Modulation Source: Tides vs. Stages

HI everyone! I have been building a Eurorack rig since 2017, and this is where I am currently:

(I also have another three-tier rack with a Mother-32, Subharmonicon, and DFAM, plus a Grandmother and Matriarch)

There’s a lot that can be done already, and while I’m not being hard and fast about where things are patched, I have followed a general trend of putting together what could be complete separate voices in Erica Synths, Synthesis Technology, Make Noise, and Mutable Instruments lines.

So looking at the top line of Mutable modules I’ve got Braids, Rings, Veils, Ripples, and Shades. I feel like a modulation source is missing from the MI line, but I’m not sure what the best choice would be here. I’ve narrowed it down to Tides and Stages. The last 14hp on that top line is where I would like to put the final MI module (“Clouds 2”/“Birds”/whatever!) when its released, because I have a suspicion that Braids–>Rings–>MI ??? is going to be something really fun.

One thing to consider is that in addition to the other Moog gear I mentioned in the parentheses above, I also have eight channels of “wild card” modulation via the DC coupled outs on my UAD Apollo and Max/MSP CV sources I can code myself. Having this tends to make me lean toward Stages as opposed to Tides, because of Stages can be used as an EG.

What do you think?



Both are amazing but Stages wins in terms of pure functional potential I think. I mean, the correct answer is that you should have both because they do their things so amazingly, but the sheer flexibility of Stages takes some beating - want a 6 stage complex envelope? YEP, want 4 independant LFOs and an AD envelope SURE, want to do some sequencing/switching? COVERED need 6 individual decay envelopes? THEY’RE ALL IN HERE and so much more and in all of the combinations.

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I second erstlaub’s opinion, but will just add (to make the decision more difficult) that Tides is an incredible oscillator, should you create a patch that does not need the modulation source but would benefit from another rich oscillator.

Getting both is the ONLY answer!


I mean, this was my plan before hearing about the imminent Clouds successor, so I’m clearly of the same mind!

I’m not sure what your total current draw is (possibly a lot with the tube modules), but it seems to me you could consolidate to a single PSU instead of having four individual Row Power modules. That could give you some more space to work with.

(Unless of course those are different cases and you’ve just combined them to fit them into a single ModularGrid entry…)

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That’s the answer. The left side with the Moogs is a 60HP case and the right is a 104HP case. I ended up getting the 60HP to add on because I didn’t want to decide between adding the E440 and more MI modules.

And hey, @Starthief,you were helping me with this same issue over at MuffWiggler, thanks again!

I also like Stages… to add to what has already been said, it can function as a slew limiter, trigger delay, trigger to gate, gate to trigger, basic v/o oscillator, primitive digital lpf, clock divider and multiplier and if you connect the provided cable on the back panel you get a 6 voice harmonic oscillator with vca per voice.

Sounds like it would be hard to learn but it is not due to the intuitive design.

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I have Tides. I really like morphable attack/decay slope selector, and the multiple correlated output modes for each AD*/CYC/AR* mode. It does a lot subtly. For complex envelopes, I sum simpler envelopes together with trigger delays, or treat a CV sequencer with a lag/slew rate processor, like the ‘Moog’-style 960.

*-Tides has EG mode as well as cyclical.

I don’t have Stages, not a ‘slider guy’. Lol.

So I’ve taken the “get both” advice to heart and now have a plan that will let me fit Stages, Tides, and Clouds 2!

As you can see, I made some adjustments since I first posted, got an ES-9 and ES-5. And I should note that the four modules I have left to get are all Mutable Instruments!


To quote a little TV show that’s popular in my household: “This is the way”.


I’m waiting on Tides, Stages, and Kinks to be delivered, hopefully this week! (I’m in Texas and things are kind of crazy at the moment, so I’m being patient. :blush: )

And then Beads is pre-ordered! :smiley:

Well, “both” has swiftly modulated to “all.” :flushed:

So maybe the title of this thread can undergo a conceptual shift? How about “TIDES VERSUS STAGES”… as in, what kind of madness could I get up to pitting these two against each other??