The continued pursuit of my Ultimate Synth

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:00 am

So continuing my journey, I've downsized and removed some redundancies unless their UI was more important than minimizing.

Image

What I might do is get a 4ms Pod or two and use them to add new elements to the instrument, using the SSP to capture what I can from them. The obvious first candidate for that would be the Trident. Just looks like a really juicy oscillator.

I can tell you that my enjoyment for using the modular has improved. I mean I enjoyed it before, but I had to be in the mood, which usually meant I had a lot of mental energy still available. I normally only get to sit down and wiggle in the evenings, and it happens often that I'm just tired from the day.

However with the new setup, I just want to mess with it. I really feel like I've dialed it all in. Like I've found my sonic zen.

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Post by jmax313 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:00 pm

2disbetter wrote:
jmax313 wrote:how do you integrate your control forge in your system? had one for a while and dunno why I sold it..
There are so many things you can do with the control forge. It is basically just a fantastic source of CV that can be used for anything. It's also quite possibly one of the most advanced envelopes available in eurorack. One thing I like to do is record the CV outputs from the two main outs (normal and inversed) on the SSP and then use that internally there to drive voices or modulation. All that is just scratching the surface. The CF is one module I just highly recommend; it's the reason I've never had a MATHS.
I did not even think about recording the CV especially since I did not have a way to record the CV when I owned it.. That gives me ideas now... And I'mm a huge fan of Rossum modules. Although dense, very easy to wrap my head around them.

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Post by hippasus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:42 am

What a journey, thank you for sharing!

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Zerius
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Post by Zerius » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:44 pm

What would be the major differences between your Percussa SSP and ER301?
They seem able to do lots of things and I was really impressed by the sound quality of the Percussa module from the recent videos the connector posted.

How much time did you take to dig into each modules?
Which one would you recommend me first :)

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:02 pm

The SSP and 301 are effectively the same thing, implemented and with different constraints.

Both of the modules are not incredibly intuitive, but that's just because you can't have that kind of depth without that trade off. However, both have made great efforts to not make it tougher than necessary.

For doing little things, (so small patches) I would say they are both evenly matched. The SSP has the ability to sample and output at significantly higher resolution, and has 4 additional outputs. On top of that all of the outputs and inputs on the SSP are DC coupled and so they can handle audio or CV.

Where the SSP really shines (when viewed from the 301 perspective) is when you are creating larger more complicated patches. The UI is like looking at your eurorack in that sense. You layout modules as you would in your case and patch them up.

CPU wise the SSP is 10 times as powerful as the 301.

All that said, I sold my 301, and have ordered another one. As a companion to the SSP it is stellar. It is kind of like having a backup string section in a symphony.

As far as which one to recommend? If you can only have one, I would get the SSP. If you are space constrained, then a 301 is a fantastic module. However, once you understand the 301, and understand it's limitations, you'll probably start thinking about the SSP again.


:tu: :tu:

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Zerius
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Post by Zerius » Wed May 01, 2019 7:01 pm

Thanks you very much ! you have cleared my mind :hihi:

I should receive the ER301 in the next few weeks and since I don't have the space yet for the SSP I'm gonna wait until I master the 301.
I don't think I would be able to use all the SSP functionalities at the beginning and the 301 community is very active so I might find answers to my future questions :hihi:

I hope the SSP will get more popularity with more videos on youtube to really hear and see the true potential of this beast but so far it seems like a real concurrent to the 301 sonically talking !

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potatobrain
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Post by potatobrain » Mon May 13, 2019 6:08 am

Do you use Haken and Roli equally or prefer one over another?

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Mon May 13, 2019 1:18 pm

That is a complicated question. :hihi:

In the beginning I was very impressed and interested in MPE related controllers. I thought (and still think) that they were one of the best things that could happen for synths. Playing a synth with the same control over the sound as a guitar player, for example, is a really compelling idea.

I wanted a Linnstrument first, but because I only ever played power chords, and never really learned how to play a guitar was turned off by the layout.

I learned how to play the piano as a kid, and that is what I was familiar with.

I always liked the Haken, but it was just so expensive, and I didn't see the price justifying the advantages it offered over the more affordable solutions.

So I got the Roli Seaboard Blocks.

Then at Superbooth 18 I was finally able to try a Continuum. I finally understood. As far as control goes, the Continuum is just light years ahead of the other controllers. This also makes it one of the most difficult to use. It is its own instrument.

This is its advantage but also its restraint. It excels at allowing you to breath real life into any sound.

For most people the Roli, Linnstrument, etc are more than enough. But if you really want your instrument to be an instrument in every sense of the word; If you want to be able to control it with as much of your input as possible, then the Continuum is the king.

It is a 5% advantage comparatively, but that 5% makes all the difference if you are at a point where you notice it.

There are other things to consider as well. The roli for example pairs wirelessly over bluetooth. This works with a BT USB adapter and the Roli FH-2 perfectly.

So to answer your question I use both. The Continuum is superior at being a controller. But if I had to live with only the Roli I would survive.

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potatobrain
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Post by potatobrain » Mon May 13, 2019 3:24 pm

2disbetter wrote:That is a complicated question. :hihi:

In the beginning I was very impressed and interested in MPE related controllers. I thought (and still think) that they were one of the best things that could happen for synths. Playing a synth with the same control over the sound as a guitar player, for example, is a really compelling idea.

I wanted a Linnstrument first, but because I only ever played power chords, and never really learned how to play a guitar was turned off by the layout.

I learned how to play the piano as a kid, and that is what I was familiar with.

I always liked the Haken, but it was just so expensive, and I didn't see the price justifying the advantages it offered over the more affordable solutions.

So I got the Roli Seaboard Blocks.

Then at Superbooth 18 I was finally able to try a Continuum. I finally understood. As far as control goes, the Continuum is just light years ahead of the other controllers. This also makes it one of the most difficult to use. It is its own instrument.

This is its advantage but also its restraint. It excels at allowing you to breath real life into any sound.

For most people the Roli, Linnstrument, etc are more than enough. But if you really want your instrument to be an instrument in every sense of the word; If you want to be able to control it with as much of your input as possible, then the Continuum is the king.

It is a 5% advantage comparatively, but that 5% makes all the difference if you are at a point where you notice it.

There are other things to consider as well. The roli for example pairs wirelessly over bluetooth. This works with a BT USB adapter and the Roli FH-2 perfectly.

So to answer your question I use both. The Continuum is superior at being a controller. But if I had to live with only the Roli I would survive.
Thanks a lot for your comprehensive answer dear sir. Were you able to translate all the MIDI messages Haken and Roli produce into the CV language? I may suppose it's not really enough just to translate them, but to also transform in to affordable ranges (polarizing, attenuating, etc.): looks like a lot of HP for this sort of utility modules.

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Tue May 14, 2019 1:56 am

potatobrain wrote: Thanks a lot for your comprehensive answer dear sir. Were you able to translate all the MIDI messages Haken and Roli produce into the CV language? I may suppose it's not really enough just to translate them, but to also transform in to affordable ranges (polarizing, attenuating, etc.): looks like a lot of HP for this sort of utility modules.
The SSP works with any MIDI compliant USB controller and can also act as a MIDI to CV module should you wish. The Continuum comes with a Roland Midi DIN to MIDI USB dongle. The FH-2 can act as a host or a client for anything pushing MIDI through USB. It does this very well. The FH-2 alone is 8hp, and each expander (which add 8 additional outs) are only 4hp. 16hp will get you a VERY capable midi to cv setup.

Edit: Sorry, and yes the FH-2 and the SSP both understand the Roli and the Continuum. Both are just interpreting MIDI signals over USB. So any device that can do that works with both of them.

Using the SSP alone for this could free you up from needing a FH-2 or similar module, BUT then if you want to use the controller within your setup and not just in the SSP, you will end up using the outputs. So I find if I just want to control something in the SSP, that I plug into it, but I want to control more than just the SSP, I plug into the FH-2. Like this, for example, I can send gate and pitch cv to the SSP, but send y position data to the filter cutoff.

The FH-2 and expanders do take up a junk of space, BUT that space is worth it. It represents human control versus LFOs, Envelopes, and other modulation sources. Because of that, the FH-2 shouldn't be looked at, as just a midi to CV module, but more appropriately as a nearly infinite source of modulation, etc.

Current setup:
Image

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:47 am

With the core element of synth refined, I now will use a pod 60 to hold various sound sources. All of which the SSP will sample. The SSP will then be the primary sound source, and everything else in the system will compliment or be directly responsible for refining the sound.
Last edited by 2disbetter on Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by pekbro » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:56 am

Excellent work :tu:

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Post by natureclubcassettes » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:22 pm

the only thing i can think of whenever this thread pops up is that what you've named your "ultimate synth" is rather unfortunate, even if it is some sort of homage to the synth pop group, however dated.

maybe a non gendered name for something that you are using/plugging into all the time? sorry, this just speaks to the boys-club aspect of this forum. maybe it is different in germany.

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:19 am

How I name my instrument is something I reserve all the rights to, as I'm sure we all do. That it could be considered offensive or part of a boys club is disappointing, but also an aspect of the eye of the beholder. I certainly don't have those intentions, and I love the band.

I also find it disappointing that with the wall of text this thread represents, that is the one thing you latched on to.

Note: I'm not German, just living here. However, in German, every noun has a gender. It is part of the language itself. So it would then be masculine, and then your issue would be even deeper than your preconcieved thoughts on the author, but with the entire language. I'm sure you can see the absurdity of all that.
Last edited by 2disbetter on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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sutekina bipu-on
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Post by sutekina bipu-on » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:47 am

My "ultimate synth" that drove me to go Euro was deciding whether it was easier to replicate a Kawai K3 in euro, as opposed to hacking the K3's wavetable memory :hihi:

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:33 am

sutekina bipu-on wrote:My "ultimate synth" that drove me to go Euro was deciding whether it was easier to replicate a Kawai K3 in euro, as opposed to hacking the K3's wavetable memory :hihi:
If this was your goal, my guess is you created a quite upgraded version of the K3 as an extra bonus. 80s DSP versus today is like night and day.

I like your thinking as well. I think of modular synthesis as really just custom synths, and it's awesome.

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Post by brandonlogic » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:08 am

Edit- disregard

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:53 am

brandonlogic wrote:i cant look at this system, made up of the ssp, er301 and bitbox, distings, etc- without thinking the whole thing might as well be replaced with a laptop. is your reason for going modular purely for the UI instead of sound? Nothing wrong with that if so! just curious!
Check out the first post. It talks about all of that. In a nutshell, I think digital is the future, but analog is lush and in many cases more capable for less money.

This is a combination. The digital captures the analog, digital then plays everything, with analog and digital shaping and molding. It is a sponge that hopefully just keeps soaking up stuff. BTW, that's a toolbox, not a bitbox.

I have no doubts that in maybe as little as 5-10 years, digital will do everything, and only the hardcore collector will still swear by analog.

PS: I counted 8+ modules in your rack that rely exclusively on DSP. I suppose I could posit the same question to you. :tu:

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brandonlogic
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Post by brandonlogic » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:24 am

2disbetter wrote:
brandonlogic wrote:i cant look at this system, made up of the ssp, er301 and bitbox, distings, etc- without thinking the whole thing might as well be replaced with a laptop. is your reason for going modular purely for the UI instead of sound? Nothing wrong with that if so! just curious!
Check out the first post. It talks about all of that. In a nutshell, I think digital is the future, but analog is lush and in many cases more capable for less money.

This is a combination. The digital captures the analog, digital then plays everything, with analog and digital shaping and molding. It is a sponge that hopefully just keeps soaking up stuff. BTW, that's a toolbox, not a bitbox.

I have no doubts that in maybe as little as 5-10 years, digital will do everything, and only the hardcore collector will still swear by analog.

PS: I counted 8+ modules in your rack that rely exclusively on DSP. I suppose I could posit the same question to you. :tu:
Makes sense, i removed my post before you responded because i didnt want to sound trollish haha. Yes have some in my system i don't have any problem with digital at all. It's the particular modules you choose and this configuration/setup that made me want to ask the question.

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2disbetter
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Post by 2disbetter » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:38 am

brandonlogic wrote: Makes sense, i removed my post before you responded because i didnt want to sound trollish haha.
That's appreciated! But I honestly am good with all questions. It's the only way I'll ever have a viewpoint about it that isn't my own.
brandonlogic wrote:Yes have some in my system i don't have any problem with digital at all. It's the particular modules you choose and this configuration/setup that made me want to ask the question.
Still, I think if you would have taken the time to read the first post, you would have found the answer already there.

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Post by D_Robot » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:49 pm

natureclubcassettes wrote:the only thing i can think of whenever this thread pops up is that what you've named your "ultimate synth" is rather unfortunate, even if it is some sort of homage to the synth pop group, however dated.

maybe a non gendered name for something that you are using/plugging into all the time? sorry, this just speaks to the boys-club aspect of this forum. maybe it is different in germany.
It's lucky I haven't created a thread about my synth "Well Hung Horse Boy" as natureclubcassettes would probably go into faux meltdown... :hmm:



Only joking my synth is actually called "The Wee Beastie", named after a small highland animal I'd like to make sweet love to if I were able to catch one. However, as they're sequential hermaphrodites as long as I nailed them both sides of the fence, so to speak, that would, I assume, meet natureclubcassettes criteria so wouldn't cause outrage...

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Post by cg_funk » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:20 pm

This synth looks ridiculously powerful! I think 'ultimate' is appropriate. I love all the interfaces you have right at hand.

I am perplexed that anyone would find the name "ultimate synth" offensive, or 'gendered'??? of all things? boy's club?? I don't think that was the intention of the name.... Maybe I'm missing something subtle here, but FYI the word ultimate just means 'the last, and greatest, in a series'.

:nana:

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Post by 2disbetter » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:30 pm

So thanks to Rossum knocking a couple of new modules out of the park, and because I wasn't really liking the SSP out of the case per se, I'm growing this synth. This is of course all according to the plan in that this instrument should be a sponge to all the sounds it can 'absorb'. 12U is the hard limit that I've set for myself however.

Image

Everything needed has been ordered. Just waiting on delivery. Some things like the Linnaeus are still not technically out.

Future plans include finding a software sequencer that I really like and that can interface with the FH-2. When that happens, I'll take the FH-2 number of outputs to 48 (from the current 32 I currently have). This will leave me with 18hp to fill eventually. This could be things that happen very very far down the road.

I'm still experimenting with writing an android sequencer app that actually works. Not sure it is possible just yet.

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