My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 03 Oct, 2014 00:38:29
A modular is all about touch, touching the knobs, patching the cables, flipping the switches, feeling the sound...
Adding a Makenoise Pressure Points was high on my wish-list and it finally arrived today, together with an Analog Memory and Brains. These modules extend the capabilities of the Pressure Points to eight 4-step sequencers.
Another great addition to my setup is the Acidlab Autobot, a beautiful 303-style sequencer in modular format.
These sequencers have to be synced therefor I attached an ERM midi clock to a blanking plate so it would fit inside the modular case and the Doepfer A-190-8 midi sync will convert the midi clock signal to gate signals.
- Makenoise Pressure Points
- Makenoise Analog Memory
- Acidlab Autobot
- Doepfer A-190-8 midi sync
Be sure to visit Makenoise & acidlab.de
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 01 Oct, 2014 19:21:05
My Modular Machine was already great but let's make it monsterly great! I ordered a 'Doepfer Monster Base' eurorack case and it's gigantic!
It's a meter wide (about three feet) and 6 units high so it can hold two long rows of modules.
The lower row is in a horizontal position thus ideal for control- and touch sensitive modules, the upper row is at an 45° angle which, in my opinion, is ideal for sequencers and modular synth voices.
The large base is also good for stacking other cases on top, or other devices like drum computers.
With so much space available it is necessary to cover this space up with blanking plates, they prevent patching cables from touching the power busses inside the case which could lead to serious damage and electrocution.
Next on my wish-list are modular touch controllers and a TB303 sequencer from Acidlab, they will be great for live performances. A good system to sync everything is also important and high om my wish-list.
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 27 Sep, 2014 00:57:20
Rhythm time! Hihat/Cymbal and Snare modules are added to use the modular synth more like an all-in-one device. The drum sounds can be processed by the other modules like the voltage controlled Waveform Multiplier to shape and distort them.
A Doepfer Spring Reverb is a great addition to get the new snare drum sound great.
- MFB hh/cymbal + mfb snare
- Doepfer spring reverb
- Doepfer VC Waveform Multiplier
I already had to remove some older modules because the available space in the modular case was not enough to house all new modules, next will be an 2nd case to house for additional modules.
Up to My Modular Machine 2.0
for more info on Doepfer
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 26 Sep, 2014 23:39:32
Some of the modules are replaced to achieve a better overall sound quality and a few exotics are adde.
New additions are the dual quantizer, STG .mix, MakeNoise Echophon, Mfb seq01 and Intellijel uVCA.
The Echophon is such an inspiring delay that it's going to play a big part in achieving my signature 'Ed Nomi' sound, the STG .mix sounds fantastic too, especially when there's a bit of drive dialled in.
Soon a 2nd case will house the replaced modules and again, some new additions.
Can't wait to play and can't wait to expand!MakenoiseSTG soundlabsIntellijelMFB
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 25 Aug, 2014 20:59:26
From audio processor to synthesiser.
Using the modular with my Moog Voyager's oscillators is great, but it's time to make it stand-alone. I actually only need to add envelope generators and oscillators.
Tiptop Audio make great high quality products and their oscillators are really versatile so I chose 2 Z3000 mkII oscs, for the envelope generator I couldn't resist the Quad ADSR from Doepfer.
A midi-to-cv converter is the cherry on the pie, Doepfer's A-190 may be the more expensive one and needs an additional +5v add-on but having clock + midi thru is a bless and the lack of usb is no problem, in my opinion midi over usb sucks anyway.
The next step will be to replace/add some key components of this already amazing machine with higher quality ones. A few delay/reverb FX couldn't hurt either.
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 31 Jul, 2014 23:29:27
Producing music is an important part of my life, almost a lifestyle, the instruments I use define who I am, perhaps even more than the actual music I make.
'Instruments defining who I am' sounds like a weird thing to say but we live in a commercial world in which we are all consumers, if you can feel different when wearing particular styles of clothing you can feel different too if using particular instruments, especially if there's a community attached who invent and develop these instruments.
Modular synths are instruments that have a rich history because they were pretty much the first synths in existence. The last ten years there is a surge in interest in these machines and now there are so many modules available that every modular build is unique, the sound of each modular is very personal and unique too, thus featuring a very distinct style.
By assembling and expanding my modular machine I support these small enterprises who are creative and make crazy modules out of pure passion for electronics & synths.
Those manufacturers are enthusiasts too and they interact with their customers in a very pleasant manner, feedback is super important to them.
It feels wonderful to be part of such a strong community and it adds much joy to my (life)style of producing music.
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 15 Jul, 2014 02:00:26
Spending time with the modular I realised I truly hate ad/dc wall adapters.
Guitar FX pedals all need them (unless you invest a fortune in batteries), those bulky things that seem to be designed to 'not fit' properly in your power brick and are in no way compatible between different manufacturers. They're also quite fragile, kind-of heavy, you'll quickly end up with a mess of cables, connecting the pedals can be a puzzle because cables always seem to be too short or too long, placement of inputs/outputs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and a pedal-board can be a solution but not if you mainly use them in various configurations on synths in the studio.
Modular synths on-the-other-hand have bus-power, every module is internally connected to a powered bus-board, no mess with cables or splitters and maximum 1 power-cable per cabinet.
I made up my mind about expanding, an advanced audio processor it will be!
So the following modules where added:
- audio input/envelope generator
- crossfader/FX insert
- trautonium formant filter
- voltage inverter
- exponential mixer
- exponential VCA
All these are great modules but the audio input/envelope generator is the best by far, it's an input for guitar, microphone, synths, drum computers, computer audio,... and it simultaneously converts the amplitude of the signal to control voltage thus generating an envelope, very useful indeed!
A great trick with all the filters is to sequence the cutoff frequency with the Doepfer Dark Time to create rhythmic modulation.
Very interesting and all very addictive!
My Modular MachinePosted by Ed Nomi 01 Jul, 2014 12:34:01
After the mayor step (and cost) of the system startup, it is getting easier. I had time to get used to the modular way of patching sounds (comparable to plugging multiple guitar pedals together) and time to think & decide in which direction I should go upon expanding.
A joystick was added as main controller (besides the keyboard of the Minimoog Voyager), a couple of multiples and a clock divider too.
The filter section got an 6/12/24/48db lowpass filter and the modulation section a random/noise module.
As for now, it's time to start thinking about making the system more experimental/random orientated, more like a sound processing tool or more like a casual monosynth?