Things to try... Strategies from others to shake up your modular workflow

Make a piece of music in a genre you don’t normally listen too or play. Discover and recreate the form. Find the nuances. Embrace all it’s cliches.


I love this, fantastic advice.

Patch LFO’s into the v/oct and use v/oct sequences as modulation only.


Don’t change pitch in a patch / piece, see if you can make it interesting without “notes”.


Cool thread! I actually have a few guidelines that I usually use when I feel like I need to explore or get out of a rut. They’re really simple and universal.

  • Dont tune the VCO(s) - at least to start
  • Don’t patch the 1/vOct inputs - at least at the start
  • Patch the audio path last (modulation, sequences, clocks first)
  • Build entire patch without listening to it (variation on previous)
  • No VCOs for audio (modulation only - clocks, env, noise, etc has to be audio sources)

Most of it is really just slight pushes outside of habitual patching. Probably the most common one I do, which is kind of implied above, is to always un-patch every cable. Like not leaving the 1v/Oct inputs patched, or leaving VCO-VCA/F paths patched when I take a patch down, this always seems to be the most useful - starting from a true “scratch”.


Don’t use modular, at least at first.


this guy gets it haha

-> go to another room

-> don’t be afraid to take cables off and retreat a few steps

-> patch naked

-> judge how your cat reacts to the music (doesn’t work with dogs sorry)

-> frequency modulation into a low pass gate randomly triggered

-> modulate the hell out of the delay, don’t clock your delay

-> force yourself to use utilities: rectify bipolar LFOs, use switches to exchange between two modulations in the same voice, sample and hold modulation with an out of phase clock for controlled mayhem, and…

-> use goddamn logic modules, XOR is amazing, it can generate entirely new trigger patterns. Use logic with uneven clock divisions (/4 and /7) (doesn’t work with dogs sorry)

-> close your eyes and scan with your hands (one finger per hand) thru the cable ins and outs, open your eyes and check if your hands paired an in with an out. If yes, patch it, if not, repeat.

-> ask mom to patch, but teach her about ins and outs beforehand. Bonus: cook dinner.

-> play your acoustic instrument while your patch plays to feel the vibe you want that to take. The hands don’t lie. Bonus: detune that baby all the way down.



Start by creating a simple, nice sounding melody, then twist and distort it in various ways.


Referencing mylarmelodies here:

Use the same sequence. pitch up / down 2 voices, gate them differently.


Control VCAs with pulse width modulation.

Use PLLs for sequencing.


restrict yourself:

  • use only two modules
  • use any module but only five cables
  • use envelopes only
  • use only gate signals to build a beat
  • use only one sound source, smear/filter/gate/fx lots of copies of the same sound to build a track

The first time you backup, forget to change all your teletype scene names to ttXX.txt from ttXXs.txt after doing a firmware update.


sounds like a true story :open_mouth:

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Send a really fast (random) sequence to a VCO through a VCA. block/open the VCA with a random length gate. (for bursts of notes with a normalized sustain note in between!)


Force yourself to find a new way to make percussive elements by having the cat that you are looking after take out your analog rytm by somehow prying up the two pronged power cable slightly from the surge protector and then playing with a roll of solder braid it takes off your desk until it manages to somehow get the braid between the cable and the surge protector, shorting the two prongs together and blowing a fuse in your house while you are in the other room for 5 minutes.


I think I’m going to employ this strategy.


Use sequencers as VCOs


Love this one, especially nice side effect of reducing GAS since often times you have the tools already (for example I almost went for a doubleknot / buchla 208 the other day and then by learning about how to operate them came to understand I could repurpose my current modular to create the same sounds). I’m not claiming to understand anything comprehensively, but it’s funny to notice that a large amount my urge to buy gear comes from being ignorant about what the instrument does and falling for the mystique. Also love how these strategies range from very specific module categories to abstract lists of instructions.

Here’s a game / limitations I like to do when I have a patch that’s been collecting dust that I like and I’m not ready to throw out:

  1. Give yourself a limited number of cables / moves that you can modify on your existing patch (heck roll a die)
  2. Taking note of what you’ve changed, make each move and modify your patch
  3. Explore, record, jam
  4. Optional: Return to your starting point

“Ping” different modules and not only on their audio input but in the modulation inputs as well.

  1. Sequence some Bach with Lua algorithms in Crow.
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Take 2 or more LFOs, set them as squares freely in unrelated/unquantized frequencies–some quick, some slow. Sum them together or mix (if more than 2 LFOs are involved, mixing works better with none of the LFOs being full strength) them together so that sometimes they cancel each other out.

Let the resulting pattern of their sum or mix be a rhythm that you build around. Tweak the sum/mix or frequency of the LFOs to taste.

Try changing some the LFOs to sines or triangles or other waveforms to see what happens to the rhythm.

Find uses for mults of the individual LFOs that are not related to rhythm/triggering anything.