Tag Archives: modular

Goodbye Drum Machine, hello Drum Skiff!

Have decided I needed a few more HP’s for drum synth modules, both to expand my sound palette and add extra modulation sources. So, I purchased a Make Noise 104HP Skiff and have just finished filling it up – isn’t she pretty!

Still want to revisit using Arcade buttons as triggers in the future, but for now this is providing a lot of random percussion fun! This is thanks in large part, to the three Erica Synths Pico modules which give a nice mix of controlled and uncontrolled triggers, lfo’s, sample and hold and noise. And all in bite-sized 3HP chunks!

The Bastl Instruments Tea Kick is another of the new modules and it sounds lovely and clear with a real weight behind it, but still very musical too. This is in the new, aluminium styling, rather than the wooden front panels Bastl normally use but it looks amazing.

CV Pal is being used with Max For Live to emulate the Mutable Instruments Grids, and a great job it does at that too! Dead simple to set up too, so will put together a video on that perhaps. You can get the CV Pal in a kit at Thonk for under ÂŁ30 (plus VAT) at the moment, and it’s well worth looking into.

Find out more about the skiff at Modular Grid.

Eurorack Drum Machine

Nearly finished with my rebuild of the modular synth. The Tiptop Mantis Case is full and I’ve also built a second suitcase synth based around modules from Mutable Instruments, Including the ‘Ears’ module which Santa got for me 🙂

So now I’ve turned my attention to building a portable, Eurorack based Drum Machine. Here’s a mock-up of what it could look like…

The core pattern sequencing will be handled through the Erica Synth Pico Trigg module, with the 5 arcade buttons at the bottom allowing me to manually trigger Accent and Choke on the two ALM Taiko modules as well as the Trig input on the ALM Pip Slope.

An ALM PE-1 rounds things off, doubling as a handy 2:1 mixer in addition to EQ duties.

Modular Update 2016 #2

The new rack is starting to take shape, but I have hit a bit of a snag! The case (made by Tip Top Audio) isn’t deep enough to house my Mark 1 Z3000 oscillator (also made by Tip Top Audio)! So it’s a good job I bought the Mark 2 version.

More selling on ebay methinks!

Also looking to get a Mutable Instruments Ears module soon to trigger my Rings module, as ably demonstrated in this video…

Modular update 2016 #1

Decided to have a major upgrade of my studio and also try and fully integrate the modular with my laptop setup.

First purchase was the Maschine Jam which has really renewed my love for Maschine and should elevate it beyond the role of ‘just’ a drum machine.

I then ordered some Expert Sleepers ES-40, ES-8CV and ES-8GT modules to let me trigger the modular from within Ableton, Maschine and Reaktor – only really scratched the surface but it looks to be a really flexible solution, and the integration with Reaktor is mind blowing.

Today, I took delivery of a new modular case, a Tiptop Audio Mantis, and it’s a beautiful piece of engineering for a brilliant price (at least, relative to other Eurorack cases).

Here’s the empty case which I’ll be filling up this evening as I transfer my modules across.

Mantis

Tiptop Audio Mantis case

Also replaced my beloved Nord Drum with a Dinky’s Taiko drum synthesizer module too which I’ll be trying out later this evening. (I’ve multi-sampled the Nord into 20 or so Maschine kits, so still have access to its electro sounds – might even put those kits up for sale at some point).

Final piece I’ve ordered is a second Tiptop Audio Z3000 oscillator to compliment my old Mk1 module, which is waiting for me at the local post office.

Can’t wait to write some new music with it all!

Eurorack Lunchbox

My latest project, just so I have some modular fun close to hand when it’s too cold to sit up in my shed 🙂

Really pleased with the Spectre iPad sequencer too. Works great with the CV Pal module and allows me an easy way to program accents for the VCF303 via the second gate output.

Lunchbox 1

Lunchbox 2

Have some DIY modules lined up to build in the new year including an Alex & June filter and a Music Thing Modular Spring Reverb. Planning to mount the phono sockets on the side of the case so that the tank can be positioned away from the power supply.

Modular Update 2

Well, it’s getting there! The case is all finished and I’ve started filling up with the new modules.

I’ve got an MFB Seq 01 on back order from Thomann and will hopefully get my ModSeq soon which will finish the bottom row off. Then it’s just a case of getting some Tip Top drum modules and an intellijel mixer for the middle row.

I’ve also started building a mini passive expansion rack which will sit on the top of the main unit. Still a work in progress, but here’s what it looks like so far…

Modular Update 1

So I stripped all the modules out of their rack and made a start on adding the additional 3U space. Nice to finally find a use for all that ridiculous Amazon packaging!

modules

Here’s what the empty rack looked like before I started.

empty rack

Next, I created a cardboard mock up, just to get a rough idea of measurements.

mock up

Then, using some left over MDF and plenty of polyfilla, I added the new, sloped front to the existing rack.

sloped front 1

sloped front 2

Next step will be to sand and repaint it, then add a few little bits and bobs such as an XLR connector for the PSU. I already cut some internal access holes to pass the cables through for the spring reverb tank and bus rail which should both be arriving any day now. The MFB Seq 01 is delayed until early Feb though 🙁

Have also had a slight rethink about some of the other modules and will likely get an Intellijel unity mixer to give me space for more tiptop drum modules. Also, seriously considering a XAOC Moskwa sequencer which I researched last night – looks fantastic, but will have to rejig the bottom row a little to fit it in 🙂

Modular Drums

Have been spending the last couple of evenings having a play with various new layouts for my modular synthesizer, so that I can incorporate some drum modules and sequencing. Will mean adding an extra row to the rack (time for my woodworking skills) but should be great once it’s all finished and will give me a really flexible sound making machine at the end of it.

I’m also looking to add a few sound shaping modules too for good measure including a ring modulator, spring reverb and wave shaper.

You can see which modules I’m looking to buy on the above chart. ‘White’ are modules I already have, ‘Blue’ are modules I bought this evening and ‘Yellow’ are the modules I intend to buy over the coming months. ‘Green’ is a little DIY action in the shape of a switched multiple I’m building to compliment the Decade Counter.

To pay for all this, I am going to have to sell some of my unused studio equipment which will be going up on ebay soon. (Will post once it’s up!)