Starting small in the world of Modular synths

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Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby aredj » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:17 pm

Soooo.... The Doepfer DIY synth is something Im gearing up for... I love woodworking, I love synths, and have basic electronic skills with the resources to go deeper - Im starting small, and all the available patch points on the Doepfer diy just cry 'expansion'... im a baby on this subject, so absorbing as much information as I can now, will help me make the right decisions.

Paia stuff is catching my fancy, for fun little diy projects (I'll need a midi/cv anyway...) and Paia appears to be compatible (1V/oct)... i'm presently googling around and reading as much as I can on the subject of compatibility of modulars and such, but I suppose rather than ask advice/direction of what's compatible, perhaps I should ask, what isn't (compatible with doepfer/paia)... what else would be smart to consider?

And good reading/links would be largely appreciated!
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby druzz » Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:26 pm

good luck on your project . i am also getting into modular DIY and me and my friend are starting with yusynth modules.
check them out
http://yusynth.net/Modular/index_en.html
i think they are1V/oct. but ANYWAY I GUESS JUST THE OSCILLATOR and keyboard tracking care about that .audio signal must be compatible with everything,iwonder if its the same for CV . i'm sure that with cv mixers you can adjust it to fit anything

check this site . and the link page . lots of good links to useful info and resources
http://www.bridechamber.com/bridechamber.com/Home.html

also MUSIC FROM OUTER SPACE seems to have acessible kits and they are funny.
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby skweeegor » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:30 pm

Good luck. I was going to do the Doepfer DIY but went eurocrack instead. Might still do it eventually when my bank account recovers since I like a nice project myself.

As far as compatability, afaik all modular formats are compatible with each other. The only issue you'll run into is going from 1/4" to 1/8" jacks or banana to 1/8", etc, but that can all be rectified with the proper converters or diy cables.

I suppose the best way would be to look at where you'll expand from the Doepfer DIY and go from there. If you're going to expand into eurorack, maybe keep it to 1/8" jacks. If you're planning to go into something more DIY friendly (like Frac), figure out what connector you like best and you can standardize that way. I've never tried them but many people seem to really like banana jacks over anything else for the feel and easy stackability for multing.

As far as DIY modules, it seems like you'll have the most options in 5U or Frac Rack. There are a few for Euro but not nearly as much yet.

edit: I should add, there's a great modular forum that also has a DIY section you should check out: http://muffwiggler.com/
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby cerebrosis » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:44 pm

skweeegor wrote:
As far as compatability, afaik all modular formats are compatible with each other. The only issue you'll run into is going from 1/4" to 1/8" jacks or banana to 1/8", etc, but that can all be rectified with the proper converters or diy cables.


not totally true. you will find some modulars like frac require things like higher CV levels to open VCAs, some modulars like Buchla and EML are 1.2v/oct, also some are hz/oct like the Metasonix VCOs. banana systems must have the grounds linked and linked to non banana system grounds. attenuation and amplification are necessary in some cases.
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby hogberto » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:11 pm

i started out about 6 years ago with an analogue systems mini-system

http://www.analoguesystems.co.uk/index2.htm

just to check that i was actually going to like modular synthesis.

i did.

the rest is history. 8-)
Analogue Systems RS8500 | Andromeda A6 | Moog Voyager Old School | Korg Radias KB | MEK | DSI Tetr4 | Tom Oberheim SEM | Waldorf Blofeld module | Virus C | A Sol Leipzig-S | XV-5080 | V-Synth XT | Mopho KB
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby aredj » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:15 pm

Right on fellas... good reading here. Lots to learn. Pretty excited to get my feet wet in this world..
Good idea w/ the FATMAn... I do actually have a korg770 from a friend on indefinite loan (had it for a year so far... my friend never uses it) and it would be amazing to control it somehow - you cant beat those paia prices (I like the idea of assembling myself too..)

But first things first. The doepfer. I'll be all up in that as soon as the next production becomes available - and will post progress reports...
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby Mooger5 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:30 pm

This book http://members.cox.net/barryklein/em.htm seems to be still available.

IMO it´s best to ponder which format to adopt first. Frac and Euro are not compatible, so I´ve read. One module won´t fit into another´s chassis. And most feature too many knobs, connectors and switches crammed in too narrow spaces. For live twiddling doesn´t seem very practical. I got some euro chassis to start my own modular last year and now I see 5U should have been the choice.

The Doepfer DIY Synth looks very promising. Is it LM13700-based? Easy to find parts if anything goes wrong.
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby meatballfulton » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:29 pm

Mooger5 wrote: I got some euro chassis to start my own modular last year and now I see 5U should have been the choice.


That's what I thought until I got a 5U system and the damn thing was huge! The case was four feet wide, yet in terms of actual modules it had fewer than my pAiA system which was a 3U 19" rack, never mind my Kraftzwerg. It is a tough call though...the Kraftzwerg is really cramped.
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Re: Starting small in the world of Modular synths

Postby Mooger5 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:48 pm

Yeah, I guess every format has its own disavantadges. Well if space is not an issue the only solution is to well add more modules and build a "cathedral" :)
With all the 3U cases I´m now thinking towards "banks". Oscillator banks, filter banks, modulator banks, utilities and so on. Each in its own box, resembling this!

Image

I just got 3 SSM2056 chips so probably the first bank will be a 3x ADSR, one being 100% voltage-controlled.
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