modular synths on the installment plan

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has anyone here done this or considered doing this?

i'm trying to talk myself out of it because ridiculous but maybe not

sissy space echo (electricsound), Tuesday, 12 June 2012 01:27 (ten years ago) link

holy shit.

Mad God 40/40 (Z S), Tuesday, 12 June 2012 01:28 (ten years ago) link

It's a cool hobby, but you should consider it as such before spending that money. It's far less immediately useful than you'd think, to learn how to use modulars in any creative situation other than making awesome Youtube videos that I'll watch for hours.

BC Forgbs (Ówen P.), Tuesday, 12 June 2012 02:20 (ten years ago) link

so you've indulged?

sissy space echo (electricsound), Tuesday, 12 June 2012 02:25 (ten years ago) link

I'd always figured if I ever got into modular synths, I'd start with a filter bank setup that you could run anything through then add modulation for the filter before getting into the rest of the synth.

earlnash, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 03:19 (ten years ago) link

"indulged" is the wrong word! I own an ARP 2600 and a Buchla system. The ARP really opened up once I got a CV converter (Expert Sleepers) and the Buchla is pretty much the best ever. Even their system #1 (4x AR, 4x VCA, 1x oscillator (actually two oscillators), preset manager) is the most useful and most expensive thing.

There's a lot of pros and cons to each modular system and it's really important that you have a specific goal in mind before pouring your money in. Modulars hold their value but they are harder to flip than standalone synths, so you gotta look at it like a marriage. Muffwiggler will offer much more specific pros and cons of each system.

Do you own any patchable systems already?
The best warmup I'd recommend would be to famiarize yourself with Aalto but I'm making some assumptions

BC Forgbs (Ówen P.), Tuesday, 12 June 2012 13:39 (ten years ago) link


I would love a modular system but music is work at the moment and I couldn't justify getting into it when money could be spent on less fun stuff. One day baby.

I know another ilxor who was talking about getting into something modular this year if he hasn't already. Hopefully he will post here when/if he takes the plunge.

Don't think you should be allowed to run a big modular rig without a fitting moustache. I wonder if they do them as part of the installment plan.

owenf, Wednesday, 13 June 2012 20:31 (ten years ago) link

I think you get the moustache after taking delivery of your second Roland System 700.

George Peppard Steak (snoball), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 21:57 (ten years ago) link

Where is Pashmina these days?

He build one of these things himself, piece by painstaking piece. It sounded fantastic, though. But definitely a time consuming hobby.

a cake made of all their eyes (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 21:59 (ten years ago) link

that ARP seq is gorgeous. actually it was a similarly expensive arp sequencer that provoked me to get a (more affordable) hardware sequencer and i utterly adore it

relatively joan rivers (electricsound), Thursday, 14 June 2012 03:15 (ten years ago) link

I'd always figured if I ever got into modular synths, I'd start with a filter bank setup that you could run anything through then add modulation for the filter before getting into the rest of the synth.

― earlnash, Tuesday, June 12, 2012 4:19 AM (2 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I agree with this. The day you get your first hardware LP is amazing if you've just been using software.

owenf, Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:26 (ten years ago) link

article in wired (by geeta...)

koogs, Friday, 15 June 2012 10:21 (ten years ago) link

that doc looks awesome. so many nerds.

relatively joan rivers (electricsound), Friday, 15 June 2012 12:13 (ten years ago) link

that does look amazing. Clinical psychologist guy sounds like the best person to be friends with in the world. Bet he's figured out how to live.

owenf, Friday, 15 June 2012 13:08 (ten years ago) link

either that or exactly how not to live - it depends entirely on how he enjoys those synths

relatively joan rivers (electricsound), Friday, 15 June 2012 13:10 (ten years ago) link

I like to think he's got them all in a shed at the bottom of his garden and his friends and family don't realise the scale of his hobby.

owenf, Friday, 15 June 2012 13:12 (ten years ago) link

i do admire people who truly know how to keep a beautiful secret

relatively joan rivers (electricsound), Friday, 15 June 2012 13:19 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

i've now learned of the macbeth micromac and don't want a modular anymore

detune two oscillators...than what (electricsound), Thursday, 23 August 2012 11:05 (ten years ago) link

The Doepfer Dark Energy II is due in Sept/Oct for about a third of the cost. It only has one VCO compared to the Micromac's three, but it does have a multimode filter, which although 12dB might be more versatile depending on your processing needs compared to a 24dB LPF.

no-one seemed to hear him so he leafed through a magazine (snoball), Thursday, 23 August 2012 11:24 (ten years ago) link

I've got 'start building a sweet modular rig' on my long term things to do...

just gotta save up to get that first few modules and look for a nice case.

my opinionation (Hamildan), Thursday, 23 August 2012 12:16 (ten years ago) link

Micromac looks lovely! Although probably wouldn't add much flexibility to my studio. Have been planning on getting a decent set of Concussor drum modules from Analogue Solutions, but don't want to take the plunge until I've got enough to get a full set and a nice case and PSU. Plus I quite like my strange way of making analogue drum sounds by just turning everything on in my studio and using each synth for a different percussive sound.

Crackle Box, Friday, 24 August 2012 11:20 (ten years ago) link

Here's my little synth room as it was a year ago. I've since moved in a Soundcraft Ghost and made it standing only (after reading that Keith Fullerton Whitman interview in the Wire).

Crackle Box, Friday, 24 August 2012 11:27 (ten years ago) link

vox continental / elka / wasp FUN

korg karma / space echo / 303 / nice little box by mfb

Anyway, it's so much fun in here, most everything runs into a patchbay on the rack, so you can easily run one synth through another's filter then into some boxes then into the computer, or split the signal and send it multiple places blah blah. Endless fun. Nearly everything here I found laying around at home (I live in a recording studio) and I built it one synth at a time and really got to know each synth inside out, some of them needed some repair work.

My favourite is probably the Yamaha FSR-1 with the ZeeEdit editor. You can pick these things up really cheap and it's a serious bit of kit. A few features I haven't seen on anything else software or hardware.

Crackle Box, Friday, 24 August 2012 11:39 (ten years ago) link


always wanted to try a wasp

the dilettante escape plan (electricsound), Saturday, 25 August 2012 02:54 (ten years ago) link

That's a nice studio setup Crackle Box. I got my home studio setup for mixing/overdubbing and don't really have the room to really rock my synths (and being in a regular rock band don't really have the time right now).

earlnash, Saturday, 25 August 2012 04:05 (ten years ago) link

I'm going to bother you until you make that sample pack of synth hits

owenf, Monday, 27 August 2012 17:54 (ten years ago) link

ten months pass...

I am close to pulling the trigger on a Make Noise Shared System.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 7 July 2013 04:53 (nine years ago) link

six months pass...

from this Four Tet interview: "Everybody I know that buys modular synths stops putting records out essentially (laughs). That’s the situation. Because it takes a week to get a sound out of it."

totally feel this even though i've been in love with the sound of my non-modular little analog synth.

festival culture (Jordan), Tuesday, 7 January 2014 20:13 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Based on what I've heard of Four Tet, perhaps he should get a modular...

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 25 January 2014 18:22 (nine years ago) link

Did you get that Make Noise Shared System?

And when you f--- up, you go backwards (snoball), Saturday, 25 January 2014 18:29 (nine years ago) link

I did! Haven't released a record since.

Love it to pieces for real tho. I spend a few hours almost every night. They're not cheap (before you even consider GAS – the gear acquisition syndrome it causes) but for me has been worth every penny.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 January 2014 04:02 (nine years ago) link

three years pass...

hows that mn shared system, still have it?

am0n, Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:51 (five years ago) link

this looks/sounds cool -

am0n, Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:52 (five years ago) link

i know this is the wrong thread for this, but from the description of the ONE module:

Working with long time beta-tester Chris Carter, the Tiptop R&D tweaked the ONE firmware creating two new modes: the first a random file selection on each trigger input; and the second, looping playback that randomly seeks in a sound file with each trigger. Both of these functions take TG ONE into new sonic territory.

does anyone of a similar piece of equipment that could trigger video clips? i've slowly been teaching myself python/linux/raspberryPi to try to do it myself, but i am awful and kind of wish i could just buy what i'm trying to make.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:17 (five years ago) link

isn't max/msp the go-to for that

am0n, Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:50 (five years ago) link

or max/jitter:

am0n, Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:54 (five years ago) link

yeah, i keep dreading it because i haven't dived into max/msp before. i should just take the plunge. but also, at the end, i want something that doesn't have a cord connected to an open laptop. i just want a display and a cord to a much smaller device, non-laptop.

sorry to bring it up here, i probably just need to invest some serious time googling all this shit

Karl Malone, Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:54 (five years ago) link

like, ideally i could something like max/jitter running on a discreet tiny raspberry pi, but i don't think little guy is powerful enough to run it

Karl Malone, Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:55 (five years ago) link

not sure this fits yr bill but more on topic is there are modular video things popping up but some of it seems more about shapes and colors

this looks like it played video clips but no longer in production

am0n, Thursday, 16 November 2017 20:50 (five years ago) link

yeah, i'm realizing video synth is probably the wrong path to head down. i probably just need something like either max/msp or pure data+processing. really i'm just looking for a way to automatically trigger video clips based off of sensors. i actually made a good deal of progress on this over in the raspberry pi thread a few months back, and then i hit a weird bug that i couldn't fix after several hours, and then i compleeeetely dropped the whole thing. now i'm trying to crawl my way back.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 16 November 2017 20:53 (five years ago) link

hows that mn shared system, still have it?

Yep! It’s almost a perfect instrument – this ingenious marriage of East and West Coast sensibilities. You can do amazing Buchla bongo sounds w the vactrols. You can play scales or atonal stuff. You can sample on it. You can run external sounds through it. The Maths module allows you to do incredible control things like subdivided rhythms or completely random things with the Wogglebug.

Unlike most modular owners, I actually haven’t bought a single other module for it because I’m worried I will throw it out of balance and start using it more conventionally.

Here are a couple of tracks I’ve done:

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 17 November 2017 03:16 (five years ago) link

nice, 2nd one sounds like raymond scott! considering the b&g one w/ morphagene/verb

am0n, Friday, 17 November 2017 05:02 (five years ago) link

Thanks, first one is running some samples of my Midimini Moog clone through the Phonogene, the precursor to the Morphogene.

It’s an incredible machine. I keep finding new ways to use it in my (ever expanding) setup. The black and gold edition is a little more advanced than what I have (it has the bus, the ErbeVerb and three or four redesigned modules) but seems great as well.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 17 November 2017 16:26 (five years ago) link

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