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My first modular - final advice before I take the plunge

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Hainbach
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My first modular - final advice before I take the plunge

Post by Hainbach »

Hi!

I had a thread in the general Modular Forum about this already a few months ago, but now that i have decided on Euro I guess I should post my setup-to-be here.

I have spent the last 2 months absorbing all the great Info on this forum and come up with a starting system i want to buy in the next week. Please have a look and tell me what you think!

Case
Doepfer 3 x 84TE Koffer

Row 1 (Not in actual order)
Doepfer A-118 Noise / Random
Doepfer A-119 External Input
Doepfer A-160 Clock Divider
Doepfer A-161 Clock Sequencer
Doepfer A-198 Ribbon Controller
Doepfer A-180 Multiple (2x4) 3,5mm
Doepfer A-190-1 Midi/CV-interface
Doepfer A-135 VC Mixer Modul
Doepfer A-143-9 VC Quadrature LFO

Row 2 (Not in actual order)
Make Noise René
Malekko VCA module
Malekko Wiard Anti-Oscillator
Malekko Wiard Borg 2 filter
Malekko Wiard Envelator
Malekko Wiard Oscillator

That leaves one row to be filled with maths, wobblebug phonogene and more, come cash again.My Roland sh- 02 should also integrate easily, if i feel the need for softer oscs.

I have played with most of the Malekko modules at Schneiders Büro and loved them!

So, any feedback is welcome and thanks for this great forum!
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Red Electric Rainbow
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Post by Red Electric Rainbow »

What do you plan on using your system for? You have a little bit of everything to keep it interesting.

I did notice the use of a ribbon controller and a midi to cv...any reason for them both?
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waveplant
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Post by waveplant »

As someone new to modulars myself, I'd recommend buying even less to start and adding slowly. Or at least slow enough to split your order into 3-4 batches. You'll be surprised how your needs and decisions change once you actually start using your modular. I was pretty set on almost filling up my case from my first order and I'm really glad I didn't.
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numan7
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Post by numan7 »

I think that your 6U plan is well thought out...

My only advice is to be careful while are you installing everything (and have lots of fun once everything is powered on).

:sb:

cheers,
7n7
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VortexRanger
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Post by VortexRanger »

Wow, I'm jealous that you get all that stuff all at once. Mine are always one at a time with a side order of financial worry.
:hobbes:
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Matos
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Post by Matos »

Seriously, you are not playing. Congrats on researching and focusing. I'm starting uber small because as much as I think I know about synthesis, I know I'll be awash in a sea of confusion once i plug in my first patch.
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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach »

Wow, thank you very much for all the responses! here are a few ideas behind the setup. Sorry that I cant reply directly with your names - i am using the touchbb app and cant Skip back.

I was inspired by the softsynth aalto in the creation of this setup, hence the sequencer and buchla- ish configuration.

The midi-interface is mainly for clocking and integration with ableton live. Also the clock dividers should provide me with an additional sequencing source.

The ribbon was something i wanted to have ever since working with a Moog modular at University. Such expressivness!

I guess i could start smaller, but I have a month of free time before the next production. I want to use that Time for making as many tracks as possible. So it grew to this size, even though its way beyond my original budget. But I was warned that would happen.;)

I planned this instrument for creating morphing sequences and rhythms as well as audio mangling.

As to putting it together, that will be next researching step on this forum.

Thanks again, guys!
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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps »

I'd wonder if you might find more use for a more generalised LFO with multiple waveforms than the quad?

A V/C able LFO with PWM is a lot more fun than midi as clocks go.

Or drop the midi altogether and use Silent Way?
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Pascal
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Post by Pascal »

I tend to favor more Harvestman oscillators for start since the can give plenty of timbre variations and Maths over Envelator duo to multi functionality and better Attack and Decay modulation (to my ears).

anyway, good luck and welcome
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General Electron
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Post by General Electron »

I have also just recently put together a Euro system. My second big order of modules had an awful lot more mixers, attenuators, and multiples than the first order. I have to agree with waveplant that you need to start using a system, to discover what you are missing. So don't spend your entire budget on your initial order; leave some for that important second order.

The 143-9 seems a little out of place. I am quite fond of the 143-3, four LFOs, not VC, each with three waveforms.
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thaneco
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Post by thaneco »

If you want to control your modular with the computer you should check out the ES-1 expert sleepers module
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yghartsyrt
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Post by yghartsyrt »

that's a decent setup for a start.
Don't have that much input, but I'd love to play with this …
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matttech
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Post by matttech »

i just bought an a136 gate combiner to use with the a161 - means you can take several of the clock sequencer's outputs (say, step 1, 3 and 7) and combine them together into a gate "bus" which could trigger the same envelope. this would give you another sequenced rhythmic gate track.
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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach »

To all: thanks again for your help and kind words- you are helping me a lot!

@mattech: do you mean the 186? That sounds very good (and cheap :)) thx for the tip!

@umcorps and thaneco: I checked Expert sleepers- the adat Module looks great! All the others wont work, because all i/o on my fireface are in use. But I want to get away from the screen, so maybe a simple midi Interface to keep the sequencers in time with live is enough. Have to think about that. Great input, thx!

@umcorps and general electron: i read that the 143-8 would work great with the mixer and was also attracted by the low hp count. Mmh, have to think about that.

@Pascal : if maths can replace envelator, i will get it instead. I was lusting after it anyway.

@ General electron: what would you suggest to drop initially? Maybe one wiard osc less? I could also consider waiting with the ribbon a bit. It feels tough to get rid of even one piece, but i get your and waveplants point.
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matttech
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Post by matttech »

Hainbach wrote:To all: thanks again for your help and kind words- you are helping me a lot!

@mattech: do you mean the 186? That sounds very good (and cheap :)) thx for the tip!

@umcorps and thaneco: I checked Expert sleepers- the adat Module looks great! All the others wont work, because all i/o on my fireface are in use. But I want to get away from the screen, so maybe a simple midi Interface to keep the sequencers in time with live is enough. Have to think about that. Great input, thx!

@umcorps and general electron: i read that the 143-8 would work great with the mixer and was also attracted by the low hp count. Mmh, have to think about that.

@Pascal : if maths can replace envelator, i will get it instead. I was lusting after it anyway.

@ General electron: what would you suggest to drop initially? Maybe one wiard osc less? I could also consider waiting with the ribbon a bit. It feels tough to get rid of even one piece, but i get your and waveplants point.
yes, sorry...the a186!
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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps »

Hainbach wrote:
@umcorps and general electron: i read that the 143-8 would work great with the mixer and was also attracted by the low hp count.
Oh, it does and it is. And its a very handy sine wave audio oscillator too. I love mine. I'm just saying that it wasn't my first choice LFO. I wanted something more general than that to begin with.

Of course, if you throw a Maths in the case, you've got a great clock source right there so you can cover it that way instead. But that's quite an expensive way to get a clock. :lol:
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Post by mudlogger »

Really well though out system. Big thumbs up for the Malekko stuff - i have the same - the Anti and Unkle is a great pair that complement each other well. I have a Hertz Donut too and gives a different timbre but being digital it also gives you aliasing in the higher pitch ranges.

With all that Malekko - surprised you didn't go with a Noisering instead of the A118 though? The Noisering for me is a bit special.

Also i would consider swapping the A160 with a 4ms RCD - just gives you a bit more shuffle / odd timing with the added bonus of the rotate. Nothing wrong with the A160 - just a bit vanilla.

I would consider get a Maths before you buy the Envelator - both are great - you'll get get more from the Maths when you first start your system. I would just move the Maths higher up your too buy list.

The one thing that stands out is the Doepfer A-143-9 VC Quadrature LFO. Consider what you want to do with your LFO, how many different wave outputs you want? / do you want it to sync and reset / cross modulate? - do you want CV control. I would consider the MFB Dual LFO though - good for cross modulation / sync + reset or a Bubblesound uLFO. Remember you will have LFO with an Envelator + Malekko Osc (pull the top knob out) + Maths. Also look at other Doepfer LFO's.

Also i would consider changing the chip in your A119 if your not happy with the sound with a TL074.

viewtopic.php?t=5163&highlight=a119

Also consider getting a Sample + Hold such as an A148 and a Ring Modulator of some sort - just to give you different flavours with your Oscillators.
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Post by talkboxert »

Also would recommend the maths, since you only have 1 envelope, and you will definately want more.... The maths can also give functions 90 degrees shifted, so thats part of what the A-143-9 can do..... the doepfer envs aren't bad either.

I am also completely thrilled about the expertsleepers stuff. It really helps you to actually get usefull musical phrases out of your modular if that's what you're into. And you can program 8 AUX LFO's Envs step sequencers and a lot more :) Also handy for wiring audio into your system.
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Post by Hainbach »

@Umcorps: yeah, you and Mudlogger are right - I will think about the LFO a bit more. Thanks!

@Mudlogger: You are right regarding Noisering and the 4ms modules - they offer more and are lovely. I have tried them both at Schneider and was impressed. The pricetag compared to Doepfer is harsh, though. Great ideas and very useful help, thank you a lot!

@at talkboxert: maybe a rather stupid question: could I just solder a cable according to the FAQ at Expert Sleepers that goes from my Fireface 400 to Rene and let Silent Way sent clock as well as Start/Stop? That would be enough until I can afford the full ADAT interface.
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Post by tommi »

If you want to sync your modular with your computer i have to say something about the doepfer A-190: The reset out outputs a steady voltage and not a short pulse. It was designed for clocking and resetting the doepfer A-155 sequencer wich accepts a steady voltage for reset.
If you want to reset any other sequencer/clock divider or anything else who can be reset with the A-190 you 'll need a module to change the steady voltage into a short pulse, such as the A-162 trigger delay (set to 0 delay and minimum length) or the A-165 trigger modifier.
Otherwise you could use Silent Way for clock and reset.
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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach »

Thanks Tommi! That helped. So I will drop the A-190-1 and get the Silent Way software and new soldering tin.

As regards to all the other modules, I dropped:
Doepfer A-118 - well, Noisering has it beat. If I need white noise, I will patch in my Roland SH-02
Doepfer A-119 - it gets little love around here and I will be mainly processing signals adjusted to line level. Easy kill.
Doepfer A-143-8 - exchanged for A-147
Doepfer A-160/161/186 - I'll first try Rene to its maximum before using more sequencing. Maybe the 4ms gear might be a better upgrade
Doepfer A-198 - I will wait a bit before I get a ribbon controller. Maybe Madrona come out with Soundplane in the meantime time and I can use that.
Doepfer A-180 - the Intellijel has half the HP and is similarily priced.

I added the A-144 morph controller - seems like a lot fun to use with the Mixer, plus there is a discount at Schneiders.

So, this it what it looks like today as of today 4 AM:

Image

I'll go to Schneider later and talk with the guys what they think about the setup. Thank you all!
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Post by Ankh »

I'd ditch the A-140, A-135, A-147 and add a Malekko Osc, which also makes a good LFO. There's still plenty of mixing there for a 6U system (Maths and Borg)

A clock divider is also really great with the René.
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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach »

@Ankh: thanks for pointing out the mixing capabilities of the Borg and Maths. I am still to hard wired in my thinking to notice that. Would you say that I should get the 4ms Rotating Clock Divider?
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matttech
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Post by matttech »

Hainbach wrote:@Ankh: thanks for pointing out the mixing capabilities of the Borg and Maths. I am still to hard wired in my thinking to notice that. Would you say that I should get the 4ms Rotating Clock Divider?
well....not wanting to be a spanner in the works, but if you got the a160/a161 combo, and added the a186 gate combiner, you've got a clock divider that can also be used as an audio divider for suboctaves, a clock sequencer that can send to multiple destinations, and a combiner that will allow you to create a rhythmic gate stream to be sent to one place. basically a pretty sweet little gate sequencer. for £120, as opposed to £156 for the RCD

not that i've used the RCD, so it may hold treasures that outweigh all this.

i'd personally forget the vc-mixer, but it depends on what you're after i guess. it does look fun, but you might find other things more pressing once you play with it.. you could always use the a134-2 dual vc-crossfaders for mixing between signals.

you could also save a few quid by making some multiples - they are simply minijack sockets wired together and screwed into a faceplate. you could even mount them outside the case to save space. i have been building a simple panel with a load of attenuators and multiples, and once you start looking at it, it's really easy

don't forget the MFB dual LFO - it is excellent. it cross modulates internally, so LFO1 modulates the speed of LFO2 and vice versa...but you can also patch in external CV sources, and reset both LFOs (although you have to invert the gate/ trigger first, as it has to have a negative going voltage to reset....although a very short trigger would be ok....gates would reset it on note off otherwise. a simple inverter solves it though. or use the middle channels of maths)

all your choices look good though, and you have a lot covered by the MAths, Noisering, Borg
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