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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

First rack advice!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author First rack advice!
hotstepper
Hey everyone,

Ive been playing around with the lifeforms SV-1 from Pittsburgh Modular for a while and im finally ready to dive into a full eurorack. I recently bought a Maths, Rings, and Ears for my system and im now waiting for my case to arrive. My goal with this rack is to create a melodic machine that can spit out interesting sequences for techno.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/831491

This is my plan so far. My basic plan is to feed two sequencers into the doepfer precision adder, which ill use with the harmonaig quantizer and then into the rest of my modules with pamela's new workout as my master clock. Im looking for any recommendations people have for a CV sequencer I could fit in 8HP and also for any advice regarding the rack as a whole. I plan an eventually taking the SV-1 out of the case and keeping it as a seperate unit when I get more modules and figure out my system more.

Thanks! w00t
Hovercraft
A Mimetic Digitalis would be a great addition to your rack. It’s 10hp, but you could swap a couple modules to make room for it. It has four channels, so you could use one for melody and the others for sequenced modulation. It works beautifully with Pam’s, since you can use gates to run it sequentially, in Cartesian mode, randomize, and reset.
natureclubcassettes
this looks like a confusing array of the most popular modules on modulargrid.

your plan to use the precision adder fed by multiple sequences is a good one. that quantizer is fucking huge for what it does, though. strongly suggest the new intellijel one, along with a dedicated random module, and a dedicated set of attenuators.

though not in production any longer (i don't think?), the Octone is a great sequencer with a small footprint. I like pairing it with the Nanorand as well, though those are getting expensive on the used market.

strongly suggest buying slow.
hotstepper
natureclubcassettes wrote:
this looks like a confusing array of the most popular modules on modulargrid.

your plan to use the precision adder fed by multiple sequences is a good one. that quantizer is fucking huge for what it does, though. strongly suggest the new intellijel one, along with a dedicated random module, and a dedicated set of attenuators.

though not in production any longer (i don't think?), the Octone is a great sequencer with a small footprint. I like pairing it with the Nanorand as well, though those are getting expensive on the used market.

strongly suggest buying slow.


As I said this is just my first plan im still discovering new modules and obviously I plan to play with my current setup before expanding. I chose the 2HP Turing machine as a random module mostly due to its size, and Im using Maths as an attenuverter/attenuator with the quad VCA handling any other attenuating I might need.

I dont really care about how popular my modules are as long as I can get the sound im looking for out of them.
hotstepper
Hovercraft wrote:
A Mimetic Digitalis would be a great addition to your rack. It’s 10hp, but you could swap a couple modules to make room for it. It has four channels, so you could use one for melody and the others for sequenced modulation. It works beautifully with Pam’s, since you can use gates to run it sequentially, in Cartesian mode, randomize, and reset.


Thanks for the suggestion ill be sure to check it out. Do you have any suggestions for the rack in general?
evileye0702
You could probably benefit from more LFOs. Something like Batumi?
Blicken Synths
As much as I love the Harmonaig it is pretty large for a small system. You might be better off looking at a Disting instead. Will give you plenty of other functions on top
sko87pro
That is a very full rack! I think the best advice is to start slow and learn. Plenty of threads on MW with people regretting the big-upfront build. Why not start a single row with the basics:

2 VCO
2 VCLFO
3 VCA
ADSR
FnGen
VCF
Noise, SH
Mix Invert Offset Attenuate
Buffered Mult

You can readily achieve that with a combo based around Dixie 2, 3xMIA, 3xVCA, Function, ADSRVCA, Polaris, Disting, Row Power, for example. Or Maths plus a few friends. I reckon you could fit that in 50HP, leaving room for some more ideas a year later!

Or start with a 0-Coast or a Mother-32 semi-modular and add a few modules in a skiff?
hotstepper
sko87pro wrote:
That is a very full rack! I think the best advice is to start slow and learn. Plenty of threads on MW with people regretting the big-upfront build. Why not start a single row with the basics:

2 VCO
2 VCLFO
3 VCA
ADSR
FnGen
VCF
Noise, SH
Mix Invert Offset Attenuate
Buffered Mult

You can readily achieve that with a combo based around Dixie 2, 3xMIA, 3xVCA, Function, ADSRVCA, Polaris, for example. Or Maths plus a few friends...

Or start with a 0-Coast or a Mother-32 semi-modular and add a few modules?


Ive been using the lifeforms sv1 semi modular for a while and i really love it smile Im not planning on buying everything up front this is just sort of a long term plan of how im going to take things. Ive updated it with some advice gotten from the thread so id love to hear peoples opinions on it
sko87pro
Quote:
Ive been using the lifeforms sv1 semi modular for a while and i really love it smile Im not planning on buying everything up front this is just sort of a long term plan


Oh, makes sense! My bad. I did something similar actually...
honeyb
natureclubcassettes wrote:
this looks like a confusing array of the most popular modules on modulargrid.


Which isn't the worst way to get into eurorack. Those modules are popular for a reason.

I started with the classic sequencer-VCO-Filter-VCA pipe, only to learn that many people use filters as VCOs, and now find that my Thomas Henry 555 VCO is the least used module in my rig. Filter as VCO offers more flexibility since both "pinging" it with a trigger and also voltage control resonance create time-evolving sounds, while my VCO "just" oscillates.
Rex Coil 7
honeyb wrote:
natureclubcassettes wrote:
this looks like a confusing array of the most popular modules on modulargrid.


Which isn't the worst way to get into eurorack. Those modules are popular for a reason.
Popular does not mean "good" ... it just means "popular". What is suited for most isn't suited for everyone.

sko87pro wrote:
That is a very full rack! I think the best advice is to start slow and learn. Plenty of threads on MW with people regretting the big-upfront build.
This is SO true.


sko87pro wrote:
Why not start a single row with the basics:

2 VCO
2 VCLFO
3 VCA
ADSR
FnGen
VCF
Noise, SH
Mix Invert Offset Attenuate
Buffered Mult

You can readily achieve that with a combo based around Dixie 2, 3xMIA, 3xVCA, Function, ADSRVCA, Polaris, Disting, Row Power, for example. Or Maths plus a few friends. I reckon you could fit that in 50HP, leaving room for some more ideas a year later!
Excellent suggestions. thumbs up

natureclubcassettes wrote:
this looks like a confusing array of the most popular modules on modulargrid.
THE single most common thing done by new users/members. I think it's seen by those that do it as a means of earning respect ... "once these people see how sharp my choices are they'll accept me more quickly" (or something along those lines).

I will say that I gave him points for not posting a screenshot of the Modular Grid fake synth and claiming that was his actual synth, however. "Here's my ~rack~" .... no, that is a rendering of a fake synthesizer that does not exist!!

So, points given for honesty on that one.

natureclubcassettes wrote:
..strongly suggest buying slow.
Super wise advice.

To Member *hotstepper:

I would suggest starting out with simple basics (VCO, VCF, VCA, one or two envelopes, one or two LFOs). Add an Arturia Keystep which provides an arpeggiator, a really nice step sequencer, and a velocity capable keybed. Spend time on those until you've all but exhausted their capabilities. Then, begin slowly adding more modules. You'll have a far better sense of what you want and what you actually need by then. Every one of the modules you bought to start with will be very useful as you grow your system.

But, probably the most important rule to adhere to as you begin planning more of a synth (after you've really worked with the initial purchases) is to make real life estimates on how large the end-game synth will become ... then DOUBLE that estimate. Next, take those figures and begin to design a solid power system to suit the intended synth. Once the power system is designed, then and only then start working on selecting a cabinet that will work with the power system.

NOT the other way around. Far too many people mistakenly pick out a cabinet, then select a power system that will fit the cabinet. That is backwards. Too many people treat the power system as some sort of afterthought. In today's modern modular synths, solid power systems are more important than ever. So many modules are sensitive to "dirty power" and poorly designed grounding systems, as well as zero volt considerations.

A small "TipTop Audio uZeus" type power supply/distribution system is ok for the first set of modules. But that is NOT what you want to use as your power system for the grown-ass-adult synth that you'll put together as you work with the initial collection of starter modules.

I can't stress good power enough. As a very general rule of thumb, plan on spending at least 20% of what you plan on spending for modules. If you plan on eventually ending up with $5k worth of modules when the "master plan" has been executed, you should end up putting about an additional $1k into the entire power system (power supply, power distribution, module power cables, power control .. as in On/Off switch with fuses or circuit breakers on the hot and neutral main lines, and a well thought out grounding matrix).

Your synth will have fewer problems, less (if any) crosstalk between audio signals and modulation signals, less hiss, less hum, and better performance out of any capacitance controlled modules (any modules with capacitance "touch pads"). This is not my opinion, these are facts.

Best of luck, and have fun!

(And reply to private messages from other members when they welcome you to the forum!). ~wink~

I am not monitoring this thread, don't hesitate to PM me if need be, I'll be happy to hear from you

thumbs up
blakeq
Just to add to the advice above.... If you don’t care about a keyboard try the beatstep pro instead of the keystep. More sequencing options and a pad interface.
ayruos
Lot of choices seem rather confusing to me.

Why'd you want both Pam's AND the RCD?

Isn't that way too many envelop/function generators? (1 on the Pittsburg, 2 from the Doepfer and 2 on Maths - yeah sure, Maths can do a bunch of other things too, but still, feels kinda overkill).

I'd consider the whole clocking + sequencing + precision adding + quantising as one block with the Tempi + Rene 2 combo, I've been having way too much fun with doing exactly the same thing that you plan to do with two sequencers + precision adders ++ just with those two as the Rene 2 has both an Add AND a S&H add and can be self patched with three separate CV/Gate outputs which can be quantised and Tempi can do a lot with clocks and then those can be stored too, that's a LOT of power right there. Yes the Rene 2 is big but then again, it can do SO MUCH it's totally worth it.
mmpingo
ayruos wrote:

Isn't that way too many envelop/function generators?

From my (newbie) point of view this is the most complicated calculation. Just yesterday I watched Look Mum No Computer video on YT, where he had troubles with a new case dimensions calculation (and finally builded a cripple) but finding this balance is a real question.
Are there any formulas, rules of the thumb?
ayruos
mmpingo wrote:
ayruos wrote:

Isn't that way too many envelop/function generators?

From my (newbie) point of view this is the most complicated calculation. Just yesterday I watched Look Mum No Computer video on YT, where he had troubles with a new case dimensions calculation (and finally builded a cripple) but finding this balance is a real question.
Are there any formulas, rules of the thumb?


Not really, because the modular is so personal there's no real way of designing a system for someone else - it boils down to the individual and how they want to patch their system. As a newbie, it always takes a few stumbles to really nail down how many of what you need and what works best for you.

Having said that, you'd probably want one amplitude envelop per voice and a second one to drive the filter (if east coast is your thing) or a wavefolder/waveshaper (if west coast is your thing). This second envelop can be either derived from the first one, probably attenuated/inverted/mixed with random voltage/etc or be a separate function generator on it's own.

Everyone's advice is based on their own workflows and their own viewpoints, you have to find your own, so it's always a good idea to start small, look at what's missing and then get something to fulfil that need.

There are a few well designed full systems though if you want immediate gratification - the System Cartesian, the Shared System, the Erica Fusion Drone System, etc, but each rack offers certain affordances and certain constraints and you gotta find your own workflow. If you're building your own rack and have no prior experience, it's always good to start small with extra space and be prepared to swap modules in and out. It's taken me close to two years to build a rack that finally feels like a system that while having constraints offers enough for me to not feel hamstrung with no "extras".
hotstepper
ayruos wrote:
Lot of choices seem rather confusing to me.

Why'd you want both Pam's AND the RCD?

Isn't that way too many envelop/function generators? (1 on the Pittsburg, 2 from the Doepfer and 2 on Maths - yeah sure, Maths can do a bunch of other things too, but still, feels kinda overkill).

I'd consider the whole clocking + sequencing + precision adding + quantizing as one block with the Tempi + Rene 2 combo, I've been having way too much fun with doing exactly the same thing that you plan to do with two sequencers + precision adders ++ just with those two as the Rene 2 has both an Add AND a S&H add and can be self patched with three separate CV/Gate outputs which can be quantised and Tempi can do a lot with clocks and then those can be stored too, that's a LOT of power right there. Yes the Rene 2 is big but then again, it can do SO MUCH it's totally worth it.


I was thinking of using pams as the master clock and using its outputs to trigger other functions like pulse and width cv etc. and using it with drum modules if I end up getting some. I was planning on using the RCD with the sequencers to spice up the patterns before sending it to the doepfer adder. Although I can see how Pam can cover all of that in one module so I think ill get rid of the RCD.

I was really considering the rene 2 but its just way too big. I'm restricting myself to a 6U 84HP system until im able to DIY my own cases. I'm just not in a place where im able to do that right now. My end goal is to just have a massive techno-system but for now I'm trying to create a rack with 2-3 oscillators (2 on the sv-1, Rings) using the adding technique to create really interesting melodies. I thought of using the harmonaig because I really love how there's no menu diving, its layed out well, and can just do so much with polyphony that I thought it would be perfect for my setup but I got rid of it due to its size.

Ill probably end up redoing the plan on modulargrid plenty of times and I dont plan on buying all this stuff at front. I bought an ears, rings, and maths because I thought they'd compliment the sv-1 really well, and I needed to start somewhere so I thought they were good all round modules to get started with.

If you have more recommendations on modules that can help reduce the HP im using or any other suggestions let me know! and thanks for the advice smile
Nagasaki45
Hi! I actually don't think this rack is too messy :-)

Just a few comments:

1. Don't be tempted to push too much functionality in on the expense of space and usability. Most of the 2hp modules looks great, except for the fact they are 2hp. They are great for filling gaps but I won't come up with a plan the depends on many of these. Instead of the LFO and the ADSR maybe consider zadar.

2. I don't think the combination of the mimetic digitalis and the micro sequence is ideal. I would probably start with only the mimetic digitalis, which has 4 channels anyway, and if necessary add a simpler sequencer for slower changes (e.g. evolving transpositions). This could be something more like tirana or RYO's penta.

3. The 2hp delay + spring reverb are probably not the best option for effects. Why not start with a pico DSP or similar and think later if you need more?

4. I cannot see how the ears fit with the rest of this rack. It looks musically unrelated to the rest of the instrument.

BTW, considering the approach you describes to melody, I think the precision adder + ADDAC quantizer are a good idea! Same for the choice of sound sources.

Good luck!
Tom
hotstepper
Nagasaki45 wrote:
Hi! I actually don't think this rack is too messy :-)

Just a few comments:

1. Don't be tempted to push too much functionality in on the expense of space and usability. Most of the 2hp modules looks great, except for the fact they are 2hp. They are great for filling gaps but I won't come up with a plan the depends on many of these. Instead of the LFO and the ADSR maybe consider zadar.

2. I don't think the combination of the mimetic digitalis and the micro sequence is ideal. I would probably start with only the mimetic digitalis, which has 4 channels anyway, and if necessary add a simpler sequencer for slower changes (e.g. evolving transpositions). This could be something more like tirana or RYO's penta.

3. The 2hp delay + spring reverb are probably not the best option for effects. Why not start with a pico DSP or similar and think later if you need more?

4. I cannot see how the ears fit with the rest of this rack. It looks musically unrelated to the rest of the instrument.

BTW, considering the approach you describes to melody, I think the precision adder + ADDAC quantizer are a good idea! Same for the choice of sound sources.

Good luck!
Tom


Thanks a lot Tom! Great advice I'll definitely take it into account.

Regarding the Ears, I got it because im a guitar player usually and I really wanted to be able to put a guitar or any other audio signal through the modular synth both for sending gates and for audio processing. I agree that it looks kind of unrelated, but I bought it on a whim before I had the plan of using the precision adder and sequencers so there's no going back now! Rockin' Banana!
flashheart
Ears could pair well with Rings.
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