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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Modular Techniques from Robert Rich
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Modular Techniques from Robert Rich
synthetic
This is a post I saved from the MOTM mailing list. Robert Rich gave some tips on "breaking out of a rut" by finding new uses for common modules. I hope they won't mind me posting it here, as it's a giant ad for MOTM stuff. Also, check out robertrich.com if you're not familiar with his stuff. His "Bestiary" disc has amazing sound design from his modular and is great listening too. "Electric Ladder" is another one of my favorites.


Quote:
The best use I found for soft sync on the 300 is to add the essential non-linear element for chaos patches. The "talking chaos" patch, for example, has two 300s cross-modulating each other with sign waves, both set to approximately the same basic frequency. The sync buss is connected, and both are set to soft sync. That creates a complex interaction where the modules get stuck and unstuck. Wiggling one a tiny bit (with a low lagged sample&hold random voltage for example) will prevent them from getting locked into a pattern.

As the questioner mentions, The trick of modulating VCO pulse width with a high frequency sine for example adds a great "fret buzz" sort of timbre to bass sounds. For timbral variation within patches, try audio-frequency modulating anything with something else. Sine waves often make the best sources for audio rate modulation, because there's already plenty of overtones resulting, so I frequently put a filter into full resonance for that purpose.

If you have two LFOs with FM input, try cross-modulating them for complex interactions. If you put that output into the VC-in on an oscillator, you'll open up a wide range of bleebly sounds, birds, wiggly bits, etc.

Split the output of a filter and process one half with other filters and VCAs before putting that signal back into an input on the same filter (either audio input or the FM input). The feedback loop will affect the resonance, and dynamic processing will make the interaction very complex.

For the above idea and for any other patch, add a time-domain digital effect - like echo, reverb, chorus, flanging, etc - to the inside of a patch. Use outboard effects as if they are modules in the system. This opens up an entire realm of options for feedback-type patches.

Rethink the standard use for a module. Did you know that a lag processor is a low pass filter? An envelope generator is a lag processor? An envelope can even be a waveshaper for low audio frequencies at its fastest settings. Likewise the 320 LFO makes a good audio-rate oscillator for bass sounds with very cool waveshaping features.

Two oscillators at their highest frequencies - above hearing - can cross-modulate each other to create difference tones you can hear. That's how a Theremin works, and radio. You can do it on MOTM oscillators. Try modulating a super-sonic VCO with an external audio signal. It's very odd. You can do the same with resonating filters.

Speaking of resonating filters, you can "ping" them when they are almost ringing by putting a sharp envelope blip into their audio input. It makes a very ghostly gamelan-like sound.

The idea behind all of these tips is to break the established paradigms and rethink the possible role of each module. Don't assume a patch has to go VCO-VCF-VCA.

I hope this helps a bit. - Robert Rich
felix
Excellent!

It's funny with all the modules I have and thinking of ways to use them, I've actually forgotten a few "basic" principles that I used to know. The "pining a filter on the edge of self-oscillation" trick is a sound I always really liked...I had forgotten all about that!

evil

My brain hates me.
consumed
ruts are strange.

ive learned now that when im in a 'discovery' mode, to fully appreciate it and the fun that comes with it. i recognized that feeling when i got my first modules (dotcom). i wasnt quite sure exactly what i was doing while patching, but id just jam a bunch of cables into the modules and something interesting would happen. sometimes i go back and listen to those first recordings and think *how the f@#k did i do that with only 5 modules??*.

a lot of times these days, i sit in front of the modular, and all i can see are vco-vcf-vca patches, and i know its just a rut thats got a lock on me. the same thing happens with all my gear. so when a pattern breaking message comes across the wire (like robert rich's), i really appreciate it.
J.w.M.
Very interesting... I totally know what you mean. Just the other day, I pulled myself out of a rut just by patching together a strange setup of a self-oscillating filter modulating my VCO. It sounded so awesome that my rut instantly evaporated and I had a new composition done by the end of the day.

Modulars are cool like that.
Kwote
all you really have to do to avoid ruts is try something new everytime you work with music. whatever it is. doesn't even have to be a new patch. there's a lot to discover by simply having some different knob settings even. look for the most subtle to the most in your face sounds and everything in between. music is an endless journey and the journey is the best part so no worries.
zerosum
Cool post.

Robert has made some great music, I dont even think I have heard ALL of it.
"A troubled resting place" is great, plus many others I can't think of right now.
Cool to see some light on how he approaches sound design.
Babaluma
some great tips!
consumed
bump for good reading.

itijik
Thanks consumed! thumbs up

Some simple ideas, but definitely bump worthy.
...What am I saying?! The most simple ideas are usually the best ones!
skweeegor
Thanks for this. I've been really frustrated the past week, seemingly making the same patches over and over. This + the updated Maths manual should be a big help in that department. SlayerBadger!
emergencyofstate
I came home from work today eager to try out the feedback patch and it's fab!

Quote:
Split the output of a filter and process one half with other filters and VCAs before putting that signal back into an input on the same filter (either audio input or the FM input). The feedback loop will affect the resonance, and dynamic processing will make the interaction very complex.
MindMachine
emergencyofstate wrote:
I came home from work today eager to try out the feedback patch and it's fab!

Quote:
Split the output of a filter and process one half with other filters and VCAs before putting that signal back into an input on the same filter (either audio input or the FM input). The feedback loop will affect the resonance, and dynamic processing will make the interaction very complex.


Excellent! This type of experimentation is where utilities like mixers, attenuators, inverters and such become so valuable. My Doepfer A-138d Insert and A-183-3 Amp are helpful for this when cross-pollinating systems for these functions.

Put an LFO through a wavemultiplier into a VCF for control, but then feed the VCF split out back into the waveshaper (maybe w/ a VCA) or LFO for a little fuzzy movement of things. Maybe add an inverter in there?

Two LfO's into an Electronic Switch w/ an audio into the other in??? What does that look like on a scope...?

This thread alone is a nice kick in the patching ass... tomorrow I shall patch. I will report back.
Oldstench
It's funny that I read this thread now. Just last night I was dicking around with feedback loops and really enjoying the non-standard sounds I was getting.

Here's a fun one I did (Euro). Piston Honda output multed to the final output and attentuated then jacked to the waveshaper in on a Z3000 MK2. LFO rate triangle out of the Z3000 to the FM in on the Honda. The Honda was hard-synced to the Mayhem output of an Anti-Osc. Sweeping the Hither an Yon banks on the Honda lead to some extremely interesting tones that I hadn't heard the PH make before.
JohnLRice
In case you guys haven't seen it I have about 45 minutes worth of video (in 6 parts) of Robert Rich discussing modular synths and related subjects that was shot this year during his tour. There isn't much in the way of specific patching suggestions but some may enjoy watching:
EDIT: The link got broken somehow, here is the correct one:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL807E17E3FA657418
MindMachine
Quote:
MindMachine
Put an LFO through a wavemultiplier into a VCF for control, but then feed the VCF split out back into the waveshaper (maybe w/ a VCA) or LFO for a little fuzzy movement of things. Maybe add an inverter in there?



I tried this last night with the WaveMultiplier processing an LFO and it was extremely cool. tweaking the VCF Res and Freq added a lot of frying bacon type gloopy sounds (actually similar to some of Robert Rich's Bestiary sounds). Adjusting the WM amount knob founsd a few sweet spots, but using a slow sine to sweep the WM's volt cont had smooth crispy and staticy overtones added.

I do not have digital recording set up yet so I apologize that there is no audio, besides a quick stereo tape that I captured it on for posterity.

I think next that I will try feedbacking VCF's for control processing. When those LFO waveforms are not so textbook, stuff really moves and takes on some life. I LOVE Robert Riches Bestiary album I think it is one of the best and most unique sounds in... forever.
consumed
another bump for even better reading

love
nervous_circuits
Neat stuf!
Lol @ "sign waves" hmmm.....
rowman
bumping this cos it beats threads about monitors, DI's and interfaces Mr. Green
Babaluma
i love how this amazing thread always gets bumped back!
MindMachine
Actually listening to Bestiary tonight. Great recording.
Babaluma
Yeah, Bestiary is amazing!
consumed
Om for good reading
Little Otik
This is making me think. zombie

Thanks for posting it in 2007.
jaimebell85
Thanks for the post really helpful information.
JohnLRice
The link to my Robert Rich lecture series got broken in my post above from 5 years ago. I corrected my original post and here is the link below for your convenience:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL807E17E3FA657418
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