2 x Mangrove vs complex oscillator


Yeah there’s tape echo, reverb, and limiter from the DAW.


For those of you who went with 2xMangroves, are they still in your ayatem or have you moved on to something else?

I’m contemplating some reshuffling/addition to my system and both the 2xMangroves(+Cold Mac which I’ll probably get either way) and the newer CO’s like the Instruo Cs-L look very interesting.

I figure that either way, one of my two current oscillators (I have the Rene2 so I want to be able to have three indepented voices) will be redundant. I currently have a Dixie II+ and a STO.

What’s the benefit, in your opinion, of having a second Mangrove vs something like the Dixie or STO? Wouldn’t more available waveshapes that can be used for modulation and/or sound give you a broader palette vs 2xMangroves with identical waveshapes? Don’t get me wrong, the examples I’ve heard of 2xMangroves sounds fantastic, just curious about the options.


I think the context of the rest of your rack might be helpful here. I can’t speak directly to the “complex oscillator” use case, but for me, since my system is a little skiff, I actually found it pretty tough to meaningfully support the Dixie 2+.

Here’s why: yes, the Dixie gives you a bajillionty simultaneous waveform outputs, which is very cool. The problem is that if you want to dynamically blend them, you need some kind of VC-mixer and a CV source. I found that being able to alter the timbre with CV in that way was very interesting to me, and so I got a Mangrove, to save me a module, basically.


I used to have Mangrove and WMD Spectrum, before trading Spectrum for a second Mangrove. Main reason being, I found it difficult to work with two different oscillators and make them sound cohesive together. One small but important aspect of that was getting the levels right (Spectrum always seemed to be quieter than Mangrove, so I had to tie up some attenuation on the Mangrove, if I still wanted some of the quality changes provided by Air). I also found it more immediately playable to have two of the same module that I’m super familiar with.

It does mean I don’t really have any sawtooth or triangle wave generators, but I’m hoping to get the TXO+ for specific waveform duties


I see something like Dixie more as a more of a building block/utility oscillator. As @alanza says, you’ll need extra things to supplement it for a lot of scenarios. I’m also using a skiff, so my space considerations + feelings are similar. There’s no right or wrong here, so you should chase your ideas and try out different things!

On Mangrove, AIR is super useful as a vca when you’re modulating the other Mangrove with formant out. You can also generate lower pitches/octaves via barrel/formant settings while the square output stays at the original pitch. The only way I know of doing this with something like Dixie would be to feed the square into a clock divider that can handle audio rate signals.


Most often I tune my Mangroves an octave apart and feed them related—but not identical—sequences, usually via something like Shifty or Marbles. They often cross-modulate each other but play as a kind of ensemble, like two woodwind players or the left and right hand of a pianist. From there they run through an Optomix and reverb then they are panned left and right.

I don’t really know any other VCOs because I came from the non-modular world. What I can say is that I have never heard anything I like as much. It’s like the contents of my brain as a teenager turned into an oscillator. Wish I’d had these twenty years ago.


After using a single Mangrove with 3 Sisters, I took the plunge and put this small system together. So far it has been a nice jump down the rabbit hole. As far as making comparisons between 2 Mangroves vs a complex oscillator, I do not have enough experience with complex oscillators to give an informed opinion. I have an Endorphin.es Furthrrrr Generator, and it is a very different - and also wonderful - animal than the 2 x Mangrove setup. In my situation, I would say that the addition of the Cold Mac is important in linking the Mangroves together.


Nice skiff! According to the lore, the correct way to rack Cold Mac is “between two Mangroves.” :wink:


My assumption has been that Cold Mac is specifically (but only partly) intended to serve between two Mangroves in the approximate role of the modulation bus intrinsic to Buchla-inspired complex oscillators. As usual with Whimsical, the lines are deliberately blurred.


Wow! First things first, thank you all very much for the thorough and swift replies!

I’ve posted my planned rack below. I currently own everything in this except for the Mannequins modules which I’ve become very interested in through reading this forum and watching/listening to many demos.

I really like the Serge-esque approach to sound and patching that the Mannequins modules offer which I believe could compliment my existing setup.

As noted, the Dixie is indeed pretty bland by itself but as you can see, I’ve got plenty of Metasonix for remedying that, the Dixie through the RK4 while pushed into self oscillation for example sounds absolutely nothing like the original source :wink:

In terms of comparing the Mangroves to a DPO or Cs-L, I get that it’s not completely comparable since the sounds you’ll get out of these are completely different so I guess that what I’m mainly interested in is what the immediate benefit is of having two from a modulation-standpoint.

Obviously there are other things to consider as well such as making the voices sound cohesive together and really getting to learn one oscillator. With regards to making the voices sound cohesive, I’ve vaguely toyed with the idea that my synth could almost represent three different kinds of synthesis, divided among the three voices. Dixie for subtractive, STO along with some of the Metasonix modules as a more or less wavefolded voice a la Buchla and the Mangrove inspired by Serge.

I think it’s also worth noting that the synth will almost never be the sole instrument used in my music, there will usually be electric guitars (6/8-Strings), classical guitar, drums/drum-machine and vocals in the mix as well. This also means that level differences is a non-issue for me since each voice gets recorded on a separate channel and mixed with the rest of the tracks.


The extensive information you have put up about the Mannequins modules was very helpful in determining my equipment choices. I would highly recommend your tutorials to anyone considering these modules—especially people like me who are not positioned to place their hands on the equipment in real time and give it a thorough run-through. Thank you. The effort you have put forth is much appreciated.


You won’t be disappointed.


Can you say more about how you would patch this?

I’m still trying to make much useful sense of Cold Mac…



A simple example: The FM INDEX on Mangrove seems to respond only to 0-5v, so try patching the SLOPE(OUT) of Cold Mac to the FM INDEX of one Mangrove. (I chose the SLOPE circuit because it only outputs positive voltage.) Patch another oscillator’s output to the FM INPUT of the same Mangrove. You’re now frequency modulating the Mangrove with the second oscillator (adjust pitches to taste) and controlling the depth of modulation with the big knob on Cold Mac. You’ll have no FM with the big knob of Cold Mac at noon, and full depth at either fully clockwise or fully counter-clockwise.

Just Friends doesn’t have a separate FM depth cv input, so you’d need to pass the modulation signal through a VCA in order to control that in a similar manner. You could sort of accomplish that by running the modulation signal into LEFT and out of RIGHT(OUT) on Cold Mac with a dummy cable in the LEFT input. That would fully attenuate the modulation signal with SURVEY counter-clockwise and open it up as you turned SURVEY clockwise. Might be more fun to use that cross-fader circuit to blend between two different modulation signals and handle depth with a simple VCA downstream.

I haven’t tried it yet, myself, but I would speculate that pairing Cold Mac with a bi-polar VCA like Mutable Instruments Blinds or Make Noise ModDemix would significantly increase the one’s ability to route audio rate modulation to different places under “patch surveillance”. Similarly, adding a wavefolder that has bipolar cv control (I think the Vintage Synth Lab AWM-3 does, maybe others) should also complement Cold Mac in this sort of scenario.


Much to try here, many thanks for all your great insights!!!


After much consideration, I’ve decided to pull the trigger on two Mangroves for my system. Since I do want to keep this system as minimal/direct as possible, which of the existing oscillators would any of you personally get rid of, STO or Dixie? Or would it perhaps be worth keeping the Dixie for now to use for LFO duties?


The Dixie, to me, seems to offer a better contrast alongside the Mangrove. The Mangrove is bonkers, whereas the Dixie is very sensible. Not too sensible of course! But then neither is the STO? Both good modules… hmmmmm… LFO mode and the octave switcher maybe tip things towards the Dixie. I fear I’ve not been helpful. Apologies.


It’s a tough call indeed. Perhaps the wisest would be to leave them both for now, receive the Mangroves and play around with them both and then decide.


I can’t imagine a more sensible, meat and potatoes oscillator than a Dixie. That’s why it is great!


Just got a Mangrove about a week ago and I don’t know why I waited so long to get one. After reading through this thread I just grabbed a second one. Super excited to start using them together!