Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Moderator: Moderators

Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Arpangel »

I’m continually surprised, at how many modules are produced, but few actually really fullfill my needs, it’s almost as if they always give with one hand, and take with the other.
Sometimes they get it right, but the market is still wide open for someone to come along with a few no compromise designs.
An LFO for instance, OK, it has to be voltage controlled, so many aren’t, it has to have a wide range, from minutes, to audio rate, it has to have a minimum of four "independent" outputs, and a wide range of waveforms, from sine to random, and it has to be reasonably priced, Batumi is a contender, but it’s still expensive.
Random modules? prime requirements, lots of VC inputs, of all parameters, cycle lengths from minutes to audio, multiple independent outputs.
Attenuators? should be automatically included on most modules,
I seem to have a lot of modules that aren’t voltage controllable, it’s frustrating, why would you "not want" an LFO to be VC? Oscillators with no modulation inputs? :-| random sources with no VC :crazy:
Behringer are in the position of being able to produce things really cheaply, if they focused on making new, innovative, feature packed modules of their own that addressed some of the things I mentioned instead of concentrating on reissues and copies, it would really be a breakthrough, and open up modular to those that regard it as too expensive.
Don’t copy limitations that have already been made, how about making new original modules that actually do more, and are more reasonably priced.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11052 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That’s another thing

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Ben Asaro »

What do you mean by "voltage-controlled" LFO?
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1948 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Folderol »

If you're talking about voltage control of LFO frequency that's going to be a tough one for stability - unless you have a number of steps to break up the range. Even the slightest drift would be instantly noticeable, far more than (say) a filter - unless the filter was resonant.
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14953 Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:00 am Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Arpangel wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:32 am I’m continually surprised, at how many modules are produced, but few actually really fullfill my needs...

I think that's because your needs are extraordinarily comprehensive while your budget is minimal.

All the things you require are do-able, but it inherently costs a lot to include them all, and it's likely that the market demand for such a comprehensive device isn't large enough to justify its production.

The wider the oscillator's frequency range, the more complex the circuitry, the more expensive it will be. The more waveforms you want, the more expensive it will be to provide them. More outputs needed, the larger the panel needs to be and the more expensive it becomes.

The kind of flexibility you seek is just not basement budget territory, and it hardly seems fair to berate low-cost modules for not having all the bells and whistles.

And if voltage control is so important to you, it also doesn't seem justifiable to buy modules that aren't voltage controlled and then complain that they lack that feature!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 34051 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:44 pm
And if voltage control is so important to you, it also doesn't seem justifiable to buy modules that aren't voltage controlled and then complain that they lack that feature!

I’m a big Doepfer fan, their modules are easy to understand, clearly laid out, they’ve stopped adding VC to some of their modules, the basic ones, the LFO used to have a VC version, the lack of VC on the Noise Random was always an issue, but it was cheap, easy to understand, but now, they’ve added VC, thumbs up for that.
There are a lot of good cheap modules coming out, by Dreadbox, Behringer, the Berry System 100 is their best so far IMO, sounds very good, lots of features, VC, but it was a good design in the first place.
The ARP stuff is a big disappointment, if I’d have known I wouldn’t have bought into it so much as I did.
The System 100 I was expecting to be my least favourite, has turned out to be the most useful.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11052 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That’s another thing

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Ben Asaro »

I still don't understand what you want VC for in an LFO. What purpose does it serve? It sounds like you want options just to have options?
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1948 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

To be fair, I can see the practical usefulness of being able to vary the speed of vibrato, for example, using a CV generated by say, aftertouch. Or to control a pseudo rotary speaker effect's tremolo speed via an external CV.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 34051 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Ben Asaro »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:19 pm To be fair, I can see the practical usefulness of being able to vary the speed of vibrato, for example, using a CV generated by say, aftertouch. Or to control a pseudo rotary speaker effect's tremolo speed via an external CV.

You can easily do with with an attenuator, though. And those can be voltage controlled.

Edit: In fact, I think Arp has Maths, no? You should be able to do virtually anything in that case!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1948 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:22 pm
Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:19 pm To be fair, I can see the practical usefulness of being able to vary the speed of vibrato, for example, using a CV generated by say, aftertouch. Or to control a pseudo rotary speaker effect's tremolo speed via an external CV.

You can easily do with with an attenuator, though. And those can be voltage controlled.

Edit: In fact, I think Arp has Maths, no? You should be able to do virtually anything in that case!

In my music I can think of a ton of reasons why VC of an LFO is essential, when creating feedback patches, feeding an LFO's speed input with a random wave, modulating itself, changing waveforms via CV, endless variations, and uses.
I patch an LFO into an oscillator to modulate pitch, I want to randomise the LFO, no VC? :(
Random modules in themselves, like the Doepfer 118, or Make Noise Wogglebug are fine if you want fast modulations, quite a bit of variation on the WB too, but I don’t, I want as slow as possible, and the only way I can do that is to patch an external slow LFO into the random, so I tend to use really slow LFO's with S+H modules, instead of random modules, and to get LFO's to run at the right speed sometimes needs an input from an external source, a very slow cycle, into the CV input.
Maths will go down to 25 mins per cycle, which isn’t bad, I’ve potentially got two LFO's there, great, but once you’ve used up Maths on those duties, you can’t really use it for anything else, one of the downsides of multi-function modules.
I want a couple of Sloths, but they are DIY, and I’m not, and they are rare secondhand.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11052 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That’s another thing

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Aled Hughes »

The LFO on the Moog Mother 32 has VC control over the rate.

Maybe it could tick a box for you if you also need a few of the other things it has - sequencer, VCO, VCF, mixer, noise generator etc
Aled Hughes
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1433 Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am Location: Pwllheli, Cymru

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by Arpangel »

Aled Hughes wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:20 am The LFO on the Moog Mother 32 has VC control over the rate.

Maybe it could tick a box for you if you also need a few of the other things it has - sequencer, VCO, VCF, mixer, noise generator etc

M32 is nice, but a bit OTT in this case, what I need to do is stop moaning, stop being so mean, and start buying a Batumi.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11052 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That’s another thing

Re: Modular frustrations, wants, needs etc,

Post by nathanscribe »

Ben Asaro wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:22 pm
Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:19 pm To be fair, I can see the practical usefulness of being able to vary the speed of vibrato, for example, using a CV generated by say, aftertouch. Or to control a pseudo rotary speaker effect's tremolo speed via an external CV.

You can easily do with with an attenuator, though. And those can be voltage controlled.

Attenuating the LFO would only affect the depth, not the rate. VCLFO is a good thing, I enjoy a bit of envelope modulation of LFO rate for vibrato for example so it slows during release.

Arpangel: how about using a regular VCO but mixing a decent negative offset into the CV?
User avatar
nathanscribe
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1358 Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:00 am Location: Wakefield, for my sins.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
Post Reply