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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

If you bailed on modular...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
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
Figures
thinking of selling all mine.... all the time. Always get more mileage out of my synths. Then every now and then I hit a patch that is WOW!!! and keep it.

Currently thinking of selling it all again ...
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
Here's what I'd buy (and did):
HighLordFixer
need reworking some hammer mechanisms and re-tuning mine.... not in big hurry for that project... hmmm is it even on "The List"?
old friend had one with MIDI in Hollywood...
and he would play "crazy train" on it....
did some record of obnoxious bad midi sequenced covers on it
needless to say he is obviously a freak...
and a drummer:P
Panason
I don't make industrial/drone/experimental/sound fx/whatever so I have no use (or money, or space) for modulars. I can get good enough bass and monophonic/paraphonic analog farts and bleeps from my Waldorf Pulse 2... and I can name them and save them for later recall by hitting a button.
ecstaticquiet
I love DSI gear - I've got a Prophet 8 and i LOVE it! So versatile, and the tuning of the osscilators is just beautiful. My only quibbles are the non-user friendly sequencer (so fiddly trying to hit a pitch accurately) and the discrete nature of the LFO frequency and amount values - i guess that's the digital compromise?

Also - if it's good enough for James Blake and Radiohead, then you know it's pretty good
Sinamsis
I think most people who have toyed with modular hit a moment of "what have I done?" It's certainly not for everyone. After a year or two I definitely had to stop and ponder if I had made the right decision. About a year ago I hit another wall. I had built a massive 168 hp x 21U case, and I just got to the point where I felt like I was getting stressed about keeping everything in the modular domain, etc. I guess at some point I also just got tired of making electronic music as whole. So I spent 6 months focusing on a guitar based project. I significantly downsized my eurorack collection as well (it's still pretty damn big). Six months later I've returned with new enegery. That said, my background was as a guitar player, who later became interested in synthesis and then got into eurorack. I love, and will always love, fixed architecture synths. I view the modular as one more, very malleable, sound source in the studio. I guess even that's not valid, because it's often a sequencer and a sound processor as well. I've spent quite a bit of time turning my studio into a larger organism. I have a lot of IO on my interfaces, which allows me to freely route audio. I have an NW2S IO which allows me to bring in and take out 8 tracks from the modular. Two Shuttle Controls and a Ladik MIDI to gate bring in MIDI. And the ADDAC 221/222 bring CV to all my MIDI devices. The computer routes audio and MIDI, records and occasionally processes. Personally I would never get rid of anything.

However, I do think it's great to create artificial limitations to stimulate creativity. Make a set of rules and stick to them. It may inspire you to work in different ways, come up with novel solutions, etc.

For the sake of argument, however.... if I had to distill it down to non-modular, it might be some Elektron boxes (Rytm, Digitakt, Digitone?) just portability and efficiency. The Elektron workflow really speaks to me, like modular it's not for everyone. Or maybe just a laptop with Ableton and Push 2. Otherwise, if I wasn't worried about size, expense, etc I would have to say I might distill it down to Andromeda, Prophet 12, Rhodes/pedalboard and Digitone. If it were allowed I might include the 002 and Nava as well.

Personally, I favor polyphonic synths with a good unison in a minimalist set up vs a mono synth. If I were to go with a mono synth I guess I would want a sampler as well so I could at least sample some material and get some polyphony. Extensive mod options are a must for me. Like CF3 said, the options are almost limitless. You find what works for you, with compromises that don't bother you.
Doublecoolbossman
Micromonsta+linnstrument and op-1
popvulture
Thanks for the awesome responses/suggestions, y’all (and bring on more if you’ve got em!). Really helps to hear that some people have hit the same wall—I was a bit worried that I’d get at least some of the “what, you don’t get it???” variety.

Very, very much appreciated!!!
phase ghost
Everyone has the "oh, shiny!" moments with modulars. Especially early on. I haven't bought a new module in a few years, and before that there was another year or so gap. So, eventually that should wear off some.

My rack is 9u, and that's all I've ever had. But, I'm STILL finding new avenues to explore. In terms of monosynths, nothing can touch a modular. Both in terms of flexibility, and sound quality (imo). My modest ass rig has 4 oscillators (3 analog, 1 digi which is dual), 5 filters, 5 envelopes, noise source, wave folder, bunch of lfo's, and some other auxillary stuff. Not to mention all these oscillators can act as LFO's, and the filters all self oscillate.

So, I'd replace it with nothing. Just dig into your system, and don't worry about the latest and greatest.
Joe.
If i had to ditch the modular, maybe I'd be happy with a MIDI sampler (keep stealing from Youtube), and an Amiga running Octamed?

I don't know, I don't think I'd be happy really. I could keep doing what I like doing, but it wouldn't be the same type of fun.
lisa
phase ghost wrote:
Everyone has the "oh, shiny!" moments with modulars. Especially early on. I haven't bought a new module in a few years, and before that there was another year or so gap. So, eventually that should wear off some.

Sounds great! But for someone who is a oh, shiny-junkie (and many are) those gaps will feel like the interest has been lost and that it’s time to move on to something that can spark that oh, shiny-feeling again. I think that’s what this thread is all about, really.

popvulture: If you mainly want to consume then go ahead and sell the stuff so that you can buy other stuff. However, if you want to make music you should probably fight that consuming urge. The feeling that you need another thing to be able to make music has nothing to do with a modular setup, it is the same whatever setup you have. Fight it. screaming goo yo
justin3am
Dude, if I had to sell my modular, I would get really heavy into RC cars and drones. Or I'd buy a boat. I wonder if I could get a straight-up trade on a Cal33 or a Catalina 30?
Blairio
I have 18U of modular kit. Most of it is infrastructure / basic subtractive stuff with a couple of macro oscillators (Braids, Plaits), and a resonator (Rings).

Sitting next to it is a Dark Energy mk1, MicroMonsta, JU-06, MicorKorg XL. Nord electro 5 and an old MS10.

I flit between both setups, and integrate the output of each into new musical pieces. I could get by without the modular (and at some point I might) but there is a lot to be said for being able to work in both those sound production environments.

I fully get the lure of total recall mono and polysynths, and some mono synths do get close to the raw sound quality of a modular synth voice built from decent oscillators, filters etc - but not many.

So perhaps keep enough modular to build a voice or two, and pick up a poly synth (the microMonsta is a peach) and a mono synth of your choice. There are so many great mono synths out there at the moment. I am not fussed about dropping 3.5k on a minimoog. I'd prefer an SE-02 and a decent controller keyboard. Or maybe a Vermona Perfourmer.

There is an alternative to modular or a poly / mono synth combo which another poster has eluded to..... Under my bed (space is tight!) is a 2004 Yamaha Motif ES7 workstation. This is mainly for live work, but it has so much polyphony, great sounds and fx and a very usable sequencer, that you hardly need anything else to produce good music (inspiration permitting). Honestly, you could sit down with any decent workstation and produce some pretty amazing stuff.

<Blair edited to fix rubbish spelling>
supersuper
Sold my modular, Im just more productive on a computer, but I learnt a shit load from playing with a modular.

Best way to learn synthesis and sound design in a hands on way but not an essential for life.
LameAim
Another primary Ableton/Push laptop user here who decided to hop out of Euro. I never had a large setup, but the constant drive to optimize the 208HP I did have despite the option paralysis it gave was enough to push me in the opposite direction. So I shuffled some gear and money around before landing on the current lineup:

OP-1
Modor NF-1m
Digitakt
Digitone

Been feeling a lot more satisfied with this setup. I've had the Digitakt/Digitone parked on my coffee table for the last couple of weeks. I think that my use of the Digitakt might share too much overlap with Ableton Live to justify keeping it, but still like it enough to consider doing so. New, interesting stuff has just been falling out of those two boxes for me so far. Crazy how fast you can throw together an evolving sequence with just a couple of patterns.

Meanwhile, the OP-1 is great for miscellaneous noises and the ultra-portable life, and I like that I never quite know where I'll end up whenever I turn it on. And while I still need to spend more time with the NF-1m to figure out how it fits in, I like the core sound of it enough to continue exploring with it once I wrap my mind around the Elektron duo.

Honestly, I love that each item works separately if needed, and that I can pair them up in various configurations if desired. And I can still save those results and funnel them into Ableton for further dissection down the line.

Very happy that I went this route.

I'll admit that I'm super into the DFAM, though. If I end up going back to Euro, I'd pick up one of those, augment it with a Pam's New Workout and some h additional drum/percussion modules (Plonk/Noise Engineering, etc) in an additional Moog 60HP case. Then I'd have to freeze the configuration out once I filled it up or risk losing my mind again. But I couldn't call that a need right now.
h4ndcrafted
I’d never sell all my modular, too much fun and always sounds more raw and alive.

I only have 6u left though, and if it expands again, it will only be for effects.
The only synth in Euro I kept was Atlantis , but I would expand if the SEM got released.
The EMU filter and Magneto might be next! Too many great filters and unusual modulators to ignore euro.
/\/\/\/\/\/
Sinamsis wrote:
I had built a massive 168 hp x 21U case, and I just got to the point where I felt like I was getting stressed about keeping everything in the modular domain, etc. .


This is definitely something that I have noticed, for example posts in threads about stand alone gear that looks pretty useful 'but will it be released in euro?'. Almost another version of in the box, everything has to be in the rack for some reason. It's not as if interconnectivity only exists within a modular rack, but it sometimes seems from the odd comment here and there that people can get caught in that mindset or the filling the rack mindset.
mharpum
I bought a digitakt and tone, I haven't touched my modular since. I find the workflow refreshing and I am actually making tunes again. You can spend hours patching and end up with nothing. At least with a groovebox you can save what you make and go back and change it if you want to.
slicetwo
If you're not using a computer at all, I'd say check out an Octatrack, AnalogFour, and 0Coast. I have all 3 and they work great together. I can sequence the 0Coast with the OT MIDI Out and then modulate the 0Coast with 4 tracks of CV/Gate from the A4. The A4 will give you a wide variety of sounds, and the OT will let you sample a whole lot.
porphyrion
Without modular, I think I'd go all looper...
the fastest way to make music -ever-
Jamie Lidell, a true master IMO, explained it very well on a recent SonicState episode (called 'Just flush it').

--- or Screamtracker/Renoise with a *very* limited sample library-
visible cow
This is a timely thread for me as I've been feeling similarly. I'm afraid I'd miss the ping of my Cwejman qmmf too much.....or the beautiful tropical bird sounds that the chaotica spits out.

I have great hardware synths such as a Dominion 1, OB-6 and Vernona Perfoumer but there really is something unique about what happens with a modular environment.

But do I really need those sounds? Are they worth it? I'm personally fed up with rearranging my 9u....it takes quite a bit of energy away from much more important things such as writing better music.

So my solution has been to repair my Wurlitzer 200a, play a ton of piano and guitar and treat the modular as a little happy accident and sound design machine that sits in the corner but is no longer the focus. We'll see how that goes. It still feels too luxurious confused .
sackley
Without running on - I view the modular as the ends itself. It's an instrument, if you can allow it to be. I could record and share my patches, but I don't care. I enjoy my time setting up a patch, listening and spacing out with coffee in the morning, and turning it off. I like the idea of sharing these sounds, but I'm just too lazy to set up and hit record.

If I really wanted to "write music" I'd just focus all my energy on learning piano, personally. I am chipping away at that most days as a way to feel some forward momentum apart from the modular.

To address the OP, maybe reflect on what drew you to build a euro system, and then go back to just the 0-coast and maybe a couple support modules before selling everything off. Limit your palette.
xthrasherx
I've been in a similar situation personally, though less "shiny object" type of compulsion and more "I want to do it all."

I came to the synth world as a fairly closed minded guitar player, starting with a Moog Sub37 and being heavily inspired by bands like Sigh (oddball black metal band w/ heavy minimoog use). From there I got a microbrute, then a 6u 84 hp eurorack, which then expanded to 12u. I've stuck at 12u, but modules have been swapped out a bit (still have most of the originals). The Sub37 got traded for an Elektron Rytm (mkI) and I picked up an Access Virus A.

Then life happened. My wife had a double lung transplant (she's doing great now), plus we just completed a move across the US to a new home. These events took me out of the studio for around a year where I totally ignored all things synth. I've been setting up the studio again and the modular is getting some attention, but it isn't the same.

My big take away from this experience is: Know what you want to do. That seems like common advice around here (for a reason), but my music tastes have changed SIGNIFICANTLY since exploring the world of electronic based music. I have a better idea of where I want to go / what I want to do, but I'm hitting the wall of not being as well geared for that as I'd like (dark ambient / industrial type of stuff, but still rhythmic to noisy techno-ish stuff... Think Emptyset, JK Flesh, or trepaneringsritualen).

So, to the OPs original question, something like an Octatrack and a Virus can go a looooooong way to covering everything you can possibly need to do. Anytime I'm feeling the need to do some four on the floor type of noodling (not my "specialty"), it is very difficult to beat that combo. For me personally, I'm trying to create a "live" rig that is paired down to probably a 6u system, pedals, and the Octatrack.
jenamu6
Great to see I'm not the only one.

I started modular about 10 years ago before the big boom.
I sold all my vinage and newer stuff, just to get more modular.

At one point I had a Bugbrand, Synton Fenix II en III, a MS20 and a large eurorack. I did a lot of performances with my eurorack on a lot of great venues.
I really liked the crowd, but.....after a while I started to hate the "music"....most of it, mine included is just bleepbloop krrrrhhhgghhhgr bleep.

Then I got a burnout and didn't touch my instruments for months.....I picked up slide guitar delta blues style. Loved it!
I didn't touch my studio for 3 years.......then the electronic music bug bit again.

Last year I bought a MPC x and soon discovered that the modulars I had, didn't add up to my productivity.
I like making ambient psy chill and radioheadlike songs.......in my limited free time, the modular is just NOT productive for me.
I sold the bugbrand.....will try to sell my eurorack (but that bubble is bursting at this moment all over the globe).
I will keep the fenix II.....but I might sell the fenix III.

At the moment the MPCx, monologue and DSI rev 2 is giving me all I need to pump out tracks at great speed.
dozicusmaximus
I feel you dude. My main goal was noise/drone sample fodder. But I've been spending a lot of time trying to coax cool sounds. I still have a lot to learn to build better patches to sample. But I think I'm trying to build songs on the modular. I just bought a few more modules to see if this is really the way I want to continue.
Either way I'm going to give it another good 6 months go figure out what's going to stay in the 7u 84hp box or less.

My Digitakt and Digitone are sitting there waiting for me to put the time in. They are pretty easy to get started on and make interesting sounding sequences. Maybe I like sequencing and melody more than I think I do... haha.

But I jump all over the place in what I want to make. So that doesn't help. Staying focused is a challenge.
xthrasherx
dozicusmaximus wrote:
I feel you dude. My main goal was noise/drone sample fodder. But I've been spending a lot of time trying to coax cool sounds. I still have a lot to learn to build better patches to sample. But I think I'm trying to build songs on the modular. I just bought a few more modules to see if this is really the way I want to continue.
Either way I'm going to give it another good 6 months go figure out what's going to stay in the 7u 84hp box or less.

My Digitakt and Digitone are sitting there waiting for me to put the time in. They are pretty easy to get started on and make interesting sounding sequences. Maybe I like sequencing and melody more than I think I do... haha.

But I jump all over the place in what I want to make. So that doesn't help. Staying focused is a challenge.


Just my .02 (again), I love what modular brings to noise / drones, while I prefer to stay out of modular for more melodic work. It wasn't always that way, but my modular stuff has been increasingly focused on modulation duties and sound processing as opposed to sound creation if that makes sense. I love all the cv capabilities, but I care less about using that on a VCO as opposed to using it to impact reverbs, delays, or route signal. That said I'm still figuring it out and my wallet will remain empty for some time sad banana
lisa
mharpum wrote:
You can spend hours patching and end up with nothing. At least with a groovebox you can save what you make

I made a patch yesterday and it was still there today. wink

With a groovebox I’ll save whatever I make, with my modular I’ll make my mind up about the patch right then and there; if it’s good I’ll record it, if it isn’t I’ll tear it. Adapting to the setting.
mharpum
lisa wrote:
mharpum wrote:
You can spend hours patching and end up with nothing. At least with a groovebox you can save what you make

I made a patch yesterday and it was still there today. ;)

With a groovebox I’ll save whatever I make, with my modular I’ll make my mind up about the patch right then and there; if it’s good I’ll record it, if it isn’t I’ll tear it. Adapting to the setting.


Fair one mate, I find I make more actual songs with grooveboxes over modular which usually ends up being a 1 take recording of a sort of performance of the patch. They always end up being incredibly random and not the sort of thing you listen to more than a few times.
dozicusmaximus
xthrasherx wrote:

Just my .02 (again), I love what modular brings to noise / drones, while I prefer to stay out of modular for more melodic work. It wasn't always that way, but my modular stuff has been increasingly focused on modulation duties and sound processing as opposed to sound creation if that makes sense. I love all the cv capabilities, but I care less about using that on a VCO as opposed to using it to impact reverbs, delays, or route signal. That said I'm still figuring it out and my wallet will remain empty for some time sad banana


Yeah... I don't have any effects modules. I run the sounds out into effects pedals and back in right now. I've been thinking about that too. haha.
I've been messing with Mannequins and Ieaskul F. Mobenthey modules a bunch. I just became interested in Thru Zero FM. So after I mess with that I'll take a step back and see what I'm really messing with the most and condense it, then look at effects. The IFM chaos may be too much for my little brain to harness the power of right now.

I'm definitely interested in creating unique timbers and textures. Then adding some delay and reverb. My main purpose was to create sounds/tones I can't with regular synths or at least with a little less effort and more happy accidents.

That said, sound processing does look bananas. nanners And an area I haven't looked to deep into.
popvulture
Lots of really interesting stuff in this thread—I'm really enjoying hearing other people's experiences and backgrounds, directions that have come and gone.

To be completely honest, the feeling modular gave me was a first. I've always been a total gear hoarder—I've got a lot of guitars, amps, pedals, pianos/keyboards/synths etc, but I can't remember ever having even an inkling of such a strong impulse with any of those things to just abandon ship and cash out.

I guess the start of exit thoughts came when I suddenly found myself more financially invested than I'd expected. Someone previously mentioned their modular being the weird thing in the corner that gets some fun/experimental use from time to time... I love that idea, but I also made the mistake of totaling up how much money I'd spent and realized that this weird thing is also a shockingly expensive one. And yeah, I've always known it's an expensive habit—I hear that all the time on here—but it's just funny that my 9U case has quickly eclipsed the cost of even my nicest vintage guitars. Music is by far my favorite thing to spend money on, but never have I had the experience of spending so much on something that left me so frustrated. As I've said though—most of this had to do with me, as there are plenty of examples of people who dig into that world happily and without ending up chasing their tails.

I do love a lot of things about it, and will certainly echo the comment about it being an unbeatable way to learn about synthesis. I would definitely like to get an 0-coast again, and plenty of companies like MI make such fantastic stuff that I'd likely be very interested in keeping a module or two around. It's ultimately just a pool at which I'm probably most comfortable sitting at the edge with my feet in the water razz
lisa
mharpum wrote:
I find I make more actual songs with grooveboxes over modular which usually ends up being a 1 take recording of a sort of performance of the patch. They always end up being incredibly random and not the sort of thing you listen to more than a few times.

I hear you. I had a huge fear of that and/or not making any music at all if I where to get into eurorack. For that reason I kept away for over 10 years. When I decided it was time to take the plunge I set a few rules, one of which is that I have to make music that I like. If I don’t I’m not buying any new modules. It’s working thus far. smile

I record all sounds on separate tracks and arrange in Live after recording. That’s my trick to avoid just ending up with the performance of patches.
shred
popvulture wrote:


I guess the start of exit thoughts came when I suddenly found myself more financially invested than I'd expected. Someone previously mentioned their modular being the weird thing in the corner that gets some fun/experimental use from time to time... I love that idea, but I also made the mistake of totaling up how much money I'd spent and realized that this weird thing is also a shockingly expensive one. And yeah, I've always known it's an expensive habit—I hear that all the time on here—but it's just funny that my 9U case has quickly eclipsed the cost of even my nicest vintage guitars. Music is by far my favorite thing to spend money on, but never have I had the experience of spending so much on something that left me so frustrated. As I've said though—most of this had to do with me, as there are plenty of examples of people who dig into that world happily and without ending up chasing their tails.


definitely feeling this big time. My Dad is big into guitars and when I was younger we'd have fun fantasy thoughts about walking into a shop and leaving with a $3000 Martin or whatever, and that NEVER ever seemed like a possibility that would actually happen. But when I look around and tally up all my modular gear, I'm well into that territory. It gives me some anxiety when I look at it and don't feel the motivation to start patching.

I made waaaay more music when I just used the Samplr app, a few guitar pedals, and a contact mic. Haven't recorded any new modular sounds in well over a year. Getting more into the groovebox swing of things with the Elektron route. Also I've set a limit for myself on 6U of 84hp for both audio and video modules. Otherwise I'd end up with a wall of modular and even more anxiety lol
goiks
there are so many truly awesome tools in the modular world now it would be hard to bail entirely, but if i did it would be for a down payment on one of these (and an ipad):


deltaphoenix
When I first started messing with modular, ~6 years ago - it was with Euro nd bailed after a couple of months. I was playing in a band and knew that I was going to sell all of that stuff in order to fund more Euro.

A few months later, I decided to get some Serge. It was expensive, there wasn't new stuff coming out all of the time, etc. So I enjoyed a couple of months of Serge. Then my band broke up and I was bored w/Bass and Pedals so I decided to sell most of that and my Serge in order to fund some Buchla. I wanted to play out and make use of the 200e memory capabilities. So, I built up a nice SkyLab and played out with that. Because I am obsessive, I built up an 18 space Buchla. Then, my wife had our first child, we bought another house, my career became more serious...so I stopped using the Buchla. The thought of all of that money JUST SITTING THERE drove me nuts. So I sold it, played around with a few other pieces of gear, and now I have 15u of Euro, 2 semi modular synths that can easily patch with the Euro, I have some banana gear (Fenix 2, Cocoquantus and Double knot), a few drum machine/groove boxes AND a nice bass, amp and a few pedals.

I get to play a little of the gas game with the Euro but way less than before. I can get something going quickly with the semi-modular. I can have the banana patching experience that I love. And I can mess with drum machines, play bass, etc. The most important thing that I have found is to have my music space set-up so I can quickly get some sounds happening (patch bay and a sub-mixer to the mixer/audio interface). I lost a lot of inspiration by having to unplug/replug stuff too often.

I would say, that I am cooler with my euro because I have that 15u split into a 6u and 9u and each case has a different vision. The 6u is a bit more of my modular groovebox with a few nice "character" modules. The plan is to make this one my live focused case. The 9u is more studio friendly with larger modules and more "experimental" modules. It is cool if there is a little more turnover of modules in this case.

Ultimately, not having all of my eggs in one basket has helped. I realize that I have put a ton of money into this and I could pair down and still be satisfied. I would keep some modular gear if I was pairing down though.
scuto
xthrasherx wrote:
My big take away from this experience is: Know what you want to do. That seems like common advice around here (for a reason), but my music tastes have changed SIGNIFICANTLY since exploring the world of electronic based music.


This is accurate for me, and knowing what I want out of modular has saved me a lot of turmoil; it kept me from getting overwhelmed. But to get there I had to learn both what I did and didn't want to do, and this was through stand alone kit over some time. Put oversimplistically (sic!) I learned what I wanted to do via the MS-20m, and what I didn't by wrestling with the Octatrack (though my silver Elektrons will never leave).

I'd say a MS-20 variant (I have the m, but the mini may be noisier) or a Boomstar for the mono (the former feels alive thanks to its filters, the latter's tone is quite rich to my ears). I don't have much use for a poly so I can't say, but the Digitone looks like a lot of fun!
HighLordFixer
shipment of 1/4" female jacks just came in so making ms50esque hertz expander system... already have ideal metal for faceplate of new case...
that my x911 cat actually sit on top of... that fucking thing and front input output jacks.... grrrr... requires constantly resisting urge for making it modular
dozicusmaximus
^ M.A.R.K. 13
Nice!
CF3
phase ghost wrote:
In terms of monosynths, nothing can touch a modular. Both in terms of flexibility, and sound quality (imo). My modest ass rig has 4 oscillators (3 analog, 1 digi which is dual), 5 filters, 5 envelopes, noise source, wave folder, bunch of lfo's, and some other auxillary stuff. Not to mention all these oscillators can act as LFO's, and the filters all self oscillate.

So, I'd replace it with nothing. Just dig into your system, and don't worry about the latest and greatest.


Seriously. I can’t even really look it monos anymore. Just in terms of the footprint alone. In my 7U-104hp x 2 rig I can easily do a half dozen “mono” voices with insane modulation, discrete filters, envelopes galore, multiple oscillators (of all different varieties), etc... all in the space of 22” x 20”. I’d need an A-Frame stand and WALL full of monos to do the same.

But more to the point a lot of ppl don’t want to “dig” into their system. Which is evident by all the “what module for X style of music” threads. Modular is not a drag n drop instant gratification machine like a folder full of plugins or a groovebox. First off, it takes knowledge and patience. I’ve been at since about 98’ and I still learn new things daily (same goes for all aspects of production and engineering). It also takes a lot of “other” skills like recording, editing, basic engineering, etc.. to be effective. Secondly, what is it you want to achieve? Modular is ONE tool out of many. I’ve talked many clients out of starting modular rigs because of the style of music they want to make and thier skill level. What’s happening is ppl see other artists with modular and they see exotic modules and they catch the fever... but reality is never as good as the fantasy. It’s work. You have to patch. You have to come up with ideas. You have put together a cohesive rack. Some ppl are predisposed to that and some are not. Nothing wrong with that. But it’s not the modular... it’s you.
nolongerhuman
I've bailed on Euro twice, and rebuilt it each time. For me, critical mass is around 12U, I start to see it as a $10,000 machine to make noise. I produce danceable electronic, and I tour and it kind of pays the bills but no where near extravagantly.

For me it came down to an attitude shift. I stopped trying to do everything in the modular. I got rid of modular effects (digital delays are nice, syncable is also nice, but plug ins or pedals are just fine for me, same with reverbs, same with bitcrushers, etc) I got rid of all but basic sequencers (again, I work primarily in Ableton, and always in a western scale, with typical timings) so they made little sense to me.

I stopped thinking about the modular as a way to "make music" and more a way to add to my flexibility with rhythm tracks, sound design, drum programming. Most everything now goes into Ableton as a loop, I don't even own an analog oscillator, my case is almost totally Noise Engineering and Intellijel controlled by a Minibrute 2 at this point... and I am much, much happier.

When I did bail, first time I went with a DSI Pro 2 and found it buggy beyond reason, and the second time I went with a set of Elektron boxes and found them too close to what I was already doing with my computer.

Now I just have a 7U eurorack, a Digitone, the Minibrute 2 and a Virus Ti. Aside from buying things here and there (like... I want a Dreadbox Nyx for some reason...) and adding a pedal here and there, I mostly am satisfied.

For me, I would either have to be all or nothing, go full on and have a wall of euro or keep it intentionally minimal and use it as a fun break away from my primary creation device, which is still the computer.
GuyaGuy
If I bailed on modular I'd get a couple of synths with a rather robust architecture and flexible routing like a DSI Rev 2 and Moog Subsequent. (Well actually I have those already...)

As for bailing on it because of chasing after modules and so on, that's a choice. It took me a while to figure what size of unit I wanted but once I did I then tried to decide exactly what I needed in there, built things out and stopped, selling the leftovers. I might swap a module out at some point (haven't in a year or two) but I like knowing that I have a 3 row Doepfer case that will stay that size for some time.
Datormaskin
Analog Four and Octatrack and youre set for life.

The A4 is a littlel modular in it self because of modulation matrix.
WaveRider
Datormaskin wrote:
Analog Four and Octatrack and youre set for life.

The A4 is a littlel modular in it self because of modulation matrix.


believe it or not, some really dislike the gear elektron makes
h4ndcrafted
There doesn’t have to be absolutes though. My modular is a source for my sampler. Samplers are great at letting you ‘get on with it ‘ and a modular is great for unique sounds.
InnnerSight
I sold my Eurorack and brought a Music Easel, couldn't be happier no gas since. Another would be nice but multi-tracking solves it. I never keep anything I don't use, much better to get use out of things.
JakoGreyshire
I feel like quitting sometimes.. Usually it happens right in the middle of Mercury Retrograde..

The experience that plays out in the mind during a modular journey is a great way to learn more about the world within and the world without.


If I sold it all, I would probably buy a MatrixBrute and a expressive E touche controller..
Arcana
I’m nowhere near tired of my Modular, but I still make music fastest at the computer, with polysynths attached. Nord Lead changed my life - multitimbral polyphonic and super easy to use.

My Modular is fun but it’s kind of a social thing for me now because I do meetups. Before each meetup I make a set for it.

A year ago I tried to do live stuff but it wasn’t really coming together. Now, i have a Modular and while it still doesn’t come together, i get to subject other people to it and park my perfectionism at the door. hihi
HighLordFixer
Let's hear it for Mercury Retro & Moon Void Of Course!!!!
what a Fing minute...
that's gotta be band name or an album title?!!!
HighLordFixer

Bandcamp account secured
HighLordFixer
HighLordFixer
looks like it's time for making the GF work with me putting together some CGS module pcbs
that have been sitting around for ages....
for new project...
anyone have experience/opinions/feedback on Cat Girl Synthacon filters?
Dilibob
h4ndcrafted wrote:
There doesn’t have to be absolutes though. My modular is a source for my sampler. Samplers are great at letting you ‘get on with it ‘ and a modular is great for unique sounds.
That's what I'm doing too. Another nice thing about modular that I've come to, is it's alright for it to sit a few years or even a decade, then pull it back out.

But my "I'm not using this gear should I get rid of it" decision is totally different analog vs digital. For digital I almost never use it after a significant gap in time, so I often get rid of it immediately. Analog gear that I don't use for a decade, I find I can often use it immediately and am glad I didn't sell it.
popvulture
There indeed needs to be a band called Moon Void, even though it does sound like it came out of a psych band random name generator cool
J3RK
We wouldn't be having this conversation if it was about It's peanut butter jelly time! nanners

hihi

Kidding... I've even scaled back the banana system. It is still here though.
HighLordFixer
of course there is a band of wanna be dead head hippies named mercury retrograde in Philly....
maybe eye can convince them eye had a tie dye vision flashback
and was told to contact them
for telling them
they will become rich & famous
if they change their name to
The Cherry Garcias
they look that stoned...
AW198
HighLordFixer wrote:
of course there is a band of wanna be dead head hippies named mercury retrograde in Philly....
maybe eye can convince them eye had a tie dye vision flashback
and was told to contact them
for telling them
they will become rich & famous
if they change their name to
The Cherry Garcias
they look that stoned...


I always read your posts as if they're ritualistic chants, you have some great punctuation habits Mr. Green
solitud
popvulture wrote:
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 use a Kenton Pro DCB with the Juno. Works perfect, no need to mod anything.
hangar
Just get Sub37?
popvulture
solitud wrote:
popvulture wrote:
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 use a Kenton Pro DCB with the Juno. Works perfect, no need to mod anything.

That's good to hear! I know they have the other option that's some sort of full on PCB to install, costs around 500 bucks plus labor iirc. I've looked at the Pro DCB but wondered how much control it would give me. How've you used it?
tom.bzode
One of my favourite things about modular is the way that the lines between tones, modulations, sequences, functions can be really blurry. Computer based modular environments can actually sound amazing these days and are not limited by your wallet and physical space. Max/MSP + Gen is my preference but obviously others are available. There's stuff that computers are quite bad at due to sample rates, aliasing, latency, inability to really do feedback etc. It's a trade-off.

If you're using your modular to create a couple of subtractive voices that you're sequencing in a timeline or even pattern-based way then there's no real reason to go modular other than for it's sound. Desktop synths like 0-coast and Mother plus older ones like Evolver etc.. They all sound pretty great, too.

It's probably best to sort out what you actually want to do. Don't try and develop an ultimate setup that's forever but what you are interested in using right now. Limit your choices a bit and get creative. What would you do with:

An Octatrack and an SM57
An MPC, multi-fx and a field recorder
An organ and a set of loopers + a mixer
A guitar, one mic and a 4 track

Each of these is limited but immediately should suggest things to try out.

You can make techno with just a drum machine and a delay/echo box. Or just a sampler/sequencer plus a recorder. Synths are luxury items in this context.
solitud
popvulture wrote:

That's good to hear! I know they have the other option that's some sort of full on PCB to install, costs around 500 bucks plus labor iirc. I've looked at the Pro DCB but wondered how much control it would give me. How've you used it?

I just use it to receive MIDI notes.
There is no full midification of all params but you can assign one MIDI controller to a CV out and modulate the VCF cutoff. That also works with MIDI velocity or aftertouch.
The interface can also convert MIDI clock to gate so you can sync the arpeggiator.
popvulture
Very cool. Alright, I'm finally gonna get one — thank you! Mr. Green
HighLordFixer
those little Kenton's are some handy boxes
mutierend
I dumped eurorack and went Buchla. Couldn't be happier.
Technologear?
[quote="lisa"]
phase ghost wrote:

popvulture: If you mainly want to consume then go ahead and sell the stuff so that you can buy other stuff. However, if you want to make music you should probably fight that consuming urge. The feeling that you need another thing to be able to make music has nothing to do with a modular setup, it is the same whatever setup you have. Fight it. screaming goo yo

Do nothing. Just meditate on this.

You explained: 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.

But: are you ready to commit to the restrictions that fosters your creativity, at the expense of the pleasure gained through searching/researching/expanding (ie consuming)?

I'm speaking from deeply considering this myself. I'm currently applying a few rules: use what I've currently got no new gear; any screen time (researching, discovering, etc) is completely separate from creating so treat it like reading a book for fun and interest only (ie don't kid myself that it leads to creative output or progress); if I'm GASing (ooo shiny) for more than 30mins, I must turn off screen and physically use what I've got.

This has been really hard for me to execute, but very worthwhile.

Execution example: after trawling through MW topics on delays for too long, I got up and put my Circuit through a Zoom G3. Just admitting that I use that gear feels like I'm confessing at an AA meeting! But, I EXPERIENTIALLY learned about making more sparse arrangements when putting sounds through chained delays. That's what is important to me, learn through doing and create more sound.

I have loved this Topic and discussion, thanks OP. All the best with fighting your GAS too!
HighLordFixer
multitapping patched multiple units can produce epic sounds... experiment....
it's really about building your total "arsenal"...
also how you use your gear/tools/weapons
you can create an entire record with good effects & piezo on a $3 used hand crank meatgrinder
seen that before
sound is full spectrum
usually dominated by vox
creative inspiration/visualization is of the utmost importance
chiasticon
I went through this years ago and sold my euro. partially because I just liked the sound of vintage stuff more and partially just to simplify. so I basically turned a euro system into an arp 2600. still tons of options, obviously. but with a semi-modular, you don't have to patch it but there's still plenty you can do with it when you feel like wiggling. and there are tons of semi-modular options out there nowadays.

lots of awesome options presented by everyone else as well. the digitakt/tone setup would be super awesome. used to be a big fan of just the machinedrum/monomachine setup so I get it hihi
SynthBaron
I spent a lot on analog to realize softsynths have always worked better for me, and ultimately are easier to use to make music with. It's no longer the era of being stuck with the limitations of a 400 MHz Mac G4. I can do so much with a 5 year old i7 and never break 15% CPU utilization...
th0mas
I recently started downsizing my eurorack (12u/84hp mostly full).

It began when I played a matrixbrute, then a moog minimoog, at a guitar center while travelling a few weeks ago. the matrixbrute reminded me of my eurorack - having to think about cause and effect as I played with the front panel and start computing how to build a cool sound. not really lost in the vibe of the thing.

Then I played the minimoog. For 30 minutes, without realizing it. It's an instrument - tactile, sensible, with an amazingly large sweet spot for tone. my eurorack will never be as accessible and *musical* as that. On the rest of my trip I thought a lot about the typical patches I bother to make in euro and, really, I'm no synth wizard.. most of them are pretty simple with arguably less modulation going on than what a typical monosynth enables.

That being said sometimes I like making music by pushing buttons and plugging cables. It's a workflow thing. I don't think I'm going to go to 0 modular, but probably more like.. half. And mostly sequencing / modulation utilities.
MindMachine
If I get the gist of this deal...

I would be a monophonic hoarder.

I currently have semi modular and a lot of various format modulars.

I see benefits in using a ton of monophonics.

IF I had to downsize, I could see any combo of:

Micromoog, Prodigy, SCI Pro One, Novation BSll, DSI Pro 2, DSI MEK, Moog Sub37, Korg Mono/Poly, etc.
ResistSound
I’ve actualy been working to downsize my setup since moving back to NY and having space be an issue.

Thins I won’t sell but will likely stay in the closet.
Buchla easel
Moog voyager
Make noise shared system

I love these but they are what they are and I have two young kids and I work on lots of different music. Anything from ambient to synth pop to garage rock etc...

So I decided on electron A4 and digitakt. Not always my favorite synths/ sampler but they get the job done. I’m also considering replacing the A4 with two boomstar 4075s I have one already and then I don’t need to deal with menus hmmmmmmmmmm. Still working on it but I tried just the shared system yesterday and I was spending too much time patching.
blue_lu
popvulture wrote:
... I've found myself just chasing module after module, getting both distracted and frustrated. ... Let's just say that "ooh shiny" is a frequent mode for me, ...

My question: what would you buy if you were to go back to a non (or semi) modular setup? ...i



You are doing the "oh shiny" thing right now. Set some limits to yourself:
No more muffs for now and use the stuff you already have. Selling and rebuying something "different" will not solve the issue.
popvulture
Thanks again for the continued responses, everyone—I've really enjoyed reading them all as they've come in. Lotsa super helpful stuff smile

I haven't made any final decisions yet, but I will say that I understand why some people think I'm saying "ooh shiny" all over again. Firstly sure, part of that's true—but I'm not annoyed about wanting more gear, as I'll always want more/new things. In fact, getting excited about that stuff is one of the facets of the musical universe that makes me happiest—I've just reached a point in this format where I'm very much not enjoying it, and the quest doesn't seem to be having any payoff for me personally. Regarding ooh shiny, I'm not jonesing for anything particular at the moment, but rather was more curious about how people get the job done in a more (or less) finite system.
Shledge
I don't think I would ever part with mine. Patching is a very calming and rewarding experience. The lights, knobs etc. make it a very sensory experience for me. It's used for music, but often I see it as a big set of "sonic lego".

It helps to limit yourself - I did with a doepfer basic system for nearly 10 years before I even considered buying more modules. Learned all the little tricks like how to make makeshift sequencers, using clock dividers to make flip flops, inverted envelopes to create negative triggers, using slew limiters as basic filters/envelopes, making S&H act as a bitcrusher etc.

Even now it's designed for a specific purpose rather than "oooh, flavour of the month module by irritable devices!" - everything carefully planned, with each module bought in consideration on how it would be used with others.

I think too many people go in like a bull, with their bank accounts hit hard, fast and strong. Forgetting the all important VCAs and other utilities. Not much planning put into it, to the point that you can't really do much "modularness" with it - after all, what is the point of owning a modular if it's just some basic voices that at most you'll send CV/gates to? Expecting new whizz-bang modules to solve problems for you rather than thinking creatively. Not surprised people give up on it after a while.
solitud
Shledge wrote:
I don't think I would ever part with mine. Patching is a very calming and rewarding experience. The lights, knobs etc. make it a very sensory experience for me. It's used for music, but often I see it as a big set of "sonic lego".


My modular is an aquarium with many colorful fish to feed.
chamomileshark
I'd go for a self contained small semi-modular - like a Buchla easel. Personally I went for an EMS VCS3 but they are not so easy to get hold of.

I'd also suggest one of the DSI analogue polys - the Prophet 6 or Obie 6.
crawling wind
Shledge
solitud wrote:
Shledge wrote:
I don't think I would ever part with mine. Patching is a very calming and rewarding experience. The lights, knobs etc. make it a very sensory experience for me. It's used for music, but often I see it as a big set of "sonic lego".


My modular is an aquarium with many colorful fish to feed.


So that's why cats gravitate towards it.
suboptimal
When I contemplate the value of my Eurorack system it's tempting to sell it all and get a Jomox AlphaBase, a few Elektron boxes, and some good quality processing gear. I'd probably end up with a bunch of cash left over that I could shift into other pursuits, like photography.

It's tempting.
popvulture
Shledge wrote:
irritable devices

Now there's a band name Bananallama!
PLNB
suboptimal wrote:
When I contemplate the value of my Eurorack system it's tempting to sell it all and get a Jomox AlphaBase, a few Elektron boxes, and some good quality processing gear. I'd probably end up with a bunch of cash left over that I could shift into other pursuits, like photography.

It's tempting.


This is the base of my setup plus an MPCLive. Audiowise, the combo has promise, but midi is still madhouse syncing with my DAW via Iconnectivity Mio10. I was debating how much I needed the AB until I played a quick jam on the daw, and the thud of the kick was perfect.
rutabaga40
I haven't read much of this thread, so forgive if this was recommended already...I always find it refreshing to create a focused rack of modules and limit yourself to that for a while. Our everything else in storage! Really getting to know some things and working within constraints usually inspires me all over again.

For me it happens when I go on a trip and take a little travel case.
cube48
Gotharman's Anamono X would give you fully modular architecture in one neat box with presets, morphing, sampling, sequencers, fx and lot more. Just one box. Kinda the best of both worlds, modular yet standalone and fully featured.
DeanG
so far, so good..
SynthBaron
How is the QuNexus? Been thinking about picking one up.
Nelson Baboon
cube48 wrote:
Gotharman's Anamono X would give you fully modular architecture in one neat box with presets, morphing, sampling, sequencers, fx and lot more. Just one box. Kinda the best of both worlds, modular yet standalone and fully featured.


fully modular? the gotharman boxes I had were not fully modular.

And his boxes are heavily menu based, which is very far from 'the best of both worlds'.
DeanG
SynthBaron wrote:
How is the QuNexus? Been thinking about picking one up.


I enjoy using it, but it is a bit weird in some ways. Not sure it is always consistant in response to pressure. Also the bend pad is difficult to operate at times and the octave pads don't always respond. While that doesn't sound like a hardy endorsement, OTOH all parametera such as pressure, tilt, velocity etc can be mapped to various cc on my se02, although I haven't done much with that yet. I had MN pressure points on my modular as well as a Pittsburgh Modular lifeforms keypad and I find this is more usefull than either as it combines some of the functionality of both those. As a non keyboardist I like the light touch required also, but I don't require great precision for what I do with my synth. I would sum up by saying I find it to a very expressive device and I feel very connected to my synth through it. And I think it is the best affordable option for a touch keyboard that I have come across.I bought it used and added the midi expander.
KaOsphere
Went a somewhat similar route at the end of last year.

I just got rid of all my modules, patch cables etc...

Now I'm making musing again with a bunch of elektron boxes, an Ipad and some nice controllers/midi funboxes ( Touché, Goliath, midi gal, event processor.... )

I did not find what I was looking for in modular...
Muzone
KaOsphere wrote:


I did not find what I was looking for in modular...



.....it may not have given the answer, but it showed you the way
modular is a journey deep into self expression, originality and the timeless nature of being, not all are ready for the wisdom but can still benefit from the experience
bkbirge
solitud wrote:
Shledge wrote:
I don't think I would ever part with mine. Patching is a very calming and rewarding experience. The lights, knobs etc. make it a very sensory experience for me. It's used for music, but often I see it as a big set of "sonic lego".


My modular is an aquarium with many colorful fish to feed.


Mine has a barracuda and a Moray eel hiding in there somewhere. Lost a finger to one the other day.
KaOsphere
Muzone wrote:

self expression, originality and the timeless nature of being


Exactly what I was looking for, exactly what I found somewhere else !
flabby
To derail this slightly. This has probably been said lots, but I think one of the big attractions to modular, and the current zeitgeist with all technology, is that you can 'personalize' it. I think people genuinely love the idea of combining different modules to create their own personalized instrument. An electronic music studio in a box of your 'own making'.
Unfortunately, the reality can end up being a mess, confusing, expensive and unbelievebly time consuming for many. I speaking mainly about eurorack here.

I think that's why you see manufactures like Make Noise and Pittsburgh releasing their own mini semi modulars. You can to the freak quickly and easily.

... I've forgotten what I was building up to here seriously, i just don't get it

Never mind, I have only the Buchla easel at the moment and I find that it really fills my needs. Plus it has MEMORY!!! .

What I always dream of is being able to create a personalized groove box / performance instrument, but I for one would need memory for that to be useful, and I don't see that happening in eurorack anytime.
Muzone
KaOsphere wrote:
Muzone wrote:

self expression, originality and the timeless nature of being


Exactly what I was looking for, exactly what I found somewhere else !


Modular made me transition from thinking the music was in the machine to realising the music was in me, then I got rid of the machine and kept the music smile

Now happily creating with a nice small set up ~ hope everyone enjoys their own journey.....
mousegarden
I've just "bailed" on modular, at least had a serious downsize, 15 down to 3U and the focus of my music isn't modularcentric anymore.
I've got a couple of workstation synths, my Mini Moog and my Buchla Easel, and they cover a lot of bases.
I'm finding that my Korg Z1 is doing a lot of what my modular used to do in terms of providing the right "atmosphere" I also have a Korg Triton, workstations have incredible potential, they need a bit of learning, but even the older ones are still worth having, they aern't generic, mass market, or cheesy, they are genuinely useful.
dubonaire
mousegarden wrote:
I'm done with any more than 84 HP
Hissstories
Interesting conversation. It'd be nice to see some photos of setups that people have found conducive to their creativity.

I just listed my modular, and will part it out in about a week or so. I've gone through several acquisition and purging phases since getting into electronic music that I never had when I was into acoustic music and electric guitars/pedals. I've given Eurorack the better part of a year, and am no longer willing to deal with the research and scouring of the Internet for some idealized sound. I'm going to buy a world class Bodhran for $350, and learn how to play it, and have it for years to come. I'll practice piano. I'm thinking I'll keep one poly, one mono, and learn them inside and out. One day I'll get a Music Easel. Hopefully I'll be able to grab a Juno 60 and an MFB Dominion 1. The dilemma of infinite choice should be somewhat abated. I'll look at what I've got instead of what I don't.

There seems to be a culture of divorce with modules. The honeymoon simply doesn't last. When I found an old Harmony archtop, I knew it suited me. I knew I could give it new life, and we're going on ten years. That being said, there were some lovely and inspiring moments along the modular way.... It's been a journey, that's for sure.
sackley
I've found my current euro modular configuration to be a very inspiring instrument. I don't really feel the drive to change out modules, as I know I have so much depth to explore and most functions covered.

That being said, I think of it as a way to explore sounds through patching. If I just wanted synth sounds for songs then it would be pretty pointless to go through the effort and expense.

It is a journey of self discipline for me. I like playing around on modular grid with different configurations, but ultimately I try to find new ways to work with what I have, or only acquire a new module when I have a very specific use in mind that I can't easily get with what I already own.

I'm also learning piano, and like the idea of being expressive with a rhodes and some pedals.

In the end, they're just tools, and if it works for you then go with it. If not, jump ship. I wish I could be satisfied with just a computer.
Hissstories
That seems like a great way to go about it! I do enjoy the explorative nature of it, and there's something Zen to be said for pulling all the cables to begin again. I actually enjoyed that part! I didn't mean to disparage the workflow too much. We all know it's a very personal thing. In fact, I don't see why I won't return to it sometime in the future. Or, like someone else told me: You just need more modules! seriously, i just don't get it

You won't be disappointed in the Rhodes. I've have a chance to play them, and they're inspiring, no doubt. Beautiful stuff.
popvulture
Yeah, it's indeed very personal. It's tough for me to focus when I have tons of options—I tend to completely get lost in possibilities and I lose sight of the act of actually just playing music and enjoying it. I went through this with guitar pedals as well, only to arrive at the conclusion that I'm happiest with a simple signal chain. I have a board I use in band situations, but sometimes it's just one pedal into my amp, or just straight in. I've found that I tend to make my best music with a more bare setup.

Yet I think going through this stuff is all an important part of the journey, and I don't regret a bit of it—I've learned a ton and have very much enjoyed myself (despite some frustrations, obviously). Plus as I've said before, I do love lusting after gear, and sometimes I just can't fucking help myself from diving in, haha...

And agreed that you'll love the Rhodes, Sackley. To me that's a perfect example of a fairly simple thing that has loads of depth. I love mine so much.
sackley
Cheers. Just sharing an alternative experience. I think everyone goes through phases, and I'm glad to have held on to my euro when previously thinking of scaling back.

That being said, I think it's all too easy for many people to become fixated on buying the next piece of gear/module that will make them (or their system) complete. I did go through the module carousel and it was not much fun.

On a positive note, I found I really clicked with IME modules, and assembled a small rack over time from BST here, learning each one well as I went. I haven't made any drastic changes to that case in nearly a year.

I love the rhodes sound. Just using a reface cp with a keystation, and probably won't bother with an actual rhodes due to size and maintenance. Coming from a background in drums and percussion, I miss the ease of sitting down and jamming.

Having some variety is essential.
calaveras
I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Considering selling my Elektron gear because it has me sliding into the same type of song structures every time I use them.
My modular set up can be sequenced or not. It can be played with an external keyboard or otherwise kept in tempered tuning. Or be atonal.
I often find my self in front of my MD/A4 rig wishing 'why cant you be more like my modular?!'
bobdylan
Damn this is a relatable post. I've tossed around the same idea a lot but it will probably be a good while before I change anything up too drastically. That being said I just got an MPC 1000 with JJOS2XL to compliment my euro and I feel like I could make a ton of crazy shit with just that and my OP-1. If I ditched modular I'd probably go deeper into that kind of workflow. Maybe switch out the MPC for an Octatrack and then buy a good multi timbral synth from Nord or a Prophet or something... Hmmmm... Although lately I've felt really good about just sitting with what I have and learning all the ins and outs. Feels like there's so much discovery ahead! hyper

Also 100 posts nice! This is fun!
HighLordFixer
There is satisfaction from using what you have already accumulated
no nagging urges that you always "need" something else
yet getting at that point can take long time
no more frantic searching ebay
or obsessively lusting after some module synth or outboard gear
you learn relaxing
then the energy flows
OHM
zazen
Panason
OHM!

Then you have to start thinking about the acoustics of your room help
popvulture
Panason wrote:
OHM!

Then you have to start thinking about the acoustics of your room help


lol lol lol
ersatzplanet
I'm going to suggest a compromise from leaving the hardware modular world altogether. I would suggest looking for a used Nord Modular or better still a Nord Modular G2. You get the benefits of a smaller hardware synth and the modular all in one package.

If you can't afford or can't find either of the Nords, look into the Axoloti (www.axoloti.be). You could get 10 of them for the price of a used Nord. Basically they are like small Nord modulars with an open source module library that is growing all the time from the input of dozens of users. You have to add knobs or run it from MIDI CC commands, but basically it is like the Nords and is programmed on a computer and can be disconnected to play. Many users are making dedicated synths out of them. Synths that they don't change the topology at all on. They get a box, get the knobs, sliders, switches, FSRs, light sensors, whatever they want for control, arrange them the way they want, program the Axoloti to do what they want, and never connect it to a computer again. The Axo is only $80 so get a few. MAKE your own custom synth.

With a rig like that, you change your hoarding from hoarding physical modules, to hoarding software modules - the Axo library currently stands at over 2,000 Community Objects (what they call modules) (http://www.privatepublic.de/public/community-objectlist.html) and over 700 Factory Objects (http://www.privatepublic.de/public/factory-objectlist.html).
These include ports of things like the Rings and Clouds modules that were open source.
DeanG
Another option is a small footprint system comprised of the Roland aira system 1m plus 1 or more aira effects modules. Most useful I think are the Demora and Scooper IMO. Regardless, each has the 16 programmable vitual modules the patch like a modular system via computer or tablet app . This gives you the ability to have multiple lfo, vca, etc. A virtual modular. I found the System 1m itself very capable but missed some warmth, plus the process was too much like an actual modular system that I was trying to escape. YMMV.
syzygywell
I sold my modular because investing in the ever growing thing and patching up stuff was not my thing. I also sold off all my elektron and spectralis because they simply were not fun to use and hindered my workflow.

I made the realization I like to play synths and sequence them and want something for the most part that has a fun interface and above all sounds great.

My main polys are the Juno 60 (with the Kenton DCB MKIII I toyed with midi too but found this was the best option for me) Prophet 6 and Nord Lead. My digitals are the DX7 and Kurz which aren't fun to program but sound great above all. (and I don't program them btw). JD990 and JV1080 are great too.

My main monos are Dominion 1, Moog D, arp odyssey, and Voyager. I'm seriously considering adding the Behringer pro one and Telemark.

I have so much more fun now and my music sounds a lot better.
Panason
syzygywell wrote:
I'm seriously considering adding the Behringer pro one and Telemark.



The Analogue Solutions stuff is underwhelming in my experience and from what I've read from others. Good basic tone, but the rest is meh for the asking price. Also, questionable build quality and other issues.
syzygywell
Panason wrote:
syzygywell wrote:
I'm seriously considering adding the Behringer pro one and Telemark.



The Analogue Solutions stuff is underwhelming in my experience and from what I've read from others. Good basic tone, but the rest is meh for the asking price. Also, questionable build quality and other issues.


I've heard the same I just love the sound of the thing and have seen them for about 800 used which seems worth it to me.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
**** SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT ****

Before you give up on modular, you might think about trying one of these:

chaosick
lisa wrote:
mharpum wrote:
You can spend hours patching and end up with nothing. At least with a groovebox you can save what you make

I made a patch yesterday and it was still there today. wink

With a groovebox I’ll save whatever I make, with my modular I’ll make my mind up about the patch right then and there; if it’s good I’ll record it, if it isn’t I’ll tear it. Adapting to the setting.


Totally agree!
WaveRider
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
**** SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT ****

Before you give up on modular, you might think about trying one of these:



agree, some semi-modulars, a few euro sequencers and an atlantis makes for a nice setup!
popvulture
Oh, definitely. I think I mentioned the Atlantis a while back, but yes—I would certainly have fun with a really small setup with maybe one of those and another module or two. And another. And maybe a couple more.

Jk but yep, a really little skiff with an Atlantis would be lovely.
jcn7


Speaking of Atlantis...this is what I did for a small rig when I downsized...unfortunately I switched it all out (and now think...why did I do that!) It was a cool system! Atlantis could do both coasts of modular...reall wonderful module/synth!

this is the new rig in that same wood skiff:

zoogoo
Honestly you should start collect vsts. They work just as good as most of the modules if not better and are none tangible, but don't let that discourage you because you can connect the parameters to a midi co trolled. Now a days the controllers are quite amazing and easy to use. I love computer based system more then Euro, I just use Euro for the analog stuff that does things a computer cant. You should check out kvraudio.com the forum is really good. Dont spend money on more digital gear. Use the money from selling your eurorack to buy land,then you don't have to pay rent,this is exactly what I did with my first system.
dubonaire
zoogoo wrote:
Honestly you should start collect vsts. They work just as good as most of the modules if not better and are none tangible, but don't let that discourage you because you can connect the parameters to a midi co trolled. Now a days the controllers are quite amazing and easy to use. I love computer based system more then Euro, I just use Euro for the analog stuff that does things a computer cant. You should check out kvraudio.com the forum is really good. Dont spend money on more digital gear. Use the money from selling your eurorack to buy land,then you don't have to pay rent,this is exactly what I did with my first system.


Man, according to the rack you've shared you have digital modules.
zoogoo
dubonaire wrote:

Man, according to the rack you've shared you have digital modules.
i have one digital one, which is a mixer. The lifeforms has a digital midi component. Which ones are you referring too? As far as the core vco's,vcf's, Lfo's, and some others randomized. it's basicly an analog system. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/632492
Luap
zoogoo wrote:
Honestly you should start collect vsts. They work just as good as most of the modules if not better and are none tangible, but don't let that discourage you because you can connect the parameters to a midi co trolled. Now a days the controllers are quite amazing and easy to use. I love computer based system more then Euro, I just use Euro for the analog stuff that does things a computer cant. You should check out kvraudio.com the forum is really good. Dont spend money on more digital gear. Use the money from selling your eurorack to buy land,then you don't have to pay rent,this is exactly what I did with my first system.


lol
subLimb
I grew up using 100% in the-box-solutions as this was by far the cheapest route. The funny thing is, I learned to deal with GAS even in the software realm, as there was an explosion of amazing new plugins during that period (and up to today). For a year or two I misspent most of my time just trying out new shiny plugins. I took a hiatus from music altogether for a few years and got back into it last year when I bought my first hardware synth. This led to a few more hardware synths and sequencers and finally to modular.

I like to think I give a lot of thought and consideration to what I buy and I have a very small studio so there is a hard physical limit to how much I can accumulate. Right now I think I am very close to my own personal sweet spot with an OB6, Waldorf Pulse 2, Virus Snow, Elektron Digitakt and Analog Four, and a 6 U/208 hp modular.

Over the course of last year I put a lot of effort into making sure each new piece of gear fit nicely into my setup which is integrated into my PC/DAW so that everything plays nicely together and in sync. This way each piece of gear is instantly playable with a button press and routed into its own channel in the DAW.

I could definitely see the pitfalls of focusing too much on my modular stuff and just endlessly experimenting, but at the end of the day I want to write music, and I have all my other cool fancy boxes and plugins calling to me to give them attention so it keeps me from falling down the endless modular rabbithole....for now!
facklr
Luap wrote:
zoogoo wrote:
Honestly you should start collect vsts. They work just as good as most of the modules if not better and are none tangible, but don't let that discourage you because you can connect the parameters to a midi co trolled. Now a days the controllers are quite amazing and easy to use. I love computer based system more then Euro, I just use Euro for the analog stuff that does things a computer cant. You should check out kvraudio.com the forum is really good. Dont spend money on more digital gear. Use the money from selling your eurorack to buy land,then you don't have to pay rent,this is exactly what I did with my first system.


lol


zoogoo, I made you a rack suggestion. They are all made out of wood, which are the original analogs. I put a bunch of blanks in there, but don't fret--you can beat on them with wooden drum sticks for percussion which you can probably get on Amazon. It's a little over 3000, but you can just sell some land. Some of them are digital, but you can just hook those up to a screen and they stream Netflix, so you're actually saving money. None of the manuals are Online, but I did run off some ditto sheets for you at the library. (Hurry before the smell is gone. Mmmm blue ditto smell). I'd tell you to call ahead to make sure they aren't checked out, but ever since rotary phones went by the wayside, I know you don't use the telephone. As far as a case goes, all you need is a tree trunk and an old telephone magneto. Watch that red stripe though. It faces the newest rings on the tree, which--and this is crazy--grow from the middle. Modular can be so confusing, I know.


unexpectedbowtie
I've been thinking about this lately. Not so much because I don't click with the modular, but because I feel guilty about not getting to use it as much as it's worth. If I sold it, I'd have the deposit for a house. But I know when I got a house I'd want the modular back for the studio... so I'm just going to cling onto it for a while.
dubonaire
zoogoo wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

Man, according to the rack you've shared you have digital modules.
i have one digital one, which is a mixer. The lifeforms has a digital midi component. Which ones are you referring too? As far as the core vco's,vcf's, Lfo's, and some others randomized. it's basicly an analog system. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/632492


Giant B0n0 and Synthrotek DLY use digital delay chips. Wasp filter uses digital inverters.

Doepfer A-160 uses a binary flipflop counter chip. 4ms RCD uses a programmable chip.

The Wobblebug has digital ringmod and noise.
Shledge
It's digilogue doe so it counts
zoogoo
dubonaire wrote:
zoogoo wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

Man, according to the rack you've shared you have digital modules.
i have one digital one, which is a mixer. The lifeforms has a digital midi component. Which ones are you referring too? As far as the core vco's,vcf's, Lfo's, and some others randomized. it's basicly an analog system. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/632492


Giant B0n0 and Synthrotek DLY use digital delay chips. Wasp filter uses digital inverters.

Doepfer A-160 uses a binary flipflop counter chip. 4ms RCD uses a programmable chip.

The Wobblebug has digital ringmod and noise.
I don't have the dly, it's a reference photo for an analog kick I have. The giant b0n0 is circuitbent, and the rcd and wasp are not digital. The wogglebug does not use firmware or microchips. I emailed make noise stating my concern and they told me nothing about the wogglebug was digital,unless they lied to me. The A-160 is not fully digital ether,but it's a clock, so doesn't matter. Basicly your reaching to prove that like half my rig is digital, and I'm afraid your wrong in this case.
zoogoo
unexpectedbowtie wrote:
I've been thinking about this lately. Not so much because I don't click with the modular, but because I feel guilty about not getting to use it as much as it's worth. If I sold it, I'd have the deposit for a house. But I know when I got a house I'd want the modular back for the studio... so I'm just going to cling onto it for a while.
you could always keep like a small 168 HP system and get a house, or better yet buy unrestricted land like I did outside the city. Then you could certainly afford more stuff again since you won't be stressed on bills. Rent out your shipping container guest house! thumbs up
zoogoo
facklr wrote:
Luap wrote:
zoogoo wrote:
Honestly you should start collect vsts. They work just as good as most of the modules if not better and are none tangible, but don't let that discourage you because you can connect the parameters to a midi co trolled. Now a days the controllers are quite amazing and easy to use. I love computer based system more then Euro, I just use Euro for the analog stuff that does things a computer cant. You should check out kvraudio.com the forum is really good. Dont spend money on more digital gear. Use the money from selling your eurorack to buy land,then you don't have to pay rent,this is exactly what I did with my first system.


lol


zoogoo, I made you a rack suggestion. They are all made out of wood, which are the original analogs. I put a bunch of blanks in there, but don't fret--you can beat on them with wooden drum sticks for percussion which you can probably get on Amazon. It's a little over 3000, but you can just sell some land. Some of them are digital, but you can just hook those up to a screen and they stream Netflix, so you're actually saving money. None of the manuals are Online, but I did run off some ditto sheets for you at the library. (Hurry before the smell is gone. Mmmm blue ditto smell). I'd tell you to call ahead to make sure they aren't checked out, but ever since rotary phones went by the wayside, I know you don't use the telephone. As far as a case goes, all you need is a tree trunk and an old telephone magneto. Watch that red stripe though. It faces the newest rings on the tree, which--and this is crazy--grow from the middle. Modular can be so confusing, I know.


oh dear lord. The amount of effort you made, actually is kind of flattering.you should try to use this time you spend cyber bullying to make more music instead. d'oh!
facklr
zoogoo wrote:
oh dear lord. The amount of effort you made, actually is kind of flattering.you should try to use this time you spend cyber bullying to make more music instead. d'oh!


As if you have any idea how much music I make. More baseless presumptions.
minimalist
facklr wrote:
zoogoo wrote:
oh dear lord. The amount of effort you made, actually is kind of flattering.you should try to use this time you spend cyber bullying to make more music instead. d'oh!


As if you have any idea how much music I make. More baseless presumptions.


Bassline presumptions more like! razz
suboptimal
Fuck's sake this place is turning into Gear Slutz. sad banana
facklr
suboptimal wrote:
Fuck's sake this place is turning into Gear Slutz. sad banana


Nah, some members just test the collective patience of the community.
Sinamsis
facklr wrote:
suboptimal wrote:
Fuck's sake this place is turning into Gear Slutz. sad banana


Nah, some members just test the collective patience of the community.


No seriously. That mentality has become increasingly more prevalent here, including from some thread contributors here. It's pretty disappointing. While not an outright violation of the rules it really brings down the general vibe of this place and I've gotten to the point that I've stopped reading and contributing to certain threads because of these people. Hopefully they move on and take their negativity with them.
Panason
facklr wrote:
Nah, some members just test the collective patience of the community.


"Community" = echo chamber
Sinamsis
If I wasn't clear, I was talking about this member. Absolute nightmare.
worra
I'm somewhat new (9 monthsish) to modular and I do feel like I've bonded with it but I also realize the insane investment compared to some of my other gear.

I do feel like it's helped me be more creative and productive musically, but only when I wasn't GASing for some new module. Picking a rack and sticking with it I think is a very good suggestion. Treat it as a closed system, learn it inside and out, and don't try to use it to fill other kinds of musical space. Let it be what it is.


I can definitely see myself at some point saying "ok, I'm sticking to a 12U or even 6U case, and just forcing myself into that constraint.
HighLordFixer
Sinamsis wrote:
If I wasn't clear, I was talking about this member. Absolute nightmare.

now what did eye do wrong this time???
wasn't me that's posting Wooden Anal Logs
anyways
suspect people spend more time posting than patching around here
and the most noise they make is posting on muff wiggler forum
sort of wish the entire community was more creatively productive
doesn't matter if you bail on modular
as long as you are still creating
Sinamsis
HighLordFixer
Ha that wasn’t in reference to you. I can’t say I always understand your haikus. But not you.

And I disagree about creativity or productivity. This is a forum. People come here to discuss things. In general I’ve found it’s not a great venue for getting your music out there. So I do that elsewhere. So yeah I expect to see a lot of talking here. Talking and make music are not mutually exclusive.
HighLordFixer
hear ya...
merely sharing some personal perspective
and or recent frustrations... venting
seems way more widespread than just here
overall it's been personally productive/inspiring for me
yet finding people for collabs is like pulling teeth
maybe it's just me:P
Madrayken
Panason wrote:
facklr wrote:
Nah, some members just test the collective patience of the community.


"Community" = echo chamber


Nope. That’s up there with ‘banning racist comments is censorship, man!’
This forum is one of the last places on the internet where can ask pretty much anything without abuse or trolling. I have more respect for folks here than on any other forum because they are patient, mature, and generally intolerant of flame war bullshit.

*That* is community; an environment where we might disagree about everything, but 100% expect to be treated respectfully.

Expecting civility is not promoting an echo chamber. It’s the precise opposite.
HighLordFixer
SDUCK deserves your thanks for way more than just for that....
basic mod duty
we are lucky he is on the job
otherwise there wouldn't be any more "wigglin" forum
not the kissing ass type
merely stating reality
anyways
that's just usually beta-brigade device (BBD) feedback
socio-cybernetic topology
making noisey distorted sines
don't even get me started on such subjects
go forth & wiggle upon the minds of the masses
facklr
Madrayken wrote:
Panason wrote:
facklr wrote:
Nah, some members just test the collective patience of the community.


"Community" = echo chamber


Nope. That’s up there with ‘banning racist comments is censorship, man!’
This forum is one of the last places on the internet where can ask pretty much anything without abuse or trolling. I have more respect for folks here than on any other forum because they are patient, mature, and generally intolerant of flame war bullshit.

*That* is community; an environment where we might disagree about everything, but 100% expect to be treated respectfully.

Expecting civility is not promoting an echo chamber. It’s the precise opposite.


I probably went too far with the "Wooden Anal Logs", but I do try to treat people respectfully here and believe I am fairly successful at it. But this zoogoo character has been stretching many people's patience over the last few weeks with too many examples to list here, and then following up with flippant rudeness to everyone if anyone grumbles.

So, if meant for me, the:
Sinamsis wrote:
Absolute nightmare.
might be a little hasty. Especially compared to actual rude threadshitting. But you're probably going to take it however you want to anyway, because you're on the Internet and therefor can never be wrong.
HighLordFixer
    Honestly you should start collect vsts. They work just as good as most of the modules if not better and are none tangible, but don't let that discourage you because you can connect the parameters to a midi co trolled. Now a days the controllers are quite amazing and easy to use. I love computer based system more then Euro, I just use Euro for the analog stuff that does things a computer cant. You should check out kvraudio.com the forum is really good. Dont spend money on more digital gear. Use the money from selling your eurorack to buy land,then you don't have to pay rent,this is exactly what I did with my first system.
    try making some options for yourself


what if design modular circuits
repair/restore gear
have multiple modular systems
racks full of outboard gear
design VST
plus enough land

all of that requires time tenacity talent skill motivation & passion

"need" focusing more energy currently for creating

fortunately we all aren't going for the same sound
or want playing shows with laptops
if you ever played shows...
we have seen people ditch all their gear for laptop shows
yawn

whatever works for you

personally will always prefer using real gear
yet that's me
if you don't comprehend why
then that's you

plus have heard people say an mp3 is as good quality as a 2" tape
for some people it is
all about perception & perspectives
that defines your sound
Panason
facklr wrote:

I probably went too far with the "Wooden Anal Logs", but I do try to treat people respectfully here and believe I am fairly successful at it. But this zoogoo character has been stretching many people's patience over the last few weeks with too many examples to list here, and then following up with flippant rudeness to everyone if anyone grumbles.


Your mocking of zoogoo was totally uncalled for....I don't follow his or anyone's posts, and barely check the username when I read.
I say "echo chamber" because you think everyone here takes for granted that everyone uses modulars, to the point that you thought zoogoo was trolling. The thread is about "bailing out on modular" and you tried to ridicule him because he suggested VSTs and buying land.... just shows how narrow your outlook is.

Often, people who spend a lot of time on a forum end up thinking it's their own little private turf on the internet where only people who think the same can participate....

People should just use the Ignore button instead of engaging in monkey shit slinging. I do not care how long you (anyone) and your chums have been here or how big your rack is...
Sinamsis
facklr
No not for you either. Ha the person commented right above me. They just bring such negativity to every thread they participate in.
Sinamsis
It also happens to be the member who thinks that using the ignore button as a threat is a form of civil discourse. MW is being over run my morons. It has nothing to do with differing opinions. It has to do with how those opinions are voiced.

And yes, stating that anything digital is equivalent to a VST, and feeling the need to contact the manufacturer to ensure that nothing “digital” goes into the modules you buy (because you can’t relynon your ears to tell you if it sounds good) is garbage that gets repeated on other forums. It is absolute nonsense and really, if you’re taking about echo chambers, that notion was clearly disagreed with here. It’s easy to throw out these accusations when you’re on the losin side of an argument.

But just look through Panason’s post history. I’ve not seen this member contribute anything positive to a thread.
Muzone
Sinamsis wrote:
.... MW is being over run my morons..


quick, run for the hills - the morons are coming meh
Shledge
Panason wrote:


People should just use the Ignore button instead of engaging in monkey shit slinging. I do not care how long you (anyone) and your chums have been here or how big your rack is...


Zoogoo isn't exactly a newbie. He turned up again fairly recently asking the most inane stuff imaginable. There is a difference between a newbie asking on what is the best VCA and Zoogoo asking if X module is analogue or not, despite being obviously analogue.

I have no problems helping newbies out, but it's not really an "echo chamber" to tell people to do basic stuff like... searching.
facklr
Shledge wrote:
Panason wrote:


People should just use the Ignore button instead of engaging in monkey shit slinging. I do not care how long you (anyone) and your chums have been here or how big your rack is...


Zoogoo isn't exactly a newbie. He turned up again fairly recently asking the most inane stuff imaginable. There is a difference between a newbie asking on what is the best VCA and Zoogoo asking if X module is analogue or not, despite being obviously analogue.

I have no problems helping newbies out, but it's not really an "echo chamber" to tell people to do basic stuff like... searching.


With the help of a little bit of Internet lingo, let me say THIS ^^^
facklr
Panason wrote:
Your mocking of zoogoo was totally uncalled for....




Panason wrote:
I don't follow his or anyone's posts, and barely check the username when I read.




Panason wrote:
I say "echo chamber" because you think everyone here takes for granted that everyone uses modulars, to the point that you thought zoogoo was trolling. The thread is about "bailing out on modular" and you tried to ridicule him because he suggested VSTs and buying land.... just shows how narrow your outlook is.




Panason wrote:
Often, people who spend a lot of time on a forum end up thinking it's their own little private turf on the internet where only people who think the same can participate....




Panason wrote:
People should just use the Ignore button instead of engaging in monkey shit slinging.




Panason wrote:
I do not care how long you (anyone) and your chums have been here or how big your rack is...


Muzone
Woop woop 'meme-monkey' alert
SynthBaron
not this shit again
facklr
popvulture wrote:
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.


OK, back on topic:

I have sold and switched and re-evaluated a couple of times now, and I've realized along the way that all the searching and learning and exploring has been just that--searching and learning and exploring...and NOW I am assembling a rack of euro that is sort of a "favorites" as well as what I believe will be the most functional and flexible. The chasing is over in a way at least, and I tend to ignore a lot of the newer and especially esoteric modules because I have found over the years that--despite how complex that may be--they never seem to "get over themselves" or get out of their own way. So, to make a long story short, the shine has worn off and I couldn't be happier about this new perspective.

But along the way, I also expanded into other synths and drum machines and hardware--and these have now been narrowed as well to where I now feel I have a capable array of timbres and techniques to work with that have quality and character but can be manipulated if need be.

So, to answer your question--I have often looked at the amount I have spent over the last 5 years or so and it's astounding to me. I look at the amount of what I currently own and feel the same. If I sold every last bit of it, I could easily afford a 18 space 200e, which I always thought was WAY out of my price range.Apparently, it would have just taken patience.

But not "journey". And that has been the interesting part.

So I probably won't do that. Maybe a Skylab though....

Additionally, I go back and forth on whether or not to trade in some vintage keyboards for a brand new DSI Prophet 6 or REV2 or 12...but maybe I should just get a Prophet 5 because that's what I really want...

So maybe that's what I'll do: Finish my modular (yes, I do mean "finish" with only slight adjustments afterwards now and then) keep my 808, get a Machinedrum (again), get a Prophet 5, and then that's it! I would have money to save for the fast approaching future!

I think I'll do this. Great idea, popvulture.
HighLordFixer
the morons are coming...
and they are wearing holy underwear
if you want dumping all your gear for VST
then go ahead
do it
yet please start the ebay auctions at $0.99
if you actually want it selling
let's not rehash that absurdist debate
we get it
if your point is all VST versus real gear
then what are you doing here anyways
shouldn't you be trolling reddit or something
facklr
popvulture wrote:
Oh, definitely. I think I mentioned the Atlantis a while back, but yes—I would certainly have fun with a really small setup with maybe one of those and another module or two. And another. And maybe a couple more.

Jk but yep, a really little skiff with an Atlantis would be lovely.


I've tried to "Skiff it down" a couple of times, but now I am up to a (not yet filled, but it is PLANNED. Oh yes.) 420HP

Maybe if I started looking at modular as only "complimentary", instead of the "main brain". Just a little bit of spice. But maybe just a little bit more...

I also tried to keep a 208HP case, and just switch the modules in and out as needed. But then one day I said to myself "What if I just had a bigger case..." and now here we are.

I'm beginning to think the point of modular is learning how to downsize. Or maybe it's just a savings account that you can trade in when you want something that's too expensive to buy out of pocket. One thing I know is that I like it more than I've liked anything over the last 20 years.
xenosapien
gotta admit the consistency with the Big Lebowski memes though... but I might be biased, it´s one of my favorite movies after all. wink

but yeah, let´s go back to silently (that means without the help of any buttons designed to put you in a freaking filter bubble!) ignoring the inane ones and focussing on those that actually READ the responses you give them.


As it were, dear @popvulture :

I get your sentiment. Like, A LOT.
I am constantly in a struggle between minimalism and "oh man I want a full wall of modular one day!".

That first half is obviously the part of me that likes to get shit done while the other half is obviously the experiment-loving pseudo-scientist kid in me, that just loves blinking lights and touching/turning knobs and plugging cables.

The thing is, without either one, the other one cannot exist - or at least none of the two would ever get anything INTERESTING done.

If you must, call it a yin-yang thing... wink

-> what I´m trying to get at here is:

Maybe don´t bail out completely. Downsize to something you´re comfortable with.
Get a groovebox or keyboard synth.

MAKE SURE the new toy plays nice with your old toys (i.e. you might wanna keep some MIDI/CV converters and/or other sequencers).

Get a good soundcard and/or some preamps...

Start making music again.
(hey, it might just work, right?)

Good luck dude!
facklr
xenosapien wrote:
gotta admit the consistency with the Big Lebowski memes though... but I might be biased, it´s one of my favorite movies after all. wink


And a good day to you too sir, my fellow Lebowski Urban Achiever. Drinking

xenosapien wrote:
but yeah, let´s go back to silently (that means without the help of any buttons designed to put you in a freaking filter bubble!) ignoring the inane ones and focussing on those that actually READ the responses you give them.

As it were, dear @popvulture :

I get your sentiment. Like, A LOT.
I am constantly in a struggle between minimalism and "oh man I want a full wall of modular one day!".

That first half is obviously the part of me that likes to get shit done while the other half is obviously the experiment-loving pseudo-scientist kid in me, that just loves blinking lights and touching/turning knobs and plugging cables.

The thing is, without either one, the other one cannot exist - or at least none of the two would ever get anything INTERESTING done.

If you must, call it a yin-yang thing... wink

-> what I´m trying to get at here is:

Maybe don´t bail out completely. Downsize to something you´re comfortable with.
Get a groovebox or keyboard synth.

MAKE SURE the new toy plays nice with your old toys (i.e. you might wanna keep some MIDI/CV converters and/or other sequencers).

Get a good soundcard and/or some preamps...

Start making music again.
(hey, it might just work, right?)

Good luck dude!


Maybe what we all need is TWO modulars in separate rooms. That way, you can harvest what you need from the BIG one, and take your streamlined one into the other room for recording/making music. The BIG one can then be the one that you sit in front of and worship like a god we're not worthy Om we're not worthy Om we're not worthy Om
HighLordFixer
It's basically on par with getting comfortable in your own skin
you relax and stop it with the "needy" frustrations
learn some creative resourcefulness
rather than impulsive consumer gluttony
DIY
is applicable for multiple facets of studio engineering
level up your skill over time
think outside the "box"
then you avert that morose sinking money pit feeling
plus contemplate/meditate on mental map of where you want going
with your sound
J3RK
HighLordFixer wrote:
It's basically on par with getting comfortable in your own skin
you relax and stop it with the "needy" frustrations
learn some creative resourcefulness
rather than impulsive consumer gluttony
DIY
level up your skill over time
then you avert that morose sinking money pit feeling
plus contemplate mental map of where you want going
with your sound


Unless you're spending more on your DIY projects than any commercial ones you ever bought. hihi I tend to do that. Where some people put $500 into a new module, I put in a $500 Mouser order. Dead Banana

(which is why I sell my recently built synths so often)

And the cycle continues.
HighLordFixer
totally get what you are saying
it really matters on the project
what project was that?
obviously it's worth it for you

you are also a producer & not average consumer:P

already more than comfortable in his own skin
popvulture
Never going VST. Don't anybody worry your pretty analog heads about that.

Continued thanks for the useful (and often fun) responses. Also the beefs are amusing.
Sinamsis
My recent exploration of building a single manufacturer system (almost) has really been rewarding for me. Partly because I find that certain manufacturers provide really well thought out/designed modules the form an ecosystem where the whole is greater than the individual parts. Partly because the limitations makes you push the modules that you’re working with farther. I’m still not down sizing, but like I mentioned before, creating a studio within the studio, or an artificial set of limitations really can be inspiring.

My main system at this point is 4 rows of 168 hp with a 168 hp controller skiff in front of it. It’s capable of very complex arrangements and I feel it’s the upper limit of what I feel comfortable with physically. I also have it on a two tier x stand and I fine the ergonomics of it to be very comfortable.

My Harvestman system is 9U 104 hp. Not small by any means. I still feel like I can do quite a bit in a relatively smaller system.

Now I’m thinking of building a dedicated 7U Intellijel system. I guess having the ability to build my own cases makes it a little more feesible. But yeah. Adding up the money makes me cringe. And it makes things that I thought were so unattainable previously seem like they could’ve been possible with some patience. Also, I maintain that buying and selling gear can be a healthy and productive thing when it’s done with degree of introspection. Every time I’ve owned an instrument, I’ve taken the time to get to know it and I’ve learned something from it. Be it about synthesis, design choices, or UI and what works for me. I view it more as a lease haha. Different instruments push you to work in different ways. So I think it’s good to explore. I just wouldn’t expect to find the perfect instrument. I’d look for finding the feature set that works for you with a set of compromises you can live with.
dubonaire
zoogoo wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
zoogoo wrote:
dubonaire wrote:

Man, according to the rack you've shared you have digital modules.
i have one digital one, which is a mixer. The lifeforms has a digital midi component. Which ones are you referring too? As far as the core vco's,vcf's, Lfo's, and some others randomized. it's basicly an analog system. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/632492


Giant B0n0 and Synthrotek DLY use digital delay chips. Wasp filter uses digital inverters.

Doepfer A-160 uses a binary flipflop counter chip. 4ms RCD uses a programmable chip.

The Wobblebug has digital ringmod and noise.
I don't have the dly, it's a reference photo for an analog kick I have. The giant b0n0 is circuitbent, and the rcd and wasp are not digital. The wogglebug does not use firmware or microchips. I emailed make noise stating my concern and they told me nothing about the wogglebug was digital,unless they lied to me. The A-160 is not fully digital ether,but it's a clock, so doesn't matter. Basicly your reaching to prove that like half my rig is digital, and I'm afraid your wrong in this case.


I'm really not zoogoo. I'm not trying to score points or anything, I was trying to help you because previously you said you found it hard to determine whether or not modules are digital. I don't have a problem with you wanting an all analogue setup smile. And I also think some of the remarks people are making about you are totally inappropriate and not in the spirit of this site.

The giant B0n0 uses a PT2399 Digital Delay IC.

The Makenoise Wogglebug manual http://www.makenoisemusic.com/content/manuals/wogglebugmanual.pdf says "The digital nature of the Ring-Mod circuit makes Simple waveforms (Pulse, Square, Triangle, Sine, Saw) almost necessary to achieve something remotely musical, but don't let that stop you from pumping Motown samples into this circuit! 10Vpp." Perhaps the manual is wrong.

I guess the Wasp filter is and it isn't. the design uses digital inverters but you can say the output is analog, which is kind of the issue, because having digital components doesn't necessarily mean a module doesn't have analogue characteristics, because the outputs are analogue. thumbs up
borututu f.
facklr wrote:
If I sold every last bit of it, I could easily afford a 18 space 200e, which I always thought was WAY out of my price range.Apparently, it would have just taken patience.


When I counted up how much my (still incomplete) 84HP/9U rack already cost I was also surprised. I now decided to sell it all again, as it just ate up to much money and I kinda lost interest in it the more modules I got. I have to admit that most of the joy came from choosing, buying and selling modules, while I was more productive in terms of actually making music with the caustic app on my phone - which cost maybe 7€. To answer the initial question, here's what I think my setup will be after bailing out of modular:
A mixer with Strymon blue sky and el capistan on the aux sends, a MPC1000 jjos2xl, an Elektron MD UW+, Waldorf Blofeld, MFB Microzwerg MKII and a Shruthi. I also just got an Axoloti board which I may turn into an effects box for samples from the MPC.
w00t
ghostly606
popvulture wrote:
So...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.


I sold my rack and found Pure Data, behold the Organelle! If I were to go to a synth I'd probably go for the Microbrute 2 and keep some patching options open.
Daisuk
I cut my eurorack in half the other day, and started selling off pieces from it. Have had a system for 4-5 years now, and have made pretty much all my tracks on it, and I've been really productive too, and mostly enjoying the process. I've just been increasingly frustrated with it over the past year or so though, not been enjoying it as much as I used to, so production levels have gone down. I haven't really enjoyed patching that much for a while, find it time consuming, and quite often uninspiring and not leading anywhere, and quite underwhelmed by a lot of sounds.

Picked up an Analog Rytm some time ago, and starting making stuff with just that - and been enjoying it immensely, reaching immersion levels I haven't been with my eurorack for quite some time - the sonic capabilities of that box simply blows me a way, it sounds so fucking good. Really love that everything is within a few button presses away (I've always loved Elektron stuff, never found it to be menu divey at all, but extremely logically laid out), and I especially find the modulation matrix very inspiring - you can basically turn an LFO up, then scroll through possible destinations, so you can very quickly hear what kind of sound you want to go for - as opposed to a eurorack, where you'd have to patch/unpatch a lot of times to find something interesting.

So I decided to cut down on the euro, as it was a bit too big anyway - and figured I could use more of a "challenge" when patching, fewer options to make me be a bit more creative. And I've invested some of the money I've made into a Digitone, a Digitakt and an Analog Heat. Sounds like complete overkill, but Digitone is an instant hit, Digitakt I only got yesterday, but it's also so insanely immediate and fun to use. It's pretty insane that having sold the few modules I sold, I could buy these three incredibly powerful pieces (from a couple of filters, a vco, some effects and a sequencer). So there's also that part of it - you simply get more for your money on "regular" synths. And polyphony, of course. Sweet, sweet polyphony.

It'll be interesting to see what happens from now though. I'm determined to focus my track making with the Elektrons over the next year, hopefully get into a good workflow with the sequencers running side by side. Also moving to a new place and getting my first real studio space, which is going to be excellent, I hope. We'll see though, we'll see - often the things you imagine to be your salvation turns out to be just the opposite. lol
Infinity Curve
Daisuk wrote:
I've just been increasingly frustrated with it over the past year or so though, not been enjoying it as much as I used to, so production levels have gone down. I haven't really enjoyed patching that much for a while, find it time consuming, and quite often uninspiring and not leading anywhere, and quite underwhelmed by a lot of sounds.



Get out of my head Daisuk hihi

Dont think I can ever get completely out of modular, but I just dont have the time these days to build up the complex patches I tend to make, so when I do actually patch something, I tend to leave it for a while, wiggle some knobs occasionally, just not being productive with it anymore.

It's definitely a tough decision to make, as there is a lot I do with my modular stuff that I couldn't do otherwise. Or some of it maybe I could do with software or other bits of hdwe, but I wouldnt because it wouldnt be as fun, not the same workflow, etc.

Decisions...
Sinamsis
Daisuk
You echo a lot of my sentiments and I think I’m at a similar point in my modular journey. That said after cutting things down I’ve started building some dedicated smaller cases focused around a single manufacturer. I view it more as having accessory synths. But the Elektron combo is what I have, plus an AK (haven’t used it much since the Digitone came in, but I feel like it’s not worth selling now). I would recommend considering a Shuttle Control to use with the DT or Digitone and eurorack. It gives me the immediacy and flexibility of Elektron sequencing with the sound design options afforded by eurorack.
globalwm
Futuresound wrote:
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.



Lyra-8 for Ambient/Done - not so much melodic. Love my Lyra-8 - dealt with SOMA direct and they were awesome.

The Lyra-8 is just fun to play but make sure you have a recording going on since it can behave differently based on your mood, so recreating something later can be difficult.
visible cow
Well I've started selling off a bunch of my 9u (formerly 15u) and some of my outboard. There are two modules I think I want to keep: the er-301 and Cwejman QMMF.....so I'm thinking of making a small (as small as possible) system based around those. I'm also considering letting my Cirklon go. I love it but honestly I was more productive with an mpc 1000 with jjos. I guess I've started to feel like a big dork who thinks about music gear too much and am a bit disappointed in myself that I thought I needed this stuff. Some people do, I have no doubt. I also think my palette got away from me and I no longer had a connection to the sounds, if that makes sense.

One thing I'm considering buying though is a nice Yamaha U3 upright. God I miss having a real piano in the studio.
ersatzplanet
I'm currently selling off a big section of my modular too. I just don't use it as much as I once did. I tend to be a live player and hardly put anything to recorders so I have been forced to grow my system to make more than one sound at a time. I have recently started to focus more on Sample playing modules and create sounds on other machines to play and warp on the modular. This will allow me to really cut things down a lot. At some point it will stabilize into a system that is focused on a few task that can't be easily done with other gear. I basically have an aversion to using laptops live, so there will always be a need for hardware in my world. I just want to maximize what that hardware does with the least amount of wasted modules.
wiredK
The Modular is a long journey. As they say "it starts with a module - it never ends". As usually it takes quite a lot of time (and money) to build a decent modular system, one passes through various phases: excitement, disappointment and some times indifference. The circle of emotions may repeat itself continuously. Jean-Michel Jarre suggests to take a limited amount of gear (or just one synth) and spend six months or a year with it, before adding new gear or move to other stuff. I think this is a wise advise.

To give some practical suggestions to the OP, I'd suggest to get a ROMpler such as the Triton Rack, which is not expensive and has great expandability and also get an Access Virus Ti2, which has many different synthesis types and an immense library of patches.

This is a cost effective solution, which gives a lot of creative options.
murch33
facklr wrote:
Maybe if I started looking at modular as only "complimentary", instead of the "main brain". Just a little bit of spice.

I've just dipped my first tentative toe into the world of Euro, so I'm reading this thread with great interest. Using it to complement my current setup is definitely the way I'm approaching it for now.

We'll see how long that lasts, though. lol
alternating.bit
Interesting thread. Though Eurorack-based like most threads on this site, I'm a 5U user who built an EMPIRE, yet in the last year have considerably downsized and sold off a lot of stuff.
I too found the module of the month gear lust a distraction. It was fun, and I learned a lot about synthesis, but I'm happy now focusing more on output rather than individual modules and making demos. I'm now using other hardware and effect pedals, plus I've even have gone back some to the DAW which I had sworn to stay away from.
I suppose it could by cyclical.
At any rate, no regrets in either case.

For the record, I did recently obtain a LYRA-8. Pretty rad device.
dubonaire
I've looked at my reasonably large modular as a life-long acquisition. It's there to use as I want. I use synths a lot and use parts of the modular to create sounds and rhythms, especially ones with deep interaction, without feeling obliged to use the whole synth in every piece, which is a factor in frustration I think. I also sample bits of modular and use it in my sampler, not because I can't find equally good sounds elsewhere, but just because it gives me a sense of originality for my own satisfaction.
johny_gtr
Gold rule for me:
- buying new modules, musical instruments make me happy for only short time
- releasing new music that made with these devices makes me happy for a longer process.
- i clearly understand that I do my music for myself and it makes me relaxed. I have(and had) a lot of friends who were depressed because their expensive instruments didn't make them another Hendrix or Gilmour or Eno (even in case, that no one interested in new Hendrix)
neonmercury1
i was just at superbooth and really couldnt get too interested in the modular offerings. i was blown away by the elektron gear though. it really sealed the deal for me selling about half of my euro (about 9u), i have a digitakt on the way and really considering the digitone. I feel like this last 9 months i have been more productive with gear like my op1 than actually finishing things with my euro. i dont think i will get rid of modular completely but i feel like i use it more as a sketchpad than a production or performace tool.
nectarios
I've sold some FX modules and replaced them with Max4live plugs. I find they serve the purpose of finish tracks better, as I record the dry sound and I can edit/alter the effects (and amount of them) while I am doing the mixdown.


Other than that, I really like the Dreadbox/Polyend Medusa for melodic stuff. Massive amount of control in there along with both analog and digital oscs, through that brilliant Dreadbox filter. The p-lock like sequencer with scales, looks very good as well. Looking forward to more (or a proper demo) of it.
Panason
Yep. looks like Dreadbox are really nailing it !
calaveras
It really depends on what your goals are from modular.
It seems that a lot of people jump into modular without anticipating the extra effort required to make melodic stuff. Compared to a couple Elektron boxes, or working in software.
Cornelisjuh
I sold 80% of my rack. Fromt the money I got I bought two hardware synths, a mixer, a digitakt, a pair of monitoring headphones and a big sky and nemesis.

I can do much more, am much more creative and am much more productive. I still think eurorack is neat but the cost is too high for what I get in return. I do kind of miss the happy accidents though.
calaveras
For me eurorack/modular is about minimizing the footprint of my gear. I replaced a bunch of patchable synths, stompboxes and rack mount stuff with 9ru of eurorack.
The Moogerfooger stuff was really neat, but it just sprawls across your music space. And the rack mount solution for them gobbles up 6ru for 3 pedals!
It can get expensive. But you have to buy with a goal in mind. Not just whatever catches your eye.
Pelsea
I'm in the buy phase of the eternal gear cycle. Like many composers of my generation, I tend to reinvent myself every five years or so. I have a long history with modulars (see avatar), and I am well aware of how the hammer/nail principle applies. That's not just an electronic music thing, practically every composer in history has been restricted by the instruments available. Of course, that's part of the fun in composition, getting new sounds from old instruments.

Over in the model railroad forum we use a design tool called "givens and druthers". This is a list of absolute constraints (givens) followed by a list of attractive options (druthers). Here is what I am working from:

Givens
This is a performance system.
I must be able to carry everything from car to stage in one trip.
It should be plug'n play with my WX5.
It needs to be compatible with cheap and pro sound systems.
I need to be able to read labels in bad light despite cataracts.
My initial budget was $2500 (not counting parts for DIY modules.)
System footprint max is 36" x 18" (and it must lie flat in front of shelves of other gear.)

Druthers
Variety of sound sources beyond basic beep.
Variety of processors beyond dedededededelay.
High level control will be by laptop, but I want some sort of sequence generator for instant gratification.
Performance options-- power for oddball controllers, microphone input.
Up and running ASAP, with minimal building before first performance.

So far I have a Mantis which is half filled with blank panels. The bought in components include
Doepfer-- VCO, VCF (Low pass), quad VCLFO, quad ADSR, MIDI interface
2hp -- VCA, filt (state variable)
Braids
modcan FMVDO
McMillian QuNexus keyboard thing

I've also built an output mixer, mult/ attenuator panel, and am just finishing up the computer bridge panel. (That's a 16 channel, 12 bit VC + 4 trigger device based on an Arduino Due. It's already working with my 5U system.) That leaves me with 74hp to play with.

Let's see how I have done with my D&Gs:
Givens
...one trip. Yep, although I'm kind of loaded down.
...plug'n play with my WX5. Midi interface does this.
...compatible with cheap and pro sound systems. The output mixer has attenuated outputs and I carry a Mackie Mix5 to provide a balanced line.
...read labels in bad light. So far so good.
...budget $2500. Nailed it within $30, but the keyboard I was planning to use passed away, so I had to add the McMillian.
...footprint is 56" x 18" Yep- the mantis is a perfect size for my situation.

Druthers
...sound sources. Yes, with everything that is in braids, and a whole chapter of my book is about FM.
...processors. Nope, not yet, but I have a Lexicon 300 on one of those shelves I can't block. I've also ordered an Axoloti core. I'll see how that works out.
...instant gratification. Not yet, but that's the sort of thing I enjoy building. I'll probably do a multi sample & hold with feedback. I need to be careful, because this could easily lead to a third skiff.
...power for oddball controllers, microphone input. Not yet built, but these are one day projects.
Up and running ASAP. Yep, all I needed to build was the mult and mix panels.
I need more VCAs of course. That will probably be a quad VCA mixer of some sort.
popvulture
Welp, I indeed decided to bail — post is up in the Buy/Sell if anyone's interested hyper
WaveRider
I am afraid used modules prices will be falling... and I will be stuck with half of my modules anyway hihi

...on the other hand, if it does happen, it will be time to get what I can't really buy now...

..anyway good luck for those who sell their euro, wish you can have a good price and get some nice gear to keep you busy.


...I could sell a few nice pieces for a fair price but I kind of fear of taking a hit in terms of value for all the rest, including the cases.
And I would not ever get back into it so I better like what I have now smile... I guess I will decide after another year let's see if I can get some more noises going...
In_black
Last year I got frustrated with euro and sold my entire rack. Build quality between manufacturers was all over the place, with some being more willing to address issues than others. Also I found the sound of a lot of euro products to be a bit thinner than say something from Moog, or an MS20, etc....

However I’ve since been lured back. I decided to put together a small rack comprised of 90% Make Noise modules, and I have to say I’m very happy with it.

Ultimately it comes down to what works best for you when composing, and how you want your work to sound. A little bit of euro for me is working out just fine.
Robscorch
AS much as I'm all about modular these days there is nothing quite like a capable poly synth that feels good and most importantly sounds good. There are several out there that won't break the bank, but sadly most will. Totally worth it specially some VA offerings. Nords are amazing and you cannot go wrong with most Access stuff. I miss my Indigo so much it hurts, but again there is a feel you develop when you work with something a few years like I did with access. I had tons of headaches trying to work them into my gear with my live acts, and ultimately it just had to be a VA not just a plug in and I abandoned the snow with I was pushing at the time. Went back to a B and an Indigo and it was instant love again.

Whatever you do best of luck finding that poly synth or you can wait now '
Superbooth is over there are a few promises on the horizion. I would still wait until honest reviews, but it's a great time to get a poly and soon it will be a fantastic time. THAT CEM is back and thank you. thumbs up
bluehotel
i think you'd go for a semi modular setup, ideally where you have a keyboard that can be patched (like the grandmother).
HighLordFixer
play some of your other gear
or even other instruments
if you can
dive into manuals getting obsessive learning
far too many are obsessed with modular optics
way more than actual compositions/output sound
they will spend thousands of dollars on euro modular
so they can post mindless wigglin drone files on soundcloud
starts seeming like farce of folly
avoid that trap
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