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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

My first rack and its functionality
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author My first rack and its functionality
mburp
Hey there guys! new to all of this stuff, and thus so i have a shit load of questions/clarifications.


Will this make a sound[/img]? am i missing crucial pieces? and in which order would one make the purchases as to be able to generate sound out of the gate?

Looking to purchase a piece a month indefinitely, and am already in possession of external keyboard and what not.
ToddOMG
Of course you will be able to make music with this out the gate! Let's talk about some notes though.

- How are you going to sequence this? What kind of external keyboard do you have? Is that going to limit you? You may want to look into an in-the-rack sequencer. And if your keyboard doesn't do CV then you will need a Midi-to-CV module (good to have anyway so you can hook it up to your DAW and sequence with Ableton or whatever)

- You probably don't need a Quad VCA and Optomix at the same time to start. I have a rack twice your size and usually two VCAs is all I need. Buy small and see if you need more! I'd replace both with an Intellijel uVCA or something similar.

- I would probably get Maths or Tides, but not both to start with. If you need more modulation down the line then look into both. Not saying they're both useful to have but on a system this size start with one. Probably Maths.
mburp
Awesome!
i currently have a Moog Grandmother which i also use my trusty theremin to control. Its lonely however in its sequencing, i intending to use it cause the keys feel nice, or just get one of the external key/sequencers. Also got the ableton but have experience with piano and am more inclined to generate sequences that way.

as to the quad/optomix thats good to know, they were already rather low on the list of purchases. My reasoning for Maths at least is it ticks a lot of my personal taste boxes in its functions, and would help me get the grandmother playing nice (at least to the best of my knowledge)

Cheers on the response! this journey is feels like wandering around in the dark with a flash light that progressively gets better
mburp
What would be the best essentials to get started with out of that pic?
mmpingo
ToddOMG wrote:

- You probably don't need a Quad VCA and Optomix at the same time to start. I have a rack twice your size and usually two VCAs is all I need.

I feel OP and me have the same problem: how to figure out how many VCA actually we need?
Agawell
the thing with vcas is that they are really useful for both audio and cv (which often people forget)

especially when they are quads (as they usually have mixing capabilities too)

so I'd be tempted to stick with the quad vca or veils or similar

personally I'd say at least 2 per voice is a good start - but - there are so many hidden vcas it's unbelievable - any module with a level has one built in (for example tides) and some others don't necessarily need them (rings for example) - so probably in a system with rings and tides as the main voices i'd want at least 2 vcas - but would probably go for a quad just in case (and also to use as a submixer)

saying that I have a doepfer dual vca which is really useful as it has 2 cv inputs per channel so you can create more complex modulations (a practical use of this would be the "double attack" on horns)

do you already have an external mixer? if so the output module would be very low on my list too - just attenuate with whatever is last in the chain (a vca probably)

you just need 3.5->6.5mm cables

get some stackcables or headphone splitters!!!

order I'd go is probably in terms of purchasing

Maths, then one of the "voices" (Rings or Tides would be my preferences), then Marbles, then phonegene, then the quad vca - then I'd seriously look at stages and disting as incredible tools in a small system, then another voice (the Rings or Tides)

reasoning

Maths will massively expand the Grandmother - read the illustrated manual - seriously!!

Rings or Tides will add another voice - I'd defintely go for these before the akemies castle

Marbles will free you from the keyboard and let you wiggle - it's a beast

Phonogene because it looks like fun (and that you want it)

a quad vca - now you add voltage control over volume and some mixing

then stages and/or disting

stages because it is just a powerhouse of simple building blocks that can do so much - sequencer, sample and hold, lfo, ad envelope, etc etc - and the interface is relatively easy - it would replace the dual adsr with something more interesting and versatile but ymmv again read the manual

disting as opposed to stages does not have an easy to use interface - but really it's not that bad - just takes a bit of thought - chances are there are a few algos that you want to experiment with - so create a favourites list and stick to those for a while = the one you use most buy a dedicated module and replace in the favourites with something else - etc etc - personally I like the tape delay and the resonator

then another voice I'd get the tides or rings i didn't get earlier

i'd also get a small plumbing module in between modules or at the same time as each module for example:

links - you will want a buffered mult at some point to distribute the same v/oct to 2 modules and the mixers are always useful too

kinks - mult marbles Y output into the the waveshaper and you have 4 related modulations - not just one - mult 2 of these into the comparator section and you have another 2, using a buffered mult take one of the X outputs and send it to the sample and hold sections input, trigger this from one of the Y outputs of Marbles or Maths and you have a 4th related v/oct

a clock divider - dreadbox make a really cheap one - I have one which I often use it for dividing my 2014 Tides low output to produce a bassline - and I'm about to build a bastl little nerd to add more clock dividing/mangling to my system

and I'll end on another piece of advice - get a much bigger case than you can ever imagine filling and something to cover the gaps (cardboard will do at a stretch) - unless you need portability then get the biggest that you can imagine carrying
mburp
Fuck yeah dude, cheers for laying it all out for me, i appreciate the morphegene and marbles encouragment.

so if i picked rings as the first voice and used maths as a temp vca i could get away with it until i bought a complete a quad? Veils seems rather intriguing on account of the daisy chaining. I don't have an external mixer sadly, would the doepfer dual cover that base as well for output to an amplifier? plenty of splitters lying around so thats covered.

i previously hadn't considered stages but after reading up about i shall be adding that bad boy to the wish list.

and to address your last piece of advice, yeah a big case may be the need, the cost makes it hurts but portability is something i don't know you need it until you do.

Thanks heaps man!
cptnal
Aside from the modules, is that pic just for demonstration or do you intent having a case like that? I'm thinking you're going to need a whole bunch of various-length cables to cover all the patching possibilities. Two smaller rows would give you a more consistent distance between patch points.
mburp
yeah man it is just a mock up for demonstration cases, a case that wide would be impractical i agree
Agawell
No probs

The big advantage of veils is that it will amplify (most vcas don’t!) as well as mixing and it’s easy to use ( often people recommend blinds as it’s bipolar... but that makes it difficult to dial in silence!

For the case the tiptop mantis is a great starter if you can cope with it.... it’s cheap and the power is good ... the carry cases on the other hand are so-so

I’m probably buying a second one when some of my on order modules arrive and in some cases are bullt (i currently have 92hp free over 2 cases and 120 hp of modules/parts on order) and a couple more will fall in the trolley when i pick up modules at the store
mburp
yeah those 2 birds with one stone kinda pieces are much appreciated when it comes to the bank.

Looked at the mantis cases, they look like they will do the job, and do the job is all they will look like they do. i am not sure if i just go all in and get a Pitts ep208, very fucking expensive, very aesthetically pleasing, i don't think many would be disappointed with it.

With your future module overload scenario, you find it better to build upwards on the rack, or would it be more sensible to isolate certain modules in a smaller case off to the side freeing up space in front of one for the more hands on modules? better phrased, when you use the two cases, how do you set them up in front of yourself?
wavecircle
Look at an SH101, get that in modular. Best starting point you can have if you are new.
mburp
wavecircle wrote:
Look at an SH101, get that in modular. Best starting point you can have if you are new.


i was looking into getting the Atlantis from Intellijel for that sound, is that what you mean by getting it in modular?
i am defs new to modular, but have played many types of instruments for some time (prior to my interest in this form) with a personal emphasis on improvisation, i find cause of that when i encounter new tech i am a super newbie, but once i learn its function i can very quickly begin to make some music with it. this is what happened with the Grandmother, it was great but once i started plugging my theremin into it i began to find its limitations (example being a lack of mults if one is trying to put multiple functions onto each side of the theremin) which is what made me thirsty for more.
chuckleone
Maths + Rings are definitely good starting points and will produce all sorts of interesting sounds right away. Maths alone can self oscillate and will allow you to get started on drones and other abstract sound generation. Maths will also give you a clock, Envelopes, 2 LFOs or VCOs, a way to add sub harmonics as well as mixing channels. Rings can track 1v/oct as well as act as a resonator so the 2 together will keep you busy for a while.

Sequencers are pretty expensive and complex so in the beginning you might want to look at getting something simple and affordable like the Korg SQ-1. Battery operated, 2 channels of CV and gate. You can grab one used for around $70. This will give you a cheap way to start sequencing Maths' VCO and Rings for more melodic stuff. Keep researching the eurorack sequencers and when you're ready, dive into that.

Next I would get the Morphagene - it's record and looping functionality will greatly expand your sound making capabilities. You'll be able to record melodies so the SD card that you can use as the basis of a song and then sequence over that with Rings and Maths. This was my initial plan but I feel down a rabbit hole that lead me elsewhere...

At some point you'll want to free up the mixing channels of Maths for other stuff so you'll probably want the Optomix and Rosie for mixing your voices and controlling levels. Rosie's A and B channels are mono and have no level controls so you'll want the Optomix for level control. Rosie does have a stereo return with level so you might want to look at an FX module like the Erica Synths DSP or something similar to give you some depth to your patches. Alternatively you could use an external reverb/delay pedal for fx.

I built my small 3u 104hp rack the same way you did, 1-2 pieces at a time, each month including my case. Before I bought any thing I got the SQ-1 to use with my other midi devices - so I had that already. As far as eurorack goes, the very first modules I bought were the Erica Synths Pico Drums, Pico DSP and Maths. I patched these 3 modules for what seemed like forever but enjoyed every second of it.
mburp
chuckleone wrote:
Sequencers are pretty expensive and complex so in the beginning you might want to look at getting something simple a


How do you feel about the Arturia key/beatstep as entry level sequencers? picking one of the advances ones is pretty complex decision indeed, cheers on the advice, i'll wait until the process demands complexity and purchase accordingly.

Yeah man that's whats got me so excited about Maths, and i didnt even know i could do some of the things you listed.

What was the rabbit hole that pulled you away from the Morph? i had questioned it as something to get quickly, but syncopation of rhythm gives me a boner. do you know other things that assist in looping, or something that more allows you to say, have a Steve Reich level of layering and editing?

thanks for the response! all you guys are making this much easier, i am very glad i chose to post
mburp
also, would the EricaSynths purchase make it so i could delay my purchase of an Optomix? I ain't too attached to rosie, i just thought i would need it for external outputting, however i have been informed this can be done with cables from a patch point.
chuckleone
mburp wrote:


How do you feel about the Arturia key/beatstep as entry level sequencers?


I have the Arturia Keystep as well and it's a great controller. It has a lot features the SQ-1 doesn't like keys, pitch bend, modulation out, arpeggiator, and customization via the software, and lot of MIDI options like chord hold and the ability to switch MIDI channels on the fly for live playing while continuing sequencing. You can't go wrong with it. The SQ-1 has battery power (so it's great for portable setups), super simple to use, 2 channels of CV and gate output. Both are great options.

I have not used the Beatstep, however I would like to get a Beatstep Pro to use as my main sequencer with my modular due to it's features and price.

mburp wrote:


What was the rabbit hole that pulled you away from the Morph?


Haha, that's the tricky part of modular, there are many rabbit holes... I guess for me, the more I researched different modules, the more directions I got pulled into and the original ideas and configuration I had in mind changed. Some of the changes were due to cost, rack limitations and module size, as well as other factors.

All I can really say is do your research, buy only a few modules at a time and get to know each of them very well. Having a limited budget and building the system slowly required me to spend a lot of time learning how to get maximum results out of each module and gave me a better understanding of how they worked and how modular synths work in general so I was able to make better decisions later on.
wavecircle
mburp wrote:
wavecircle wrote:
Look at an SH101, get that in modular. Best starting point you can have if you are new.


i was looking into getting the Atlantis from Intellijel for that sound, is that what you mean by getting it in modular?


The SH101 has every function block a synth needs. Things like rings and maths are well and good but if you are starting out, explore, learn and master the absolute basics. VCOs, VCFs, VCAs, LFOs, Envelopes and Sequencers. Start there and expand out as you master them. Add more Oscs, different types, add extra filters, get more complex function generators, add some effects and complex sequencing eventually. If you just jump into this with esoteric modules the novelty will wear thin quickly as it does so often with Eurorack users.

I find it weird when people suggest rings and clouds to complete beginners, theses are effectively very nice but very specialised filters and effects.

Synthesizer 101 is your friend, especially as modular is so expensive!
mburp
[/quote]
wavecircle wrote:
generators, add some effects and complex sequencing eventually. If you just jump into this with esoteric modules the novelty will wear thin quickly as it does so often with Eurorack users.


I understand and appreciate you concern, if i was an average joe i would agree, but i don't consider myself a beginner. I, without sticking my fist in my mouth can play drum's, piano, strings, saxophone and have experience in composition. Because of this, my first fortnight of owning the moog grandmother i had her to her limits. I have very peculiar tastes of music and some realised goals as i have had time to find myself musically. Explore i shall, but i want to explore unknown territories if ya get me, to find things i did not expect, and be persuaded by sound to pursue such things. Rings and Maths are for the Grandmother to open her up to be a full unit. SH101 does have the beast sound however. For example, morphagene is a weird unit to start out with, but for my imagination it is the door i have been looking for. lack of complex sequencing is my problem with these units, would you how one could engage, in say 5 separate sequences at once that were all clocked and individually editable as they progressed?

If i had thought about it more, i probably would have got an SH101 over the grandmother, but it was the mother that inspired the journey into module synthesis so that;s the way she goes.
chuckleone wrote:
.. for live playing while continuing sequencing. You can't go wrong with it.


the Keystep seems like the winner then.

It seems from your experience that a limited budget has advantages of its own. the whole module experience seems like an effort in delayed gratification. Thanks for all the advice, i like how you guys emphasize the journey.
chuckleone
mburp wrote:


the Keystep seems like the winner then.



I think you'll be happy with the Keystep, it's a very flexible and affordable device. I've used mine to sync Pocket Operators, play Korg Volcas, control modules, etc.

mburp wrote:

It seems from your experience that a limited budget has advantages of its own.


For me it's not only a limited budget but also a desire to keep my system small, lightweight and on the simpler side. I wanted a system that I can play comfortably on my lap with headphones wherever I want. While I see the benefits of having a large studio level system with a ton of modules - that doesn't fit my workflow for making music.
justchris86
Only thing I can suggest is some sequencing and effects!

You can use guitar pedals for FX if you dont want to add anything to the case. You can also use a Korg SQ 1 for basic sequencing and its external.
mburp
Quote:
Only thing I can suggest is some sequencing and effects!


Just last weekend was able to chuck my semi through the theremin then back through a delay pedal, was able to 'raise the doom' drone wise, twas very satisfying.



To all that gave me direction above, you'll be happy to know i have commited, ended up getting a 2 row pitts case (portability is cool)
Maths and Rings arrive today, with a keystep also in transit. Ended up smashing out some VCV rack and fell in love with Mutable (as you can see). i didnt know it was possible to get such percussive and struck noises from modular. My Gamelan/Indian electro dreams may be realized (i now have to get 2 plaits to achieve that slight off frequency harmony of gamelan). Do you guys have doubles in your rack? and if so, what?

Another Question: Mutable have sounds that remind me of the music of Indonesia and India as well as wooden and classical mallet sounds. In this same vein do you guys know of other companies or modules that make drum machines or drum related noises (or any noise really) that remind you of the sounds of Africa or maybe the Tabla/Udu or Dondo?
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