Are modular units worth going into?
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Old 26-05-2017, 07:05 PM   #1
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Are modular units worth going into?

So I've been seriously eyeing few Eurorack modules, which some artists, whose sound I aspire, use and it seems like they can do pretty wild sounds (which might not be possible otherwise).

But the modular units are quite expensive and it adds more gear that has to be stored etc. It's not as convenient as software.

So, is the modular route worth getting into?

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Old 26-05-2017, 07:07 PM   #2
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Some ideas here:

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Old 26-05-2017, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

I mean it's just a small box, you can build it upward so storing wont be bad at all.

You can build whatever type of modular you want, idk if it's worth for you, but where else would you put my money into?

shrugs :S

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Old 26-05-2017, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

That's like asking about any piece of gear, TBH. If it appeals to you, hell yeah it's worth it.
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Old 26-05-2017, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

It's just that since these things are so expensive, then one considers, whether one could "get the same with a $49 VST".
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Old 26-05-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

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Originally Posted by Blank^ View Post
It's just that since these things are so expensive, then one considers, whether one could "get the same with a $49 VST".
It's really a personal thing, that comes down to budget..are you willing to pay the asking price..or spend it on software? And that's going to lead you right into the age-old war over which is better..software or hardware.

Just like most software VSTs, each unit has something of it's own to offer..and it comes down to do you want that "something" enough to justify paying the price. Do you're homework and if you can find a VST that you feel comes close enough to the unit's sound, and price is an issue, then go with the VST.

On the other hand, if money isn't a problem and you like the unit, then why would you NOT buy it?

It's really up to you in the end, as none of us can tell you what's right for you.only you can know that..and to know that, you'll need to read a few reviews and try out a few VST demos..it's basically up to you to find out if rack units are for you or not.

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Old 26-05-2017, 08:49 PM   #7
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

You can buy the modules second hand and sell them the same price if it all sucks for some reason.

or DIY or DIE

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Old 26-05-2017, 09:15 PM   #8
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

There's no reason to go modular for basic synthesis. Rackmounts, keyboards and VSTs have that covered for a fraction of the cost. The reason to go modular is for the things you can't find elsewhere MakeNoise, Mutable, NLC, etc all have units that are hard or impossible to replicate in software and can give you a unique sound. A lot of it could be reproduced with something like Max but it'd require a knowledge of both programming and Max as well as an idea of how to replicate what the circuits are doing electrically/mathematically.

If you want to sort of get an idea of what modular can do, try out Reaktor or Softube Modular and play around. Listen to some demos on youtube of common and well-liked modular from modulargrid and see if they're a good fit for you. Maybe put together a basic rack on MG and see what it'd cost you to get started. Cost, space and time are all important considerations when it comes to modular so plan accordingly.
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Old 26-05-2017, 09:27 PM   #9
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Going to go with: FUCK NO

Defo not "worth it"

You do it because you are into it, or it's enjoyable for you, or whatever. Modular is not a "smart" use of money.

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Old 27-05-2017, 05:49 AM   #10
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Yeah dude, Pretty much what everyone said. It's an expensive investment, In addition probably a lifetime of adding/swapping. The best advice I can give you is get at least a vague idea of what your desired result is in your modular set up. Taking notes on that will help you to avoid sensory overload and clouded decision making. For example Ive got laid out a build on the concept of soundscapes and a live setting integration, Since I've a DrmBrute, I've no real need for the 303 or 808 modules because it goes against the golden rule of practicality and I could be putting any amount of money toward something else, Like the damn Micrologue I encountered at the pawn shop on the corner while looking for bass guitars. Now why not modular, It works really well with the DrumBrute so yeah, Im gonna make that jump. ( I mean It already set back in layaway, be damned some random gets it and fails to realize what it is.

Also, research what you are currently thinking about investing in and ask yourself, will it work with my current setup?

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Old 27-05-2017, 07:28 AM   #11
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artificer View Post
There's no reason to go modular for basic synthesis. Rackmounts, keyboards and VSTs have that covered for a fraction of the cost. The reason to go modular is for the things you can't find elsewhere MakeNoise, Mutable, NLC, etc all have units that are hard or impossible to replicate in software and can give you a unique sound. A lot of it could be reproduced with something like Max but it'd require a knowledge of both programming and Max as well as an idea of how to replicate what the circuits are doing electrically/mathematically.

If you want to sort of get an idea of what modular can do, try out Reaktor or Softube Modular and play around. Listen to some demos on youtube of common and well-liked modular from modulargrid and see if they're a good fit for you. Maybe put together a basic rack on MG and see what it'd cost you to get started. Cost, space and time are all important considerations when it comes to modular so plan accordingly.
Good point.

Personally I'm not looking for modulars in order to do stuff that software already does, but rather I'm looking at modules that do things that nothing else does. E.g. Mutable Instruments Clouds.
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Old 27-05-2017, 10:47 AM   #12
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Maybe get your feet wet with a 0-coast or a dread box unit like the Nix. Maybe the mother 32 too, but that is very traditional synthesis.

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Old 23-10-2017, 10:04 AM   #13
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Im debating on selling all of my gear and going modular full. I like the flexibility that it provides though I fear I will go broke eventually buyin modules. The wife wont like that all too much :/
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Old 23-10-2017, 11:35 AM   #14
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Modular flexibility, power and sound are hard to beat.
However, as I'm sure you're aware, saving patches for recall later is usually a nightmare on modular systems.
Consider how much noodling to actual writing/recording you want to do and try to work out a work flow that uses audio recording/editing BEFORE buying all your modules and realise you hate working with audio.

This is basically about an improvement in overall tonal quality (hopefully) and finding new techniques for audio manipulation, but unless you're an octopus or have a cv/gate sequencer then you might not see as much benefit as you hoped for. Don't go this option if you're hoping to improve your ease of use in the studio.

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Old 27-10-2017, 10:17 AM   #15
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Why not try software emulations of modular first, VCV rack, NI reaktor, UhE bazille, moog model 15, Modular & Ripplemaker apps for iPad etc

If you like it a lot in software then perhaps the hardware will be right up your alley.

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Old 27-10-2017, 12:07 PM   #16
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

It depends on what you buy.

Unless you're technically savvy and into researching everything in depth, it's very possible to build a fancy setup that just doesn't work or sound very well.

So unless you're some sort of electronics wizard already, I'd generally recommend recommend going for a "complete system". Something like one of the systems from Makenoise, the "Polivoks System" from Erica Synths, a Buchla Easel (if you can afford it) or a Doepfer A100. That way you'll have a much better chance at buying something that'll actually work right out the box, making you free to create music instead of being forced into becoming a DIY repair shop. And in the end it might actually be cheaper too.

My own experience, building a hand-picked eurorack "expander synth" for my semi modular gear wasn't a good one. I made a ton of research (literally for months) and still ended up so disappointed with the general quality of the stuff I was buying, that I decided to return/sell/drop the whole thing in the end.

All the fiddly stuff gradually became a massive time-waster, and I wasn't getting good results sound wise. For all the money it cost, it still felt and sounded like cheap toys. Modules that were supposed to go well together hardly worked at all etc.

Most eurorack companies are very helpful, but that doesn't mean that their products don't suck.

It became rather disillusioning.

On a more positive note, I still think that some of the semi modular synths, like the Moog Mother or the Analogue Solutions stuff are well worth checking out. But I still think it's best to see them as mostly stand alone devices and to use them accordingly.

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Old 05-11-2017, 04:44 AM   #17
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

Looks like a very deep and dark hole. Likely extremely pleasure filled at times. People disappear in there. Be careful.

Last think I need is another gear fixation. I'll be over here avoiding looking into the deep pleasure hole.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:00 AM   #18
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Re: Are modular units worth going into?

I say explore modular synthesis with a digital environment like Softube's Modular or Solostuff's Solorack. Let some time pass. You'll quickly know if it works for you.

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