Expanding the Dark Energy

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verkannt
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Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by verkannt » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:51 pm

I purchased the Dark Energy a couple months ago and really enjoying it. I've recently added the Dark Time sequencer to it as well. I'm looking to expand it into a mini modular setup, but with so many options, and also my lack of knowledge with regard to the modular world, has left me a bit frustrated with regards to expanding it. I'm looking to keep it nice and simple. I was looking at maybe investing in the cp-251, but i think the jacks on that are different to the doepfer.
I could expand it with maybe some of the A-100 modules, but i'm unsure as to which ones to invest in. Can anyone provide some advice for me??

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meatballfulton
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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Since you were thinkling about the CP251, that is a combination of the following functions:

4:1 mixer
2 bipolar attenuators
LFO
S&H (with lag processor)
noise generator

So take a look into the equivalent A-100 modules.
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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by Hair » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:46 am

Other than the jacks being different sizes, I believe the CP-251 would be compatible - so if you really want it, why not just get a bunch of 1/8" to 1/4" patch cables? Or even fill the jacks up with a bunch of these little guys haha: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... =107595798

Also, to add onto meatballfulton's suggestion, why limit to A-100 series? This wiki lists a bunch of what's out there, organized by function and then format: http://wiki.muffwiggler.com/wiki/Modules_by_function

For modular, in general it's always helpful to have Multiples, Amps/Attenuators and "boring" things like that. Intellijel makes a lot of great, small stuff for that purpose, and STG Soundlabs has a couple of cool, simple modules for that too.

Beyond that, you could definitely have fun with another LFO, especially one that could double as an audio range oscillator, and maybe a different flavor of filter as well (multimode?). For both of these, Bubblesound has a couple of modules I've been lusting after: the uLFO and the SEM 20 filter

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RetroSynthAds
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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by RetroSynthAds » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:55 pm

verkannt,

I agree with Hair and meatballfulton - don't forget the "boring" stuff! Considering all the Eurorack module options, some people may even consider LFOs, S&H, and EGs as boring... but all are definitely worth having around.

I kinda did the opposite of you. I started off with a few other Eurorack modules first, then got the Dark Energy (A-111-5 module version). I am loving it. But, fair warning - it's addictive!

I had found some gear racks at Value Village for $2.99 a long time ago and tucked them away. Then, while moving my studio recently, I came across the racks and realized that they were actually Euroracks (in a Value Village! in Canada! no kidding!) so I figured I would try out some Eurorack modules since the cost of entry would be pretty cheap.

Ordered the TipTop uZeus flying busboard power supply and purchased a few rack modules I thought I would find interesting for sound manipulation purposes:
A-119 External Input
A-136 Distortion/Waveshaper
A-140 ADSR
A-109 VC signal processor
Z2040 Tip Top filter

I am pumping drum machines, synths, and anything else I can find through them - even my Moog modular. :lol:

I'm still rather new to the Doepfer stuff, so can only compare to the Moog. I find the A-136 is inherently noisy, but I would definitely recommend it and the A-109 as good little modules to have around.

It was after I purchased and hooked up all those Doepfer modules that I found the A-111-5 Dark Energy module at a fair price so picked it up and slotted it into the rack.

I've included a few images below of the rack.

I find the combination of modules very fun. But I'm definitely missing the "boring" stuff. Need at least another rack of multiples, S&Hs, LFOs, EGs, and other various sound manipulation devices.

NEED MORE MODULES! :)

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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:25 pm

LFO's. You can never have enough LFO sources.
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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by Diao » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:47 am

TipTop Audio Stackable 1/8" Patch Cables

Those are stackable 1/8" patch cables, thus ridding the need of a multiple. That would be a good thing to pick up before you even start on modules.

The Dark Energy's LFO's are already pretty awesome, going up to 5khz, so unless you need more than 2, then I would focus elsewhere.

The DE's filter, sans its modulation capabilities, is fairly limited. Maybe look into a Livewire Frequensteiner, or something of the equivalent. That way you have more than the standard 24db Curtis lowpass filter; you would also have the Steiner LP, HP, and BP filters.

Although a bit more expensive, Cwejman makes a filter, the MMF-1, that offers 7 different types of filters, all of which are 12db-24db switchable. It offers control of the resonance, frequency cutoff, and the "spacing" of the dual peaks on a few of the filter types. Not to mention that, IIRC, all of Cwejman's products are completely discrete and of Wowa's own design, so even the LP, HP, and BP modes will sound different than any other filter out there.

Also, RetroSynthAds is right, don't forget some of the boring stuff you take for granted in non-modular synths. If you purchase the Stackables, you won't have to worry about multiples, but attenuators are ESSENTIAL for full control over your modules' functions. An extra ADSR or two wouldn't hurt either. Again, Cwejman is a class choice, and known for having incredibly fast envelopes, but there are cheaper alternatives.

Just hop on over to Analogue Haven, go the new gear section, and peruse all the Eurorack products they carry. Beware, it is quite a bit, but the only way to know what is best for you, your setup, and your music, is to check out what is available and decide exactly what is best from there.

Last, but not least, I need to give you fair warning that they call it EuroCrack for a reason. Just keep in mind that you are buying modules to make music, not to make the largest rack mountable robot-overlord possible. Keep this in mind, and you won't be found 6 months from now face-down in a gutter with piles of QMMGs and Maths pouring out of your pockets.

Best,
-Grayson

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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by pflosi » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:44 pm

Diao wrote:TipTop Audio Stackable 1/8" Patch Cables

Those are stackable 1/8" patch cables, thus ridding the need of a multiple. That would be a good thing to pick up before you even start on modules.
WOW, finally! Thanks a lot for that link!

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calaverasgrande
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Re: Expanding the Dark Energy

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:50 pm

Diao wrote:
The Dark Energy's LFO's are already pretty awesome, going up to 5khz, so unless you need more than 2, then I would focus elsewhere.
The LFO's are nice in that they do audio rate, fer sure. However the Dark Energy's LFO's only do square and triangle, no sine or ramp LFO shapes (though triangle is close enough to sine most of the time).

That aside, whenever I am running an LFO into audio rate it kind of ceases to be an LFO to me and almost becomes another osc. Making me want one more LFO.
But heck why not an osc? PWM with one osc is just kinda great. With two osc's its party time!
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave

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