As my system has grown I’ve started to consider whether I should leave certain elements pre-patched, or if that will entrench habits a bit too much. Does anyone do this?
In some situations I’ve felt like it might just mean there’s a more suitable module out there - for instance I almost always want some smooth random fluctuating CV, and before I had Sapel or Marbles I was constantly setting up slowly clocked slewed S&H’s.
Currently I use PNW as master clock fairly often and was thinking of leaving channel 8 as 16th note triggers multed to my other sequencers. I have a couple other thoughts about things like this that I could set up semi-permanently and it’s hard for me to tell how much of this would be a move towards making a more personalized instrument vs somewhat locking in my mindset while patching.
I view my setup as a “composition suite” of sorts. So my voices are permanently connected to my sequencer (nerdseq) as are my drums. To me this makes the ideas I come up with sound like they belong together. But, as you mentioned, may lead to less experimentation. But I’m ok with that.
I usually leave Pam’s patched to specific parts of my rig, as you mentioned, a channel at 16ths out to other modules. Now that I think about it, the only things I leave pre-patched are my clocks. Oh, and my audio outs. Like audio from the er301, supercell, and others mixed in stereo and connected to my outputs modules.
Only when I’m still in the process of recording a track and want to come back to it the next day. Other than that I like to sit down with my modular completely unpatched when I begin. Part of the reason I got into modular in the first place was to allow weird ideas to happen and develop. Maybe I don’t want to even use my sequencer (Rene2) for note values in a patch, but instead use it to sequence other CV parameters, for example. If I pre-patched, I might completely ignore that very cool possibility.
I have the Pam’s midi expander, which conveniently has dedicated 16th, 8th, quarter and whole note gate outs to keep all of Pam’s free.
For a while I was keeping the 16th note out multed to my sequencer and to my rhythm modules (eg grids, numeric repetitor) as well as a start/run signal and a reset signal. I use right angle patch cables (‘Tendrils’ is a great brand) for these semi-permanent patch cables. I definitely think it is good for me to keep “boilerplate code” patched because it can help me get to the creative parts more quickly.
However, it can also be fun to re-examine the assumptions of your boilerplate, and periodically change it. Eg, switching all my rhythm modules To their own Pam’s outs, so they can advance in irregular and slower ways, and can be changed on the fly, or giving them different resets at different times, etc.
Sometimes I I’ll leave a few FX modules patched as Aux sends for a while, but sometimes I find that pushes me too much towards thinking of them as end-of-chain objects when they can be equally as exciting in the middle or even start.
i leave most of my system patched as-is for month. it’s an instrument, not a composition (this may differ from yours and others views). there are some points with i patch about but in general it stays as is.
I sometimes just un-patch everything and start from a scratch, but I have some staple building blocks that are pretty permanent. I have master clock coming from Expert Sleepers FH-2 to Pam’s, Marbles and DFAM, and then also two channels of pitch cv from FH-2 to my oscillators. They are usually going through switched multiples which are also pretty permanently patched with Marbles, so I can easily switch if my oscillators receive their pitch cv from the Digitakt or Marbles. Most of the time I have my “bass voice” prepatched fully, starting with STO into Eternal Spring Filter to modDemix. It is just the sound for me and I don’t have that many options regarding signal paths. modDemix and Optomix are also usually patched together for easy submixing in the system. Now that I’ve been going crazy with Morphagene the system is patched all wonky and weird, and I kind of miss that pre-patched style where I can just fire up the system and have two ready-to-go voices and modulations that make sense.
I have a template that I use for when either my system is being sequenced by the OP-Z or Grid/Ansible to start, but I’ve started to develop habits where I patch almost the same way every time I use my system. Though its a little tedious, I’ve been un-patching everything completely after I track an idea recently. If I’m practicing for a gig it stays patched for as long as needed.
Same as @disquiet I have my outputs pre-patched at all times, but I dream about the perfect patch that will accommodate all my uses. It’s not impossible because I have a very small system based around the ER-301 and most of the patching happens inside that box. But still it never happened. I always start rewiring as a I go along and all my previous ‘presets’ are rendered useless
It seems like @andrewhuang is looking to consolidate functions into modules with denser functionality when functions are frequently used together. Buchla’s complex oscillator is a classic module design that does this.
Serge patch programming is nearly the opposite approach: expose functions at the most granular lowest level, so that you can always recombine at will.
Can’t say I’ve decided between these approaches personally. Most of my stuff stays patched but some of it never does.
But I notice Buchla folks do tend to leave things patched and Serge folks tend not to? And sort of impossible to generalize about eurorack…
Yeah I suppose it’s about making patching a little more efficient. Been great to hear the ideas in this thread. I love that modular kind of gives you every possible option and at the same time I have to acknowledge that there are some of those options I’m always leaning on and others I’m not interested in being able to access.
One thread of this journey that exemplifies where I’m at: I often used to basically recreate most of Qu-Bit’s Chance module in my patches. I wanted multiple modulations that would each randomize within certain parameters every time I sent a trigger. After getting Chance I suddenly had all this happening in 14hp and with way fewer cables. Now though, I want a bit more control over it. I can’t force Chance to only give me saw waves, or leave out triplet clock divisions, etc. So I’m considering going back to more basic building blocks and creating that kind of a sub-patch that would take up a part of my system.
Recently I’ve been tailoring my euro setup towards a “complete instrument experience”, culminating into my concept of a master patch. I’ve been working through various iterations of a signal flow that will allow me to have a static conception of how the instrument functions, with enough flexibility in sequencing / modulation / mixing to allow for expression / novelty.
This approach has been influenced by a couple factors: working as a synth tech and dissecting synthesizer design frequently with the realizatiom that these instruments have their own master patch; the feeling of being spread too thin on my ambitions within my euro setup (i.e. having both an unwieldy sonic playground and an intentional instrument in the same place); and my deepening interested in using Kria as the underlying basis of a musical process.
The master patch is my disciplined way to explore Kria in this way. I’m using Teletype/TXi to bridge the gap between Kria and Just Friends to keep thing tidy from a “patching” point of view but there’s still a whole world of experimentation available via i2c connectivity; that process will continue to grow even if/when I realize a default patch (which will always be up for tweaking in some way).
This idea was also enabled by my decision to start building a diy synth with Serge/CGS circuits, which I’ve been designing with the intention of channelling ephemeral exploration. I imagine that synth will likely not stay patched between sessions…
No. Every session starts with removing the old cables. Reason for this is that for me pre-patching only creates frustration. The moment is gone and only thing left is this weird noise. Only exception is when I’m recording overnight, as mentioned by others.
Most of the time when I am finished playing I remove all the cables from my modular, cables connecting to the effects etc. I always start with one piece of gear when playing and add new ones when I need them. The only exception recently was when I was playing a gig that had an unusual amount of preplanning (at least for me).
Albeit I have few things that you could consider a prepatched modular (mother-32 for example) so this might make a difference in my approach to full modular case.
most times i unplug everything at the end, mandala-style.
there was a period in which i had a specific clock path always in place, and for some reason i’m yet to identify, it just hindered my practice. it’s meant to be reset. meant to start from zero every time, it seems. more joy this way.