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 Post subject: modular synthesis
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:08 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:18 am
Posts: 3495
Location: wales UK
well this is going to be my last thread on the forum for the foreseeable future.
i'm moving off into the whacky world of modular synthesis, and i need to spend alot of time getting to grips with it.
also i thought that as there arent many (any??) hardware modular guys on the forum, i'm going to be ranting on about stuff thats a bit irrelevant to most of you.

i'd like to leave you with the seed of a thread about where i'm headed for.
anyone who might be interested in modular might find the recent sound on sound article worth a read;
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr09/articles/goingmodular.htm?print=yes

it explodes many of the myths of modular, and gives a hint of the exciting possibilities, however i only read it after doing alot of research myself, and found it a little safe, ( the guy who wrote it was a modular virgin although he was an experienced synth user, and i think he went for a very ordinary set-up.

there's never been a better time to go modular, its exploding at the moment, with new companies appearing almost monthly it seems, and i've always been puzzled why it isnt the first choice for minimal musicians, its the perfect platform for experimentation.
the main drawback and the reason why i havent delved into it till now is it can get expensive and addictive if you're not careful.
the first system i designed was completely unattainable financially, and i had to reluctantly remove modules from the planner one by one till it became sensible, and affordable.

if you have any synths already which have cv /gate capability, then you can get away with a very small Eurorack set-up costing well less than £1000, so its cheaper than buying say a good VA or something like a Prohet 08.
and the new MOTU Volta plugin makes it easy to integrate a hardware modular into your ITB set up

i'm making a patchbay so that all my analogue synth cv / gate / outputs come to one small surface for patching into the modular, and i'm going for a few of the esoteric buchla inspired modules to start with, to get some serious modulation happening, then when i can afford it, just add modules one by one, they range in price from £20 upward, with many of the doepfer modules costing around £35 - £120. more complex modules some of which are virtually minature synthesizers in themselves cost more.
the more interesting esoteric stuff is usually handbuilt and is up around the £120 - £200 mark, thats when it can get expensive.

musically i'm not finding alot of stuff that is in my bag on the modular forums, but i havent looked very hard, and that only inspires me me to do something different with it.
oblioblioblio gave me this link to a good modular forum which is technically excellent ; http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/, i think maybe its aimed at the Noise scene, but i havent really surfed it properly yet.

ok, i will partake in this thread if anyone is interested in taking it anywhere, but other than that i'm going to have my hands in spagetti for the next few years, and wont be going on my usual 'analogue is the way' rants, which i'm sure you ITB guys are sick of hearing ;)
peace
:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:27 am 
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mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr

Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:15 am
Posts: 201
I've read that article, a modular system is on my 'maybe some day' list...

For me, personally, it's all about cost and convience. Software is cheap and doesn't take up any space + plus my girlfriend doesn't know I'm buying new stuff :lol:

As mentioned, I'd love a modular system though, it seems like a really great way to learn, having hands on access to every parameter that make up a sound. I guess you have to be disciplined though, it's probably very easy to get lost in the spaghetti :)

One of my favourite modular synth references is Simian Mobile Disco's first album. They used a Doepfer system for all the percussion sounds and you can really hear it. There's a certain 'dusted' and alive quality to the sound that you just don't get with samples or software.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:50 am 
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mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:21 pm
Posts: 479
Location: London
Im about to start bulding something myself! But Im going to start with DIY modules! Ill print my PCBs and do all the work myself! Its more fun and it will cost me round 70-80% LESS! :D

tasos

Links for you all:
http://www.modular.fonik.de/index.html
http://www.sequencer.de/blog/
http://modularsynthesis.com/
http://electro-music.com/forum/forum-112.html
http://experimentalistsanonymous.com/ot ... urnal.html
http://www.cgs.synth.net/
http://www.buildyourownclone.com/index.html
http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/index.php?page=HOME
http://www.blacet.com/
http://www.oakleysound.co.uk/
http://yusynth.net/Modular/index_en.html

Its better to start from the end of this list :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:02 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:05 pm
Posts: 3822
Location: Hertfordshire
it's on my things to do before i'm 30 list.

i got so many ideas of where to go with it but i think the best thing for me would be to buy a semi-modular first and then build it round that. the analog synth market is probably at it's biggest for a while so i'm sure there will be some awesome instruments being made over the next 6 years.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:47 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:18 am
Posts: 3495
Location: wales UK
Daemonix wrote:
Im about to start bulding something myself! But Im going to start with DIY modules! Ill print my PCBs and do all the work myself! Its more fun and it will cost me round 70-80% LESS! :D


man i'd love to build modules myself, but i really really hate soldering !!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:21 am 
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mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:21 pm
Posts: 479
Location: London
steevio wrote:
Daemonix wrote:
Im about to start bulding something myself! But Im going to start with DIY modules! Ill print my PCBs and do all the work myself! Its more fun and it will cost me round 70-80% LESS! :D


man i'd love to build modules myself, but i really really hate soldering !!!!!


I think you live a bit far.. but Ill put the soldering and you put the knowledge :D
Soldering slavery to offer.. in exchange to young apprenticeship :D

hehe

Tasos


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:37 pm 
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mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:25 am
Posts: 124
I have some purchases to make next year. Jomox 999 and Studio Electronics SE-1X and then I'm thinking of dipping into modular myself. Problem with all this stuff is that it's still a hobby and I'm only earning a moderate wage to spend on hobby stuff...

Yeah... so little money so much good gear

I personally like the look of the modcan stuff first, it's not the cheapest or the most expensive and has a tonne of options.

The Buchla stuff is friggin expensive

My interweb links (i usually bookmark stuff in the order I want things or that i think I can afford LOL).

http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/index.php

http://www.modcan.com/
http://www.macbethstudiosystems.com/ (x series 5u)
http://www.cwejman.net/modular.htm (Bass/Bass Drum module :shock: )
http://www.buchla.com/historical/b100/ (wish yum)
http://www.synthesizers.com/modules.html
http://www.doepfer.de/home_e.htm
http://www.synthtech.com/motm.html
http://www.serge-fans.com/shop_red.html

Smaller companies or single modules

http://postmodular.co.uk/bubblesound/ulfo (a nice LFO/VCO)
http://www.cyndustries.com/
http://www.tiptopaudio.com/
http://www.makenoisemusic.com/modular.html
http://syntheticmusicsystems.com/
http://www.theharvestman.org/menu.php
http://www.malekkoheavyindustry.com/ind ... th-modules


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:42 pm 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:38 pm
Posts: 2556
I find the experience of working with small electronic compenents really inspiring. (but sometimes quite challenging)

For the next few years I'm going to concentrate on learning digital modular like Max msp and Reaktor, but analogue modular is a really deep avenue that I plan to explore a few steps at a time when the time is right.

I spent a little while playing with a few prebuilt systems at the hugely recommended Schneiders Buero, and found it to be a really wonderful experience. I found that my interaction was very different to when using other systems, like, say playing notes into a midi keyboard and thinking 'i want a bassy kind of sound'... With the modular I felt that I had a lot less control over what was happening, (even though there were so many possibilties to control things).


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