Has anyone here had experience slimming down from a large-ish system to a medium-ish system? Were you happy with the results?
I’ve grown to about 20u (18u + two 1u rows) and am considering slimming down to something in the 9u - 12u range, partially because of financial reasons (my Dad is having health/money problems and I could use some additional cash to deal with the immediate issues) but also I feel it’s gotten a little disjointed. However, there’s not a singe module that I own that I dislike and I’m pretty well balanced in terms of voices, modulation, VCA’s, utilities, etc.
For people who slimmed down their system - what strategies did you use?
In case anyone’s interested - here’s a link to my modulargrid. I’m not necessarily looking for specific feedback like “get rid of this and add this” but I thought it might be useful to see where the system is currently.
When I slimmed down my goal was to go from a collection of modules that I thought were neat to a designed instrument. Something that felt more cohesive. Framing it that way helped the decision process.
the meng qi split looks like it’s passive so wouldn’t add any boost, don’t know if the mixer will do the trick probably there’s someone with more expertise than me possibly in the contact mics thread but it sounds viable to me! If you stick with RIP I’d still recommend an envelope follower—whenever I’m playing drum samples in my system it’s always fun to have some synchronized and related but not “on-the-grid” modulation
edit: also you might be interested in this lines users project: "Vulneraries" - 12-string guitar and modular synth he did some stuff with transducers and feedback into a guitar that was really interesting and made it seemingly very interactive for the guitar player. Bit different than what you’re describing but maybe some inspo.
I slimmed down from a bit over 700 hp to three independent instruments of 130 hp, 104 hp and 62 hp. I had to do it in order to focus. Feels good now, and even though I every now and then swap things from case to case, I love being able to pick an instrument with all its constraints and shortcomings. I end up recording a lot more.
Hi folks! I’ve read the earlier discussion, especially fragments about VCAs and user /u/oot tips (especially about the size of the system - thanks). I’m currently building a small West-Coast system. I abandoned Mother-32 expansion concept etc… I know I need a complex oscillator and a few things around it. Due to limited funds, I have to expand slowly.
I’ve already bought Make Noise DPO, Maths and Marbles, because I’m sure these modules will be useful to me. Rene Mk1 and Forbidden Planet were absolutely great deals and that’s why they are here, but I’d still buy a sequencer and some filter. Now what two or three modules would you add if you wanted to get the maximum sound out of this minimalistic system? This will be only the first stage of construction, but I would like to have a relatively powerful core system now. I like abstract and evolving sequences like Caterina Barbieri and sometimes crazy bleeps bloobs a la Subotnick, arpeggios and drones.
P.S. I’ll use Ableton for effects.
I actually started modular by designing a specific instrument for a theatre piece I was developing. It was a great little 96hp instrument but the temptation to add to it was too much! I do like the idea of smaller independent systems though.
thanks for this! i also reached out to trent at whimsical raps to see what he thought re: rip specifically - a mixer with a good preamp should do the trick, but he too mentioned that rip might not be the most effective in for me to use. i think the way he put it was it wouldn’t make rip “do anything special.” still, i’m building two of them, so i’ll give it a shot while also continuing to research around.
the meng qi is passive - i’m not new to the music side of all of this but i am very new to the electrical side of it! i really should have googled the word “attenuation” because i guess i assumed it could boost the signal as well. whoops!
for what it’s worth, while i’ll be placing mics on drums, i’m not necessarily trying to capture “drum sounds.” i’m hoping to mangle those sounds into very different things - but i’ll still look at envelope followers. mutable ears looks pretty great! do you have any resources for the kind of off the grid modulations you’re referring to? i’m extremely interested in that! a lot of my style of drumming is totally off-grid.
mutable ears is also a contact mic preamp though - and i do think that regardless i’d want to run my mics through a mixer before they get to the modular. do you have any recommendations of space-efficient envelope followers? are there any with separate channels? of course i’ll look on my own but if you know of any good ones i’ll definitely want to check them out.
edit - already found the plankton 2hp follower, that would be great - i could fit two channels where the meng qi used to be. does anyone have experience with that module?
Since you’re already planning on hooking into Ableton, if you have Max for Live you can use CV tools if you get one of the Expert Sleepers audio interfaces. You could also use VCV Rack to figure out any modules you might be missing.
I get good results with contact mics and a Doepfer a-119. Has an envelope follower and gate extractor built in. Don’t need an external mixer. Keep in mind that if you are planning on bringing in four separate inputs into modular from 4 separate contact mics that your mixer will have to have 4 outs as well. If you are trying to do that I don’t think you need a mixer. It’s just extra stuff. If you are pre-mixing the contact mics into 1 signal before getting into modular then that makes sense of course.
i couldn’t take 4 inputs and mix them into 2 outputs? that’s kind of what i was thinking of eventually… i was looking at the small yamaha preamp mixers. i’m expecting these mic outputs to be kind of unpredictable so i was already thinking having a totally separate pre-modular mixer would be useful.
Unfortunately I don’t. It’s the Lite version which came in bundle with my audio interface. But even if I had one, my final goal is to spend less time with a computer. ElectricaNada, kveye (and all) - I keep an eye on Stages and probably I’ll choose it because I know it a bit from VCV Rack and I like its interface. So this is a module #1. Do you think the second module should have something to do with clok stuff maybe?
Just as a notice, Stages interface feels really different in real life compared to vcv.
Stages can be both clock and clock divider/multiplier. If you want a dedicated one take a look at tempi or Pam’s new workout.
I have Pam’s but came to dislike menus, so thinking about changing it to tempi.
I’d look at mimeophon or morphagene as last module. Arbhar and Nebulae are also worth looking at.
I don’t mean it as better/worse, just different. You are right about 10 fingers, though stages is not a big module at all. Also faders are a bit touchy and cables are at the bottom and sometimes get in the way (but with eurorack they always do:)).
I found Math to be much more usable for envelopes that I would tweak on the fly.
Strength of stages is it can be patched as a lot of different things