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Trance Forum  Forum  Equipment - modular madness?where does it leads?

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modular madness?where does it leads?

cyclone
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  46
Posts :  101
Posted : Nov 6, 2014 15:03:09
hello there everybody...the last year i watch people turn to modular,analogue equipment.i am an old veteran of psy music and i've found
myself the last 5 years not to be so patient with the electronic music...of course other things involved too(marriage,kid etc)but i had lost the feeling..
i got bored by watching the last years people in front of their pc (the mouse extension of their hand) trying to get sound and expression and make something unique that will be the exception among other thousands electronic garbage as i use to say..
the last months i watch artist have a turn to modular-analog gear and that changed dramatically everything..and its only the beginning...i see the companies try to reborn old vintage synths...but i believe the future is in modular..
i see many artists start with very little modular gear and they expand very quickly...
This had my attention..i have found myself listen to music more and more everyday watch everybody of you to upload videos with modular psy (nectarios from Martian Arts is a great example)and as i can see,,,in the very few next months will see very soon a live psytance modular setup...IS THAT POSSIBLE?
I see a turn to old goa music with modern approach and more aggressive-dirty analog full of character sound...
I am ready to dive in the game...
I AM BACK....
PLS give some suggestions of a start up modular setup with future possibilities...(i hear everybody say that es4 sleepers is great tool so you don't need to buy lfos,step sequencers etc and stick to oscillator and filters,but i see that they spent money to lfos sequencers etc...so whats the deal with the es4? sleepers)
thank u!!!
Nectarios
Martian Arts

Started Topics :  187
Posts :  5292
Posted : Nov 6, 2014 15:42
It leads to debt.
The whole modular thing is purely a thing of preference, you can do anything with Reaktor as well.

You need one MIdI to CV converter to send notes from your DAW: Pitch (CV) to the oscillators and gate signals to trigger the envelopes that control the VCA , so at every note on the VCA will open allowing signal to pass through and close when note off is sent, always according to the envelope settings.

Analogue sequencers do the same but allow for extra modulation options and control other parameters besides VCO pitch and VCA (work in conjuction to the MIDI to CV/Gate, module) to create more complex patches, all you need to do is send a clock to the analog sequencer via something like the ES-4.

As far as the difference in sound, most people will not be able to tell the difference (or care about it). Again its a personal way of working and personal satisfaction.

I write music differently when I don't make sounds looking at a computer screen and using the mouse.

Be warned, modulars are expensive and highly addictive. I can't afford all the stuff I got this year on my dayjob, I am just lucky enough to get good money from the lots of gigs I've played this year.
          
http://soundcloud.com/martianarts
Nectarios
Martian Arts

Started Topics :  187
Posts :  5292
Posted : Nov 6, 2014 15:47
Think of the ES-4 as the "TI" bit of the Virus TI. Its a midi to CV module that has plug ins that run in your DAW and allows for nice syncable LFOs, Step LFOs, convert automation to CV, send track tempo...etc.           
http://soundcloud.com/martianarts
OzMike
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  146
Posts :  1677
Posted : Nov 7, 2014 10:04
Yup mine will be built after I sell an apartment I own next March. with the system I have planned will be at least $12,000.           Revisiting the past.
Nectarios
Martian Arts

Started Topics :  187
Posts :  5292
Posted : Nov 12, 2014 10:36
On a different note, you don't have to wait and order a library of a case to get cracking, start small, get a cheap 6U case and start with the basics. MIDI to CV module, VCO, VCF, ADSR, VCA, or get a voice the Doepfer A-111-5 (Dark Energy in euro format) which I think is discontinued but some shops might have it in stock, or you can find 2nd hand on muffwiggler forum.
A bit higher up in price is the Intellijel Atlantis.

About playing live...I would only do it when I get insurance for cost of the rig that I take with, from the promoter....you'd be surprised where you play...about a month ago I played the Mojave desert and the dust where was like a could going everywhere...same in Goa, people dance and the dust rises and goes everywhere...and I mean a lot of dust.

So yeah, a future plan for sure, but certainly one that most promoters can't quite cover yet.           
http://soundcloud.com/martianarts
Junk Rhythm


Started Topics :  0
Posts :  132
Posted : Nov 13, 2014 04:25
Quote:

On 2014-11-06 15:42, Nectarios wrote:
It leads to debt.



Truth           Analog/Digital Synth Modules www.toppobrillo.com
Psy/Goa Music www.soundcloud.com/the233project
Random Modular Bits: https://soundcloud.com/junkrhythm
Yidam
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  144
Posts :  3171
Posted : Nov 14, 2014 20:46
Is this really worth all the money?

Look at synths on the market, even high end stuff like Moog now comes at a fraction of the price as something with the same modules when bought separately.

Anyway, don't answer that, for someone who watches modular synth video patching for fun and actually enjoys Subotnick's Buchla jams, am probably screwed already.




Yidam
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  144
Posts :  3171
Posted : Nov 14, 2014 20:54
@cyclone, since you're curious about modular systems+ psytrance...

Dog of Tears - USA











Kindzadza - Russia






Ygg Audio - Sweden




so definitely lots more doing it out there

There was 2 MakeNoise shared systems that I know if in Goa earlier this year too.

Junk Rhythm


Started Topics :  0
Posts :  132
Posted : Nov 15, 2014 03:26
It is possible to do an entire modular setup for psy or any genre but it will take a lot of thought, planning, and practice to get it right on as well as somewhat predictable. It will also take a substantial sized system if you want to only do it with modular hardware. You have to take into consideration all of the changes to keep things moving which requires some extras/doubles of modules so you can swap things in and out while playing.

Items that will come in handy will be smaller drum modules because they won't eat up valuable space in the system. The other option is to patch drum sounds but this can easily eat up a system pretty fast. Sequencers will really come in handy. My system has 2 Z8000s with a handful of sequential switches and clock dividers so I can work in performance mode and wing it as needed. It's more fun that way for me. Then I'm using an ER-101 as a "pre-configured" pattern sequencer since it saves patterns and presets. It's fairly easy to call up patterns as backing pieces while I use the Z8000s as scratchpads to create new stuff. I'm using a Trigger Riot for drum sequences but it's not as straight forward so it can also be a hinderance at times. I still love it though. I'm working on something to take it's place as a trigger sequencer for drums so it can then be used more for accidental patterns and improv stuff.

I think figuring out the sequencing element will be the most important part if you want to use the modular live. It will be the backbone and skeleton of the set so you have to find something that you can learn inside and out as well as be comfortable with. Other than those, you will need a few VCO/LFOs for voices and modulation, a few envelopes and a bunch of VCAs for controlling everything. These will be personal preference. I'm a fan of Tiptop Audio, Synthesis Technology, and good old Doepfer for the most part but they might not be the right fit for you. I would suggest reading a lot about them on Muff Wiggler, dig through the manuals, and ask a lot of questions. Get detailed with what you want to do and you'll more than likely get some really good suggestions back. If you have the option, try to meet up with other modular users in your area. Muff Wiggler will also be a great way to find local modular users. Try out as many modules as you can before you buy them and when possible, buy used. Used will keep the initial buy in cheaper and if you don't like the module, you can usually sell it for what you paid or damn near close to it. You'll lose a lot less money this way.

Mixer modules are nice in the system for combining parts but an external "real" mixing board is more ideal since it offers the best bang for your buck and will have EQs, effect sends, and all of the need elements to help blend it all together nicely.

Expert Sleepers Silent Way and either their hardware or a MOTU interface is really nice and will help out a lot while keeping the initial investment down. I haven't used their hardware but I've used Silent Way with a MOTU interface and well, it's great. It integrates really well if you want to use a computer live or in the studio.           Analog/Digital Synth Modules www.toppobrillo.com
Psy/Goa Music www.soundcloud.com/the233project
Random Modular Bits: https://soundcloud.com/junkrhythm
Junk Rhythm


Started Topics :  0
Posts :  132
Posted : Nov 15, 2014 03:29
Here's another video to add to Yidam's list of modular psychedelics:





I've been working on trying to keep as much in the modular box as well. This is some wonky slower psychedelics done with a small amount amount of modules:






          Analog/Digital Synth Modules www.toppobrillo.com
Psy/Goa Music www.soundcloud.com/the233project
Random Modular Bits: https://soundcloud.com/junkrhythm
Nectarios
Martian Arts

Started Topics :  187
Posts :  5292
Posted : Nov 15, 2014 12:01
I started a modular synth for one reason. Personal satisfaction when making music.
I don't care about finishing a track in a day, using variations of the limited sounds available by a modern Moog, I care about making sounds that make me want to make more tunes.

Fixed architecture analog synths on the market, offer a fraction of what my nearly 12U modular synth, offers.

Also, having different VCOs, VCFs, VCAs is like having more than one synth in one modular case. Even for the simple VCO>VCF>VCA patches, having something like 6 oscillators, and 20 something different filter outputs, provides for a lot more sounds, even for those basic patches.

Then there is the modulation buss to consider.

Moog's latest synth the Sub37 costs 1,5k...or there abouts and has only two(!) modulation busses and your sources and destinations are fixed, there is nothing you can do outside of that.

In many way that is good as you just work withing the frame you have and get on with making tunes.

I do find inspiration in working with a limited synth, as I also find more inspiration sitting in front of an un-patched modular knowing that I have many more possibilities than I already, know.

As far as my system plan. I am not interested in getting an as much "finished" track on a modular, I already have a computer with Logic to do that.

I am interested in having a large pallete of sounds to make and record in Logic, sequence and then move on with making more patches.

Modulars are expensive, but as you buy more modules, you can get different and more sounds, by using your old modules.

Which is not the case with buying a few fixed architecture synths where the only thing you can do, is pass the output of one synth to the input of another (where available) and add the latter's filter to the equation.

When it comes down to money, nothing hardware is worth buying really.
You can make music with software only....which is something that I did for a few years, but I would rather no do again.
Not because "analog is the best" but because I have found the way to make music, that pleases the most and that is by using everything, be it analog, hardware digital, software.
          
http://soundcloud.com/martianarts
OzMike
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  146
Posts :  1677
Posted : Nov 16, 2014 00:30
I disagree completely with cheap cases. The look cheap & are uninspiring. I've gone for something similar to the Goike 15u & can tell you that it's well spent. Proper build, good power supplier, I had a cover made for mine & it's inspiring to walk in to a room with a beautiful case rather than a lumpy Doepfer LC case.

Also 15u x 104hp means I've got plenty of space to fill over time without wasting money & space on more cases.           Revisiting the past.
Nectarios
Martian Arts

Started Topics :  187
Posts :  5292
Posted : Nov 16, 2014 19:40
The case you mentioned looks fantastic and would last a long time until it gets filled, but it is 730USD.
Add to that the costs of enough power and busses...

That's a low cost 6U case with enough modules to make a track with.

You know you are going to commit to modular and plan to spend grands on it.

A lot of people want to dip their toes in first and see how they like modular, before committing to it.
A lot of people can barely afford the low cost voice setup and then a few modules to keep them selves interested in patching.
A lot of people just want to start making sounds asap with little money.

There is always going to be the option of expanding with modules and cases in the future.
After all that is one of the things, modular is all about.
          
http://soundcloud.com/martianarts
OzMike
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  146
Posts :  1677
Posted : Nov 17, 2014 11:29
Nah my one is custom made in Australia using renewable wood from a private forest. It's 15u x 104hp & inc. power and built in cover costing $1780AUD.

Once built & before power is installed a local street art crew are going to paint it for me using uv paints. I know I'll do at least another 15u after this, as well as a 9u live performance case.           Revisiting the past.
Babaluma
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  18
Posts :  729
Posted : Nov 18, 2014 10:29
It lead to a severe lack of creativity here. Over 24u of modular and was no more productive than I was with a digi polysynth. So I sold it all and have never been happier. It leads to shit music too, just head over to MuffWiggler and check out some of the "demos".

BTW, Dave is a good friend and does AMAZING stuff with modulars, I mastered his first album.
          http://hermetechmastering.com : http://www.discogs.com/artist/Gregg+Janman : http://soundcloud.com/babaluma
Trance Forum  Forum  Equipment - modular madness?where does it leads?

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