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System For Processing
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author System For Processing
daniu
I'm hoping for some insight into useful modules for processing music, for recording and live purposes. In particular, what are the best modules for compression, limiting, saturation, overdrive etc. Looking for organic degradation of tone and instability.
Pelsea
That’s not really modular’s bag. The best recording processors are rack gear or plugs for your DAW.

Live effects are available as pedals or in a digital house console.

The best you are going to get from modules will be crazy distortion and rough filtering. Also extra noise.

Now if you are interested in interactive synthesis, an envelope follower and comparator can lead to exciting things.
sduck
It might be a good idea to indicate your desired format so we can focus better.
Rex Coil 7
daniu wrote:
I'm hoping for some insight into useful modules for processing music, for recording and live purposes. In particular, what are the best modules for compression, limiting, saturation, overdrive etc. Looking for organic degradation of tone and instability.
I'm as certain as I can be that you can locate someone within this membership (most likely within the "DIY crowd") to commission that has the skills and willingness to make you a set of devices that could be patched together (similar to how synth modules can be patched together) using various FX circuits that will do what you're after. Imagine something like stompboxes, but without the footswitches (toggle switches would be used instead of foot switches) that have jacks on the front panels so you may patch each device together in any order you wish, just like synth modules. The circuits could be built on synth module blank panels, and these "modules" could be configured as large format (like "5U" modules, also known as "Moog Unit" sized) or as small format (like "Euro" modules). The processors could then be mounted in the appropriate frames ... just like synth modules, and powered by a decent power supply (12vdc or even 18vdc would be best).

But the type of circuits you're looking for are not readily available as "synthesizer modules". Everything about modular synths is not really proper for processing line or instrument level signals. Which is precisely why I say it would be better to start with stomp-box type circuits and build them into whatever modular synthesizer format you have in mind.

It would be very easy, to be honest. It's a lot easier/less work involved building a given circuit on only a control panel than it is the build the same circuit inside of an enclosure. There's just a lot less labor involved with making things in a panel, compared to making them in an enclosure.

Just a thought.

thumbs up
Pelsea
You should investigate 500 series modules. https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/studio-recording/signal-processing/500 -series/

These are based on the form factor and power supply of a classic console. Modules plug into a portable case (sometimes called a lunchbox), and include everything from tweak preamps to tape simulators. Build quality is better than most synth modules and the prices are surprisingly competitive. Some racks are patchable, others have some sort of switch based routing.

Rex Coil 7
Pelsea wrote:
You should investigate 500 series modules.
Never maintain cash savings again d'oh! Never maintain cash savings again waah Never maintain cash savings again hmmm..... Never maintain cash savings again very frustrating



sad banana
Pelsea
A 500 package that would meet the OP's needs:

Preamp: Chameleon Labs 851 $379
compression & limiting: dBx 560 $199
Compression, Distortion, EQ: JHS pulp N peel $699
Organic degradation of tone and instability: Neve tape emulator $745
6 Unit chassis: Midas L6 $249
total $2271

So, yah

But how much for the equivalent in Buchla? (Actually there is no equivalent for the 560) Here's an attempt in eurorack:

Input Module: Doepfer A119 $99 (not a true mic preamp)
compression & limiting: Waldorf CMP1 at $349
Distortion: Vermona VCdrive $239
EQ: Music Thing simple EQ $80
Organic degradation of tone and instability ??: Malekko Assmaster $225
Output module: MN Rosie $139
Case Doepfer A100LC3 $259
total $1390

One tenth the audio quality at only half the cost. It really depends on the OP's priorities. The Euro system would be more fun, especially as part of a full complement of synthesis and control modules, but the 500 rack would be more dependable on tour.
andybizarre
Oh, you can do all this within the modular. There are so many ways of introducing drive and distortion just by gain staging synth modules. Compressors can be patched using fairly basic modules, search the forum for this. If you have modules which can do sum/difference and mix/invert multiple channels, you got yourself a M/S matrix.

A transformer-based input/output module like the Vermona TAI-4 can do sweet drive and mild compression all on its own (and helps with interfacing your studio gear, of course).

Bases on Pelsea`s Eurorack advice, here`s another one:

Vermona TAI-4 transformer in/out (XLR)
Doepfer A-138m matrix mixer/inverter/offset
Intellijel uMod Ringmodulator/sum-difference logic/unusual VCA
Doepfer A-119 envelope follower
WMD Multimode VCA flexible dual VCA with sweet sounding overdrive
Rex Coil 7
andybizarre wrote:
Oh, you can do all this within the modular. There are so many ways of introducing drive and distortion just by gain staging synth modules. Compressors can be patched using fairly basic modules, search the forum for this. If you have modules which can do sum/difference and mix/invert multiple channels, you got yourself a M/S matrix.

A transformer-based input/output module like the Vermona TAI-4 can do sweet drive and mild compression all on its own (and helps with interfacing your studio gear, of course).

Bases on Pelsea`s Eurorack advice, here`s another one:

Vermona TAI-4 transformer in/out (XLR)
Doepfer A-138m matrix mixer/inverter/offset
Intellijel uMod Ringmodulator/sum-difference logic/unusual VCA
Doepfer A-119 envelope follower
WMD Multimode VCA flexible dual VCA with sweet sounding overdrive
And double all of that if the OP needs stereo processing. Let's also acknowledge that using things such as the uMod and other devices of the like require A LOT of resources (eg; input level VCAs, envelope generators, LFOs and other modulators).

I suppose it would help to prevent all of this conjecture about what the OP "needs" if that member would provide us with more information about needs, wants, resources on hand, budget, and so on. As it is now we're all shooting in the dark, making suggestions based on assumptions of everything I just listed.

Helloooo ..... Member *daniu .... where are you? (makes me think of the old TV show "Car 54 where are you?").

lol
ranix
I think a small 19" rack with 1u rack devices would be the most sound approach to solving this problem.
Dave Peck
daniu wrote:
I'm hoping for some insight into useful modules for processing music, for recording and live purposes. In particular, what are the best modules for compression, limiting, saturation, overdrive etc. Looking for organic degradation of tone and instability.


Your question seems to be asking for two different things.

The compression/limiting/saturation products that tend to be considered among the "best" are not the kind of products that would typically be used for achieving "degradation of tone and instability".

Do you want excellent compressors / limiters? Or do you want something to degrade and distort the sound?
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