I was just looking to gather some opinions and suggestions for anything in my current modular set-up plan. I’ve already got Ears, Plaits and XOH but the rest is all just a plan at the moment. I’m really into the tape emulation and light saturation sounds.
The plan is to use Plaits and Bloom to make the main voice and then process it with all of the rest of the stuff in the rack. I was also thinking that I could use Ears with my guitar to interface with all the effects modules. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!
I presume you are sampling, looping and live processing as you only have one sound source (plaits).
what are you planning to use as a pitch sequencer? I personally like Marbles, but there are lots out there including gear outside the rack.
Yeah, that was the plan!
At the moment I’m planning on using Bloom as the pitch sequencer - it offers a lot of mutation and development of the original sequence. I’ll look further into marbles though, I hadn’t really considered it yet.
sorry, didn’t know bloom was a sequencer.
How are you going to mix all the stereo outs (4 in total).
I have had good success with WMD overseer after the Morphogene. It offers stereo LP and HP at the same time which can help sculpt the sound.
Not sure what sound you’re going for but maybe a massive sounding reverb like Happy Nerding FX Aid?
If this is the direction you want to go, I would advise to go slowly, especially with that bottom row. All four of those effects can really fill up a lot of musical space, depending on how you use them. And granular modules in particular deserve concentrating on them and really getting to know the variety of things they can do.
(And of course this being the Mutable Instruments forum, it’d be difficult not to recommend considering the Clouds successor when that is released.)
Getting just a couple of modules at a time and keeping any plans very flexible when getting into modular can be a good idea. Each new module often reveals certain needs, wants or opportunities that you didn’t anticipate before (especially where it comes to utilities).
I agree with Starthief that you should go slowly and not rush to fill the case.
Out of curiosity I built your proposed plan on ModularGrid. For a start, the Arturia Rackbrute case is actually 89hp wide (1hp wider than your picture above). This means that you can fit the 2hp wide Arbhar expander in there, which is included with the Arbhar module, should you go that route.
That bottom row is interesting. I’d argue that the Magneto and Mimeophon cover a lot of the same ground, both being highly modulatable delays (although you can go into some stranger places with the Mimeophon if you treat it as more than just an effect).
To some degree the Morphagene and Arbhar also crossover with each other. I wouldn’t class either of them as being a realtime effect. They’re more sound sources that you record into and then play/manipulate/trigger. I think of them as instruments in themselves.
Personally, I went with just one of them in my rack, an Arbhar, as it seemed more flexible and intuitive and I love granular processing. However, if you’re more into the tape manipulation side of it then Morphagene (or an Instruo Lubadh) might be a better fit. I wouldn’t advise getting both Morphagene and Arbhar though, at least not to start with.
I would certainly wait to see what a Clouds successor might bring to the table. I use an original Clouds alongside a Mimeophon and an Arbhar for my granular and effect processing. And, yes, a guitar via Ears into a combination of those modules can get very interesting.
I agree 100% with everything aid by Abortivechronicles, Fuseball and Starthief. I started out wanting a monosynthish eurorack, now I am at mostly drum focused synthesis all while filling a single case over a few years. Do go slow.
One practical thing I recommend to everyone starting out: mixers, multiples and attenuators are the arteries, veins and lymphatics of a modular system. Sure, livers (morphagene) and hearts (bloom) sound more fancy but they can’t work without the “plumbing.”
Arbhar for example doesn’t have a single onboard attenuator and unless you want to always modulate everything at full swing, you will need to attenuate your incoming control voltages. And before you ask, no, the two channels on maths are not even close to enough.
TL; DR: get at least one nice quad attenuator and at least one utility mixer. In your case maybe a stereo mixer. Makenoise makes a nice one I think. If you have stackables, you can get away without multiples a lot of the time but I would still recommend one buffered multiple for splitting v/oct CVs without voltage loss.
EDIT: definitely do not get morphagene and arbhar at the same time, both of those will have a steep learning curve and might end up frustrating you if you’re exposed to them at the same time for the first time.
Thanks for the advice! So in this set-up I’ve ditched the magneto in favour of a load more utilities:
I’ve added two 4-channel attenuators along with 8 stereo channels of mixing and a make noise mult.
That looks very viable to me! You might wanna spread those attenuators and mixers out a bit more, but that may just be personal preference.
Something cool to start with if I may make a suggestion might be Plaits, Bloom, Maths, one STmix, multiple, one quad attenuator and Mimeophon. This gives you tons of experimentation with basic patching and once you feel comfortable with that you can add Arbhar or the Morphagene.
Of course if you just want to jump into processing, you can just get the Morphagene or Arbhar before Plaits and it will be more or less the same
For ease of use I’d reshuffle some of the modules around. For example, I would always have Pam’s New Workout on the top row as you’ll be editing it quite a bit and you don’t want to be doing that through a forest of patch cables. I also don’t think you’ll need a second STMIX.
This is how I would arrange those modules for usability and to best balance the power over the two power strips…
One thing to always be aware of with the Rackbrute case is that you can’t have too deep a module near the power module as the cabling sticks out a bit. No more than 30mm depth I’ve found.
Thanks for that - yeah it definitely makes more sense to have Pam’s workout on the top row - I hadn’t thought about how the patch cables would get in the way aha. I’m pretty sure your case there is 1HP wider than a Rackbrute though? From what I can find it’s two rows of 88HP with 5HP taken up by the power supply.
I’m currently using a couple of Rackbrutes here and both the 6u and 3u are 89hp. I don’t know why they’ve always listed them as 88hp. I suppose it’s possible that they’ve changed the spec. I’ve had these for a couple of years now.
If they are only 88hp now, then you could use one of these as a buffered multiple rather than the Make Noise passive one…
Definitely 5hp for the power supply though.
Modules can be so much deeper than you expect… hence the common advice to go slow.
For example: did you realise that you can cover alot of what morphagene does with mimeophon in hold mode.
A different example: you can make a four channel vca mixer with three passive modules (passive or logic, passive attenuators, passive low pass gate) plus one offset and some stack cables.
I’m making a few points here: sometimes the synthesis is as satisfying as the sounds that come out; passive modules can live outside a powered case; and you won’t know what you are actually capable of with the gear you’ve got until a musical meed comes up and you try and make do with what you’ve got.
Ah yeah I’ve just gone and counted the hp of mine and it’s definitely 89hp! That’s a win haha.
The RackBrute cases have 89 HP of end-to-end space barely, the “Link” sockets protrude inward on both ends (one row of 6U or the only row of 3U), and the threaded strips have only 88 holes, so it’ll fit 89 HP of modules only if:
- the modules’ faceplates are perfectly drilled or slotted
- they don’t have boards/components that hit the Link sockets
- you tighten down the screws with the threaded strips aligned just right with the case ends
- you don’t try to screw in a 2 HP module on the spot that doesn’t have screw holes
So I can see why they might not want to promise 89 HP, even if it’s easy enough to do if you’re shuffling modules to make it work.