Tough Decision - Foregoing Euro

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Muff Wiggler
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Tough Decision - Foregoing Euro

Post by Muff Wiggler » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:48 pm

Was having this conversation via PM but I figure I would throw it out there to get you guys' comments....

In the last couple of weeks I've made a hard decision about something I've been mulling over for a couple of years. For a variety of reasons, I've decided that I'm not going to get involved with Euro rack stuff.

I can't build my modular forever. I need to let my finances recover, and soon! Also, really it gets to a point when you have a solid system, do you keep expanding it, or do you get to know it inside-out? As big as my system is, I honestly feel I've explored about 5% or less of it. When I finally stop building, I will spend about 10 years deeply investigating all the possibilities. I'm reaching that cutoff point, where the excitement of building more is getting smaller than the excitement of having a 'finished' system to get intimate with. I'm really, almost done. I have about a dozen frac modules I still want, then Wiard 300, then done.

My decision about Euro rack is for a variety of reasons, pretty much all related to the above.

First, considering my Frac monster plus Wiard 300 - the truth is there's really nothing in Euro that I would need. I would be filling in racks just for the fun of it. Sure, there's some sexy modules I would love to add - but I don't really need any of them. The ground is all covered by my Frac/Wiard functionality. So I need to invest in new power standards, new racking standards, etc., just to add some modules that I don't really need. My system is so comprehensive right NOW that it scares the shit out of me. Once Wiard 300 is in there - it's an atomic bomb. Putting a couple of racks of Euro in there, well it's like strapping a firecracker to an atomic bomb. Sure, a fun idea and it'll look cool - but it won't really impact the result at all - and some would say it was a waste of time.

If I could just add Euro modules to my Frac rig, in the same rack and power format, I would definately do it. I will be keeping available rack and power for frac units into the foreseeable future, because even though I'm "done", if someone releases a cool frac module (I bet the Livewire AFG will come out in Frac!!) I'll add it, just because I can for no more than the cost of the new module - no greater investment needed.

(There will however, be one Euro module in my system. It's on its way to me right now, sporting a euro-to-frac power adapter so that I may power it with my existing rig. I will spill the beans later, as soon as I'm allowed to.)

But to invest in new power and racks, for modules that I don't need (however sexy they are), at this point, that's become too much.

Additionally, honestly, I'm running out of space. I just filled three towers, that have 6 frac frames each. I need a new plan for future frac modules, I will probably build 2 frames into wooden boxes for my Metalbox stuff, and mount them to the wall above my towers. But space is FAST running out. I have no room to erect a fourth tower.

So, I think of Euro, and I have a lot of thoughts -

- they are sexy, I want them. But I gotta come to terms with the fact that there's a lot of sexy synth stuff that I want, that I'll never own. This is fair.

- I don't need them - they will only add miniscule amounts of functionality to an already crazy system

- If I do it, it's another money pit, because I will want to fill at least a couple of frames, for 'cool appearance' sake. I like ascetics and I like symmetry and a half-full rack that's a different color than the rest of my gear is lame. I need a couple of full racks. I'm an idiot materalist in this respect.

- I'm out of space, and have no-where to put them, in particular considering I need to figure out where/how to house my Wiard, and also allow for a couple expansion frames for future Frac stuff, since I'm already heavily invested on that format, and out of space in my towers.

- See last statement - for Euro, I need to invest in new racking and power, which basically amplifies all the issues mentioned above

- I really want to have more of a sense of 'being done' growing my system at this point in time, than still having a bunch of shit I'm dreaming of adding.

Basically, and this is NOT a judgement on the Euro format (it's more of a judgement of the power of my current system), I'm facing significant diminishing returns to get involved with Euro. There's stuff I really want for sure - but none of it I want enough to take on all these other issues. I've spent enough money, I've run out of space, I already have more functionality than I need..... it seems CRAZY to branch into Euro. Hell, it's crazy to Branch into Wiard 300, but that is such a unique and special creature that is both unlike anything, and will be a joy to have around for decades and will possibly be worth an ENORMOUS amount of money in thirty years..... I can't say no to Wiard. But I guess I can say no to Euro...

Anyway, I've never written this down before, so I'm sort of using you guys as a sounding board on all this. I value your opinions here. What do you think?



also, with this said, haha, i'll tell you, in two years time, when my Wiard is done and my frac is all done, and I've bought no modules for six months, it'll be pretty easy to talk me into building a 1-frame little wooden box to toss some harvestman and livewire into :lol:

never say never

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Chuck E. Jesus
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Post by Chuck E. Jesus » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:58 pm

i'll tell you: i've a fraction of what you have and i feel like i've barely scratched the surface...especially now that i'm using the Roland 102 with my Euro stuff, i'm pretty darn happy...i'd like some more esoteric filtering, a VCS, some Harvestman mods, etc, but i really can't spend any more cash tbh...and i've found that thinking about what other mods might do has made me be a little more creative with the patching...two examples: reading about loopable envelopes got me to simply trigger an adsr with an lfo and i was amazed with the results i got, and it made me think of a bunch of ways to utilize other bits along with it...the other example is kind of lame, but it still applies: the Doepfer A110 osc doesn't have much of a range sweep, and i thought of buying a specific mod that provides a general purpose course/fine voltage out , and thinking about it a bit more i figured i could simply feed a high voltage from my midi>cv box, run that into the S&H, and put that into a mixer and then i'd have a tunable voltage for anything i need...that in turn got me to think about more creative ways to use the S&H instead of the "classic" S&H...actually today i was working out a problem for a song i'm doing where i wanted a sort of 303 slide, and i thought of a couple ways to do it that would require some hoop-jumping, and then after thinking a bit more i came up with something super easy!

i think i've mentioned this in another post: i kind of quit doing music for a few years and then i got a half way decent acoustic guitar...i ended up learning more from a couple years messing with it than i had in the twenty odd years previous...the thing i came to realize wasn't so much about learning to work within limits, but the limitless creative potential i really had in front of me...the limits are really in how much time and thoughts i put into it...kind of having a start/stop pattern going with the modular synth stuff, i figured i need to take a similar approach i did with the acoustic...i just need to learn everthing i can and develop my own little "riffs" and expand on them, set goals, and most of all have fun with it :D

i guess my point is don't sweat it...you have an amazing setup, i really wouldn't worry too much about the Euro Rack stuff :lol:
Last edited by Chuck E. Jesus on Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by felix » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:59 pm

All excellent points and well thought out and perfectly reasonable.

Maybe it's cause I'm not one of those guys who needs to tell people what they should/should not do, or one of those guys who gets butt hurt if you don't have the same gear (or in this case format), but everything you said makes perfect sense and I agree.

I have had similar conversations with myself over frac format recently. Frac has tons of stuff that I wish was available on Eurorack, as does Modcan A and Wiard 300. Personally, I think they all have equal strengths in different ways and in a world where you had all the money in the world (or where everyone used the same PSU, Voltage range, and connectors), you'd have a little bit of all of them.

I'm with you on the "some day it needs to be done". I feel that *a lot* right now. I already see 2x AFG + Tyme Sefari + Zorlon + Plan B M16, and more on my horizon. It will eventually have to stop *growing*. I can't afford lots more *growth*. Change, maybe, but at some point, it needs to stop.

I can't tell you how satisfying it was to simply fill up one eurorack case. It had that feeling of "ah, somethings done". I think I know what those people who never finish remodeling their house feel like.

ok I'm starting to ramble...

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Re: Tough Decision - Foregoing Euro

Post by Kwote » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:49 pm

Muff Wiggler wrote:- they are sexy, I want them. But I gotta come to terms with the fact that there's a lot of sexy synth stuff that I want, that I'll never own. This is fair.
that's really all that has to be said. i'm very fortunate/unfortunate in the fact that i've had to come up in an environment filled with limitation. that's when you know that ultimately, it's the man behind the gear that makes the music. gotta live and die by that.

rock on muff!
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Post by Bricks » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:23 pm

this is probably a bad thread to point out that theres a wiard classic vco on ebay right now ; 0

in all seriousness,

limitations for the win. I have 12u, 2 frac and 2 euro that I'm just finishing filling out. I can not envision myself exceeding that, at least for 3 or 4 years. I don't want to allow myself to.

Im sure I could spend 10 years mastering what I currently have, and thats whats important. Right now I'm debating eating a whole 28HP with a livewire AFG as a 3rd vco. On one hand, holy shit, animated waveforms!! On the other... do my compositions need more animated waveforms? How long will it take my mind and ears to understand the complexity it offers.

I've had the dual cyclotron for about 6 months and I still barely have any idea what sound is going to come out of it!

As jawdrop sexy as the buchla 200e is.. whats the point? Unless one spends 5 years mastering a chunk of it, it seems like its just a colorful toy. To me.. the rich expression/dimension in using such a complex system would only come out in the most subtle of details/manipulation.

a skilled enough music/poet/engineer could coax a masterwork out of a single module. I'm sure the glorious collections in our lives are fully capable of much more than any of us are currently getting out of them. Thats the beauty, and the great danger, of this particular hobby

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Post by sgnhh » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:36 am

Worst thing about Euro is the availability of the modules. Getting certain modules is like winning the lottery. For example, yesterday AH put up a used Plan B Model 17 Triple Event Timer. It's already gone. This doesn't just apply to used modules--some manufacturers can hardly keep up with the demand they generate.

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Post by consumed » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:03 pm

Bricks wrote:this is probably a bad thread to point out that theres a wiard classic vco on ebay right now ; 0
haha bricks, youre bad.
somebody will pick that vco up, but honestly, i think it better to buy straight from the maker and help support wiard, since there's no clear benefit in buying it used at the same price. IMO

now if i was in the middle of some high-paying remix project and my only classic VCO just died on me, then yeah sure, I'd pick it up. :D

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Post by Kwote » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:12 pm

consumed wrote:
Bricks wrote:this is probably a bad thread to point out that theres a wiard classic vco on ebay right now ; 0
haha bricks, youre bad.
somebody will pick that vco up, but honestly, i think it better to buy straight from the maker and help support wiard, since there's no clear benefit in buying it used at the same price. IMO

now if i was in the middle of some high-paying remix project and my only classic VCO just died on me, then yeah sure, I'd pick it up. :D
the only clear benefit would be not having to wait. if i had a case and a wiard rack and disposable cash i'd pick it up. but then if that was my reality i'd probably have a whole case of 300 series by now. :)
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:01 pm

yep, saw the Wiard - thanks for pointing it out guys

fact is, my hands are tied on a purchase that large untill my tax return arrives

then i'll be spending LOTS of money :lol:

but also - that eBay is the same price that Grant charges for retail. I would rather send my money direct to Grant - the wait time is a fair price to pay to support the man directly

Additionally, Grant is always quietly making upgrades to all the Wiard designs. I've seen at least three revs of the Noise Ring. He doesn't publicize this, however if you order from him you always get his latest tech

finally when ordering a classic VCO from him, for $40 more you can add pull-knobs to access exponential envelopes (rather than linear). Surely worth it

If I could get the VCO used for $650 or less, I would do it. Any more and I'm going to the source... 8)

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:02 pm

Bricks wrote:limitations for the win

awesome quote 8) totally agree

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:18 pm

sgnhh wrote:Worst thing about Euro is the availability of the modules. Getting certain modules is like winning the lottery. For example, yesterday AH put up a used Plan B Model 17 Triple Event Timer. It's already gone. This doesn't just apply to used modules--some manufacturers can hardly keep up with the demand they generate.

:? sorry - that was me. i've been waiting for a euro system i ordered from AH for 6 months now so if they have something in stock on my list i tend to grab it quick.

@muff wiggler - i think the reasons for your decision make lots of sense. i have an idea what i want to get modular wise although i think it's going to involve a few years of buying things yet. my guess for the euro modules you've got coming to you - Plan B tap clock - do i win a prize if i'm right? :)

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:30 pm

you do win a prize if you're right...

and... if there was a single in-production Euro module i would buy and figure out how to mount, you just named it

however....that's not what's on the way.

What's coming is something none of you guys have ever heard of. It provides a function that I am not aware of any modular manufacturer offering. I'm not allowed to talk about it yet.

But, for one, you'll all be interested and excited. For two, I'll tell more as soon as I'm allowed 8)

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Post by felix » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:49 pm

oh you sly dog!!! Can't wait to see what it is!
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Post by Chuck E. Jesus » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:54 pm

i forgot the point of this thread...i mean i don't think i got it...


i've been easily confused lately :)

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Post by zerosum » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:11 pm

Also, really it gets to a point when you have a solid system, do you keep expanding it, or do you get to know it inside-out?
Get to know it inside and out :!: Use what you already have, which is two of everything, or in some cases 4.

I don't really have anything to add, I can just nod in agreement with everything listed above that you don't need any euro modules.

But man.......It sure would be nice wouldn't it :wink: Like all things, the more the merrier :lol:

I would like to have the livewire and some harvestman modules someday, if they are still available at the time I can actually afford them.

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Post by Kwote » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:46 am

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Post by sgnhh » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:53 am

I really like the look of those modules.

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:17 pm

hehe thanks.....I just ordered two of those 8)

Happy to give the business directly to Grant though....

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Post by Kwote » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:24 pm

:lol: just can't help postin it. it's not too often you see some legitimate wiard 300's on ebay. i'm honestly amazed. but he really should drop the price a bit. like brand new maybe, but not brand new. that's just not how the used game is played.

not well played sir. lololol.
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