Modular Synthesizers ?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
AnalogKid
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:20 am

Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by AnalogKid » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:41 am

I am saving my money to purchase a modular synthesizer system. I would like to start with a modest system and then expand it here and there in the future. I've been eyeing the products from MOTM and Synthesizers.com. I like the larger size modules and the quarter inch jacks that these two companies employ in their designs. I hope that I don't start a big online fight between MOTM and Synthesizers.com users, but I would like to here some opinions regarding which system is preferred (dare I say better) and why. Any input, both pro and con, would be appreciated. Since I don't have direct access to any modular systems, I have to rely on Youtube and online reviews to hear and see demonstrations and to read about these systems. To be frank, most of the demonstrations online do not do a very good job of showing off the awesome capabilities of modular synths (including the ones posted by the modular synth manufacturers themselves on their respective websites). I have been unable to find many (hopefully objective) third party reviews, and I have not found any reviews comparing the various modular systems that are currently available. I'd like to hear from you. Thank you very much.

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Jupiter-6, Juno-60, Polysix, Emulator II, DX7, QX1, Arp Odyssey MKII, ESQ-1, Miami, M1r, Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by Alex E » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:07 am

Hey, welcome to VSE.

synthesizers.com has an entry level system you can get for $120/mo.
http://synthesizers.com/system-entry1.html

I'll probably get it someday, once I have the money.
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
guitarsandsynths
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:05 am
Real name: Angelo Metz
Band: Brazility
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by guitarsandsynths » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:04 am

The price made me decide for dotcom. And now there are several manufacturers that offer dotcom format modules, like modcan B, STG,and Moonmodular. Motm is very much compatible with dotcom too, so it's very easy to integrate motm modules to a dotcom system.
Dotcom customer support is the best I ever experienced, in any line of business. You can ask any dotcom owner and they will say the same.
There are several good videos of dotcom and motm on youtube. Some with links to HD. In many different styles. Have you really looked it up? Or your standards are way too high...
Maybe you should look for major artists that employ dotcom and motm in their setups.
Minimoog ModelD Prophet5 Roland Jupiter8 SH7 GR9 CSQ100 TR606 TR707 TR727 Oberheim OB8 ARP2600 KorgVC10 Rhodes73 Wurlitzer 200A ClavinetII DOTCOM PearlDRX1 TamaTS202 Simmons SDS9

User avatar
tekkentool
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3218
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:51 am
Real name: Steve
Gear: Lasers (ส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้ ωส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้)
Band: none currently
Location: Sydney, australia.(I moved)

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by tekkentool » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:11 am

HAHA :D nice name, i love rush ;).

User avatar
cornutt
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:03 am
Gear: 6th
Location: Rocket City USA
Contact:

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by cornutt » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:54 am

I think the general consensus is: MOTM is somewhat higher quality. Dotcom is less expensive and delivery is faster. But these days, there are quite a few people building Frankensynths using modules from both formats.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

User avatar
guitarsandsynths
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:05 am
Real name: Angelo Metz
Band: Brazility
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by guitarsandsynths » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:05 am

cornutt wrote:I think the general consensus is: MOTM is somewhat higher quality. Dotcom is less expensive and delivery is faster. But these days, there are quite a few people building Frankensynths using modules from both formats.
I think there's no consensus. Motm may use more expensive components, like the sealed pots, but to say it's better quality is a stretch. The dotcom design is less cluttered and pretty much flawless. I'm not saying dotcom is better either. I'm just saying... 8-)
Minimoog ModelD Prophet5 Roland Jupiter8 SH7 GR9 CSQ100 TR606 TR707 TR727 Oberheim OB8 ARP2600 KorgVC10 Rhodes73 Wurlitzer 200A ClavinetII DOTCOM PearlDRX1 TamaTS202 Simmons SDS9

User avatar
anoteoftruth
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:05 am
Real name: Steven
Gear: Moog Little Phatty, Moog Voyager RME, Nord Lead Rack, Microkorg, Korg ER-1, Rocktron Banshee Talkbox, Ableton Live, Trigger Finger, GURU, SP-303
Band: Mr.Marr
Location: Edmonton, AB. Canada.
Contact:

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by anoteoftruth » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:41 am

I'm in kind of a similar dilemma between the dotcom format and the eurorack formats. It's hard to choose between the two, after looking at some pro's and con's.

User avatar
soundxplorer
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:48 am
Location: PA

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by soundxplorer » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:14 am

anoteoftruth wrote:I'm in kind of a similar dilemma between the dotcom format and the eurorack formats. It's hard to choose between the two, after looking at some pro's and con's.
Why not have both?
I have some Eurorack modules that I use all the time with my Moogerfoogers. I just keep a handful of 1/8" to 1/4" adapters on hand, no big deal.
I would prefer a DotCom format system, just because the knobs aren't as cramped. But Eurorack has such a wide variety of flavors it was hard to pass up.

tunedLow
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:08 pm
Gear: Sage XP 4wt 10
Sage TXL 3wt 710
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by tunedLow » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:16 am

Had a dotcom, loved it for the sound and format. Sold it later for eurorack for their sounds and format. Get whatever you think you want - gibson or fender, sage or winston, coke or pepsi. Wait - f**k pepsi, drink coke.

User avatar
tekkentool
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3218
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:51 am
Real name: Steve
Gear: Lasers (ส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้ ωส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้)
Band: none currently
Location: Sydney, australia.(I moved)

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by tekkentool » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:56 am

tunedLow wrote:Had a dotcom, loved it for the sound and format. Sold it later for eurorack for their sounds and format. Get whatever you think you want - gibson or fender, sage or winston, coke or pepsi. Wait - f**k pepsi, drink coke.
f**k gibson and fender.

Roter! http://www.roterguitars.com/gallery4.htm

User avatar
Henfield
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:19 am
Gear: MU Modular in a Moog 1P style cabinet, Moog Minitaur, and Moogerfooger rack.
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by Henfield » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:19 am

I researched this quite a bit as well, looking at Euro, Frac, and 5U. I was on a budget and the biggest hurdle to ownership is the case/power supply combo. Dotcom actually shows you how to build a decent looking DIY cabinet that you can use for Dotcom or MOTM format modules. I settled on 5U because of the larger knobs and 1/4" plugs. You can get many different Dotcom modules (they have around 40 modules), and you can get a power adpater from Dotcom or from MOTM (they offer another 25 or so modules) for powering MOTM modules from a Dotcom power supply. There are several manufacturers that offer modules in Dotcom and MOTM formats.

My system is mostly Dotcom, but I would not rule out getting MOTM modules as well.

I hope that this helps, please post any questions / concerns that you may have.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:45 am

anoteoftruth wrote:I'm in kind of a similar dilemma between the dotcom format and the eurorack formats. It's hard to choose between the two, after looking at some pro's and con's.
Do you want big or little? Traditional analogue or crazy mentalness? I was thinking similarly for a while because I like the layout and lovely analogue sounds of the .coms but the smaller size (I gig) and some of the crazy new modules coming out in Euro pushed me over the edge.
soundxplorer wrote:Why not have both?
I have some Eurorack modules that I use all the time with my Moogerfoogers. I just keep a handful of 1/8" to 1/4" adapters on hand, no big deal.
My main reason not to have both systems is the cost of a case and power supply. Maybe once I've filled a euro case I might think about a .com, but I doubt it. I think MFs are a different kettle of fish because you don't have to commit to a case and power supply, just the different patch leads.

schmidtc
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:27 pm
Location: Virginia / Paris

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by schmidtc » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:00 pm

MOTM is higher quality and more DIY friendly than ANY other company IMHO. From what I understand, there's even a royalty fee paid to people who helped invent/design the circuits used, nothing is copied or ripped off (doepferized). I'm working on integrating some ARP boards into MOTM format; 4027-1, 4075 and phaser. The mounting bracket, panels, breadboards, cable, pots, knobs, even solder, everything are all easy to find and of the highest quality available. Yes, the modules are expensive and can take a month or two to ship, but it's the Mother Of The Modulars. The owner does signal processing for mil-spec when he's not building modules, i.e. pays attention to all the little details I care about when I spend thousands building a system to last me my life.

User avatar
stikygum
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 681
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:21 pm
Location: SOS - Substance over Style

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by stikygum » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:37 am

I like what I've heard from Motm. It does sound hifi to me and has more of a moog like character. I'm Euro rack just because I like options and think quality is all around in that format.

c**p, I had no idea that's what MOTM stood for. I guess they don't feel Modest of the Modulars.
"MTV's gaudy overexuberance contributed to the trivialization of the one thing it had been initiated to support, music" - Rik Millhouse

User avatar
iProg
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:28 pm
Real name: Carl
Gear: Prophet-5, Korg PolySix, Roland D-50, JV-1080
Band: ArtWithHeart
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Modular Synthesizers ?

Post by iProg » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:23 pm

How about polyphony? Are they all monophonic?

Post Reply