The Eurorack/Modular Thread.

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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3814
    Are you really Eno in disguise ?
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21413
    m_c said:
    octatonic said:
    m_c said:
    Why do I keep finding myself staring down this rabbit hole?
    The shiny shiny...
    mmm...so say a complete beginner was interested in knowing more about racks/modules and where to begin, would you have any suggestions?
    Tricky to say without knowing what you want to achieve with one.

    I wouldn't suggest getting involved with modular unless you are having needs unmet by traditional synthesisers unless you are wanting to just do it and see what happens.
    If this is ok, and you have the cash then you could just buy a bunch of modules and see how it goes.
    I'd suggest an oscillator to two, at least one filter, 2-3 VCA's, a couple of modules that can act as LOF's, some sort of envelope, an S/H, a noise unit and something to trigger- either a sequencer or some sort of controller that outputs CV.
    You also need a bunch of mults and I'd suggest using something that can act as a clock divider/multiplier.
    This is before you start liking at anything that can sample, or do delay lines, or reverb.

    A very basic system would be £500-700 and something vaguely capable would be £2k minimum.

    I started with mostly AJH modules + Maths and then quickly started adding the Mutable Instruments modules.
    I basically wanted a Moog type sound that could do some generative type sounds.
    I'm mostly interested in complex oscillators and over time I've wanted to get more into the Buchla thing (hence more Make Noise modules).
    It is a huge investment of time and money though- if you can get the sounds you need from either plugins or a traditional synth then it might be less work and expense.

    There are some very real downsides- they are inefficient in terms of time and space- also of course the financial side.
    There is no patch memory and the more analogue circuitry you have the less likely you are to come back to it an hour later and hear the same noise.
    That is also the beauty of it.
    I've found it really rewarding, but at times frustrating.

    One thing I've done a lot of is recording the patch creation from an unpatched modular through to designing the sound fully.
    It means I now have quite a lot of raw audio that I need to edit down to something I can load into one of the samplers.
    I also have to keep a lot of notes- patching X to Y, rough knob positions and process information.

    When I go to one of my traditional hardware synths it feels vaguely like cheating but it is nice to not have to spend 10-40 getting any sort of useful noise out of it.


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  • m_cm_c Frets: 501
    Thanks for the reply @octatonic ;
    It would be more a try it and see what happens, but I should really be saving money for other things just now.

    I shall however keep staring down the rabbit hole!
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  • wave100wave100 Frets: 147
    I don't have a lot of space in my place at the moment - has anyone tried Softube Modular?

    I wondered if it would be a good way to learn to use all this stuff without having to splash on all the physical kit at the start.

    Spectacular effort btw @octatonic I dread to think how many hours could be spent geeking out with that rig!

    I would check out VCV Rack - it's free (although there are paid for modules if you want) and pretty good, I expect it to be even better once it gets out of Beta!
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  • Quick question - can you use one of these in isolation? Does it just need a power supply? It's for one I've seen that's an FX pedal in this format, a Mantic Flex. Thinking of using with guitar. Thanks
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21413
    Quick question - can you use one of these in isolation? Does it just need a power supply? It's for one I've seen that's an FX pedal in this format, a Mantic Flex. Thinking of using with guitar. Thanks
    Sort of. 
    In theory you could just get a bunch of 1/4” to 1/8” cables made up to run your guitar through the modular as all the modules need is power.

    In reality you have to consider gainstaging and operating level.
    A normal line level signal is around 1-2 volts, peak to peak. 

    Eurorack is abut 10Vpp so you will have to significantly attenuate a modular level signal and you will have to boost a line level signal to get it to modular level.
    You a,so have to consider where in the chain to put it.
    If you are using passive pickups the signal might be 0.2Vpp, so even a lot below life level, let alone modular.

    So putting your modular at the start of a guitar chain would need a significant boost and then be attenuated.
    Fortunately a bunch of IO interface modules exist such as this : https://intellijel.com/shop/eurorack/audio-io/


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  • octatonic said:
    Quick question - can you use one of these in isolation? Does it just need a power supply? It's for one I've seen that's an FX pedal in this format, a Mantic Flex. Thinking of using with guitar. Thanks
    Sort of. 
    In theory you could just get a bunch of 1/4” to 1/8” cables made up to run your guitar through the modular as all the modules need is power.

    In reality you have to consider gainstaging and operating level.
    A normal line level signal is around 1-2 volts, peak to peak. 

    Eurorack is abut 10Vpp so you will have to significantly attenuate a modular level signal and you will have to boost a line level signal to get it to modular level.
    You a,so have to consider where in the chain to put it.
    If you are using passive pickups the signal might be 0.2Vpp, so even a lot below life level, let alone modular.

    So putting your modular at the start of a guitar chain would need a significant boost and then be attenuated.
    Fortunately a bunch of IO interface modules exist such as this : https://intellijel.com/shop/eurorack/audio-io/

    Ahhh ok I see, hmm, think maybe it's easier I just stop being a cheap skate and buy the pedal version instead then! Thanks for the info good sir
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21413
    octatonic said:
    Quick question - can you use one of these in isolation? Does it just need a power supply? It's for one I've seen that's an FX pedal in this format, a Mantic Flex. Thinking of using with guitar. Thanks
    Sort of. 
    In theory you could just get a bunch of 1/4” to 1/8” cables made up to run your guitar through the modular as all the modules need is power.

    In reality you have to consider gainstaging and operating level.
    A normal line level signal is around 1-2 volts, peak to peak. 

    Eurorack is abut 10Vpp so you will have to significantly attenuate a modular level signal and you will have to boost a line level signal to get it to modular level.
    You a,so have to consider where in the chain to put it.
    If you are using passive pickups the signal might be 0.2Vpp, so even a lot below life level, let alone modular.

    So putting your modular at the start of a guitar chain would need a significant boost and then be attenuated.
    Fortunately a bunch of IO interface modules exist such as this : https://intellijel.com/shop/eurorack/audio-io/

    Ahhh ok I see, hmm, think maybe it's easier I just stop being a cheap skate and buy the pedal version instead then! Thanks for the info good sir
    Yes probably the best decision.
    By the time you've bought a case and an IO module it will be massively more expensive and less easy to integrate into your pedalboard.

    The other thing I find tricky is down to 'levels'.
    I use a lot of guitar pedals with my Eurorack rig- it is much easier to use them when they are on the desk with the Eurorack rather than having them on the floor because the moment you take your eye off the floor or the rack things seem to go sideways.
    I use the FX8's looper a lot and I find it less immediate than using the smaller pedal-based loopers (EHX, Pigtronix).
    Essentially it is better to either have everything on the floor, or everything on the desk.

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  • Seems about the same cost wise in this instance to get the pedal or the module+interface (wouldn't be if a particular shop who has a special edition would allow UK shipping!) But seems extra faff for little gain.

    Looks a cool system for sure though in the right set up!
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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