What's your modular story?

#41

I’ve used Reason since 2005. I quickly started using the CV connections and enjoyed that quite a bit, so much in fact that I eventually got a job at Propellerhead and I’m now the Product Manager of Reason.

During my time at Propellerhead, I had two colleagues who were into modular synths. A couple of years ago life was stable enough that I felt I could invest in a system. So I did.

I soon realized the Atlantis was a fantastic piece of synth (I’m a big fan of the SH-101) but it was still too close to Reason, working with a set piece of equipment that happened to have CV in/out. So, I researched. Got fascinated by random voltages and generative music, odd synthesis types I couldn’t easily access otherwise and so on. Getting Ultra-Random Analog and Tides was probably the most educating thing I’ve done. They made helped me realize some of the wonderful things about modular: the goal isn’t always to make a finished track in the traditional sense and one thing can be many, many things.

Things quickly got out of hand and now I have two 7U 104HP cases filled with goodies. One case focused on live performance, and one on sonic meditation. I’ve come to terms with that modular is like owning a model train set that happens to make sounds. And I’m very happy about it. :slight_smile:

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#42

Fantastic! :heart:

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#43

I’ve always tried to make my guitar sound like a synth, but thought I’d never be able to afford the gear so I kept getting pedals. I was aware of eurorack but kept my distance because it seemed too expensive for me, but something I’d get onto at some point.

Eventually I watched ‘I Dream of Wires’ several years later and looked into all the current gear. A lot had changed since the last time I checked in. All was for the better. I started grabbing stuff and immediately was trying to do soundtracks, which fell through, but it shotgunned me into using the modules and the potentials of a few modules with different patching techniques. Once I discovered that there’s so many possibilities with the same modules, I got more excited and have kept at it.

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#44

I fell in love with the music of Tangerine Dream in 1976. And they had some big modulars! However for many years the nearest I got to that was a Korg MS50, which eventually died on me anyway. Like many people I went down the MIDI route lock, stock and barrel. Eventually, for a while, I stopped making music altogether as life got in the way.

In January 2015, as I was starting what ended up being the Hyberus musical collective, I invested in an off-the-shelf Doepfer system. Then a workmate sent me a link to the Elements demo video, and I knew I had to have one. Which meant another rack frame.

I now have three of Doepfer’s 6u frames, plus a Tip Top MuZeus. Not entirely full (yet . . .). Plenty of Doepfer (three oscillators, five filters, four LFOs etc) plus a Soulsby Oscitron, Elements, Marbles, Clouds, Kinks; a Malekko AD/LFO (which mainly modulates the Elements); and a rhythm section consisting of two Grids, a Qu-bit Rhythm, three Transistor Research Labs Stepper Acids, and a 2hp Div.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Marbles to go and play with . . .

#45

My first synth was the Nord Lead 2 back in 2000. I learned the basics on this machine and I used to tape the keys for slow evolving drones ( well I still do…). Then sixteen years later I got a Mother 32 and a 0 Coast. Sold the Mother and fell in love with the Make Noise. I became obsessed with the Music Easel’s sound and interface. Finally found a second hand clone for a good price and a beautiful story/musical relationship started. I am deeply attached to this instrument. Then, finally, popped up a video with Clouds. Then I knew. Clouds, Rings, Tides, Morphagene, Maths, Magneto, 4ms DLL and the 0 Coast are in my case right now (the MN 7U CV bus case). And I really love what’s coming out from my speakers. I learn everyday, record everyday, write down the patches, get some vids done. I was intrigued now I’m impressed. Modular fits so well in my ambient/drone/soundscapes world.I struggle a bit with buying modules too fast. I want to keep it relatively simple and creative. I must admit that musically, I am very happy to have stepped into CV Wonderland.

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#46

Some lovely stories on here, thank you all!

I’m a relative newcomer to the world of synths and a strict hobbyist with no aspirations other than making sounds, I’ve been picking away at guitars for years, on and off, but something with the instrument never quite gelled with me. I bought a drum machine, maybe three years ago (a TR-8), to use as something more interesting than a metronome, I took to programming it with relative ease and it inspired me to start looking into synths which I also took to playing a lot more easily than I’ve ever taken to guitar. At some point I saw a few YouTube videos featuring Clouds, which I immediately fell in love with. I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to fall into the Modular rabbit hole, and for maybe a year I stuck to my guns, although I was still watching YouTube vids on modules that interested me and keeping tabs on the world via MW, these forums and planning fantasy rigs in ModularGrid. 2 Years ago, I got my first semi modular, a Dreadbox Erebus. Cut to Feb last year…

…I had to spend some time away from home for work, so I took my laptop with me and starting playing with VCV Rack, I was instantly hooked, but found interacting with modules with a mouse to be very clunky, I wanted some actual hardware interaction. In March a local Modular Meet was being held, so I attended with a friend and we were both equal parts bewildered and intrigued by everything. People had bought their own rigs for people to tinker with and some manufacturers (Abstract Data, Erica Synths) and YouTube personalities (Mylar Melodies) were there to demo products and explain how things worked. At that point there was no turning back. It’s taken me a year, but I have a full case (and BSP and other out of case ancillaries). I have no plans to expand further, but I’m more than happy with my choice to enter this world, and mostly happy with my module choices (a strict one-in one-out policy is now in place!). I never did get that Clouds though!

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#47

Already full…this rack…!

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#48

hiya, new round here :slight_smile:

something about modular always reminds me of the old ballerina wind-up music boxes i remember from childhood

when i grew up, i had these old synthesizer tapes, old classics, i think it was like Jean-Michel Jarre and stuff like that, I didnt really know at the time. But I always loved the sound of the synthesizer. It sounded like the future!

when i grew up though it was more bass drums and guitar through the grunge era, but once i went to college i discovered the world of electronic music. firstly through tangerine dream and autechre, then into the more esoteric labels like mego, touch, and insine. i had two really great friends that introduced me to a lot of stuff. started using cool edit pro, and ableton around 2004.

i ended up studying sound art, and video art, but mostly i processed the guitar, which i did for years. i kinda happened by synthesis in a guitar shop in new york once. i was looking for a guitar pedal, something i could add to my live setup, and i was trying out a bunch of things, when i came across the critter and guitari pocket piano just chilling on the counter. i played with it a bit and had so much fun i bought it right there and then!

about half a year later i was looking to get a ‘proper’ synth, and being super into portability found the OP-1. I dunno, but at the time this thing kinda blew my mind, i bought it straight away and had fun with it for many years. but it never felt ‘mature’ to me. i had even been researching shuthri and anushri at this time though never took the plunge. that was when i came across elektron. i bought a rytm and a4 together and sold the op-1. it was a great love affair for a while, along with push, and later the octatrack fro a short while, it all became a bit much and i sold the lot before moving to a different city.

this last year or so i had a digitone for a while but sold it, probably shouldnt have cos i really like it, i might actually re-buy it. but then ended up with a digitakt for a show that wasnt long ago. im tempted to get a digitone again.

but a part of me is sort of tired of the elektron sequencer. i love overbridge, so its possible to hook it up to Live for expanded duties. but in the end I love synthesis more than sampling.

i’ve been pondering modular for a good few years, i have lots of friends that use it and i’ve been around it, but the cost has always made me stay away. i’ve even been to a bunch of workshops and things and had little sessions where i can. i discovered VCV recently and its so great to be able to try the mutable instruments stuff there. i think i kinda discovered lightbath around this time. i love the music by r beny and emily sprague ann annie and these types of artists. so i kind ahave this desire to just build up a little mutable instrument like what lightbath did in the loom series.

so i’ve just been toying around with VCV and trying out the plaits and rings modules which seem great. part of me feels like its a gateway drug to real bonafide physical modules, but in all reality im not in a financial position to go down that path just yet. im enjoying downloading all the manuals and watching divkids videos. i ordered the patch and tweak book to read more about modular.

its hard for me to put into words, but theres something about modular im attracted to, im not totally sure what it is. in contrast to something like the elektron sequencer, i like the idea of a sort of global variable system, rather than something thats fixed and needs to be altered on a per step basis. i quite liked the Tombola sequencer on the OP-1, it’s that kind’ve thing i’m interested in and I think modular can provide.

anyway enough rambling! cheerio for now

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#49


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#50

I’m pretty new to modular in general, my story is much like others. Been a software developer for many years, digital artist/designer, played guitar for many years but never really got deep into music. After quitting my last corporate job and taking half a year off to just drift, I got into some old eurorack videos I had saved in youtube and became all of a sudden fascinated. For four months I spent probably 15 hours a day doing nothing but researching modular and trying to grok what it was about. Also during this time dove deep into musical theory and VCV rack and found myself staying up till 4am almost every night playing…

Staring into a computer screen all day really bothers me though so I picked up my first modules (maths, plaits, clouds & stages) and can see this quickly becoming an obsession. Every time I sit down with even just those modules I create something completely new and can sit and experiment with the most trivial interactions for hours. I’m fascinated by waveforms and honestly since I’ve started this journey I have begun to intuitively feel/see everything as waves, it’s very trippy :robot: and I haven’t dropped acid in maybe 20 years haha :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Forrest

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#51

20 years is like 20 minutes!!!

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#52

My journey into synths started in 1982 when we had an EMS Synthi AKS at school. I used to spend hours messing around with it and taping weird noises into a Revox B77 mkII reel to reel. Was some years after that I managed to afford to buy a Korg X3, again taping to a Tascam 4 track tape recorder. Personal work drove me off the music path for about 20 years until I finally settled and started to build my own studio back in 2012. It began with an M-Audio Oxygen 88 and a load of plugins (especially from Native Instruments). A few years later I got frustratingly bored with plugins and bought a Mininova, an Arturia Minibrute SE and a Roland System 1-m. Last year, I finally took the dive into Eurorack and the addiction took a hold. It started with a Rackbrute 6U and 2 modules (an Erica Synths Multi and the amazing X1L3 Shard). Since then, the system grew to include 2 6U Rackbrutes (with another one on the way) containing 30+ modules (not all shown in the pic below), a DFAM, Mother 32 and a 0-Coast. I also threw in a Digitakt for more percussive duties which I’m now using less… ‘because a module can do it now’! Not sure if there will ever be an end-game but it’s been a truly eye opening and exciting journey that’s going to continue for some time. I see this as my ‘retirement gig’ as I do create music and effects for both my own personal creativity and to sell as a side income.

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#53

About 12 years ago I started putting my CD collection onto iTunes and decided to sell the CDs. I used the money to start buying Doepfer modules until I had a 9u 84hp System. I created my ultimate monosynth!

I nearly sold it on more than one occasion, then one day I decided to buy a non Doepfer module…an Analogue Solutions Telemark filter and I never looked back…however I still ended up with 3 xVCO, 10 x VCF mono synth…

It changed constantly, until I decided to buy a Braids as they’d just been discontinued, wow, so many sounds in one module…then Plaits, Marbles and Stages appeared and I realised I’d been approaching modular in the wrong way (for me at least)

Self generating rhythms and melodies were my way to go. Marbles changed everything…

I now have two 9u, 84hp cases and one is mainly MI, I find that quite often I only use the MI case (with the exception of PNW, which is so useful for everything)

It’s hard to say which is my favourite MI module, but Rings, Marbles and both versions of Tides are today’s favourites…and Peaks…and Grids…and…you get the picture

image

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