http://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/114203 - so I just created an account and have spent way too much time already - I can see why late night/credit card = divorce. So this is a starter obviously - with this system am i gonna be able to make a noise? Ive purposely left maths out as I get sorta why evryone loves it but Im gonna see if I can start without it - or is that ridiculous? Im loosing perspective already…
This is indeed a very odd configuration.
- I would ditch the audio interface. Not enough value in such a small system.
- I presume the sound source will be Tides. But then, what is going to be the modulation source?
- What is Ripples going to filter? Tides doesn’t need much filtering/post-processing to sound nice. Ripples makes more sense to filter an analog VCO or an obviously digital oscillator.
- How do you intend to make notes with this? I don’t see any sequencer or controller, or MIDI interface. You have a quantizer but nothing to feed note CVs into it?
- What are you going to do with the Expert Sleepers thing? It processes CV, but you don’t have much action going on with CVs here. To me, this module makes sense in a much larger setup.
- You’ll need basics like VCA, attenuators, etc…
- It’s not clear what Grids is going to trigger. You might coax Ripples + Tides into doing 1 percussive sound, but then? Grids makes more sense in a more complex setup which can produce 3 different timbres.
So scrap everything and get back to a basic architecture:
My sound source is going to be [A]
I’ll further process/shape it with [B]
The CV to control the notes of my sound source are coming from [ C]
The CV to control the parameters of A and B are generated by [D]
The plumbing is ensured by [E]
For example, with Mutable Instruments products:
- A = Braids or Tides
- B = Ripples
- C = Yarns or CVpal
- D = Peaks or Tides
- E = Shades, Links
With MakeNoise products:
- A = STO or DPO.
- B = MMG.
- C = René or Pressure Points.
- D = Maths or Function.
- E = Maths
With Intellijel products:
- A = Dixie or Rubicon.
- B = µSVF or Corgasmatron or Dr Octature or µFold.
- C = Metropolis.
- D = Quadra, dual VCA.
- E = triatt, various flavours of multiples.
With Doepfer products:
- A = A-110.
- B = lots of filters!
- C = lots of sequencers, MIDI interface.
- D = cheap ADSRs or LFOs.
- E = A180, A183-1
+1 to everything pichenettes said. Great post for beginners
Thanks O - I already have (CV wise - I wont bore you with all my synths) A4, sub phatty, Anushri - which I was going to ask if I can sub out grids? The expert sleepers disting does 16 different things including osc, waveshaping, lfo… - Im sorry I dont use paragraphs as my enter key is broken - probably need a keyboard first up…
Yes such a great post. Your very generous with your knowledge pichenettes
> which I was going to ask if I can sub out grids?
Explain what you would use Grids for. It’s difficult to evaluate a setup if we don’t know what it is going to interact with, for what kind of workflow (live or studio? sequenced by DAW?), and which role you expect each module to play.
If you already have stuff with CV/Gate outputs to control notes, you don’t really need a quantizer.
> The expert sleepers disting does 16 different things including osc, waveshaping, lfo
The module doesn’t have front panel pots to control all parameters, so if you want to use some of these functions to their full potential, you’ll need an external constant CV source. This is not a “starting point”.
take 2 - starter system. DAW integration is super important - hence all the expert sleepers stuff. Plus it provides so many functions its really incredible. I was going to get braids but I really want a nice vintage voiced OSC first as I have multiple shruthi, Ambika ect already http://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/114203
Grids is for rythmic stuff - drums obviously, synth lines - which is where i really like it
THe intent of the modular is to bring interesting sounds to my tracks - endless noodling will come later. MY synths are - Ambika, Sub Phatty, Anushri, Shruthie(s), A4, OP-1, Octatrack, plus a few effects - El cap, re-201. So im looking to rope all this together with the modular.
> Grids is for rythmic stuff – drums obviously, synth lines
Maybe this isn’t clear but Grids doesn’t generate any sounds. It sends trigger pulses to other modules. Which modules are going to get the trigger pulses from Grids to make the drum sounds?
If you have the Expert Sleepers stuff, along with the A4 which should be able to do MIDI -> CV/Gate conversion, why do you need a MIDI interface?
The 4HP Dixie has been discontinued - the new one is 6-HP. I wouldn’t say the Dixie is “vintage voiced” AT ALL. Intellijel is very clinical - waveforms are drawn with a ruler Not a bad thing, but if you want a vintage thing, check Bubblesound, or maybe Malekko.
The “vintage voice” part may have to come later. Id love a macbeth - so a bubblesound for a OSC as a starter?
I know grids doesnt provide a sound source - I can get that from pretty much anywhere though via the expert sleepers
Ill think about this more and come back instead of this running commentary unless anyone has any last words of wisdom? I do - Oliver make a shared system!
By the time you spend that much, you may want to consider the new DSI Pro 2. It has USB for DAW/computer integration and a flexible mod matrix with CV for the modular world.
SInce you have an A4/SP, you could use the P2 second MIDI out to sync note events and that can act as your MIDI to CV interface. This setup would allow you to experiment with different modular oscillators and modulators without having to worry about other basic things like envelops and amplifiers. Yes, it costs more, but you don’t have to put too much thought into your future acquisitions aside from “Does this sound good?”
The Expert Sleepers setup you have in that mini rack is just plain overkill. Now if you had two dedicated oscillators in that rack, the Disting module would be more useful as it is meant to work with multiple sources in several modes.
The Tides, Ripples and uVCA are good. If you are certain that you only want one osc, you can just cut out the uVCA because ripples can also act as a VCA. TIdes is very useful as it can be an envelope or an LFO or an audio rate LFO or even a VCO, but it can only be one at a time, so some other modulations will be useful. Doepfer has plenty of great modulation modules that are quite affordable and flexible. You will want to look at them to fill in some of the blanks in your rack.
I will say that an Intelligel Atlantis + a Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Block will give you two full voices and cost 1000$. Since you already have the MIDI/CV you are set to go with just one of those.
One of those plus Disting, your choice of modulator, and a Ripples will give you a very flexible system that costs less than what you already have in the rack that is very flexible. If you find that enjoyable you could add the Expert Sleepers DAW integration later in a small case that is easy to move about your studio.
I know this is a bit rambly, but there are several way to tackle entering the modular world.
> “The intent of the modular is to bring interesting sounds to my tracks – […]. My synths are – Ambika, Sub Phatty, Anushri, Shruthie(s), A4, OP-1, Octatrack, plus a few effects”
all those synths and no interesting sounds yet?
And why is DAW integration so important? About 1/3 of the hp is expert sleeper and midi. Otherwise, lots of very good information up there, read carefully! My opinion: with such small a setup, I’d rather think how to extend the existing synths with something unique. Anushri and A4 both can interface with the modular. At least Anushri also can do midi-cv (don’t know about the A4, probably also).
With Anushri one additional good oscillator (why not braids, I don’t think there is too much overlap with the shruthis) and some modulation and some utility (mixer, attenuator) can already be very rich sounding. And then you can go from there … i like those modules that you usually won’t find in traditional synths, like the wogglebug, or the chiptune oscillators.
The only thing where I would disagree with pichenettes is an audio interface (like a-119 or gozinta): a modular can also be a great audio processing tool for the octatrack, with a bit-crusher, filter, vca, modulation. Of course, something like this can also be done with the synths you have, but a modular is still more hands on … [but i do not see the original setup and what interface was in there].
Well I should clarify the intent here. I was looking at some strymon pedals and the 2 i want come out to $1200 - for 2 bloody pedals. So modular has always been something I was going to get into but as I lost my job a couple of years ago I simply couldnt afford it. Now Ive got some spare cash theres about 5 reasons now for wanting to get into modular - fun, to take what i already have and enhance it, expolre new sounds. BUt i want to record it and bring it into my productions.
> but i do not see the original setup and what interface was in there
The audio interface was the Intellijel one, which do not have any Envelope/Gate extraction features. So from the perspective of external processing it wouldn’t do much more than audio level shifting, which can be done with less expensive modules. I’m all for the A-119 or the new Befaco I2.
> I can get that from pretty much anywhere though via the expert sleepers
I still find it odd that you would sequence everything with a DAW but the drums from Grids. Isn’t there already software equivalents of Grids?
Your last setup feels more balanced but my gut feeling is that I see too many jacks and not enough knobs The Expert sleepers stuff is powerful, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll find it much easier if you can reach a physical knob in the modular itself to tweak the LFO speed or an ADSR envelope rather than relying of their software counterparts running on the ES suite on your computer.
@Dogma: I think most people have that reaction to the cost of Strymon pedals. If you are comfortable programming from scratch, give the BOSS VF-1 a look. It is great. By the time you buy 2 or 3 BOSS FX pedals you could just get this. The MIDI is cool so you can easily blend it with your DAW. Using some smart MIDI assigning, you can basically make your own BOSS FX pedals. I highly recommend it.
Also, the newer Pitt Modular Synthesizer Box is better than the older Synthesizer Block. The Box has the new complex waveform generator that sounds better as well as a very nice lowpass gate. The LPG is very great for percussion.
As for recording, you can just use a USB audio interface to record your modular. Sending a low volume signal to the modular is a bit more involved than sending a high volume signal to a mixer.
IM happy with this http://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/114203 - i was going to put in the macbeth but its only a single osc