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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

If you bailed on modular...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next [all]
Author If you bailed on modular...
popvulture
So...I'm considering selling my rack. I've enjoyed getting into modular quite a bit, but ultimately I've found myself just chasing module after module, getting both distracted and frustrated. This is certainly partly due to the open-endedness of modular, but also plenty to do with my personality. Let's just say that "ooh shiny" is a frequent mode for me, and I know that when it comes to staying focused, I work best and am happiest when operating within a set of creative variables that are a bit more finite and hemmed in.

I do love synths, though, and I don't plan on quitting that world anytime soon. I'm not sure what I'll do with the money if I cash out—I might spend it on personal stuff, might save it, or could buy a couple of nice standalone synths.

My question: what would you buy if you were to go back to a non (or semi) modular setup? And I'm not talking huge, more like a mono and a poly, or some smallish variation of that sort. FWIW the kind of music I make tends to be of the more melodic, fairly structured variety, but I also dip into more ambient stuff a decent bit.
Futuresound
Abyss
Lyra-8
Micro Monsta
Octatrack or Rytm
Mono of your choice - Nyx or SEM or whatever really.

You could do oh so much with those.
popvulture
Nice!

Been meaning to give those first three a look for a while, will do now. I have a RYTM (mk1) and love it.

I have a Juno-60 that I've considered modding for MIDI, but I've always ended up just deciding to leave it alone. I've loved all the sounds I've heard from Blofelds, but haven't had a chance to get my hands on one and actually see what the menu diving is like (I know it's deep and annoying to some). Also have considered getting a Prophet.

For mono I don't really know. I've always wanted a Model D, but they're definitely expensive as hell. That said, modular can add up quickly, so actually getting something like that wouldn't be out of the question.
Jason Brock
popvulture wrote:
...but ultimately I've found myself just chasing module after module, getting both distracted and frustrated.


I did the same thing. FOBO (fear of better options) was a factor, always wondering if I would prefer a different module for a specific function. Also, after a while I figured out that I just don't like having to patch everything. I have limited time to spend on my music hobby, and using a modular just wound up feeling like spinning my wheels instead of going somewhere.

I replaced it with two analog monosynths (the rest of my setup is samplers), and it's a lot more fun for me. My analogs are an Octave CAT and a Future Retro XS. I still prefer things without patch memory, I guess I just like the visual feedback of knowing where all the knobs are.

The XS is a criminally underrated synth that can be had for a relatively low price. If anyone is upset at the inflated prices of the Cwejman S1 on the used market, just get an FRXS instead and then tell everyone it's a Cwejman they are hearing in your recordings. They won't know the difference.
DiscoDevil
I ditched everything but the Cwejman S1 and a 3u 19" rack of complimentary modules for it. I pretty much hate euro at this point. Major waste of time and money for me.
lisa
popvulture wrote:
I've found myself just chasing module after module, getting both distracted and frustrated. This is certainly partly due to the open-endedness of modular, but also plenty to do with my personality. Let's just say that "ooh shiny" is a frequent mode for me (...) I'm not sure what I'll do with the money if I cash out—I (...) could buy a couple of nice standalone synths.

Haha, within the same post you've argued for your issues with always wanting to buy new stuff and come to the conclusion that you should buy some stuff. grin
popvulture
Yeah I think I'd be into having some kind of complete voice kind of thing (Atlantis, maybe) and a couple of little flavor additions, but that'd be it. I LOVED the 0-Coast... it really only started to get frustrating for me once I went beyond that and broke into the full Euro realm.

I know a lot of people very much dig the idea of building a big patch that's this beautiful, generative beast that can never be replicated after tearing it down. I do appreciate watching those videos and listening to the pieces, but man... when it comes to making that stuff myself, it gives me a weird amount of anxiety. I don't care a ton about presets, but I do like being able to fairly easily recreate stuff if needed for recordings, live stuff, etc.
popvulture
lisa wrote:
Haha, within the same post you've argued for your issues with always wanting to buy new stuff and come to the conclusion that you should buy some stuff. grin

Oh yes I'm fully aware of this, haha...

I'm always gonna be wanting to buy stuff—that's a given. I'm a dork who likes cool new things to check out.

I think with modular though, I just couldn't get to a point where I was comfortable and enjoying myself. Always one more thing I needed, then another thing after that... all the while never really getting much reward, if that makes any sense? I know it works for some people—god knows I've seen some of my friends get some fantastic results out of it. Different strokes, I guess seriously, i just don't get it
thevegasnerve
I have two Mother32s that I really love. I can do some patching when I feel like it, but the Mothers limitations keep me focused on just creating interesting textures that will ultimately get sent through various effects anyways. Whats cool about having two is that you can work them independently or use together as a more standard mono. Just something really fun about working with them that I don't find with a typical mono. I would suggest keeping the O-Coast, seems like a cool synth to work with.

All I can say is that I hear a lot of demos of people creating nice music with the O-Coast and Mothers.
memes_33
FWIW, i had similar issues with eurorack- spending way too much time buying stuff, testing it, getting to know it, then replacing it with something else, taking photos, selling it, etc. it was hard to be productive b/c i was always updating the instrument.

to be honest, i enjoy that part of it- planning, thinking, learning. but it stifled my music making.

long story short, i started building buchla modules after getting a buchla starter pack (259, 281, 292) for a good price. because it took me a while to build each module, and the cost, it really forced me to spend time learning each module. the limitations of cost, time, and available modules in the format made the process of making music much more rewarding- instead of running into a "i wish i could do this" and buying a new module to do it, i had to come up with creative ways to achieve what i was trying to do.

i have not given up on eurorack- i still have a 4x104 case for live shows, but i have settled on the modules in that case (for the most part), and find myself not spending time perusing the BST forum for new/different modules to replace old ones with. but switching to buchla, although expensive and time-consuming to build, has really released the GAS issues i had with eurorack.

that's just my $0.02
Koekepan
If you (based on your posts):

  • want a package that won't constantly distract you with new shinies
  • are a structured composer
  • still want sound design options
  • like working in hardware


Get a KORG Krome (keyboard workstation with touchscreen, plenty of presets but a decent sound design interface, allows sequencing from live, live with quantisation, step entry, pianoroll entry and both recorded and hand-drawn MIDI automation), a MIDI cable and an Access Virus. The Krome can drive the Virus, and you'll have plenty of great sampled sounds as well as all the polypower of the Virus as well. If that's a bit rich for your blood, get the Waldorf Blofeld instead of the Virus. If it's still a bit much, just get the Krome and learn to use its rompler-style voice structure as a complex two-OSC synth with multiple LFO, filter and envelope options.

If you can't make gorgeous music with those, the problem is you.
CF3
This is a pretty common thing around here honestly. You see people sell entire euro set ups to buy Serge, only to sell that and buy Bulcha, only to sell that and buy a Synthi, only to sell it all and go ITB... round and round it goes.

Any decent mono will do honestly. There’s LOTS of choices fortunately. More important is realizing there is no end all be all solutions. Just a set of compromises. I definitely think modular isn’t for everybody and it amazes me it’s so popular now. hmmm.....
dubonaire
I would get what I already have which is Cirklon, Novation Peak (amazing synth), Nord Lead 4, Integra 7, Jomox drum machine (I have the 999 but I would get an Alphabase), pedals (I have Eventide H9, Strymon Big Sky and El Capistan). That's a rock solid sequencer, state of the art digital analogue hybrid, VA, king of the romplers giving me Roland everything and all the percussion you could ever need, and the best drum machine in the game.

I would probably also get a DSI poly synth and a Solaris, although the Peak probably is enough for me.

I also have a TB-03, TR-09, D-05, Korg Monologue and Toraiz SP-16 into an MX-1 in my lounge room for fun jamming.

But I have 1000 HP of modules which I love.
WaveRider
yeah there is now so much choice in terms of available synths...

I have gone back to sequencing midi and analog with engine, and I could swap the modular for synths.

using the modular as 4 monosynths is not so good.

the modular is fun in itself and I plan to come back to it, but I have more modules to purchase if I want to make complete compositions.... done this done that, but after a few years my modular is too limiting if I consider making more complete electronic tracks.... not dissing drones and sequences I can make now... but I guess you guys know what I mean...
...and being way too short of money, I do not have the flexibility to get what I need in eurorack.

I have a workable setup with a few midi poly synths, older not soo great stuff for the most so I am keeping the modular for now but I am thinking...

...so a few semi-modulars, a few more synths with patch memories, some mono some polys.... I already have 2 nice drum machines... that is a better setup for making a certain type of tracks....

..now you can get nice brand new complete synths for the price of a module.... neuron etc.. more coming up! on the other hand even used modules are still expensive... I fear the market could crash and the resale value could fall.... is it a good time to sell or not?
popvulture
I've always thought Engine looked pretty damn fantastic... do you like that thing a lot?
HighLordFixer
Dumped most of my "brand" Euro modules...
for making custom ones
yet that's me
not into following "fashion"
plus it makes me intimate with the circuits
yes it's way more time sink than ordering something off ebay
the personal satisfaction level obviously is exponentially higher
have other synths & modulars at my fingertips anyways
find something you are passionate about playing
then form total intuitive rapport link with machine and/or machines
avoid chasing latest greatest "cool" weapons of mass distraction
they usually result in dramatically slowing down actual productivity
find what works for the best you
J3RK
Modular isn't my focus right now for music making, though I still love designing and building them. I just don't have the time to get lost in my patches the way I like right now. (will get back to it eventually, and by that time the banana system will be bigger again)

Right now, I make sounds and music in the hour or two before I go to sleep at night. I use the Digitakt and Digitone, which can be used anywhere in the house, individually or together, sound great, and create a pretty endless amount of sounds. I actually picked up more synths and drum devices to accompany them, but I found that I wasn't using any of the others. (and just sold most of them)

So, my non-modular sound and music making setup consists of these two little boxes. Despite having less time than I ever had in my life for writing music, I've written more music than I have in the last 5-10 years using these. There's also nothing stopping me from using these with the modular later as well when I have time. I think the best thing is just not to be tied to a location for me. While I've built nice portable modular boxes that could sit with me on a couch, or go outside on the deck, I don't have any like that now. They're all banana-boat based. Somewhat portable, but not like a little Digi-box that I can lounge in bed with while I watch shows with my wife.

In my studio/work-room I think modular is still great. Just can't lock myself in that room to play, when I've already spent so much time in there building. hihi
HighLordFixer
see that's the way^
popvulture
Yeah I love having everything in a little box I can carry around AND save stuff on... I really enjoy my RYTM for that reason. Have of course considered the Takt/Tone...
DeanG
I never got a sense of my eurorack as an intuitive instrument. That and the patch cords made me long for something simple that I could play and that wasn't this continually morphing project with an infinite learning curve that made it difficult to develope the music. Too many possibilities .

I sold it , a bunch of make noise modules pretty much like their shared system, at some loss just to get rid of it. Then went through quite a few more monsynths trying to still do my west coasty beeps and bloops within the subtractive paradigm. Best for that so far were the korg arp odyssey, and roland system 1m. Both augmented at times with the make noise 0 coast and Bastl microgranny. But in the case of the system 1m the sound could be amazing with some of the wave forms, but was a bit on the cold side to me, and it and the 0coast still put me in the modular framework with patch cords etc.

Finally what I have now and am surprised I like the most is a Roland se02 analog that follows the minimoog architecture design and a qunexus controller keypad. I still also have the microgranny but find just the SE02 and qunexus to be the most rewarding. I think because all I really wanted before I drank the eurorack koolaid was something playable that I would like like my old Pro one, and the SE02 does it for me. With the onboard sequencer and patch memory it is all I need.
hermbot
J3RK wrote:
While I've built nice portable modular boxes that could sit with me on a couch, or go outside on the deck, I don't have any like that now. They're all banana-boat based. Somewhat portable, but not like a little Digi-box that I can lounge in bed with while I watch shows with my wife.


I think you should send me the beautiful blue Stroh banana boxes then, it would be shame if they went unused...

memes_33 wrote:
FWIW, i had similar issues with eurorack- spending way too much time buying stuff, testing it, getting to know it, then replacing it with something else, taking photos, selling it, etc. it was hard to be productive b/c i was always updating the instrument.


Of all the things I've learned in Euro, which have been a great many things, the one that has brought me the most happiness was to settle on a design, build a rack that fits exactly that design, and leave it the f*ck alone.

I can't tell you how much more I've enjoyed my rack when I stopped worrying about upgrading this, replacing that, are there better modules for X function - because it really doesn't matter.

Design a rack you like, build it, learn it, love it, make music. That's what worked for me, anyway.

Constraints breed creativity!

edit:
And to answer the original question, a Teenage Engineering OP-1.
WaveRider
popvulture wrote:
I've always thought Engine looked pretty damn fantastic... do you like that thing a lot?


yes, but I love any good xox style sequencer with decent timing

I LOVE using such a sequencer.


But it is not a replacement for sequencing in the modular, it just leads to different results.
dkcg
I still have my Buchla, but it's been in storage since the beginning of the year. I won't be getting rid of it any times soon, but a few Dave Smith synths have kept me occupied and filled my time.

Mainly I play the OB-6 via polyAT controller and the Pro2.
They are nothing like playing with the Buchla, just a different color in the spectrum and a different way of approaching how to organize sound.

With the Buchla. I chased timbre/polyrhythm/experimentation.

With the DSI synths, I'm more concerned with harmony and melody. Timbre is still important to me, but it's nice not having to program in scales and micromanaging my sounds which I do with the modular.

I think if I bailed completely on modular (aka selling the Buchla), I would be fine and write more songs, but have less "woah, that's a crazy sound!" moments. More "that reminds me of this song" moments.

I'd probably still tinker around in modular software like VAV, NI Blocks, Softube. But that could lead to a eurorack case once I realize my CPU can't keep up.
dubonaire
hermbot wrote:


Of all the things I've learned in Euro, which have been a great many things, the one that has brought me the most happiness was to settle on a design, build a rack that fits exactly that design, and leave it the f*ck alone.

I can't tell you how much more I've enjoyed my rack when I stopped worrying about upgrading this, replacing that, are there better modules for X function - because it really doesn't matter.

Design a rack you like, build it, learn it, love it, make music. That's what worked for me, anyway.

Constraints breed creativity!


Well I've never sold a module, but my approach was basic design and then grow it slowly. Leave room for the awesome modules that don't exist yet.
HighLordFixer
not as if completely bailed on modular or anything really....
de-prioritized...
that would be better term...
need more productivity
not afraid of actually composing using traditional methods instruments & "vintage" machines
it's really about what you want producing
plus your ability level for producing your initial creative visualization
rather than just random turning knobs praying whatever new module will make all your dreams come true
thousands & thousands of drones
each their own
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