Video series on creating a modular for live performance

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, lisa, Joe.

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Video series on creating a modular for live performance

Post by underthebigtree » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:26 pm

This is the first in a series of videos documenting the design and evolution of a live performance rig for modular synthesizers. I've been working with Eurorack for the last couple of years in a studio setting, and have learned over time what modules and types of modules I like and don't like. I decided over a year ago to migrate much of my system to a portable case suitable for live performance, as well as bringing to other recording studios.

This series will show my thought process, and will look at each sub system, and how they work together as a whole to make a improvisation-oriented live performance system in Eurorack.

[video][/video]
Last edited by underthebigtree on Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
lumena
Common Wiggler
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:22 pm

Post by lumena » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:27 pm

Tried the link and got 404 error

User avatar
authorless
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2337
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:41 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Post by authorless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:10 pm

Fixed that for you...

[video][/video]
"Wait a month and buy from a fellow wiggler who's desperate for new modules." - Johnisfaster

"It's oscillators are so precise and lifeless it's actually a digital modelling analog synth." - nadafarms

art decadence
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:50 pm
Location: hell, canada

Post by art decadence » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:48 pm

This looks excellent! can't wait to see more.

User avatar
lumena
Common Wiggler
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:22 pm

Post by lumena » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:39 pm

Samehere :nana:

uebl
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: Germany

Post by uebl » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:56 pm

:tu:

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:04 pm

Hi folks -

I've just posted episode 2. Sorry about the 404 on the previous video - there seems to be some kind of devil magic to posting Youtube links here that I have not figured out. Let's try again with the new episode:

[video][/video]

uebl
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: Germany

Post by uebl » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:38 am

:yay:
Just make sure to not use https:// links, but just http:// and everything should be fine (same not only goes for videos, but also for SoundCloud links etc.).

User avatar
lisa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 5103
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Post by lisa » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:52 am

You have a good voice for these types of videos and there’s something about a man of mature age sittning in shorts on the floor unboxing a new toy. ;)

Looking forward to the videos about the actual live oriented modular setup.
My attempt at dodecaphony, following all of the twelve-tone serialism rules but still fashioning it the Lisa style that you all know and love. ;)


User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:34 pm

Thanks for that, Lisa. I was born with a radio voice, which comes in very useful at my day job, where we record dialog all day long.

Of course shorts! I live in Southern California - what else would I wear? My typical uniform is a black t-shirt, shorts, and a pair of Teva sandals.

And everyone loves their new toys, regardless of their...level of chronological maturity ;)

On a more interesting note, I am in the middle of writing the script for the next episode, which is on the large-scale design and layout of the instrument. Part 4 will then be on the master clock and pulse streams. That will be the episode where we get away from the abstractions and large-scale thinking, and get into the detail of how the modules work together. :)

User avatar
lisa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 5103
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Post by lisa » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:52 am

underthebigtree wrote:That will be the episode where we get away from the abstractions and large-scale thinking, and get into the detail of how the modules work together. :)
Sounds interesting! :tu:

Azharak
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:23 pm

Post by Azharak » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:04 pm

I will be following this series intently - mana from heaven.
Subbed.

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:59 pm

Episode 3 is up!

This one is all about design and layout, breaking down the modular into systems that interact with each other. And there is a bit on the amazing Steevio, who's ideas for polyrhythm, harmony, signal routing, and groove within a modular system are highly influential on my design.

There's a ton of analysis and theory that I wanted to get through. Next time we get into the actual modules.

[video][/video]

User avatar
lisa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 5103
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Post by lisa » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:07 pm

Nice! 8 voices though, that's a lot to keep track on in a live situation. :woah:

User avatar
blacklight
Common Wiggler
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:33 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Post by blacklight » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:58 pm

You talk about the ADSRs, have you thought about the Intellijel Quadra?
It can do quad AR. AHR. and Cycle! They go down to some nice and snappy timings aswell.

How are you approaching stereo out to the mixer? do you just do 2 mono imputs and pan them left and right or do you have to merge the mono eurorack cables into a stereo trs?
Experimental musician, Mastering engineer, lover of sine waves.



My Bandcamp

My Modular Setup - My Twitter - My Instagram

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:26 am

Lisa: You are absolutely right - 8 tracks is too much to keep track of at once. But the plan is not to be using more than a few at a time - and if it turns out to be too many voices, either for space or practical reasons, then I will pare down for sure.

Blacklight: Thanks for the tip on the Quadra. I love Intellijel stuff, so I will definitely check it out.

As far as the mixer, I plan on having each voice out to the mixer as a separate line. That way, I will have control over level, pan, reverb amount, etc. I mention my current thought in the video, which is to use the 1U Link modules to connect the modular to the mixer via DB25->TRS cables. We shall see!

uebl
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: Germany

Post by uebl » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:51 am

If I were planning a 12U for a rhythm-oriented live rig (I suppose that's what you're doing, right?), I'd rather have my stereo mixer within the case, especially with the amount of voice you're aiming for. Of course it eats up a lot of "valuable" space, but having everything inside the rack is very appealing, at least to me. The WMD performance mixer would give you control over level, pan, aux send/return return, headphones out etc.

Looking forward to the next episode!

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:59 am

hi Nick, nicely produced video series! :sb: :tu:

Something I did that you might also want to consider for your live case is to modify and combine a Doepfer A-182-1 switched multiple and a regular passive multiple.
viewtopic.php?p=2671680#2671680
Image

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:20 am

Hey John -

Thanks so much for the compliment. I completed writing part 4 last week, and was going to try to finish it this weekend, but the Plaits video I just did that was supposed to be a quick listening session turned into an hour-long extravaganza. So next week I should have part 4 up.

Your idea is so great. I went to your post and studied what you did for about 10 minutes before it finally clicked. Turns an 8-in, 2-out box into 4 2-in, 2-out boxes. Makes much better use of the space if you don't want to have every possible input go to each voice. I really like it, and will think carefully about how I can incorporate it into the signal routing for my rig. Thank you so much for sharing. :hihi:

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:25 am

uebl wrote:If I were planning a 12U for a rhythm-oriented live rig (I suppose that's what you're doing, right?), I'd rather have my stereo mixer within the case, especially with the amount of voice you're aiming for. Of course it eats up a lot of "valuable" space, but having everything inside the rack is very appealing, at least to me. The WMD performance mixer would give you control over level, pan, aux send/return return, headphones out etc.

Looking forward to the next episode!
Uebl, I agree with you. I think it is much better to have the mixer in the case, and that's what I had been planning all along...until I started putting it together on Modular Grid. That was when I saw just how much less space I had than I wanted. Off-boarding the mixer was the first of what will be many trade-offs. Then there is that not-insignificant fact that the Mackie costs 1/3 of what the WMD does...

uebl
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:09 pm
Location: Germany

Post by uebl » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:46 am

Yes, I know. Cost is always an issue. I currently try to transform my 6U/104HP without mixing and effects into a fully-contained 7U/104HP incl. sub-mixing/mixing and effects. Talking about limited space and hard decisions.. ;)

Aaronautical001
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:43 am
Location: UK

Post by Aaronautical001 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:38 am

Hi,
Just found this thread and watched the first video. Just wanted to say: great, well thought out presentation on a very interesting topic. Looking forward to watching the rest - great work!

Aaronautical001
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:43 am
Location: UK

Post by Aaronautical001 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:13 am

Just watched the second video. One aspect that you didn't discuss (presumably as it wasn't a high priority?) was the ergonomics. When I started building my eurorack system, I went for the portable Doepfer cases, which I have since expanded to two a-100 P9 and a a-100 base case. So similar form to the low cost cases you have on your studio set up. A friend of mine started in eurorack and built his own case, which looks a very similar design to the one you purchased.

I have to say the ability to have the top case at a slanted angle rather than simply vertical for me looks to be a massive benefit. I find the Doepfer top cases a little uncomfortable/ feel cramped to use without being angled, perhaps my solution would be to have them on a higher table top, but I'm currently limited in where I can locate them in my office.

Looks to me the case you bought is an excellent choice and very well built. Congratulations on the purchase.
Looking forward to the rest of the videos.

User avatar
folpon
Common Wiggler
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post by folpon » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:02 pm

underthebigtree wrote:Hi folks -

I've just posted episode 2. Sorry about the 404 on the previous video - there seems to be some kind of devil magic to posting Youtube links here that I have not figured out. Let's try again with the new episode:

[video][/video]
Wow! Great video, underthebigtree. Also I'm shocked to find that there's another wiggler who lives in Sherman Oaks! What a small world... :)

User avatar
underthebigtree
Common Wiggler
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 am
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank, CA

Post by underthebigtree » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:05 am

Hi folks -

I'm happy to say that episode 4 has just been posted! In order to explain clocks, I ended up doing an overview of rhythm and rhythmic nomenclature, including stuff like polyrhythms, swing, compound time signatures, etc.

But hopefully it is worth the slog. At the end, I demonstrate every single aspect of my clocking system, including a manual swing circuit, buffered mults to distribute pulses cleanly, and having access to every subdivision from 64th notes to 64 measures in length.

Hope you like it!

[video][/video]

Post Reply

Return to “Play Out! Performance Modulars”