Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

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Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

Postby 30h5 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:12 pm

So,I am about to plunge into the world of Eurorack. I was going to start off small and use my FR-XS as a starting point. I was just curious what recommendations the community has as far as where to take it from there. I don't really have much direction but was thinking about maybe a couple of filters to put my existing stuff through or some wacky modulation stuff. I admit to being a total noob and would like to potentially compliment my existing gear. Thanks!

Edit: also, it seems as if the XS can output a gate signal of +15v, how careful/concerned do I need to be about that? Could I accidentally fry something if I routed it to a eurorack module?
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Re: Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

Postby nuketifromorbit » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:13 pm

I'm a little burned out on the euro format and ultimately ended up using my system as an analog mono synth, but I'll throw my two cents in. Don't shy away from Doepfer, despite being cheaper their modules are of good quality and they've produced some gems. The doepfer wasp filter is a lot of fun, and their voltage controlled bit reducer is wonderfully bonkers. Modulation wise my system is rocking a synthesis technology e355 dual morphing lfo and an malekko envelator. I have nothing but praise for both modules. The e355 can actually be tuned to the audio range and function as a wavetable vco. Most muffwiggler members would likely recommend the makenoise maths as a first module, since it can perform a wide variety of functions, but I've had no first hand experiences with one. I'm using a Bubblesound SEM20 a Manhattan Analog MA35 filter in my system. Both are clones of classic designs, so theres nothing too wild about them, but they both sound good to my ears. The MA35 is kind of handy in the fact that it features a simple two input mixer and a built in VCA. It also allows an incoming gate signal to switch the module between high and low pass modes.
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Re: Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

Postby pflosi » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:41 am

Some random tips for starting out with Eurorack...

Have a realistic budget for it. Then double that :)

Same with the case you get. It will get bigger, so buy one that is big enough to begin with. Think about everything you want, then again double the size :mrgreen:

However, start very slow with modules! (Get some blank panels to cover up the empty space in the rack.) Just get a few for a start and work them with the XS. After you get to know them well, you will start to notice the functions that you are missing. That will tell you about the subsequent module purchase.

Don't blindly follow all the hypes, there's like 4000 modules as of now, so you will have to make choices. Try to avoid impulse buys (except for the rare stuff, hehe). Of course, some hyped modules are very good, but you will figure out what that is if you take some time to research.

If you want to inject line level signals into the modular, you will need an amplification stage ("input module"). The internal levels are higher and you will be rather disappointed with a lot of modules when you don't have enough signal strength. For going out of the rack, use either an output module or just an attenuator or VCA.

Regarding your question with the 15V, that shouldn't matter. Whatever input you will send it to will just clip it at 12V (according to the power rails). It would have to be a very poorly designed module to be harmed by that.

And finally, be careful with the power supplies! Double check all power ribbon connections to be accurate before powering on! Make sure your PSU has enough juice for the modules you have. Use plastic washers to avoid rack rash (and have plenty of washers and screws). Ground yourself on a radiator before handling modules (i.e., PCBs) and don't store the modules on carpets when rearranging. Have more patch cables than you need. Don't patch outputs to outputs and don't mix with passive mults.
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Re: Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

Postby 30h5 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:18 pm

Thank you both very much for your responses. I have a fair idea about signal flow, but a lot of the knowledge beyond the most basic stuff eludes me. Any recommendations on good resources to start learning with?
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Re: Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

Postby meatballfulton » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:05 pm

Having owned and sold a few modular systems, my advice is to focus first on mixers, multiples, splitters as these are what are lacking in your XS. and most basic modulars and semi mocdulars. Being able to mix two LFOs and two envelopes to create a more complex modulation is a good example of where a lot of the power of a modular is. People focus on VCOs and filters when modulators are the real interesting stuff.

The XS in particular has rather short max times on the EG stages, so buying one or two EGs with longer max times (like 30 seconds or more) and/or other stuff like ability to loop will open things up. Maybe an LFO or two with options not available in the XS' onboard LFO. In other words, think of where you feel restricted with the XS and buy modules that address those shortcomings.

I'd advise holding off on the VCOs and filters until you have a lot of modulators and routing modules. Anyway, have fun.

PS a great starter for Eurorack is the Tiptop Happy Ending kit which is a basic power supply, power harness and rails that you can rack mount or set on a tabletop. Because it's not enclosed, it's way chaper than most Eurorack emclosures...only $159 in the US.
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Re: Eurorack suggestions - new to modular

Postby 30h5 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:12 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
PS a great starter for Eurorack is the Tiptop Happy Ending kit which is a basic power supply, power harness and rails that you can rack mount or set on a tabletop. Because it's not enclosed, it's way chaper than most Eurorack emclosures...only $159 in the US.


Actually, I have a happy ending on the way and thanks for the response!
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