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Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:30 am
by trevordutton
Hey modular users,
I've got a few questions for you. I'm thinking of getting deeper into modular territory and investing in a small Eurorack system. (Euro format because of the small physical size and large variety of available modules) I already have an assortment of non and semi-modular hardware that I'm already very content with including loads of outboard analog filters - including an Ebbe & Flut, three or four Moogerfoogers and a CP251, Future Retro XS, two Metasonix pedals, Doepfer Regelwerk sequencer, Korg KP3, and some nice full fledged hardware synths. I also recently got a small and cheap home made modular (Evila by Blue Lantern) that has been a blast to work with and has given me the bug to go further in the modular direction.
Realizing how god awfully expensive full modular systems are and considering I already have the functionality of many basic bread-and-butter individual modules already covered (VCOs, LFOs, VCFs, VCAs, basic utility, etc) I'm thinking I might just focus on putting together a small system of a few modules that offer sound generation or processing that no other product can do.
What I'd be using them for is mainly sound design - recording a session at a time of experimentation for later editing into samples. Tonal musicality is important as well, but versatility of timbre and functionality would be the main intention.
So in your opinion what are the most unique/esoteric/weird/original modules available? I realize this is very subjective, but in my research I do seem to keep coming across the names of a couple modules/manufacturers that seem to have a better reputation for standing out from the pack when it comes to 'oddball' products. But I wanted to see what you all have to say on the matter.
Also, there are a plethora of VCOs out there and I realize that they all have their own characteristic flavor. But in general, do the ones that cost ten times more sound ten times better? Is there any way to audition these products other than the crappy audio resolution that Youtube has to offer, or physically going to Analog Haven?
Thanks in advance!

Re: Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:45 am
by Hair
E350 or Piston Honda
Sound of Shadows or Doepfer BBD Delay
Plague Bearer and/or Doepfer A-189-1
Maths is supremely useful
Wavefolding via Intellijel, Bubblesound CvWS, STG, Doepfer A-136 or 137 etc

and pair the Noisering, Wogglebug with a Quantizer like the uScale, Quantimator, the Doepfer one etc for more on the musical side

Re: Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:20 am
by nuketifromorbit
Hair wrote: Sound of Shadows Doepfer A-189-1
Plugging the a-189-1 into the insert of the sound of shadows is like having Merzbow personally show up at your door stop. Its the ultimate noise maker.

Re: Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:20 am
by Stab Frenzy
I made a patch yesterday with the PGH analogue delay going into the SEM-20 going into the A-199 spring reverb going back into the delay, with delay time and feedback modulated by a Maths. Sounded almost exactly like the Tardis taking off.

These are a few modules I have which I think sound really interesting:

Sound of Shadows
Pittsburgh Modular Analogue Delay
A-199 Spring reverb
E350 wavetable osc
STG .MIX mixer with asymmetrical clipping

I also really like the sound of anything going through a Z2040 and A-132-3 (the old version with the CEM chip) with both modulated by an Envelator. It may sound silly as it doesn't actually make sound itself but I really like the shape of the Envelator's envelope. It's really tight and plucky, and can do punchy as well if you send full CV amount to the 132 as the full +10V clips the VCA and rounds off the top of the envelope.

One thing that took my a little while to discover with a modular is the huge range of flavours you can get out of things by altering your gain staging. Having lots of attenuators and VCAs is great for that.

Regarding different oscs, they do all have their own particular flavours but I wouldn't say the more expensive ones are always 'better' than cheaper ones. Apart from that always being a subjective assessment a lot of the time an osc will cost more just because it's got more inputs for modulation and pots etc so costs more to make. I don't think there are any 'bad' sounding oscs available in Euro, the differences are much slimmer than VCO vs. DCO kind of debates when people start talking about the difference between triangle core and saw core.

Re: Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:41 am
by trevordutton
Oh man, thanks gentlemen. I was really hoping to not get overwhelmed with all this modular business but I've been continuing to research since my initial post (mostly on the other related VSE threads) and it looks like I'm deeply entrenched now. I've even started making a 'window shopping' want list. Christ-sakes.
I've taken the mention about lots of VCAs/mixers/waveshapers to heart. For what it's worth here's what looks attractive at first glance:

"FSU" Modules:
flight of harmony - plague bearer
flame - talking synth
the harvestman - malgorithm
the harvestman - stillson hammer
the harvestman - Zorlon Cannon
wmd - geiger counter

tiptop audio - z3000 mk2
malekko heavy industry/Wiard - anti-oscillator
the harvestman -hertz donut
the harvestman - piston honda
synthesis technology/motm - e350 morphing terrarium

intellijel designs - corgasmatron
malekko heavy industry - borg filter
the harvestman - polivoks vcf

Make Noise - Maths
tiptop audio - z8000

bubblesound - ulfo
Cwejman - bld (bass-lead & drum generator)
Metasonix r54 - Vacuum Tube Oscillator and Filter

intellijel designs - hexvca

My budget is such that I'll have PLENTY of time to do more research on all of these items before making any decisions (read: currently broke). But alas, a boy can dream, no?
Any input on specific modules in the above list would be welcomed.

Re: Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:00 pm
by theglyph
For FSU I'd consider either the Wogglebug or the Noisering.

If you not in a hurry there are two MakeNoise modules I've been beta testing which are great for sound generating and manipulation. He has a dual VCO packed with features on the way and a echo/pitchshift module in colaboration with Tom Erbe of SoundHack. They are both amazing and will be on display at NAMM.

Re: Most unique/wierd sounding Eurorack modules?

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:47 pm
by pricklyrobot
It's another filter, but the Doepfer A-124 Wasp is capable of some pretty unique, gnarly sounds. Had it patched up to the Maths the other day and it just started doing this crazy, demonic-robot, "talking" type thing. 'Twas pleasantly nutso.

And it's cheap!