If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

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esky
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by esky » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:44 am

...and there is another MFB called Microzwerg http://www.mfberlin.de/Produkte/Musikel ... zwerg.html
on the way, 2 Osc, patchable, a little less possibilities than Kraftzwerg, for around 350.- €.
That could also be a good starter...

tranzfuse
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by tranzfuse » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:47 pm

[nis] wrote:
tranzfuse wrote: Also, less harm done if I spend $650 for the DE instead of saving my cash (presumably quite a bit more than $650) to build a basic system
You might get similar results but yet more flexible patching options with the following modules:

A-109 Signal Processor (VCF, VCA, PAN) $175
A-110 Standard VCO $199
A-140 ADSR $95
A-145 LFO $95
MFB PSU + CV/Gate $120

= $684

Still needs a housing, though. MFB offers a 19" rack case together with their PSU / CV-Gate for a mere $90 extra. Or you can build one yourself.

If you really want a cheap semi-modular minisynth, I'd rather go for the MFB Kraftzwerg:
http://www.analoguehaven.com/mfb/kraftzwerg/

Best,
Nico
I really appreciate you laying it out like this Nico, thank you. I cannot find the MFB rack case you mentioned. I looked on MFB's site and analog haven's site. Where else could I look?

Man that Kraftzwerg seems very interesting too, seems more fully fledged and fun than the DE. I have limited space (I live in Brooklyn) so this is why I am considering the semi-modular route.

Anyway, this is pretty exciting. I'll figure out my direction soon enough, I just don't want to think about it too much, I'd rather jump in.

Thanks again.
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Schnauzer
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by Schnauzer » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:10 pm

I'm afraid this thread is going to cost me a lot of money ;)
An idea has sprung in the back of my mind...
Can I raise a practical question at this point? Are we gonna do "Stonehenge" tomorrow?
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djsynchro
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by djsynchro » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:31 pm

Doepfer looks like a good deal, and they've been around for a long time now. I have 2 of their MIDI-to-CV converters, one was a kit, the other one one ready built, both are good. If you feel really brave: http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/mfosweb/home.action he has a ton of links too, so an interesting read anyway.

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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by porfiry » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:09 pm

I have a small modular, and I can give you one bit of personal opinion: The Doepfer stuff I've tried in my rack has been perfectly functional and everything, but has also bored the shit out of me. I am totally in love with the Malekko/Wiard modules, I have a MakeNoise Maths that is fantastic (had two until the Envelator came around), the Flight of Harmony Plague Bearer and Sound of Shadows delay are indispensable, and I've always lusted after Harvestman stuff, but have found it too spendy to buy any yet.

Some of the Doepfer modules are pretty great and/or aren't covered by the indies, things like the 160/161 "sequencer," the 196 PLL, the 189-1 bitfondler to name a few...but better to just sprinkle your rig with those than to go full Doepfer, in my own assy opinion. Maybe it's the gross gray knobs and ugly font. Heh.

I'm out of money for music gear at this point, but ultimately I'd like about a solid 9u devoted to Malekko modules, and maybe another 6u sub-rack of the best from the other indies. Thankfully the Malekko line isn't really complete yet without the Anti-Envelope and such, so my temptation is kept in check. :)

The Leveller
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by The Leveller » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:30 pm

Honestly, have a chat with Navs who runs the blog I pointed you to. He knows modules, he's road tested most of them at one time or another. He's a nice guy, drop him a note. Plan B, Doepfer, Cwejman whatever you fancy. 8)

porfiry
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by porfiry » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:21 pm

Yeah, Cwejman is indeed some real nice shit, but get out your wallet. Bubblesound is nice too, I have a uLFO...great device.

EDIT: Don't forget to map it all out! http://www.modularplanner.co.uk/

[nis]
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by [nis] » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:34 pm

tranzfuse wrote:
I really appreciate you laying it out like this Nico, thank you. I cannot find the MFB rack case you mentioned. I looked on MFB's site and analog haven's site. Where else could I look?
The MFB frame is sold at Analogue Haven. The 2nd product on this page is basically the whole kit, PSU / bus board w/ MIDI-CV and the 19" frame: http://www.analoguehaven.com/mfb/midicv/

A picture of the frame is available here:
http://www.schneidersbuero.de/index.php ... URO_BRUTTO
Nico Starke
Ableton Product Team

tranzfuse
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by tranzfuse » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:25 am

LOL, I can't believe my thought process morphed from "How do I EASE into the modular synth world" to "I should plan and assemble my own modular synth system! I need to do it!" so quickly. You lot are a very convincing bunch :)

I feel a little overwhlemed at all the information and products available to sift through to learn about and decide how to go about assembling your own system from the start, analysis paralysis I believe they call it. Not too lazy to do it, but I did not fully realize what I was getting into.

I am also concerned with space. I literally have a desk, and it is mostly filled. I would have to choose VERY wisely. The 19" rackmount case is really too big. Would a case like this, filled with some carefully chosen modules, along with the DE be a good move? I am not hung up on the DE, but I do appreciate it's compact size. What other small case options are out there?

Again, this would literally be my first piece of analog gear.

The Kraftzwerg does seem enticing, but I read quite a handful of threads where people mentioned they had read some other thing on some other thread about the unit's build quality, tuning issues, and MIDI being temperamental. It is of upmost importance that it interfaces in near lockstep with Live...it would be very much DAW driven.

Thanks again, enjoying the discussion.
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porfiry
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by porfiry » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:04 am

Those little cases are cute and everything, but you'll just feel you've outgrown it like, immediately. I have the Modular World 6u case with built-in multiples and attenuators, and while even that is ultimately (way) too small, at least you can get some semblance of a complete system shoehorned into 168hp.

Also keep in mind you don't have to fill it immediately...you can just start with the few modules you'd have put in the toy case while still having lots of expansion potential when you inevitably get bored with it.

Save the little 32hp thing for an outboard freako filter/delay rig, or overflow for your real case. :)

Hervé
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by Hervé » Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:50 am

Their is a really nice topic going @ mnml.nl on the subject, have a read :
http://www.mnml.nl/phpBB2/viewtopic.php ... c&start=15

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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by Kodama » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:41 pm

I can not really recommend MFB, I have seen and read about their equipment malfunctioning and know a few people who have had trouble getting repairs.

Modular World now directly sells a 3u (one row) rackmountable case for about $165 shipped with power supply.

It's all about research. I think that any euro rack user will end up with a mix of Doepfer and other modules in their setup. Some types of modules are only made by Doepfer. Others are just really nice. I recommend really reading up on what you want. Consider getting modules used (so there is very little loss if you trade them out) and just getting one or two modules at a time. You will only know what you want when you start playing with the modules. An envelope in modular world is not an envelope in VA world, same for a filter (resonance and cutoff are usually never consistent across the full range the way they are in VAs).

For what it's worth, here are some of my favorites:

Make Noise Maths

Malekko Borg 2 Filter

Flight of Harmony Plague Bearer

Toppobrillo Triple Wave Folder

Harvestman Hertz Donut

Doepfer a124 Wasp Filter

Doepfer a106-1 Xtreme Filter

Doepfer a151 Sequential Switch

Doepfer a152 VA Switch

Doepfer a112 sampler/delay/pitch shifter (it's a complete pain in the ass though)
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Kodama
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by Kodama » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:45 pm

Here's the link for Modular World:

http://mwmodularworld.blogspot.com/

Be sure to get the one with bus boards AND to order a power supply!
GO VEGAN!!! - Macbook Air, Bass Station II, Some Korg shit, Live Suite, U-He, Audio Damage, Microtonic, Ohmicide, more soft stuffs, awesome controllers, euro rack modular synth,an awesome cat.

memes_33
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by memes_33 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 pm

another options (and probably cheaper than any of the others) is to get a software modular synthesizer and mus around with that first. i don't have any specific recommendations, as i don't really get into the modular thing very often any more. i do still have my nord modular, which was a great learning tool b/c you have all of the modules you would have in the hardware world (through the software editor) but don't have to spend a ton of skrill to learn.

just my opinion, but the world of modular synthesizers is a pretty expensive one, and it would suck to spend thousands just to realize you're not that into it. i have worked on many of the old classic modulars (buchla, emu, moog) and learned modular synthesis on the buchla, and they are awesome and fun, but i just find them to be a bit of a rabbit-hole, honestly. the sounds are amazing, though.

so, yeah, i would look for a cheap FULLY modular software synth (any recommendations out there) and play around with the concept before taking the proverbial plunge. my $0.02
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Johnisfaster
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Re: If I wanted to ease into the modular synth world...

Post by Johnisfaster » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:44 pm

all I know is if you buy into eurorack and you dont get a makenoise maths then I feel sorry for you ;)

Someone said that doepfer modules bored them, doepfer isnt glamorous but they have a lot to offer. Some of their filters are extremely underrated. Wasp in particular. And of course they make cheap utilities like mixers and basic bread and butter lfo's which you cant live without.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

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