I see lots of ideas here for all of the modules except for these two. I’ve searched around and only found a couple of posts about them. As someone new to modular, what are some fun or non-obvious things to do with either or both of these? Kinks especially is a bit mysterious to me. Thank you!
They’re both amazing utilities, with a lot of functionality in a small space.
Aside from all the wonderful things with CV (getting about 7 related CV from one source and some mults; inverting a clock to get some syncopation), Kinks is also great for audio rate stuff.
The rectifier section can act as a kind of distortion, the full wave giving a sort of octave up effect
The logic section can do weird things with standard waves, either two different waves from a single VCO or two separate VCOs tuned differently.
The sample and hold section of kinks (as with all sample and hold) can be used as a sample rate reducer (kinda like bit crush). Put your audio into in, and a fast square wave LFO or square wave from your VCO into the trig. As you reduce the frequency of the vco in the trigger, the sample rate reduces.
Links I tend to use for its standard uses, buff mult, adding two pitch CVs together, and averaging CV. In a pinch I use the bottom section as a quick attenuator, use only one of the three inputs and your CV is attenuated by 1/3
Put two pitch sequences into the logic section of Kinks which have different lengths, eg 5 steps and 8 steps. Kinks will either play only the highest of the two notes or only the lowest of the two notes. The pitches can be run a the same tempo or at different tempos. The pitch sounds a tiny bit off but fine for my purposes.
I like putting two LFO’s into the logic section of Kinks that are out of sync with each other. This can make for an interesting modulation.
The logic section is also ideal for processing gates and triggers.
If you use triggers then MAX will only output whenever either or both triggers are high (OR logic). MIN in this case will output a trigger only when both are high (AND logic).
I find Kink’s logic more fun if you have one input as a gate and one input as a trigger. In regards to MAX: The gate high will effectively mute (say a drum module) because there is no longer triggers with a stream of rising edges but rather a sustained high gate. When the gate goes low it ‘allows’ the drum module to once again ‘see’ the stream of triggers.
You can also combine two gates and send the MIN or MAX to an adsr envelope which will give you different durations of sustain depending on what the individual gates are doing.
The half wave rectifier is useful when you have bipolar modulation (LFO or random). ie: By cutting off the negative portion of the modulation you get a period of modulation followed by a period of no modulation; rather than the continuous up and down modulation. In practical terms it is similar to how a standard VCA does not amplify during the negative portion of the modulation.
At the risk of stating the obvious, a couple of useful but unsurprising applications for Kinks:
I use a lot of “continuous random” modulation (like the Y output from Marbles), and the top Kinks section turns one meandering modulation source into several related ones.
With the SH section: I mult the v/oct for my main melody into the S/H section, then use a clock divider to sample one note in 4 or 8. Voila! Instant bass line. Alternatively, I’ll use an irregular trigger for the sampler, such as the t1 or t3 from Marbles.
Regarding Links, I’ve ended up just using it as a buffered mult, and kind of wish I had a basic buffered mult in 2HP instead.
Actually those weren’t really obvious to me! Nice!
And for Links, it seems like the 2x2 would be good for Marbles’ X2 and then added to some other sequencer slow clocked to give transpositions.
I do like the 2x2 in Links for mixing 1v/o signals–I’ve had some fun setting up two different sequences on the two ins, with a result that’s a lot like the “max/or” logic in some cases, or interesting transpositions in others. I like it especially when the sequence lengths are relatively prime.
Maybe I said so obvious thing too… but I use so much links paired with Plaits. The 2x2 section allows to mix the main and aux ouput from plaits for getting an new audio output with a new texture (the mix of two signals), and even got 2 new signals (mixed) for “fake” stereo signal.
For kinks, I remember in the manual appears this trick:
I use it a lot, because you could transform two “boring” lfo signals in two new ones more interesting.
They are both great utility modules; those of you browsing who don’t own them, might want to pick up a Kinks sooner than later, as I see it is recently discontinued. A great addition to your instrument…
I use Links when I want two related pitched lines. I take the pitch cv from my keystep to the Mult section of Links. One out goes to an oscillator which is doing a bass line. The other out I bring to the adder section of Links, and I add it to a sequencer melody that is easily transposable, just 5ths and octaves. Then the out from the adder goes to another oscillator that is tuned in the treble register. With my keystep I can now control both voices, the transpose at the same time.
Just tried this today and like the result: in the precision adder section of Links (or the averaging mixer, both work), I connected both the sine and random (S&H) outputs of my oscillator’s LFO. The output is still basically a sample-and-hold, but it has a different feel to it than the straight output.
I also used the constant voltage output of another module to make my LFO more unipolar (which I imagine is a vanilla precision adder technique and not really a trick).
Nothing game-changing in either, but just fun ways to play with voltage.
I like using Kinks to produce a ‘masked sync’ effect. (You can do the same thing with Blinds, but it’s less fiddly).
Sync a slave triangle to a master triangle, patch an inverted copy of the master from the SIGN segment and the slave as A and B in the LOGIC segment. MAX output yields a sync sound with a flavour that doesn’t need a filter…
I appreciate your tip about Kinks being discontinued. I picked one up just this week.
Hey! This is a great idea!
I’m new to Eurorack, just 2 -3 months in, but due to reading everyone’s advice about getting functional modules over the flashy units, and also due to my local vendor having an awesome sale (basically, the discount on the modules meant my Rackbrute 6U case ended up being completely free in relation to the usual pricing) I abandoned my original idea of a bunch of Make Noise modules, and went with Mutable. I started the rack in late March with Stages, Frames, Marbles, Blinds, and Links, with 0-Coast and Minibrute 2S as external units that I already owned previously. I’ve since added Ripples 2020, Plaits, and Rings, plus the 1010 Bitbox Mkii. Now I have bills to pay off, so no more for a while, but the cost is the same whether I pay it off quickly or slowly, so I figured fuck it, just get the units and start learning.
That said, learning to think modular isn’t easy, and I’m still a bit lost. I have a reasonable understanding of what each of my modules does on it’s own, in it’s primary functionality, but once they start connecting to each other, or being patched in different ways, everything gets mental. I’m still in my baby steps. Stages is an envelope generator, but also works as a sequential switch, a sequencer, multiple lfo’s… Frames is an interpolator but also works as a sequencer, a mixer, multiple vca’s… Blinds doubles as a ring modulator… Now I read your post and learn that Links can be used to patch back into itself to combine one static melody with another that is being transposed.
Christ, I have so much to learn. Thank you, I’m patching it up as per your advice now, with an addition or two.
- Keystep pitch out to Links mult in.
- Links mult outs: (1) to Links sum 1 in ; (2) to 0-Coast v/o in ; and (3) to Plaits v/o in
- Links Sum 1 out to Rings v/o in, and Sum 2 out to 2S Pitch in
That should, if I understood you correctly, see the mult outs controlling static basslines to Plaits and 0-Coast, while the sum outs control transposing melodies to Rings and the 2S.
I think that’s enough to get started with for now, but as a result of such a simple patch I hadn’t thought of without your advice, I am already asking myself what happens if I also output Beatstep Pro into Sum 2, and try transpositions or pitch changes, how would the KS and BSP interact? How will gate triggers from the BSP or Marbles T-section affect Rings Strum in, or Plaits trigger in? How will Stages envelopes or the 0-Coast contour/dynamics section change things? What if I route that Links 1 out through Stages time in first, before passing it through to Sum in?
I’d only thought of Links as a simple multiple module until reading your comment. Now I see it’s got a whole lot more to offer. I’m glad I listened to others and chose to start my rack with function, or I’d have just chosen different modules and been struggling to do anything with them.
Thanks for your comment, it’s already helping me to think differently about how I try to patch. Yes, my head is swimming, but in a good way.
I’m so happy that my idea inspired you! I’m not like a super patcher, I mostly use my modular to drone, so I don’t necessarily have super amazing and smart patches, but I use the modular to do the music that I want to do.
Yes, your patching description is correct, but there is something missing: You need something to add to the first signal. If not, all your 4 voices are going to be playing the same note. So make an arpeggiator or a sequence with your BSP, and hook it to the other Sum in of link. Now your 0-coast and Plaits will be playing the same note that you play on your Keystep (use some fancy gate sequence (maybe from marbles) to make a rythmic bass line) and your Rings and Arturia will be playing a sequence that will be always relative to the note on your Keystep. Every time you press a key on your Keystep, your bassline is going to change pitch, but your fancy sequence from the KSP will transpose in the same measure.
Hope this helps!
Thank you! Trying it now! I know something wasn’t working because I got frustrated, switched it off, and completely unpatched everything. Saggy bare rack! Maybe what you said… As I mentioned, I have so much to learn.
Just had the idea to play with the precision adder and v/o signals. My first thought was that I could use a VCA+envelope to get a tamed pitch envelope: add the attenuated envelope to my keyboard’s v/o, then send that into the VCO for pitch.
While I was patching that up, I realized I could also spread a fine v/o correction across multiple oscillators with the adder section: v/o+any offset (fixed, LFO, EG) into the precision adder, that out to the mult’s input, the mult’s output to v/o for Elements + my beloved Double Helix to get synced pitch envelopes or fine oscillations.