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Question about gigging with Eurorack: warm up, tuning drift
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Question about gigging with Eurorack: warm up, tuning drift
BenA718
This question is for those of you gigging with Eurorack synths, particularly in a band/club scenario. Since you typically only have ten minutes to set up before your set, how do you deal with your synth warming up and stabilizing during the first few minutes of the set?

I have noticed that for several minutes after a cold start that my Boomstar Oscillaton's tuning is off and drifts. After it stabilizes the unit is fine, but as this is in a band context I cannot have it be out of tune with the guitar, bass, other mono synth (Mother-32) and poly synth.

Any tips/tricks that you can recommend? I will be gigging with my Eurorack in the Spring.

Thanks in advance!
Shledge
Analogue VCOs always need time to "warm up".

Good, well designed VCOs only should take a few minutes, other can take 15 minutes or more, and still drift depending on temperature changes etc.

I'd suggest look into digital VCOs if this is a major issue for you.
flo
Ten minutes to set up? I couldn't do that even if I could bring my modular patched (which I cannot)... I always try to make sure to have at least 30 minutes of set up and sound check time, ideally before the party starts and without having to move anything again. Power is always set up first and everything that needs to warm up is then turned on before I start to route any cables.

Sometimes I've had this problem when I needed to move the whole table to the stage (because of lack of space in the venue) and turn power on just before the gig. You should always keep a tuner nearby in any case, IMO - so you just retune when stuff drifts out.

Cheers Guinness ftw!
BenA718
Thanks for the thoughtful replies!
moremagic
its analog, so if you plug it up backstage or wherever to warm up , it wont cool off the second you unplug it. you could let things warm up enough for stability then unplug it and quickly plug it back up onstage
BenA718
moremagic wrote:
its analog, so if you plug it up backstage or wherever to warm up , it wont cool off the second you unplug it. you could let things warm up enough for stability then unplug it and quickly plug it back up onstage
Thanks, that's going to be my plan: let it warm up, patch it up, give it a quick test with headphones, then unplug it when it's Go Time; should be unplugged for less than a minute or two and by the time I get ready for a line check should be good to go!
captjrab
Keep your live rig as stripped down to the essentials as you can get. In a band situation, I imagine you will have some go to arrangement ideas, so try and make swithcing from one idea to the next with as little fuss as possible so you can focus on the tuning of oscillators and sequencers ect. At soundcheck, somehow leave your rack plugged in. Maybe use an extention cord so you can move it out of the way of other bands on the bill.
Good luck
lisa
Go full digital. There are many great digital modules and they won’t drift, unless you make them do so. razz
BenA718
captjrab wrote:
Keep your live rig as stripped down to the essentials as you can get. In a band situation, I imagine you will have some go to arrangement ideas, so try and make swithcing from one idea to the next with as little fuss as possible so you can focus on the tuning of oscillators and sequencers ect. At soundcheck, somehow leave your rack plugged in. Maybe use an extention cord so you can move it out of the way of other bands on the bill.
Good luck

Thanks, all great ideas. I am using a BeatStep Pro to as the nexus feeding a small skiff with two separate mono synths. I am not doing much alteration of the sounds throughout the set, and when I am, the arrangements support it.
andybizarre
BenA718 wrote:
captjrab wrote:
Keep your live rig as stripped down to the essentials as you can get. In a band situation, I imagine you will have some go to arrangement ideas, so try and make swithcing from one idea to the next with as little fuss as possible so you can focus on the tuning of oscillators and sequencers ect. At soundcheck, somehow leave your rack plugged in. Maybe use an extention cord so you can move it out of the way of other bands on the bill.
Good luck

Thanks, all great ideas. I am using a BeatStep Pro to as the nexus feeding a small skiff with two separate mono synths. I am not doing much alteration of the sounds throughout the set, and when I am, the arrangements support it.


Some wigglers report issues with the BSP`s USB port, especially on early models. Some take a spare BSP to the gig, some use this Amazon fake-magsafe-thingie. My BSP is holding up so far, but I don`t do gigging. However, if your set is heavily relying on the BSP, I would consider it a risk in a live situation.
Paul Perry
What percent of people at a rave can tell whether something is in tune? I certainly can't! w00t

Seriously.
slow_riot
Paul Perry wrote:
What percent of people at a rave can tell whether something is in tune? I certainly can't! w00t

Seriously.


Music is inherently tonal, even drummed music. I know people who were making acid techno in the 1980s and 90s who stopped using TR808/909 because the tuning in most cases (e.g. BD) is fixed and they could not be tuned to the rest of the sounds.

From the design side it's always a careful balancing act between function, performance and price. And sometimes this means sacrifices, especially in analogue where high resolution comes at the expense of inherent temperature sensitivity.

To address Flo's point about using a tuner, unfortunately because of the exponential conversion, errors in pitch are the result of shift of the 1/oct scaling, and real time compensation would require recalibration of the 1/oct level being fed to the exponential converter, not simply an adjustment to the master frequency control (although this obviously helps somewhat).

It's worth remembering the history of development of the transistor, because it was originally designed for high computational accuracy, including summation, calculus, and yes logarithmic and exponential conversion, and there are more effective tempco schemes out there than most commercially available products. But analogue is often about compromise and even these have limitations too.

One area to explore that hasn't been mentioned is real time digital servoing. This won't work in every case (for example under FM), but it will enable very high tuning accuracy when using analogue VCOs. There is a Reaktor block that will do this, similarly Expert Sleepers and the Tubbutec uTune are also excellent.
BenA718
Some excellent ideas and advice here, thanks!

My usage of the BSP and synths is in a retrowave rock band context, so tuning is essential as there is also live guitar, bass, a poly synth, and vocals. At rehearsal everything is going great, my concern is that initial warm up time at a gig in NYC, which can be quite hectic.

Regarding a back up, I admit this never crossed my mind! I will back up all of the sequences to an iPad running Cubasis in case the BSP tanks. I can set it up as a failover master sequencer in case the mierde hits the ventilateur.

Thanks again for all the help thus far!
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