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'Studies' On/With Your New Modules
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author 'Studies' On/With Your New Modules
bchampion96
Friends!

I'm in the process of making an EP with my modular. It's a slow process of collecting and adding to my little jams to see where they go. Anyway...

After the inevitable Superbooth 'new module lust' started, I'm thinking about getting an XAOC Odessa. When released, this will no doubt be quite a premium module. This leads me on to my question:

When you get a new module with a lot of depth (not a utility, but a sound generator/deep effect), how might you go about discovering every possible sound you could get out of it, in a methodical manner?

If it was inspiring/interesting enough, I thought it might be possible to get an EP length collection of pieces out of a single module! Have you done something similar before?

I'd love to know your thoughts

Cheers,

Ben
cptnal
I prefer not to go for complexity within modules. Rather, the complexity is in how you combine the new boy with his rack mates. There's a honeymoon period when I try everything and anything I can think of, but the rack is always changing, and you always pick up news ideas. I think that goes as much for complex modules too. The best modules are the ones that can still surprise you after you think you've got it down. This is fun!

My latest purchases have been in the rack for a good few weeks now, but they're still the first things I go for when I'm having an idle wiggle, just to see what else they can do...
starthief
bchampion96 wrote:
When you get a new module with a lot of depth (not a utility, but a sound generator/deep effect), how might you go about discovering every possible sound you could get out of it, in a methodical manner?


It's not possible to discover every possible sound smile But I do take some time to get a good grasp of a module.

The actual process depends on what the module does, and varies a lot of course. But I spend some time trying to isolate the module, and each function/section within it, as much as possible with the simplest possible inputs, and watch it on a scope.

Usually that's not a very musical process, but it's key to turning something like a Wogglebug from a mysterious bucket of WTF into something that you can control and make good use of.

From there, ramp up the interaction. Modulate the levels of signals going into it, self-patch it, feed it "wrong" signals, audio-rate modulation, build feedback loops through it, etc.
MarcelP
starthief wrote:
bchampion96 wrote:
When you get a new module with a lot of depth (not a utility, but a sound generator/deep effect), how might you go about discovering every possible sound you could get out of it, in a methodical manner?


It's not possible to discover every possible sound smile But I do take some time to get a good grasp of a module.

The actual process depends on what the module does, and varies a lot of course.


I used to laugh at those YouTube clips of the mystery hand frantically twiddling every knob on a new module in an attempt to demo it possibilities. However I have found that a good waggle on all the knobs of a new module gives some idea of the “performance envelope” and what sort of range might yield interesting results in a later, more considered approach. It also helps ascertain if said module is a functional example (WTF - this knob does nothing!) but can also be misleading without referring to a manual (WTF - this knob does nothing!.....oh...I see...).

I would be the first to confess that I don’t know every dark corner of my modules ranges, but life’s too short to find every sound (say) Clouds can make - with every sound that can be put into it...in all its modes....
bchampion96
starthief wrote:
a mysterious bucket of WTF


I love it! grin
R.U.Nuts
I discovered that I'm pretty ignorant about the full range of possibilities deep modules offer because I get them for specific purposes I have in my mind before I purchase them. For example I have a Tempi in my rack and never fiddled around with saving different states and CVing the state select input. I'm totally satisfied with hammering in new time signatures by hand and muting/unmuting channels on the fly. Or the Dual Looping Delay: I have it for some months now and never tested it's karplus strong possibilities because I already have a rings and I need the DLD as a looper and simple delay all the time. Sure with this appoach I will miss a lot of possibilities but it helps me to focus on the stuff I find most interesting in a module. And when I'm bored of that I can still try some new stuff.
captjrab
There is a time for diagnostics and a time to deploy.
When testing something, run a gate into it, then an eg (slow then fast) and then a sequencer. Pressure points is great for learning what is going on with a module’s cv ins. Many people will put it on an osciloscope as well.
lisa
No honeymoon period for my modules. I put them in the rack and just keep making music, albeit forcing the new module into a few tracks if it doesn’t come naturally.
moremagic
i havent racked a module in months and its really wonderful

i feel like im almost starting to get comfortable with it like i am with my fixed arch synths
Pelsea
I write a little instruction manual. For complex modules, this means set a mode, turn all the knobs, then apply an LFO to each CV input. I use a scope to see what is happening beyond my limited range of hearing. I’ll fill a page of my Minions notebook. I take this approach because I may be doing something else for a couple of months, and coming back will be like starting over.

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