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MFB Drum Modules - detailed demos, thoughts?
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Author MFB Drum Modules - detailed demos, thoughts?
Gomonoa
Hello Guys,

actually i need to get some sort of Drummachine or similiar. The xBase 888 is super hot, for sure ill get it.
But now i just realised that there are drum modules from MFB which are fully CV controllable, this would be just too nice.
I know this couldnt replace a Drummachine like the 888.
But it would be start, so i have analogue drums, and this even CV controllable, i think even if i get a 3U with that modules. I would get the 888 anyway to a later time (additional)

However... my only thoughts are on the sounds of the MFB modules, anyone has some of the modules? Or does someone know a good place with more detailed demos?
Can the BD module produce a kick which goes into your stomach? Im more after a kick like 909 than 808. No, dont need to sound like a 909, just want these deep stomach kicks, i hope you know what i mean wink
Its just too inviting to have CV controllable drums, the thought of that is too cool. But its useless if the sound is not that what im after.
Actually i mainly worring on the kick.
Well when im at home im gonna look after some MFB 501 etc videos or something anway, but the modules are a bit different, though?

Would be very cool if someone knows good demos or can put some demos online.
Kent
Maybe not the answer that you are looking for (and I am drinking German Hefeweizen Chugging Beers ) but I'd suggest just saving up for the 888 as it seems to really fire you up and will hopefully really stimulate your creativity. Don't settle for less. Sell some blood to get what really turns you on and then create some great fucking shit to post here.
dkcg
The MFB drum modules don't seem like a replacement for any good drum machine. I use a Drum-2. the toms congas, etc. I never use them straight through, always at least a ring mod or something. They sound OK, my 888 has no sound just like them, but the only tweak is the hangtime of the drum. No CVs except triggers. So it's limited, but useful once in a while, especially after I got an 888. to beef up my kicks I double them up with my MBase-01 (glad I hung on to it after getting the 888).

The ASol drum modules seem more tweakable to me, but I don't have any so I can't say.
KyleEasterly
I own the following:

ASol:
BD88 Bass Drum
TM88 Tom
CL88 Clave

MFB:
SEQ-01 Drum Sequencer
DRUM-01 Snare/Bass

I have played with several other modules from both manufacturers when I visited Schneider's Buero in Berlin last year. I ended up buying all of the above (except for the DRUM-01) from their showroom and taking them back home with me. Unless you're going to get crazy with patching these into other parts of your synth, the novelty wears off quick.

The ASol definitely sound much better than the MFB modules do, although they are quite a bit more spendy. The MFB is cool if you want an intentionally cliche electronic drum sound. Honestly, when I started running out of space in my setup all of the drum modules were the first to go. I have 2 full Doepfer 6U cases right now. I'm selling one of the cases, and have a Monster Base on the way soon - the drum modules will go back into the single leftover 6U case.

The MFB SEQ-01 is very, very, very cool though. It has 12 outputs (bass/snare/high tom/low tom/etcetcetc) and 16 or 32 steps depending on the mode. You can also setup 16 different patterns. Speed is controlled by a knob on the unit, or you can tell it to sync from an external clock source at 2 different 'clock resolutions.'

None of the cool stuff is voltage controllable on any of the modules (like kick drum tuning or decay, or anything else.) Maybe you could mod the ASol ones, as there is plenty of faceplate space. The ASol modules also have a 1/4" out if you are going into a PA mixer directly.

My long-term goal for the drum modules is to get a MT-16 MIDI-to-trigger module (which has 16 outputs) to trigger the drums. Some will be filtered with Malgorithm/Polivoks, some will go through the Assblaster. If I weren't going to set this up (routing individual drum sounds to different filters in/out of the modular) I'd probably sell all of the drum modules and just do it in Ableton, or get an all-in-one drum machine.

Seeing as I don't have the MT-16 or Assblaster yet (or enough room to house the modules in my current case setup) they're literally sitting in a box. Once all the pieces are in place, though, it'll be Assblastingly awesome!
REwire
Comparing the MFB Drum-01 module's Kick and Snare to the MFB-503 machine's, I like the latter much better.

I have the ASol 808 Kick, Snare and Hats and the 909 Kick and Snare. Those are my favorite drum sounds, esp the 808 Snare. The 808 hats are so fun to tweak as they play.

I don't like Jomox's stuff except for the kick. That's why I have a MBase-01. The snare sound on the 888 and 999 is lame IMO.
consumed
i dont know about the sound of the mfb drum modules but i REALLY like the seq-01 which is a very nice design. im using it to trigger a simmons brain and its fantastic.
lightpolite
Another huge recommedation on the Seq-01 from me.

I've been waiting for a great long while for the MFB drum 04, 05, and 06 to hit the States, with all of their cv controllability.

Now that NoiseBug has the the AnSol 909 modules, I hope to pick those up, employment willing. I have their old HH88, with the CV in for pitch, and it is an idiosyncratic and distinctive metallic sounding little beast.

Usually I just make kicks the old fashioned way, with a self-oscillating LPF, ADSR (triggered by the seq-01) and VCA. I'll run a little noise thru the filter or throw some audio rate modulation at it for character sometimes.

My ramble has led me to a question, through: what exactly is the synthesis at work on the 808 and 909 kicks?
dkcg
REwire wrote:
Comparing the MFB Drum-01 module's Kick and Snare to the MFB-503 machine's, I like the latter much better.

I have the ASol 808 Kick, Snare and Hats and the 909 Kick and Snare. Those are my favorite drum sounds, esp the 808 Snare. The 808 hats are so fun to tweak as they play.

I don't like Jomox's stuff except for the kick. That's why I have a MBase-01. The snare sound on the 888 and 999 is lame IMO.


Don't remind me about the snare. :(
Sometimes the hihats and the snare start to sound pretty similar...

The Seq-01 is great, especially for the price. I wish it had reverse and pendulum modes, but it's great at what it does. The Seq-02 looks even nicer, but I don't know if those are shipping yet, at least in the US. I love my MBase for kick! the 888 sounds sick with the kick doubled up. smile
Suburban Bather
dkcg wrote:
The Seq-01 is great, especially for the price. I wish it had reverse and pendulum modes, but it's great at what it does. The Seq-02 looks even nicer, but I don't know if those are shipping yet, at least in the US. I love my MBase for kick! the 888 sounds sick with the kick doubled up. smile


Another Seq-01 user here w00t Though it lacks any fancy sequencer bells and whistles, it is still an absolute steel for what you get. I've thought about the MBase, but I'd rather have two separate modules. One for 808 style and the other for 909. The filter, eg, and vca route does work just as good, but it sucks when you need those modules for something else.

Fear not! Shawn informed me that a shipment of Seq-02 modules will be in stock later this month hyper

As far as snares and hats go, has anyone used this http://www.bridechamber.com/bridechamber.com/C%20Cynare.html or the same design in another format?
adamf
Metalbox has a frac cynare version with an mp3 demo:

http://www.metalbox.com/modules/cynare.html

Elby designs is apparently working on a Euro version (which would be available as a kit or ready built module when it comes out).
Soy Sos
Another +1 for the SEQ-01. It's the center of my clocked universe.
Sometimes a little iffy on locking to certain clocks/clicks. Sometimes
I have to play with click length and level to make it solid. It's great
for syncing LFOs with the kind of stuff I do sometimes. Personally
I just roll a drum voice custom for most things or use my MPC 1000
and reprocess later.
wetterberg
I'd NEVER EVER get either Drum-01, Drum-02 or Drum-03. They're way limited in terms of CV control, if you ask me.

HOWEVER;
LOOK AT ALL THESE LOVELY CV INPUTS!!!!



Scaff
Maybe my following statement will be a bit confused. I think that dedicated drum modules in a modular synth are not necessary.I was never satisfied with my As drum modules.You can have so much fun with only a digital noise modul and a lpg or two VCOs and an EG. I was also not satisfied with the external clock function of the SEQ-1 and sold it. Now i am using my 606 how i did it decades before SlayerBadger! I also have a machinedrum in conjunction with a midi/cv and a syncussion. I would love to have a syncussion voice in my 5U system! Mr. Green

Also take a look to the Vermona DRM MKIII. They are offering an individual trigger-in option...

I drunk tooo much tonight Guinness ftw!
REwire
Ooooh, I want the Drum-04 and 05. They are the kick and snare from the the MFB-503. the one I like, but CV controllable too!

Don't see them on AH's site though.
dkcg
Shit those are all new. Anyone got any samples?
DGTom
There are samples on the MFB site, but they are kind of hidden - not on the product pages;

http://www.mfberlin.de/Demos/demos.html

I like the sound of the Drum-04. Quite frankly the 503 is miles ahead of the older drum machines & these modules sound alot better, but I like the sound of Drum-02 module as well - it would need alot of delay / reverb to be useable I think.

The 06 looks kinda cool w/ the CV'd pan, demo sounds nice as well.
Gomonoa
Kent wrote:
Maybe not the answer that you are looking for (and I am drinking German Hefeweizen Chugging Beers ) but I'd suggest just saving up for the 888 as it seems to really fire you up and will hopefully really stimulate your creativity. Don't settle for less. Sell some blood to get what really turns you on and then create some great fucking shit to post here.


German beer is best, especially the ones from munich *g* Guinness ftw!
I understand your thoughts, on one side im thinking the same, on the other side, the drum modules seem to be very versatile, especially the CV options are really cool...
I think this might be a very nice addition to a drummachine.
The modules itself will never replace a drummachine.

I really want to up some stuff, but actually i play most time with my (little) modular and i dont record much at the moment.
Also, if i want a more or less complete track i would need to do most work on the computer, but this makes me tired, this is why im only jamming around with my modular and why i want to get a drummie/modules to record/jam the tracks down live (most fun for me). Yesterday i patched a nice bubbling thing, imo its worth recording, i might do that this evening when im at home.

@Scaff
well the thing is that i want more sounds simultaneously, if i want like 6 perc sounds, i would need alot VCOs, Filters and so on to create them completly by myself and play them live.
I dont want to create a BD, then sample it, then a SD, sample it.... this is too time intensive... and on the other way its too cost intensive.
Im looking for a live setup, so i can jam and record.
For me its enough if i have drums with synthesis capabilities like the modules or the 888. For sure i will sometimes create these kind of sounds by myself too, but i dont want to do that that all the time.

The Seq02 i will get anyway, very nice and versatile module, you can also use for triggering the drums though. Imo a bit more interesting than the Seq01.

Just watched some more Demos and they sound not bad. How are the Analogue Solutions Basedrums, do they sound close to the expected originals? (808, 909)
Unfortunatly i cant find any demos of them.
dkcg
Gomonoa wrote:

Just watched some more Demos and they sound not bad. How are the Analogue Solutions Basedrums, do they sound close to the expected originals? (808, 909)
Unfortunatly i cant find any demos of them.


I know you hate wallwarts (so do I, but have many), but the MBase01 kick is my favorite, sounds really nice doubleing up the 888, or on accents, and it takes a trigger from the modular to fire off a kick.
REwire
Gomonoa wrote:
How are the Analogue Solutions Basedrums, do they sound close to the expected originals? (808, 909)
Unfortunatly i cant find any demos of them.


There's demos of many of the ASOl drums halfway down the page in this thread:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2215&start=15

I have both the 808 and 909 Kick but like the 808 better.
jeannot
To bring this back from the dead: I just bought a DRUM-08 the clap module because it has a few cv controllable parameters. And it sounds good, but the cv seem to not do much, the reverb control affects the signal more noticeably than any of the cv'd parameters.
tony d
Any new perspectives ?
I'm seriously considering making a 3u rack dedicated as a drum machine and most of what i'm looking at is the mfb line.
I would be interested to hear any more opinions regarding the mfb drum modules.
Thanks
ndkent
MFB's first 3 modules are now discontinued, they were based on their MFB-502 machine, which was based to some degree on their 1980s MFB-501. They were CMOS based with no CV control and while you could tweak the parameters, you couldn't tweak them far.

The next 3 (04-06) no longer several sounds per module, so you have a bass, snare and tom respectively but give you CV inputs for most but not all parameters. They come from the MFB-503, which used samples for the hats and cymbal and I'd think was trying to be more vintage Roland sounding rather than vintage Fricke.

I'm not sure if the MFB-522 has the same 3 analog sounds as the MFB-503 but is sort of their 808, though it loses a couple sounds - the rimshot and maracas. So as modules most recently they added the favorites, the hats/cymbals and the clap sound, though the 522 still has a few sounds not made into modules. The also repackaged the current 4 modules minus the clap as the SCHLAGZWERG along with a built in SEQ-02 and mixer which might save you some though you can't remove the individual modules.

I guess the thing to think about is do you or how are you going to sequence it. Most drum modules that aren't MIDI use the voltage of the trigger as a sort of volume control. That can be tricky if you can't easily adjust your trigger and have a low one. The MFB modules do have a sensitivity pot. I've not tested it too much not it does change the loudness.

The CV on these modules and the couple ASolutions ones that have CV ins give you the chance to use either slow LFOs (which hopefully you can generate at the speeds you want) or faster modulation for effects you don't hear on drum machines. What is kind of tough is something the Jomox machines with sequencers do well, integrating parameter changes in the rhythm, as well as more complicated rhythms. Then another overlapping option or only option on the non-sequencer ones is to use MIDI CC to change the timbre on the fly. You could do that to some extent on the MFB modules if you have some extra aux channels of MIDI to CV. In other words sequence CCs and convert them

One thing to keep in mind with the several related German rack mount machines like the DRM1 is, like the MFB 01-03, while they have a bunch of parameters you can't sequence the parameters. So you get your hands on tweaking but not the complicated sound and pitch changing you can do if you could integrate parameter changes with the rhythm.
Vcoadsr
I've just bought the MFB Kick, snare, hihat, clap and Tom-Tom.
I think you can get a really good Kick sound especially when adding more drive and attack. Unitl recently I have trawler through sample packs to try and find the right Kick sound but now within a couple of minutes I can just dial in the sound I want. plus the CV ins are really cool for a bit of rhythmic variation.
I went for the MFBs over the Analogue solutions because I like the idea of being able to use the CV for most of the parameters. You don't hardly get any with the Analogue solutions modules.

I'm using these with the Analogue solutions MIDI-to-Trigger MT9 module driving it from Ableton and this works really well.

However I also bought the SEQ-01 to be able to build beats away from Ableton and frankly after spending a lot of time playing around I've decided to sell it already. Why?
Well although it has tons of trigger outputs it is a total pain when trying to sync it to Ableton (I want the clock to sync with Ableton whilst making beats on the fly) The reason is that it has only two external sync options (16 & 96) and also the reset is next to useless.
I now have replaced the SEQ-01 with two uSteps and although I'm now limited to only 4 trigger channels I can now build beats quickly on the fly and it's totally synced to Ableton.
Plus the uSteps take up much less room too. it's a shame really that the SEQ-01 is limited by this because otherwise it would be perfect.

Anyone else had similar syncing issues with this?
Cat-A-Tonic
Vcoadsr wrote:
Anyone else had similar syncing issues with this?

Someone said that MFB has apparently fixed the clock input issue.
I don't know when this was done, or if older modules can be easily sorted out.
When I tried it out at 5G it would NOT respond to clock from a Flame Clockwork.
seriously, i just don't get it
tony d
Thanks for the info so far guys.This is very helpful.

The reason i am looking @ building a 3u rack is because i am interested in combining it w/ my 6u setup. I am looking to build a simple "drum machine" ie.Kick,Tom,Snare or clap/HH/Seq 02 and also 4ms multiplier and geiger counter.

Those last 2 would be what sets it apart from any of the all in 1 boxes and to have another sequencer that can interact w/ other triggering options in my 6u and my klee sequencer would be cool.

The other thing is i have been looking @ the vermona w/ trigger in's but than that puts me @ my budget if i have to buy a sequencer to trigger it and doesn't allow me to get any of the other fun modules i am thinking about, all though i would gain some percussion voices.

I am interested to hear others experience w/ the syncing of the seq. because this is a feature i am interested in exploiting for odd resets to create polyrythms against my other seq/triggers.

I am grateful for any suggestions but i feel i have to admit if i go this route i will be "trading" my machinedrum for this setup (hides) so i am torn and trying to make a very informed decision so i don't have regrets.The machinedrum is one of the most flexible machine i have ever used but i rarely use it to it's potential and when i do it always ends up being totally focused on that machine or the modular.I am well aware that i will be giving up a ton of functionality but that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing for what i want out of the percussion side of things.

Thanks again for any input or suggestions, you guys are always very helpful.
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