Drone/Noise Boxes vs. Modular

Discussing gear, production, and ideas for making noise music. Enough JMJ, let's rock like Merzbow!

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bg1979
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Drone/Noise Boxes vs. Modular

Post by bg1979 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:15 am

for those of you with both, do you find yourself reaching more often for your drone/noise box gear or modular when working on drone/noise music?

I personally find myself reaching for the drone boxes more often these days, not sure why, i guess more instant gratification?

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Scvnger
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Re: Drone/Noise Boxes vs. Modular

Post by Scvnger » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

bg1979 wrote:for those of you with both, do you find yourself reaching more often for your drone/noise box gear or modular when working on drone/noise music?

I personally find myself reaching for the drone boxes more often these days, not sure why, i guess more instant gratification?
It depends on the sound I want to make. I always start with the modular because it has so many more options. Drone boxes are more for "I want that sound" at least for me.

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Post by alanalan » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:55 am

I got rid of most of my boxes as the modular can do what they did, get fairly close or quite often surpass them and of course so much more.

Kind of miss the interface of a dedicated instrument, I found them much more playable compared to the modular where the knobs are stuck behind a birds nest of wires.

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bg1979
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Post by bg1979 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:49 am

What are your go-to modules when making drone (and/or noise and/or ambient) music?

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Post by nrdvrgr » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:49 am

Most noise/drone boxes are fun the first months, but they always falls short when compared to a modular. I have been through lots of boxes over the years, only the Bugbrand Weevils have stayed, that should say something about their awesomeness.

But hands down, if you want to do noise/drones crazy stuff, nothing beats the Serge. Endless fun.
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Post by Repeater » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:48 am

I used to get a lot of mileage out of my Moogerfoogers before I had a Euro setup. I find it hard to have fun without CV (Weevils are definitely an exception). Most if not all of my future builds will have CV inputs.

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Post by alanalan » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:01 am

bg1979 wrote:What are your go-to modules when making drone (and/or noise and/or ambient) music?
My system is too small to have go to modules for anything but the thing is with experimental music is experimenting is key. A no input mixer to a billion bullion Buchla will crank out some sort of long form or traditionally undesirable signal.

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Post by alanalan » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:15 am

I guess maybe just mimic the functions of your favourite box and then you can swap out modules/add modules to your taste at a latter date.

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Post by mmelnick » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:34 am

I'd buy more noise/drone boxes if they weren't so ridiculously priced. I also feel wierd buying boxes for high $ with a minimum of components inside. At this point, unless it's a small gig or project, the modular can do it all
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Post by strettara » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:55 am

I've been using the boardweevil to drive the modular via an A119. Using the A119's trig out and S&H to modulate the cyclebox, run the CB's two channels through some repeating envelopes and then ring modulate them with the weevil's audio. It's surprisingly controllable and the range of sounds is incredible.

I looked at a lot of noiseboxes online, and mostly came away thinking I could do that or come pretty close with the modular. The weevil is something else, though. The power starve function makes it very flexible.

I've ordered a mute synth, that'll be interesting. There's a guy calling himself Isambard Khroustaliov who's done an amazing video with music just from the mute, it's pretty inspiring.
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Post by krz » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:13 am

I like the marsynth stuff as it's sounds like it ventures into the low freqs a bit more than the mute synth. The other Solder-a- ? @ dirty electronics kit below the mutesynth sure packs alot into a < $100 including shipping- kit.

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Post by peh » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:30 am

strettara wrote:
I've ordered a mute synth, that'll be interesting. There's a guy calling himself Isambard Khroustaliov who's done an amazing video with music just from the mute, it's pretty inspiring.
Be interested to hear what you make of it. I bought one last year and was pretty underwhelmed by it. Got a few decent samples out of it but nothing too exciting.

Interesting discussion by the way. I have a few noise boxes and realised awhile ago that I need a modular. Just looking at some options but affordability is def an issue.

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Post by amsonx » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:53 am

sometimes I use a Dronelab 2 feeded in the A119. and clocked by one LFO from the modular but is the only noisebox that i've ( apart a an old atari punk console)
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"we just need some mutlinational to grab the copyrights over the sine wave and we are all fucked"

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Post by krz » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:46 am

For some- there's a portability consideration. Battery power ability enters into that. There's different ergonomics/GUI between boxes and modular. Patchabilty and lack thereof?
I think it really boils down (most of the time) to knowledge, experience and the wide range in startup cost. Boxes and pedals CAN be a financial drain but modular usually turns into a cash tap that
drips money constantly?!? That said I'd love a MOTM, Fenix, Serge, Buchla and every Doepfer module ever made and add 300 different modules to that from makers.....and.....no?

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Post by nikmis » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:57 am

im go to town you guys

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Post by nikmis » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:57 am

sorry im drinking

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Post by nikmis » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:35 am

hello

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krz
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Post by krz » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:38 am

[quote="nikmis"]hello[/quote]
hello. I am not drunk. Did you get to town?;)

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strettara
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Post by strettara » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:30 am

I think the question is, did he get back.

Anyone get their hands on the subtlenoisemaker spikebox yet? Looks interesting.
“It must be abstract. It must change. It must give pleasure."


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Post by krz » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:50 am

Her demo- subtlenoisemaker spike...



I think I like "his" demo better.
Sound reminds kinda NAND-ish
?289 + ?25 shipping = $400+
in North America. Bit pricey?
I'd think around ?200 price would
be more "competitive" but...
What do I know?

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Post by diasporos » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:44 pm

I only have noise boxes. Lots of them. Had considered modular but the format doesn't seem live performance friendly as far as I can tell. Breaking down a 30 pedal rig seems easier to me somehow.

Do most modular folk mostly use them in a studio?
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Post by strettara » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:13 am

Well I just bought an inm off another wiggler. Seems to be the most innovative box around in terms of concept, don't know how it'll work out in practice.

Meanwhile, the more I play the weevil the more I'm blown away by it. Great filter, great everything really, and the power starve function really makes it special. Just a fantastic little board. I wish it was made in a more robust form, sort of worried about using it outside my "studio", but still, absolutely great. A real revelation.

Among other things, I've been using a Doepfer MMF (my only filter) mostly to produce bleeps and bips over the last month or so, and the weevil amazed me with a perfectly beautiful and powerful east coast filter sweep the other night. I'd forgotten what that sounds like!
“It must be abstract. It must change. It must give pleasure."


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mpzephyr
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Post by mpzephyr » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:55 am

anyone use the motm format modules for noise stuff? which ones?

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Post by darenager » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:48 am

Love drone boxes, love modular, both have pros and cons, drone boxes that are more limited and have "a sound" seem to be the ones that hold my interest, the more chaotic ones less so, if I'm making drone music or ambient stuff I like to be able to predict what is going to happen when I turn a knob etc.

As to the price of them I think compared to modules they seem about right, typically £150-200 for a nicely made machine in a case, if it sounds good and handles well I don't care what components or how many it has.

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Post by bk » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:26 am

I have 3 noiseboxes (Utopia Synth, Little Boy Blue and Crowphonics CRO-1) and 6U Eurorack. I'm not selling the noiseboxes even when I don't use them for a year or so. They're limited, but it's impossible to emulate their sound on modular, especially some raw/chaotic/harsh sounds. When I make functionally the same patch on modular, the sound is much more clean/thin.

On the other hand, modular is less limited and I can get more musical stuff from it.

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