Getting started with Eurorack Modular
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:59 PM   #1
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Getting started with Eurorack Modular

I know Muffwigglers is the place to ask but you guys are my friends. I have too much money and too old to blow it on drugs so I'm researching a Eurorack modular and would love some pointers. I'm not after anything overly big and my main aim at this stage is to do 8/16 bar lead lines that evolve within the patch. Surgeon and Blawan have been the driving force for this, though at this stage I just want to make hooks on it and not full tracks. I have a TR-8, MD and A4 and not giving up on these just yet.

Questions

Would a skiff (84HP) cut it or do you really need to get two rows?

VCO - Tiptop Z3000 and Hertz Donut have cropped up in my inital research. Any recommendations for others and how many VCO's would someone typically have in a one or two row build

Likewise VCA's ?

The fun stuff - Make Noise Maths seems to be on a lot of peoples list and in my limited understanding it's what gets the weird permutations going. Anything else in this category.

The basics - A filter, a mixer, LFO etc How many and recommendations?

Clocks, sequencers or both?

I have a fairly standard understanding of the subtractive synthesis and, while no expert, know my way around the A4 so compentents that aren't going to be too difficult to grasp would also be welcome.

Thanks

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Old 11-24-2016, 04:31 PM   #2
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

With the A4 you already have a capable synth based on subtractive synthesis. Since @[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
is going to do it anyway, I might just offer that suggestion here, too.
Why not look into Clouds or Rene or other ways to sample and mangle audio?

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Old 11-24-2016, 05:10 PM   #3
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

You need to figure out what you want to go after with it and then see if you need different or more modules.

You can build just an effect/sound manipulating synth as suggested here.

I don't like traditional sequencers, you could get pamela's workout, trigger riot or just 4ms clock divider/expansion and maybe wogglebug with that.

Phonogene's loads of fun.

get as many vcos as you think you want there to be sounds like melodies, weird drums and effects etc...

I have a 9U box and it's not enough, I have enough modules for 2

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Old 11-24-2016, 05:24 PM   #4
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

This may help or it may not.....

The majority of people who get into Eurorack start off with the very same sentence, "i only want a small case to begin with because blah blah blah" and a year later they say i wish i listened and got a big case to begin with.

I got involved with an online community who have grew their modulars together overtime, when a newbie would ask what modules to start off with it seemed natural to steer them towards building an analog voice oscillator,filter,ADSR,VCA etc however i think we have all come to realise this is just boring and they are spending money on something they probably own already in fixed architectured synths, theres nothing wrong with a traditional subtractive analog voice but to me personally theres much more outhere in Eurorack.

Lately I've been telling newbies to get Clouds, Tides, Rings etc simply because its a lot more fun and with those modules you can get lost in sonic delight.

However my new stand point is simple, you know that module that you seen what made you want to get into Eurorack, 'BUY THAT MODULE', then buy the next module that got you gassing.
Once you have a few modules it will become a natural decision to you what module you want next, weather you require a modulation, Logic, sequencer etc.

I have never stuck a picture in a forum of a half built case and asked what module should i get next, everybody's taste is different and everybody's goals are different.
A guy stuck a picture of his case up yesterday and 50% of his modules were modulation sources, he asked do i have too many modulation sources and should i get rid of some.

Ive personally never seen too many modulation sources as a problem, infact its a good problem to have.

You mentioned Tony Surgeon, maybe Noise Engineering Loquelic Iteritas might be a good pointer.
Intellijel modules tend to be aimed at the Techno/Dance folk, but that doesnt mean you can't do it with other manufacturers.

Honestly go with your Gut, rather than trying to build somebody else's rig

Last edited by cane creek; 11-24-2016 at 05:40 PM..

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Old 11-24-2016, 05:38 PM   #5
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mctoast View Post

I don't like traditional sequencers, you could get pamela's workout, trigger riot or just 4ms clock divider/expansion and maybe wogglebug with that.
You've got to be careful with your terminology here as Pamela, Trigger riot, 4MS clock divider are not sequencers they will not send Pitch, they send clock/triggers. So they can start/stop/sync other modules or trigger percussion modules but they won't make a module play a melody.

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Old 11-24-2016, 07:06 PM   #6
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

The A4 is already a very capable CV sequencer.

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Old 11-24-2016, 08:25 PM   #7
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

Thanks for the tips I appreciate it. I'm a complete noob to this but figured channelling my GAS into a rack is probably more intuitive than just buying more and more traditional hardware for the sake of it. Especically when my current set up covers most functions well and I'm happy with it.

So futureproofing and going with a 6u case (at least) seems to be the way to go.

Intitally, no specific modules have attracted me to this, I'm just listening to a lot of techno and I like the concept of generative music. At least for a lead line or a hook.

However, I've started up a Modular Grid account and from inital research on YouTube, Make Noise Maths and Clouds certainly interest me. The Intellijel Dixie II did pop up as what looked like a steady OSC.

Taking on board your advice and say Maths is the module that excites me, I would still need a sound source and at least what else? Not actual module butI asume I will need a basic filter for example.

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Old 11-24-2016, 08:26 PM   #8
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquid_air View Post
The A4 is already a very capable CV sequencer.
It is, it's currently running the Minitaur though I can move that over to midi out on the MD.

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Old 11-24-2016, 08:38 PM   #9
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

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Originally Posted by FTD View Post
It is, it's currently running the Minitaur though I can move that over to midi out on the MD.
That's too funny. I have the same setup.

I'm planning to go modular next year as well, so post up eventually what you ended up with!

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Old 11-24-2016, 09:33 PM   #10
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD View Post
VCO - Tiptop Z3000 and Hertz Donut have cropped up in my inital research. Any recommendations for others and how many VCO's would someone typically have in a one or two row build
Never used Tiptop Z3000 and Hertz Donut however the Donut sounds Metallic & Harsh if that fits your bag.
Oscillators i have intellijel DixieII, Frequency Central system X , Cyclonix CycleboxII, E350 morphing terrarium, Neutron Orgone accumulator, Make Noise STO, ALM SiDGuts, a half built Braids
I have more i just can't remember.

there all Great.......

But then you try Mutable instruments Rings and its on a complete other level, that module amazes me.
Its not an oscillator as such but it is a voice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD View Post
Likewise VCA's ?
I used to swear by the Intellijel UVCAII which is a dual VCA it was a modular no-brainer however since then Mutable instruments have released 'Veils' which is a Quad VCA within the same price range as the intellijel so it is now the new No-brainer, Get Veil and you'll be sorted for VCA's for sometime, i have both.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD View Post
The fun stuff - Make Noise Maths seems to be on a lot of peoples list and in my limited understanding it's what gets the weird permutations going. Anything else in this category.
You cannot go wrong with Maths, i have 'Function' which is basically one channel of Maths, i also have Maths as well.
Befco Rampage, Toppobrillo sports modulator, 4MS PEG, Bastl CV trinity (has 6 channels), Random Source Serge Dual universal slope generator are all in that Maths territory, but theres only one Maths


Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD View Post
The basics - A filter, a mixer, LFO etc How many and recommendations?

Filters, take your pick theres just about every flavour outhere, i have too many filters their too easy to buy.
Right at this moment 'XAOC BELGRAD' looks a beast but I've promise myself not to buy anymore filters.
WMD 'Aperture' looks a superb filter as well.

Mixer, i have Hexinverter hot glue which has 4 channels, a send, compression & distortion so i use it for mixing drums.

i have Intellijel Mutamix which is 6 channels i send everything into that and from there into a Rane line mixer to Apogee Duet/DAW. i don't feel a need for these output modules that folk bang on about.

I have 2 x Manhattan Analog mix modules theres are 3 channel and i used them for Sub mixes before sending to Mutamix.

Theres are lots of new mixers now on the market, and there all pretty simple to use they do what they say on the tin.

LFO, i have all sorts of LFO's in my rack a lot of the oscillators i have you flick a switch and they become a LFO.
My favourite LFO is Xaoc Batumi its a 4 channel LFO bit of a No-brainer in Euroland.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD View Post
Clocks, sequencers or both?
BOTH, their two different things.

Clocks = I love 'Pamelas workouk' its my favourite module because its the heart of every patch i make, i like the idea of having control of start/stop a patch and set the BPM. 8 channels, so you could clock 8 sequencers with it, id typically use it in a patch to clock a few sequencers, Clock my mutable instrument grids which will be sequencing drums, clock Maths and anything else with a external clock input.
A new Pamelas workout has been announced and the current Pamela is out of stop everywhere.

i have 2 x 4ms shuffling clock multipliers, again great 8 channels sending out divisions of clock.

Abstrakt Data 'Octocontroller' looks an awesome clock module far more powerful than Pamela but i can't comment much as i don't own one.

I'm about to build a Tsyklon labs Choas Divider, that looks a fun clock however ill still have pamela clocking that

Sequencers = I own Mother-32, Doepfer Dark time, Turing Machine, intellijel Metropolis, MN Rene, Hexinverter Orbitals, Transistor labs Stepper Acid Xaoc Moskwa & Tiriana.

Rene i still have to get my head around its deep and I'm only scratching the surface at the moment.

Metropolis & Stepper Acid are ideal for 4x4 Techno/dance etc

Dark time, Moskwa & Orbitals just work as you expect traditional step sequencers.

Tiriana is more like a utility sequencer which id use to sequence other sequencers.

Theres lots of other sequencers outhere but I don't own or have used them so i won't comment.

Last edited by cane creek; 11-24-2016 at 09:45 PM..

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Old 05-16-2017, 06:40 AM   #11
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

also, modulargrid is very helpful to plan eurorack systems.
You will find pretty much every module there...
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:23 AM   #12
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

Until I got Make Noise 0-Coast I sworn I would not get involved in Eurorack (I had a small setup but sold it all).

Now I really want a Make Noise System Cartesian.

Why not starting with a 0-Coast, see if that kind of synthesis works for you and build from there. If it works for you the 0-Coast will already provide you with great modules to begin with.

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Old 05-17-2017, 08:44 PM   #13
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

ahh christ here we go...been thinking modular myself constantly......
sigh...so i was thinking o coast or the pittsburgh modular lifeforms as a start.
but again i been lookin an shoppin,and i see an intelligel dixie,an....stop.
what is the consensus on ocoast vs pittsburgh?
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:15 AM   #14
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

The make noise system concrete looks like al ot of audio mangling fun to me...

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Old 05-18-2017, 12:53 PM   #15
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

I have hertz donut v2, makes some nice unique sounds, but I haven't played with it much. It can make both harsh and soft, beautiful sounds.

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Old 05-20-2017, 05:39 AM   #16
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Re: Getting started with Eurorack Modular

i use MI Braids and 2 Doepfer A-110 (supposed to be modelled after Moog Prodigy vco). SE Grainy Clampit sounds interesting, i'd love to get one.

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