Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Mother-32, DFAM, Subharmonicon, Grandmother, Matriarch
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jonboy3650
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:00 am

Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by jonboy3650 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:10 am

Ha, now that got your attention. Be gentle with me ...

I'm not a keyboard player, but I do like experimenting with sound. Most of what I do is playing with sequences and modulation. I have just bought an audio to midi converter and played guitar through the sub 37 (m main instrument). I intend to do the same with my trumpet one just for laughs, and who knows what?

So, I have been wondering if I might be better off with a pair, or even three, mother-32s. I know there are waveform limitations, but in my mind the sonic possibilities (for a similar outlay, and a smaller physical footprint) could be worth it.

I'm not looking for a blow by blow justification, just a few gut reactions.

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_DemonDan_
Posts: 1267
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:52 pm

Re: Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by _DemonDan_ » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:53 pm

Hi jonboy3650,

My quick gut reactions are:

1) When you sell something to buy something else you're usually going to take a loss.

2) You like playing with Sequences.
The SUB 37 has 256 Sequences that can be up to 64 Steps each. (And each Preset can have a title.)
The MOTHER-32 has only 64 Sequences that can be up to only 32 Steps each. (And no titles.)
AND... The SUB 37 has a great Arpeggiator as well (both of which can play other MIDI synths).

3) You like playing with Modulation.
The SUB 37 has two MOD/LFO sections each with over a dozen Sources and about 100 Destinations.
The MOTHER-32 has one LFO with two waveshapes.

As someone who has multiple Sub 37s and multiple Mother-32s,
I'd say stick with the SUB 37 and dig really deep into it.

The ability to Save, Load, and share 256 Sequences is a pretty big feature.
There's no way to Save, Load, or share Sequences on a MOTHER-32.

AND... you can tweak/create SUB 37 Sequences on the free Mac/PC Editor.

Just my gut reaction. Anybody else?
_ :twisted: _DemonDan_ :twisted: _

mmarsh100
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:36 pm

Re: Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by mmarsh100 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:21 pm

I agree completely with Dan, keep the Sub37. It is a very deep synth, and it sounds really really good.

That said, the patch bay on the Mother adds a lot of flexibility if you are willing to add other modules. Something like a Make Noise Maths as an external modulation would be mighty fine indeed.

Stevie Ray
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by Stevie Ray » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:01 pm

Hi Jonboy

I pretty much agree with the two previous posters. Amongst other things, I have a Sub-37 and three Mother 32s (racked up in a mid-sized Eurorack system).

You need to have at least 2 Mothers to get anywhere near the sound of the Sub 37, and even then you're lacking a lot. Sure, the footprint of the equipment will be smaller if you rack the Mothers up in the supplied 'rack', but soon you'll realise you need a shed-load of other modules, and you'll outgrow that 'small footprint' configuration very quickly.

With each mother you have an independent sequencer, which is great, but it's a rather primitive and fiddly sequencer compared to the sequencer in the Sub-37 - and even if you're not a keyboard player, having a full-sized keyboard makes experimentation and programming much easier than prodding at the Mother's squishy little rubber buttons.

Unless you want to get into the wonderful (and wonderfully expensive) world of Eurorack modular systems, I'd stick with your Sub-37 and enhance it with external modules and effects as you grow your system. One or two good effects units from Eventide or Strymon or maybe lots of cheap and interesting effects instead. Want polyphony? There are plenty of low-cost but brilliant desktop polysynths available that you can drive from your Sub-37 keyboard and sequencer.

The biggie for me is that the Sub-37 allows you to save your patches whereas the Mother/Modular setup doesn't. You create a patch and then tear it down - which for me is often part of the fun and the creative process, but I sometimes wish I could save the hours of work with patch cords and restore them at the press of a button.

I'm sure you'll have a blast whichever road you take.

mmarsh100
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:36 pm

Re: Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by mmarsh100 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:15 pm

The biggie for me is that the Sub-37 allows you to save your patches whereas the Mother/Modular setup doesn't.
This can be a big deal if you have a recurring gig and need to replicate sounds consistently and quickly, for example, or stumble onto something bitchin' and you want to keep it.

On the other hand, as Stevie Ray pointed out, part of the charm of a synth with no presets is tearing it down and starting over every time. In the olden days, we maintained patch books, actual pages in a binder that showed parameter knob settings and patch cables. I have to dig my old ARP Odyssey book...I have the module version coming should they ever decide to ship it :P

jonboy3650
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:00 am

Re: Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by jonboy3650 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:03 am

Fantastic response everyone. Thank you. Just the kind of knowledge I was hoping for. OK, stick with the Sub for now, and add to it if/when I can.

Stevie Ray
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: Trade in Sub 37 for Mother 32?

Post by Stevie Ray » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:18 pm

Without wishing to add to your 'GAS', just a single Mother 32 makes an excellent side-kick to the Sub-37.

It gives you an extra oscillator, filter, LFO, envelope and sequencer etc. A complete voice that you can either use in unison with the Sub-37, or as an independent voice for bass, effects, experimental parts, percussion etc.

You can take the audio from the M32 into the Sub-37 or vice-versa. You can MIDI them up, synch tempos on the sequencers and have all kinds of fun.

Sub-37 + M32 = a very rich sonic playground full of possibilities for a comparatively modest cost.

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