Better Drones

System 55 • System 35 • Model 15
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sub guy
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Better Drones

Post by sub guy » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:58 am

I use two Mother 32's in my band to make drones. I just have both oscillators being modulated at slightly different rates,PWM and also filter cutoff modulation. I want to deepen the modulation capacities of my drones outside of the different ways to do it with my Mother 32's. I wanted the Moog voice for the drones which is why I choose the Mother 32's.

I am wondering what modular choices would be best for adding additional dynamism to these kinds of drones. Obviously Moog products are on the radar but maybe also other module builders products. Paradoxically I dont think I want to go with a euro rack setup as (at least to my ears) they dont sound as good and plenty of people I know have had to replace patch connectors due to wearing them out with use. Id like to stick with the larger sized modules. I am doing a ton of research but would still like the shortcut of asking some of you who have gone before what modulation options you have found indispensable for making compelling drones.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Better Drones

Post by stiiiiiiive » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:19 am

Hey Sub Guy.
I won't be of any help regarding modular but where I may help is effects. Have you condidered any? Some are really useful to obtain even more modulation or just a wider range of sounds.

For modulation, the Moog MF-105 is a good example. I've barely found the place for it in my music, but I can't part with it. BTW some other MoogerFoogers may interest you, specially those having useful CV out (envelope follower, LFO...)

I use a SubDecay Quasar DLX, a phaser with a 16 waveforms LFO and tap tempo. Check out their website: they implemented that digital heart in several other effects.
The Zvex Ringtone series (and some others) are 8-step sequenced ring modulators.

More classic effects should not be neglected: a good spring reverb with 100% wet capability will allow to transform the character of your drone. Think EHX Cathedral or Green Turnips: a Holy Grail + a Klon Centaur clone, with a switch for chaining order and a FX loop in between.The Vermona Reverb Lancet is an "analogue muli-effects" with a true spring reverb and many others for even more possibilities: filter, envelope generator and follower, overdrive...

I recently discovered the canadian Artificial Noise's Cimmerian Caves: great dual delay/chorus with a fuzz. Sounds great!
Last edited by stiiiiiiive on Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sub guy
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Re: Better Drones

Post by sub guy » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:24 pm

stiiiiiiive wrote:Hey Sub Guy.
I won't be of any help regarding modular but where I may help is effects. Have you condidered any? Some are really useful to obtain even more modulation or just a wider range of sounds.

For modulation, the Moog MF-105 is a good example. I've barely found the place for it in my music, but I can't part with it. BTW some other MoogerFoogers may interest you, specially those having useful CV out (envelope follower, LFO...)

I use a SubDecay Quasar DLX, a phaser with a 16 waveforms LFO and tap tempo. Check out their website: they implemented that digital heart in several other effects.
The Zvex Ringtone series (and some others) are 8-step sequenced ring modulators.

More classic effects should not be neglected: a good spring reverb with 100% wet capability will allow to transform the character of your drone. Think EHX Cathedral or Green Turnips: a Holy Grail + a Klon Centaur clone, with a switch for chaining order and a FX loop in between.The Vermona Reverb Lancet is an "analogue muli-effects" with a true spring reverb and many others for even more possibilities: filter, envelope generator and follower, overdrive...

I recently discovered the candian Artificial Noise's Cimmerian Caves: great dual delay/chorus with a fuzz. Sounds great!



Hey man that is really helpful. The 105 is something I had forgotten about AND that to a large extent I was trying to reinvent via modular. The 8 band filter and the ability to modulate those filters is a part of what I am looking for. How slow are the LFO,s? It looks like only up to 10 seconds-- is that right? If so that would be the only downside but can they be modulated via midi or CV?. I think for really compelling drones it is better to have way slower LFO's. I notice on my model D that they are pretty slow-- I haven't timed them but lots slower than on the mother 32's.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Better Drones

Post by stiiiiiiive » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:59 pm

I'm not aware of the MuRF tempo range since I use it once a year or so haha!

From the manual p.18:

RATE: CC9 – When the MF-105M receives a CC9 message on the
MIDI channel that is assigned, the value of the CC9 message overrides
the front panel RATE control and any steady voltage present at the
RATE input. Note that w/no MIDI Clock messages being received, this
is a continuous control the same range as the front panel control.
When synced to MIDI, this CC becomes a Clock divider – with 16 possible
settings. (See Clock Divider chart in the MIDI Clock section below).

Moving the front panel RATE control or modifying a voltage at the
RATE control input restores this parameter to its front panel state.


and then p.20:

The following
are the clock divisions of RATE and LFO/SWEEP:
Four Wholes (CC values 000-006) Clock messages: 384
Three Wholes (CC values 007-012), Clock messages: 288
...


That leads to think quite slow tempi are achievable.

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hieronymous
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Re: Better Drones

Post by hieronymous » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:56 pm

I was into drones for a while - usually just a Moog Rogue through some Moogerfoogers - I enjoyed using the LFO from the MF-103 Phaser to manipulate the filter frequency of the MF-101 Low-Pass Filter.

https://soundcloud.com/hieronymous-seven/minus-prolegomenon

Sorry - that's all I got! :oops:

sub guy
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Re: Better Drones

Post by sub guy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Thanks for the replies. Not sure what direction Ill go in for modulation options. I was going to buy something for added modulation and while researching I stumbled upon a MINITAUR demo and bought that instead!!! Ill still need to get something for modulation but for now am playing around with this. :lol:

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Better Drones

Post by stiiiiiiive » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:38 pm

So you started with a Vintage Vibe EP, but replaced it with a Sub37... that became friend with a Model D, two Mother 32 and now a Minitaur.

As we say in French, you got bitten by the Moog fly :D

sub guy
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Re: Better Drones

Post by sub guy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:14 am

stiiiiiiive wrote:So you started with a Vintage Vibe EP, but replaced it with a Sub37... that became friend with a Model D, two Mother 32 and now a Minitaur.

As we say in French, you got bitten by the Moog fly :D



Yea I totally did man. It was a strange journey. I knew I wanted to play bass on keys and was trying to find something that would sound sort of like a bass guitar and that's why I got the VV EP. I was disappointed with many things about that whole experience. Meanwhile I ordered a Sub 37 but it did not sound enough like a bass guitar (at the time I thought that was important) for my tastes so I sent it back and tried a romper and it sounded more like a guitar but also more like crap. :lol:


Longer story shorter I just had never heard of synthesizers in my life and had to warm up to them. At this point I would not even consider a different instrument and it has worked out really well in my band. No other instrument could have fit the bill but it was just me that took time to notice that.

I've got to put a plug in for the Minitaur by the way. I think I will like it better for drones and will probably get another one to replace the two mother 32's. I dont use the sequencer in the Mothers and honestly dont use much of the patch bay either. The LFO on the Minitaur can get really slow, way slower than on my Mother 32's and with four oscillators Id have a lot more range.

One more advantage is that once a year we are going to so a show out in the desert at night for a bunch of people I know and the two Minitaurs are a much better choice to being out in the elements than my Model D or Sub 37.

Anyway that's a lot more info than anyone was asking for.......

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Better Drones

Post by stiiiiiiive » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:52 am

Glad to read it :)

On a side note, what disapointed you at that time you tried the VV EP?

sub guy
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Re: Better Drones

Post by sub guy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:49 pm

stiiiiiiive wrote:Glad to read it :)

On a side note, what disapointed you at that time you tried the VV EP?


Ultimately it just turned out that that was not the instrument for me.

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hieronymous
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Re: Better Drones

Post by hieronymous » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:47 am

I think it sounds like a cool project! What are the other instruments in the band? Do you play the bass guitar?

I want a Minitaur - I have a Little Phatty and used to have a Taurus 3 - sold the T3, I could use the LP but eventually would like the Minitaur. I love playing bass with the bass synth (played with bass pedals). Maybe it's time I start selling off some stuff I don't use...

sub guy
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Re: Better Drones

Post by sub guy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:03 pm

hieronymous wrote:I think it sounds like a cool project! What are the other instruments in the band? Do you play the bass guitar?

I want a Minitaur - I have a Little Phatty and used to have a Taurus 3 - sold the T3, I could use the LP but eventually would like the Minitaur. I love playing bass with the bass synth (played with bass pedals). Maybe it's time I start selling off some stuff I don't use...


Thanks man. I dont play the Bass guitar, I started on keys from the beginning. We have a pianist, a violinist, two drummers, 1 on a modified kit and the other on world drums, and an electric guitar. I play bass and drones.

I like the Minitaur. It takes me a while to really start to hear the different character of the varied Moog synths but it is starting to grow on me. I used it this weekend as a second (or 4th and 5th) oscilator to the model D. It adds grit and a certain dankness that I like.

unfiltered37
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Re: Better Drones

Post by unfiltered37 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:48 am

sub guy wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:58 am
I use two Mother 32's in my band to make drones. I just have both oscillators being modulated at slightly different rates,PWM and also filter cutoff modulation. I want to deepen the modulation capacities of my drones outside of the different ways to do it with my Mother 32's. I wanted the Moog voice for the drones which is why I choose the Mother 32's.

I am wondering what modular choices would be best for adding additional dynamism to these kinds of drones. Obviously Moog products are on the radar but maybe also other module builders products. Paradoxically I dont think I want to go with a euro rack setup as (at least to my ears) they dont sound as good and plenty of people I know have had to replace patch connectors due to wearing them out with use. Id like to stick with the larger sized modules. I am doing a ton of research but would still like the shortcut of asking some of you who have gone before what modulation options you have found indispensable for making compelling drones.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
delay is crucial for drones, especially tape delays. I just made a cassette delay from a 3 head deck and it sounds incredible with the mini. Not quite as good as the space echo I used to have, but still invaluable. I like using drones into a slow delay with the delay mix up high so it becomes a large part of the drone timbre, rather than just discrete echoes. The space echo is the coolest though, because they are (at least mine was) unpredictable. I have also experimented with acoustic drones as well, on a frame drum I have, a 40" symphonic bass drum, and a piano reverb (soundboard with it's strings tuned to a scale). My latest experiment was with a contact/vibration speaker used to excite drum heads and the piano "reverb". Crazy stuff. I find the acoustic drones are a lot more fun to play over that the synth drones.

Also very cool is using a tanpura drone or a didgeridoo. I am huge into drones as most of my stuff is monophonic and drones always make melody better IMO, much more than harmonization, which to me makes music too cluttered and muddy. The drone isn't used much in western music, which is a shame, because when used right, it can make music very dreamy and trance inducing. This is one of the best uses of drone in western classical IMO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acgVUCe1Y0M

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