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Help me empty my bank account
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Help me empty my bank account
Mr Ditto
Yes! Another entry in the "help me design my first system" genre. First post, total noob. Be gentle.

I am slowly putting together a rig that started life as an expansion of my 0Coast and has started to morph into something else.

I am trying to put something together that will be mostly used for punchy bass and drum grooves with synced rhythmic modulation. It will usually be driven by Ableton but I will also likely run it standalone into my mixer alongside the 0Coast with a MachineDrum in control.

I've built a 6U 84hp case but for now will try and get something usable out of the first row and then slowly expand.

This is where I am at, at the moment:


Top row is what I actually have (0Coast is not actually racked). Bottom row is what I think I need to add to finish the top row.

The way I see it is:
- I need another sound source / VCO
- 0Coast acts as midi to CV / Clock for now
- Pams give me various clocks, triggers and synced LFOs
- Maths can be on envelope duties for now (might need more ADSR though)
- ModDemix can hand VCA duties but I could also grab more VCA
- SEM VCF / LxD on filtering duties
- Mixer and outs are slightly overkill but it makes for easier integration to my patch bay and future expansion etc.

Down the track the bottom row will be focused on midi-CV, effects, sequencer.

Wondering:
1. Have I missed anything obvious for a starter system?
2. What second VCO / sound source would compliment the BIA for punchy bass and squelching? (considered Dixie II, Plaits and a few other things, realise it's a matter of taste but any suggestions appreciated)

Thanks legends.
cackland
If you are looking to empty your bank account, just dive straight in and purchase the modules you are curious about.
Mr Ditto
cackland wrote:
If you are looking to empty your bank account, just dive straight in and purchase the modules you are curious about.


I think you may have over-estimated the contents of my account.
Agawell
if you want more sensible comments post a link to the rack not and image - if you do we can hover over and see the modules rather than trying to work out what they are from the image - there are thousands of modules!!!

BUT whatever way start slow and only buy new modules when you think you need them and you know how ther other modules you have work

for example you could just get Maths and spend weeks/months learning how to use that - google the illustrated manual!

how are you sequencing? does the o-coast have a v/oct out - i don't know, I don't have one

I'd very strongly consider a disting mk4 as it will help you understand the building blocks of synthesis and point the way to modules you actually need rather than want - and is always useful as an extra "pick one of the 100 algorithms it has"

you probably will want more utility modules particularly mults, mixers and vcas

I always recommend links and kinks as a relatively cheap and strong utility package (ie great value for money) and veils as a quad cascading vca

Maths is great - but if you are thinking of using it as your sole utility module - you will waste most of it's functionality (see the illustrated manual)
thelowerrhythm
The first thing I'd personally do is go on Perfect Circuit (or the like) and go through the entire list, opening up tabs for anything interesting. Watch demos of everything. Narrow it down. Start with the most utilitarian stuff you can think of that'll expand that 0-coast and go from there. Looping envelopes, LFOs, VCAs will probably want to be at the top of that list. As stated above, start simple and play for a bit before deciding to expand. You'll be surprised how much your mind will change between the planning stage and when you've got actual boots on the ground, so to speak. If you keep finding yourself going "damnit, if only I had..." while patching, then you know what to buy.

As for the drum thing, that's a whole other beast. The biggest factor will likely be whether you want it to be step sequenced or logic / euclidean / etc. driven. Beatstep Pro is always good for the former in terms of capability vs. price.

The last bit I'll toss in is consider how portable you need this to be. The 0-coast takes up a lot of space it doesn't need to unless you're really wanting to keep it all in one case. Things expand quickly, oh god do they ever. I thought I was going to stick with two rows of 84hp, and now that's a joke. A few years later I'm working with 10 rows.

The good news is that if you buy an extra module every month, you'll probably eat a lot less. Beats the depression diet!
thelowerrhythm
I forgot to ask, what sort of drum sound are you going for? I used a combination of different kinds of voices... two Synthrotek DS-M's, a Blue Lantern Mini Shimmery Generator and VC Noise, a Zlob Entropy, Moffenzeef Kriket, and a bunch of VCAs, envelopes, and VCOs to build the rest at will. Rings can also be great for making percussive dingdongs. Eurorack is especially expensive in terms of drum machines vs. dedicated drum synths.
Mr Ditto
Quote:
if you want more sensible comments post a link to the rack not and image

Aah - right. Rack link: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/980211

Quote:
does the o-coast have a v/oct out - i don't know, I don't have one

For now, sequencing with Ableton. I figure I can use the CV and Gate out from Midi B on the 0Coast for that... maybe I'm wrong. Some trigger / clock stuff (i.e sequencing basic rhythms on the BIA) from Pamela's.

Quote:
Maths is great - but if you are thinking of using it as your sole utility module - you will waste most of it's functionality

I was thinking of it in those terms so thanks for the suggestions for other utilities... will take a look. Also that illustrated manual is awesome. Thx
Mr Ditto
@thelowerrhythm - thx heaps. Definitely been trawling through demos and videos for months now. Feel paralysed by options and funds.

Quote:
The last bit I'll toss in is consider how portable you need this to be. The 0-coast takes up a lot of space...
Portability is not a major issue and I'm not planning on racking the 0-Coast. I included in this rack just to show that it's part of the whole set up because I figure I'll using a bunch of it's features for a quite a while as this this rack is built.

Quote:
I forgot to ask, what sort of drum sound are you going for?


Actually I should have been clearer... I see the BIA as being a kick or electronic percussion or percussive bass tones. 99% of my drums will come from a MachineDrum or Ableton.

Definitely not planning on making a full modular drum machine in this rack. At most, I might add an Erica Pico Drums for a second drum voice.

What I'm imagining is a kick and bass box. I want two voices that will work well together. I've already got the BIA as one. I really enjoy getting slightly off kilter rhythmic modulations going with the 0-Coast, which I struggle to do quite as well with software, hence the enthusiasm to build this rack.

I'll generally record into Ableton, and build tunes out with my other synths and in-the-box stuff.

Definitely keeping it simple for now... clearly a bit short on utilities and still wondering about that second VCO.
Arneb
Mr Ditto wrote:
Quote:
does the o-coast have a v/oct out - i don't know, I don't have one

For now, sequencing with Ableton. I figure I can use the CV and Gate out from Midi B on the 0Coast for that... maybe I'm wrong. Some trigger / clock stuff (i.e sequencing basic rhythms on the BIA) from Pamela's.

Two clocks, one from Ableton, one from Pamela's? You'll have a hard time synchronizing the 0-Coast and BIA that way. I'd suggest ditching Pamela and getting a dedicated MIDI interface module instead.

Edit: If you don't want to sequence BIA from Ableton... well, Pamela's can sequence, but I don't think having the Swiss army clock around is worth it if it's just for trigger sequencing. In that case I'd still clock from Ableton using a MIDI interface and sequence from something stupid (think NE Bin Seq).
Mr Ditto
I guess my thinking was, as a short term solution I can pump midi to 0-Coast from Ableton, then patch the 0-Coast's clock out to Pamela's clock in. That way I get 8 synced modulation sources and a channel of midi to CV / gate out of the 0-Coast's midi B channel.

So when Ableton's the boss, Pamela's also gives me a bunch of synced LFOs, Euclidean triggers and clock divisions but can act as a clock when I'm not connected to midi. I figured I was working smarter by using 0-Coast's midi to cv / clock capabilities initially.

Having up to 8 LFOs / clocked modulation sources seems to make Pamela's worth it.

Ultimately I do want to get a dedicated midi in but wouldn't I still need to get a bunch of LFOs, clock dividers / multipliers etc to do the work that Pamela's could be doing?

Maybe you're right though, start off more midi-centric, get dedicated LFOs and build up standalone clocking / sequencing firepower down the track.

Cheers
ciso
Totally my 2cents, but I think maths *might* not be worth it yet in this rack... I think it's a "second row" module here.

0-Coast and BIA already have envelopes built in, PNW will give you clocked envelopes, right? so envelopes aren't needed from maths. You also have a mixer, so that's not needed from maths either. If you want slew, you can get a much smaller and cheaper module for that. The EOR and EOC from maths could be from a trigger delay module, also much smaller and cheaper (2hp has one for $79). The slope circuit in the 0-Coast is almost maths channel 4 as well.

Personally, i'd swap out the maths for a Voltage Block to control the envelopes on the 0-coast and the BIA, and to also modulate the crap out of the BIA. I'd also swap out the 8hp Doepfer dual vca for a Dixie II+ to get some FM goodness with the 0-coast. The 6 outputs on the Dixie II+ give you a lot of options. I don't see much need for attenuation in this system yet, the 0-coast has some attenuation on it's inputs, and PNW lets you attenuate its output. The only thing I can see those VCAs giving you right now is cv control over cv, but really I don' think there's enough CV yet to justify that, and the moddemix can also handle some of that already.


TL;DR - I personally would replace maths and A-132-3 with a Voltage Block and a Dixie II+.
insoul8
No need for an output module unless you really want the 1/4 inch jacks or a headphone jack. You can go out from VCA's into just about any mixer or professional audio interface.
Mr Ditto
Quote:
No need for an output module unless you really want the 1/4 inch jacks or a headphone jack.


I'm going to say this is all about the headphone jack... d'oh!
insoul8
Mr Ditto wrote:
Quote:
No need for an output module unless you really want the 1/4 inch jacks or a headphone jack.


I'm going to say this is all about the headphone jack... d'oh!


Yea, i figured. If I want to use headphones, i just plug them into either my mixer, directly into my audio interface or in my monitor controller, all of which have headphone outs.

I also wouldn't personally waste all that real estate by racking the 0-coast if you were planning on doing so in the first place.
Arneb
Mr Ditto wrote:
I guess my thinking was, as a short term solution I can pump midi to 0-Coast from Ableton, then patch the 0-Coast's clock out to Pamela's clock in. That way I get 8 synced modulation sources and a channel of midi to CV / gate out of the 0-Coast's midi B channel.

So when Ableton's the boss, Pamela's also gives me a bunch of synced LFOs, Euclidean triggers and clock divisions but can act as a clock when I'm not connected to midi. I figured I was working smarter by using 0-Coast's midi to cv / clock capabilities initially.

Having up to 8 LFOs / clocked modulation sources seems to make Pamela's worth it.

Ultimately I do want to get a dedicated midi in but wouldn't I still need to get a bunch of LFOs, clock dividers / multipliers etc to do the work that Pamela's could be doing?

Maybe you're right though, start off more midi-centric, get dedicated LFOs and build up standalone clocking / sequencing firepower down the track.

Cheers

As always, it depends on what you want to do. If you want set-and-forget sequencing and set-and-forget clocked modulation, Pamela's offers great value for cost (both HP and €). I wouldn't want to tweak those parameters in live play however.
Mr Ditto
Quote:
I wouldn’t personally waste all that real estate by racking the 0-coast...

Totally. No plans to put it in the rack, just in the MG to show its part of the set up.

@Arneb - on the point of set-and-forget vs tweak-ability, an alternative more accessible module i was looking at was the Abstract Data Octocontroller but it sort of looked like it might be a bit rigid with its fixed arpeggios and trigger patterns. There’s a bit of tweak access via the CV ins on Pam’s, right?
nios
There's a lot of things to say and offer so I'll just tackle one thing I'd think handy to know: while there's nothing at all at all wrong with Maths, keep in mind there are various options similar to it days, ones that may or may not help you more on fulfilling specific duties for your rig. Function generators tend to become favored/always-used-somewhere workhorses so this is an important thing to consider IMO, and it should be all the more pleasing knowing some of these may call out to you more than Maths or help you not need some other planned modules as much and thus free up space for more possibilities.

One common alternate is Befaco Rampage, which compared to Maths, loses the attenuverters and mixing abilities but adds a min/max and a B>A (which allows a sort of additional ADSR made between both ADs, as opposed to strictly two ADs) and has and end of cycle (EOC) out on both generators as opposed to the (kind of odd to me) mix of an EOC on one and an end of rise on another. It also is a very similar price to Maths and can be significantly less if DIY'ed, which is also an option here. Most importantly to you from the sound of it, is that it also can do gate outs on both rise/falls on its generators - which can make rhythmic patterns to say trigger percussion with, you can think of those as "beginning of rise" and "beginning of fall".

Another option which is a bit more of its own thing is the Double Andore, which is different from the others in that it has VCAs as well as the rise/falls, so it can single handedly complete a synth voice for you all by itself with some audio input coming in. Its envelopes can ASR as opposed to just AD like the others, and it can also "drone" which is really just an extra knob to hold open a VCA partially while also modulating it through the DA. The 0-coast already is a synth voice so maybe DA is less compelling (and also expensive and pretty rare to boot), but the MkII has a super quirky ability to cross-mod between both the generators' audio, for really interesting mixing/waveshaping/rhythmic effects coming out that can also come as a mix of both. The MkI is itself extremely cool but is different enough so as to not really be comparable to maths - it isn't a function generator, and its envelopes are actually wavetables; a lot of people seem to prefer it over the MkII, I really like the latter personally (Xaoc Zadar I feel has DA MkI beat on the really-interesting-envelope-shapes department). It also has toggles for either end or rise or end of fall rather than you being stuck with one or the other.

The Frap Tools Falistri is pretty Maths-like but is able to operate in little segments more independently compared to the others, for whatever you need - it's got a dedicated sub divider, dedicated slew, dedicated ring mod, all of which can be doing different things with different signals simultaneously. Also key is that it has individual controls of log/linear curves on the rise/fall segments as opposed to one knob curving both at once like the others here. Most unfortunately, those individual rise/fall lin/expos are not CV-able, if they were, this module would be just a hands-down must-have blowout, but even as it is is still extremely respectable I think. CV over the lin/logs to me would be useful because this one is also by far best-able to work as a standalone oscillator; you can get Maths and Rampage to oscillator speed and get them to track pitch, but they tend to only hold across an octave or two with fine adjustments and offer a limited sound. To me those are ~technically~ able to be oscillators but I really would rather not use them for that if I have the choice. Falistri however can track at least 8 octaves on 1v/per absolutely fine and with individual controls on the curves can take on a good variety of waveforms and sound like a legit osc - to be more accurate ~two~ legit oscs. I have a DA MkII, Maths and a Falistri and the only one of those I ever realistically consider using as an osc is Falistri. Your rig in particular, at least in that picture, is a 1-osc from 0-coast and a drum voice - 0-coast has a neat sound but the system would get much more capable with more oscs.

Finally, there is the Random*Source / Serge DUSG - while I find it quite interesting, I already have function generators more than covered so I don't have experience with this thing personally so can't really vouch for it in detail - it's also really large in HP for what it does and is pretty pricey, but those who have it tend to be very satisfied with it. As far as I know it also can work pretty well as an osc, and while it's basically a predecessor/direct inspiration for things like Maths (which it's very similar to IMO, with a pulse out basically being having an osc wave permanently ready), in the limited space of your rig I don't know if it's the most function/HP, but is an equally valid option as any of these other generators.
dooj88
GO ALL IN ON PUDDING FUTURES!!... oh, wait i only read the post title.

hmm, don't forget about how powerful something like radio music or 2hp play can be. i like scrubbing through the samples and finding an interesting piece of audio, then resetting it on a slow clock so it's predictable. processing it with a mix of snappy rhythmic envelopes and some distortion and a delay gives it life. you've got an endless variety of drums that way.
Mr Ditto
Thanks for the inputs folks - really appreciate it.

Heaps to think about. The rack has already changed a bit. Saw a Links pop up second hand and grabbed it - thanks @agawell .

Going to hold fire on the Pam’s and Maths - get the set up I have powered up, see what I can do using 0-Coast as a midi to cv and start working out what’s next.

Thx @nios for the thoughts on function generators. I was definitely fixated on the Maths because I love the Slope and Contour on 0-Coast. Nice to have some other options to think about - that Befaco particularly looks nuts.
Mr Ditto
Quote:
GO ALL IN ON PUDDING FUTURES!!


I sold out of pudding futures to get into CryptoPud -
d'oh!

But that sample processing idea sounds rad...
void23
Looks like a pretty good to me. Personally, I'd look into a DTM for a mixer instead of the Deopfer. Also, unless you need a headphone out in the rack (which your selection of output module curiously lacks), no one really needs an output module.
Mr Ditto
Quote:
Personally, I'd look into a DTM for a mixer instead of the Deopfer. Also, unless you need a headphone out in the rack (which your selection of output module curiously lacks), no one really needs an output module


Yeah - I bought the mixer and output very early on in a cheap, ill-informed, late-night, second-hand impulse buying spree on FB. I feel so dirty.

I can and will use the stereo out as a headphone jack, and the qtr inch outs will patch neatly into my patchbay and give me volume control.

It may be totally unnecessary but I have the modules so I'm going to continue to delude myself that it was a good decision.

Funny thing is my very knowledgable mate literally said those words to me at the time "no one really needs an output module" and I ignored him. Woo!
MarcelP
Mr Ditto wrote:
Quote:
I wouldn’t personally waste all that real estate by racking the 0-coast...

Totally. No plans to put it in the rack, just in the MG to show its part of the set up.

@Arneb - on the point of set-and-forget vs tweak-ability, an alternative more accessible module i was looking at was the Abstract Data Octocontroller but it sort of looked like it might be a bit rigid with its fixed arpeggios and trigger patterns. There’s a bit of tweak access via the CV ins on Pam’s, right?


I have PAMs and the Octocontroller. PAMs is the one.

Yes to PAMs tweak access on CV and a very useable single knob interface coupled with a minimalist but informative display.
Mr Ditto
Quote:
PAMs is the one


Thought that might be the case - feeling pretty keen on Pamelas.
ersatzplanet
The thing I typically respond with these types of inquiries, is to suggest that the person get a copy of VCV rack and populate it with the modules you may think you want. If they are not in VCV than use something similar. Play with it a bit. If it works for you, buy the physical modules, if it doesn't, change modules to other ones. Experiment without spending big bucks. Also as a side note, you may find that you don't even need to get a physical rack and VCV will work fine for you. Then you can think about getting a second computer to run just your virtual synths on being driven by Ableton on your main computer. I do this now with a few old laptops that are fine enough to run copies of Reason on them, dedicated to being synthesizers.
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