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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

'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.

yogitoao
Pelsea wrote:
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.



This is a great approach. I do something very similar. It’s about documenting basics, shortcuts, and interesting discoveries when combining modules. I also have a large binder with printed instructions for each module. It’s nice to go back to the manual as a reminder of some of the other features available, when I’m not in discovery mode. cool
Muff McMuff
Getting to grips with a new module....

yogitoao
lol [quote="Muff McMuff"]Getting to grips with a new module....

That about sums it up!
wiggies
I always INTEND to methodically put a new module through its paces ... but once it's in the rack, and I start patching it to try out, I end up patching many more things. Then I get to a sound I like, so next time I patch I'm likely to do something similar--since I know it works. Eventually I'll try other things, and get more knowledge, but I find I have to keep coming back sometimes months later to try new things.

And manuals ... I read them before I buy. I read through them when the thing is new. But I don't really understand it all much of the time. Again, I have to keep coming back and reading and learning once I have some experience with the thing.
Synnic
Muff McMuff wrote:
Getting to grips with a new module....



The guy in this photo should not ever be let anywhere near a horse but I get what you're trying to say.
Nutritional Zero
Get a Cold Mac if you enjoy this sort of puzzle horizon. I’ve had mine for six or seven months and I’m only now just understanding what it does.
Rex Coil 7
Pelsea wrote:
I write a little instruction manual.
I do the exact same thing. Take for instance the Dot Com based performance synth (link/sig), every Dot Com module has a dedicated datasheet produced by Roger at Synthesizers.Com. Each module used in the synth gets a printed datasheet inserted into a 3 inch locking D-ring binder, and with each datasheet go hand written notes that I'll add. Everything is put into protective "clear sheets", and between each "module chapter" goes a sheet of colored heavy construction paper to divide them from one another and make locating each module chapter a simpler task.

I do the same thing with Euro modules, however since my Euro module collection is set up as multiple instances of fewer modules that particular reference binder isn't anywhere near as thick as the Dot Com binder. EG; I have four MATHS, but that doesn't require four separate MATHS chapters, just one which covers all four of them. Same with the Doepfer A-135-1 Quad VCA/Mixer module, I also have four of those but again those only require one chapter in the Euro binder. And so it goes with most of my Euro collection ... multiple instances of single modules.

The reference binders serve me very well, I find them to be completely indispensable and gladly recommend their use to any and all modular synth users. Lost cost major league helpers.

Chugging Beers
Parnelli
I recently purchase a first edition Rubicon TZFM VCO. As I had never messed with one before and realizing that it would take a ton of time just fiddling with knobs to see what it would do I instead hooked it up to three slow LFOs and a Wogglebug, set them all very slow, and let them randomly modulate all the inputs (except regular fm) to see what noises would come of it while I worked around the house. I was amazed, I heard all sorts of interesting sounds that I had not previously been able to produce!

I let that go on for over an hour, and then I played with knobs for a bit. That test gave me a good feel for what the Rubicon was capable of, but it left me with no idea on how to reproduce any of those awesome sounds. My next step was to hook the Rubicon inputs up to a Planar 2 and a Tetrapad, which allowed me better control over each aspect of CV. I began to understand how to get some of those very cool sounds out of that VCO, and it's helping me learn what type of CV to give an input to reach a desired result.

Between those two tests I built a new case and filled it, so I just picked back up on the project last weekend. Basically though when I get a new module I'll hook it up to very slow LFOs to drive the CV inputs to see what the module will do.
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