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Drum/Percussion Skiff? Help?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Drum/Percussion Skiff? Help?
LameAim
Decided to build a build a small drum/percussion skiff. This is primarily to use with an Octatrack, though I imagine I'd use it with other drum machines or the computer as well. I want something with two voices, hands-on control and lots of rhythmic modulation. Some rhythmic randomness for idea generation would also be desired.

Here's what I've come up with so far:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/887416

This is currently based around a BIA and Plonk as the sound sources, though I'm also partial to Dinky's Taiko. Clock/Modulation/Trigger modules would be the Mimetic Digitalis, Clep Diaz and Pamela's New Workout, along with a Steppe for a little more hands on control. Also have two Viol Ruine VCAs in there since they also bring low pass filtering and distortion along with them.

Finally, there is the Intellijel 1U MIDI module for sync and pitch info from the OT or DT, and a Lapsus Os for attenuverter/offset functions.

Right now I have the BIA, PNW and the Intellijel skiff itself.

My current concerns are:
1) Rhythmic randomness - feels lacking in this configuration. Not sure how much ground Pam's would cover for this, if any. I also have a version of this skiff where I took the PNW and Viol Ruines out, then replaced them with a Mini Marbles (Antumbra Cara) and a Tallin from Xaoc Devices. Less modulation and no filtering, but more randomness. Thoughts?

2) Utility - always need more VCAs, right? I know the BIA and Plonk have VCAs in them, but does that give me enough? I also don't have any real mixers. Not so much concerned for the audio as I'd do mono outputs and sort on the other end, but CV mixing might be nice...?

Any assistance and guidance would be appreciated. Thanks for reading!
lauprellim
Hmm, might want to change permissions on that rack to public in ModularGrid so we can view it?

That having been said, I have 2xBIA, 1xPlonk and 1xPlaits, and find the variety of percussion sounds available quite extraordinary! Also you get a lot of CV modulation possibilities with those modules. Marbles is an excellent random generator, and with Marbles I like having a clock divider/multiplier like the 4ms Quad Clock Distributor to really modify timings up or down.
LameAim
lauprellim wrote:
Hmm, might want to change permissions on that rack to public in ModularGrid so we can view it?

That having been said, I have 2xBIA, 1xPlonk and 1xPlaits, and find the variety of percussion sounds available quite extraordinary! Also you get a lot of CV modulation possibilities with those modules. Marbles is an excellent random generator, and with Marbles I like having a clock divider/multiplier like the 4ms Quad Clock Distributor to really modify timings up or down.


Yeah, I suppose being able to see it would help, right?? Dead Banana

Went ahead and fixed that for everyone. Thanks for letting me know.

How do the BIA and Plonk sound together? Do you think Marbles is worth taking the PNW out of this skiff?
Bigwerm
I don’t think Viol Ruina is a VCA. It’s slow pass filter and distortion.
Arneb
Seems pretty heavy on sequenced modulation for such a tiny case... who's supposed to trigger sequence? Pamela's, Steppy, or the outside world via MIDI?

Either way I'd probably replace one of the VRs by either some other Ruina for more variety in distortion, or by SB for VCA functionality.
sutekina bipu-on
Ladik Dual AD/AR. Maybe even two.

When doing percussion stuff i dont think ive really found a need to have more vcas than voices. I like the vnicursal vca but the Purrtronics blender six looks verrrrry nice as a drum mixer.
void23
For percussion, I prefer a mix of static and random sources. Static, or near static sources, handle the kick and snare. Everything else is from rhythmic, random sources. For randomized rhythmic triggers, my favorite is still Grids. A good logic module also does wonders.

For some ideas, check out my percussion skiff in my sig. My rig is designed to incorporate an external drum machine and either feed it's audio back in to process in the euro-land, or in my case with the Analog Rytm, send to modular audio out to process with the AR's effects. Also, Plonk is probably my least favorite module in that rack.
interpolate
The thing that sticks out to me about this skiff is its going to be very menu divey, but if thats not a problem, no big deal.

Pamela can provide full drum sequencer work and randomness through assigning inputs creatively like rotatating euclidiean patterns, slop, skip, etc. Also the extra outputs can be used as tempo synced modulation sources. Its gonna be lots of pressing that encoder which I don't mind personally.

Plonk provides a very wide sonic footprint but doesn't have the immediacy as BIA due to its menu diving. I have plonk myself and find it limited in front panel/cv control. If I had the HP, I'd probably get a Taiko instead.
LameAim
Arneb wrote:
Seems pretty heavy on sequenced modulation for such a tiny case... who's supposed to trigger sequence? Pamela's, Steppy, or the outside world via MIDI?

Either way I'd probably replace one of the VRs by either some other Ruina for more variety in distortion, or by SB for VCA functionality.


Fair question about the modulation choices. I wanted options, so the logic behind these was that I'd have Steppy for XOX trigger programming, Pamela's for master clock and division as well as traditional tempo-synced LFOs and Euclidean randomness, the Mimetic Digitalis for pseudo-Rene CV action and the Clep Diaz because... okay, I just think it's cool.

I could lose the Clep Diaz along with the Ruines and stick a Sinc Bucina or two in there - would give me 1-2 VCAs and at least 4HP for something else. Hmmm...
kwaidan
For its size, Steppy is quite powerful. I have the 3U version, and it is easy to use in a live setting. It has probability and ratcheting functions. It is also easy to mute a track and compose on the fly. Even though I have a Metron and Robokop, I still keep it around.

While I liked the original Pamela’s Workout, I found the pot or encoder very fiddly, and I often had difficulty zeroing in on the screen I wanted.

Maybe this problem has been corrected with the new version or maybe my fingers were at fault.

Edited for stupidity: It’s been years since I had a PM, but with the original version, I had trouble with the big knob jumping too fast between screens.
LameAim
interpolate wrote:
The thing that sticks out to me about this skiff is its going to be very menu divey, but if thats not a problem, no big deal.

Pamela can provide full drum sequencer work and randomness through assigning inputs creatively like rotatating euclidiean patterns, slop, skip, etc. Also the extra outputs can be used as tempo synced modulation sources. Its gonna be lots of pressing that encoder which I don't mind personally.

Plonk provides a very wide sonic footprint but doesn't have the immediacy as BIA due to its menu diving. I have plonk myself and find it limited in front panel/cv control. If I had the HP, I'd probably get a Taiko instead.


Menu diving doesn't scare me too much, but I'm picky about what I'm willing to do it for. I'm fine with it for the clock division/LFO/random functionality that I'd be using the PNW for. I want something more immediate for base line triggering - which is why the Steppy is also here.

Should probably add that I'm building this as a studio skiff and not a live one. Would be changing some stuff out if it things go that way, but it is pretty unlikely.

As for Plonk vs. Taiko, I am kinda torn between the two. I like the options of the Plonk, but am concerned it might be too dry or boring. I'm a sucker for lo-fi percussion tones like Dinky's Taiko, but worry it might be too limited. Going to have to listen to some more demos to sort that out.
exper
I had a very similar idea and built this up as my "drum machine":



This replaces my Analog Rytm, which I wasn't getting along with.

Love it so far, but I'll probably swap out a smaller fx module and get a mixer where I can pan each channel and perhaps have send/return. I'll probably swap the headphone module for the stereo out 1U.

As for Pam, there is a lot of randomness you can achieve with it, both with cv modulation and triggers. Plus the Steppy offers probability as well.
LameAim
exper wrote:
I had a very similar idea and built this up as my "drum machine":



This replaces my Analog Rytm, which I wasn't getting along with.

Love it so far, but I'll probably swap out a smaller fx module and get a mixer where I can pan each channel and perhaps have send/return. I'll probably swap the headphone module for the stereo out 1U.

As for Pam, there is a lot of randomness you can achieve with it, both with cv modulation and triggers. Plus the Steppy offers probability as well.


Very nice skiff. Coincidentally, I'm also replacing an Analog Rytm, which sounds huge and fantastic but the synthesis just isn't for me. However, it helped me realize that while adding 1 or 2 synthetic voices to a sampling drum machine is the baseline goal, building this up as a rhythm exploration box with some logic/random modules also feels important and would be an advantage over just adding some Volcas or something.

How are you liking your Plonk and Plaits as sound sources in this skiff? I'm especially curious about the latter.
exper
LameAim wrote:


Very nice skiff. Coincidentally, I'm also replacing an Analog Rytm, which sounds huge and fantastic but the synthesis just isn't for me. However, it helped me realize that while adding 1 or 2 synthetic voices to a sampling drum machine is the baseline goal, building this up as a rhythm exploration box with some logic/random modules also feels important and would be an advantage over just adding some Volcas or something.

How are you liking your Plonk and Plaits as sound sources in this skiff? I'm especially curious about the latter.


That's was where I was going with it. The Rytm was more complex than I wanted it to be, and not where I wanted complexity. (More synthesis, less control/perfomance/kit management hell)

I tried the Volca Drum for a little, which sounded great but with such a small amount of kits and patterns, it felt like a waste. Once I saw the Palette, I knew it would be perfect for what I wanted to do. The Steppy can do some interesting probability stuff, and Pam's Workout adds extra euclidian, CV and envelopes for controlling everything.

I love the Plonk for drums. The sounds can really cut though, and the new saturation adds some warmth when needed. It has a lot of depth to it, but it's fun to tweak. And if I need more "voices" the preset switching is a blast. Plaits is good as well I had the 12hp factory version, but I was really only using it for percussive sounds so it made sense to save space and get the clone, I mostly use it for "analog" drum sounds, so between the Plonk, Plaits and Sample Drum, I can cover physical modeling, analog modeling, glitchy speech synthesis, sample manipulation and loops, etc. I still have an Akai force for more im-depth sampling and drum kit patterns, but there's something about having a module with CV and hands on control that makes it stand out.

This along with my Digitone is my system away from my main system. smile
ckwjr
This is my percussion skiff. Also use Pamela's as a starting point:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/994482
LameAim
Again, thank you all for your input and advice.

I picked up the Steppy and put the bare bones of the setup together (BIA, Pam's, Steppy) this weekend. My goal is to develop a sense of what works and what doesn't with every new thing that gets added after this point. Have already made two observations:

1) BIA sounds dope as hell and completely fits with what I have in mind for this skiff.
2) Pam's is very useful, but also reinforced for me that I also want a quicker method of CV automation in the skiff. I suspected this, which was one of the main reasons why I chose the Mimetic Digitalis. The MD is the next planned purchase and I feel pretty good about it, so I'll fold that in and adjust accordingly.

I've also decided to hold off on adding the second voice until I have a better feel for the BIA. That said, the short list grew this weekend.

Intellijel Plonk - really like what I've heard, seems extremely versatile
WMD Chimera - hats and pitched metal percussion for days, plus I'm a sucker for cool shakers and shit
WMD Fracture - traditional clap sounds are dope and I get way more than that with it
ALM Dinky's Taiko - here because I like lo-fi drums and chiptune percussion
Noise Engineering Manis Iteritas - sounds mental, like several sets of hands all reaching out for the nearest throat. I'm a little on board with that
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