Elements based 104hp skiff


Alright guys, two things have happened…

The first is I’ve noticed how nice the Analog Keys keyboard, CV, sequencer and arp are working with my Elements.
Which mde me think I might have better purpose for the HP currently occupied by Pressure Points and Brains.

Second is, I’ve got the Mutable Instruments fever - I’m looking into the possibility of creating a mutable only skiff.
This could be the new setup for now:


I’ll mix Elements and Clouds within Clouds and route the output to the stereo input of the Analog Keys
I’ve got some space to spare still - what would be a good complementary module (preferably Mutable)? Warps perhaps?

And for now I’ve put two Peaks in there in stead of the Batumi, maybe this is not wise? Or should I perhaps exchange a Peaks for a Tides?

i thought I was getting there, but this is far from over I’m afraid…

Thanks in advance for your help!


depending on what you plan to do with Blinds a VCA (Veils?) might be better? You can use Blinds as a VCA and it does have the added benefit of being bipolar (so you can do ring modulation), but it’s harder to make it go to zero.
Apart from that… the only thing I would consider is to go with a better PSU. the uZeus starts to be a bit old and there’s much better PSUs out there by now.


Thanks, yes Blinds would also be used as VCA for Elements. I guess it is harder as you say, but I figure I could just use one of the channels for VCA duties and leave the setting alone, then use the other three for attenuation and other things.
The uZeus is already in my possession, so I’m not planning to replace that in the near future.

So what about Warps? Is Warps a good addition here? I see the skiff as one voice that should be able to create very complex sounds. So Warps would be an addition to that voice. As far as I understand from reading and looking at videos, Warps is an excellent module for warping/disrupting/drowning of the sound you insert. But Clouds also does this - though in a very different fasion. Would Warps be an overkill in the mangling- area in this setup?


To me it would be a strange pair… I think Warps works best with simple sounds (raw waveforms in controlled frequency ratios) as inputs - that are bent and twisted into complex and harsh spectra - then a filter of LPG or VCA can be applied to cut through the mess.

Not sure it’s the best match with the already enveloped and complex sounds coming out of Elements. But you know, maybe there are very interesting and unique tones to be obtained from this combination!


Okay, take 2 on the Elements based skiff here. Or actually take 10 I guess. But I’m slowly getting there, with sometimes a wild step into another direction.


I’m considering exchanging the Shades for a Xaoc Samara, and then changing the Mini Slew for a smaller EG like the Pip Slope. What would you think. Samara has more CV mangling option I guess?

I think my biggest concern is if I maybe have to many modulation sources with Batumi, URA and Mini Slew?

Disting will be probably interesting in many functions, but definitely in feeding Clouds with audio.

Any tips or comments would be hightly appreciated!


And a small change again:



Somehow I prefer the option you posted yesterday. The Mini Slew is like one half of Maths, Shades covers the mixing / attenuation / offsetting, and you have room for a random source!


That’s true. And what is your opninion on the amount of modulation sources? Batumi, Mini Slew and URA - is it not too much in this setup?


That’s not too much. I wouldn’t consider the Mini Slew as just a modulation source. You can also use it as a low-pass filter - for example to filter samples or noise before it goes into Elements.


Okay, thanks. And what about exchanging the Mini Slew for a Function? Would that give me more versatility?


Sorry for all these noob questions. I want to understand it all, but it is stille quote a lot to processen…


Dan auto correct… Quite a lot to process was what was trying to say…


I know that planning is very very important and is a part of process. I took ± one year before buying my first modules and nearly everything was clear or more tangible. So I would say don’t think too much and make the jump ! Ah and batumi is a beast !


Thanks, you’re right no doubt. I guess I should make the jump. No more hiding behind virtual Modular Grid racks!


Thinking more in the direction of filtering, I guess maybe a Polaris would provide me with lots of sound shaping options for noise and samples…


I think in a small system, especially one w Elements racked (speaking from experience), a larger filter like Polaris is not something I’d advise. Polaris is 10hp and Elements & Clouds have big footprints, will be your primary audio manipulators in both the frequency and time domains, and both have significant options in terms of timbral filtering. there are a plenty of smaller VCF modules if you are look for a traditional VCF control over timbre.

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I like the idea of a small dedicated system. If you can get a power supply that sits at the bottom of the skin with a jack on the side you’d have a little more space at the end.

On the other hand maybe the goal is to do more with less. Rather trying to find space to fit more modules this should be an exercise in module curation?

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i think that last point is crucial (even in a larger system - just bc you can fit something in, does that mean it needs to be there?)

I think the 3u system is a fine one to aspire to build, and I’ve had good success with it (now grappling w 6u). it’s modular, you can always change it if it isn’t quite there for you.

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second that. I think the planning of a modular synth should always be kind of reductionist. Think of all the modules you’d like to be there, then start to keep or remove them one by one, for every module you have added think how much they really add to the system, are they just “would be nice” ones? Start with a totally minimal case, then play with it for several months. You’ll often have the feeling that you’re lacking this and that, but just bear with it. After you’ve used it for some time it will start to be clear to you what you really need and what you don’t.
Well… that is in theory, still trying this out to see if it really works :smiley:
But living for two months with just 3U/84HP made me realize a lot of things.

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I totally agree with you on this. I want every module to count and I want it all to be working together as a whole, as one instrument. But I guess I should stop trying to create the perfect instrument in theory, and start doing something in the real world. I guess I’d start out wirh Elements an Clouds as the core, with Batumi and some mixing/attenuating module for modulation. And I guess a VCA and some kind of sample player (disting 4 or radio music). Then after some time make up my mind: more modulation or sound shaping tools, etc.