MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

My Eurorack Journey
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author My Eurorack Journey
loafer
I wanted to get into Eurorack for quite a while now but I wasn't sure in which direction it should go. I have finally decided that I want to build a full synthesizer that is portable and also has some internal effects for when I am not in my studio.

As a case I want to use the Waldorf kb37 because it gives me a lot of features that I would have otherwise bought as seperate modules (midi in, keyboard, arpeggiator, line out).



The case gives me 107HP, so I tried to fit in everything I need for a synth that would be fun to play but complex enough to have some fun experimenting with sound design. This is what I ended up with:





It was really hard for me to decide between some modules because of the size limitations and because this is my first attempt to plan a Eurorack I wanted to ask if I was missing anything obvious and what you guys generally think about this setup. Thanks!
NotHerbert
It looks like your concept is to make a monosynth voice, and you have everything you need for that. The only thing I would point out is that if you like mod wheel vibrato, you're not going to be able to do that. The 2hp Mix or the Maths won't be accurate enough to mix the LFO with the keyboard pitch CV without throwing off the tracking.

You could trade the buffmult for a Mutable Links. That would give you a buffmult, a unity mixer, and a 2-in-2-out precision adder/mult in 4hp, but you'd have to sacrifice 2hp somewhere else.
Illiac
If memory serves, there is a digital LFO you can tie to the mod wheel onboard the KB37.
Shakespeare
You might consider a smaller DSP option than the Erica module... it's lovely, but you could fit several other modules in that same space. For instance, you could fit a Disting, an Erica Pico DSP, and a uClouds in that same space.
NotHerbert
Illiac wrote:
If memory serves, there is a digital LFO you can tie to the mod wheel onboard the KB37.


Really? I admit I don't know much about KB37, but I did look up the product description before replying. Something like that would certainly make sense, so I wanted to check before saying anything, but I didn't see any mention of it. Anyway, if you're right, then problem solved (or problem never existed).
loafer
NotHerbert wrote:
It looks like your concept is to make a monosynth voice, and you have everything you need for that. The only thing I would point out is that if you like mod wheel vibrato, you're not going to be able to do that. The 2hp Mix or the Maths won't be accurate enough to mix the LFO with the keyboard pitch CV without throwing off the tracking.

You could trade the buffmult for a Mutable Links. That would give you a buffmult, a unity mixer, and a 2-in-2-out precision adder/mult in 4hp, but you'd have to sacrifice 2hp somewhere else.


That is a good point, thank you. I have now swapped out the Intellijel Buff Mult and the 2hp Mix for a Mutable Links. When I want to mix waveforms at different volumes I could still use the mix output if the Quad VCA.

NotHerbert wrote:
Illiac wrote:
If memory serves, there is a digital LFO you can tie to the mod wheel onboard the KB37.


Really? I admit I don't know much about KB37, but I did look up the product description before replying. Something like that would certainly make sense, so I wanted to check before saying anything, but I didn't see any mention of it. Anyway, if you're right, then problem solved (or problem never existed).


I read through the complete manual of the kb37 and also didn't find any mention of it. But with the Mutable Links this should not be a problem anymore.

Shakespeare wrote:
You might consider a smaller DSP option than the Erica module... it's lovely, but you could fit several other modules in that same space. For instance, you could fit a Disting, an Erica Pico DSP, and a uClouds in that same space.


Yeah I see your point. I was thinking about that as well, but I just liked the effects selection of the Black Hole DSP so much. I am planning on adding a second case later anyway where I wanted a full sized Clouds. For now I think I will stay with this DSP module.
BlinkyLights
Those short faders on the dual ADSR are kind of fiddly, fwiw.

I used to want one of those modules until I used it.

There are many Envelope options, and many are either smaller HP, don't have those short faders, and/or have more features.

All.other comments aside, I'd explore other options in that area.

WMD/SSF, Frequency Central, etc.

Fwiw, your proposed setup looks like a basic, fairly expensive, mono synth you've pieced together, and that's certainly fine, but many also have commented over the years (here and elsewhere) that it's one area where people new to eurorack make "mistakes" often and it has lead many to be disappointed later, in that - in the end it's a pricey way to go about a basic use case, so be very sure of what you're getting yourself into and what your goals really are. It's only going to do "so much" when complete.

Something like Dominion1 with an H9 would be one similar comparison, cost and feature wise, and even that combo is less expensive than this. Something to consider.

I have a basic mono voice in my eurorack rig, too, fwiw, based on a Roland 510, but it wasn't very expensive and is but a small part of the whole.

Buy whatever you like, of course, but it's a little like building a BMW from scratch at 2x the $, so proceed with that in mind.

Good luck.

smile
loafer
BlinkyLights wrote:
Those short faders on the dual ADSR are kind of fiddly, fwiw.

I used to want one of those modules until I used it.

There are many Envelope options, and many are either smaller HP, don't have those short faders, and/or have more features.

All.other comments aside, I'd explore other options in that area.

WMD/SSF, Frequency Central, etc.



I guess before I buy any of it, I will drive to Berlin and visit Schneidersladen. It seems that they have most of my desired modules in stock, so I would try if I like the sliders or not. Thanks for mentioning it.

BlinkyLights wrote:
Fwiw, your proposed setup looks like a basic, fairly expensive, mono synth you've pieced together, and that's certainly fine, but many also have commented over the years (here and elsewhere) that it's one area where people new to eurorack make "mistakes" often and it has lead many to be disappointed later, in that - in the end it's a pricey way to go about a basic use case, so be very sure of what you're getting yourself into and what your goals really are. It's only going to do "so much" when complete.

Something like Dominion1 with an H9 would be one similar comparison, cost and feature wise, and even that combo is less expensive than this. Something to consider.

I have a basic mono voice in my eurorack rig, too, fwiw, based on a Roland 510, but it wasn't very expensive and is but a small part of the whole.

Buy whatever you like, of course, but it's a little like building a BMW from scratch at 2x the $, so proceed with that in mind.

Good luck.

smile


I thought about that part of your post a lot. The price point of this system was putting me off for a while. I own quite a few digital and analog synths, but what is always bothering me is that at some point in tweaking them I think "damn I would really like to use the envelope to control this parameter" or "why can't I use the LFO to control two things at the same time". Coming from a software development background I get really annoyed with closed systems and I love to thoroughly understand the process I am working with. To some degree synths are still a bit of a black box for me. I know the basics about how they work, but in most of my synths I find it really hard to exactly grasp the signal pathway and why it currently sounds exactly the way it does.

What I expect from this setup is, that I can lie down on a blanket in my garden with it and spend hours and hours meditatively exploring the sonic possibilities and tiny nuances of modulation with a pair of high end headphones. It is in no way intended to be an economic option to replace any other gear or to get a cheap monosynth. I want to learn a lot more about synthesis and use this as an entry point to the eurorack standard. From experience with other gear I am pretty sure my rack will over time grow way beyond this case. In the beginning I would like to have a system that behaves a bit more "predictable" than some other racks I've seen and can perform one thing well, being a monosynth voice.

Thanks a lot for your post, it helped me a lot with clarifying my expectations. smile
BlinkyLights
Awesome. Best of luck.
loafer
My research continued for a while, but I finally bought my first Eurorack modules. w00t

It turned out very different from what I planned in the beginning, but I'm very happy with the system.

I realized I definitely needed more space because my wishlist is growing fast. help

Here is my current setup:



From top to bottom, left to right:

    Strymon Mobius
    Strymon Timeline
    Strymon Bigsky
    Intellijel Metropolis
    Mutable Instruments Grids
    Intellijel Audio Interface 2
    Mutable Instruments Marbles
    Mutable Instruments Rings
    Intellijel Atlantis
    EricaSynths Pico DSP
    2hp Verb
    2hp Kick
    2hp Snare
    2hp Hat
    Mutable Music Things Ears
    Intellijel Mixup


The cases are a Doepfer Low Cost and a Waldorf KB37.

Thanks to all of you for helping me getting into Eurorack, this forum has helped me a lot in learing about modular and synthesis in general. This is fun!

Looking forward to buying a few "boring" modules now: VCAs, attenuverter, LFOs.
Sandrine
Ha, I like this Waldorf kb37!
But I like polyphony, so what if I put in a bunch of SDS_VCO's (that would be my first choice) to get away from ADSR's etc. and mixer/filter/FX modules, how would I get all of those CV's?
Is the MIDI actually coming from the keyboard? ..So I could use a Sequarallel to get the CV's for the VCO's
lauprellim
Wonderful little mini synth! Haven't seen too many Waldorfs, this is an appealing form.
deftinwulf
The KB37 was initially my dream to break into eurorack, but the price tag plus 107hp space not being enough for me caused me to go with a Mantis and use an external keyboard.

Still really do like the format, though. If money was no object, it would be nice to make a little live jamming rig out of one. 107hp of a synth voice or 2 with the rest performance oriented modules... hmmm.....
EATyourGUITAR
Atlantis and metropolis is like a party right there. You can put those in a little box and it is still good.
doublestewart
I go back an forth on the KB37, there are cheaper ways of accomplishing something similar in the way of keyboard control of a modular system, but I really like the design of that case. A nice all in one package is just always more appealing and easier to pick up and play for me.
I guess haven't pulled the trigger yet because I like to use modular as an opportunity to get away from the typical way of playing synths I grew up with. But if you're looking for a middle ground between keyboads and modular, what you're working with seems like a great start.
I think the ability to use the buy/sell market and swap out modules to have a continuously morphing synth is awesome.
loafer
Sandrine wrote:
Ha, I like this Waldorf kb37!
But I like polyphony, so what if I put in a bunch of SDS_VCO's (that would be my first choice) to get away from ADSR's etc. and mixer/filter/FX modules, how would I get all of those CV's?
Is the MIDI actually coming from the keyboard? ..So I could use a Sequarallel to get the CV's for the VCO's


The keyboard gives you pitch and gate cv via the jacks on the front panel (left side). Default is monophonic, but you can switch to a duophonic mode. Then you get two different pitch cv outputs but still only one gate as far as I know (I haven't used duophonic mode yet). But the keyboard itself actually supports full polyphony, you have midi in, out and through on the back of the case and also usb midi (i sometimes use it in ableton). You could just connect the midi out on the back to a polyphonic midi-to-vc module and get more notes.



What I found best about this case was that I have simultaneous cv for pitch, gate, aftertouch, velocity, modwheel, pitchbend and sensor input (a jack on the back that I use for an expression pedal). That is such a high level of live expression possibilities that I managed to play a lot more organically than before. And with the Mutable Music Things Ear I added one more layer of expression, I use it often to be able to hit the side of my case for accents or percussive sounds by processing the sound of the hit with rings.
robotsounds
BlinkyLights wrote:
Those short faders on the dual ADSR are kind of fiddly, fwiw.

I used to want one of those modules until I used it.



For what its worth I really like the Intellijel Dual ADSR, the sliders give it a different feel from other ADSR modules in my rack.
loafer
robotsounds wrote:
BlinkyLights wrote:
Those short faders on the dual ADSR are kind of fiddly, fwiw.

I used to want one of those modules until I used it.



For what its worth I really like the Intellijel Dual ADSR, the sliders give it a different feel from other ADSR modules in my rack.


I guess they are the same as on the Atlantis. I found them quite pleasing to use. The only thing that was a little difficult was to dial in a very short attack time. I wanted just a tiny bit to avoid this "click" sound. But after a while I noticed that I could use it much more accurately with two fingers so it's fine now. hihi
Severed head
I never found those sliders to seem to toy like either.
I might like sliders to be a bit more firm in the the resistance of the slide but these were so loose that they felt like toy that would break.

the most fiddliest cheapest feeling knobs I ever felt were on a tyme sefari mkii.
those pots literally feel like they're gonna break off every time you turn them.
then I sold that and got a another TS and all but one of the knobs were changed to a higher quality pot.
MindMachine
Nice score.

I played a kb37 at Perfect Circuit that was filled with AJH Mini modules. It was a spine shaking experience. With the right module choices it can be a complete instrument or with an expanded set-up, a great controller. The build was excellent.

I would recommend a Ladik L-127 Delayed LFO for a keyboard like this. Makes it very expressive. I love the ARP 3620 keyboard with it's delayed LFO (and Momentary switch) that makes it so much more than a straight keyboard controller. The Ladik is very affordable and versatile.
BlinkyLights
robotsounds wrote:
BlinkyLights wrote:
Those short faders on the dual ADSR are kind of fiddly, fwiw.

I used to want one of those modules until I used it.



For what its worth I really like the Intellijel Dual ADSR, the sliders give it a different feel from other ADSR modules in my rack.

Right on... smile
unclebastard
I'm building a duophonic synth in my KB37, specifically to take advantage of the second pitch out, with a stack cable splitting the gate out so both voices trigger together. One voice is the SE Tonestar 2600, and the other will be Plaits>Ripples>Frequency Central System X ADSR> 2hp VCA. For modulation I have an Octocontroller and Maths, with Disting Mk4, ADE50 VCA, Malekko 8Nu8r providing further utility, and Radio Music for a further sound source. Just got to save up for the Plaits, ADSR and VCA.
loafer
The gear acquisition has continued further. hihi

I wanted to share a small system that I built to play while lying on the couch. It is quite fun and I enjoy how the constraints of a smaller system are actually helping my creative process.



I play this as something between a guitar and a drum by routing the contact mic to rings and selecting the note with the tetrapad. The disting is mostly used as a ping pong delay and the morphagene provides some background texture and also some looping and recording for use in the DAW.

What do you think could be added/exchanged/improved?
Schrank
Something to modulate rings and morphagene maybe? I don't know how tetrapad works but I guess if you use it as keyboard there are not much lfo's left for use. There is a 1u version of ornament & crime that could be useful in your system, it can be a quad lfo and many other things.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group