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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

To .com or not to .com
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author To .com or not to .com
tragedybysyntax
So... Been thinking about doing that 22space suitcase .com setup to add into the mix. A friend of mine swears that the osc's sound bigger than the frac's and that it's in the moog vein. STG is making modules in this format as well which really makes me go HMMMMMMM. Any views? Sure it would be fun to run with the euro and frac AND WAY CHEAPER THAN A BUCHLA! lol. wink
consumed
ive discovered that its really easy (and financially stressful) to go in all directions with gear. but there is no single secret weapon that will eclipse the rest you are already using. at best, starting up a new format will give you a new texture or tone while leaving you missing the qualities you've come to appreciate in your existing lineup. in other words, there is NO PERFECT [insert_module_type_here].

i dont think you're going to be blown over by the capabilities of a dotcom system, having already tasted the flavors of frac and euro. however, the 960 sequencer is pretty nice! and of course, the dotcom line looks sweet and can fit in a suitcase. moog it is not (according to those who have A/Bd them). except ive heard very good reports about the ladder filter when compared to the original. i wouldnt know.
sandyb
i started out with a dotcom entry system a couple of years ago which has grown to a couple of 22 space cabinets now. i think their stuff is good but i found over time, and as i learned more, that i wanted modules that dotcom don't produce - a dedicated LFO for example. hence i've expanded into both MOTM/Modcan B series and euro format. i'll still keep my dotcom though as it offers a lot of solid, fairly basic in some ways, modules i can use with the more esoteric stuff i now have in my system.
anyway, the point to all this is - if dotcom offer modules that you feel you need and are missing at the moment then it's definitely a cost effective way to get them. check out the yahoo group - plenty of people have posted sounds/music so you can get an idea of what they're capable of.

hth

sandy
synthetic
Can you compare the sound of .com and MOTM? I don't think I've ever heard someone say that they prefer the sound of dotcom. They're affordable, but you might as well stretch a little more for the top quality stuff like MOTM, Blacet, Plan B or whatever floats your boat.
felix
One of the guys I work with just recently bought a 2x 22space cab .com system (I'd like to think that all my modular gabbing to him had something to do with it), and he's brought it into work.

I've been playing with it once or twice a day and it is really nice. However, for my tastes, it's "boring". There's nothing very unique or "weird" or quirky about the modules, it's very bread-and-butter. It's like a big regular synth but you can change the patching.

It does sound good. The oscillators have a good range (although they have to, case .com doesn't make LFOs) and all in all it's a very nice system. It definitely is not my taste though.
suitandtieguy
i must chime in here and point out that the "vanilla" criticism and assessment of the Synthesizers.com platform as "boring" is a bit unfair.

synthesizers are as boring or exciting as the effort you put into them. the very nice thing about Roger's stuff is that it's cheap enough you can brute-force most solutions affordably.

there are a few holes in the line IMHO, and i'm working hard on that. also, and mainly because of this common criticism, it's priority for me to get things into the dotcom platform first. the Mankato was the exception to that (only last week did it start shipping in MU format), but the stuff we're working on right now is, IMHO, very exciting and will be MU-only for a few months while i sort out what to do about the other formats interface wise.

my brain deals with 8.75" x 2.125" panels with 1/4" jacks and 1" knobs very well. the other formats are a bit of a design problem usually.
Muff Wiggler
suitandtieguy wrote:
mainly because of this common criticism, it's priority for me to get things into the dotcom platform first.


we're not worthy you gotta admire a man who spots a problem, and sets to work fixing it.

while I haven't really used any of the modules, and cannot comment - I do want to add that I have three dotcom modules sitting here in front of me.

they are absolutely beautiful to behold. They are solid and strong, the knobs and pots have a perfect feel to them. The quality of work is exceptional. They feel very precise.

A system comprised of a lot of these would be something very compelling to behold, and would beg for you to reach out and touch it in a way that isn't really possible with the dense, smaller formats.

The appeal of a synth goes much further than what features are packed behind a panel.
Muff Wiggler
oh yeah, i stood in front of, and even touched, endmusik's large dotcom system. It was actually the first ever modular synth i had ever seen in real life.

it had a PRESENCE in the room. It was somewhat intimidating. my heart sped up a lot.

by the time i left Mike's house, I was resolved to start putting together a modular.

I don't think you get that sort of effect from a frac or a euro system.
consumed
suitandtieguy wrote:
i must chime in here and point out that the "vanilla" criticism and assessment of the Synthesizers.com platform as "boring" is a bit unfair.

synthesizers are as boring or exciting as the effort you put into them.


yes, agree absolutely. i dont take issue with dotcom's vanilla whatsoever. in similar ways, a few other manufacturers can seem like vanilla too, esp. with some of the creative/interesting modules recently out there/soon to be released.

my seeming criticism was intended as an encouragement to get luigi thinking more about patching his existing lineup rather than looking to another format for new inspiration. i dont see much to be gained migrating to dotcom if he's looking for more complexity and he's already patching frac and euro.

personally: the main reason i moved away from dotcom was to pursue modues with higher functional density and more complex/flexible/multipurpose designs. this led me into many different formats, which is not an ideal arrangement, mostly due to voltage and jack differences.
felix
suitandtieguy wrote:
i must chime in here and point out that the "vanilla" criticism and assessment of the Synthesizers.com platform as "boring" is a bit unfair.

I agree, despite being the one who made the comment. I'll re-iterate that it only seems this way to me as it's just not my taste.

It probably would be more informative to identify specific aspects of the design that I don't like, rather than just a general statement like "boring". Again, these are just my tastes/opinion.

-I prefer oscillators that the full tuning range available on one/two knobs. The .com uses an octave switch labeled like organ feet (16', 8', etc).

-The functional density of modules in other formats drew me away from .com (I may have failed to previously mention that .com was the format I was looking into first when considering a modular). Things like EGs that had trigger/gate outputs for the end of each stage, or EGs that could self-oscillate.

-Many of the modules, outside of the oscillators and filters did not have CV control. A major part of what drew me to modulars was the amount of voltage control available over different parameters. The .com system came across to me as slightly more flexible version of the Moog Voyager that I already owned.

Of course, this may be exactly what someone is looking for, and as I mentioned, the sound quality is top notch IMO.

Some things I really like about it are the use of 1/4" jacks. I really prefer 1/4" jacks over the 1/8" jacks on euro. Also, the panel layouts make it really easy to adjust the knobs even with lots of cables patched in. The majority of ins/outs are placed at the bottom of the panel, so there's few cables getting in the way.

It's very affordable too, and while significantly bigger than an equivalent euro/frac system, my buddy's 2x 22 cases fold together and latch shut and it's fairly portable. My mom used to have suitcases larger than it when we would go on vacation.

I didn't want to come across as .com hater. It really is a nice system, it's just not my personal cup of tea.
suitandtieguy
Muff Wiggler wrote:
you gotta admire a man who spots a problem, and sets to work fixing it.


or a man who sees an opportunity, and sets about exploiting it. ha. thought i'd play devil's advocate against myself.

felix wrote:
-I prefer oscillators that the full tuning range available on one/two knobs. The .com uses an octave switch labeled like organ feet (16', 8', etc).


that would actually drive me up a wall. i like being able to shift octaves very quickly. it's actually a performance technique sometimes. the range/tuning paradigm works better for diatonic music lines.

however if you do alot of modulated FM noise type sounds or sound design for foley work, the coarse/fine arrangement works nice.

they both have their place depending on application.

felix wrote:
I didn't want to come across as .com hater.


no please people throw the terms "hate" and "love" way too much around here. you just came off as someone who thought the platform was boring, i sensed no hatred.
thermionicjunky
There are a bunch of easy modifications to be made to Synthesizers.com modules which can radically increase their capability. On the VCO, you can use the V/oct inputs separately, or switch them to be one input and two multed outputs. The output can be switched from -5/+5 to 0/+10. The VCA can be switched to be a VC bipolar attenuator (Edit: That's not true. It is merely an offset). The EG can be switched for extra long times and to change the output to -5/+5. That last one is useful for Metasonix TM-2 VCA use. Typically, I'll take 0/+5 output and amplify it and offset it down slightly with the Signal Processor so the VCA cuts off completely. When I install the switch, I'll be able to add a bit of offset and get a hotter output to the VCA, which really makes it sound better. I'm thinking of mounting the toggle switches in a STG imagine panel rather than drilling into the modules. I was thinking that I would get a Dotcom Mankato and stop expanding it, but I'll have to see what STG has up his sleeve. I still want a Clipper/Rectifier and some other things anyway. Maybe I'll get the Cyndustries Low Pass Gate in Dotcom as well.

I love using these modules with the more functionally dense Modcan. Sometimes complex modules don't provide access to each element, or would require you to use up an entire mixer for a DC bias, when you could use the offset generator in the Signal Processor. Some of the modules are so simple that nobody is making them. Complex patches are possible, but require many large modules and a lot of cleverness, but again, it's a dream to interface with more esoteric systems ( thanks to STG, this distinction is diminishing).
synthetic
Does anyone feel that dotcom are the best-sounding synths ever? Or is it just that they're affordable and look like Moog? I can't remember reading anyone raving about the sound.
sandyb
synthetic wrote:
Does anyone feel that dotcom are the best-sounding synths ever? Or is it just that they're affordable and look like Moog? I can't remember reading anyone raving about the sound.


hmm. not sure if i've yet heard the best sounding synth ever! there are plenty of people on the dotcom yahoo group who seem to think it is. i think dotcom stuff is capable of making great sounds, as any modular is, depending on how it's patched. it may take more dotcom modules to achieve a patch than some other more functionally dense manufacturers. until very recently the 3 dotcom oscs i have were my only ones and i had no complaints.
drewtoothpaste
I have both a dot-com and doepfer/euro system and it's easier to turn knobs/switches on the dot-com system... the jacks/cables are more sturdy, and there's more room to reach in between the patch cables. Often, when messing with a patch on my euro system, I'll bump a cable somehow, but it won't come out... and the sound will change, or stop. I have to go through and wiggle the jacks to get it to come back.

This is pretty frustrating, never happens on my .com.

I do a lot of cross-patching between the two systems. The synth.com oscillators seem more solid to me, but I also frequently use the sequencers/cv-processing/weird filters on the euro system. I have 6 VCAs in the synth.com format and have replaced the #2 control/signal/+output jacks on a couple of them with 1/8" jacks to make the cross-patching easier.
synthetic
What I meant was, I haven't heard anyone say, "I have oscillators from MOTM, Oakley, Blacet and Dotcom, and the Dotcom oscillators kill!" I think people choose that format because they look like Moog and they're relatively inexpensive. I really want their sequencer, though.

And I've never used a Dotcom so I'm just another idiot on the internet sounding like he knows what he's talking about. I like my MOTM oscillators but I'd like to find some "juicer" ones.

Are you "toothpaste for dinner" drew? I like your comics.
drewtoothpaste
synthetic - yep, that's me, you can hear the dot-com system all over my recent album "Music From Roller Chester." (There are 30-second snippets at http://www.amazon.com/Music-From-Roller-Chester-Explicit/dp/B001C6U5HO  / if you wanna listen.)

The dot-com oscillators are solid with respect to temperature compensation and scaling... FM sounds good, sync sounds good, PWM sounds good. There's honestly not a huge amount of difference between the dotcom and any other (functional) oscillators. The dot-com sounds very much the same as the Roland and Doepfer oscillators I use, except that it scales over 4-5 octaves with no problem.

When dudes are listening to raw sawtooth waves and talking about "warm", "round", etc. my bullshit detector goes off. It's on the same level as audiophiles buying $200 wooden knobs.
futuresoundsystems
drewtoothpaste wrote:
When dudes are listening to raw sawtooth waves and talking about "warm", "round", etc. my bullshit detector goes off. It's on the same level as audiophiles buying $200 wooden knobs.

Amen. I don't really hear much difference between VCOs too often unless the VCO is something out of the ordinary... AHEMafgAHEM.
synthetic
Yeah, but some sound juicier, static or thinner in context. Is that all the filter?
futuresoundsystems
synthetic wrote:
Yeah, but some sound juicier, static or thinner in context. Is that all the filter?

Hmm, well I guess the filter's gotta have the harmonics there in the first place to actually filter, so some VCOs must be a little thicker than others, but I think the "juice" mostly comes from the filter.
suitandtieguy
synthetic wrote:
Yeah, but some sound juicier, static or thinner in context. Is that all the filter?


which context and which oscillators?
synthetic
OK, here are a few sequences of Dotcom, MOTM and MOS-LAB through Moog filters. They were as similar-sounding exampes as I could find.

MOTM (top two voices are 440 SSM filter, bottom two are 490 Moog filter):
http://www.synthtech.com/demo/rr_newseq.mp3

Dotcom:
http://www.synthesizers.com/sounds/dreamstate.mp3

MOS-LAB:
http://www.mos-lab.com/multimedia/d%E9mo4.mp3

To my ears, the MOTM sounds more "solid" and the MOS-LAB sounds more "juicy" than the Dotcom. The Dotcom sounds thinner and more static to me in this context. I'd be willing to bet that the filters all sound pretty similar, and that it's the oscillators that are different. Obviously you can make great music with any of them, but I think that people choosing a format should listen to examples like these and decide which one sounds best to them.
parasitk
I can't say the MOS-LAB clip did anything for me, nor the DotCom for that matter, but I put the blame fully on the one patching the synth.

I'm sitting next to a DotCom that I'm familiar enough with to know that it can sound much sweeter than what I heard there (for my tastes).

The MOTM clip sounded sweet though.

I'm psyched to start my little DotCom system. I'm treating it fully as a patchable monosynth. It WILL be a small and focused setup, because I know my modular-meanderings will still come from my Frac and one day, Euro setups. hyper
synthetic
That RR clip was the reason I went with the MOTM format, I think it's beautiful. we're not worthy
Kwote
synthetic wrote:
RR


Red Rocket?

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