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Good, small semi-modular options for a gift to a newbie?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Good, small semi-modular options for a gift to a newbie?
CaligulaCuddles
Hey, hopefully this is the right place to post this.

I'm shopping as a surprise gift for my girlfriend, and she's really taken an intense interest in branching out into the modular world, and unfortunately, modular synths aren't really my forte.

I'm basically looking for something like a modular synth that has the ability for droning self-oscillation and isn't necessarily a chromatic-focused instrument. Initially the Moog Mother 32 seemed like a great option, but I was wondering if there are any cooler (and, let's be fair, less expensive) options out there. I've seen that Korg has the MS-20, but I wasn't sure how capable it would be of more experimental, evolving, self-oscillation sounds. I also saw that Behringer has something on the market, but my experience with their guitar gear has left me more than trepidatious (but for all I know, it may be a decent starter piece).

Anyway... just looking for general input.
heckadecimal69
0-Coast.
CaligulaCuddles
heckadecimal69 wrote:
0-Coast.

Oh yeah, I forgot about those. I actually was interested in getting one for myself a couple years ago. Still a little pricey, but that's probably inevitable. How well can they do something like a sort of sustained, evolving drone sound?
DiscoDevil
The Behringer Neutron seems to fit the bill.
TimeRaveler
DiscoDevil wrote:
The Behringer Neutron seems to fit the bill.


This. It sounds really good (to me), and I've heard its build quality is sturdy too. And look at all these skins you can get if she's not into red.
DickMarker
Bugbrand Chirper is a tasty little stand alone with some patching options.

Chirper
fac
You might still be able to find a Moog Werkstatt-01, if you're looking for something cheap. I've heard some cool stuff made by running the Werkstatt through a couple of cheap pedals.

Though the Behringer Neutron is probably much more bang for the buck.
gruebleengourd
Pittsburgh micro volt is also nice.
CF3
Some other options not mentioned:

Plankton Ants!

Soundmachines Modulor 114

Kilpatrick Phenol
TimeRaveler
Also the Mescaline, super wierd and drony.

http://folktek.com/instruments/modular/mescaline
rean1mator
while the 0-coast is rad, i wouldn't particularly recommend it for a newbie. go with a more classic semi modular --> osc -->filter-->envelope-->vca styley.
Muzone
based on synths I own....

If you want low cost/high quirk factor then Bastl kastle is worth a look, it's great fun to mess around with and as it's literally pocket sized/battery powered you just need a set of eabuds and you can noodle anywhere smile

Bit higher up the scale is another Bastl, the Softpop - again it's primarily a drone/weird out box but can be played (semi) chromatically over CV, also battery powered and has a quirky (but sonically pretty useless!) built in speaker

0-coast is really serious semi-modular territory, and as has been mentioned maybe not ideal for a beginner but it was my first semi-modular and I didn't really find it a problem.
There's plenty of online patches to crib from and it does hold your attention for quite some time (plus it has MIDI and CV so hooks up with hardware and DAW quite easily) one of my favourite synths now smile

Also mentioned is the Neutron, pretty much the "go to beginners semimod I would say, really good price and a nice blend between "play straight from the box" and "dig in deep for some weirdness"

I had a quick play with the Ants and found it OK but largely characterless and the Neutron was out by them so I went for that.

Blackbox sv-1 is a lovely synth, a colleague has one and I am always tempted to get one myself, but with my semi-mod count already at four I'm keeping GAS at bay (for now!)
Koekepan
Next to the Neutron, don't underestimate the Behringer D. Yes, I know, hold the clone-hate. It's a real synth, it sounds delicious, and it's the same price as the Neutron. If she's more of a Moog-type girl, get the D. If she likes screamy weirdness, get the Neutron.
Unborn Gore
The new Stylophone isnt patchable, but it is cheap and fun.
calaveras
For shame. You people are seriously recommending Behringer and ignoring the Doepfer Dark Energy I/II/III?
Those are really fun to use, and have a fixed/patchable architecture. Which makes them more accessible than strictly patchable products.
I think DE II and DEIII are still available at places like Analogue Haven and Schneiders Laden.
balbibou
Dreadbox erebus V3 !
From what you say Neutron would be the best choice though.
Infinity Curve
If it's just to dip the toes without too much initial outlay, check out the Bastl Kastl. Cheap, sounds great, and modular. Fits in your pocket too thumbs up
Nightly Closures
I’ve really been enjoying my neutron. I couldn’t recommend it enough. They’ve already come out with a firmware update expanding its parameters. It’s a phenomenal value regardless of it being your first synth or one of many.
slicetwo
The 0Coast was my first real experience with modular, so I don't think it's inappropriate for someone who may already have SOME synthesis knowledge. It's so fucking awesome.
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