Isms complete system patching/learning discussion

Hey folks,

I got the isms complete system, and have been loving it! So much fun functionality throughout the system, it is amazing how complex of an instrument it is. I have learned a surprising amount just through some trial and error these last few days.

I would love to hear what other people are doing with the same set of modules and to learn some new stuff to try out.

I have been currently focusing on learning WW, using it to sequence melodies and send gates, JF as my envelope/shape generator, the mangroves as my voices, usually one through the Spring reverb and one through Three Sisters, and then the Cold Mac as a standard VCA to sum the signals to the outs. Pretty straight forward, but I am having a blast!

Things I would really like to branch out into doing is using JF in sound mode and then using the cold mac for its unique utility functions, but then I hit somewhat of an impasse with that because if I am not using CM as a VCA I don’t know how to sum signals together to send to the out. Ultimately I have decided I need to get another CM and JF but that isn’t going to happen for a while.

I have been to intimidated to touch the Teletype yet but I know that once I dive into learning that the whole system will really come together.

Anyways, I wanted to start a topic focused on the isms system, specifically on using Monome and Whimsical Raps modules, on trading patching techniques, and for others/myself to ask questions. Though if you do not have the isms system or the set of modules I am talking about don’t feel like you can’t contribute but please do try to talk in general terms so that people can apply the concepts to their own system/set up.

Please let me know if this is already a thread and I will divert over to that.



I don’t have isms but I have all the modules. Isms I believe has a mixing section built in. Many of the whimsical modules are multifunctional so you can use the envelopes in jf to open and close mangroves and just sisters like a vca. With teletype you can send triggers to the lpg or vca in the utility row, allowing you to use jf as a sound source.

what @michael_matos said - there’s three gates in the utility row which are either LPF, LPG or VCA depending on where you stick the switch, and also the three-channel mixer at the right. Are you already using those in your patches? But that’d free up Cold Mac.

I’m in a similar situation … I backed into a full isms system. First I got whimsical (JF, 2xMangroves, Cold Mac, 2xSisters), then the isms skiff and finally, after taking another closer look at the monome concepts, got TT and the trilogy.

I’m going to be away from my studio for a few months so it seems a good time to gain some fluency with the monome way. I’ll be taking isms and wonder what ideas others might have for the use of the space remaining. My impulse is to bring along an extra 208hp case but I think learning the monome system might best be served by trying to generate more from less.

So, In a broader sense, how might I best augment the monome modules, which I have yet to experiment with?

A couple of ideas I’ve had that fit the space:
-My Flame 4vox might be most useful by adding extra voices if I drop one Sister
-Loquelic Iteritas plus the HordijkTwin Peak filter has been fun recently and fit

I’d love to hear more ideas or any comments related to good monome-diving gear.

not to push my own workflow on you, but if you’re traveling and looking to add a couple low-hp sound sources maybe try one or two bastl hendriksons? real chill, cheap little i/o modules that have cv controllable wet/dry (also can be used as a vca for an input signal), useful for an external pedal loop or an instrument input. i love using the monome stuff with non-monomey units and external audio, so things like that (or a phonogene, or bastl’s grandPa), are always winners for me.

It does have a mixer section , and I could use it for that, seems like the only way to sum the signals aside from the Cold Mac, however it is placed to the far left on the other side of the outs, and using it in that way would go against the left to right patching archetype that the case was designed around. I assumed that the mixer was intended as a cv mixer for all the Monome modules. Not that your suggestion isn’t 100% valid. Partly just curious if others were having a similar experience when limited only to the modules included in the complete system.
Thanks for pointing out that the Mangroves does have its semi built in VCA with the air controls, that will definitely help free up the gates I was using in the utility row. Also good to know that that the Teletype at some point will take the load from JF. I really need to embrace the process and dive into the learning of that module, just kinda intimidated by it, partly because I have no experience coding.

I was using the gates, and then summing the signals together with Cold Mac, though what is the three channel mixer at the right you referred to? I only see the Mixer at the far left above the Monome modules and then the output section at the far right. If you only take the left out as a mono signal can you use the Left, Center, and Right ins as a mixer?

Another question that I just stumbled into, is anybody else experiencing odd behavior from their spring reverb? Mine isn’t working and whats odder still is that if I have mangrove patching into the spring in and nothing patched to the outs I can hear the oscillator very very faintly.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Correction: I can hear the signal very faintly also if i am patched into any of the gate ins, yet still I have no outs patched to the ins of the output section, normal?

Don’t worry about any archetypes. Modular is inherently an open system designed for experimentation. It does look like you can mix on the right and use the knobs to vary the levels. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Audio rate signals to cv inputs are fun.

1 Like

Cool, I definitely will head this advice.

Also don’t be afraid of the teletype. You can do so much with just a few commands. Just work your way through the lessons. One a day. Then play.

1 Like

Yep. The mixer on the left is designed for CV, but can be used for audio. However, I quote from the manual:

with both 1/4" jacks attached the panning of each channel is defined per input. when only a single jack is attached to the left jack all three channels are summed equally to that 1/4" output. outputs are impedance balanced at nominal +4dBu, though this level can be exceeded with all three inputs connected, so be sure you’re not overloading the receiving mixer / soundcard input.

So: if you’re happy to just use a mono out, you’ve got a three-channel mono mixer on the far right for audio signals. If you’re set on stereo out, then yes, you’re lacking mixing sources.

(I don’t own an isms, for reference, just reading the docs and remembering stuff from first looking at it).