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Mother 32 vs. DFAM (Is this a valid question now?)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Mother 32 vs. DFAM (Is this a valid question now?)
slentthndr
Look past the obvious differences for a moment... we all know that the native envelopes and sequencing on the DFAM are set up to encourage percussive sound design whereas the Mother is set up for... general purpose I suppose?

But entertain this question for a bit. For a novice choosing his/her first semi-modular synth (the backbone of a new setup), the Mother has always been an easy choice. Is that still the case or is the DFAM just as capable as a starting point?

You're missing an LFO on the DFAM but that's easy enough to supplement. The upside of the DFAM is that you have two VCOs which opens up a lot of possibility.

Idk. Perhaps the Mother is still the reigning champion. I'm interested in everyone's thoughts.
Roy72
DFAM lacks quantised pitch, unless you have external gear to do that. So unless you have maybe a BSP or something its not going to play nicely in tune so much. The Mother is a useful entry, you can play along with anything pretty easily, the DFAM looks like the spice rack.
slentthndr
Roy72 wrote:
DFAM lacks quantised pitch, unless you have external gear to do that. So unless you have maybe a BSP or something its not going to play nicely in tune so much. The Mother is a useful entry, you can play along with anything pretty easily, the DFAM looks like the spice rack.


Well yeah I'm sort of assuming that this hypothetical newbie is using MIDI input from somewhere (a DAW, a keyboard, a better sequencer module, or something like the BSP). Most musicians who pick up the DFAM will have access to one of those.

Does that address your point or do I not really know what quantized pitch is? Isn't anything sending a pitch CV going to effectively 'quantize' the pitch?
AW198
The Mother 32 is a wonderful starting point for general modular stuff as well as being an excellent synth in its own right, and can be self-modulated as simplly or as complex as you want.

The DFAM seems like a fresh take on percussion, but is very specific in what it does, and looks like it happily receives modulation but isn't so happy about giving it.

Disclaimer, I haven't actually tried a DFAM but that's the impression I get. Can someone confirm/deny my claims?
gentle_attack
slentthndr wrote:
Well yeah I'm sort of assuming that this hypothetical newbie is using MIDI input from somewhere (a DAW, a keyboard, a better sequencer module, or something like the BSP). Most musicians who pick up the DFAM will have access to one of those.

Does that address your point or do I not really know what quantized pitch is? Isn't anything sending a pitch CV going to effectively 'quantize' the pitch?

You're correct, completely. The point being made is that if you sit down with the DFAM and I sit down with M32 (really anything that plays in westeren tuning) you would have to individually tune each step in your sequencer (if you wanted to be in tune with me)... rather than on a traditional melodic synthesizer where you'd get in tune with 'pitch' and maybe a 'fine' and then you're in business for the rest of the evening.

The DFAM can work just like any other synth using any quantized external sequencer (DAW, CV, or otherwise), but the builtin sequencer is not quantized.
Roy72
DFAM doesn't have midi or usb, its all analog, so unless you have something else with CV out like a BSP it won't play along or sync to anything.
monoscan
Mother-32 sounds awesome. I think DFAM seems super limited, but I also have never played one. I bet they are fun.

What I'm anxious to see happen next is a Moog delay / filter / spring reverb effects box in the Mother format. I mentioned it to Moog on Twitter when I showed them my Mother-32 in my classroom but they quickly undid that retweet with the suggestion about a new product in the Mother line.
alanza
AW198 wrote:
The Mother 32 is a wonderful starting point for general modular stuff as well as being an excellent synth in its own right, and can be self-modulated as simplly or as complex as you want.

The DFAM seems like a fresh take on percussion, but is very specific in what it does, and looks like it happily receives modulation but isn't so happy about giving it.

Disclaimer, I haven't actually tried a DFAM but that's the impression I get. Can someone confirm/deny my claims?


I guess it mostly depends what sort of modulation you're hoping to get out of it—it does send trigger, pitch CV and velocity CV from the sequencer, as well as three concurrently triggered but independently configurable AD envelopes with CV over decay.

At least in my theory-wiggling (is that a thing? fantasy-football-wiggling? what's a good metaphor here), it seems like those outputs would be most useful for self-patching, it's true.
Fugubot
Thanks for this thread. A salesman at a store advised me to get the DFAM because it could do everything the Mother32 could but he did not say anything about quantizers.
AW198
Fugubot wrote:
Thanks for this thread. A salesman at a store advised me to get the DFAM because it could do everything the Mother32 could but he did not say anything about quantizers.


That salesman apparently has no idea what he's doing eek!
yamzini
I own a dfam and have played around with a mother 32. The dfam is pretty eventually which is why I opted for it over the mother but I don't think it could feasibly operate as the backbone of a system in the way the mother can, partially because of the sequencing limitations, but also because the tools for shaping the sound interact in slightly more unpredictable ways than the circuits offered by the mother.

It's also at its best when self patching with a few external CV sources (PITCH!) as opposed to being fully intended into another system or relied on for heavy lifting.

Also it's only got an eight step sequencer!

As someone just learning modular, who is mostly sequencing samples and chops externally on a sampler, the dfam is great BUT I feel like the next few steps in my system will phase it out and, had I purchased a mother, it would have been worth consciously planning my build around it.
milkshake
If your really into techno, the DFAM is the first choice.

Anything else, go for the M32.
mayz
Just got started with the mother a few weeks ago.
Having watched the Promo Videos from Bana Haffar I really have to say that this combo could be my setup for the future.
falseeye
If i had never qwned or played either of these I would probably agree with most people on here that the mother would be a better starting point , but having played a mother 32 for 30 mins or so in the store im sorry but it didnt really click with me . its nice and all but ive never been into the whole band in a box type modules so maybe im biased but when i got ahold of a dfam i was blowen away . Its an industrial percussion monster . right out of the box i was getting amazing sounds , tons of fun , and very usefull in a melodic way . I find it very versitile to switch from industrial edm house to ambient and drones . I still am not at all interested in the mother 32 but ill never give up my dfam , its in all my tracks now
anarchy4bits
i want a three tier moog system.
how you would decide and why. i have one dfam now and struggling a little bit between:
two mother, one dfam or
one mother two dfam.

when the subharmonicon comes out than it will be easy to decide for me, but it seems like moog don´t want release the
subharmonicon sad banana than i would take one of each.
FrogStar
The DFAM is a unique approach to semi-modular synthesis. I wholeheartedly believe it will be considered a classic and will be remembered for many, many years.

The Mother is a fairly standard semi-modular design that sufferes from a complicated UI full of button combos and other sub-optimal features. It sounds great and may be good for beginners but I’ve known many people who don’t use theirs anymore (mostly because of the UI).
luketeaford
It depends on your level of comfort and what you're trying to do.

The most obvious challenge with DFAM would be that the pitches are set by those little knobs, so it's not as easy to dial in exact pitches. I think it's a much more interesting design than the Mother 32. It's also a better synth for drones...

I think the Mother 32 is a better value for most people. It's a lot of fun and great sounds and it can do experimental stuff. The normal signal is the kind of regular ol' synth thing that a lot of people will patch anyway and the voice of it sounds great. I don't find the sequencer that difficult to use, but I forget how to get into the step mode and edit it when I haven't played it after a while.
anarchy4bits
i know and had the mother while ago. sold it and regret it:(
i loved the sound and had no problems with the sequencer.
so its shure that i want one mother again.
here a track i did with my missing mother and theremin...

[s]http://soundcloud.com/anarchy4bits/finest-mother[/s]

my question was how you would decide and why.
independently what sound i do and i want to do.

one mother, two dfam or
two dfam, one mother
hmmm.....
GlitchPatcher
I would defiantly start with the Mother 32 - then expand to DFAM once you have got the hang of the Mother 32 and are enjoying Moog's Semi Modular style synths.

Really hoping Moog release the Subharmonicon this year.
Having a M32, DFAM and Subharmonicon would be awesome!

you can generate drum sounds along with bass line and melody all at once with one Mother 32 - so that's why it would be my choice: link below shows a good way how to do this with a filter kick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG2N6cQ9wrE&list=PLpXa2PhPFRvXER4ZEa0Y pK4n5WH3Z-LAr&index=2

You can produce really good subharmonics with a single Mother 32 and a Make noise Maths module...! so actually you could produce sounds of all Moog's semi modular synths with one Mother 32. although obviously having all three would give a lot more features and flexibility.
GNSDG
FrogStar wrote:
The DFAM is a unique approach to semi-modular synthesis. I wholeheartedly believe it will be considered a classic and will be remembered for many, many years.

The Mother is a fairly standard semi-modular design that sufferes from a complicated UI full of button combos and other sub-optimal features. It sounds great and may be good for beginners but I’ve known many people who don’t use theirs anymore (mostly because of the UI).


This.

I've owned both, the M32 is fine but basically completely interchangeable with loads of other monos. It does sound good but doesn't really do anything I want to do.

The DFAM is incredible, wild, sounds both incredibly rich and also pretty unique. The two oscillators, lots of modulation options, and three envelopes can do a lot. It is not for beginners and might be an awkward starting point, but you don't need quantizers or anything above to use it. All that above is sort of nonsense.

I did this with one take of DFAM controlled by an cv.ocd; the bass kick is absolutely slaying:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1gputeandap7um1/DFAM%20Sketch%20D110a.mp3?dl =0
Antlerface
GNSDG wrote:


I did this with one take of DFAM controlled by an cv.ocd; the bass kick is absolutely slaying:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1gputeandap7um1/DFAM%20Sketch%20D110a.mp3?dl =0


Are you using the gate outs of the cv.ocd or just CV outs to control osc pitch? Sounds awesome BTW.
GNSDG
Antlerface wrote:
GNSDG wrote:


I did this with one take of DFAM controlled by an cv.ocd; the bass kick is absolutely slaying:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1gputeandap7um1/DFAM%20Sketch%20D110a.mp3?dl =0


Are you using the gate outs of the cv.ocd or just CV outs to control osc pitch? Sounds awesome BTW.



Thanks! As I recall using CVs from cv.ocd to control VCo pitches, and then clocking the DFAM's sequencers to use for volume and noise volume (which gives you the snare-ish situation).


Here's another example of something melodic... this is DFAM + MFB OSC-02 (but all the cool sync sounds are the DFAM), sequenced by the SEQ-03. That's it. Sorry for the crappy video but some of these sounds are pretty good, and at least you can see me switching, tweaking, etc.:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n9762ojik415rl2/IMG_1318.MOV?dl=0
GlitchPatcher
like it!!

cool

I think with all modules it depends what you know and how you use them. Maybe if DFAM is a bit more advanced - more hidden secretes, it can be rewarding finding mad sounds that you haven't heard before or other people aren't doing.

It's a bit weird comparing the two - they both achieve different things, it comes down to the individual I think, but Moog has some great demos of what you can achieve with the Mother 32 so I don't think it is overshadowed by DFAM the two have separate uses really.

would love to get my hands on a DFAM - then will let you know!

but I think you can achieve more classic EDM stuff with the Mother 32 if thats what you're shooting for - DFAM is probably more for the experimentalists maybe?!! discuss,,,.. !

The Mother 32 can give you some sweet 303 style bass lines, a filter or LFO kick and a whole variety of stuff, LIN FM so you sync to other VCO's, and a bigger patch bay than DFAM, I think it will get your head into modular a lot quicker than the DFAM. thumbs up

but with DFAM you can tune the VCO's to play pitch at 1v/octave using the patch bay which is very cool - you could then modulate the pitch input or use the pitch controls per step to de-tune your sequence. Awesome!
GlitchPatcher
plus midi functionality - the variety you get with the assignable output (8 functions) and the clock/modulating the clock etc.etc. with the mother 32 - it can't be discounted
sko87pro
I have Mother which I’ve extended. DFAM looks interesting.

One way to think about this comparison is to think about “what you get and what you need to add”. Personally I think Mother is a ‘one of most things’ box, you still need to add several things to build a basic system.

Mother gives you:

Output stage with phones
External input
Midi interface
Small keyboard
Sequencer with memories
VCO (1)
LFO (1)
VCF (1)
AD envelope (1)
VCA (1)
VC mixer
Noise source
Buffered mult
Patch bay

From there I had to add extra VCO, LFOs, EGs, VCAs, Mix/invert/attenuate, S&H, buffered mults. Now I think I have a system.

I don’t know the DFAM very well - how does it compare? What do you get in the box, and what do you feel the need to add?

Sometimes people say “you need more VCAs,” but my experience with Mother so far is that I also needed more EGs to wobble voltages. So maybe that’s a plus for DFAM?
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