Module/patching advice

Hi all,

Relatively new to the modular world and already loving it. Many hours are lost stumbling across new and inspiring sounds. I was hoping to get some advice on interesting patching techniques and how i should fill up my small (12hp) bit of space i have left. Still getting my head around it all but enjoying the journey.

My current setup: MI Yarns, MN René, MN Wogglebug, MI Braids, MI Peaks, MI Streams
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/360926

Thank you in advance!

I would add function dense modules to add some modulation, EG, noise etc. and some multing and mixing.

Disting, Maleko Performance Mult and Mix and Qbit Eon.

That is if you don´t plan to grow your rack or swap any modules.

Disting (simple oscillator among other things) + Links (for some basic mixing / mult) + MMF (VCF).

If you insist in keeping your setup that small, you’d better swap Streams. Or find a simpler MIDI interface than Yarns.

Generally speaking, if you’re into the lowest HP game, Mutable Instruments are bad modules :slight_smile:

The big question is also: what do you like to do with the modular? Or what music inspired you to start your journey into modulars? Do you use it standalone, or together with other instruments? Do you regard it more as an instrument or as an extension to your studio?

“Generally speaking, if you’re into the lowest HP game, Mutable Instruments are bad modules :)”

Really just out of interest. Why do you think so?
I’m in a low HP game as well and considering a lot of MI modules.
Braids crazy sound pallet in 16hp, Warps so many crossfolding options, all that many peaks functions in 8 hp. And with the alternative firmwares they do even more stuff. You had to buy a lot of single function modules to cover all that ground. Tides seems so versatile as well.

Could you explain your opinion a little bit?

Sorry, I meant crossmod options for Warps

> Could you explain your opinion a little bit?

If what you’re after is a specific function (say a VCF, a VCA, an attenuator, one or two envelopes, an oscillator…), you’ll find many options in the 4-HP to 6-HP range from Intellijel, Malekko, Laddik, Erica, 2-HP…

A Mutable Instruments module will take more space - because there’s more spacing between the controls. You can stop here and consider that you’ve sacrificed space for a less cluttered user interface. Or if reaching a higher functional density per HP is a concern, you can dig into all the hidden features and alternative features… at the cost of having to remember how to use all the extra functions!

Definitely in it for the long haul so I’m not totally limited to keeping it small, although it’ll be some time before I upgrade to a larger rack.

I’m digging the Disting, looks like a great little module. Definitely might be worth adding.

My favourite features so far have been the META mode on braids and using the wogglebug to modulate it. Renè is also fun to flesh out random synth lines and melodies. The sounds of Trent Reznor, Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine and Surachai have inspired me to venture down the modular path. I guess I regard it as an extension of my studio, the hands on aspect and thought that goes into the limitless patching combinations make it very inspiring.

Ah, I see. You meant low hp for the single modules, I thought more of low hp for the case.

Or if reaching a higher functional density per HP is a concern, you can dig into all the hidden features and alternative features… at the cost of having to remember how to use all the extra functions!

Ok, I’ll definitively pay the cost then, I think those stuff is genius.

“The sounds of Trent Reznor, Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine and Surachai have inspired me to venture down the modular path”

Nice. We’re in the same boat :slight_smile:

Regarding your rack. I think the disting would add a lot of options. As pichenettes also suggested, a small filter could be nice, but for a lot of Braids’ sounds you may not need a filter anyway.
For a lot of functions in one module, you could consider the Ornament and Crime (great for generative stuff I guess) but it’s 14 hp and you’d have to solder it or find someone who builds it for you. But there are builders on Muffwiggler for example.
The Rene eats a lot of space, but it seems to be an awesome sequencer.
I’m just starting out too, but these are things I consider.

“I think the disting would add a lot of options. As pichenettes also suggested, a small filter could be nice”

Already looking into the Disting, I’m totally sold on it. As for a filter I’d have enough space for Ripples if you’d recommend that? The Ornament + Crime looks great but seem a little tricky to get ahold of.

“The Rene eats a lot of space”

I know, but it’s loads of fun and user friendly.

Yes I can imagine that the Rene is loads of fun.
About Ripples I can only say that I really like it’s sound in the Demos. But If you’d take a smaller filter, you had space to add links. I guess it would be very handy.

Ah, good point. I’m still a little unsure as to what the Links is used for?

Well if you’re into Richard Devine/Surachai type of stuff you’ll maybe also want to look into something multi-channel to sequence percussion/drum sounds. Also if you want to keep the modular very compact, some module that is specialized in drum sounds might help you to keep the HPs down. I wouldn’t go with modules that do 808 or 909-type of sounds, more something like the Basimilus Iteritas. Though Braids in META mode definitely already covers a lot of ground in that area! Though if it’s more an extension of your studio then maybe it’s not so important. Doing complex rhytmical things like Devine’s might need for a pretty big modular anyway. Second the suggestion of the Ornament and Crime. It’s a really fun module… but it’s also a very very deep one. You’ll spend months just figuring out all the things it can do, be warned! :slight_smile:
Links is very useful if you need a buffered multiple and passive mixer in a very compact format. At least that’s why I still use it a lot. Buffered multiples are always good to have no matter what you’re doing with your modular, and if you have lots of sources that need to be mixed, but you don’t need volume control (like just mixing a bunch of percussive sounds) then Links is pretty cool. If you just want a buffered multiple then I’d go with something like the Intellijel Buff Mult though, it’s smaller and has double the jacks.

> as to what the Links is used for?

Upper section: route a source to up to three destinations.

Middle section: mix two sources and/or mix a source to two destinations.

Lower section: mix up to three audio sources.

You can do some of these things with a passive multiple or stackables too, but there are caveats:

  • Routing a sequencer or a keyboard to multiple VCOs through a passive multiple might cause voltage drop.
  • Mixing several sources through a multiple will give a weighted average, not a sum. How loud one source will be respectively to the other(s) is unpredictable (it depends on each source’s output circuitry).

> Well if you’re into Richard Devine/Surachai type of stuff you’ll maybe also want to look into something multi-channel to sequence percussion/drum sounds.

I also thought about including these things in my rack, I guess you need at least 6U if you don’t want to do drums only with your rack. I think something like the Varigate 4, and as rumpelfilter mentioned Basimilus Iteritas and Braids in Meta Mode and maybe a third drum source could give you already nice results. Or maybe MI Grids as well. I’m not sure but what about the Rene for complex drum sequencing?

I can recommend the ALM Dinky’s Taiko as a drum voice. It’s quite flexible. I tend to use it for hi-hat type sounds, mostly.

a|x

Thank you for all the great advice, I’ll definitely be picking up Links and Disting (MK4 was shown at NAMM so hopefully it’s out soon). I’m eye off a few small filters (Erica, WMD).

Until I upgrade my rack I’ll probably just keep it as a crazy little synth unit and use software for drums. Although I’m sure I’ll give in and start checking out some bigger racks haha.

Renè can do some pretty chaotic sequencing, although I’m having trouble controlling the chaos as it needs two clocks if it’s not in snake mode. So I’m using yarns clock out to x and the wogglebug clock out to y so the timing is all over the place, anyway I can sort this out and get some synced chaos?

Use peaks in the synced LFO mode. Sync it to your yarns clock. Then you can have all sorts of weird waveshapes for your y position