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good amp for modular synth?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author good amp for modular synth?
monroe
There is this common phenomenon that a VCA will make a "click" sound if turned on or off quickly. (i.e. An audio signal is coming through, and you open it with a gate signal or a fast envelope.) Does this sound go away if you have a nice amp or monitor?

Any recommendations on good amps/monitors for modular synths? (Even if it doesn't address the above question...)

Thanks
Monroe
sandyb
i have genelec 8030s which i think count as reasonably good monitors and it happens with my vcas. i don't think the monitors/amplifier you use with your modular will make one bit of difference to this. backing off the attack very slightly on the envelope you're using will smile
or you could try using a vactrol based vca such as the plan b model 13 - i find these tend not to click with fast envelopes.

sandy
krelnarb
Marshall Full stack
Kent
Hey! I was about to type that! I'll just throw in a word for a vintage Orange/Matamp Full Stack then.
sgnhh
Anyone try an Orange Tiny Terror with their modular? Been thinking about that vs. the Blackheart tube amps.
felix
monroe wrote:
There is this common phenomenon that a VCA will make a "click" sound if turned on or off quickly. (i.e. An audio signal is coming through, and you open it with a gate signal or a fast envelope.) Does this sound go away if you have a nice amp or monitor?

While it could be stemming from other things, it's likely the VCA itself that does not respond well to quick transients. While it's possible a tube pre-amp, guitar amp, something else *could* smooth that out, you're just masking the problem. The real problem is the VCA.

It would be good to know what VCA you have and what control source you are using that causes the click. For example, my Doepfer A-131 clicks quite easily with a fast transient source, but my A-132-3 does not.

Fixing or replacing the VCA with a higher quality one is almost always going to be more cost effective that searching for some other gear to "cover it up".
Kwote
Werdup felix. But it’d still be cool to run the modular through an amp. It’s only a matter of time for me smile
Cat-A-Tonic
Very on point Felix. Take the problem to its source.

One thing I wonder about is why everyone thinks first of using guitar amps?
Aren't most of those going to lose some of the low frequency content that your modular can produce?
Bass amps are often used with keyboards right?
Wouldn't it be more fitting to match a modular up with a bass amp?
Of course it depends entirely on the sound application and which sort of character you're listening for.
I imagine in some situations the guitar amp would be just right.
It is also true that some bass amps don't cover the high frequencies.

My solution was to go for a Phil Jones, which covers a broad frequency spectrum high and low, and also has nice, subtle compression, and great EQ options when you want them.
Phil Jones is super clean though, and unless you opt for the unaffordably expensive one, no tubes either.
Sure, you can add a little color if you push it, but it ain't no Peavey thrasher.
When I want a bit more character I put some Metasonix in the effects loop.

I tried putting the TS-21 in the effects loop of a Peavey Trans-tube once and got it to sustain like an e-bow.
Using Metasonix with different amps and distortion pedals is so fun.
It seems to possess them like a character intensifying/enhancing symbiotic demon. A vice-booster.
You should try it with whatever amp you have and a TM-1, or maybe Wretch Machine.
Chuck E. Jesus
i'm going along with the "back off on the attack" philosophy...
Muff Wiggler
I have a few times used my modular through my Swart (through my ReAmp)

but I have to admit - it scares the hell out of me.

It sounds AMAZING, in particular when I get some of the amp's reverb happening.

But, like Cat-A-Tonic mentions, the frequency response of a guitar amp is NOT a very good match for the frequency range of a modular synth.

I know (not from my OWN experience, but indeed from others when I was there in the room....) that you can ruin a guitar amp (at least you can ruin the speaker) by plugging a bass into a guitar amp. (Guitar into Bass amp will not hurt anything though).

My modular puts out frequencies way lower than my 5 string bass does. And frequencies far higher than my guitar puts out.

I'm really scared of hurting my guitar amp. So when I do ReAmp my modular into it, It's always at low volumes, and I'm careful with my filtering to keep a mid-rangey sorta sound. I'll admit that I'm totally scared and not feeling very comfortable when I do it, which keeps me from doing it very often.

I know, worse case I'll ruin a speaker. But, I have really damn expensive speakers in my amps (Celestion Blues) and just plain don't want to hurt them. A bass amp would probably be a way better choice - maybe a keyboard amp even better. What do you guys think?
felix
Kwote wrote:
Werdup felix. But it’d still be cool to run the modular through an amp. It’s only a matter of time for me smile

Oh I'm not saying don't try running it through an amp, that can sound great, but in relation to what monroe said, it wouldn't make sense to run it through an amp just to get rid of the click. If anything, that click could be even louder (depends on the frequency and response of the amp) or that high transient could do some slow damage to the speaker.

Muff brings up good points too, always make sure you're dropping the levels before going to an amp. Simply attenuating will work, but something like a ReAmp or one channel of a Harvestman Stilton Adapter would be best. Not only will it drop your levels, but it will filter DC offsets and, in the case of the ReAmp, adjust to the appropriate guitar impedance.
Malekko
I have a bunch of amps at work but my favorite to run a synth through is an Orange OR80, it sounds fantastic!!!!!
governor blacksnake
krelnarb wrote:
Marshall Full stack


damn, beaten

(JCM800 2203 ftw)






\m/ (><) \m/


The attenuator portion of the stilton does not filter DC offsets, but it's easy to stick a capacitor on the jackboard if you're dedicating a channel for this purpose.
tragedybysyntax
I'm working on paying off my cc bill (damn you modcan and all these euro modules I had to order) and I'm getting a powered mixer and a p.a. THAT should make my modular sound THE BOMB! 2x15's and a horn in each tower smile
krelnarb
A few years ago (late 90's, early 00's) my friend and I would play out with our synths; patched out Oberheim TV-1 and some Frac pieces for me and a Odyssey and Euro pieces for him. One gig we thought instead of using the PA like we usually do we'll use our amps; Boogie MkIII with two 1x12 cabs for me and a Boogie 2x15 bass rig for him.

It probably wasn't the best place for improvisational Industrial Ambient (a little sports bar) but damn, it was like having the ability to pop a wheelie and throw lighting bolts at the same time!

Our friend who got us the gig said they didn't want us back.
Kwote
great points everyone. yeah my thought is just different applications at this point. i'm gonna get a guitar amp for my guitar so i figure throwing the modular through it would be fun. i don't always want the lower end sound but that'll be covered too at some point as i'm planning on getting a bass guitar and a bass amp to go with it.

of course going direct to my monitors has been my tried and true way and it saves me money .. for the meantime hihi
foureyes
Hey everyone - not attempting to hijack this thread, I'm just excited to have found what seems like a pretty knowledgeable bunch. Feel free to chastise me if I'm breaking forum etiquette here, I've just found this site today and realized this might be a good place to ask a question I've had on my mind for a while.

I not only play (soft) synths, but I also play bass and guitar. I'm currently without an amp, since I sold my old Ampeg combo before moving across the US for grad school. I've been thinking about starting up another band, and was hoping to find a (possibly magical?) amp that could sound respectable for synths as well as for bass and guitar.

Since I've been without an amp for a couple years and I live in an apartment building with thin walls, I've gotten used to the convenience of software amps and all their effects, and I particularly like running softsynths through them as well as the signal from quaint bits of wood with strings attached. So I'm imagining that I'd want an amp that can take RCA ins from my Macbook.

Never having heard of Phil Jones amps before, I was looking at Roland keyboard amps. Any thoughts on these? Am I barking up the wrong tree entirely with amps, and should I be looking at a PA system instead for trying to cover that much ground?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Moog$FooL$
foureyes wrote:
Hey everyone - not attempting to hijack this thread, I'm just excited to have found what seems like a pretty knowledgeable bunch. Feel free to chastise me if I'm breaking forum etiquette here, I've just found this site today and realized this might be a good place to ask a question I've had on my mind for a while.

I not only play (soft) synths, but I also play bass and guitar. I'm currently without an amp, since I sold my old Ampeg combo before moving across the US for grad school. I've been thinking about starting up another band, and was hoping to find a (possibly magical?) amp that could sound respectable for synths as well as for bass and guitar.

Since I've been without an amp for a couple years and I live in an apartment building with thin walls, I've gotten used to the convenience of software amps and all their effects, and I particularly like running softsynths through them as well as the signal from quaint bits of wood with strings attached. So I'm imagining that I'd want an amp that can take RCA ins from my Macbook.

Never having heard of Phil Jones amps before, I was looking at Roland keyboard amps. Any thoughts on these? Am I barking up the wrong tree entirely with amps, and should I be looking at a PA system instead for trying to cover that much ground?

Thanks for any thoughts!


Roland solid state amps have always been fairly reliable.
so if your looking at one of their keyboard amps & you think it'll do the job for you, it's prolly a good choice depending on the cost??? i'd use it for keys & bass.... or even an acoustic with a pick-up/mic.
for electric guitar.... erm? not so good for me.

d.
BananaPlug
Quote:
There is this common phenomenon that a VCA will make a "click" sound if turned on or off quickly. (i.e. An audio signal is coming through, and you open it with a gate signal or a fast envelope.) Does this sound go away if you have a nice amp or monitor?

There's no mystery here. The job of amplifier and speaker is to move the speaker cone (or some more exotic transducer), which moves the air, which moves your ear drum. Whatever is going on with your signal is pretty near exactly what your eardrum ends up doing. So even if your VCA input is a gentle sine wave, if it happens to not be very close to zero at the instant you slam the VCA wide open, a sharp transient is sent along to your ear (like the edge of a square wave). That click you hear is simply what that kind of waveform sounds like. If anything, you'll notice it more on a better PA.
panda30y
Excellent explanation BananaPlug. A better amp/speaker combo won't make it better unless you grab an awful malfunctioning combo, which would just distract people from hearing that click.

But I own a Roland KC-500 amp, and I've found that it sounds pretty nice for my synths, and has wheels to push it around. I've ran my synths through my Vox AC-30 before, and it sounds warmer but I usually only run my guitar through that.

If money doesn't matter, I would get the biggest cabinet you can afford (or multiples) and plug in the Metasonix G-1000 Fucking Fucker Amp! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger!
stk
I'm lusting for the day I can afford to run my modular in stereo thru 2x Ampeg SVTs with full 8x10s + 18" subs SlayerBadger!Drunken Homer SimpsonSlayerBadger!
sgnhh
I've struggled with this for years. eventually I just said, fuck it, and bought shit.

I use an Acoustic brand 100-watt combo bass amp (15" speaker) and run it in parallel with a Peavey 215 bass cab (2x 15" speakers).
cleaninglady
As far as playing it live through an Amp goes , i had the pleasure of doing my first live gig in Febuary through an Orange Terror Bass 500W head and a Quad Box.

It was a Warehouse Gig and i was told that the windows in the cars parked out in the street outside the gig were vibrating !

The Roll-A-Door of the Warehouse was making a huge racket too.

All hail to the power that is Best of CGS/Serge Panel #3 !! we're not worthy we're not worthy

I was concerned i was seriously going to blow the poor guy's Quad though.

Apart from going through a PA in a venue , with DI's and the ability to pad out brutal input levels ; i really doubt there is an actual stand alone Amp that could handle the full range of a Modular Set-up.

But there must be...
jl
Muff Wiggler wrote:
I have a few times used my modular through my Swart (through my ReAmp)

[...]

I'm really scared of hurting my guitar amp. So when I do ReAmp my modular into it, It's always at low volumes, and I'm careful with my filtering to keep a mid-rangey sorta sound. I'll admit that I'm totally scared and not feeling very comfortable when I do it, which keeps me from doing it very often.

I know, worse case I'll ruin a speaker. But, I have really damn expensive speakers in my amps (Celestion Blues) and just plain don't want to hurt them. A bass amp would probably be a way better choice - maybe a keyboard amp even better. What do you guys think?


I posted this question in the 5u forum, but no one seems to have an answer for me. I'm planning on having a Tellun Neural Agonizer built in a small enclosure along with a an instrument amplifier module (e.g. a dot com q118).

Will putting a passive attenuator on the output of the Neural Agonizer do enough to protect my bass amp if I run into it, or do I need some sort of re-amp or reverse DI? If I do need a re-amp, how tricky would it be to get the re-amp as a 5u module? Either having someone build me one from scratch or just taking an existing re-amp and having it rebuilt mounted behind a 1mu panel?
tomerbe
meyer UPJs are awfully nice for full range high volume...

http://www.meyersound.com/products/ultraseries/upj-1p/

a little expensive though ($4k?)

but in general, i like to run through PA speakers
even lowly mackie speakers
http://www.mackie.com/products/srmv2series/splash.html

tannoy makes some very nice sounding PA speakers too...
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