want to make melodic-type modular music you might want a quantizer. MN system doesnt have that. Even though you "can" make melodic music with it, I dont think its the best set of modules for that.


The Rene sequencer has a quantized output and can be very melodic - once you figure out how to use it. It never worked with my dry fingers.
BlackMarbleFelix
Quote:

The Rene sequencer has a quantized output and can be very melodic - once you figure out how to use it. It never worked with my dry fingers.


Touche I did not realize that. To be honest Rene is one module that I have a hard time understanding though I've watched videos. I *think* its badass but cant be sure...

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luketeaford
Rene is bad ass -- you can be sure of it! You can use it to sequence two tracks at once (the second one won't be quantized, but you don't have to use it for pitch...)
nikarga
BlueWolfSe7en wrote:
First thing I thought of when reading the initial post was, (as cyclopeatron says), an AJH system. As mentioned you could later add some more West Coast style modules.
Drop Alan an email, he's a top bloke! info@ajhsynth.com


Hey dude, I will do - I spoke with Phil and Simon down at LondonModular too.. top blokes. By the way the EIT-1 I bought from you does fit my desk!

Guys this is great information and thank you. I have a budge of about £4k and definitely want to be wise the cash. I'm on the waiting list for a Cirklon but have an Octatrack for midi sequencing initially if need be.

So - The options I've narrowed it down to are the following:

1. Make Noise B&G
2. Voyager XL
3. Voyager plus 104HP Eurorack: Clouds/Rings/Yarns/Maths/Loquelic (?)
4. Voyager plus Strymon BigSky
5. Full out Eurorack badguy

If I go for option 3, help me build a single row 104HP Eurorack to start? (my budge is c. Eur 1.5k)

If I go for option 5 and build a 2 row 208HP instead, I've come up with the following modules:

Yarns, Clouds, DPO, Maths, Loquelic, ER 101 (or Rene), 3 sisters, Veils, Optomix, Malekko mix4, Just Friends, O'Tool+...

Am open to suggestions - I'm after drones, atmospheric landscapes and melodies.. not blips/farts/scratching death pings nanners

Cheers for the advice guys!!!!
mousegarden
Sticking to these two choices, I'd get the Make Noise, tremendously versatile, expandable, and doesn't fall out of bed price-wise.
If it's the Moog sound you're after specifically, the Voyager is "OK" sort of. I had one and sold it a few months after I bought it for a fraction of what I paid for it, I had real trouble. It was underwhelming, the storage, knob response, and memory side of it spoil it for me, it's too much of a compromise.
Better off getting something like a secondhand Mini or reissue, but preferably an original.

I'd get the Make Noise.

Opening up a real can of worms, you could start afresh, and put together an East/West rack, Make Noise, AJH, Pittsburgh etc.
nikarga
mousegarden wrote:
Sticking to these two choices, I'd get the Make Noise, tremendously versatile, expandable, and doesn't fall out of bed price-wise.


I'm starting to lean that way.. ive watched the MN vids and even though the system is now "old", it feels very freakin' intuitive.. wonder if they are releasing a newer badguy at NAMM today... its preview day so if anything we'd prob know.
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