"paradigm shift" modules from your experience

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mambo_bondage
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"paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by mambo_bondage » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:45 am

Allmighty wigglers,

could you share some "paradigm shift" modules that managed to change your approach, and perception about what can be done in eurorack?
Something that changed your approach to making music, "eye-opener" or "wow-I-never-thought-about-it-this-way" kind of modules?

Would be great to learn from your experiences.

Cheers!

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by mdoudoroff » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:42 am

Sinfonion: shift responsibility for pitch downstream even from sequencers, conform any voice you like to the same coordinated musical context/scale, and then put that all under voltage and/or performative control

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by luketeaford » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:49 am

Slew based modules like DUSG, SSG, Maths, Verbos Voltage Multistage, etc. Before I learned about these, I thought the kinds of envelopes on monosynths were really interesting, but once I got into modular these kinds of designs have formed the basis of my patching due to their renowned flexibility.

The other paradigm shifting thing, for me, is sample and hold. It's another big difference from monosynths where it is sometimes used as a shorthand for stepped random voltages, but actual S&H is much more useful in patching.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by mdoudoroff » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:02 am

I’ve got another one that’s so modest it almost sounds silly: mute switches

Once you have some good mute switches (DivKid Mutes, Joranalogue Switch4, etc) in your rack and you start using them on CV instead of audio—particularly trigger and gate streams—your relationship to patching changes drastically. Suddenly, you’re compartmentalizing portions of your patch, and previously relentless things are now sluices you activate intuitively.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by exper » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:12 am

The last modules to do this for me was the Tete/Tetrapad/Planar2. Completely changed the way I interact with my system.
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by Paranormal Patroler » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:21 am

Here are a few answers from the top of my head:
  • Comb filters. Are they a filter or a delay? Why do we use short delays to make Karplus-Strong patches? This whole approach made me realize how we mistakenly tend to think of filters as "something that cuts frequencies" more than we think of them as a space inside which sound lives, or instrument bodies that can resonate. To make things more specific: the Rossum Morpheus. Not so much a filter, as much as a mutable resonant body. You could also think of it as a convolver (I know it's not really a convolver).
  • Anything that translates one type of signal to another: trigger-to-CV, CV-to-trigger, CV-to-MIDI. Makes you reconsider your knowledge of how things are supposed to interact; they're not supposed to interact in any specific way, it's up to you to decide that. Case in point, and one kind of module that I really love, comparators. It's an If This Then That application in a module.
  • I fully concur with mdoudoroff's mention of switches, and I applaud that it they are so important they warrant being the only point raised in a post. I've been advocating for using more switches for a long time. Learning how to utilize switches is a must if you're interested in larger structures in your patching.

There's a lot more I can think of (e.g. breath controllers) but I think these are good points. Nice topic by the way!
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by cptnal » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:25 am

I used to think sample and hold was that funny R2D2 modulation setting that was fun, but of limited practical use. Once I understood what was going on it all opened up. Sample and hold forms the structure of a lot of how I patch now.
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by dcbb » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:46 am

Harmonaig.

I'm a sucker for melody and Harmonaig, accompanied by appropriate modules, can so much more than just generate nice backing chords. It's a ton of fun even on a small system like mine, especially for generative but still musical stuff. Arpeggios, (semi-) generative melodies, generative accompaniment for melodies played live on a keystep, feeding a 2 voice paraphonic Atlantis... It makes me realise just how cool music theory actually is.

Only downside is that it sparked desire long for a proper polysynth.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by mdoudoroff » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:59 am

dcbb wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:46 am
Only downside is that it sparked desire long for a proper polysynth.
Heh. A lot of the chatter on the Sinfonion thread is how to get the Befaco VCMC or MIDI THING properly converting pitches from the quantizer to MIDI for that exact purpose.

This segue’s into the general observation that various modules (the aforemented Befaco converters, Bitbox, Disting and other Expert Sleepers modules, Vector) are dramatically reframing the modular’s place simply by how they support MIDI. For a long long time, MIDI in the modular context was something you converted to CV, mainly so you could play your modular with a keyboard controller or from an external sequencer. That’s now all turned on its head.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by dcbb » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:02 am

mdoudoroff wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:59 am
dcbb wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:46 am
Only downside is that it sparked desire long for a proper polysynth.
Heh. A lot of the chatter on the Sinfonion thread is how to get the Befaco VCMC or MIDI THING properly converting pitches from the quantizer to MIDI for that exact purpose.

This segue’s into the general observation that various modules (the aforemented Befaco converters, Bitbox, Disting and other Expert Sleepers modules, Vector) are dramatically reframing the modular’s place simply by how they support MIDI. For a long long time, MIDI in the modular context was something you converted to CV, mainly so you could play your modular with a keyboard controller or from an external sequencer. That’s now all turned on its head.
This is such an interesting trend!

The engineer in me really rolls eyes at those "little computer" digital modules going DA with their data and then back AD for stuff to be processed in yet another digital module. Which is exactly what happens when you pair Sinfonion or Harmonaig with VCMC. For sound and modulation this approach is ripe with wonderful analoge possibilities, of course, but for pitch its going to be a constant source of drift, cost and trouble. I wonder whether we will be seeing MIDI processing modules feeding on and mangling digital MIDI data. Algorithmically the Sinfonion is relatively trivial, but according to its author the high quality converters are a huge cost factor. That MIDI expansion to the Sinfonion, it it's ever made, would be well received and make a lot of sense.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by starthief » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:16 am

I'll bypass my first few weeks with modular where it felt like I stepped into a new universe, discovered the joys of FM and LPGs and resonators etc. and just mention a couple of big revelations after I'd already been playing with it for a bit.


Matrix mixers. Not just for feedback patches, but specifically for converting sets of gates to freely tunable pitch intervals. It's not a technique that I use directly so much now but it changed how I think about sequencing

Marbles was an eye-opener for me. I previously had little love for random modulation sources, and in fact when I had Wogglebug, I used it mostly as a clock source and occasionally as a way to slew and complicate envelopes with the randomness dialed out completely. But with tighter quantization (rather than simply chromatic or scale-based) and a controllable degree of repetition/randomness -- and with multiple somewhat related outputs -- I realized how musical randomness can be.

16n Faderbank was huge for me as well. It changed pretty much the whole basis for how I "perform"/record music. I use it mostly as a hybrid DAW mix controller and CV controller, nicely unifying most of what I want to tweak. Occasionally I'll quantize a fader for pitch control, or have it select from a set of voltages to play through a sequence, or I'll use a few of the faders as a mini sequencer in Teletype, or use it to mix harmonics/partials in an additive patch. Using it led to more interest in controllers, and led me to getting first a Lyra-8, then an 0-Ctrl and Planar 2.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by AbundantChoice » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:42 am

For me it's the sub-sequencers in the Vector. When I was cross-shopping various sequencers I didn't pay that much attention to them and was more drawn by Vectors variable step lengths, part lengths, and chance ops. But about 3 months in I started exploring them and suddenly it -clicked-. It makes the # of 'steps' in a sequence kind of irrelevant; a simple 4 or 8 step sequence with some subsequence work on it can have more movement and complexity and melodic possibilities than a huge sequence from a different module. They're absolutely game changing for my work flow and I can't imagine ever using a sequencer (outside of a DAW) without them ever again.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by forrest » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:02 am

Chaos! Triple sloth, hyperchaos deluxe, the Hypster.. have become the most interesting type of modulation, as compared to static lfos... I often patch from chaos outwards now..

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by mambo_bondage » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:16 am

Awesome responses, so much new stuff that wasn't even on my radar before. Thank you!
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by Carrousel » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:29 am

Definitely Mutable Instruments Blinds for me. Four chained bipolar VCAs with clever normaling - it’s everything from four channels of offset AND attenuation to a couple of ring mods and a couple of CV polarisers, simple VC mixing of audio or CV...any combination of the above. It’s hugely increased my use of subtle modulation on everything, making a patch come alive. It gets rinsed in every patch. I can’t think of a better use of 12hp.
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by dcbb » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:26 am

Another one from me, probably a but surprising: 4ms WAV Recorder.

I don't have a home studio setup where a lot gear is pre-connected, just an Intellijel box which I use wherever I like, sometimes on the balcony when the sun sets. Being able to record whatever I'm currently doing with a single press of a button – no computers, no cables, no other gear – is awesome. Nothing I can think of has helped me so much in learning and developing what I'm doing like recoding and listening back, especially after a few weeks. This has really been transformative, and I can highly recommend to invest in a zero effort recording solution, whatever your setup is.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by Ebotronix » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:33 am

Ornament and Crime Firmware 1.3.2 with 100 scales ,much of the scales are microtonal!

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by Clumsy » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:39 am

Can I just say modular was my paradigm shift?

Specifc modules I'd mention...

Chord V2 for chords. And combined with switches for arpeggios and melodies. I made some music that I liked with the Chord V2 as the only sound source, and it really changed the type of music I wanted to make, but the limtations of that technique lead to...

The Sinfonion.

And a recent addition, the Vector sequencer (a pardigm shift in so many ways from the René 2 I was using previously).

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by tuj » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:28 pm

Klee.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by mambo_bondage » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:37 am

Yeach discovering that eurorack exists was really THE paradigm shift for me as well haha. For me a big „aha!” moment happened when I began to understand how cv recording works (it happened when I got mimetic sequent) but Im very new to all this madness :)

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by GryphonP3 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:53 am

Complex switches. All of my CV gets multed to sequential switches matrixes No matter what so I can use switched versions of it whenever i want with turing machine logical outputs driving the switching
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by paterursus » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:00 am

For me early on it was function generators. Understanding the links between envelopes, LFOs, slew, sequencers, and (at audio rate) oscillators was huge for me. I came from hardware synthesizers, so I had a very conventional, East-coast understanding of signal paths. I've had other moments since then, but I'm still a sucker for a good powerful function generator.
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by pugix » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:51 pm

Ciat-Lonbarde Cocoquantus represents Peter Blasser's "Post-70s" approach to analog modular. Got mine over 8 years ago and it changed the way I thought about making electronic sounds and led to my focus on self-playing patches. My attempts to emulate the five oscillator cluster in the Cocoquantus by patching Eurorack modules has turned up many fun patches.

One example with the Coco itself:

https://pugix.com/synth/five-triangles

Another by emulating with Eurorack modules:

https://pugix.com/synth/magic-wand/
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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by Ras Thavas » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:39 pm

The Cocoquantus is indeed a magical box in my experience. The Quantussy, the center 5 oscillator complex modulation source, is deep and musical. It should also be mentioned that the delays, while being lo-fi, sound great as well. I love to see both broken out into eurorack modules in the Mobenthey line.

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Re: "paradigm shift" modules from your experience

Post by Datum » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:08 pm

For me, something simple that really changed my approach was a Precision Adder. The ability to transpose sequences and create much longer sequences added a lot of depth into how I approach melodies in modular.

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