Make Noise modules: design, usability, theory, philosophy, etc


For what it’s worth, if you don’t feel like you need the damp for that subtle filter and you don’t use the mixing capabilities of the Optomix, I feel like the LxD is a fantastic module for the core features (LPG) of the Optomix. I never even really looked into it until I got it for a little mini case and I realized it does everything I need from the Opto in half the space.

Both sound great and do what I want, but if the mixing and filtering/damping isn’t critical - you can save 4 hp :slight_smile:


Oh totally. LxD was my intended target but a well-known local artist who has had a long career and seems like a really cool person offered me one of their several Optomixes in trade. I figured their Optomix would bring me more luck than popping down to the shop for the LxD. :grinning: I’m very happy with Optomix for the moment but I’ll get the other one eventually.

Well-known artists: please contact me to arrange the donation of your LxD. Cordially, —nutritionalzero.


just adding a great big +1 to the above praise from @sellanraa and @nutritionalzero for the LxD. really love mine, kinda want another. straightforward and smart design.


From what I understand (at least for the V2 Optomix) doesn’t damp effect the vactrol’s response? Not sure if it’s the case with V1 but in the videos I’ve seen it seems like you can get a natural AD envelope and damp will effect the length of the decay. I’m thinking of picking one up for that reason, seems like a compact dual VCA with natural EG’s.


Eggzellent. Yeah, I’m hanging onto my Optomix just in case I decide I miss the mixing capabilities, but in that 8 hp in my case I’m doing an LxD and Vac Vac for 4 VCA/LPGs, so far I haven’t worked much in my case after getting home from a tour and making a few changes though.

Both definitely have a place depending on your goals and space.


Yep. The button combos get me too. I’ve had both the Tempi and Morphagene and sold both for this reason. Other modules by other manufacturers with button combos like this have also done me in recently, and I’ve been trying to avoid them at all costs.

That being said, I have a phonogene on the way as part of a trade - I’ve always been interested in the lower-fi and aliasing you can get with it! And, so far as I can tell, there’s really only one button combo to clear the audio after you clear splices, which is an easy one to remember.


And a bit of an incantation to go into broken echo mode, but not at all bad. You just have make sure something is recorded into the buffer—which can be silence—and hold down the record button until the EOS light flashes.

I keep going back and forth on replacing my Phonogene with a Morphagene. I have a Tempi and don’t mind the button combos, but I like the immediacy of the PG, and the sound.


Phono and morphagene are very different in my opinion, phonogene has an amazing sound, a learning curve and has been the ghost in my rack (to borrow a title from another thread) for any patches it’s been in. Morphagene on the other hand, is pretty tame, has a ton of sweet spots and sometimes goes into a mode that feels like it’s broken (maybe reel mode? I don’t know how I get in or out of it). Morphagene is in the rack now for it’s versatility but I’ll have a hard time getting rid of phonogene.


Can you link to the “ghost in my rack” post? I’m curious!


The Ghost In Your Rack < here you are. Forget if I’ve read through the thread myself but I really liked what I understood to be the idea.


Using the strike input is the best indicator for understanding the damp knob, in my opinion. When struck, a short damp will cause just a click, long damp will have the classic vactrol ring. Using an envelope into the ctrl input makes it a little harder to hear the effect, because the ring is only distinct when the input envelope is pretty short.

IIRC, the V2 version has a neat feature where if you hit strike with no input signal, you’ll get an envelope from the output.


You need to plug a constant voltage in that channel’s input to get the same behavior with the 1.


I prefer the behavior for V1 over V2 to be honest. For the V2 Optomix, turning “control” manually adds a DC offset to the output signal.


Only if there is no signal patched to that input.


You can actually hear the offset on the V2 version with a non-DC signal patched into the input. Makenoise calls it “subtle non-symmetrical clipping of signals” in the product description. Somewhere past noon on the dial, I heard it as a subtle thinning of the signal. The V1 version is smooth all the way around, so no harmonics are added to the signal with the VCFA open.

Edit: but yes @jamescigler is right. It is only present with nothing patched into control.


There’s two times where the V2 feature came in particularly handy for me (not including the usual making dark simple kick sounds, or creating a simple attack-decay envelope). One time I needed a 3rd DC-offset and already used CH2 and Ch3 on MATHs, and the other was when I needed to mix a control signal with a DC offset - it’s often forgotten that Optomix is DC-coupled and can be used to mix control signals too, so I was able to use it just for that purpose.

Optomix - not just for audio™ :slight_smile:


Really enjoying my used Optomix v1. Great product even in its original incarnation apparently. Perfect balance of features and price. Somewhat timeless design. Features can be added without rubbishing the original. Just a homerun, in my opinion. If I had to do it all again it would be module 2 or 3.


In 2013, my first modular setup was a Shared System. I was drawn to it because I like the more artistic approach to an interface where labeling on the front panel sort of got me out of the “scientific” interpretation of functions. I still have the system but in a bigger case augmented with other makers’ stuff.

The Make Noise philosophy/aesthetic in my opinion is more fun and less serious, which is what I want out of music-making. Plus, Tony skates.


Finally got around to making mockups of some Black & Gold PCB panels that don’t currently exist in any official capacity, something I’ll probably end up making for myself at some point when I have my expanded Make Noise system.


Black and gold Mysteron plz. It looks so much more mysterious