What does your Ambient rack look like?

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chilllwinston
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Post by chilllwinston » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:50 pm

huron wrote:Image

:yay:

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mwx1010
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Post by mwx1010 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:54 am

So this is where I'm at after a couple of years experimenting with things.

One of the things I was very keen to do was to try and get something that was an "instrument" rather than a collection of modules.

Image

Which then is driven by / outputs into:

Image

Observations:

- There are quite a few "doubles" here. This is partly deliberate i.e. Maths / Cold Mac. I was trying to get utilities / function generators which behaved consistently so I could really get to grips with them rather than having a bunch of different / inconsistent shapes to play with. Mainly though it's a functions of the modules I have i.e. two Warps because of the different Parasites modes (can't live without that delay), two Three Sisters (six sisters?) to use one as a sound source, one as a filter and two Mangroves as, well, Mangroves.

- I've been getting into the whole Serge "patch-programability" mindset - modules which can switch hit depending on how you patch them in.

- Feedback patching is good.

- RxMx is massively under-rated. It's so good for evolving / shifting sounds.

Next Steps:

- Live with this set-up for at least 6 months without swapping out anything / buying anything else. I spent a lot of time tinkering with this before committing to it and there's a huge amount of depth here. I'm at the stage where I really want to live with this as an instrument rather than a series of modules.

- I feel like I've barely scratched the surface with a couple of these modules (SMRF with new firmware, Morpheus). Also the dual Wasp is new and it looks like there's a lot to get out of it.

- I cannot get my FH-1 to play nicely with my Seaboard Rise. I know it's probably just a case of spending a day tinkering with the MIDI setup and then there's a world of expressive possibility there. It's just scary....

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Wedoh
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Post by Wedoh » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:46 pm

Image

I am planning my first eurorack rigg. My goal is to make ambient music and soundscapes with it.

:love:

Basically, i have figured out VCO, VCA, VCF, Envelopes, gates etc etc. The basics starts to fall in place.
What really really confuses me is the CV/gate source stuff .

I am having a hard time figure out what sources of randomness i need in my rack to control it all.
There are so many options that does a lot of cool stuff that i don't understand :hmm: . Like the Wogglebug, Disting, 4ms RCA, Ornament and Crime, Tempi, QU-bit Chance/Pulse.

My conclusion atm is that the Ornament and Crime seems to be a good option due to its many possibilities. Then again, it too need some source of randomness right? :oops:

Do you guys see any logic error in my rack? Like do i miss something? More VCAs, a mixer? More envelopes? :tu:

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Post by rustyjaw » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:27 pm

Wedoh wrote:Image
Do you guys see any logic error in my rack? Like do i miss something? More VCAs, a mixer? More envelopes? :tu:
I would say get a Dixie II + over the Dixie II, given it's only $9 (US) more and has an octave switch and more FM and PWM options. Yes, it's slightly wider, but you do have space.

Don't forget, with the expert firmware installed, Batumi can be a random source too :-)

It's not clear if you already own any of those modules, but you might consider buying one of each 'type' of module first (like one Osc, FX, modulation, filter, VCA) and work on patching those and then what you need/want next might become more clear.
Synth Enthusiast | Abandonment Photographer

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mwx1010
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Post by mwx1010 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:53 am

Wedoh wrote:Image

I am planning my first eurorack rigg. My goal is to make ambient music and soundscapes with it.

:love:

Basically, i have figured out VCO, VCA, VCF, Envelopes, gates etc etc. The basics starts to fall in place.
What really really confuses me is the CV/gate source stuff .

I am having a hard time figure out what sources of randomness i need in my rack to control it all.
There are so many options that does a lot of cool stuff that i don't understand :hmm: . Like the Wogglebug, Disting, 4ms RCA, Ornament and Crime, Tempi, QU-bit Chance/Pulse.

My conclusion atm is that the Ornament and Crime seems to be a good option due to its many possibilities. Then again, it too need some source of randomness right? :oops:

Do you guys see any logic error in my rack? Like do i miss something? More VCAs, a mixer? More envelopes? :tu:
This is a really nice setup but I would make a couple of tweaks.

First up you’re heavy on modulation (O&C, Batumi, Maths and Just Friends are all monsters and you’ve got the whole set...) and light on VCAs / Mixers. Frames is amazing but it looks like your only dedicated VCA / Mixer (well you have a quadratt but you’re likely going to end up using that for attenuation).

Unless you’re totally wedded to it I’d ditch the Erbeverb and replace it with a Blinds and a Veils - will give you 8 VCAs of which you can invert 4. Veils is also an excellent mixer.

I’d second the Dixie II+ over the II which I think leaves you 4hp over for whatever you fancy. The only other thing I’d look to slip in if you can is something to spit out triggers (to strum Rings and freeze Clouds). There would be a few ways you could go with this but I’d have a really good look at your 1u row to see if you can slip a Noise Tools in - it’s the secret weapon of the Intellijel 1u range.

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Post by richc90 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:21 am

rustyjaw wrote:It's not clear if you already own any of those modules, but you might consider buying one of each 'type' of module first (like one Osc, FX, modulation, filter, VCA) and work on patching those and then what you need/want next might become more clear.
This. As fun as it is to plan everything thing out, you should also give yourself space to grow and find out which kind of modules you enjoy and which you don't enjoy.

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Wedoh
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Post by Wedoh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:08 am

rustyjaw wrote:
Wedoh wrote:Image
Do you guys see any logic error in my rack? Like do i miss something? More VCAs, a mixer? More envelopes? :tu:
I would say get a Dixie II + over the Dixie II, given it's only $9 (US) more and has an octave switch and more FM and PWM options. Yes, it's slightly wider, but you do have space.

Don't forget, with the expert firmware installed, Batumi can be a random source too :-)

It's not clear if you already own any of those modules, but you might consider buying one of each 'type' of module first (like one Osc, FX, modulation, filter, VCA) and work on patching those and then what you need/want next might become more clear.
I think your right. One reason i am having a hard time figure out what i need is probably because i don't have the experience. It will like you say probably become more clear when i have like one voice to play around with.

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Wedoh
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Post by Wedoh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:24 am

mwx1010 wrote:
Wedoh wrote:Image

I am planning my first eurorack rigg. My goal is to make ambient music and soundscapes with it.

:love:

Basically, i have figured out VCO, VCA, VCF, Envelopes, gates etc etc. The basics starts to fall in place.
What really really confuses me is the CV/gate source stuff .

I am having a hard time figure out what sources of randomness i need in my rack to control it all.
There are so many options that does a lot of cool stuff that i don't understand :hmm: . Like the Wogglebug, Disting, 4ms RCA, Ornament and Crime, Tempi, QU-bit Chance/Pulse.

My conclusion atm is that the Ornament and Crime seems to be a good option due to its many possibilities. Then again, it too need some source of randomness right? :oops:

Do you guys see any logic error in my rack? Like do i miss something? More VCAs, a mixer? More envelopes? :tu:
This is a really nice setup but I would make a couple of tweaks.

First up you’re heavy on modulation (O&C, Batumi, Maths and Just Friends are all monsters and you’ve got the whole set...) and light on VCAs / Mixers. Frames is amazing but it looks like your only dedicated VCA / Mixer (well you have a quadratt but you’re likely going to end up using that for attenuation).

Unless you’re totally wedded to it I’d ditch the Erbeverb and replace it with a Blinds and a Veils - will give you 8 VCAs of which you can invert 4. Veils is also an excellent mixer.

I’d second the Dixie II+ over the II which I think leaves you 4hp over for whatever you fancy. The only other thing I’d look to slip in if you can is something to spit out triggers (to strum Rings and freeze Clouds). There would be a few ways you could go with this but I’d have a really good look at your 1u row to see if you can slip a Noise Tools in - it’s the secret weapon of the Intellijel 1u range.
Do i need to quantizes the noise first before sending it to Rings in that case?

I think ill go with the II+ instead, since its big difference in price and space.

I have been thinking a lot about the mixer. My goal is to mix it down to stereo. Have i understand it right that Frames uses panning in stereo or quad? In that case i would not need a stereomixer i guess. In that case the Veils would be perfect in between as the main VCA.

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Post by mwx1010 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:40 pm

Noise Tools will give you a couple of things you can use for Rings (as well as a bunch of other stuff). First up is a random pulse which you can use to strum rings - basically to make a sound ring out. You can use a trigger from a sequencer but it's sometimes nice with a bit of random.

The other is that you can use the noise output to feed into Rings rather than the built in input (which I think is white noise). The noise tools gives you white and pink, but you can use a filter to roll your own (blue noise into the "in" input puts you in pad heaven).

Either way, no need to quantise.

In terms of mixers you're going to struggle with what you have there - Frames is a single output = mono. You could use two channels each of the quadratt to give you a left and right two channel mixer which might be enough (particularly early on), but you're then losing your attenuators. Mixers are a whole other ballgame I'm afraid.
Last edited by mwx1010 on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by moremagic » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:12 pm

Wedoh wrote:I have been thinking a lot about the mixer. My goal is to mix it down to stereo. Have i understand it right that Frames uses panning in stereo or quad? In that case i would not need a stereomixer i guess. In that case the Veils would be perfect in between as the main VCA.
frames has a mixer & vcas but i think its better thought of as its own thing. you can do really cool things with frames but youre probably gonna want a regular mixer or two and a regular vca or 2 as well

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Post by p woods » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:00 am

More envelopes? thumbs up
In terms of envelopes, how do you use them in ambient?

I rarely use envelopes since long washing sounds which ambient tends to be don't really need them. In a system centered around rings and/or elements theres even less need for it. So to answer your question I at least don't really see the need for more than you already have!

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Post by soundslikejoe » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:21 am

p woods wrote:
More envelopes? thumbs up
In terms of envelopes, how do you use them in ambient?

I rarely use envelopes since long washing sounds which ambient tends to be don't really need them. In a system centered around rings and/or elements theres even less need for it. So to answer your question I at least don't really see the need for more than you already have!
Envelops are GREAT modulation sources.... or modulating modulation sources. Yesterday I was sending FM to Telharmonic, but controlling the amount with a Ramp cycling AD which passed through another AD pulsating a slow rhythm.

Neither of these are VCA modulations... but it gives the sound source an interesting pulse while evolving the tone.

Plus.... REAAAAALLLY slow envelops are great for VCA control in ambient. Helps keep the drone from being too boring.

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Post by cptnal » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:29 am

Stasis is the enemy of interest.

Envelopes are the enemy of stasis.

My enemy's enemy is my friend.

As to how you would use them in ambient, an envelope is basically a non-repeating (and generally unipolar) LFO. How you use that is up to your own imagination... :cloud:

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Post by baleen » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:30 am

p woods wrote:
More envelopes? thumbs up
In terms of envelopes, how do you use them in ambient?

I rarely use envelopes since long washing sounds which ambient tends to be don't really need them. In a system centered around rings and/or elements theres even less need for it. So to answer your question I at least don't really see the need for more than you already have!
as someone with a system centered around rings AND elements, having different excitation sources modulated by various length envelopes and/or other shapes is super delightful (as is modulation of almost all of rings and elements timbral characteristics).

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Post by p woods » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:01 am

Well alright guys you gave me something to think about!

I guess I am to close-minded when it comes to envelopes, as I usually think about them in use with a VCA, and LFOs etc. for modulation.

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Post by cptnal » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:20 am

We all carry our own little preconceptions, and most of the time we don't even realise we have them. That's why we come to MW :sb:

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Post by soundslikejoe » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:30 am

cptnal wrote:We all carry our own little preconceptions, and most of the time we don't even realise we have them. That's why we come to MW :sb:
+1

p woods: If you like LFO for modulation... put an LFO into a VCA and then use an Envelop to open/close that VCA in different ways before sending to the final destination.

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Post by monolithicfungus » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:09 pm

modlys wrote:Hi guys.

[video][/video]

[video][/video]
i'm a little late to the game here, but modlys, i have too say, I love these videos. You really nailed the combination of synthetic drone and organic string sounds.

sometimes i get so bogged down in the synth world that i forget that a tastefully effected guitar can really bring life to an otherwise all electronic composition. it's a gorgeous aesthetic.

terrific thread here, lots of inspiration. cheers.

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Post by vssp » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:05 am

Hi everybody, I'm french and just new to Eurorack, here after my current rack:

Image

I'm also using my Octatrack to sequence and sample both Rings and my Analog Keys. Here after a first jam with it:


It's a mid way between classic composition and experimental possibilities of Eurorack, I think that this dosage is naturally likely to evolve with practice... and modules!

So more to come I hope, cheers
Last edited by vssp on Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:33 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by js213 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:12 am

This is what I would consider my ambient rack, though pretty much all of my modular is for that purpose.

Still waiting on the E352 (should be here Wednesday) and the New Pam (pre-ordered at AH; old Pam is in it's place right now)

Reverb and delay duties are handled my Strymon pedals.

Image

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Post by js213 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:14 am

vssp wrote:Hi everybody, I'm french and just new to Eurorack, here after my current rack:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/568801
I'd love a Rainmaker. :love:

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Post by vssp » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:29 am

js213 wrote:
vssp wrote:Hi everybody, I'm french and just new to Eurorack, here after my current rack:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/568801
I'd love a Rainmaker. :love:
I'm just discovering it, it's a fantastic delay and drone/texture tool but I'm just scratching the surface, I have to say that with Rings it's beautiful...
Perhaps you should make room in your rack, but the modulations appear to take a big part of it... your Malekko Send/Return is also really appealing! What pedals do you use with it?

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Post by js213 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:46 am

vssp wrote:Perhaps you should make room in your rack, but the modulations appear to take a big part of it... your Malekko Send/Return is also really appealing! What pedals do you use with it?
I've got 15U more, so I can definitely fit it in somewhere.

I usually run everything through the Strymon BlueSky and Brigadier pedals. I also have a Malekko 616 delay and TC Hall of Fame when I want something different.

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Post by vssp » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:14 am

js213 wrote:
vssp wrote:Perhaps you should make room in your rack, but the modulations appear to take a big part of it... your Malekko Send/Return is also really appealing! What pedals do you use with it?
I've got 15U more, so I can definitely fit it in somewhere.

I usually run everything through the Strymon BlueSky and Brigadier pedals. I also have a Malekko 616 delay and TC Hall of Fame when I want something different.
15U more, ok, indeed... :love: so you should try it!
Thanks for the pedals, huge amount of delay/reverb, we're indeed in the ambient rack forum... where could I listen to what you do with this?

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Post by js213 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:30 am

vssp wrote:where could I listen to what you do with this?
I haven't uploaded much, but I put this up last week

https://soundcloud.com/user-488054552/the-upside-down

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