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sound generation modules for small system
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author sound generation modules for small system
levelhead3
Seeking help selecting vco & processing modules for a portable 22 space kit.

Primary style is drone and pads, with lot's of slowly evolving textures. I've already got a sequencer, MIDI/CV, VCF, two dual AD, quad VCA/mixer, and mixer/output modules. That leaves 7 spaces left to play with, 8 if I ditch the somewhat redundant output module, although I do like the headphone & xlr functionality.

I'm oscillating back and forth (pun intended) between a pair of Moon dual vcos & a dotcom spring reverb vs the 5u version rings & clouds combination as the primary "voice", with maybe a Moon quad LFO thrown in for additional modulation.

I'm also worried that one filter isn't enough.

Any insights or suggestions would be most appreciated!

josaka
I personally would ditch the moon 2 space filter and go for a Q107a and another 1u filter.. (corsynth?) much more exciting..
and for VCO's.. also 1u .. you can get 2 sets of 3 ..SW/Oakley slim/SSL..and a Q114 mixer(crazy routing).. I can see an oakley Dual LFO + oakley ADSR or SSL 1230 VC ADSR for evolving stuff... over 2 AR Corsynth.. just gives you more control options.. even though the corsynth are great.
also.. shove the power to the rear/side of your box if you can..
levelhead3
Thanks for the suggestions! I will check into the 1u vco you mentioned. The 505 is a funny one - I fell in love with it because of it's VC continuous mode modulation, which doesn't seem to be at all common.

I also tend to prefer AD's for ambient/drone type stuff primarily because they allow long envelopes without an open gate signal - unlike most ADSR (except the STG). The other advantage is that the C106's work as LFO's too, that's why I ended up getting a second - was hoping to maybe avoid having to get a dedicated LFO module. They were by far my favorite EG on hand when I visited Noisebug, but we'll see how they work during actual sessions - and if they'll cycle slow enough as LFO's.

And I know, the front panel power module drives me nuts. I've already asked Jason at FSFX if there's a way to swap/mod the internal power supply for an external unit and replace the FSFX111 panel with the active mult FSFX112 - a much better use of space on a small case. Mr. Green
JohnLRice
Looks like a cool system you have started! screaming goo yo thumbs up It's difficult to suggest where to go with it, I have a hard enough time getting my own systems reasonably 'stable' as far as module content! meh hihi

Here's the 22 space case I have which is done (no really!). It's in a DotCom case with a custom supply I did myself. I mounted the power inlet on the side and I'm sure FreeState FX or any competent carpenter/electrician could do the same for you? This case has mostly very traditional modules except for the sequencer.
https://www.modulargrid.net/d/racks/view/444080



Here's the current state of my other 5U portables:

https://www.modulargrid.net/d/racks/view/757047


https://www.modulargrid.net/d/racks/view/757758


https://www.modulargrid.net/d/racks/view/466321
hamildad
levelhead3 wrote:
I'm oscillating back and forth (pun intended) between a pair of Moon dual vcos & a dotcom spring reverb vs the 5u version rings & clouds combination as the primary "voice"


Isn't this like buying a cow and milking the goat? hihi

taking aside format and modules choices,

Quote:
drone and pads, with lot's of slowly evolving textures


for pads, 3x oscillators would be a minimum to do root +2 harmonics. maybe a quantiser if you plan to sequence chords from the sequencer

for slowly evolving you'll need good LFOs & VCAs. and maybe 2x mixers to a) mix oscs to create a sound, b) mix this sound with anything else. So the 4x Env & 4x VCA looks really good for the space.

Noise is good as a modulator source as is a sample & hold or slew limiter to take random and SLOOOOOOWWWLY move between amplitudes.

As with anything on modular grid remove 2x modules and fill with utilities and you will likely get a more flexibly synth. I also find with a sequencer, having a clock divider will allow you to sync envelopes to bars instead to the beat.

More than one filter would good to allow harmonic sweeps of two different sound sources.

probably best advice is to build till you have 2HP free and see what you feel you are missing. ( Spoiler: you will be missing another case)
johny_gtr
levelhead3 wrote:
Seeking help selecting vco & processing modules for a portable 22 space kit.

Primary style is drone and pads, with lot's of slowly evolving textures. I've already got a sequencer, MIDI/CV, VCF, two dual AD, quad VCA/mixer, and mixer/output modules. That leaves 7 spaces left to play with, 8 if I ditch the somewhat redundant output module, although I do like the headphone & xlr functionality.

I'm oscillating back and forth (pun intended) between a pair of Moon dual vcos & a dotcom spring reverb vs the 5u version rings & clouds combination as the primary "voice", with maybe a Moon quad LFO thrown in for additional modulation.

I'm also worried that one filter isn't enough.

Any insights or suggestions would be most appreciated!


just my 2 cents. If you go for textures/drones in analog world and MU (instead of euro with many variants there) I still recommend you to configure small euro setup for modulation.
1-2 Zadar's, 1 Stages and 1Marbles will help you to create textures/drones more fluid and organic than you can create it with standard ADSRs.
i don't now why you (mandatory) need a sequencer for slowly drones but anyway, it's your choise.

for spring reverb i can recommend some old japanese spring reverbs or AKG. from modern park Vermona does a good true sound spring unit. For different style reverbs i can also recommend old one like Lexicon from their gold ages or modern like OTO BAM.
Megaohm's MA-20 and delta filters are very musical for textures. It's quite hard to find Phil here but he does amazing job with Korg clones:
http://www.megaohmaudio.com/CdSVCFVCA.html

another good thing is fixed filter bank. You need to use your hands for slowly changed textures (no CV controls) - but sounds great!
Dave Peck
1. For oscs, maybe a Moon Dual osc plus a separate single-width osc like an Oakley/Krisp1 osc or an SSL. Three oscs in three spaces.

2. The Moon 505 is great, but I recommend adding a second, different filter. A single-width 24dB LPF. Several to choose from like the Grove 904 clone, stuff from Moon, stuff from Oakley/Krisp1.

3. Assuming you get a second filter, you NEED a way to mix them while INVERTING one of them (since the moon multimode has an inverted output, like nearly all multimodes, and 24dB filters generally do not invert their outputs). Best option would probably be an Oakley/Krisp1 multimix.

4. Maybe consider swapping out one of those dual-width looping dual EGs for an SSL Quad LFO - four LFOs in a single space, while freeing up an additional space.

5. Consider an Oakley/ Krisp1 sample slew, which provides a noise source, S/H, and slew. This adds a lot of extra functionality in a single space.

That still leaves two or even three spaces if you move the P/S. Time to add a single-width phase shifter and maybe a Happy Nerding Dual Super Sawtor or FM Aid. And a second Multimix.

Skip the spring reverb and use any of a hundred decent external multi-effects devices. For drones, you'll want lots of long delays and thick chorus effects in addition to the reverb.
josaka
not sure about an FFB. smile . thats mad in a little system like this.. smile
.. poly resonators would be way more space friendly .. (I dont even think thats a great idea.. ) get a filter that has bandpass..(^ megaohms Delta has a mighty bandpass but it is 2u wide..) the Q107A has bandpass.. 2 bandpass are great for drone stuff..
levelhead3
So many good suggestions!

John I was admiring your setups on the small case thread before I posted this. And interestingly, I was originally considering a 2x 16-space case setup, but was leaning towards a single 22 to keep things simple and portable. Since you have both(!) can I ask whether you tend to use one setup or the other more often?

@hamildad - aye I had the same thoughts regarding the clock/pulse divider. I can get around it a bit with the switchable gates on the MFOS, but a divider would be much more useful. LWSS builds the amazingly cool CGS36 pulse divider/boolean logic module, but it's 2 spaces. At some point I remember seeing a single space pulse divider, but I can't remember what it was.

Also, what about a frequency divider/multiplier to add harmonics? The Corsynth C103 looks awesome, but again 2 spaces... very frustrating

@Dave - Thanks so much for the tip about needing to invert the 505's output - I did not know about that. I've also looked closely at the SSL quad LFO. The only reason I've held off is I've been playing with VC controlled LFO's lately and really liking the weirdness, so I keep looking at the Moon. And you're totally right about the reverb, although I do really, really love spring reverb. Maybe an external unit like johny_gtr suggested is the call. Actually, now that I think about I have an old Peavey Valverb - spring reverb and tremelo! smile

I do also have a bank of Moogerfoogers with a killer breakout panel that Jason made, but unless I mount them all on a pedalboard I was thinking they might be more of a stay-in-the-studio accessory. But there's another filter, ring mod, phaser, delay and a couple of LFO's right there.

Man it's tough keeping things to a single grab-and-go case...

levelhead3
josaka wrote:
not sure about an FFB. smile . thats mad in a little system like this.. smile


But it would be so much fun to play live! I hadn't even considered a FFB because of the size, but now I want one... d'oh!
josaka
rich over @ lower west side studios will do you a 1u CGS sub oscillator.. a serious sound altering tool .. it does division too.. smile
levelhead3
A ha! Not only is the CGS01 super cool, it was LWSS that had the crazy single space pulse divider - the CGS22.

And Rich is a super nice guy to work with to boot. Thanks for that suggestion!
JohnLRice
levelhead3 wrote:
John I was admiring your setups on the small case thread before I posted this. And interestingly, I was originally considering a 2x 16-space case setup, but was leaning towards a single 22 to keep things simple and portable. Since you have both(!) can I ask whether you tend to use one setup or the other more often?
I haven't quite figured out a good live performance method yet, especially with the 5U. It's actually kind of odd, as the setup I consider my "main" 5U modular for live use I've only taken out of the house once for a synth meet! meh oops And I've only used one of the 16 MU cases (full of sequencer modules) at a couple gigs and at those gigs I was using it to drive a Vermona PerFOURmer quad synth. And then I used the small desktop case at one gig where I was doing a sort of drone performance. And I have tiny 2U case (not pictured) that I used at one gig with two MOTM-310 VCOs in it along with some pedals, a small eurorack case and the Mellotron Micro. I think I've done more performances in the last couple years where I didn't use any 5U at all, just eurorack.


levelhead3 wrote:
Also, what about a frequency divider/multiplier to add harmonics? The Corsynth C103 looks awesome, but again 2 spaces... very frustrating
Maybe you can find a used original version? They are only 1 MU. I have one in my 22 space case. cool


levelhead3 wrote:
Man it's tough keeping things to a single grab-and-go case...
Even though my eurorack brief case is quite powerful and still small and manageable it seems that my smaller eurorack case has been the best for me as a grab and go modular since it's complete with effects, the basics, some odd stuff, a keyboard, and is small and light.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/660375

Here's what it functionally contains:
Power Supply
Passive Attenuator
Passive Mult
Buffered Mult
USB power for lights and an external device
A clock source with divider outputs
2 x analog VCOs
Dual digital LFO
16 step sequencer
Dual multi-mode ladder filter
Analog ADSR
4 channel aux Mixer
Weird digital VCO
Combo EG/VCO/Noise module
Drum module
Combo ADSR + VCA module
Digital audio Delay
Spring Reverb
4-channel stereo mixer
Digital stereo reverb
small USB powered keyboard with CV/Gate outputs
levelhead3
I know, I've looked long and hard at getting back into Euro because of the smaller size and seemingly infinite module selection. But in many ways that's a drawback too - I like the challenge of working within a more limited framework.

Plus I'm coming out of a 10+ year attempt to work in Euro (albeit old school Euro) and as nice as my system sounded the inspiration was always lacking. I think it's just the form factor, twiddly knobs and cramped panels just don't lend themselves as well to live tweaking.

I would tend to just set up static patches which modulated themselves. It made for some great sounds, but I never got that same feeling of magic that I had working on Evergreen's Buchla system. So that's the primary direction I've gone back to.

But for live work the even larger panels and knobs and especially bullet proof patching with 1/4" cables seems like the way to go. For me at least.

Thanks for the heads up on the 1st version of the C103. I will go a-hunting!

This was my old system:

JohnLRice
levelhead3 wrote:
Thanks for the heads up on the 1st version of the C103. I will go a-hunting!

This was my old system
That was a great system! thumbs up w00t

Here's a ModularGrid list of dividers"4:
https://www.modulargrid.net/d/modules/browser?SearchFunction=24&Search Show1u=0
levelhead3
Dave Peck wrote:
Time to add a single-width phase shifter and maybe a Happy Nerding Dual Super Sawtor or FM Aid.


Good call on the Happy Nerding stuff. I had forgotten about them but both of those modules sound fantastic and the Super Sawtor is especially great. It also happens to be on sale at Analog Haven, so that's a done deal.

I also picked up their Fun VCF. I've not heard the Polivoks op amp-based stuff yet so it's a bit of an experiment, but I've read good things and it's also on sale so what the heck. Mr. Green
Rex Coil 7
josaka wrote:
I personally would ditch the moon 2 space filter and go for a .....
.... Oakley Journeyman.

Make no hard choices on filters until you've heard the Oakley Journeyman.

LINK = http://www.oakleysound.com/journey.htm



JohnLRice wrote:
....Here's the 22 space case I have which is done (no really!). It's in a DotCom case with a custom supply I did myself. I mounted the power inlet on the side and I'm sure FreeState FX or any competent carpenter/electrician could do the same for you? This case has mostly very traditional modules except for the sequencer.
https://www.modulargrid.net/d/racks/view/444080
[img]https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_444080.jpg[/img
Be warned ... Member *JohnLRice is some sort of alien or wizard .. his systems are beyond bitchen and and are essentially unattainable by mortal humans ... he builds some of the coolest systems on the planet ... so any attempts to emulate his efforts will be met with sorrow and disappointment since he is not of this Earth. Om

Dave Peck wrote:
.... 3. Assuming you get a second filter, you NEED a way to mix them while INVERTING one of them ....
Absolutely sage advice ... most times using two filters in parallel results in phase cancellation. Now, you may like what you hear in phase cancellation, but you WILL need the ability to combat that as well. So as Member *Dave Peck has advised, you will require a means of inverting one of the filters' outputs when running them in parallel. There are many paths to that end available, a number of them have been presented by Member *Dave Peck as well as other members in this very thread already.

johny_gtr wrote:
.... just my 2 cents. .... I still recommend you to configure small euro setup for modulation....
Absolutely agree. Make yourself a rule that "no audio shall be processed with Euro" and keep a small contingent of Euro for modulation purposes. There are some modules in Euro that are simply not made in 5U. MATHS, for one, Doepfer makes a really nice Quad VCA/Mixer that's wonderful for mixing or attenuating/controlling modulation signals (A-135-1) and the Doepfer Matrix Mixer is another space saving giant of a mixer/router/distributor/polarizer (A-138M). There are many others.

josaka wrote:
not sure about an FFB....
I agree! Nearly every person in this subforum group that has purchased some variant of the FFB has removed it from their systems. It simply doesn't provide enough to justify it's possession ... the return on investment (so to speak) is too low and it ends up back in the box it was shipped in. These are facts. Of course, you get to make your own choices, however.

levelhead3 wrote:
... But it would be so much fun to play live! I hadn't even considered a FFB because of the size, but now I want one... d'oh!
NO. NO. ... bad dog! The MSN Smack!


josaka wrote:
also.. shove the power to the rear/side of your box if you can..
I won't get started on power systems here for the sake of everyone else's sanity ...

.... well, maybe just a little bit ...



bus bars


thumbs up
JohnLRice
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
....Here's the 22 space case I have which is done (no really!). It's in a DotCom case with a custom supply I did myself. I mounted the power inlet on the side and I'm sure FreeState FX or any competent carpenter/electrician could do the same for you? This case has mostly very traditional modules except for the sequencer.
https://www.modulargrid.net/d/racks/view/444080
[img]https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_444080.jpg[/img
Be warned ... Member *JohnLRice is some sort of alien or wizard .. his systems are beyond bitchen and and are essentially unattainable by mortal humans ... he builds some of the coolest systems on the planet ... so any attempts to emulate his efforts will be met with sorrow and disappointment since he is not of this Earth. Om
Hehe, you are too kind! we're not worthy I may be from a different planet in this solar system but your builds are light-years beyond mine! woah thumbs up
levelhead3
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Be warned ... Member *JohnLRice is some sort of alien or wizard .. his systems are beyond bitchen and and are essentially unattainable by mortal humans ... he builds some of the coolest systems on the planet ... so any attempts to emulate his efforts will be met with sorrow and disappointment since he is not of this Earth. Om


Ha ha, no, not emulate my son, but definitely inspired by. More than anything I've been drooling over his power supply builds ever since I rejoined MW earlier this summer. But I was an electrical engineering major, so I geek on stuff like power supplies as much as cool modules. I've always overspec'd mine - my G6 cases were all loaded with the PSU2 back when that was the best you could get, and I upgraded the supplies on my SAModular case to a pair of the biggest Bicker models available. Current reserve = happy modules. smile

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Dave Peck wrote:
.... 3. Assuming you get a second filter, you NEED a way to mix them while INVERTING one of them ....
Absolutely sage advice ... most times using two filters in parallel results in phase cancellation. Now, you may like what you hear in phase cancellation, but you WILL need the ability to combat that as well. So as Member *Dave Peck has advised, you will require a means of inverting one of the filters' outputs when running them in parallel. There are many paths to that end available, a number of them have been presented by Member *Dave Peck as well as other members in this very thread already.


No argument from me on that, and I've already expressed my gratitude to Dave for that advice. I truly had never run into that before, but have already dedicated a space for either a Moon 525 or 526 depending on what works best with the rest of the system.

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
johny_gtr wrote:
.... just my 2 cents. .... I still recommend you to configure small euro setup for modulation....
Absolutely agree. Make yourself a rule that "no audio shall be processed with Euro" and keep a small contingent of Euro for modulation purposes. There are some modules in Euro that are simply not made in 5U. MATHS, for one, Doepfer makes a really nice Quad VCA/Mixer that's wonderful for mixing or attenuating/controlling modulation signals (A-135-1) and the Doepfer Matrix Mixer is another space saving giant of a mixer/router/distributor/polarizer (A-138M). There are many others.


Don't I know it. I had an A-135-1 in my old system, along with a lot of other modules that I've found difficult to replicate in either the 5u or Buchla worlds. But I'm not looking back. Call it obstinance, call it stubbornness, call it stupidity, but I'm all done with Eurorack. Plus the Buchla 205 smokes the A-138m, at 10x the panel area of course... woah

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
josaka wrote:
not sure about an FFB....
I agree! Nearly every person in this subforum group that has purchased some variant of the FFB has removed it from their systems. It simply doesn't provide enough to justify it's possession ... the return on investment (so to speak) is too low and it ends up back in the box it was shipped in. These are facts. Of course, you get to make your own choices, however.

levelhead3 wrote:
... But it would be so much fun to play live! I hadn't even considered a FFB because of the size, but now I want one... d'oh!
NO. NO. ... bad dog! The MSN Smack!


LOL I have no doubt you are correct. But it has been a long standing obsession of mine, probably started with the Buchla 295 comb filter I used all the time at Evergreen - I loved that thing. And to be fair on my old system I did use my A-128 quite often too, but for a smaller system I agree those 4 spaces could probably be put to better use.

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts and advice. And let the record show I may be failing at my efforts to keep it at 22 spaces, just as hamildad predicted... w00t
levelhead3
And here is how things now stand, albeit actually in two 16 space cabinets.

Worried about duplicating my Moogerfooger functionality with the on-board effects, but decided I really wanted easy pack-up-and-go portability, so no external reverb etc.

Saving the last two spaces for whatever is needed - most likely an inverting mixer and/or more mults. But I want to use the system for a bit before deciding.

And no bus bars, but at least I'm swapping out the dotcom cable harness for analog craftsman distribution boards. (hides)

JohnLRice
levelhead3 wrote:
It's looking really cool! thumbs up Take a close look at the Ornament & Crime module from FreeState FX
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=207929
With your system since you can have up to 4 independent voices, running the output of your sequencer through an Analog Shift Register or the 4 outputs of your LFO through a quad quantizer could get some magical stuff going. (if you are into magical stuff! hihi )
Thalassa
levelhead3 wrote:


Hi , levelhead3 , the original C105 , has been replaced for the C105 MKII,

here it is the modulargrid link.

https://www.modulargrid.net/d/corsynth-c105-vc-noise-lo-fi-mkii
levelhead3
Doh! I just scored Noisebug's last original - their floor model actually.

I knew the C105 was up for revision, but hadn't realized you were going to have it ready so soon! we're not worthy
Dave Peck
There's another thread on a similar topic which might give you some more ideas:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=185561
levelhead3
Dave Peck wrote:
There's another thread on a similar topic which might give you some more ideas:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=185561


Aye, I spent a lot of time checking that thread before posting this one - there are a lot of great ideas in there!

But this configuration is it - everything is here except the Oakley and dotcom stuff, the latter of which includes the cases... sad banana
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