Running out of rope

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: luketeaford, Joe., lisa, Kent

User avatar
thelowerrhythm
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:45 pm
Location: Corvallis, OR

Running out of rope

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:18 pm

When you need just one more attenuator, and realize you don't have it, so you have to hunt and peck around the rest of your patch for one you can steal back in compromise.

:sadbanana: :cry: :picard: :crash: :flamey: :metasonix:

Parnelli
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:04 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Parnelli » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:23 pm

Happens far too often I'm afraid!

If I only had one more ___________ !

Right now it's patch cables for me, I find myself running out of 2' and longer cables all the time. I could add Stackables here as well!

I put a row of 1u in so I could take advantage of the Quadratt, I just have to get some now.

User avatar
thelowerrhythm
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:45 pm
Location: Corvallis, OR

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:40 pm

Eh, those too. "Oh, I'll just get some cables... for $60."

I keep running into this same attenuator issue and I keep having to eat my VCAs. Planning on picking up a few more Zlob MiniAtt. Dirt cheap and has that summed out. :party:

Parnelli
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:04 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Parnelli » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:44 pm

Yeah cables are damned expensive! If you buy the cheap ones they don't last,and if you buy the expensive ones they only last a bit longer. :cry:

User avatar
Blairio
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1860
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:50 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Post by Blairio » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:59 pm

thelowerrhythm wrote:Eh, those too. "Oh, I'll just get some cables... for $60."

I keep running into this same attenuator issue and I keep having to eat my VCAs. Planning on picking up a few more Zlob MiniAtt. Dirt cheap and has that summed out. :party:
Another alternative is the RYO 'airtenuattor'. you could get three of those for the price of the Zlob(which has two att's), and not use 2HP of rack space.

The Zlob miniatt does look very cool though.

User avatar
Pelsea
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Contact:

Post by Pelsea » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:10 pm

For forty years I’ve been waiting for someone to come out with a bungee patch cord (also an inflatable speaker cabinet, but that’s another story.)

My solution to the cable problem is to make them myself. I get some really long cables for the wire and a pack of 50 cent plugs. They are easy to make, and every wiggler should have cable building and repair in his skill set.

As for the other problem, that’s the attraction of virtual modular systems like Tassman and VCV rack.
Books and tutorials on modular synthesis at http://peterelsea.com
Patch responsibly-
pqe

User avatar
thelowerrhythm
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:45 pm
Location: Corvallis, OR

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:27 pm

I've tried using those floating attenuators before and always wind up just losing them in all the spaghetti. Between that and the bizarre satisfaction of installing unpowered 2hp modules, and I think I'm suck going over that particular cliff.

Cable building is indeed an essential skill. I wish someone would sell a premade kit with X length cable in X number of different colors with X tips. Because I'm not too lazy to make them, but somehow too lazy to dig around and make sure I'm ordering everything so I don't get a package in the mail, find out I forgot something, and go stick my head in the oven. :omg:

User avatar
lisa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4981
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Post by lisa » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:46 pm

If I want limitless units of everything I use my computer. When using my modular rack I accept the limitations and choose paths where I don't run out of anything. For me this is a survival strategy, to keep me from ever expanding even though I already have more than I need.
New track! Drum synthesis heavy, melodic piece where Instruō harmonàig is doing the chords. 🐡


User avatar
cptnal
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3867
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:48 am
Location: People's Republic of Scotland

Post by cptnal » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:33 am

Indeed, the limitations are part of the attraction. If it starts to become a problem your rack's not right. :ripbanana:

Parnelli
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:04 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Parnelli » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:51 pm

I've always had a hard time accepting limitations, it's just something inherent in my nature. One of my favorite quotes was from Henry Ford, who said whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.

Of course Physical Laws apply.... as do Ohm's Law, et al....
Last edited by Parnelli on Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
PrimateSynthesis
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3428
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:50 pm

Post by PrimateSynthesis » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:47 pm

:vcas:
FS: Rare Morley Rotating Wah Oil Can Delay!

Since the forum has gone back to being 100% community funded, I've decided to donate half the proceeds from the Morley Rotating Wah this thread is supposedly selling :miley:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... p?t=131332

User avatar
Pelsea
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Contact:

Post by Pelsea » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:20 pm

The history of musical instrument development is mostly about overcoming limitations. Tchaikovsky wanted his second bassoon to play a low A so Russian bassoons go a half step lower than western ones. (You sometimes see a bassoon with a bit of drain pipe stuck in it.) Ravel wrote a super high Db in Bolero that requires another special key. (Cage wrote even higher, but didn't care if you couldn't play it.)

Wagner commissioned several brand new instruments, including the Heckelphone and the Wagner tuba. Going back further in time, (1632-87) Jean Baptiste Lully caused the complete redesign of most orchestra instruments.

We are lucky that we can just look in a catalog and pick out the new feature we want and get it shipped next day air. As for limitations, to paraphrase Peter Schickele, I play whatever is available--exclusively.
Books and tutorials on modular synthesis at http://peterelsea.com
Patch responsibly-
pqe

User avatar
Blairio
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1860
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:50 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Post by Blairio » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:38 pm

Pelsea wrote:The history of musical instrument development is mostly about overcoming limitations.
Yes, but perhaps the focus here is more on musical creativity, and the question of whether a resource constraint (a finite number of patch cables) can be turned to an advantage in that regard.

User avatar
dubonaire
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6829
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:45 pm

Post by dubonaire » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:04 pm

Blairio wrote:
Pelsea wrote:The history of musical instrument development is mostly about overcoming limitations.
Yes, but perhaps the focus here is more on musical creativity, and the question of whether a resource constraint (a finite number of patch cables) can be turned to an advantage in that regard.
Up to the individual I suppose. Any kind of constraint can be self-imposed any time, but I don't see the point in not having enough cables if it stops you enacting an idea, that is just stifling creativity. I have many more cables than I need so it's something I never have to think about.

Also, running out of attenuators may come from an unbalanced system which has insufficient utilities for making the most of the noise making modules, so I also find it hard to see that as an ideal place to be.

Take Dave Rossum's Evolution, it has 9 CV inputs and it comes alive when you exploit them. It's the perennial point of PrimateSynthesis's post.

I'm not suggesting these things are rules, there are no rules. But I do think it's a good idea when buying modules to think about how you will modulate them fully if you ever want to.

User avatar
dubonaire
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6829
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:45 pm

Post by dubonaire » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:05 pm

Blairio wrote:
Pelsea wrote:The history of musical instrument development is mostly about overcoming limitations.
Yes, but perhaps the focus here is more on musical creativity, and the question of whether a resource constraint (a finite number of patch cables) can be turned to an advantage in that regard.
Up to the individual I suppose. Any kind of constraint can be self-imposed any time, but I don't see the point in not having enough cables if it stops you enacting an idea, that is just stifling creativity. I have many more cables than I need so it's something I never have to think about.

Also, running out of attenuators may come from an unbalanced system which has insufficient utilities for making the most of the noise making modules, so I also find it hard to see that as an ideal place to be.

Take Dave Rossum's Evolution, it has 9 CV inputs and it comes alive when you exploit them. It's the perennial point of PrimateSynthesis's post.

I'm not suggesting these things are rules, there are no rules. But I do think it's a good idea when buying modules to think about how you will modulate them fully if you ever want to from a whole of system perspective.

peripatitis

Post by peripatitis » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:44 am

It seems that "limitation" is the mirage of creativity.
I wouldn't bet on it being a solution to the problem, it would be just too easy :)

User avatar
dubonaire
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 6829
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:45 pm

Post by dubonaire » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:02 am

peripatitis wrote:It seems that "limitation" is the mirage of creativity.
I wouldn't bet on it being a solution to the problem, it would be just too easy :)
Yeah I agree. Being able to do a lot with a little is not the same as less axiomatically giving you more.

It's like people who think denial leads to fulfilment. Actually if you don't need anything for fulfilment there is no denial.

User avatar
AW198
Pickle Tickler
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:24 pm
Location: UK

Post by AW198 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:31 am

Being able to add extra modules when you think 'if only I had 1 more LFO' or whatever is exactly what drew me from hardwired synths to modular in the first place! Just think how restricted you'd be if your setup wasn't modular...

User avatar
srogers
Common Wiggler
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:32 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post by srogers » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:04 am

I feel this all the time. I think this is exactly how people end up with 12U cases.

User avatar
Pelsea
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Contact:

Post by Pelsea » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:36 am

Limitations are a two edged sword.

Many of my students were intimidated by the sheer number of possibilities in a well equipped studio, so the first hands on course had assignments like "pick three sounds from the shared library (three contributed by each student, so about 75 10 second clips) and compose a 30 second piece with beginning middle and end." As the courses continued, the assignments became looser and longer.

On the other hand, there comes a point where your own ideas are driving the process, and equipment limitations become an impediment, not a help. Oh, there is a certain thrill in MacGyvering past some technical problem, but that is really a distraction from the music you are trying to create. It takes time away from the actual work and worse, interrupts the creative flow.
Books and tutorials on modular synthesis at http://peterelsea.com
Patch responsibly-
pqe

Parnelli
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:04 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Parnelli » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:11 pm

Well I am sure to feel the heavy burden of limitation soon enough, as when I retire I will not be able to afford to purchase my way out of a synth problem. Fortunately I will then have something that I presently do not, time. Plenty of time to ply my technical trade as a hobby instead of a career, which is why I was in a bit of a hurry to build what I have now.

Less than a year if I have my way about it!

User avatar
cptnal
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3867
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:48 am
Location: People's Republic of Scotland

Post by cptnal » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:25 pm

Pelsea wrote:On the other hand, there comes a point where your own ideas are driving the process, and equipment limitations become an impediment, not a help. Oh, there is a certain thrill in MacGyvering past some technical problem, but that is really a distraction from the music you are trying to create. It takes time away from the actual work and worse, interrupts the creative flow.
I don't disagree. However, for some (well, me anyway) that MacGyvering (love that verb!) is the creative process. Maybe I'm just weird. :despair:

(Enough parentheses for one day.)

Parnelli
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:04 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Parnelli » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:36 pm

You're not alone captnal! Half of the fun for me over the past couple of years has been building cases and fitting them with modules; not just willy nilly, but with a future purpose in mind.

I am a firm believer that it's not what you have that counts, but rather what you make of what you have that does.

User avatar
papz
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3263
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 6:52 pm
Location: in a suitcase
Contact:

Post by papz » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:01 pm

The Bill's TinyMixer works nice as an attenuator and can do more :

No power required
Audio or CV passive summing (3 inputs, 1 output - mono or stereo) with attenuators
Audio or CV passive splitting (1 input, 3 outputs - mono or stereo) with attenuators
Fits banana sockets with horizontal or vertical mounting, including a ground one
Fits mono and stereo Cliff minijack sockets. These sockets also accept tinijax.
Fits mono and stereo 9mm pots
Format jumbler
LEDs showing activity on each channel (work with CV only)
Plugs directly into the module's socket using a gender changer
Concatenable

Image
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

Parnelli
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:04 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Parnelli » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:29 pm

Man those are small!

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”