Modular vs. Semi-Modular

In a Moog Mood? Here's a forum for discussion of general Moog topics.
User avatar
misterpete
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:16 am

Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by misterpete » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:20 pm

Now that I've been branching out into modular and chosen Eurorack, enticed by a few modules that are not readily available elsewhere I think the basic defining aspect of Modular vs. Semi-Modular is not the number of oscillators out (further to a discussion with Marc)~ but rather the speed and convenience of NOT having to patch absolutely EVERYthing . for better or worse :lol:

For those of you already going down this route - two questions...

1) Which modules have you acquired that have added functionality that isn't already readily available from Moog?

2) What the heck is a "WAVESHAPER" - if it is not a filter? and what is the equivalent module in the MOOG chain that serves the same purpose?
Please Call Me, PETE
https://petedako.bandcamp.com/music
"Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler |@petedako on Twitter

User avatar
tommyecho
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by tommyecho » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:00 pm

Great thread topic!

I'm really into the makenoise modules. Tony Rolando used to work at the moog factory, but his modules are heavily influenced by Buchla and Serge, from what I understand. The DPO is a dual oscillator wherein each osc can FM the other at the same time and to differing degrees. And it has a waveshaping bus.

I think waveshaping is a catch all for a few different ways of modifying a soundwave, though I could be wrong. One of the most common ways is WAVEFOLDING, which means that the top part of, say, a triangle wave form is inverted downwards, resulting in a more complex wave form. The timbre is changed without using a filter in this case. You can get all kinds of great sounds by running an oscillator into a wavefolder and then straight to a VCA or LPG. LPG's (low pass gate) are really fun for making percussive sounds. You can approximate it with the voyager filter and VCA, but it's a slightly different effect.

I love the makenoise rene. It's a sequencer, but it's so much more. I'd recommend downloading the manual for it from makenoise.
Utility modules like the MATHS and 4MS PEG are tons of fun. MATHS was my first module, and I had a great time just having the extra LFOs available for making complex modulations with my XL and moogerfoogers. MATHS will do tons of great things, though. My current fav is using it as a comparator, which I recently learned.

ECHOPHON is amazing sounding. Totally different from the 104m.

Wogglebug is a different beast from the voyager S&H.

The voyager is such an endless instrument, so I really think these sorts of things are a matter of preference. I am really into the interconnectivity of the XL with the modular world. Ever since I got everything on the same page calibration-wise, it has been a total blast. Adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!
THE GOLDEN MINIMOOG VOYAGER #31

User avatar
MC
Posts: 2889
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:20 pm
Location: Secluded Tranquil Country

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by MC » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:04 pm

The Voyager VCO is a waveshaper, continuously variable from triangle to ramp to variable pulse.
Gear list: '04 Saturn Ion, John Deere X300 tractor, ganged set of seven reel mowers for 3 acres of lawn, herd of sheep for backup lawn mowers, two tiger cats for mouse population control Oh you meant MUSIC gear Oops I hit the 255 character limi

User avatar
misterpete
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:16 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by misterpete » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:42 pm

thanx MC ~ I had guessed that must be it ~ but found it confusing - since as far as I understood it the 'waveshaper' modules go in the chain following a 'pure' VCO sound wave (like a filter) rather than as source wave itself...

What about an "Envelope Follower" is there one in the signal chain whenever we route an "AUDIO IN" signal in?

Tommy, the Make Noise modules do look intriguing esp. the Rene but at this point I am more drawn to the Doepfer approach of keeping it simple and using traditional terminology etc...
Nice demo video with Tony from Make Noise here ~ would like to know what kind of case this is he is using:
https://vimeo.com/63407413#

MC wrote:The Voyager VCO is a waveshaper, continuously variable from triangle to ramp to variable pulse.
Please Call Me, PETE
https://petedako.bandcamp.com/music
"Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler |@petedako on Twitter

EricK
Posts: 5974
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:09 pm

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by EricK » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:09 am

You really need to venture on over to muffwiggler forum if you haven't already.

I like the 5U format, and I have found that even it can get clogged at times. Heres a few that I have in my small system (<22U).

1. STG mixer (also available in eurorack). It is a Moog CP3 clone, introduces asymmetric distortion.
2. Dotcom Multimode Filter. I really like this unit and Moog doesn't currently offer one (next fooger maybe??). With the ability to boost the gain of the osc signal going into the filter and get additional distortion with the mixer, I think I can approximate the "multidrive" on the SubPhatty.

The harvestman has some modules that I'd like to get (polivoks filter, zorlorn cannon). They have a multimode too. I'm not interested in multi format modular, 5U is expensive enough.

I really had no choice but to get some VCAs and ASDRs because Moog never offered any to complete their MoogerFooger semi-modular synth.



The Envelope follower is on the 101 and 107. The voltage produced is directly proportional to the amplitude of the signal (play hard, high voltage, play soft, low voltage, unless you have it inverted somewhere then it's the opposite, but thats neither here nor there). I don't believe there are any on the Voyager.

Semi Modular vs modular? Well it doesn't matter to me, but I don't like having to sacrifice a whole fooger just to get an envelope follower. I know I could just buy a few but it sucks to do that when you already have two, you know? Thats why I suggested Moog make a CP style box with a mixer, 2 ASDRs, an envelope follower and a dual trigger delay.

Eric
Support the Bob Moog Foundation:
https://moogfoundation.org/do-something-2/donate/

I think I hear the mothership coming.

User avatar
tommyecho
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by tommyecho » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:33 pm

misterpete wrote:thanx MC ~ I had guessed that must be it ~ but found it confusing - since as far as I understood it the 'waveshaper' modules go in the chain following a 'pure' VCO sound wave (like a filter) rather than as source wave itself...

What about an "Envelope Follower" is there one in the signal chain whenever we route an "AUDIO IN" signal in?

Tommy, the Make Noise modules do look intriguing esp. the Rene but at this point I am more drawn to the Doepfer approach of keeping it simple and using traditional terminology etc...
Nice demo video with Tony from Make Noise here ~ would like to know what kind of case this is he is using:
https://vimeo.com/63407413#

MC wrote:The Voyager VCO is a waveshaper, continuously variable from triangle to ramp to variable pulse.
I think that "waveshaper", as it is used in the modular vernacular, is different than the continuously variable waveform offered by the voyager VCO. . .
I think waveshaping modules provide other options for developing timbre and harmonic content than those achieved through FM synthesis and Subtractive Synthesis, though I have been known to be wrong in this department: )

Here's what Doepfer has to say about it:

http://www.doepfer.de/A137.htm
THE GOLDEN MINIMOOG VOYAGER #31

User avatar
misterpete
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:16 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by misterpete » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:20 pm

Hi Eric ~ I am 'learning to wiggle' as "Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler - I used the same avatar as here and SoundCloud, to avoid confusion though I DO have some nice pix of my cat making modular patches 8)
Thanks for sharing your 5U experience... i was also adverse to going "multi format" modular but have ordered plenty of mini cables and a few adapters, along with my first few especially enticing modules. Thinking I can still use the adult size 5U moog knobs on my XL and my pair of CP-251's, other foogers etc.
Meanwhile, I love the Env follower in the Freq box and totally grok what that sounds like now... will a simple module like Doepfer's A-119 do that on it's own, or do we need something like a "Track and Hold" or 'Sync' module replicate what the MF-107 does to the signal?
Thanks Tommy ~ I dig Doctor Oepfer's simple explanations ... anyone using the A-137?
I have seen that term "WAVEFOLDING" used in several modules
Please Call Me, PETE
https://petedako.bandcamp.com/music
"Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler |@petedako on Twitter

User avatar
misterpete
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:16 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by misterpete » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:40 pm

Tommy, What do I need to do to get there ~ and what to watch out for?

Are the attenuators in the CP-251s and XL NOT enough? I happened to score a used bubblesound lvl+rm
from Switched On when I picked up the Formant Filter which has "4 level shifting amps and a 1496 based ring modulator" but I guess I also need an INVERTER to crank down the signal and not blow something up?

Wondering aloud — do you need a Voltmeter or something to make sure you aren't sending too much juice?

Another module that looks interesting, entertaining and educational is the JONES O'TOOL Oscilloscope

Unfortunately they are quite pricey and you have to wait for stock because they are in great demand. I could probably pick up one of those small TV set size old school Oscilloscope with the BNC connectors for less money, but if it will prevent me from frying out the other modules ~ as well as show me waveforms on the tiny screen that would be reassuring :lol:


tommyecho wrote:really into the interconnectivity of the XL with the modular world. Ever since I got everything on the same page calibration-wise, it has been a total blast. Adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!
Last edited by misterpete on Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Please Call Me, PETE
https://petedako.bandcamp.com/music
"Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler |@petedako on Twitter

User avatar
tommyecho
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by tommyecho » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:19 am

Hey Pete,

Well, now I'm realizing there were more possible issues than I thought! :oops: I hadn't really considered the fact that the eurorack outs might fry the ins of the XL. Admittedly, I've mainly only used the Rene sequencer to XL pitch/gate in, but, a few times, I ran the MATHS and PEG LFOs to cutoff or wave ins on the XL. Yikes! I just wrote to Perry about this yesterday, and I'm hoping to get a clear answer from him. Now I'm looking for that O'Toole as well! (I think we're both reading the same thread on muffwiggler).

My main preoccupation up to this point has getting everything to be scaled the same as far as 1V/oct goes. On that front, I have been successful :)

Let me know if you get any good info, okay? We're in the wild west, here. . . .
misterpete wrote:Tommy, What do I need to do to get there ~ and what to watch out for?

Are the attenuators in the CP-251s and XL NOT enough? I happened to score a used bubblesound lvl+rm
from Switched On when I picked up the Formant Filter which has "4 level shifting amps and a 1496 based ring modulator" but I guess I also need an INVERTER to crank down the signal and not blow something up?

Wondering aloud — do you need a Voltmeter or something to make sure you aren't sending to much juice?

Another module that looks interesting, entertaining and educational is the JONES O'TOOL Oscilloscope

Unfortunately they are quite pricey and you have to wait for stock because they are in great demand. I could probably pick up one of those small TV set size old school Oscilloscope with the BNC connectors for less money, but if it will prevent me from frying out the other modules ~ as well as show me waveforms on the tiny screen that would be reassuring :lol:


tommyecho wrote:really into the interconnectivity of the XL with the modular world. Ever since I got everything on the same page calibration-wise, it has been a total blast. Adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!
THE GOLDEN MINIMOOG VOYAGER #31

cliffman
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:08 pm

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by cliffman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:55 pm

Wow, sounds like you are having fun.
A few things - If you can't get an O'tool (really useful) then check out the DSO Nano V2 scope - cheap, small works quite well for audio/CV stuff. Get the free BenF firmware.

"Wave folder/shaper" does seem to be a vague term. Could be wave alteration, like the knob on the Little Phatty, but many 'folders' are basically distortion devices of various sorts.
The Harvestman's Stilton Adapter is a great unit for interfacing external gear in/out of Eurorack. Gives you basically 4 send/returns, also works as a feedback looper.

I don't think you would fry Moog gear with Eurorack signal levels - but you might have distortion/overdrive issues with audio. Gate signals in Euro can be +5, +8 or +10, getting envelopes happy has been my main level-setting issue. The mixer with offset on the CP-251 is extremely handy for that.

Envelope Followers are quite useful, but not always necessary. The moogfooger low-pass filter pedal has an envelope follower section to control the cutoff frequency, the manual has a decent explanation.

User avatar
misterpete
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:16 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by misterpete » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:18 pm

The wild wild west is the best, best best!!! :D So what are you using to scale pitch? Have you got a specific module that does that to audio or are you attenuating the CV to bring tones into pitch?
Interesting what you say about the MakeNoise BBD delay vs the Moogerfooger. Doepfer has one too... I love the old MF-104z too and enjoy using that and the MFs-108M and 104M comb filter to scale audio pitch — my curiosity was peaked by this dedicated (euro) comb filter: http://bigcitymusic.com/index.php?main_ ... ucts_id=45 — but apparently they are an oddball company and require some sort of power adapter vs regular Doepfer standard? <shrug> which was enough to put me off.

I don't know perhaps I am still not getting it, but the conversion anxiety seems a bit over the top to me, in regards "AUDIO IN/OUT" of course I can see being worried about sending too much CV but audio is audio isn't it?- it is just a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter problem...
Cliffman, what will the Harvestman do for me that my RME Fireface FW800 isn't already doing? FF800 is a superb audio interface, it easily allows 'post-production' processing tracks via line out audio thru moogerfoogers and the Voyager etc... can't see why I couldn't do the same through a Eurorack filter or waveshaper (whatever) module?

At the moment until my new case gets here I have a "Happy Ending" rack kit right over the patch bay to my audio interfaces — last night I putting several different moog patches thru the (euroformat) Wasp, Polivaks and Grendel Filters and everything works and sounds BEAUTY — exactly what Tommy said about "adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!"
8)



tommyecho wrote:Hey Pete,

Well, now I'm realizing there were more possible issues than I thought! :oops: I hadn't really considered the fact that the eurorack outs might fry the ins of the XL. Admittedly, I've mainly only used the Rene sequencer to XL pitch/gate in, but, a few times, I ran the MATHS and PEG LFOs to cutoff or wave ins on the XL. Yikes! I just wrote to Perry about this yesterday, and I'm hoping to get a clear answer from him. Now I'm looking for that O'Toole as well! (I think we're both reading the same thread on muffwiggler).

My main preoccupation up to this point has getting everything to be scaled the same as far as 1V/oct goes. On that front, I have been successful :)

Let me know if you get any good info, okay? We're in the wild west, here. . . .
misterpete wrote:Tommy, What do I need to do to get there ~ and what to watch out for?

Are the attenuators in the CP-251s and XL NOT enough? I happened to score a used bubblesound lvl+rm
from Switched On when I picked up the Formant Filter which has "4 level shifting amps and a 1496 based ring modulator" but I guess I also need an INVERTER to crank down the signal and not blow something up?

Wondering aloud — do you need a Voltmeter or something to make sure you aren't sending to much juice?

Another module that looks interesting, entertaining and educational is the JONES O'TOOL Oscilloscope

Unfortunately they are quite pricey and you have to wait for stock because they are in great demand. I could probably pick up one of those small TV set size old school Oscilloscope with the BNC connectors for less money, but if it will prevent me from frying out the other modules ~ as well as show me waveforms on the tiny screen that would be reassuring :lol:


tommyecho wrote:really into the interconnectivity of the XL with the modular world. Ever since I got everything on the same page calibration-wise, it has been a total blast. Adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!
Please Call Me, PETE
https://petedako.bandcamp.com/music
"Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler |@petedako on Twitter

cliffman
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:08 pm

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by cliffman » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:28 pm

The Stilton Adapter is for getting stuff into/outof Eurorack. It does not replace your Fireface. It's sort of a send/return setup for a modular.

User avatar
misterpete
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:16 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by misterpete » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:36 pm

PS: TOMMY
I just remembered - I wanted to ask you what about that vast array of old school Oscilloscopes in the Golden Voyager photo at the "Switched-On" site (i think that is where I saw it) — is it your own collection?
even after I get an O'TOOL in my rack, I would still like to pick up one of the big old school model Oscilloscopes, if I can just figure out how to connect it with the BNC connectors and the Alligator clips etc... etc...
Please Call Me, PETE
https://petedako.bandcamp.com/music
"Mr. Pete" at MuffWiggler |@petedako on Twitter

User avatar
tommyecho
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by tommyecho » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:29 pm

Hey Pete!

Well, my pitch scaling is all pretty simple. I use two pitch CV sources at the moment: the CV pitch out from the XL, and the quantized pitch out from the makenoise rene. I'm waiting for the Intelligel Uscale 2 to become available so that I can quantize the CV from the XL S & H and the Wogglebug :twisted:

Regarding the CV anxiety with eurorack and moog stuff, I think it really has to do with CV signals. . . Audio signals are no prob at all. Like you said, just get a 1/4 to 1/8 inch cable. With CV signals, i think there might be a possibility of having a sawtooth LFO sent from something that peaks at a signal that is higher than what the voyager likes. I'm totally out of my depth, though, and am still waiting to hear from perry. I'm going to ask Tony at makenoise as well, because he is super helpful: )

Quick note on the 104m and the eurorack delay I'm using. The eurorack one is the makenoise echophon, which is digital, not BBD. It is a DSP based module inspired by the Springer Tempophon (you should google it, pretty cool stuff) that has tons of CV ins and out. totally different beast than the mf 104m, which is my favorite effects pedal ever.
misterpete wrote:The wild wild west is the best, best best!!! :D So what are you using to scale pitch? Have you got a specific module that does that to audio or are you attenuating the CV to bring tones into pitch?
Interesting what you say about the MakeNoise BBD delay vs the Moogerfooger. Doepfer has one too... I love the old MF-104z too and enjoy using that and the MFs-108M and 104M comb filter to scale audio pitch — my curiosity was peaked by this dedicated (euro) comb filter: http://bigcitymusic.com/index.php?main_ ... ucts_id=45 — but apparently they are an oddball company and require some sort of power adapter vs regular Doepfer standard? <shrug> which was enough to put me off.

I don't know perhaps I am still not getting it, but the conversion anxiety seems a bit over the top to me, in regards "AUDIO IN/OUT" of course I can see being worried about sending too much CV but audio is audio isn't it?- it is just a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter problem...
Cliffman, what will the Harvestman do for me that my RME Fireface FW800 isn't already doing? FF800 is a superb audio interface, it easily allows 'post-production' processing tracks via line out audio thru moogerfoogers and the Voyager etc... can't see why I couldn't do the same through a Eurorack filter or waveshaper (whatever) module?

At the moment until my new case gets here I have a "Happy Ending" rack kit right over the patch bay to my audio interfaces — last night I putting several different moog patches thru the (euroformat) Wasp, Polivaks and Grendel Filters and everything works and sounds BEAUTY — exactly what Tommy said about "adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!"
8)



tommyecho wrote:Hey Pete,

Well, now I'm realizing there were more possible issues than I thought! :oops: I hadn't really considered the fact that the eurorack outs might fry the ins of the XL. Admittedly, I've mainly only used the Rene sequencer to XL pitch/gate in, but, a few times, I ran the MATHS and PEG LFOs to cutoff or wave ins on the XL. Yikes! I just wrote to Perry about this yesterday, and I'm hoping to get a clear answer from him. Now I'm looking for that O'Toole as well! (I think we're both reading the same thread on muffwiggler).

My main preoccupation up to this point has getting everything to be scaled the same as far as 1V/oct goes. On that front, I have been successful :)

Let me know if you get any good info, okay? We're in the wild west, here. . . .
misterpete wrote:Tommy, What do I need to do to get there ~ and what to watch out for?

Are the attenuators in the CP-251s and XL NOT enough? I happened to score a used bubblesound lvl+rm
from Switched On when I picked up the Formant Filter which has "4 level shifting amps and a 1496 based ring modulator" but I guess I also need an INVERTER to crank down the signal and not blow something up?

Wondering aloud — do you need a Voltmeter or something to make sure you aren't sending to much juice?

Another module that looks interesting, entertaining and educational is the JONES O'TOOL Oscilloscope

Unfortunately they are quite pricey and you have to wait for stock because they are in great demand. I could probably pick up one of those small TV set size old school Oscilloscope with the BNC connectors for less money, but if it will prevent me from frying out the other modules ~ as well as show me waveforms on the tiny screen that would be reassuring :lol:


tommyecho wrote:really into the interconnectivity of the XL with the modular world. Ever since I got everything on the same page calibration-wise, it has been a total blast. Adding one module changes the whole macro-instrument all over again!
THE GOLDEN MINIMOOG VOYAGER #31

User avatar
tommyecho
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Modular vs. Semi-Modular

Post by tommyecho » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:31 pm

misterpete wrote:PS: TOMMY
I just remembered - I wanted to ask you what about that vast array of old school Oscilloscopes in the Golden Voyager photo at the "Switched-On" site (i think that is where I saw it) — is it your own collection?
even after I get an O'TOOL in my rack, I would still like to pick up one of the big old school model Oscilloscopes, if I can just figure out how to connect it with the BNC connectors and the Alligator clips etc... etc...
those are Switched On's. I totally want to get one, though: ) Don't have a scope yet. . .
THE GOLDEN MINIMOOG VOYAGER #31

Post Reply