Modular: Silly start?

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GuyaGuy
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Modular: Silly start?

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:54 am

I've been using my CV options a lot more: Little Phatty with CV out, Moogers, CP-251, MP-201, Minibrute, and--more recently--Expert Sleepers Silent way. I was thinking of setting up a modular rack mostly for modulation, triggering, etc. I might get into more standard modules later (filters, osc, etc.). But for my starter, I would be mostly integrating the modular bits with what I already have. So...

1) Any reason why this would be a silly start to a modular setup?
2) I'm really interested in the 4ms stuff (mostly the ones below). Anything else that you'd recommend for that kind of setup?
3) Tip Top Happy Ending: That's 84HP of actual useable space, right? And 3U of rack space?

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by pflosi » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:09 am

Looks like a good start to me if you really plan to use it solely for modulation / trigger manipulation and so on. 4ms is awesome, I have the SCM, VCAm and PEG out of those. Lots of new modules coming from them soon as well...

I would add some logic modules (AND, OR, XOR and so on), furthermore I really like the unity mixer from Intellijel - such a simple but highly useful module to quickly mix in stuff. A switch (e.g. A151) can open up a lot of possibilities too. Maybe also look at a nice random generator? The RG6 never ceases to amaze me, it's the most freaked out random modulator I've come across.

If you plan to insert sounds into this modular as well, you'll need some kind of input module. I have the Intellijel Audio Interface and it does a great job.

Yeah a Happy Ending kit is 84HP, 3U (i.e. one row).

Be warned though - you certainly won't stop there. So you could basically buy a bigger case right away :) You will want audio modules immediately once you start like this. Believe me, I wanted to start to just make an audio fx / modulator as well... In the meantime (just some month) I got a fully blown 3 osc synth :D

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:05 pm

Modulation and routing (mixers/splitters/multiples/inverters/level shifters) are much more important than having lots of VCOs and VCFs anyway. For you application, yes I think it's a good start.
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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:48 pm

One thing to note with the HEK is the power module takes up 4hp so you actually only have 80hp to play with. Or you could just buy the 104hp version.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:37 pm

pflosi wrote:Looks like a good start to me if you really plan to use it solely for modulation / trigger manipulation and so on. 4ms is awesome, I have the SCM, VCAm and PEG out of those. Lots of new modules coming from them soon as well...

I would add some logic modules (AND, OR, XOR and so on), furthermore I really like the unity mixer from Intellijel - such a simple but highly useful module to quickly mix in stuff. A switch (e.g. A151) can open up a lot of possibilities too. Maybe also look at a nice random generator? The RG6 never ceases to amaze me, it's the most freaked out random modulator I've come across.

If you plan to insert sounds into this modular as well, you'll need some kind of input module. I have the Intellijel Audio Interface and it does a great job.

Yeah a Happy Ending kit is 84HP, 3U (i.e. one row).

Be warned though - you certainly won't stop there. So you could basically buy a bigger case right away :) You will want audio modules immediately once you start like this. Believe me, I wanted to start to just make an audio fx / modulator as well... In the meantime (just some month) I got a fully blown 3 osc synth :D
Thanks for the input, so to speak...Any suggestions for a logic module? I'm not even sure what to look for in that area.

I happen to have a 6U case that I'll re-purpose for the modules. I figure it's large enough to expand but small enough to try to limit myself...Theoretically anyhow...I've also been getting rid of lots of STUFF--polysynths that are all basically just 10% different from each other really and so on. So I think replacing that stuff with modular is a better investment for getting a broader palette.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:39 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:One thing to note with the HEK is the power module takes up 4hp so you actually only have 80hp to play with. Or you could just buy the 104hp version.
Good to know. Thanks!

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by masstronaut » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:57 pm

That 4ms stuff looks great.

The VCA Matrix reminds me of an Auxpander, is it something like that?

Oh gawd... ;-)

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:21 pm

masstronaut wrote:That 4ms stuff looks great.

The VCA Matrix reminds me of an Auxpander, is it something like that?

Oh gawd... ;-)
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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by pflosi » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:13 am

GuyaGuy wrote:Thanks for the input, so to speak...Any suggestions for a logic module? I'm not even sure what to look for in that area.
There's different stuff: binary logic modules for gates and triggers, as well as continuous logic modules for OR (returns MAX) and AND (returns MIN).
  • Check the A-186-1 for a gate / trigger combiner (simple passive binary OR); alternatively the Low Gain Short Bus (two busses with switch per input for A/off/B) or the Manhattan Mutinator
  • I very much like the A-172 Max/Min, it's continuous and also works with audio material
  • Maths is almost a must and also has a continuous OR
  • Intellijel Plog looks very useful, but haven't tried it
  • Then there's freaky stuff like the Tip Top Trigger Riot
That should get you started... The PEG also has a continuous OR output for the two envelopes.

Also, it seems from the screenshot in your first post that you're using the modularplanner - check out modulargrid.net, it's way more up to date (users can upload modules), has a better search function for modules (e.g. by function) and is account-based, so you can access your plans from anywhere...
Last edited by pflosi on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by pflosi » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:17 am

masstronaut wrote:The VCA Matrix reminds me of an Auxpander, is it something like that?
It's a great module, basically a 4x4 mixer with 16 separate VCAs with CV inputs, a bias / CV attenuator (bias if nothing is plugged into the CV inputs) and mute buttons per VCA. You can use it for all kinds of different stuff: traditional send/return, sending around CV (think Waldorf modulation matrix), no input feedback mixer, sending around audio, crossfades, panning, etc. etc. Combined with some sort of divider / sequential trigger (e.g. A160+161), a switch (A151) and a quantizer it could also be a 16 step sequencer... Awesome module.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:36 pm

pflosi wrote:
GuyaGuy wrote:Thanks for the input, so to speak...Any suggestions for a logic module? I'm not even sure what to look for in that area.
There's different stuff: binary logic modules for gates and triggers, as well as continuous logic modules for OR (returns MAX) and AND (returns MIN).
  • Check the A-186-1 for a gate / trigger combiner (simple passive binary OR); alternatively the Low Gain Short Bus (two busses with switch per input for A/off/B) or the Manhattan Mutinator
  • I very much like the A-172 Max/Min, it's continuous and also works with audio material
  • Maths is almost a must and also has a continuous OR
  • Intellijel Plog looks very useful, but haven't tried it
  • Then there's freaky stuff like the Tip Top Trigger Riot
That should get you started... The PEG also has a continuous OR output for the two envelopes.

Also, it seems from the screenshot in your first post that you're using the modularplanner - check out modulargrid.net, it's way more up to date (users can upload modules), has a better search function for modules (e.g. by function) and is account-based, so you can access your plans from anywhere...
I'll check all of those out--as well as modular grid. Thanks for all your tips!

I just spotted and purchased a used SCM on eBay. The journey has begun...

:? :ugeek: :2cool:

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by n3wt15 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:27 am

I do mostly rhythmic things with my modular, and am looking at some of those same units myself, so this is all very useful information to me as well :-)
I only have one Euro module, a make noise rene, which I would also recommend, it would offer something a bit different then the other modules, but can come in very handy, and fun to play.
I use mine in conjunction with my serge and minibrute to control different things.

If you ever start to look at Serge modules, check out the Gator, it looks like something that would be very useful in what you want.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by analoglsd » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:41 am

4ms is a great place to start eurorack IMO, specifically the PEG.
You might want to check out the Pamela's Workout module in place of the RCD, SCM and expanders.
I just replaced my RCD and SCM with this.
You'll save money and conserve space.
The 4ms Quad-Pingable LFO is coming out at the end of the month, and that will be must have for me...

The Intellijel Spock is a great, small, and simple logic module.
Feed it a straight multiplication of a clock, and a division of the same clock, and get some polyrhythms out, all in sync.
The Intellijel Plog is basically the same module, but with flip-flop and expanded logic options.

Someone already mentioned the 'Or' out on the PEG, but there are also 'End-Of-Rise' and 'End-Of-Fall' outs as well, so you can use the PEG as a clock multiplier and divider through those gate outs as well.

The Make Noise Optomix would go along nicely with all the gate/clocks you'll have.
A Sport Modulator or Maths would also be great additions.
Maybe a wavefolder too?
Good luck, you'll have a blast!
Last edited by analoglsd on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by pflosi » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:56 am

+1 on Pamela and René, both great modules. Especially René is the s**t, but that will surely end up with you getting oscillators and filters :) Same for Optomix and wavefolders.

Yeah the End-Of outputs on the PEG are awesome for all kinds of stuff: trigger envelopes, dividing / multiplying clocks, creating true quadrature LFOs with the PEG (with the help of two inverters), synced square / pulse LFOs with adjustable pulse width, pinging filters, gating stuff, etc. etc. Awesome design. Combine that with the cv inputs and you're in modulation heaven.

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Re: Modular: Silly start?

Post by GuyaGuy » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:15 pm

analoglsd wrote:4ms is a great place to start eurorack IMO, specifically the PEG.
You might want to check out the Pamela's Workout module in place of the RCD, SCM and expanders.
I just replaced my RCD and SCM with this.
You'll save money and conserve space.
Hmm...So it has most of the same functionality as those 4ms units? It's not too fiddly with the "menus?"
Does it save the values you select as a preset of sorts? Or does it just remember last settings?

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