Imagining a space machine, help me choose modules

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Hovmod
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Imagining a space machine, help me choose modules

Post by Hovmod » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:57 am

I have postponed going into modular, but now I've taken the first step. I bought an empty Doepfer A100LCB case, and now I'm planning my Space Machine.

First of all, I guess "space" means a thousand things to a thousand people, but I am thinking of all kinds of sounds and noises that are under, over and around any beats, pads, melodies and such (you know, the "music"). I am thinking of an upramp lfo into a self oscillating filter sweep, or a slow sine modulating a noise osc, or anything resembling wind, bubbles, birds, laser guns, , helicopters, arcade games and such. I know there's no sound (or bubbles, or birds) in space, but bear with me. Spacey sounds. pew pew. whoooosh. ping.

I have a couple of synths I normally would use to make these noises, but then they are of course dedicated to doing that, and my goal is to have the modular do all those things while freeing up the KARP and the MS-20mini for "music" stuff. I want to be able to make more than one space sound at a time. Whooosh AND pewpew.

I dream of this stuff. It's why I love synthesizers!

I assume I need oscillators, self oscillating filters (clean and dirty), envelopes and multiple LFOs with a variety of waveforms, some way of triggering these sounds at will, plus some form of mixer and possibly effects.


What are some modules that do this kind of stuff well?

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Agawell
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Post by Agawell » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:20 am

pretty much anything will do that

I'd suggest getting a sound source (vco), a modulation source (lfo), a sound modifier (filter or effect), a quad cascading vca (vca/mixing/output) and someway of playing it

possible additional modules would be some more utilities (I like mutable links and kinks) and a disting mk4 - as it will show you the path of modules you need - as opposed to want

and going from there - slowly, so that you build a deep understanding of each module
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an oscillator is an oscillator - utilities are possibilities

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Post by EdJ » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:29 am

Pretty sure you should add an A-178 to that list ;) http://www.doepfer.de/a178.htm

Jokes aside, I agree with Agawell, but I'd suggest going for more multi-function modules to start, e.g. mutable plaits as opposed to starting from vco/vcf/vca - having more things to wiggle in the small number of modules you start with might hold off the gas for a while :) e.g. a plaits, stages, disting, and a multi-fx (e.g. pico dsp) would be a good start imo if you're looking for pew pew pew :) more pew pew pew -> more sound sources, so yeah a self oscillating filter would be a nice next addition[/url]
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EATyourGUITAR
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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:57 am

Synthi VCS3! Oh wait that is a $6000 synth.

The MS20 will do it if you just record to the DAW.

I think digital modules should not be involved here. You want to learn synthesis before you start simulating your patches menu diving programming a software module with a manual in one hand. Digital modules make your rack go beyond the doepfer A100 starter kit. But then why not just get a computer? I think for a compact live performance modular then digital is a necessity. For you sir, I would suggest getting the list of modules doepfer describes as a starter set. Delete anything quantizer, midi, stereo mixers, precision adder, sequencer delete delete. You are building a space ship. VCO, VCA, VCF, spring reverb, noise, sample hold, digital delay, bbd delay. I can post later an actual list of modules if you want.
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Hovmod
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Post by Hovmod » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:02 am

Agawell wrote:pretty much anything will do that

I'd suggest getting a sound source (vco), a modulation source (lfo), a sound modifier (filter or effect), a quad cascading vca (vca/mixing/output) and someway of playing it
Thanks, but this pretty much just sums up my question. :)
Let me elaborate: My KARP module has three filter modes, and they are very different. Mode 3 oscillates much sooner than the others, and the sine tone has a range of qualities for what I'm talking about. I am looking for specific filters that probably lean more in the rev 3 than rev 1 direction. The LFO I want has to have a range of waveforms from upramp through sine to downramp, plus square. Maybe what I really need is a looping envelope generator?

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Post by Hovmod » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:06 am

EdJ wrote:Pretty sure you should add an A-178 to that list ;) http://www.doepfer.de/a178.htm
Why is that a joke? Is that a shitty theremin? Obviously I need a theremin! :love:

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Post by Hovmod » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:17 am

EATyourGUITAR wrote:Synthi VCS3! Oh wait that is a $6000 synth.
I'm not a beginner in synthesis, I've been fiddling with these things for decades. I don't have to learn the basics, I'm looking for specific modules that can do what I dream of well. Are some filters better than others at controlled self osc? Which ones? Why?

I have already been looking at the Doepfer modules, and some of them look very useful, others seem to lack certain features I "need".

But you're right. What I REALLY need is a couple of VCS3's. :)

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Post by Richard deHove » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:44 am

I think a DFAM may be a good start. Multiple weird noises in a single box.

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Post by He_lium » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:49 am

My go-to space machine... but you know it's something VERY personal :D

- Wiard Wogglebug/A-118 (Edit: rather A-118-2) : sound sources & modulations. Wiard rather than Richter because it has its own life
- Multifilter : another filter do the job but that's my favorite one, clean but dirty if you want
- Delay: Echophon
- Other modulations and sound sources: Batumi/Maths
- (Optomix)
- (A-199)

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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:31 am

I have noticed that doepfer keep adding stuff in the past 10 years. There are doepfer modules I find that surprise me. I would think that a disting can be replaced with a very very large doepfer rack. But anyway, if you want a computer controlled space ship then I think the Rossum control forge would be the #1 modulation source.

To answer your specific question: there are some filters that have a more well behaved stable self oscillating capability. The wasp can self osc but the pitch will never be stable. Some filters are designed to not self oscillate ever. Some can produce sine waves but they may not be as pure sine as some other VCF. You need to shop around if that is one thing you definitely want. I don't think it is a big deal since most of them will self osc and most will be stable.

Don't patch rings to clouds. This is a meme. I hope it goes away.

Maybe you should pick up one of the many dual filters or bandpass variable width filters in eurorack? random source has a licensed Serge Q that is pretty sweet. Dinsync Sara is very clean. There are many many options to consider.

Hexinverter VCNO or the makenoise wogglebug. I had an ultra random analog that was very dense and complicated but maybe you will like it. It is influenced by a big Serge patch behind the panel.
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Post by EdJ » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:37 am

Hovmod wrote:
EdJ wrote:Pretty sure you should add an A-178 to that list ;) http://www.doepfer.de/a178.htm
Why is that a joke? Is that a shitty theremin? Obviously I need a theremin! :love:
hehe yeah no space noises are complete without some theremin :sb: I've seen one at a modular meetup before and I can confirm that it made some decent theremin-y noises come out of the rack - I'm completely the wrong person to tell you whether it's a good one or not though :mrgreen:
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Re: Imagining a space machine, help me choose modules

Post by Severed head » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:54 am

Hovmod wrote: but I am thinking of all kinds of sounds and noises that are under, over and around any beats, pads, melodies and such (you know, the "music"). I am thinking of an upramp lfo into a self oscillating filter sweep, or a slow sine modulating a noise osc, or anything resembling wind, bubbles, birds, laser guns, , helicopters, arcade games and such. I know there's no sound (or bubbles, or birds) in space, but bear with me. Spacey sounds. pew pew. whoooosh. ping.
as per a million youtube comments ...

dont forget robot farts
...god why did I just say that :bang:

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Hovmod
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Post by Hovmod » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:14 am

Thanks!
Good suggestions coming in, I see.

I just bought my first ever module: The Frequency Central Loop/Env. :hyper:
It's in the mail.
Its first job will be to provide a slow motion freerun LFO into the Odyssey. Sweeeeeeeeeep.

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Post by vailsy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 am

dr octature mk2 is a good controllable resonant filter since it is designed with that in mind

vsl vcf-74 is less controllable but really produces some very nice sci-fi tones

pittsburgh modular DNA symbiotic waves is very nice for retro style sci-fi sounds

noise engineering manis iteritas is good for short percussive sounds, eg. laser sounds are very easy with this module

for more ready made sounds.. error instruments raw data is worth looking at. you would probably be interested in many modules by this manufacturer actually

mutable instruments warps is a fun effect module for retro sci fi sounds

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Post by Parnelli » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:37 pm

As a modulation engine for my space machines I use the Worng Vector Space and 3 modulation sources, usually 2 lfo's and a joystick, and it gives me a pile of outputs to run things with.

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Post by brandonlogic » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:17 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:S
I think digital modules should not be involved here. You want to learn synthesis before you start simulating your patches menu diving programming a software module with a manual in one hand.
i agree, your standard analog modular envelopes, vco's, vca's, vcf's, lfo's and noise/random will EXCEL at these types of sounds! and is also a fun and educational in sound design.
If you are going to add any digital, i think a digital delay would be an excellent addition for this stuff. something that can do some pitch bendy/shifty delays like the chronoblob 2, magneto, or rainmaker... they will get you out of the Milky Way and into DEEP SPACE.
Last edited by brandonlogic on Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by damase » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:27 pm

Hovmod wrote: Are some filters better than others at controlled self osc? Which ones? Why?
Yes,
They sound different when resonating, they fm different
Some track better than others
Some ping better than others
Not all of them have CV for resonance
Some have several simultaneous outputs which can be used to self patch

Not completely understanding your op question, but i love the Schippmann VCF-1e. Its extremely versatile, tracks super well, and imo it can have a very “Alien” kinda sound, especially the resonant phaser modes.

I also agree with whats said above... a nice modern delay with a large range can get lots of spacey sounds

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Post by hawkfuzz » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:24 pm

All of it will get you there. It's about your patching...and whether or not you have a long reverb and delay pumping.
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Post by iSapien1956672 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:34 pm

EdJ wrote:Pretty sure you should add an A-178 to that list ;) http://www.doepfer.de/a178.htm

[/url]
Here’s my Space Machine; I have two A-178’s
Image

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Post by cloudleft » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:24 pm

There's a noise oscillator called Jupiter Storm that does asteroids and whoosh sounds quite well.

Applying slew limiters with a really short rise and a somewhat longer fall applied to a two-state pitch CV (like a square LFO) can give you some serious pew pew energy. Maths comes to mind for that because you get two slews, so double lasers.

PWM of the square LFO changes the rate of laser fire.

idk I love this space metaphor so much

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Post by vrfats » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:48 pm

iSapien1956672 wrote:
EdJ wrote:Pretty sure you should add an A-178 to that list ;) http://www.doepfer.de/a178.htm

[/url]
Here’s my Space Machine; I have two A-178’s
Image
How do you like the dual theremin controller setup?

I was thinking about doing the same for playing more expressively with live bands etc

My traditional depiction of a "Space Machine" would be something that has a Synthi filter clone, spring reverb and delay. I recommend the STG SeaDevils filter :)

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Post by iSapien1956672 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:56 am

vrfats wrote: How do you like the dual theremin controller setup?

I was thinking about doing the same for playing more expressively with live bands etc

My traditional depiction of a "Space Machine" would be something that has a Synthi filter clone, spring reverb and delay. I recommend the STG SeaDevils filter :)
When I made this rig my same thought was “I want it to sound like my interpretation of cosmic space” but it usually ends up sounding like a cyborg factory.

I love the dual theremins, when I first started this case the theremin was one of my first five modules because I didn’t want to “play”them. I wanted all my movement to be recorded and to react with the patch, so even sitting back in my chair will change the whole dynamic of it, each one has two CVs and a gate so if I get too close to change a slider on the Modulator it might trigger a gate on the sampler to start recording, but then also change the pulse width of the A-110 or CV of the wasp. While the other one might change the CV of the echo and if I go to change something and get too close to the other theremin it might trigger the play on the sampler while also changing the CV of the drum on the VCD+.

Lots of people see the theremins in my set up when I go out and they immediately start playing it like Clara Rockmore

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Post by MarcelP » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:55 am

Put a Furthrrrr Generator centre of the rack, MI Stages to the left, Planar to the right. Set the controls for the heart of the sun.

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Post by iSapien1956672 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:22 am

Before I bought the Soundmachines LP1 I used to use the Doepfer A-174 Joystick which was good for filter sweeps through the delay.
:homer:

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Post by iSapien1956672 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:56 am

The Recovery Effects "Dirty Murals" is a good delay & reverb module.

If you are just starting out you don't need a lot of fancy modules.
My first 5 modules were the Doepfer A-110 VCO, A-124 Wasp, A-178 Joystick, Malekko Assmaster, Eowave "Fluctuations Magnetiques" and I was able to accomplish some pretty good "space".
I had that setup for a few months and then I added the Dreadbox Echo, Modulator, and LFO.

YOu can be minimal a still get to your goal.

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