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Mattson Mini Modular
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Author Mattson Mini Modular
J.w.M.
I was just prowling through the forum and noticed that nothing was said about the Mattson Mini Modular here (as far as I know).

What are your opinions of it? To me, it looks like a nicely portable design. However (to me, anyway), it seems to be maybe a bit too minimalistic-- I'd like to have more voltage control inputs allowing for greater degrees of modulation.

Ultimately, it looks like it might make for a very nice "live" modular setup (which is probably what they were aiming for) rather than a studio powerhouse.

Opinions?
felix
Yeah it's very cool; small, cheap, and it sounds pretty good.

It's a little "vanilla" for my tastes. I try and go after modules which I couldn't easily replicate in software...something that really makes them unique.

But for the price of the MMM modules, you could build a monster system for what I've invested so far. meh
synthetic
Seems cheap and limited to me. I think you would be better off with Doepfer, unless you need ultra-portable.
J.w.M.
synthetic wrote:
I think you would be better off with Doepfer, unless you need ultra-portable.


Doepfer... or Blacet (which is so controllable that I'm truly, deeply in love with the system).
consumed
the MMM looks interesting to me--i would be considering it if i wasnt already working the 1/4", minijack AND bananas. the "base" system looks very vanilla, but the cost of whatever module you add after that is *remarkably* low. i dont care how vanilla modules are--with enough utility modules you have a lot of creative power. plus, it would be fun to have so many modules in a really tiny space.
knittingram
Does anyone own this system? There has to be someone. I think this system is really cool but they are a but more expensive now. Pretty much doubled in price! Id you look up close at the modules in the wiki though, they are actually really creative and the functions make so much sense. Yes it is generic but its also arbitrary so if you had 5 of the same control module you could do a lot of different stuff. I especially like the CV mixer and the quad gate delay.. and from what i can see on Billy Corgan's MMM, there are new modules on the horizon. AND the face plates have standard drilled holes so you can put DIY modules in it.. All that said, I haven't tried one razz
Babaluma
james carbon111 dude who used to post here owns one.

it looks great for portable/live use. never heard/seen one in person.
A Dingleberry Monstrosity
dont know anything about it, but carbon111 seems to be the only person that knows anything about it.

sponsored? seriously, i just don't get it
haha...
Babaluma
i forgot about the lack of knobs. that was the deal breaker for me. i don't wanna feel no raw shaft in my hands. hyper
knittingram
its not a raw shaft.. its covered with rubber!
Babaluma
lol
seth
I have one.

Photos of each of my modules here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sethelgart/sets/72157617483436184/

and a few photos of the whole MMM from AHNE here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sethelgart/sets/72157617564905731/

Are the modules as "powerful" as my MOTM? Well, yes and no. There aren't as many voltage control options (yet) but more are coming. However, there are some interesting things about them as well that you might not find on other company's modules. And it sounds darn good.

Also, the thing is unbelievably small. You can tuck it under your arm, or fit it in a large backpack or small suitcase. For AHNE last Spring I brought the MMM, a Technosaurus Cyclodon sequencer I used to drive it, and a set of JBL Creature speakers. It all fit into one rolling duffel bag, with plenty of room to spare for some Thingamagoops and a BugBrand box. It's really small.

I plan on bringing it to the New York meetup but haven't been able to make it to one yet. I'm planning on doing some video clips in the very near future now that I (finally) got a new FireWire cable.

Questions?
SynthBaron
I could have a much more flexible synthesizer with real knobs for half the price. No linear VCA? No pulse width control on the VCO or sine wave output? I don't see anything unique that would draw me to the format. It seems to be more of a patchable monosynth than a "real" modular system to me.
mmm
I own one hmmm.....
knittingram
I think the most important thing to remember here is that George has more modules on the horizon. I do find it a bit peculiar that there is no PWM but if I am not mistaken the pcb for each module is like 2x2 inches or something so that isn't easy to work with. But I don't think this is just a patchable monosynth. Have you seen the "Icabod" system he did? Its HUGE. 32 vco's HUGE.. MMM is in its infancy and to have a whole standalone system is a monstrous achievement.. Most boutique eurorack companies only have 5 or so modules. The only thing that bothers me is the price.. I just wish there was a package deal if I ordered a whole or half of a cabinet.. It's peanut butter jelly time!
cyklopljud
It sound like this will be a fantastic live playable modular, with a lot of performance power in a small package, easy to transport, simple to set-up and quick to take down.

It seems there is no random gimmickry, it’s a performance workhorse with a (soon to be) alternate playable interface.

Great to see the developments going into alternate live performance controllers for modulars and noise makers from few different out of the box thinking companies. (as opposed to all the myriad of stuff available for computers).

Oh and what is wrong with mono? seriously, i just don't get it (I don't really want to get into that debate, just standing up for my old single channel friend)

O.
mmm
If any of you caught my presentation vids on Matrix's blog from last Saturdays PNW AH/SDIY 2009 gathering. I kind of cover a lot of that.

I would like to mention, as I did two years ago, that I'm not doing this to become a huge manufacturer. I just want to stay busy, pay the bills, not have to try and find another job I don't like doing and hopefully, provide something for a community that I've been entrenched in for over 30 years.

I created this format for a reason. (BTW, they're 3.5" X 3.5") To provide a full blown, full powered modular in a lightweight, compact design.

I knew I would get flack but, someone had to go there. Otherwise, it would never happen.

Is it for everybody? No, i didn't expect it to be.

But, they're good circuits. Vanilla? Maybe. My main forte' is developing odd controllers. I had to develop the "core" system to do that. Now that I've done that, I'm working on all of the fun stuff. w00t

Lack of modulation? No. The mixers (CV and manual) process CV as well as audio. Each module that has a modulation potential has a modulation input. Except maybe the resonance on the filter. My theory was to provide a point-source modulation input and complex modulations can be derived in proportions via the mixers.

I might also add that my VCA morphs from AM through ring mod. That saves a seperate module and gets you everywhere in between. It's done that since it was in the Syntar.

PWM? easy to do. I wanted to provide that as a seperate processor utility to provide more options than just trying to fill the last couple of remaining holes in the VCO panels. They're packed as it is. The utility 2 will have PWM capability of an external VCO with divide down functions.
...Still working out the final designs.

Prices went up? yes. I calculated everything when gas was still under 2 bucks. Fuel prices jumped to over $4 which affected parts costs from the suppliers and the shipping charges. Oddly, after the fuel prices dropped, nothing else did. Purchasing small quantities costs a bunch.

Half cabs? I can build anything you want. I do my own woodwork and have my own shop. I also can get any species of wood you want. I'm surprised that people banter about on the forums but, nobody actually emails me to ask. I'm a nice guy and I'll answer any question truthfully. Ask Seth.

After designing Billys 4X wide cabinets, Stephen asked me to build a 3X wide using the 3-high X 4-wide mounting frames. So, I'm working on that. One for him, one for me.

Also, because of Billys' order, I re-invested my "profits" back into inventory. So, i don't have to sell entire systems in batches of 10 anymore in order to get the revenue to get the parts. So, I'm selling modules individually and shipping world-wide now. I think, I just sent some stuff to Hugary and waiting to see how it all works out.

Sorry for the long post. Soapbox
SynthBaron
cyklopljud wrote:

Oh and what is wrong with mono? seriously, i just don't get it (I don't really want to get into that debate, just standing up for my old single channel friend)


Nothing, I was just comparing the feature set to something like a normal pre-patched monosynth.

It's not about "weird" modules either. It's just that there seems to be a lot of panel space for more features that I'd like to see and they aren't there. But then, I'm quite picky.
seth
SynthBaron wrote:
It seems to be more of a patchable monosynth than a "real" modular system to me.


Well, there are loads of little touches that make it more than a "patchable monosynth." Things like the filter having two CV inputs, or the VCO having a CV out jack that "echoes" the CV in jack so I can chain a string of VCOs together. With those extra jacks, I just saved a mult and a mixer and a good bit of time when patching, not to mention avoiding a bunch of patch cable spaghetti. There's also the cascading buffer, which lets me do more complex signal routing with fewer modules. Or the punch-in switches on the mixer so I don't have to fade in another signal, letting me flip it on Minimoog style.

And take a closer look at the sample and hold module. A seemingly ordinary s&h, but if you look at what it can do it's rather unique and has a lot more capability than most similar modules.
http://mmm.sevcom.com/wiki/index.php/Sample_and_Hold

The MMM has tons of these seemingly small things (no pun intended!) which contribute to it being a "real" modular. It's small, but it's powerful.
cyklopljud
SynthBaron wrote:
cyklopljud wrote:

Oh and what is wrong with mono? seriously, i just don't get it (I don't really want to get into that debate, just standing up for my old single channel friend)


Nothing, I was just comparing the feature set to something like a normal pre-patched monosynth.

It's not about "weird" modules either. It's just that there seems to be a lot of panel space for more features that I'd like to see and they aren't there. But then, I'm quite picky.


I see what you mean, on closer inspection seems like there is a little more panel space, but as someone once said "sometimes less is more".

I feel its strong point is the alternative controller aspect, but I wont know until I try it!

O.
SynthBaron
cyklopljud wrote:

I feel its strong point is the alternative controller aspect, but I wont know until I try it!


I'd like to see what he has planned too.
redmartian
I've made a few original tunes and some orchestrations of renaissance lute pieces which I put on http://youtube.com/redmartian. These were both done on either my personal system (s/n 07a-0001) and Ichabod. I believe that I have the second largest individual system next to Billy's, but I've not come up with a name for mine yet. (Maybe I'll call it Krapwerk, referring to me and not the system). The videos aren't very technical nor explained in great detail because I'm not very good at explaining things, but you can get an idea of what it might sound like.

The cap/knob issue might put some people off, but the new pots are really great and allow for a larger cap which works well for me. The early pots did have issues but nothing too infuriating. Rage!

George is a paid sponsor by me. Rockin' Banana!

Carbon111 is my brewmeister Guinness ftw! (his are *really* good)
seth
redmartian wrote:
The cap/knob issue might put some people off

Before mine was delivered I was a little leery about the knobs (or lack thereof). After using it for a few minutes, though, it's a non-issue (at least for me). The knob shafts have small rubber caps on them, so they're easy enough to grip. No big deal, they're just small knobs.

Some have also wondered about the lack of a pointer that a "normal" knob would have, but that's also not much of an issue. You grab a knob, you turn it, end of story.

Keep on turnin' those knobs...
knittingram
First off, [george] I know you are a 1 man operation and you have to stay alive.. I am just poor thats all smile Compared to a lot of of Manufacturers you are inexpensive. That's besides the point though. So, what can we look forward to as far as new modles and developments.. The utility 2 sounds great so far. Did I see a sequencer on corgans system? Also, obviously you sell the standard blank panels; what is your take on sdiy within the MMM context, and is that even plausible with third party designs considering the small form factor?
mmm
knittingram wrote:
what can we look forward to as far as new modles and developments.. The utility 2 sounds great so far. Did I see a sequencer on corgans system? Also, obviously you sell the standard blank panels; what is your take on sdiy within the MMM context, and is that even plausible with third party designs considering the small form factor?


I covered a lot of this on my site forum but, I still remember what I wrote hihi
My WIKI site has the prospective new modules listed. Then, mentions if they're available or not.

The first posted pic of Ichabod had my panel mockups of the Sequencer, VC Dual LFO, Quantizer and HandyCon controller installed. I put them there to break up the pattern and see how they looked. It didn't get shipped with them.
Although, Billy DID order two sequencers. It's on the breadboard now. I bread boarded a working proof-of-concept prototype that Stephen used in one of his video's but, it was basic and didn't have all of the features implemented.

The HandyCon will be next. I built that as my first module. That's when I realized that I needed a system to implement it with. Thus, the rest of the MMM basic voice-chain/modulator stuff. Two years later, I'm finally getting back to what I started with. While building Ichabod, I found that I could interface stock M-Audio expression pedals into the HandyCon. (Cheap! $25 each at musicians friend) Then, other things. The HandyCon will probably become a central input CV processor with a whole slew of different types of controllers that plug into that DB25 connector. The list just keeps getting bigger.

After that will be the quantizer. Auto ranging analog covering 7 octaves with LED's for seeing what is being output. Makes a nice light show too smile

The Utility 2 will probably pop out somewhere in the middle of all that chaos.

I mentioned at the PNW2009, I don't own my format and i don't consider it to be exclusive. Several other manufacturers are asking about using it and I don't see any reason why not. As I've said, It's just an alternative format. Especially, if you're getting old like me and hauling big cabs becomes a real chore. help

I'm not sure what you mean by "my take on the sdiy within the MMM context"
I provide my panels for those that want to throw something together in this format. Why not? the 4X4 hole matrix comes in handy. Also, the mounting holes for the stand-offs are spaced so that you can get one of those small radio shack perf boards, drill 1/8" hole in each corner of the PCB matrix and have the mounting holes line up. That's what I used to prototype all of my circuits and that's actually why the mounting holes are where they are. applause

But, my concept of DIY is literally that. Not "modify an existing thing" to fit another. I've been building stuff from scratch since I was 10 years old so, that's kinda the way I look at it.

I hope I covered everything.
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