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dumpster score
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Newbie to the forum. My music.

Post by dumpster score » Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:54 pm

Hello,
My friend Alex (d/a/a/d) told me a I should join the board, and after a while of lurking I decided to take his advice. I feel like a cave man with all my home made junk and thrift store gear, but I'm planing to upgrade to a nicer synth soon and thought maybe you guys could give me some good advice. You can hear my songs up here:
http://myspace.com/regosphere

Right now I'm using a music from outer space weird sound generator as my main synth along with a yamaha FM synth for bass tones. My question is I'm not sure wether I should go modular or go for a stand alone synth in the near future. I'm thinking about going with a paia 9700 or else the best moog i can afford for the money I have. Any ideas of what you think would be better suited to my style would be great. Thanks a lot!

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Soy Sos
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Post by Soy Sos » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:16 pm

Clearly you're using what gear you do have to make cool stuff, it sounds richly layered. It seems like you must using be using some form of multi track or DAW so even a simple combination of modular components could be combined to build multiple passes. I think the trouble come in when you want the modular to be the whole piece in one single live performance/sequence. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it can just be expensive. I use stuff in the Euro format but maybe Frac-Rack could be a way to go if you're into building your own stuff. Anyway I hope that help a little......and welcome!

zerosum
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Post by zerosum » Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:26 pm

My friend Alex (d/a/a/d) told me a I should join the board, and after a while of lurking I decided to take his advice.
Good advice, :tu:

I'm not sure wether I should go modular or go for a stand alone synth in the near future. I'm thinking about going with a paia 9700 or else the best moog i can afford for the money I have.
You could get a full frac rack plus a Juno for the price of 1 moog(any model),
and have polyphony 8)
Modules also retain their value pretty well, so if you change your mind you could sell 2 modules for the price of one hardwired synth :wink:

If you can solder, then you can build modules for really really cheap... sometimes really really really cheap.
Check it out:
http://www.cgs.synth.net/pcb/index.html
http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/

and Blacet offers most of their modules in kits:
http://blacet.com/store2.html

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Kwote
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Post by Kwote » Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:55 pm

welcome sir.
Self expression is as essential as breathing
kwotemusic.com
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dumpster score
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Post by dumpster score » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:23 pm

thanks for the welcome guys!

I'm not so much worried about poloyphony or price (i'll just save up for what I decide to get and keep it a looong time). Stand alone synths are actually pretty easy to get ahold of used around here because all the noise guys want pedals, and all the techno guys want digital. I'm just not sure if you can get them to sound as fucked up as I want them too? :twisted: Are they always going sound musical? Do I need modular for the real dirty, raw sounds? What would be some good modules for the type of stuff I do? Keep in mind I know very little about modulars which is why i joined the board. Thanks!

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felix
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Post by felix » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:52 pm

Welcome to the board, I love your tracks!

A standalone synth won't *always* sound musical (check some of Zerosum's Evolver demos which are floating around here) but it takes some more work. The more flexible the modulation and routing, the closer you will get to modular flexibility.

After listening to your stuff, having two good VCOs that have nice FM would be a start. The Plan B M15 might be my first suggestion, or the upcoming TipTop VCO. Both are smaller footprint (HP) and fairly affordable for their sound quality. The other option would be a Livewire AFG, which has a nice FM sound, but also tons of other options. The downside is they are the priciest and the largest, which is hard if you're working with a smaller system. Ring mod would be another possibility. The Dalek modulator is a fantastic VCO+Ring mod with cross-modulating FM between the two oscillators. The only downside is that they do not track 1v/Oct like most VCOs do. This is pretty minor though.

I would definitely recommend some kind of random voltage generator and a slew limiter. I really like the Plan B M24 heisenberg.

VCAs will be important too. Having ones that have a manual gain control as well as a CV input attenuator is very useful. The Doepfer A-132-3 handles this job perfectly.

A filter would be handy too, particularly one with Bandpass and Highpass outputs or modes. Also, remember that a self-oscillating filter makes a great sine wave for use with FM sounds.

The possibilities are almost endless, so it's going to be hard picking where to start, but the basics are the best.

I have a handful of youTube videos demoing several of the modules mentioned, they might be of some help:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jam ... iew=videos

This is all just the Eurorack format too.
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wetterberg
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Post by wetterberg » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:27 pm

Hey man, welcome!

The thing to get out of the way real quick is that in modulars expansion can be more fluid and elegant, rather than the sometimes "traumatic" introduction of, say, a big keyboard rig or whatever.

Now, for the dirty raw stuff there's ....quite the selection ;)

In terms of noise I am partial to one process in particular:

1) feedback.
Pedals can be fine, but if you want real FSU potential then looking in the direction of a modular is a great choice, especially for finding a unique tone and voice of your own. Add time-domain effects into a feedback loop with a modular and you've got an analogue aleatron.

_-module suggestions to look into: matrix mixers (for feedback mixing) and delay units.

Then the fun bit is everything else inside the feedback loop :)

I'm partial to the "eurorack" format, which has an insane range of bit crushers, distortions, waveshapers, delay units and other weird shit going on.

a.

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Soy Sos
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Post by Soy Sos » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:35 pm

http://share.ovi.com/channel/SoySos.public

There are some fucked up and raw tones I created here with explanations of the basic patch. So I would say it's easy to to get grindy and chaotic tones from a modular. Crazy noise is easily found with a minimum of modules placed in feedback loops. All you need are a few modules, some multiples and a couple amplifiers and attenuators. Let me know if some of those sounds are in your zone.

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Soy Sos
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Post by Soy Sos » Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:30 pm

Another thing, there are several forum members in Portland. I'm sure someone would be willing to show you some stuff on their system and allow you to try some techniques. That should give you a better idea of what possible and available.

zerosum
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Post by zerosum » Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:41 pm

Are they always going sound musical?
What does that mean?
Do I need modular for the real dirty, raw sounds?
No 8)
A digital delay will fuck anything up using it as a comb filter,
fast LFO's routed VCA's or Filters can get nasty,
There is of course wrecking any instrument with any distortion,
Just experiment, I think you can get dirty raw sounds out of anything that inspires you to work with,
if the instruments interface isn't particularly inspiring then it doesn't matter how many things it can do, I think that is the big draw to modulars-the ease of workflow, even though many sounds made with a modular can be done in other non modular synths, people use modules for the workflow and expandability.

Play everything you can untill you find the ones that really remind you of why you got interested into music in the first place, it takes time to find the right synths for your sound and workflow.

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Roycie Roller
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Post by Roycie Roller » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:48 pm

Hey there, & welcome! I really like your tracks on your myspace page. I'm a fan of noise/ soundscapes and do that kind of stuff myself. Anyway, i don't normally recommend particular formats to anyone, but after listening to your music, i'd like to recommend that you check out Modcan's B series modules-

http://www.modcan.com/bseries/modulesb.html

Here's some samples of the VCDO, by ATOM-

http://home.no/atomatic/2xvcdo.mp3
http://home.no/atomatic/noizegrv.mp3
http://home.no/atomatic/timbre.mp3
http://home.no/atomatic/vcdonoisemod.mp3

Have a look at the CV recorder (which doubles as a lo-fi 4 channel looper/ sampler), the VCDO, the Quad LFO, Quad Envelope, and the Delays & VCO. As stated on the front page of the Modcan website, a handful of modules combined with a DAW can yeild the kind of results that once required very large systems. The modules that i've pointed out are extremely powerful in functionality & diversity of sounds. You might need many, many more modules in another format to come close to matching what those modules are capable of. Plus, they'll take up a small space, and would be easy to put into some kind of small case if you were planning on taking it out for live performances.
Also, the B-series have 1/4" jacks, so they'll interface straight away with your other 1/4" equipment. Be aware, however, that modular synthesizers have high ppv (peak to peak voltages), and you will need to attenuate (reduce the signal's strength) the output before feeding it into your WSG (and other stuff, like pedals). So you'll need an attenuating module of some kind, as well.
It can be difficult to decide which format to start out with, but as others have pointed out, it's pretty easy to sell on unwanted modules if you find they're not what you're after. The main thing to ask is- what kind of music do i want to make? Then, research modules and their functions, and get together a list. You'll find that modular synthesizers are far more flexible than hard-wired synths, and while the latter can be fantastic, a modular synth can be whatever you want it to be.
If you were to go with Modcan, one very big advantage is that you can use the same power supply to run frac modules, and this means that the number of modules available is huge!!!
All the best with it!

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dumpster score
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Post by dumpster score » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:48 am

zerosum wrote:
Are they always going sound musical?
What does that mean?
I guess what I mean by that is; can you always hear whatever note you are playing coming through even when the knobs are maxed out? When I play my shitty keyboards through pedals even if it's going through 3 distortions I can still tell I'm playing a low e. Does that make sense? Listening to your virb page though I see there are plenty of fucked sounds you can get out of them. :mrgreen: I like my WSG because I can do drones with it that don't sound like musical notes. I can also coax binaural beats out of it evry once and a while.

It's been a long work weekend, but I wanna thank you guys for all the nice words and helpful information. I've been looking into everything you suggested and checking out all the music posted here the past few hours, so thanks! I'm starting to think going with the paia 9700S like I have been planing might be the best. It's in my price range, it will teach me the basics of modular and still leave open using a keyboard. Also being able to process all of my field recordings through the modular is very apealling, which I had never thought of before, being hell bent on a standalone. Thanks for all the new ideas!!

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