Eurorack system - How to start?
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Old 16-01-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
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Icon5 Eurorack system - How to start?

I would like to start this adventure with sound synthesis. I've never had any synth. My friend recommended to me to start at the Eurorack system, what do you think, is it a good idea?

You tell me what should I do first (except learning sound synthesis of the books), what to buy?

thanks,

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Old 16-01-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

If you want to get into modular synthesis and you have given this a lot of thought, and know without a shadow of a doubt that you will be dedicated to this pursuit for many years, then by all means start with a Eurorack.

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Old 16-01-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

I do have an Eurorack system, it is great, I really love it but be aware of a few things:
- For more than half of the money I could have bought a DSI Evolver, that would have given me more voices, more modulation capabilities, some effects and more possibilities than my current modular;
- It is a money sink, the initial expenses for the case and the first modules are quite steep, Eurorack modules are more affordable, but expenisve anyway, so you're in it for the long run;
- Muffwiggler forum should be your second home, plenty of information and a great 2nd hand market;
- Plan carefully, modularplanner.co.uk is your friend, make sure you buy little by little, there's plenty to learn;
- Be aware that there's no such thing as tempo-synced lfo/envelopes (Unless you buy a dedicated module);


And last, but should have been first, Eurorack is no place to start, make yourself a favour, save some money and get something like a Korg MS 2000, good synthesiser with plenty of knobs.
Or any hardware synth, but make sure you have shitloads of hands-on control, not like a Korg MicroKorg, nice and great sounding, but not really immediate for a beginner.

As an alternative there are some nice semi-modular synths (compatible with eurorack format and much cheaper) have a look at the MFB Kraftzwerg [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
, it the closest you can get to a full monophonic modular for less than half the price.

To be honest, for as much as I love my modular rig sometimes I'm considering getting rid of it and get a few hardware synths instead (Evolver and Novation Nova), just because integration is a real bitch.

I'm also considering splashing out 350 on a new module...

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Old 17-01-2012, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

I always thought if MS 2000 is any good though. Sounds kind of flat, dunno. Then again, some videos seem good. Not sure if bad gear or bad perfomances. I don't know if its youtube quality or not, but on some videos, when there is like noise, it sounds really digital. Like it has some digital noise in noise, ugh.

I would go with Novation Supernova, but if you can already afford a modular, get a Korg Radias instead.

Last edited by radiowaves; 17-01-2012 at 07:31 AM..

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Old 17-01-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

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Originally Posted by radiowaves View Post
I always thought if MS 2000 is any good though. Sounds kind of flat, dunno. Then again, some videos seem good. Not sure if bad gear or bad perfomances. I don't know if its youtube quality or not, but on some videos, when there is like noise, it sounds really digital. Like it has some digital noise in noise, ugh.

I would go with Novation Supernova, but if you can already afford a modular, get a Korg Radias instead.
It sounds pretty good on every HORSE the Band record. :V

IMO of course bluh bluh.

and i will second that a modular is no place to start learning synthesis, unless you literally have a few grand you can just drop on that shit without a second thought. if this is you go for it, if not then listen to Auto.

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Old 17-01-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

hardware is a pain in the arse, analogue hardware is a huge pain in the arse, modular hardware is a humongous fucking earth-devouring pain in the arse

Immediate hands-on control is awesome and opens creative doors and all, but unfortunately you want to use your synths in songs and shit... which is such a fucking nightmare that people end up sampling their modular rig and sequencing everything in the box...which negates the fun of immediate hands-on control.

EDIT: unless you are a keyboard player in a band or something
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Old 16-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

I have a total noob questions about modular synths.

What determines how many voices/the polyphony of a modular synth?

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Old 16-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post
I have a total noob questions about modular synths.

What determines how many voices/the polyphony of a modular synth?
You will need a polyphonic midi to cv interface and multiple oscillators.
On Muffwiggler I often found two answer to this question:
- Polyphony depends on the number of oscillators;
- Polyphony depends on the number of "parts" (Osc to filter to vca).

I see the point of both; 3 independent oscillators will still give you a chord, but 3 independent oscillators going to 3 independent filters (with the same settings) and vca, would give a different result, closer to a chord played on a digital synth...

Last edited by Automageddon; 16-05-2012 at 02:56 PM..

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Old 16-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

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Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post
I have a total noob questions about modular synths.

What determines how many voices/the polyphony of a modular synth?
I believe it's just how many voices are actually built into the oscillators you use.

I'm not exactly super experienced so i may be wrong, but pretty sure some mono oscs allow you to chain them up for polyphony.

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Old 16-05-2012, 04:20 PM   #10
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

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Originally Posted by Automageddon View Post
You will need a polyphonic midi to cv interface and multiple oscillators.
On Muffwiggler I often found two answer to this question:
- Polyphony depends on the number of oscillators;
- Polyphony depends on the number of "parts" (Osc to filter to vca).

I see the point of both; 3 independent oscillators will still give you a chord, but 3 independent oscillators going to 3 independent filters (with the same settings) and vca, would give a different result, closer to a chord played on a digital synth...
Excellent. Thank you.

Sometimes I toy with the idea of investing in a modular system, but I just can't see spending the money for a giant monosynth. The basis Doepfer system is like $2000, and I guess it would only be a monosynth if I understand correctly. That seems insane to me.

Is that right?

the A-100 Basic System 2, with the MIDI module:

[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


In all honesty, I think I'd rather spend the $500 on a Minibrute, and the other $1500 on a Nord 2 Rack and something else.

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Old 16-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #11
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

For a starter (and I will get this once I have the time/space/calm to get back to modular) I reccommend the Kraftzwrg [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
.
I had the MFB dual ADSR and dual LFOs and they were very good (knobs didn't "feel" nice but it's a minor gripe), so I assume the remaining modules would be the same.
For all-in-one there's also Analogue Solution's Vostok or Tereshkova.

I sort-of agree with you on the Minibrute and Nord (I might prefer something else to the Nord) but what I noticed is that with a modular I was more inspired to try new routing, that is what I miss most of it.
It would have worked so nicely with Maschine, too bad they never had a chance to meet...

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Old 16-05-2012, 04:51 PM   #12
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Automageddon View Post
For a starter (and I will get this once I have the time/space/calm to get back to modular) I reccommend the Kraftzwrg [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
.
I had the MFB dual ADSR and dual LFOs and they were very good (knobs didn't "feel" nice but it's a minor gripe), so I assume the remaining modules would be the same.
For all-in-one there's also Analogue Solution's Vostok or Tereshkova.

I sort-of agree with you on the Minibrute and Nord (I might prefer something else to the Nord) but what I noticed is that with a modular I was more inspired to try new routing, that is what I miss most of it.
It would have worked so nicely with Maschine, too bad they never had a chance to meet...
I've had my eye on that Kraftzwerg for a few day, thanks to you!
And I see your point about the ability to experiment more.

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Old 16-05-2012, 05:00 PM   #13
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

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Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post
I've had my eye on that Kraftzwerg for a few day, thanks to you!
And I see your point about the ability to experiment more.
I also strongly reccomend the Muffwiggler forum [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
that might actually give you an idea of how far the rabbit hole reaches, just have a look at the "pictures of your euro setup" thread.

Plus they have an excellent buy/sell/trade section.

For some weird reason, most people have pics of their cats or of cats as avatars, so if you're not into felines, you might feel out of place...

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Old 16-05-2012, 05:08 PM   #14
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

Crazy. Have you heard much music from the dudes on that forum?

I don't think I can go down that path, at least to that extent.

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Old 11-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #15
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

Quick question:

So I'm getting the Minibrute. This has CV out/in for controlling modular stuff. It also has an audio in for running other hardware through the filter.

Let's say that I wanted to add an additional OSC using a small module, controlling the gate/pitch with the Minibrute, and routing its audio out through the audio in of the Minibrute.

What are the basic things I would need to do this?

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Old 11-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #16
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

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this may be of interest. it certainly is for me.

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Old 11-07-2012, 06:49 PM   #17
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

The happy ending kit is certainly the cheapest case and power solution.
Remember that if you also want to control the gate of the module you'll need an adsr and a vca.
so you'd have:
Minibrute pitch out-> VCO ->VCA
Minibrute gate out-> ADSR ->VCA
Unless you get something like a doepfer A-111-5 which is the rack version of the Dark Energy.

I'm sure there are other modules with a basic vca/envelope, I can't think of any though...

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Old 11-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #18
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Automageddon View Post
The happy ending kit is certainly the cheapest case and power solution.
Remember that if you also want to control the gate of the module you'll need an adsr and a vca.
so you'd have:
Minibrute pitch out-> VCO ->VCA
Minibrute gate out-> ADSR ->VCA
Unless you get something like a doepfer A-111-5 which is the rack version of the Dark Energy.

I'm sure there are other modules with a basic vca/envelope, I can't think of any though...
Very cool, thanks.

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Old 13-07-2012, 08:31 PM   #19
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post
I have a total noob questions about modular synths.

What determines how many voices/the polyphony of a modular synth?
How much money you have...

and what the others said

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Old 13-07-2012, 08:39 PM   #20
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Re: Eurorack system - How to start?

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Originally Posted by taylorfrank View Post
How much money you have...
Yeah!

I found that out after some research, and realized that I will never, ever make that kind of money!

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