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Varigate and Voltage Block - Why do I need them?
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Author Varigate and Voltage Block - Why do I need them?
joesdeals
Varigate and Voltage Block - Why do I need them?

How will it improve a eurorack setup?
flashheart
You don't, and they won't - unless you think you have a specific use for them. seriously, i just don't get it
SinkWhole
Voltage block is kinda like Elektron P-locks for me. Good module for drawing automation. Not so good for precise melodic stuff. Pretty broad scope/uses overall though, down to the user to think of fun/interesting stuff to do with it. I wish it had gates built in though, I don’t have space on my rack for varigate confused Hasn’t been a total dealbreaker without them so far though.
Euro Trash Bazooka
Interested in this as well as I was considering them as my next module purchases.
uebl
I had a Varigate 4 (not the 4+) and ultimately found 8 steps too limiting for my personal workflow, even considered its clock division, probability and re-trigger capabilities. I still have a Voltage Block because it's fun to use at times. It isn't very precise, tho. Whenever I need precision I stick to my ER-101.

Why do you think you "need" them if you apparently don't need them? seriously, i just don't get it
SinkWhole
Euro Trash Bazooka wrote:
Interested in this as well as I was considering them as my next module purchases.


Have you considered the upcoming Five12 Vector? That module looks really good. Kind of best of both worlds from what I’ve seen so far. Hands on/quick but lots of precision and deep functionality too. Lots of I/O connectivity also.
Euro Trash Bazooka
SinkWhole wrote:
Euro Trash Bazooka wrote:
Interested in this as well as I was considering them as my next module purchases.


Have you considered the upcoming Five12 Vector? That module looks really good. Kind of best of both worlds from what I’ve seen so far. Hands on/quick but lots of precision and deep functionality too. Lots of I/O connectivity also.


I'm going to look it up right now. Thank you for the suggestion
jzwoopwoop
Interested to hear more about lack of precision for melodic purposes. I don’t have VB but have been eyeing it for a long time, have watched tons of YouTube videos, etc. Seems to me that melodic precision is possible since you can hold down a step and fine tune the note for that step. But again, that’s just my observation based on watching videos. Would love to hear more from actual users. Are you referring to the fact that the sliders perhaps make it tedious to dial in a particular note, since they cover such a range for a small throw?
hlprmnky
jzwoopwoop wrote:
Are you referring to the fact that the sliders perhaps make it tedious to dial in a particular note, since they cover such a range for a small throw?


In my (newbie) experience, that's exactly it. The Varigate 4+ has a feature where, once you've quantized a channel you can hold down the 'NOTE' button while moving the slider and the whole throw of the slider is constrained to the octave the existing note is already within. Having that same capability on the Voltage Block would be a huge QoL improvement for dialing in a specific melody.

As it is, I find that the effective Voltage Block workflow for "create a melody" is: set a scale on a channel, 'SHIFT' into it for recording even when you're not moving the slider, wait for the top of your 16 bars to come around and wiggle for 16 bars. Now you have something musical spread across a couple octaves, go ahead and "sculpt" it a bit by editing individual steps if you like.

Inputting a specific melody would be a lot more work, but would be possible if you have a good ear and the willingness to put in the time to pick the right 1/35 of the slider throw sixteen times in a row.

That said, I'm having a lot of fun and getting interesting results with the "throw wad of clay down, fuss at individual steps" method I describe, even being able to get some usable counter-melodies going between a couple of voices. What I find conceptually challenging about the VG/VB combination is that the interface and mode of working is really immediate and sort of begs to be used in an improvisational/live/building-a-track-up way, except for the part where you want to make fine adjustments. There, you're stuck making your theoretical audience listen to, in essence, the sound of an instrument being tuned up (possibly while the kick continues in the background if you have things set up that way).

I'm not sure I mean that as a criticism of the Voltage Block, however - I don't know that I could imagine something that does combine being in-rack, the immediacy of the VB's controls, and fine, performable control over melodies. What I've seen of the Stepper Acid (which I don't own) looks like it does all that but for one CV and one gate in the same HP as a VG4+ and VB combined. Same story with even the new-version Rene, you have nominally more control but over a quarter as many outputs in the same rack real estate.

As someone who is fairly committed to learning a small system (6U of 84hp) before expanding, I do think the VG4+ and Voltage Block is the best compromise for my needs, but the constraint I have to work with then is that quickly and accurately inputting a new melody line "live" is a challenge akin to playing a really hard Dance Dance Revolution level.
bemushroomed
I like them both but especially the Voltage Block could be so much more with just a few additions, e.g being able to play it using the buttons instead of the sliders, being able to transpose all channels up/down. It also doesn't save the scale you have selected which is really stupid.

It's a module that could have gone from "pretty nice" to a "must have" with a tiny bit more time in development.
jzwoopwoop
hlprmnky, thanks for the detailed reply. Very helpful info.
aroom
I have both. I like the VG probability concept a lot. But the lack of update on both modules is really annoying and I would be reconsidering if I had to choose a sequencer right now.

I’m a bit pissed about the way things are going with the development of the VG firmware and the inability to update the VB. The community has been addressing a lot of issues and good suggestions on how to improve both but all we got is a bouncing ball option that I really wouldn’t care of. Annoying.
artieTwelve
bemushroomed wrote:
the Voltage Block could be so much more with just a few additions


This. And the aforementioned lack of updates. I had both and sold them.
justchris86
I love my voltage block! there are for sure something it could do better but I'm a huge fan!
Dennis
i first thought of voltage block as a bigger (more complex and insanely deep) mutable instruments frames.

i used frames with 2 multiples to change my patch with just a knob turn.

now i use voltage block for this use. much more control and more options and it has presets wich are easy to recall

2 weeks ago i got the variate 8+ and now i have more presets / banks to store different patches. Huge improvement and huge amount of fun

kinda like elektron machines (wich i use pretty much all of them for the last 7 years) as mentioned but i find the modules (voltage block!) so fast, easy and intuitive to use and play especially for live playing.

very much recommended hadn't that much fun with my 6U case before!

i just need a way to get more use of the voltage block as pitch sequencer, as if i trigger a gate from the variate 8+ sometimes if the clock is fast, the voltage block sends 1-2-3 or more notes in one gate.......
anyone know a solution (besides built in clock divider)
Misk
Dennis wrote:
i just need a way to get more use of the voltage block as pitch sequencer, as if i trigger a gate from the variate 8+ sometimes if the clock is fast, the voltage block sends 1-2-3 or more notes in one gate.......
anyone know a solution (besides built in clock divider)


pretty sure it's a known VG8 firmware bug. I had installed 2.0b11 and I dug the bouncing ball feature, as it's not blatant, more subtle and organic—but was having similar issues with the VG8 and VB not syncing consistently so I've rolled back to 1.0.11 and it's working for now.

the VG8 is incredible, but the documentation is inconsistent. I've got a Kyma system so I'm used to that though This is fun!
Skamgdi
I would say the guys saying making melodies is hard on VB are wrong. It takes some getting used to but im finding it very simple. instagram.com/king_ali.exe check out my instagram for some examples. im using VG4+ and VB combo and loving it. now when i need a specific melody i will just use a midi kbd but for more of that OMG thats sounds good and i couldnt have played that i go to VB.


also for the update guys i have a question. would an update really help you make better stuff? doubt it.. but hey im not on the i need a firmware update now bus. i buy a product and try to use it to max and also do major research before so seems that VG or VB just wasnt for you.
aroom
Quote:
I would say the guys saying making melodies is hard on VB are wrong.


Quote:
now when i need a specific melody i will just use a midi kbd


you've made your point MY ASS IS BLEEDING


Quote:
would an update really help you make better stuff?


yes it would. you like it like that? good for you. when I exchanged emails with Paul at Malekkos and he agreed with me about some behavior who should be implemented and aren't, you know it's not just me being silly.

you can see it the way you want, but for me it's kind of a waist of energy to build such a module and don't plan to update it at some point. I believe that the community is giving some really good pointers on how to improve the combo. I'm used to the open source aspect of hacking and getting more from what you first got. It's also a sustained philosophy who could allow us to consume less by improving our hardware.

but you're right, if I knew that Malekko wouldn't go on this direction, I would have shopped elsewhere. Going Monome I guess.
JoeFuture
bemushroomed wrote:
I like them both but especially the Voltage Block could be so much more with just a few additions, e.g being able to play it using the buttons instead of the sliders...


Not disagreeing with your overall point, but this is exactly how I "play" my Voltage Block. I don't clock it, and I press the buttons to switch between steps to transpose another sequencer. Works like a charm for me!
bemushroomed
JoeFuture wrote:
bemushroomed wrote:
I like them both but especially the Voltage Block could be so much more with just a few additions, e.g being able to play it using the buttons instead of the sliders...


Not disagreeing with your overall point, but this is exactly how I "play" my Voltage Block. I don't clock it, and I press the buttons to switch between steps to transpose another sequencer. Works like a charm for me!


Yeah that's a pretty cool way to use it smile
Cyber-N Powers
aroom wrote:
I have both. I like the VG probability concept a lot. But the lack of update on both modules is really annoying and I would be reconsidering if I had to choose a sequencer right now.

I’m a bit pissed about the way things are going with the development of the VG firmware and the inability to update the VB. The community has been addressing a lot of issues and good suggestions on how to improve both but all we got is a bouncing ball option that I really wouldn’t care of. Annoying.

I have had both for a year now. Not planning to sell, the concept is great and they suit the way I work, but firmware updates are very rare. Although there is new beta firmware available, there are bugs/issues as reported elsewhere on this forum which you should assume may never be fixed before you decide to purchase.
theelectricyouth
I've both the vg8+ and VB, was also using the VB for transition but to be honest, I find it extremely fiddly and difficult as some mentioned to use it as a melodic sequencer, contrary to some, I actually like using the vg8+ for that and have decided that I want to sell the VB and just keep just the vg8.
theelectricyouth
Cyber-N Powers wrote:

I have had both for a year now. Not planning to sell, the concept is great and they suit the way I work, but firmware updates are very rare. Although there is new beta firmware available, there are bugs/issues as reported elsewhere on this forum which you should assume may never be fixed before you decide to purchase.


Where can I find the beta?
Ears
theelectricyouth wrote:
Cyber-N Powers wrote:

I have had both for a year now. Not planning to sell, the concept is great and they suit the way I work, but firmware updates are very rare. Although there is new beta firmware available, there are bugs/issues as reported elsewhere on this forum which you should assume may never be fixed before you decide to purchase.


Where can I find the beta?

It's here: https://malekkoheavyindustry.com/varigate-8-firmware-updates/

Personally I'm holding out for the final release since VG8 is the heart of my rig these days and the balance of bugs fixed vs bugs added doesn't look good to me.
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