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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Modular Synthesis
Plans for First Eurorack
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Nikolas Vudu



Joined: Feb 04, 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: Plans for First Eurorack
Subject description: Question about getting started on a small budget
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Hello, I have been researching a lot about modular synths. I have wanted to get a Eurorack for a few years and am finally making serious plans for it. However I have an extremely tight budget, so I am planning on starting with just a few absolutely essential modules and building up from there.

My main question is: could I start out with 0 oscillator modules if I route both a MIDI signal and an audio signal (of just a raw DCO or two) from my Microkorg XL into the MIDI-CV converter and Audio In of a eurorack? Are there any unapparent problems with this?

Again, this would just be for the absolute beginning of the Eurorack for me, so I can get it started more immediately.

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Zoe



Joined: Jul 15, 2011
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Plans for First Eurorack
Subject description: Question about getting started on a small budget
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Nikolas Vudu wrote:
Hello, I have been researching a lot about modular synths. I have wanted to get a Eurorack for a few years and am finally making serious plans for it. However I have an extremely tight budget, so I am planning on starting with just a few absolutely essential modules and building up from there.

My main question is: could I start out with 0 oscillator modules if I route both a MIDI signal and an audio signal (of just a raw DCO or two) from my Microkorg XL into the MIDI-CV converter and Audio In of a eurorack? Are there any unapparent problems with this?

Again, this would just be for the absolute beginning of the Eurorack for me, so I can get it started more immediately.


Hi!

Interesting question. Theoretically, yes, this should work. The closest I've personally ever gotten to trying it is trying to feed MIDI and a softsynth's raw oscillators into my setup, to fake polyphony. If I recall correctly, it lagged a bit, with the audio and MIDI being slightly out of sync with each other, so it didn't really work. However, when I've just wanted to run some sounds such as Mellotron or Optigan samples through the hardware modular's filter or spring reverb, with no exact timings needed as they're generally slow pad sounds, it works surprisingly well. So I wouldn't recommend it for fast fingerwork or sequenced parts, but for pads it's passable.

Having said all that, with a hardware synth, it might be fast enough to work. I haven't tried it.

Thinking about it a bit more, you could output the audio of a long, sustained C note, along with the MIDI values of where only the C notes are, then repeat the process with C# and so on, for every octave. That would be painstaking but work. (I did something similar to play my modular with an alternative tuning, manually re-tuning it between notes.) This would also work for percussive noise sounds. And if you sample the results, you can always reuse them and change the speed/pitch... Recording various oddities around a middle C alone could provide a wealth of samples, come to think of it.

That reminds me of the old Amiga mod days when people would sample a C major chord, a C minor chord, and so on, and just play the samples back at different pitches to get all the different kinds of chords. You could definitely play a few minutes' worth of a single note or chord into half a modular, and trigger any envelope generators for the filter, VCA, etc via MIDI or even via buttons (the A-164-1 exists for perhaps just this kind of purpose), and get lots of interesting sounds that way. You may be onto something here!

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Nikolas Vudu



Joined: Feb 04, 2013
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the response!
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Zoe



Joined: Jul 15, 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nikolas Vudu wrote:
Thanks for the response!


You're welcome, I just hope I was of some help. Having a self contained modular's fun, but it's all too easy to forget that you can combine it with other things for even better results. When it comes to making entertainment, having a good imagination is generally far more useful than having lots of money. So the fact you're asking such questions means you'll probably find some interesting uses for half a synth's worth of modules!

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EATyourGuitar



Joined: Oct 28, 2010
Posts: 46
Location: Providence, RI

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

you would probably want to modify the midi messages to be monophonic and and contiguous with no silence between notes. this can be a simple max patch that processes your midi messages from your sequencing software. if your trying to do this with keyboards and hardware, you could write some code for PIC16F or maybe an arduino. notice that on a modular synth, the vco is always producing sound and the midi to cv converter is always holding the cv signal for the last note that was played. hacked midi messages will get you pretty close. making your own software is free and the PIC is also free through free sample request. the pic programmer is free if you build it from an old printer cable. this is what I call broke-school synth DIY.
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