Modular general discussion

Starting a thread to talk about all things modular so that we can keep the pictures thread for pictures only… :slight_smile:
Not just Eurorack, anything patchable really, including virtual.

So, what have you been excited about lately?

1 Like

Good idea! :grinning:

One thing I often tell people when they ask about the modular, is that my favorite thing about it is the near impossibility of replication…
I absolutely love the fact that it is always the moment, the now of it that produces the sonic experience. The shear number of variables involved in any moderately complex patch assures the uniqueness of the moment. And the organic movement forward, to the next patch.
All of the above encouraged, and developed in me the desire and appreciation for playing live. Regardless of how formal/informal the setting. So, from someone who always considered the idea of “playing the studio” as the main sonic practice, I have become a much more outward and commited to sharing the momentary experience rather than the record of it…

well said @laborcamp

also: not staring at a computer screen, or using a mouse, and - depending on your module choices - not having to negotiate menus and “modes” : the theoretical “one knob per function” and being able to see and reach out and touch the thing you want to change, and immediately hear the result

plus, they look badass :wink:

1 Like

Maybe silly answer, but these days I’m excited about Max. For the first time I feel like I’m actually learning it. Don’t think I would have got there without spending the last few years with eurorack synths and then the aleph. Just doing it for fun right now, but we’ll see where it goes.

Other than that, I agree with @laborcamp playing live with just a modular and little else is extremely rewarding.

1 Like

i got into modular(eurorack) from tweaking guitar effect pedals more than playing the guitar. I was never much a musician nor able to fit within the context of playing music in structured forms. While it can be fun doing that, i wanted something that can be less restrictions

The lack of presets kinda excites me. I see it as an extension of everyday life, just like the same things we do daily, eat, sleep, work etc there can be different people we came across, different food, different moments in the day, the feeling can be different. Translate that to modular, a certain patch can never be the same, accidental discovery, no matter how, once the cables are unplug, will have to start over again, but with time being lost and having to move forward somewhat

iam excited bout some leds, ribbon cables and headers order thats on the way to me in the mail for my modular diy needs and a makenoise case with cv bus for my shared system upgrade

I can definitely relate to the above experiences, had a similar journey myself - used to do everything in the box for years (trackers and later FL studio), and seeing as a benefit the fact you can save something and come back to it, and it’ll be exactly as you left - I blame my software dev background for that. Eventually hit a writer’s block, and it was switching to hardware that made music making fun again.

Funny enough, when still working in the box i tried to study synthesis many times but it never clicked, but when i started a modular it just all made sense. And then, of course, the workflow just seemeed so natural where you just think how you want to shape the sound and hands do all the work. And yeah, all this knowledge translated back to ITB and all of a sudden all those plugins were way easier to master.

And I just loved the fact that you can’t save and come back to it waiting it to be exactly the same, so you either just enjoy the Zen of it just being in this very moment knowing it will not exist once you take the patch down, or you record right here and now. While all those old ITB tracks are still waiting to be finished, exactly like i left them, years ago…

It’s making full circle now, or at least that’s the plan - integrating modular and computer again, via Expert Sleepers and yeah, eventually Max - really looking forward to studying it and hoping like @analogue01 mentioned that the modular experience will help.

1 Like

+1 This has been my experience as well.

the illucia dtr is a fantastic marriage of virtual and physical patching. wish there would have been more excitement around this project. my next max patch will be a sampler using @Rodrigo’s new external and the illucia.


Agree with all this.

Either record it and accept it might not be the best of all possible options, or tear it down and start again.

Make the decision and live by it…

One valid point I think needs to be made about Modular synthesisers over ITB music making is the focusing on different depths of field, of looking away but using touch to track a filter, of working in low light conditions to better concentrate on the sound.

I spend hours a day looking at a screen, the opportunity for me to make electronic music totally without screens is one of my most noticed pleasures in taking an hour off and just playing with the modular. and it places the modular firmly in the category of instrument rather than a program.

yeah, illucia is great. i like the idea of turning virtual patching into physical, just wish it would let you integrate actual voltages as well so you could patch with a modular directly but then it would increase the cost significantly.

to me the more exciting aspect of illucia is the patchable software, i think it’s brilliant. circuit bending software and algorithms seems like something that hasn’t been explored that much (to my limited knowledge anyway) and imho could make for some truly wicked results. i did explore it a bit when doing the game of life sketch for the nw2s::b module with the rules of the game being voltage controllable. interesting things started happening when the rules were modulated with the output from the game itself.

Sorry but I saw on the pictures thread that you have a sputnik oscillator. Mind sharing how happy you are with it?

I like it. It sounds nice. Having the extra FM input with attenuverter is surprisingly useful. Like all the Sputnik modules there seems to be some corners cut. The waveshape cv input, for instance, requires an external attenuator. And the waveshape output sounds quieter to me than the other outputs. It also sound like the ramp wave bleeds through a tiny bit, although the square doesn’t.

Also, the linear FM input is crazy deep, requiring an additional attenuator (on top of the built-in one) if you want the carrier to maintain its frequency.

In short: good, but needs attenuators.

Good to know about the waveshaper as it is one of the features I find very appealing. Thanks great pointers.

as far as I know most electronics are computers under the hood so trying to avoid a laptop or digital setup is not what drew me to modular processes

really I stumbled toward this stuff partly by necessity (buying sound tools one at a time) and partly due to taste. early pioneers like delia, haack, radigue and ray scott produced some of my favourite sounds and I wanted to move in a similar direction. it made more sense to acquire the type of gear they would be using/building if they were around NOW than pay a fortune for fragile & outdated relics

i was really tempted to embrace the modular world when i discovered lzx but I actually didn’t actually dive into euro until i heard about aleph

that was my focus for a bit and the reason i bought a case to explore a few modules in tandem with it

I’m still wrestling with aleph, but I’m extremely excited about AV warping tools by gieskes and bpmc, bugbrand’s proto compressor, mannequins cold mac, the 4ms smrf & sampler, and madrona kaivo

1 Like

I’ve only gotten into modular over the last year after coming from ITB on the computer via Elektron gear. My experience echoes a bunch of others in that I’m drawn to the immediacy and transiency of my modular.

It can be pretty frustrating at the times when I’m just getting noise out of the system (when the solution for me at least is usually “simplify! simplify!”), but I find that just makes the happy accidents all the sweeter.

And hello, this is my first post here, having just ordered some monome modules and grid. I’m sure I’ll have many questions.

1 Like