The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:25 pm

I'm interested in opening a discussion about modules that would add capabilities to those of us with several semi-modular synthesizers. Here's my context. (Hoping others jump in with theirs as well as I would like to this to be about helping as broad of an audience as possible...)

I have recently picked up a Nifty Bundle and added some modules to it. It's not full yet, and I have an idea of where I want to go, but I'd like to see what I may be missing in my thinking. Full-blown modular (eurorack in my case) is new to me.

I have several semi-modulars:
Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900
eowave Quadrantid Swarm
Plankton Electronics Ants!
Make Noise 0-Coast
Rare Waves Grendel Grenadier RA-9
Rare Waves Grendel Grenadier RA-99
Rare Waves Hydronium
Dreadbox Erebus v3
Bastl SoftPop

I also have a decent ability to sequence some stuff:
2 Korg SQ-1s
Twisted Electronics Crazy 8
Future Retro Orb
Arturia Keystep

And finally a couple of effects units that can hook-up via patch cables:
Dreadbox Komorebi
Plankton Electronics Spice

I bought each unit for a good deal of uniqueness in its approach, so I have no intention in converting fully away from semi-modulars. What I found interesting is that I wanted to begin utilizing modular to expand my ability to control my semi-modulars in unique ways. I was looking at a Synthrotek Lunchbox and then along came the Nifty Bundle. Cellz looked to be a unique playable sequencer. Not super enthused about Chipz, but it was cool enough - it will probably eventually get replaced.

I'm just starting on this experimentation route, so want to get ideas from others that have pursued this route AND hopefully help others. Wisdom of the crowd...

Here is what I have added so far -
Mutable Instruments Branches for some randomness in gates and Shades for some attenuation.
A DPW Switch so I can switch pairs of signals or singular signals to new directions at the press of a button.

So that is as far as I have gotten.

What would you consider adding? Last thing I feel I need is more oscillators (though Plonk is on my list) or filters (nor effects - I also have a Dreadbox Hypnosis for some realtime control).

What's on my mind:
Mutable Instruments stuff: Kinks, Links, Stages, maybe Warps.
Pico Logic, Pico Quant
Elektrofon Klang
Maybe another DPW Switch
DNIPro Dot or VPME.DE Euclidean Circles

Note: I like melodic downtempo, new/dark wave, ambient, trance, and house type arrangements.

I would like to hear from you... What would you pick and why?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by KSS » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm

1) Format jumbler mults. To deal with different patch connectors.
2) CV and audio Mixers. To make the most of what you've already got.
3) Attenuator offset utility modules. To most effectively use 1) and 2)

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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by Jd1979 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 pm

I would also consider getting a small euro case to add in some modulation modules such as a Maths, a tempi and some envelopes and filters. These are always great for coloring sound and creating different textires.

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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:47 am

Thanks for the replies... I have a few questions...
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
1) Format jumbler mults. To deal with different patch connectors.
Could you provide an example? I know what a mult is, but not sure I follow the format jumbler part...
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
2) CV and audio Mixers. To make the most of what you've already got.
From an audio mixing standpoint, I have a Vixen Mixer which has mutes, volume & pan controls, and controls for effects sends. I've been learning to play it a bit. I'm a little unclear on if I would want to put audio mixing under CV control.

I have contemplated CV mixing with a Splix. Wouldn't Stages do this to a degree also? I also currently have been experimenting with (for lack of not knowing the proper term) 'stepped' mixing adding the two CV sources on my SQ-1 into a mult to make my pitch changes a bit more interesting. Are either of these your thoughts...
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
3) Attenuator offset utility modules. To most effectively use 1) and 2)
Would Shades be good for this? At least from the attenuation point of view... Offset it doesn't have, so I am making note of that.
Jd1979 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 pm
I would also consider getting a small euro case to add in some modulation modules such as a Maths, a tempi and some envelopes and filters. These are always great for coloring sound and creating different textires.
So I have about 40HP left in my Nifty Bundle (and may get a second Nifty case when Cre8audio comes out with the double cheeks I saw posted.

Maths goes in and out of my head. It's just a lot of HP and looks awfully complicated. I looked at performing some of its duties with Stages and Kinks, and perhaps Pico Logic. They are not exactly a 1:1 comparison, so perhaps I'd like to understand Maths a bit better. The demos I have watched on it haven't helped me (maybe I haven't seen the right one) and neither have the various descriptions I have read. Again maybe because it can do so much.

Stages I know can double for some Envelope and LFO duties, so that was one of my thoughts around it. Filters weren't in my thoughts at the moment. The main reason is the filters on all my semi-modulars are great and have their own character. Not sure I'd bringing another filter in would add much unless I start adding oscillators on their own. Again, I may be showing my ignorance.

For timing stuff... I looked at Tempi (and 4MS' Quad Clock Distributor) as future potential modules also. I have decided it may not be the best use of HP for me currently for 2 reasons:

First, module simplicity. I saw a great post here about using Pico Logic to give controlled gate changes for adding in or subtracting from rhythmic gates. That seemed more what I wanted to do. For some probablistic randomness, I got Branches.

Secondly, I have several sequencers. Before I run off on timing changes I thought perhaps it may be smarter to push the limits of having the various sequencers take playing things differently and perhaps at different synced clock rates.

I'd love to hear yours and others thoughts though as perhaps I am being too naive.

Now off to read more about what both of you have provided as perhaps what I am missing may become more self-evident. I'll start with my nose in my copy of Patch & Tweak...
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by Agawell » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am

pmboos wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:47 am
Thanks for the replies... I have a few questions...
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
1) Format jumbler mults. To deal with different patch connectors.
Could you provide an example? I know what a mult is, but not sure I follow the format jumbler part...
to convert 1/4" to 1/8" and back again
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/trouby-mo ... -3-4hp-old
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
2) CV and audio Mixers. To make the most of what you've already got.
From an audio mixing standpoint, I have a Vixen Mixer which has mutes, volume & pan controls, and controls for effects sends. I've been learning to play it a bit. I'm a little unclear on if I would want to put audio mixing under CV control.

I have contemplated CV mixing with a Splix. Wouldn't Stages do this to a degree also? I also currently have been experimenting with (for lack of not knowing the proper term) 'stepped' mixing adding the two CV sources on my SQ-1 into a mult to make my pitch changes a bit more interesting. Are either of these your thoughts...
You need a DC coupled mixer to mix CVs
CV controlled mixing - quad cascading vca - always useful - cv-controlled panning too
Stages is NOT a mixer - it can do a lot of things but not mixing
Using a mult to mix is not good practice - imagine doing it and accidentally plugging into a module that isn't protected against this and having to then send the module for repair - thankfully most modules these days can cope - but it is better to use a mixer for mixing and a mult for mult-ing wherever possible
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
3) Attenuator offset utility modules. To most effectively use 1) and 2)
Would Shades be good for this? At least from the attenuation point of view... Offset it doesn't have, so I am making note of that.
Shades absolutely is useable for Offset - just read the tag line on Modulargrid - "Mixing / offset utility"
It does attenuversion/offset/mixing and precision adding - which is what you really want for your use case above
Jd1979 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 pm
I would also consider getting a small euro case to add in some modulation modules such as a Maths, a tempi and some envelopes and filters. These are always great for coloring sound and creating different textires.
So I have about 40HP left in my Nifty Bundle (and may get a second Nifty case when Cre8audio comes out with the double cheeks I saw posted.

Maths goes in and out of my head. It's just a lot of HP and looks awfully complicated. I looked at performing some of its duties with Stages and Kinks, and perhaps Pico Logic. They are not exactly a 1:1 comparison, so perhaps I'd like to understand Maths a bit better. The demos I have watched on it haven't helped me (maybe I haven't seen the right one) and neither have the various descriptions I have read. Again maybe because it can do so much.
The thing with Maths and other similar modules, is that they are often more than the sum of their parts - take a look at the Maths illustrated manual - then try to work out how you patch a bouncing ball with Stages/Kinks/Logic - btw you are also missing an attenuverting mixer/offset (Shades) - and you are still not there!!!

Stages I know can double for some Envelope and LFO duties, so that was one of my thoughts around it. Filters weren't in my thoughts at the moment. The main reason is the filters on all my semi-modulars are great and have their own character. Not sure I'd bringing another filter in would add much unless I start adding oscillators on their own. Again, I may be showing my ignorance.
Stages is a great module - more filters add more choice of timbre to your semis - not sure about this as I don't have a semi - you could, for example, mult the vco output and delay one copy and send both 2 different filters
NB some filters will work perfectly as vcos - generating sines when in self-oscillation


For timing stuff... I looked at Tempi (and 4MS' Quad Clock Distributor) as future potential modules also. I have decided it may not be the best use of HP for me currently for 2 reasons:

First, module simplicity. I saw a great post here about using Pico Logic to give controlled gate changes for adding in or subtracting from rhythmic gates. That seemed more what I wanted to do. For some probablistic randomness, I got Branches.

Secondly, I have several sequencers. Before I run off on timing changes I thought perhaps it may be smarter to push the limits of having the various sequencers take playing things differently and perhaps at different synced clock rates.

I'd love to hear yours and others thoughts though as perhaps I am being too naive.

Now off to read more about what both of you have provided as perhaps what I am missing may become more self-evident. I'll start with my nose in my copy of Patch & Tweak...
spend a lot of time on the pages related to utility modules - they are the dull (relatively inexpensive) polish that makes the shiny (expensive) modules shine brighter
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by kinkujin » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:50 am

This is mostly lost on me but fascinating nonetheless. Reading with interest (I'm a semi mod guy who knows not what he's doing here).

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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:48 am

Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am
pmboos wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:47 am
Thanks for the replies... I have a few questions...
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
1) Format jumbler mults. To deal with different patch connectors.
Could you provide an example? I know what a mult is, but not sure I follow the format jumbler part...
to convert 1/4" to 1/8" and back again
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/trouby-mo ... -3-4hp-old

Thanks for that... I have been doing this mostly with cables, but that looks far handier.
Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm


2) CV and audio Mixers. To make the most of what you've already got.
From an audio mixing standpoint, I have a Vixen Mixer which has mutes, volume & pan controls, and controls for effects sends. I've been learning to play it a bit. I'm a little unclear on if I would want to put audio mixing under CV control.

I have contemplated CV mixing with a Splix. Wouldn't Stages do this to a degree also? I also currently have been experimenting with (for lack of not knowing the proper term) 'stepped' mixing adding the two CV sources on my SQ-1 into a mult to make my pitch changes a bit more interesting. Are either of these your thoughts...
You need a DC coupled mixer to mix CVs
CV controlled mixing - quad cascading vca - always useful - cv-controlled panning too
Stages is NOT a mixer - it can do a lot of things but not mixing

Using a mult to mix is not good practice - imagine doing it and accidentally plugging into a module that isn't protected against this and having to then send the module for repair - thankfully most modules these days can cope - but it is better to use a mixer for mixing and a mult for mult-ing wherever possible
First thanks for explaining the need to ensure it is DC coupled. And I meant to say Warps not Stages when I responded and I was thinking of that for audio not CV since KSS mentioned both. Anyway, this gives me a couple of things to further noodle on... And thanks for the warning on the mult.
Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
3) Attenuator offset utility modules. To most effectively use 1) and 2)
Would Shades be good for this? At least from the attenuation point of view... Offset it doesn't have, so I am making note of that.
Shades absolutely is useable for Offset - just read the tag line on Modulargrid - "Mixing / offset utility"
It does attenuversion/offset/mixing and precision adding - which is what you really want for your use case above
I was looking for a Big Thumbs Up in the smilies... Didn't find one, so take that comment as my appreciative thumbs up....
Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am
Jd1979 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:11 pm
I would also consider getting a small euro case to add in some modulation modules such as a Maths, a tempi and some envelopes and filters. These are always great for coloring sound and creating different textires.
...snip...
The thing with Maths and other similar modules, is that they are often more than the sum of their parts - take a look at the Maths illustrated manual - then try to work out how you patch a bouncing ball with Stages/Kinks/Logic - btw you are also missing an attenuverting mixer/offset (Shades) - and you are still not there!!!
I have Shades already... But I see your point. I'll look for the illustrated manual.
Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am

...snip...
Stages is a great module - more filters add more choice of timbre to your semis - not sure about this as I don't have a semi - you could, for example, mult the vco output and delay one copy and send both 2 different filters
NB some filters will work perfectly as vcos - generating sines when in self-oscillation
Yeah, I see your point here. I'll add a filter as something to consider, but perhaps farther own in priority order.
Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am
...snip...
spend a lot of time on the pages related to utility modules - they are the dull (relatively inexpensive) polish that makes the shiny (expensive) modules shine brighter
You bet! As a newbie to modular stuff, I still find it a little cryptic (even in the book), but I can't imagine how confused I would be without it.
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by Agawell » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:00 am

NP - glad I was some help!!!

It might be an idea to take a look at Sound On Sound magazine's Synth Secrets series (available free online) which might help with some basics

btw If I were you I wouldn't get another Nifty case I'd just get a bigger one - they work out cheaper in the long term and you can always slim down to a smaller case if and when you've worked out what you need as opposed to what you want
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:20 pm

Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:00 am
NP - glad I was some help!!!

It might be an idea to take a look at Sound On Sound magazine's Synth Secrets series (available free online) which might help with some basics

btw If I were you I wouldn't get another Nifty case I'd just get a bigger one - they work out cheaper in the long term and you can always slim down to a smaller case if and when you've worked out what you need as opposed to what you want
OK, thanks again! I've read a lot of SoS reviews, quality stuff.

I was looking at another Nifty case simply as there is a two tiered angled cheek set coming out for it. I saw it in a post and it looked really nice. That will be a ways off though... I won't be running out and filling this one too quickly. I'll just be taking advantage of the advice as it rolls in and what may roll in at low cost online (sales, eBay, etc.). (BTW, the 40HP space I have left is just the right amount to hold a Volca, making adding my Volca Beats perfect for adding simple drums to stuff I am playing around with...
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by KSS » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 pm

Agawell gave good replies already.

Format jumbler can include banana jacks too. Here's a link to the MakeNoise version https://postmodular.co.uk/modules/format-jumbler/
There are many different versions of 'format jumblers' having all sorts of jacks. Depends on what type connectors you have in your studio. Ignore the extra squigglies on the MN panel and follow the lines to understand that it's just a straight wired connection between two different types of jacks. Multiplied by however many times the maker feels fits well on the panel. Some are made in guitar pedal boxes since they don't need any power connection to do their job.

His point about utilities was the main thing I was trying to get across in the thread. And he worded it well. When new to this, it seems that getting fancy module after fancy module is the way to go, but then you miss out on so much that can be done when you have a good range of utility modules instead. Although many modules do have mixing inputs and CV attentuators in Euro, the trend -which is misplaced IMO- is to more and more relegate this most important function to the skinny shaft-knob pots in tight quarters. Big mistake. Small adjustments to these input and output mixers and especially CV levels and offsets are where a whole bunch of modular magic can be found. Big knobs with space to actually USE them is truly useful.

Even better, since so many ignore this advice, you're going places they can't when you have these synergetic tools.

Maths -or Rampage- are a couple of the best overall general utility modules. Both are derivatives of Serge DUSG with added bits. There's a good reason Maths is such a good seller. And let me address your comment about its size.

Everyone has different ways of working. Personally I'd rather have fewer modules with greater usability than more with panels so tight I can't -or don't- use them to their FULL potential. Maths is not at all big when you compare it to what it can do for your patches. If the maker designed a knob to be set-and-forget, and therefore made it small, that's going to affect how YOU end up using it more than you think. Always, always, always look at the modules -or your semi's- and ask yourself, What is the panel designer leading me towards, and what are they leading away from? Compare different makers modules of the same class or type and repeat the question. You'll start to see not only what's common, but also the differences in thier ideology. Follow that up with, How easily can i try out what they didn't intend? That's going to go a long ways to answer your what should I buy next questions.

One of the best makers of utility modules IMO is Happy Nerding. Simple, insanely useful, thoughtfully -and consistently!- laid out, reasonably sized, fairly priced. They are just plain good. Their MIA module is another one to take a good hard look into. But don't let that be the end of your search among their products. There's gold in those layouts. Another to take aserious look at is Ladik. Not as roomy as HN, but a really wide range of good fair-priced modules. Including plenty of utiity choices.

Besides Patch and Tweak, read the owner manuals of and look at the panels of the classic synths. What do you find on an ARP 2600, Moog modular, Roland 700, Polyfusion modular, Roland system 100M and so many others? Mixers. Lots of mixers. They are not treated as second class citizens in the layout. There is not just one.

Intellijel has a nice little mixer with switches for CV or audio use. (with CV you generally prefer linear control, and with Audio you generally want an audio taper pot. The switches on this module -and some others- effect this change.) Doepfer has a mixer that you can order either way. Audio mixers also often have AC coupling, where CV mixers are DC coupled. Doepfer uses the same panel and puts a dot to show which version you have. Doepfer modules are far too often given the short look and left behind. Don't do that. Dieter's been in this the longest -forEurorack- and he's very good at balancing use, layout and cost. Fight any desire to be cool because of your modules or maker that you can.

No doubt you've heard the phrase you can never have too many VCAs. The point there is that you want a lot of ways to -EASILY- adjust the levels -to a fine degree- of both CV and audio. Make sure you have at least one fully fleshed out VCA. Having a bunch of 3 jack VCA's can be useful too, but there is magic in a VCA with both plus and minus ins -and outs, and decent sized knobs or sliders on CV amount. With some panel space to actually allow easy and accurate adjustment. Ideally having variable linear and expo CV on two inputs like the 2600, but it may be hard to find all these on one module. Don't let that keep you from looking for it.

Your semi's are already going to have the main bits of synthesis. To add to them you want the 'glue' to stick them together in unique and interesting ways. Anyone can throw more fancy modules at the problem of being unique and getting new, or your own sound. You can now get modules with a slew of differnt modules built into them. Everyone else can do that too. What you can do that others of that bent may not do is to explore the nuances of what you can achieve in the connection between the differnt bits.

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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by Agawell » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:01 pm

KSS wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 pm
Agawell gave good replies already.
...
His point about utilities was the main thing I was trying to get across in the thread. And he worded it well.
Thanks!!
Great post from you too - never underestimate the power of Doepfer, nor the importance of ergonomics!!
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:50 pm

Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:01 pm
KSS wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 pm
Agawell gave good replies already.
...
His point about utilities was the main thing I was trying to get across in the thread. And he worded it well.
Thanks!!
Great post from you too - never underestimate the power of Doepfer, nor the importance of ergonomics!!
Thanks again to both of you... I really liked the ergonomics reference. I am def liking the great info both of you dumped on me. Currently I am thinking I will dump the idea of getting Plonk and probably sell Chipz off at some point to get me a few more HP for these utilities.
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:49 pm

Ya know, I was thinking.... Currently I have 40 HP left... I could fill that with Maths, Pico Quant, Pico Logic, and leaves me 12 HP to something with...

From there, I think it would be adding the mixing capability and more VCAs gathering from what I read. I could go with another filter, but I think that should be much lower on the list I think. Maybe I can get a jumbler in there, but I'm also a little less concerned with that right now also.

So when y'all check-in give me some thoughts on the above... I think I'm aligned with what y'all are thinking. I super appreciate all this great input. It is extremely kind of you!

Stay safe and healthy and make music!
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by Agawell » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:12 am

what is the use case for the quantizer - describe how you intend to use it - I'm not convinced you need one!
I'd get kinks over the pico logic - much more useful - and has some logic!!
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:54 am

Agawell wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:12 am
what is the use case for the quantizer - describe how you intend to use it - I'm not convinced you need one!
I'd get kinks over the pico logic - much more useful - and has some logic!!
Well, I like melodic stuff and I occasionally will be mixing this with live play from one of my other (keyboard) synths (no control from a synth though) or my sax, so I want to be able to ensure I can set a tone and then as I change CV for pitch it gets quantized properly to notes, otherwise I may be out of tune with the lead instrument.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the purpose of quantizer? I thought once you got one note in tune, it could ensure you stay on a chromatic (or other) scale...
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by Agawell » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:33 am

you understand the puropse of a quantizer but not usage -

if you are sending pitch cv from a keyboard or midi -> cv converter or most sequencers then the outputs will almost defintely already be quantized you will need to tune voices /vcos though

if the source is unquantized then you'd want a quantizer

for sax you would want a pitch follower and then quantize it / or not - depends
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:09 pm

Agawell wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:33 am
you understand the puropse of a quantizer but not usage -

if you are sending pitch cv from a keyboard or midi -> cv converter or most sequencers then the outputs will almost defintely already be quantized you will need to tune voices /vcos though

if the source is unquantized then you'd want a quantizer

for sax you would want a pitch follower and then quantize it / or not - depends
Thanks... Difference between book knowledge (what you can read) and application I suppose.

Though for clarification, I don't have plans to send the sax into the modular system at the moment. I would just want oscillators and the sax in tune...

Again really appreciate sharing all the knowledge...
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by MindMachine » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:01 pm

pmboos wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:25 pm
Here is what I have added so far -
Mutable Instruments Branches for some randomness in gates and Shades for some attenuation.
A DPW Switch so I can switch pairs of signals or singular signals to new directions at the press of a button.

So that is as far as I have gotten.

What would you consider adding? Last thing I feel I need is more oscillators (though Plonk is on my list) or filters (nor effects - I also have a Dreadbox Hypnosis for some realtime control).

What's on my mind:
Mutable Instruments stuff: Kinks, Links, Stages, maybe Warps.
Pico Logic, Pico Quant
Elektrofon Klang
Maybe another DPW Switch
DNIPro Dot or VPME.DE Euclidean Circles
Those are some very useful considerations.

I would go for a Doepfer A-145-4 quad LFO in 4HP.

Kinks is a gamer.

The Joranalogue Switch Router is a good option (or EMW Button Interface 1).

Stages may be the versatile complexity that you need.

Love your set-up. Semi is under-rated. Complete individual voice with cross-pollinization capabilities.
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:59 am

MindMachine wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:01 pm
pmboos wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:25 pm
Here is what I have added so far -
Mutable Instruments Branches for some randomness in gates and Shades for some attenuation.
A DPW Switch so I can switch pairs of signals or singular signals to new directions at the press of a button.

So that is as far as I have gotten.

What would you consider adding? Last thing I feel I need is more oscillators (though Plonk is on my list) or filters (nor effects - I also have a Dreadbox Hypnosis for some realtime control).

What's on my mind:
Mutable Instruments stuff: Kinks, Links, Stages, maybe Warps.
Pico Logic, Pico Quant
Elektrofon Klang
Maybe another DPW Switch
DNIPro Dot or VPME.DE Euclidean Circles
Those are some very useful considerations.

I would go for a Doepfer A-145-4 quad LFO in 4HP.

Kinks is a gamer.

The Joranalogue Switch Router is a good option (or EMW Button Interface 1).

Stages may be the versatile complexity that you need.

Love your set-up. Semi is under-rated. Complete individual voice with cross-pollinization capabilities.
For clarity, the Joranalogue module you are mentioning is this one Switch 4?

If so that looks interesting. Would make a nice complement to the DPW Switch I already got...

The EMW Button Interface also looks cool... I like that it can be a manual gate. (I could use it to trigger some far out sounds from the Quadrantid Swarm.)

Thanks for weighing in! And I agree, I think semi-modulars are way overlooked... I've found each one has some nice character. Are there sometimes I want to patch things a little different than what is available on them? Sure... Though what is great is that you can tell there were some thoughtful considerations in making a unique sounding instrument...
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:06 am

BTW, I want to add - I backed the Noodlebox on Indiegogo. It really looked something flexible to play with and reasonably priced....
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by MindMachine » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:18 pm

pmboos wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:59 am

For clarity, the Joranalogue module you are mentioning is this one Switch 4?

If so that looks interesting. Would make a nice complement to the DPW Switch I already got...

The EMW Button Interface also looks cool... I like that it can be a manual gate. (I could use it to trigger some far out sounds from the Quadrantid Swarm.)
Yes the Joranalogue Switch 4.
I love switches because I do all live recordings and switches are a great controller. I want the Switch 4.
I have EMW Switch Interface I/Plan B Model 9/Studio Boomstar Router (x2) and I use a Doepfer A-164 Manual Gates.

The manual gates like the EMW Button Interface are real useful. I use my manual gates for occasional envelope triggers and also for things like triggering fills on a Mutable Grids or triggering slew on a Ladik Gate Controlled Slew C-015 for melodies.
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:28 am

@MindMachine Awesome, mentally I am attuned to the idea of switches... I already picked up the DPW Switch; I liked that you could link pairs of ins/and outs; I was thinking of being able to redirect a CV/Gate pair from a sequencer to different synths originally, though mentally I have been coming up with other uses.
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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by muleskinner » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:06 am

Agawell wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:22 am
pmboos wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:47 am
Thanks for the replies... I have a few questions...
KSS wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 pm
1) Format jumbler mults. To deal with different patch connectors.
Could you provide an example? I know what a mult is, but not sure I follow the format jumbler part...
to convert 1/4" to 1/8" and back again
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/trouby-mo ... -3-4hp-old
Ha! When I started my Eurorack adventure I searched and searched for something like this but couldn't find anything apart from the MakeNoise one which was expensive and had stuff I didn't really need.

I ended up DIYing a bunch myself as I wanted a load of connections to be able to route stuff back and forth to my regular patchbay and also connect up with some of the semi-modular gear I have. Looks a bit wonky but works great and worked out dirt cheap. It's about as simple as you can get for a DIY project, just increasingly fiddly depending on how many jacks you try and fit into the available space! I have six jacks in 6hp which was pretty tight. Doesn't work as a mult though!

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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by hippo1 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:58 am

I like your goals; I share some as well. Your initial choice of 'cool' modules is very appreciable; but having a gaggle of stray extras, I used what I have. A clockable LFO, an A/R (or ASR, or whatever) module capable of cycling (can be used separately, or combined w/LFO to create a complex LFO), a standalone VCA, and attenuator. Plus, I have an affinity for mults, to combine stuff. I shy away from module fx; I have plenty of outboard stuff. [I keep it to 'utility', not real audio processing.]

p.s. love the Vought line-up. Needs an OG Corsair, though...!

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Re: The Utility Modules for Semi-Modular Synths Discussion

Post by pmboos » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:08 pm

hippo1 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:58 am
I like your goals; I share some as well. Your initial choice of 'cool' modules is very appreciable; but having a gaggle of stray extras, I used what I have. A clockable LFO, an A/R (or ASR, or whatever) module capable of cycling (can be used separately, or combined w/LFO to create a complex LFO), a standalone VCA, and attenuator. Plus, I have an affinity for mults, to combine stuff. I shy away from module fx; I have plenty of outboard stuff. [I keep it to 'utility', not real audio processing.]

p.s. love the Vought line-up. Needs an OG Corsair, though...!
Thanks! Well the larger plane is a Douglas A-3 Skywarrior (The Whale). It's the squadron photo from when I served. I got to fly backseat in Corsair IIs, fun times...

I've gotten some great insights from folks. Where as I thought I'd need a quantizer, it looks like that was misplaced. So Klang and Pico Quant are out... Not sure about a "format jumbler": I might prefer to do that with cables that just change. But who knows, I think it will be how the HP work out.

Some comments about VCAs and such have me thinking MI Blinds ought to be a consideration.
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