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Pros and Cons of Different DUSG Inspired Modules
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Pros and Cons of Different DUSG Inspired Modules
parallelepiped
I am very excited to start my modular journey. The module I am most excited about Serge DUSG (in euro) or at least a module inspired by it. The more I dig into it though, the more of them I find.

R*S Serge DUSG
Ken Stone DIY
Doepfer A-171-2
Makenoise Maths
Harvestman Double Andore
Joranalouge Contour 1
Blue Lantern Spore Generator
Befaco Rampage
WMD/SSF Mini slew
Frap Tools Falistri
Sin Phi Miasma

What is your favorite DUSG inspired module? What makes you like it better then some of the other options? What are the trade offs? Was there anything that turned you off of one of these modules?
luketeaford
Maths is my favorite because the mixer section adds all kinds of patching possibilities and makes a module famous for its versatility even more useful. I think it's easier to use for envelopes than the DUSG, too since it retriggers during the fall phase and there is a cycle input.

The DUSG is better for audio rate patches though-- subharmonic divisions, oscillator, filter, envelope follower etc are all clearer and smoother with the DUSG.

Both are excellent choices and a lot of fun.
cg_funk
Maths is really a great module, it's not understated. The mixer section of Maths is very useful, and I'm slowly growing fonder of the asymmetry where Channel 2 has more juice than Channel 3.

I have very rapidly fallen love with my Contour1. It's just so immediate and obvious how to use it. Sliders rule. The separate CV control over Rise/Fall shape is a pretty unique feature. Also, it tracks surprisingly well with v/oct for a function generator, which could come in handy for some patches. Basically, this thing has brought my snares to life with so many ways to get subtle modulation, it totally rocks.
cloudleft
I've wanted the DUSG to replace my maths but I have a few questions about the DUSG, maybe a user can answer and help other folks decide what function generator/slewer is best for them!

1) Maths can do super long cycle times (several minutes). What's the max rise/fall time on the DUSG?

2) When slewing a signal, does the DUSG squash the slewed signals into the 5 volt peak-to-peak range of the R*S Serge modules?

R*S modules use a different voltage range for signals than most modules (5 volts peak to peak instead or 8 or 10 volts peak to peak). This doesn't really cause any damage to R*S stuff when it interfaces with other modules in the same rack that use different ranges, but it's something to think about.

3) What is the re-trigger behavior like on the DUSG?
lisa
You forgot Befaco Rampage in that list. It is quite popular.

My favourite is Blue Lantern Spore Generator. It is like a Rampage with a bunch of extras. At a low price too.
mhtones
You can add the WMD/SSF Mini slew to your list. In particular I like the additional variable output that is also voltage controllable. It's essentially like having a built in vca. And it's bipolar so can be used to ring modulate. I just bought a second from the BST forum. I also like the ability to gate the cycle function like current version Maths which I also have and love. There is something about Maths envelopes that I really like the feel and sound of. thumbs up

The one thing about the mini slew that bothers me is that the rise and fall knobs seem a little too sensitive. A small turn on one of these seems to affect the time for the section quite drastically. But I found that it's easier to dial in what I want when I just listen to the result instead of visually setting knob position (if that makes sense).

One important spec you should look at is the functions maximum output level. You want to be sure that it provides a large enough voltage to fully modify your desired destination. You can always attenuate if you need a smaller range, but modules to amplify the signal seem to be less readily available.
nios
Also add Frap Tools Falistri, which is possibly my favorite one of these types and in the oscillator role IMO pretty plainly beats the hell out of everything else of this architecture.

I have a Double Andore mkII as well and like that a lot but for totally different reasons rather unrelated to the DUSG, in that it's got crossmod between both function generators and built-in VCAs. I see it as part function generator, part almost-two-synth-voices-just-give-it-audio.
lisa
nios, I’m guessing that you haven’t tried Joranalogue Contour 1. Am I right?
nios
lisa wrote:
nios, I’m guessing that you haven’t tried Joranalogue Contour 1. Am I right?


That would be correct, although as far as I am aware/have read and heard, Countour 1 can hold within a couple cents over a couple octaves, and its pitch changes if one adjusts the lin/log on rise/fall.

Since I can't a/b them right here I can't affirmatively say it's the best, but I do know my Falistri tracks 5+ octaves without issue (more like 6, just haven't pushed it higher), and has the unusual trait of holding steady pitch while adjusting lin/logs on rise/fall (which are also independently controllable like Contour, but unfortunately not CV-able). That's not to say it's the overall best at everything in DUSG-likes, rather that I just happen to like it most as an osc, especially considering it has built-in subdividers and ring mod on top of its excellent tracking, shaping and stability.
Kirk Degiorgio
another vote for Falistri. Stable, lots of output options and added bonus of 2 freq dividers, slew, ring mod, vca, etc. Not as confusing as Maths and just as snappy to my ears.
forestcaver
Worth adding the Sin Phi Miasma to the list - derived from the rampage but with added extras eg 4-quadrant multiplier.
parallelepiped
I added everyone’s suggestions.

Talk about two different approaches to panel design: falistri is totally minimal, but brain spore looks like someone vomited text and symbols on it.

luketeaford wrote:
The DUSG is better for audio rate patches though-- subharmonic divisions, oscillator, filter, envelope follower etc are all clearer and smoother with the DUSG.


Thank you for confirming my suspicions. That is why I was leaning towards a DUSG initially.

mhtones wrote:
One important spec you should look at is the functions maximum output level. You want to be sure that it provides a large enough voltage to fully modify your desired destination. You can always attenuate if you need a smaller range, but modules to amplify the signal seem to be less readily available.


I was totally not looking at that. Thank you

Has anyone tried the Contour 1 and the falistri? I would be interested in your thoughts.
pieter
It is worthwhile to distinguish between DUSG-style modules with two slew limiters (Maths, Rampage, Falistri, etc.), and single slew limiters with triggers (Function, Contour 1, A-171-2, etc.). Having two slew limiters, one with end-of-rise and another with end-of cycle really opens up possibilities. As mentioned before, the mixer section in Maths is also an extremely useful addition. If you struggle with the MakeNoise panels you can always get the Greyscale panel instead.

Not directly DUSG-inspired, but also a dual function generator with lots of internal patching possibilities is the Pingable Envelope Generator by 4ms.
mdoudoroff
I suspect the critical line of differentiation across all the options is CV (modulator) vs audio (oscillator). Every design is going to have compromises. Some are going to favor CV, while others may prioritize audio performance, and others may try to strike some sort of balance.

There can be major architectural differences, too: for example (IIRC) Falistri’s envelope generators aren’t slews, and instead, a separate slew limiter is provided. That design choice is probably why it outperforms most on the list as an oscillator.

If your priority is CV and patch-programmability, Maths is one of the best values in Eurorack, but it’s pretty weak on the audio side. If you want maximum CV-focused flexibility and maximum features (a "super Maths"), you might be motivated to pay (considerably) more for a pair of Contour 1s and a pair of Select 2s. If your priority is audio, then you might be looking elsewhere.
felix le chat
One thing not mentioned is the curves, especially when using these function generators as A/D or A/R envelopes

The Maths can be set between logarithmic and exponential, but this normally affects both the rise and the fall stages the same way (for example exponential rise and fall). You can still have logarithmic rise and exponential fall (or the contrary) by patching, but this uses additional Maths tracks and I/O

The Serge VCS = Doepfer A-171-2 = Elby CGS775 have separate curves for rise and fall without patching, but this is a "special" module (read this: http://navsmodularlab.blogspot.com/2015/03/serge-vcs-modification.html  )

The Joranalogue looks great for setting separate rise and fall curves

A few envelope modules also allow to set different rise and fall curves, but they don't have an audio input (only trigger or gate inputs)
Arneb
lisa wrote:
My favourite is Blue Lantern Spore Generator. It is like a Rampage with a bunch of extras. At a low price too.

That layout though... I looked it up out of morbid curiosity about what the makers of the Sir Mix-A-Lot could do to the Maths layout, and I have to say I was not disappointed.
luchog
Missing the Pittsburgh Modular Envelope Mk.II
mdoudoroff
Arneb wrote:
lisa wrote:
My favourite is Blue Lantern Spore Generator. It is like a Rampage with a bunch of extras. At a low price too.

That layout though... I looked it up out of morbid curiosity about what the makers of the Sir Mix-A-Lot could do to the Maths layout, and I have to say I was not disappointed.


lolspew
rayultine
I like that the crossfader(?) in the middle looks like Abracadaniel from Adventure Time, but I can't even with those i/o jack labels
Estes
I know the are people out there with more than one maths. I only have one maths at the moment and the envelope is super snappy, which is super important in my patches...
I like somehow this topic and the opinions here, but having a maths is kind of a no brainer, especially if you are starting with modular. It just introduces so many important features (and tons of vodeos that explain them) and if you feel that you need more of something you might later add a more specialized module or just add another maths. hmmm.....
parallelepiped
pieter wrote:
It is worthwhile to distinguish between DUSG-style modules with two slew limiters (Maths, Rampage, Falistri, etc.), and single slew limiters with triggers (Function, Contour 1, A-171-2, etc.). Having two slew limiters, one with end-of-rise and another with end-of cycle really opens up possibilities.


I do that personally by multiplying the cost by 2 for single slew models.


mdoudoroff wrote:

There can be major architectural differences, too: for example (IIRC) Falistri’s envelope generators aren’t slews, and instead, a separate slew limiter is provided. That design choice is probably why it outperforms most on the list as an oscillator.


That makes a lot of sense. Also, thanks for writing the cold mac patching guide. The first time I looked at that module I was thinking: WTF? One knob?


Estes wrote:

I like somehow this topic and the opinions here, but having a maths is kind of a no brainer, especially if you are starting with modular.


Maths is king of bang for your buck. I’ll be honest, I am heavily inspired by the below video. I just don’t think you can make those kind of beautiful sounds with a maths. For those of us who think that feature is important, it may be worth it to fork out the extra dough for something else.


https://youtu.be/Ht6Cj6qgyIM
hawkfuzz
I swapped my Maths for the Falistri and don't regret it at all. Love it so much. I have a smaller system and when I'm using a Maths channel just for slew it stinks, but having the functions separate like that is a huge bonus. It's also smaller and more expensive but it's worth it for how I patch.
danfastlikeflan
If you take a look at the Instruo ceis manual here it has a patch for making it a slew limiter too. I think the befaco adsr might be able to do the same looking at the patch but I don’t have either to be able to try.
Buttons ARE toys
I really like the Sin Phi Miasma. The addition of attenuverters on the rise and fall CV inputs is great.

And the ring mod output adds a ton of potential. Great for producing weirdo envelope shapes with one channel cycling at audio rates. And it also means you can use it as an all-in-one filter, envelope, VCA.

It makes for a really cool dual oscillator as well, I really like using the min/max outputs for generating complex and evolving timbres. It'll track V/oct pretty well across a single octave, but I sequence it with Frames sometimes so I can just tune a sequence by hand across whatever range I want and it sounds great.

Cons though, are that it's DIY and I don't know how well the kinks have been worked out since I got mine. It was actually the first working unit produced by someone other than the designer and it ended up being a huge headache for the builder (who I am eternally grateful to). The attenuverters work backwards, and the ringmod output is inverted, so that has to be accounted for. Usually not an issue for me though.

I also don't like how short the maximum fall time on the fast setting is, and how long the minimum attack time is on the medium setting. Makes it impossible to get a sharp attack with a long fall, but you can kind of fake it by using both channels and using the MAX output. But of course then you're using both channels to produce one envelope.
luchog
mdoudoroff wrote:
If your priority is audio, then you might be looking elsewhere.


If your priority is audio, then it's the Random*Source DUSG MK2 for you. Optimized for audio, good 1V/Oct tracking over a much wider range than most variants, and temperature compensated.
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