Update on my first synth and questions

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Update on my first synth and questions

Post by Waz » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:03 pm

So I went forth and took the plunge as some of you may know. I bought my first Modular set-up. I have packages from all over the world coming to my house as I write this. Here is my purchased set up thus far;

-Doepfer A180 Multiples

-Elby 6u rack + 2 Panels for top and bottom
-Doepfer DIY kit #1 bought from technopolis in Montreal (it came w/o the wallwart)
-3 amp wall wart from a model train company

Here's my dilemma;
I am buying the QMMG. As you can see my build doesnt have a filter, a mixer, a 2nd oscillator or a VCA. I know the QMMG can cover the VCF, VCA and mixer, but I'm trying to decide if I'd need another mixer or filter. I only have money for the qmmg and 1 other thing.

I need to mess with the Dalek when I get it all working to see if a 2nd VCO is in order. I don't plan on using a keyboard so I am not concerned with tracking 1v/octave.

What do you think of my build thus far? Any comments or input?

To anyone reading this that is new to modular synths;
I saved ALOT of money buying used and from the trade section of this forum.


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Post by felix » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:15 pm

Technically speaking, the Dalek is two voltage controlled oscillators, each with either sine or square output. For tone sources and modulators, I'd say you're probably covered for now.

Since the QMMG handles trigger/gate inputs quite well, you can probably do without a EG too (especially when you can use the slew limiter in the M26 to add ramps to the edges of a gate from the M28).

A mixer, or some kind of voltage processor, would be a good addition. I would suggest a bi-polar mixer, like the A-138c or M14, if you've got the space and want a little more.

You might want to just wait until your first set of stuff arrives though and you play around with it for a couple days. You might find that what you end up needing/wanted is completely different than what you thought.

Modulars naturally bring on the "oooh, and I need this, and then I'll need that" approach to purchasing, but until you're actually using what you've got, you really don't know what you'll specifically you'll want add to it. Buying in smaller stages, even one module at a time, is definitely the way to go.

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Post by DGTom » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:25 pm

Looks like its gonna be a great system! I agree, I saved so many $$$'s buying used from the forum!

It depends on the way you work / what sounds you want to make.

Do you think you will need a filter. I have 15U worth of modules at the moment (at various stages of intergration) & no filter :D My interests are in FM & waveshaping tho, I prefer to add harmonics not subtract em. I do have a kit for a SSM filter on the shelf, but thats mostly to use as a sine VCO.

I would add a mixer for CVs, one that can go +/- you've got some tasty modulation sources there, a good way to extend those would be a module to mix em all up. A standard VCA might be good as well, you can never have enough you know 8_)

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Post by Kakihara » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:49 pm

Felix is right, spend a little while with what you will have, then the need for what,s missing will come by itself... also the need for more modules at all will too :doh:

And the one module at a time approach I think really worked for me, when I've started my system in 2005, I had 3 modules, now I have 5 doepfer rack rows + a few extra modules that doesn't fit in te rack(as in lack of space)... although modulars are pricy, it pushes you to make the most wuth what you have.

hope this helps a bit


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Post by Waz » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:41 pm

Great responses guys. I am into FM synthesis as well, but I think I'll eventually need a filter. Maybe I'll hold off and get an M9 or m14.

Wont I need both an audio mixer and a CV mixer? The m14 looks amazing, but will I be able to mix audio and CV at the same time? I was looking at the m9, but it doesn't offer as much as the m14

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Post by bar|none » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:54 pm

Ok, I just got my rack same as you and I have the M14 and also the M9. The M9 is straightforward and very useful,especiially the A/Off/B toggles.

The M14 I am still trying to completely understand. The one thing that I do understand about it is that if I'm sending an LFO through it, I can center the sweep of the LFO using it.

I would love someone to detail how to use it better. As a straight mixer, It's a bit touch and go.

I also have the QMMG and it's awesome. It really takes care of the VCA component in a small rack. The filters are cool and really unique, but I'd say that you could use another good filter. I have the frequensteiner which is my go to filter right now for the classics.

Our racks a quite similar, so I hope to see what you come up with.

Good luck.

[edit] I agree with the others. You have enough, spent some time first. Then decide.

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