The Hardware Megathread


well I slept all afternoon, that was unfortunate. Back to arranging this song I’ve been working on with fresh ears I guess? lol…

Using the 18i20 SPDIF is kind of a pita, I have to switch its timing from internal to SPDIF and the Proteus 2000 has to be on for sound to work at all in this configuration. I don’t remember having to do this with another interface, but it’s not a tragedy. Definitely not leaving a two decade old module on all the time my computer is lol. I don’t want to have a display change forced onto me :eyes:

I figured out what I’m doing with some of the other pieces of gear that don’t fit on the desk. My old IKEA Expedit (KALLAX is the modern equivalent) 4x4 is serving as a bookshelf and gear display. I have an IKEA Norden table that lives in that area, it’s basically my “do everything” table since it can be folded away into a smallish package. Projects, crafts, legos, coloring, and with a small mixer like the Bluebox, just pull a few pieces off and connect them up for a quick jam. Or more likely, put them away to do other things on it XD

The RD-6 and TD-3 occupy a shelf just about perfectly together :stuck_out_tongue:


edit second-guessing myself and none of that matters much anyway…

In more pertinent news, how do companies manage to sell “presets” for analog monosynths with no patch memory? :eyes: do they send you pictures of the panel? lol…


I’ll be off to Ikea in the next 2/3 weeks, new house will need lots of stuff and this might be the chance to upgrade our sofa as well!

You can’t have a studio or a workspace without Ikea.


Honestly I looked at plinky and my thoughts were “its like a less easy to use version of shoom” (iPad app) , but then if you have an iPad you need to be spending your time on Drambo and Koala anyway :stuck_out_tongue:


I really can’t figure out what this means, other than what seems obvious:

“3.5 mm / 1/8” TRS dual-mono output”

Meanwhile the SKULPT has a stereo headphone out. I know when I try to sample or record the SKULPT, no matter what cable I use it only has one output. TRS, TS, TRS to TS splitter… it seems to mean “it has a mono output, and you can use whatever cable you want. Mono output”

Meanwhile my MFB 522 needs a special cable with a resistor in it to take the stereo output and then combine it into a mono signal.

You’re gonna come back to a sea of purple everything :smiley: lol have fun with house!


I use these for the NTS, not that brand, but looks exactly the same, generic I think.

After a quick look, it seems the SKULPT is very much like the Volca FM, while it is polyphonic it only outputs a mono signal, so what you here in your headphones is a duel mono signal (same signal to both ears), so the cable above in the headphone jack of the SKULPT should do the same as your headphones. On the Volva FM I usually have a 1/8 to 1/4 mono cable as I use it mainly for bass, but If I use the 1/8 to duel mono, I can send the signal to left and right. This can give you greater control over the placing of the signal in the mix than with balance, or you can send each signal to a different FX (in my case pedals usually) and position each in the mix at different places and volumes.


I think this relates to my previous issue of splitter cables because using one I only ever got one signal out of the jack on the SKULPT. I did find a cable like that one to try next time, though, at least.


It does state in the specs it has a duel mono output, so it should work through the line out.
I have 2 of these type cables, one 5ft and one 3ft. No problems with the signal and handy should you find yourself short of a cable to make a pair. just plug it in the headphone socket. Also if your left or right line output starts playing up. The thing I like most about these cables is they’re braided.


So, help me feel better (or worse) about my sound design skills.

How is your presets-2-song ratio?

As in, how many of your presets end up used in a track you make?

Mine is quite low, maybe out of 10 presets/samples only 1 or 2 are good enough to be used somewhere.


I often go too far sometimes get ahead of myself on sample mangling and mess things up. Or the cool sample I recorded doesn’t sound good in context with, well, everything else that I’ve grown attached to sound-wise and gets scrapped. It happens.

Or if I start a track using a pre-made preset and then make other tracks and I’ve been at it for so long that now that preset is the sound for the track and the thought of changing it is a nope to my brain. That happens more in DAW/plugin-land. Hardware that doesn’t save presets, on the other hand, well, I probably use too many sounds I shouldn’t because I’m lazy. Effects for the win :eyes:


I don’t spend a lot of time creating and archiving presets. I tend to pull up and init patch when I need something in a composition and sort of just create them as I go.

Clearly, this approach only works if one knows what they’re after. If I’m “looking” for a tone because I’m not sure what a tune needs I’ll often do some listening in the preset pool, honestly though, if I’m stuck on a track I’ll often hit up Beatport or Spotify and do some listening to hear what other artists have done.


My plan was jasper’s and plywoood. Still might be able to pull that off, since they have so many attachments (among them a monitor arm), so I think it’s really possible to set one up as a computer desk - my idea is a strengthened tier at desk level, then one level higher up which my monitors can hang from, then on top of that I could have at least one synth that I can just stand up and use, plus speaker stands attached to either side (or maybe just floorstands - all kind of a moot point as I still use headphones 99% of the time - I think they do a headphone holder - if not I could just use a spare holder piece). Unfortunately I need another stand or two and some more space to try that idea out.


For me it’s usually a matter of time available. Little time is for presets and sampling, more time is writing tracks.

I sometimes just dial in what I need and sample as I go, but that’s something I can only do with the Microfreak as I know it quite well.


I guess I typically “hear” a part before I start composing, and the sound design is sort of dictated by the part I have in my head.


Are you telling me that doing things and see what happens is not the only way to build a track?
Get out of here!


I almost never hear a sound in my head. I set out to “make cool sounds” and if it inspires a track, so be it. I essentially have an expensive collection of sound makers that I occasionally happen to make songish things with.

That said, I do gravitate to certain sound types a lot, especially for drums and bass sounds. I like more “thudding” or “knocking” kicks (I guess I’m not a huge 909 kick fan? I’ve wanted a Jomox MBase for the longest time tbh), basses either something bouncy/punchy or super deep/thicc synth basses that are basically low-pitched pads. Ironically I don’t have much GAS for Moog anything though I wanted a Taurus Minitaur once upon a time.


For me, hardware often fulfills the “happy accident” role in my sound design. The tactile knob-twisting leads to all sorts of inspiring things that become the basis of tracks, and I’ve collected and built a bunch of equipment with that in mind.

Once I get the base hammered out and in place, I usually move over to ITB to layer and add things because I appreciate the precision and tools it brings. At that point I’m doing what Chase is talking about - trying to get the thing I hear in my head that compliments what the hardware has come up with. I just don’t have the patience to try and dial in a very specific sound on hardware unless I immediately know exactly how to do it, and most of the hardware I have isn’t really focused on that sort of sound design.

tl;dr - for me, hardware for experimentation and inspiration, ITB for all the other bits.


I do love happy accidents. That’s my favorite part, really. The grin I feel when something magical or fun happens that I didn’t set out to make happen. But it does happen, and it’s good, and I like it, etc. I definitely feel that way when exploring a new synth especially, or new effect, or combine things in new or weird ways and it just suddenly works but in a way I never expected.

Eurorack is a very expensive way for this experience XD


I feel like I’m being too hard on myself and that’s leading me to enjoy music less, I kinda need to get back to the mental space of doing this because I like it, not because I need to make song that 3 people will listen to.
After all, I didn’t get into electronic music because of the music but because I saw someone playing a groovebox and it was a revelation.

Which is why despite all I still have my mc-505.


Those old MCs are pretty powerful iirc. I don’t think that one can use the SRX or JV expansion cards like the MC-909 can they?

I try not to beat myself up about not having a lot of stuff for people to listen to. I’ve noticed people keep asking to hear my “music” and im just like “Ummmmmm…” as I really don’t have a lot to show for all this gear other than a better mental mood after I’ve spent a while goofing off making sounds and drumbeats XD Software makes me pretty happy, too, though, but the idea of having something in my hands to play with is more fun at times. And I can’t (usually) save the results as easily.