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the watmm GAS thread


modey
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The only thing that's stopping me from getting into modular is just how expensive everything is—even the cases! The 0-coast seems like a pretty decent price in comparison to what I'd get for the same price, probably just a 3U enclosure and an oscillator lol

Edited by modey
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Yeah, the price and the baggage that comes with it (i.e. it seems to be a world plagued by rich-kid-syndrome, not that it's unique to that world by any stretch of the imagination and not that it means modular isn't really cool, it's just kind of the synth world counterpart to the boutique guitar world - a good handmade guitar is a wonderful thing but it's simply the nature of the business that a lot of them end up in the hands of blues lawyers and it's the nature of the business that a lot of really, really cool odular systems end up in the hands of "guys doing guy things" to paraphrase Legowelt - it's rampant where I live so I'm maybe a bit overcynical about it).

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I'm in a lovely, inexpensive town that's been referred to as "podunk" and "backwater" so the bug hasn't bit us really. I do see these self-important, overpaid cunts sometimes when I visit Seattle but it doesn't phase me; they're in a different world. Anyway the modular I'd want is more punk rock, minimal, and lo-fi, and I'd expect to do a bit of DIY to save a little coin. It'll probably end up costing a fair amount in the long run, but I have enough supporting gear to fill in the gaps in the immediate and grow slowly. In other words I'm kind of already one of those rich cunts (not really but relative to a teenager with a volca for sure).

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I'd basically just want something really bizarre; I've got enough traditional sounding synths anyway and don't need to have the satisfaction of putting together a physical modular to make sounds that I can make better on my monomachine or nord lead..

 

I basically just want the 0-coast to use with my volca kick to make some weird minimalist techno that would look good in youtube videos lol

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I got that Koma Elektronik Field Kit a while back and while there's lots of used/new modular stuff floating around here, my game plan is basically to interface it with a Raspberry Pi or a Axoloti Core. Both could be basically programmed to act as whatever synths and effects anyways (especially with that free Automationism Pure Data library). I got the Pi, but for input/output patching I need to get a USB interface and I haven't got around to that yet. It's also pretty easy to build a PD patch and create a TouchOSC interface to control it with your smartphone or tablet, and since most people already have smartphones, then it's essentially a fully customisable modular sort of setup under the price of one real eurorack module.

There's also some interesting cheap gear like Bastl Kastle (DIY like 70€) which could be plugged into it all.

So this is what I am doing to avoid heading straight to eurorack land and spending all my savings on the blinky lights. I'm also trying to restrict my new gear purchases (which only happen if I can't work my existing gear to do something) under 150€ and not buy any brand new things. So far it's working out although I am feeling the need for a MPK mini because of drum pads and portability.. hopefully this too shall pass. :)

Edited by thawkins
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I'd basically just want something really bizarre; I've got enough traditional sounding synths anyway and don't need to have the satisfaction of putting together a physical modular to make sounds that I can make better on my monomachine or nord lead..

 

I basically just want the 0-coast to use with my volca kick to make some weird minimalist techno that would look good in youtube videos lol

Yeah, I'm on a similar tip... I'm getting kind of tired of the standard synth paradigm. For me it's at least as much about interface as it is about the sound. I'm kind of tired of feeling like I know my way around and it's just a matter of fighting with menus to get to what I want and I miss that feeling of not knowing what the hell I'm doing and having to make sense of a strange environment where happy accidents abound. So I'll probably end up with pingable LFOs and clock dividers and wave folders and sample players and delays and gate-controlled drum nonsense, not so much a buttoned-up East Coast type thing.

 

I'm honestly about ready to ditch the monomachine; it was my dream synth for a long time but I'm just bored to tears of it. Every time I fire it up and select a machine I brace for disappointment. It's probably me and not the MnM but it's hard to shake it.

 

lol I can dig the youtube thing too. Not that I've uploaded anything in less than, oh, 5 years... but I think that roughly translates to live, too, and I wanna do more of that.

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There's also some interesting cheap gear like Bastl Kastle (DIY like 70€) which could be plugged into it all.

So this is what I am doing to avoid heading straight to eurorack land and spending all my savings on the blinky lights. I'm also trying to restrict my new gear purchases (which only happen if I can't work my existing gear to do something) under 150€ and not buy any brand new things.

Yep, this is where I've been headed the last couple of years. I've decided I'm going to splurge on the Bit Ranger and probably the Soft Pop (if not that, maybe the Werkstatt) but I would like to amuse myself for a while with cheap stuff like the Dude (which I just ordered minutes ago), the Kastle probably soon-ish, and my trusty POs and volcas.

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lol tbh I basically hold on to my monomachine mostly because of the hell I went through in order to get it. I don't use it often and I'm kinda bad at making it sound good but I'm too embarrassed to sell it :P

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lol that's pretty much where I'm at, minus the acquisition horror story. You got some decent sounds out of it though! I had a couple of cool flukes for WeeklyBeats, maybe I just need to make it a daily habit again. I think it shines the most when I stop trying to make whole 6-layer tracks on it and just stack effects until they become synth textures in their own right. 

 

Still want a Bit Ranger, though. I am probably nuts but there is no stopping me, I am in love.

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Guest Chesney

The thing that stops me wanting to get into modular is the time factor. I can dial in what I want so quick on my synths and don't have hours to be experimenting in the modular way ( wish I did) Also I can get such weird shit out of the big synths as it is, I don't need a cabinet full of modules to make weird sounds.

 

I would however love some sort of audio mangling setup, weird effects, sequencers etc, no sound sources at all.

 

I do think that the modular craze is a fad to be honest. Not as in the medium will die more the fact that most users will get bored or decide it's way beyond them or the next craze will take them away. Most people are followers so they will migrate and lots of modular will be going cheap for the real nerds to pick up and really dig into. I just hope that when this bubble bursts that companies don't go pop with it.

Edited by Chesney
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I'm in a lovely, inexpensive town that's been referred to as "podunk" and "backwater" so the bug hasn't bit us really. I do see these self-important, overpaid cunts sometimes when I visit Seattle but it doesn't phase me; they're in a different world. Anyway the modular I'd want is more punk rock, minimal, and lo-fi, and I'd expect to do a bit of DIY to save a little coin. It'll probably end up costing a fair amount in the long run, but I have enough supporting gear to fill in the gaps in the immediate and grow slowly. In other words I'm kind of already one of those rich cunts (not really but relative to a teenager with a volca for sure).

 

 

Yeah, that's about where I'm at too.

 

Actually for me, I think when I finally take the plunge it's not going to be a eurorack setup, it's going to be a few small, single purpose semi-modular things kind of cobbled together from different modules and stripboard projects.  Most of the bare PCBs I've collected over the last few years are different analog drum voices and the first thing I'm going to do is build all of those and stick them in a box with probably a couple filters, a little mixer and a midi-to-trigger interface, normalize it all so it can work as a MIDI drum module with no patching, but also have patch points, and direct ins and outs.  That'll be enough of a project for this year and if it goes well I'll probably do a modular sound processing thing of some kind like Chesney was talking about and eventually a Klee Sequencer(got the boards years ago but never built it because all the pots and switches add up fast and I don't have much to sequence with it).  Plus I finally got a set of crOwBX boards a while ago so there's that.  All that is more than enough to keep me busy for another year or so at the speed I move, and it's modular enough for me. I'm just not interested in making or listening to purely abstract music anymore to go full eurorack or anything but a few small pieces of modular kit would be fun to have around. The thing that gets me these days is golden-age-of-MIDI early to mid 90s digital rack gear to be honest, but I've got more than enough of that and it's starting to get a little more expensive lately anyhow.

 

Anyway, whatever I end up doing I'm sticking to the "if I want it I have to build it or trade for it" rule I set for myself with guitar stuff years ago.

Edited by RSP
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Speaking of shitting rack mount stuff. My current favorite piece of effect kit is probably the Roland gp16. I love printing stuff through it. The picking filter is very org and the reverbs are dirty and full of life.

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On the one hand modular would be a lot of fun, on the other hand this was recorded live in a windmill with a Roland D10 and a sequencer more than 25 years ago:

 

 

 

Obviously, if you aren't a sucker for anything Hawkwind-related like I am you might not be convinced by this.

Edited by RSP
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Yeah that was close. I think I shook it off for the time being. This guy's chronicle of a year of eurorack certainly helped, holy fuck: A Journey into Nearly Overwhelming Complexity

Here we are with an ability to purchase a computer capable of running artificial intelligence algorithms for about half the cost of a new car, but $10,000 is still quite a bit when your synth hobby is costing you almost four times that amount.

 
However, I do still want that Bit Ranger lol.

Edited by sweepstakes
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Yeah that was close. I think I shook it off for the time being. This guy's chronicle of a year of eurorack certainly helped, holy fuck: A Journey into Nearly Overwhelming Complexity

Here we are with an ability to purchase a computer capable of running artificial intelligence algorithms for about half the cost of a new car, but $10,000 is still quite a bit when your synth hobby is costing you almost four times that amount.

 

However, I do still want that Bit Ranger lol.

Holy shit that article. I don't think I have spent even half of that sum on all my gear ever. I think this man is deluded if he thinks he can excuse away GAS with "trying to explore all the sonic possibilities" - you can do that just as easily with a decent laptop and any number of freely available software. It's probably the blinking lights or some illogical devotion to "analog tubes".

I do sympathize with the constant need to reorganize my desk so that all the knobs and things are in accordance with the Perfect Feng Shui. I can achieve this without actually buying any new stuff, I just need to stare at my dangling cable mess long enough.

 

However, I didn't know that Bit Ranger is compatible with Eurorack, does that mean all of the zillion patch points are compatible?

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I just had a bit of a splooge and bought:

 

Analog Four

Minilogue

Strymon Big Sky

Waldorf 2-Pole

Roland Octa-Capture

 

Had everything delivered apart from the Waldorf (fuck you DHL), now I'm engaging in the fun that is known as "how to make everything fit on the table". Arranging everything is actually a fun process, although I'm a bit of a neat freak when it comes to lines and angles. Tempted to build a couple of things to help raise a couple of things. Will probably spend this weekend down the hardware store. Also in the next couple of weeks I will order the patchbay and rack mixer. I'm hoping by next month everything will be completed.

 

I also need a fucking shit ton of new cables. I was thinking about soldering everything myself, but I dunno if it'll be cheaper. I don't actually own a soldering iron either. Any recommendations for someone who would use one in the most basic way possible? I.e. I don't need anything fancy as fuck.

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Yeah that was close. I think I shook it off for the time being. This guy's chronicle of a year of eurorack certainly helped, holy fuck: A Journey into Nearly Overwhelming Complexity

Here we are with an ability to purchase a computer capable of running artificial intelligence algorithms for about half the cost of a new car, but $10,000 is still quite a bit when your synth hobby is costing you almost four times that amount.

 

However, I do still want that Bit Ranger lol.

 

Holy shit that article. I don't think I have spent even half of that sum on all my gear ever. I think this man is deluded if he thinks he can excuse away GAS with "trying to explore all the sonic possibilities" - you can do that just as easily with a decent laptop and any number of freely available software. It's probably the blinking lights or some illogical devotion to "analog tubes".

 

lol yeah, same. Yep, if all you want is to explore the possibilities, you're going to do so way more efficiently and economically with with Max or, yeah, free plugins. Well, he mentions that his first synth was a Moog Rogue in '81 so there's probably more than a little nostalgia factor at work here. Definitely some thinking that transcends the rational.

 

However, I didn't know that Bit Ranger is compatible with Eurorack, does that mean all of the zillion patch points are compatible?

It has some jacks for CV connectivity, but there's only like 5 or something. I think there's a way to connect the itty bitty patch points to eurorack just using some special cables. At least, I've seen a few videos where they are being patched into other devices (kastle, werkstatt, olegtron, soft pop) with similar patch bays. I think they do basically the same thing but they're flimsier and more awkward.

 

I just mention the bit ranger again because in that insane article, that's one of the things that got him into modular in the first place.  It's funny because he never comes back to it after talking about buying one, never brings it full circle. I'm seeing a pattern similar to his GAS with his writing, lol.

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creative point of view: any synth is good as long as we make music

 

sarcastic observation: any synth is good bad bad but good but bad as long as we don't make music

 

sarcastic observation (cynic reshape): gasing party

 

edit: im a cynic and a party bitch  :blush:

Edited by xox
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I'm honestly about ready to ditch the monomachine; it was my dream synth for a long time but I'm just bored to tears of it. Every time I fire it up and select a machine I brace for disappointment. It's probably me and not the MnM but it's hard to shake it.

 

 

lol tbh I basically hold on to my monomachine mostly because of the hell I went through in order to get it. I don't use it often and I'm kinda bad at making it sound good but I'm too embarrassed to sell it :P

 

 

 

if you sell your monomachines, may i ask, what would you buy with that money?

 

lots of new synths around, and even more others that i never knew exist. i was thinking a lot lately about the 'impractical' synths, about weird pedals, manglers and shit ...softpop, 0-coast (this one even has midi in), bitranger, kastel, 4046m, glamour box, sleepdrone, dynamorph, frantabit, geiger counter, swash, retroverb lancet ... i was happier itb :)   i'm trying to imagine what kind of music i'd make if i have some of the above, or majority of them. what i'm trying to say is that i also thought about selling my mnm and md, for which i'd get 1500-1800 euros (!!!)   but i know i can do a lot with just mnm, maybe more than with all the said synth combined. i'm gona try to make a track on mnm in the few next hrs imagining i have some of the impracticals + sequencer... 

Edited by xox
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I just feel like the monomachine is kind of a jack of all trades and it's rare that I do anything with it that excites me. But you're right, it does a lot. And I think I already mentioned that is more of a shortcoming of me than the machine.

 

I like the bit ranger because it is much different from my other gear, I love the sounds it makes, it is battery powered, and I think it would combine beautifully with my other battery powered gear. It is fairly impractical (if by practical you mean able to do the standard synth tasks that have hardly changed since 1987) but how prone it is to happy accidents seems like a great feature to me.

 

I do need new monitors (I have mid-2000s Rokits) and a mixer (a Mackie VLZ-1202 from 1998) so if I was feeling super practical I would upgrade those.

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I just feel like the monomachine is kind of a jack of all trades and it's rare that I do anything with it that excites me.

 

i know it's a stupid question but what excites you, what would excite you? have any example?

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I like the bit ranger........................... It is fairly impractical (if by practical you mean able to do the standard synth tasks that have hardly changed since 1987) but how prone it is to happy accidents seems like a great feature to me.

 

 happy accidents is something that i always liked but i can found them almost anywhere. the mnm is full of them imo. im making the track right now, 5 min working, 5 min watmm :) and almost everything i made so far on this track is by h.a.'

cause of h.a.' sometimes i can feel a machine or sw as if they're alive... sort of like a 2-way communication

 

https://youtu.be/zG7n-oRlCps?t=20m29s

 

regarding impracticality, yes, kind of like that too cause it's fun and at the end i can make a track with piece of paper and pair of scissors, i mean, nothing's THAT impractical. but at the end i want to make music, or some sort of organized noize/sound ;) 

Edited by xox
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I guess with the bit ranger in particular it seems to be capable of making really nice melodies but the way you get at them is weird enough that I'm not going to figure it out quickly and get bored. Of course there's other ways to get similar kinds of environments I already have access to but they aren't battery powered.

 

Also frankly it is very small and cute and I love the idea of throwing it in my bag and sneaking off for a 15 minute noise jam at the drop of a hat.

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