Dipping my toe in Eurorack
As I mentioned in my last post, I spent my bonus this year on modular synth equipment – a case and my first modules. Check out what I have so far here at modulargrid.
These are the modules I decided to start with. Well, that’s not entirely true, as I have others on backorder, and I’ve already added a few of these as a round 2. The holes in rows 1 and 2 are meant for those backordered modules. I only have a few days experience with my equipment so far, so it’s still salad days here. But let’s take a look at what I started with.
Intellijel Dixie II – technically not my first VCO, but the one I’m considering the first. I actually ordered the Maths and a Make Noise STO first, but added this after my Make Noise STO was backordered. It’s decent so far. I liked this just because it has so many oscillators to choose from and probably use at once.
Make Noise Maths – even with my extremely limited experience, it was obvious I needed a Maths. A classic VCO and LFO combined. Literally everyone has one, or several, and talk about them like they’re absolutely the bees’ knees. It may be. I’m enjoying it so far, and have barely scratched the surface of what using all 4 channels can do.
Intellijel Dual ADSR – I needed an envelope generator, so I got this one. Seemed decent. Already I like the fact that it has a cycle itself and acts as a VCO in that sense. I want a good variety of sounds, so this is a good starting place.
Veils – Got this as a Plan B when the Quad VCA I got was backordered. Everyone says “you can never have too many VCAs” and I already sort of get that. I use Veils so far just as a mixer to route to my monitors. Hopefully I’ll still get that Quad VCA and can start using it as a VCA.
Erica Synths Black Clock – I knew even from playing with VCV Rack that I absolutely needed a clock module, and from the videos I’ve seen of Erica Synths modules, they all sound freakin’ great. So I got this. So far, so good too. I also have a backordered clock divider on the way, and I think that’ll help me do more interesting things.
E355 Morphing Dual LFO – Needed an LFO, and didn’t want to just rely on Maths since it seemed like I’d be using it for other things, so I got this. So far it’s interesting, but kind of hard to wrap my head around, I guess. I should probably read the instructions to actually understand it, as the morphing and rate and patch knobs, etc, just don’t make intuitive sense.
Wogglebug – I’ve always been interested in dada and randomness, so I needed something to introduce some of that into my sounds. To be honest, Wogglebug just hasn’t done it for me yet, as the sounds it produces are almost too random and high-pitched, or at least high-frequency. I think as I go along that I’ll want to get something like a quantizer to settle it down a bit and use it just to vary things rather than being all over the place. We’ll see how that goes.
Erica Synths Black VCF – I love pretty much every sound I’ve heard out of an Erica Synths module, and if I had the money I’d probably be going to buy a Black VCO Wavetable right now. So I knew I wanted something of theirs (besides the clock), so I went with the VCF. It produces some really really interesting stuff, and I almost feel like I need a 2nd or more just to really take advantage of it. It’s still so early though, that I’m not entirely sure where I go next. For now, I like it a lot though.
Doepfer A-124 Wasp Filter – I needed more than just the one VCF, because I needed to filter layered sounds, and more than one thing at once. So I went with the Wasp filter next because it was priced right, and I saw some good videos of it making some crazy sounds. This was technically round 2 as well, so I guess my semver should be 1.1 instead of 1.0. But whatever.
Doepfer A-136 Distortion/Wave Shaper – This is also round 2, or 1.1 if you will. Ordered this with the Wasp filter as I wanted something to introduce some distortion and filter other additional channels. Only really had the Doepfer filter a few days, so I have almost no experience with them yet.
Make Noise Brains and Pressure Points – Again, everyone seems to have a Pressure Points, and I knew I needed Brains to drive it with a clock signal. It’s obvious even from my software experiments that I need sounds to vary over time, and Brains+Pressure Points+a clock signal seems like an obvious choice.
So far everything is working alright, but I’m not entirely sure where to go from here. Things sound good and interesting, but not terribly musical or listenable yet. I like the sounds I can make but putting them together or in order or anything, really, just hasn’t been working. So I suppose I’ll keep trying things and see where it leads me. Once I get my next round of modules, I think I’ll have a clearer picture of what I’m missing to really go to the next level. What I have still on order is a Quad VCA, rotating clock divider, Make Noise STO (VCO) and a Morgasmatron. I know I’m probably going to need some kind of midi-to-CV to at least use for note changes (I have a Korg Minilogue that would function for the keyboard portion), and I’ve got my eye on a Make Noise Morphagene for some sampling stuff, but since I’m tapped out I won’t be getting that at the moment.
That’s where I’m at now, in early April. We’ll see where it takes me.