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Glitch/DJ master FX (Pioneer RMX or other) with modular
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Glitch/DJ master FX (Pioneer RMX or other) with modular
Nagasaki45
Hi all!

I'm playing on a modular (6U/84hp eurorack) with, currently, a volca sample as my main drum machine and an external mixer. My music is improvised, live patched, and polymetric. I don't really know how to describe it in terms of genre, so take a quick look here to get an idea.
I would like to add a master effect to the system. I'm not talking about reverb / delay, but something to mangle things more aggressively in specific sections: freeze / reverse, tape stop, gater, etc. Yes, GLITCH! I originally thought about something like the FX on the pocket operators or the Glitch VST effect. Both of these sequence the effects, which is nice, but it's not the main feature I'm looking for.

These are the features I'm looking for:
1. A set of glitch effects that can stay in sync with a clock. I aim to make polymetric music, so ideally, I will provide whatever clock I want from the modular.
2. Should work as a master insert on my mixer.
3. Ideally, include some kind of a looper so I can loop something, mangle it, and quickly prepare the next section on the modular and break back to it. It doesn't have to overdub though, and it will be used as a looper only for short sections. Let's say 5-30 seconds. I'm specifying this as it might affect the syncing requirements.
4. Ideally, can be sequenced.
5. Ideally, have an easy way to bypass or more interesting ways to come back from the effect/loop to the dry signal.

The options I'm aware of are:
- Pioneer RMX-500 or RMX-1000. They tick all boxes except from point 1. They extract BPM from the audio, and I'm not quite sure it will work with my kind of music, which is usually far from 4 on the floor. If anyone is familiar with these machines I will be happy to hear their opinions.
- Korg Kaoss Pad. Similar pros and cons to the previous option. I'm a bit worried that the interface is less suitable for what I would like to do and that passing everything through it might impact the audio quality too much. The plus size is the relatively cheap price.
- 1010 Music Fxbox. It's a module, so I will need to convert levels from my mixer up to eurorack levels and back down. What about point 5? Is it easy to get the dry signal quickly?
- Octatrack. Way too expensive (price and size) for what I'm looking. I'm not sure it's the best interface for this sort of things either.
- Software. I really enjoy the fact that I don't use the computer at all. Would like to keep it that way.

If there are any options that I'm missing please let me know. If you have any experiences with something similar do share.

Thanks!
Tom
Nagasaki45
Another option is probably the Roland MX-1. According to this it is easy to sync it to the modular with a Synthrotek MIDI to CV Converter. I guess I'll have to visit some stores and try things out.

Still, if you have any experience with these products + modular, mainly as tempo synced master effects for build ups and breaks I will be happy to hear your opinions.

Cheers,
Tom
Nagasaki45
So... I bought a used pioneer RMX 500 today on ebay. Will get it in a few days to start fiddling with it and my modular setup. Will report back in a few weeks.
Nagasaki45
Just a quick update in case people are interested. I'm super happy with the pioneer RMX 500! The only downside is that I need to sync it manually with tap tempo. It usually works fine for the kind of messy music I make. Apart from that it is exactly what I wanted. It is really playable, and hands on. On the "rhythm effects" side I use "add" and "roll" quite a lot. "add" is kind of a synced delay. "roll" is a freeze. On the "scene effects" the filters are super nice, and the "zip", which is a pitch shifter, can be used to transpose the entire thing in a few semitones. Again, super useful. Also the reverb and the spiral (in the build-up side) are nice. They are actually the only effects I wished I could externally modulate. Slowly moving the reverb is especially nice. I guess this is a common trick with the erbe-verb. The separation between break-down and build-up is completely meaningless though. I just found out which effects I like and how they sound. The release effects are also great and make it even more playable. I usually keep it on the vinyl brake state. The echo doesn't give a clear enough cut for me and the back spin is a bit too much. It's distracting. I must say, the entire thing is quite tacky. But it balances very nicely with the modular.

Here's a youtube jam I did recently. It shows all of the things I mentioned:
16osc
good stuff. check the kaoss pad's too. they can a surprising amount of options.

what role is the volca playing? what are the main sound and sequencing sources. feel free to give a rundown - i'm interested. in particular, you seem to be getting a lot of great musical results out of a very small setup.
Nagasaki45
Thanks a lot 16osc!

I checked the kaoss pad on youtube, if it counts :-)
As I wrote before, I'm quite happy with the pioneer, so probably won't try the kaoss pad any time soon.

Re the gear rundown:

- The volca is responsible for the snare. Sometimes for the kick as well. Rarely for hi hats. The main idea to frame the rhythm with something a bit straightforward and repetitive while the modular creates a mess on top. I found that if the snare is straight 2 and 4, the kick can be quite messy, and vice versa. But I prefer the snare stable and the kick moving around.

- Except for the volca there's no sequencer in this setup. At least not in the traditional sense. Everything is sequenced by the tempi (a clock divider) and the knights gallop (trigger generator). When I want something to repeat more accurately, like a musical phrase, I play the knobs manually and lock the phrase in the dual looping delay. It also enables me to chop down the loop, reverse it, etc. One more note about sequencers. So far I didn't really gel with any of them. I started with the beatstep pro and really didn't like it. Swapped it for the sq-1 and didn't enjoy it either. I also tried a turing machine that I didn't like so much and decided to sell. It's probably me though... I'm trying a S&H + LFOs ATM, let's see how it goes...

- Regarding sound sources: The 0-coast is always there, either as a kick/bass, drone, or other textures, but mainly kick/bass. It's an amazing tool, super versatile. The other one in the video above is the basimilus iteritas alter. I have a love-hate relationship with it. It needs so many supportive modules to become alive, breaking the entire premise of versatile small sound source. I also don't think it works very well for kick drums. Maybe for bass.

- The bastl trio (noise^2, skis, cinnamon) are for color. The noise^2 and skis are rarely used as sound sources by their own. Instead, burst of audio goes into CV inputs on the 0-coast / basimilus. The cinnamon is an great filter. It overdrives amazingly and with feedback patching can mess everything that goes through it. I like it a lot! Only wished it was a bit bigger for performance reasons (and with proper knobs, not these wonky bastl ones).

- Everything is mixed on the external mixer. I use quite a bit of EQ and reverb as needed. The master from the mixer goes through the pioneer rmx-500.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Cheers,
Tom
IR
Nagasaki45 wrote:
Just a quick update in case people are interested. I'm super happy with the pioneer RMX 500! The only downside is that I need to sync it manually with tap tempo. It usually works fine for the kind of messy music I make. Apart from that it is exactly what I wanted. It is really playable, and hands on. On the "rhythm effects" side I use "add" and "roll" quite a lot. "add" is kind of a synced delay. "roll" is a freeze. On the "scene effects" the filters are super nice, and the "zip", which is a pitch shifter, can be used to transpose the entire thing in a few semitones. Again, super useful. Also the reverb and the spiral (in the build-up side) are nice. They are actually the only effects I wished I could externally modulate. Slowly moving the reverb is especially nice. I guess this is a common trick with the erbe-verb. The separation between break-down and build-up is completely meaningless though. I just found out which effects I like and how they sound. The release effects are also great and make it even more playable. I usually keep it on the vinyl brake state. The echo doesn't give a clear enough cut for me and the back spin is a bit too much. It's distracting. I must say, the entire thing is quite tacky. But it balances very nicely with the modular.

Here's a youtube jam I did recently. It shows all of the things I mentioned:

Pretty cool jam, I wasn't looking at the video all the time, at the beginning there seems to be very little or no delay or reverb, just some glitch effects here and there.

I'm somewhat interested in the older EFX-500 and 1000, they have MIDI but they're still kind of expensive used where I live because Pioneer is ultra-douchebag gear.
Nagasaki45
Thanks a lot IR!

IR wrote:
because Pioneer is ultra-douchebag gear.


Haha. I think I understand why. Again, it's super tacky. This is probably why it works so well, in my opinion, with modular. You get all of the experimental possibilities (in my case polymetric rhythms, but it can also be sound / texture) from the modular and chop it with a hands-on conventional DJ effect. I really like this combination.
IR
I used to dj, so I've come across quite a few Pioneer mixers (not mine, I never owned anything by them), all of them had issues that developed over time but they sounded very good when new, the eqs especially.

I've seen someone selling that Pioneer sampling drum machine locally at a very high price.
pixelforest
you might also check out the roland scooper, downside is that you have to record a loop into it to use the fun stuff (scatter, beat repeat, bitcrush) but i recently got one and am finding it pretty fun
Nagasaki45
pixelforest wrote:
you might also check out the roland scooper, downside is that you have to record a loop into it to use the fun stuff (scatter, beat repeat, bitcrush) but i recently got one and am finding it pretty fun


Wasn't aware of this option. Will check it out (although I'm happy with the decision probably won't change it). Thanks!
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