VCA quagmire

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

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Audio Resistance
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VCA quagmire

Post by Audio Resistance » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:25 pm

Greetings all,

I started a sound processing modular a while back for all of my outboard synths. The modules I have got so far are as follows

Harvestman,
Polivocs
Zorlon Cannon
Malgorithm
Tyme Sefari+SOT

Cwejman,
MX-4s mixer
D-LFO

Doepfer,
A-137 wave multi
A-188-2 BBD
A-143-1 complex eg
A-119 ext in
A-182-1 switched multi
A-199 spring reverb
plus a 6u racked case

Metasonix,
TM-1
Tm-2

All of this was bought in a two week period to process my other keyboards.I was brand new to the modular world and still learning as I go..I thought at the time that VCO's were not necessary because I am pretty well covered in the keys department. So I was wrong of coarse and the modular demon has stolen my soul and filled it with greed and lust.

So I have placed a pre-order for 2 Livewire AFG and a Frequensteiner and realized that I will also need VCA and envelopes. My choices seem to Plan B
or Cwejman and I really do not want to spend the cash on the Cwejman( I do love what I have though).

So here is my question does 2 Plan B 38 adsr and the Model 25 sound right or should I get the Model 13 gate.I do not know if I should just stay traditional with the vca or try the lowpass gate route.

I really can only afford one right now because I still have to buy another 6u case and a Kenton pro mkII. I am totally open to other suggestions on VCA's or eg's I am really just not interested in Doepfer because the modules I have are rather noisy.

Also if you see something that I am missing here to get started with the oscillator section of my modular please feel free to point out my ignorance.

Sorry for the long drawn out first post.

Cheers,
Rob

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Cybananna
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Post by Cybananna » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:42 pm

I love my Plan B dual LPG. It operates as a LPG or a traditional VCA so it has both feels. It's hard to go wrong with it! I always use it as a LPG though. I quickly fell in love with the sound. I think it's for audio only though. you may need some other VCA's for CVs.

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felix
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Post by felix » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:20 pm

I too love my Plan B LPG, I also really like the Doepfer A-132-3. The LPG definitely has more character to it, and fantastic for plucky and percussive sounds, but you might not always want the "ring" that it has, particularly wit lower frequencies. It takes a while to fully "close".

As for EGs, I absolutely love the Plan B M10. LOVE IT! However, they might not be suited for "keyboard" use as they are just AD envelopes and do not pay attention to sustained gate input or the falling edge (key release). The newer mkII units will retrigger though. You're best bet might be with the Plan B M28 (CV of ADSR params is rad) or the Doepfer QuadADSR. I used to have that one and it was great, but I'm not a keyboard player and was finding little need for ADSRs. That one has 4 and has trigger/gate outputs or when certain stages have completed. Great for triggering other modules, or the other ADSRs (like having a 2nd envelope trigger a filter sweep once the decay phase has finished on your 1st envelope opening the VCA).

I made a video a long time ago with the QuadADSR and the M13:
[video][/video]

There's also one for the M10:
[video][/video]
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Audio Resistance
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Post by Audio Resistance » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:43 pm

felix wrote: You're best bet might be with the Plan B M28 (CV of ADSR params is rad) or the Doepfer QuadADSR. I used to have that one and it was great, but I'm not a keyboard player and was finding little need for ADSRs.
Do you mean the 28 Tap clock or the 38 with the 38a extra control?

That video does bring up the question of a attenuator on the M25 and how I would control that. These things add up so quickly, I had no idea truly how expensive this would be. How is the vca on the Analog Solutions?

So maybe I will go with the M38(2 of them) and the M13 and just deal with the coloration from the vactrols and slow response. Rats, i really want both!!

Cheers,
Rob

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Post by felix » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:48 pm

Oh yeah, sorry, the 38, not the 28 (tap clock). :doh:
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Post by GCF » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:12 pm

Unless you are trying to conserve space, you could conserve money with a different brand of ADSR than Plan B. You mention you want to stay away from Doepfer because of noisiness, but maybe someone can comment on whether that will occur with a voltage generator. I have not had experience with many Doepfer modules, but I would think an ADSR would not contribute to noise unless there was a ground-loop or something like that.

Going with Doepfer for ADSR's would save $35 per ADSR. Or you could go with the Quad-ADSR mentioned and really optimize price per envelope.

Just some thoughts. I will be adding some ADSRs and VCAs to my system soon, too. So this thread is very helpful to kick around ideas.

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Re: VCA quagmire

Post by dougcl » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:08 am

Absent wrote:I still have to buy another 6u case
There's a cheap case on ebay right now. Edit: On second thought it looks pretty junky.

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Post by flts » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:08 am

Analogue Systems is an option if you want clean, fast and punchy. I have RS60 and RS180 and I'm very happy with them. as an extra, RS60 has an auto retrigger capability so you can use it as a LFO (which is awesome). RS180 has both log and lin CV inputs and has a two input mixer.

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Post by Audio Resistance » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:50 am

flts wrote:Analogue Systems is an option if you want clean, fast and punchy. I have RS60 and RS180 and I'm very happy with them. as an extra, RS60 has an auto retrigger capability so you can use it as a LFO (which is awesome). RS180 has both log and lin CV inputs and has a two input mixer.
Oh, I forgot about them which is weird since I have been drooling over that French Connection keyboard.

I checked on those and I guess you have to buy that ribbon cable adaptor per module to fit in the Doepfer case. So that tacks on an additional $24.00 per unit.

So now I am leaning towards the A-Solutions RS60 and RS180 and the PLan B M13. Anyone see any problems with that before I pull the trigger?

Cheers,
Rob

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Post by flts » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:05 am

Absent wrote:I checked on those and I guess you have to buy that ribbon cable adaptor per module to fit in the Doepfer case. So that tacks on an additional $24.00 per unit.
Analogue Haven in USA or Schneider's Buero in Germany can sell you cheaper non-official adapters / cables if budget is an issue. Just ask Shawn or Schneider's guys.

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Post by zerosum » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:10 am

Don't ignore the VCA on the TM-1 or TM-2 8)

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Post by Audio Resistance » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:25 am

zerosum wrote:Don't ignore the VCA on the TM-1 or TM-2 8)
Now that is a good idea. (':doh:')
That is some "coloration" I can handle!

They have found a pretty happy home next to my Moog RME and Machinedrum, but that is a good option I did not even consider. I am really going back and forth on this, I thought maybe get the Moog I/O pieces for the RME and use it but than it would be dedicated just for that.

I am still undecided, I am talking with Shawn at AH to trade some older gear just laying around for the Cwejman VCA4 and eq. Because money has become a concern with this, a concern in that it can spiral out of control rather fast!

Thanks for all the reply's,

Rob

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Post by theabsent » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:12 am

"Someone haxxored my nick!" I thought but then I remembered that I'm registered here with a different nick : D

I really was quite confused awhile as Absent has been my live act (and forum) alias for some 10 years - I have even released some (sort of half-commercial) tracks with that name : )

I mean no offense in any way - keep your nick if you want!

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Post by felix » Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:06 pm

I believe, with Muff's help, you guys can trade nicks.
dress yourself for the public. you now must exit your home and acquire a dental mirror and lubrication!
i recommend a hat, or a helmet. if a helmet, ensure that it is both convincing and unbiased. -citizen mori
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Post by Audio Resistance » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:10 pm

theabsent wrote:"Someone haxxored my nick!" I thought but then I remembered that I'm registered here with a different nick : D

I really was quite confused awhile as Absent has been my live act (and forum) alias for some 10 years - I have even released some (sort of half-commercial) tracks with that name : )

I mean no offense in any way - keep your nick if you want!
Makes no difference to me, I am just here for the information.

I will pm Muff to try and change my tag.

On topic though, I went ahead and got the Cwejman VCA-4. Now I am patiently waiting on my 2 Livewire AFG's to get here!

Cheers,
Rob

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Post by pristak » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:32 am

Doesn't really help much because it is a different format, but I just got my first modern non-Doepfer VCA.

It is a MOTM. It is a vast improvement in sound. I expected an improvement. I did not expect the improvement in sound to be that significant from a VCA. I A/B'ed a few patches with only the VCA changing and the difference was big to me.

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Post by wetterberg » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:11 pm

compared to what? Euro format has a gazillion vcas ;)

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Post by pristak » Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:54 pm

By Doepfer I ment specificly the Doepfer VCA's, the A-130, A-131, and A-132-2 that I have. I do not have a VCA from any other Eurorack manufacturer.

I'm not intending to bash Doepfer or Eurorack manufactures. My point was more that if you pay twice as much for a VCA you possibly can get a better sound. I was somewhat suprised at how much the bread and butter modules contribute to the overall sound.

I'm not going to run out and replace all of my Doepfer VCA's. However, I am very happy to now have a higher end VCA in my sound arsenal.

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Post by flts » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:44 am

I've been really happy with the ASys VCA on Euro side. Although I'm strangely addicted to lowpass gates for audio as about everyone seems to, so I rarely actually use it as an audio VCA.

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Post by Audio Resistance » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:05 pm

Okay, so I also got a Plan B M-13 to go with my Cwejman VCA. I love this thing, I am itching for those AFG's I pre-ordered to get here now.

Here is a nasty little patch I made using the Cwejman D-LFO as my oscillators , the A-143-1 as envelopes--> M-13---> to the Polivoks---to the Malgorithm.


It is nice and crusty and unstable sounding, I can not wait till I learn more about this new modular world I am in.(pardon my honeymoon audio post)

No sequence just banging on the keyboard behind me.
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Post by wetterberg » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:08 am

the Doepfer a-132-3 Dual lin/exp vca is a gorgeous sounding unit to my ears.

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Post by kidtesla » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:08 pm

I'd go along with felix wetterberg--
The Doepfer A-132-3 is clear/transparent/non-distorto.

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Post by dkcg » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:52 pm

I just picked up a 132-3 not long ago. exp mode sounds great, almost like a M13 w/ no ringing. Linear mode works great for CVs. The offset is nice too.

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