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Modular to speakers
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Modular to speakers
otnemem
Hi all,

I'm just starting out building a small modular synth and have a very basic question that i cannot seem to resolve. I'm sorry if sounds silly but couldn't find a solution from the reading i made.

How can i connect my module's output to an audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2) have connected to my laptop? I keep coming across options that can include a eurorack mixer, VCA etc and issues i could have with getting unbalanced outputs from the modular into a balanced input...

Was thinking of getting a 4ms Listen IO which seems to cover this problem but not sure. Wanted the opinion of some of the experts here if you can! Would be greatly appreciated.

If it helps, i also want to connect external equipment into the modular for signal processing.

Thanks all
Agawell
you should be ok going straight from a eurorack mixer - or vca for that matter - into the audio interface - just keep an eye on the levels

if you have issues then consider getting an output module

using the modular for processing external sources, will however, probably require some amplification to modular levels - something like mutable veils is really good for this as it is actually a vca that amplifies - and you get 4 mixable channels - there are others that also amplify but not too many - if you want the other functionality of an input module then you can add envelope followers, gate/pitch extracters etc with other modules as required
milkshake
otnemem wrote:
Hi all,

I'm just starting out building a small modular synth and have a very basic question that i cannot seem to resolve. I'm sorry if sounds silly but couldn't find a solution from the reading i made.

How can i connect my module's output to an audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2) have connected to my laptop? I keep coming across options that can include a eurorack mixer, VCA etc and issues i could have with getting unbalanced outputs from the modular into a balanced input...

Was thinking of getting a 4ms Listen IO which seems to cover this problem but not sure. Wanted the opinion of some of the experts here if you can! Would be greatly appreciated.

If it helps, i also want to connect external equipment into the modular for signal processing.

Thanks all


The Scarlett can easily handle modular levels, no need to buy something extra to prevent clipping.
otnemem
Thanks for the help!
otnemem
Maybe another related question. I want to somehow output sounds i make in Ableton on my laptop into eurorack modules. My interface is a Scarlett 2i2. Should i use the output from the interface's headphone socket into a module's input to process signals?

Again - apologies for the mega newbie question!
lauprellim
A Scarlett can handle eurorack output just fine.

You may need a module such as Mutable Instruments “Ears” to take line input into Eurorack. There are more knowledgeable folks on this forum than I, but I have had great success with Ears.
otnemem
I ordered a Pico Input because i wanted to try and economise for HP - so hopefully it will work out fine
ersatzplanet
An external mixer is the best solution in that it can send signals to outboard gear or your interface and also send signals via AUC busses and effect sends to your modular. I have a few very old Mackie mixers and have never had problems plugging directly into them and out of them. I am sure any competent mixer out there can do the same thing.
otnemem
ersatzplanet wrote:
An external mixer is the best solution in that it can send signals to outboard gear or your interface and also send signals via AUC busses and effect sends to your modular. I have a few very old Mackie mixers and have never had problems plugging directly into them and out of them. I am sure any competent mixer out there can do the same thing.


You’re right and I think I’d want to invest in a mixer. Was looking at the Mackie ProFX8v2 which I think has the right features for my needs.

What I’m still unsure of is how/ if this can be used to route my Ableton project outputs into the modular for further processing. I know this mixer takes a laptop USB input but not quite sure how you could channel this signal in say an effects eurorack module.

I’m sure I’m missing something obvious but I’m so used to the software ecosystem that these basic questions are still a bit of a question mark
mskala
otnemem wrote:
You’re right and I think I’d want to invest in a mixer. Was looking at the Mackie ProFX8v2 which I think has the right features for my needs.


I use one of those. It works well for modular to computer, with the limitation (shared by most if not all USB audio interfaces) that to record it must plug directly into the PC's USB port, not through a hub.

I'm not sure it would be a lot of help going in the other direction, from PC to modular, because the audio output of the USB interface is not available separately, only as part of the mix. Apart from the level questions you'd have trouble recording and playing separately at the same time. Maybe there'd be something that could be done with routing the USB and nothing else to the "monitor" output while everything else and not USB goes to "main," but it doesn't seem like the easiest or best way to get a full-duplex USB audio interface.
ersatzplanet
otnemem wrote:
What I’m still unsure of is how/ if this can be used to route my Ableton project outputs into the modular for further processing. I know this mixer takes a laptop USB input but not quite sure how you could channel this signal in say an effects eurorack module.

I’m sure I’m missing something obvious but I’m so used to the software ecosystem that these basic questions are still a bit of a question mark


What I use most for bringing Ableton tracks out for the modular is a couple of MOTU 828 8-channel interfaces I got on eBay a while back. These older ones (the FireWire versions) and even the newer USB ones, often show up there for very affordable prices. I got mine for under $100 each. They seem to have enough gain on their own (and also are DC coupled so control voltages can pass through them) but work well with the Mixers too. Basically a good multi-channel interface works the best. There might be the latency problem that many worry about with older interfaces. I myself don't worry that much since the music I make does not need robotic precision.
Pelsea
Patchbays can be your friend, especially if you are juggling a multi-channel DAW, a couple of MIDI instruments and a modular synth. Neutrik make some fine ones, and there is even a decent Behringer model. These have jack on the back as well as the front, (so no soldering is required) and have switches to set up normal connections.

I also suggest you have two mixers in your studio, one to manage what goes to the monitors, (also for live recording, send to reverb, etc., etc.) and a modest one dedicated to the modular. Smaller mixers usually have the connections on top, so inputs need not be on the patch bay.

Synnic
I use an Intellijel Audio Interface II to go between eurorack and balanced line levels and vice versa. It does well for me.

https://intellijel.com/shop/eurorack/audio-io/
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