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Decent 1st modular under $2500?
Old 20th September 2012
  #1
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KOTARE's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Decent 1st modular under $2500?

OK, it wins. I can flick off the VS and a Korg and with that have some good cash to put into a modular.

My question to you synth-heads out there is what is a good first system to buy? Look, I know that there are all of these amazing modules that you can buy from different manufacturers and piece everything together and that's probably what will happen eventually, but for now I think I kind of want an all-in-one thing to start with, like a System 100m, and from there I can start to think about adding more bones when required.

New or old is not so important to me. Neither is MIDI at this point. Character is the most important this at the moment, so a definitive sound is fine.

The only features that I think I really leap out at me are 2x osc, 2x env, x-mod, ring mod, audio in, HP+LP+BW filters. Whatever else is a bonus at this stage...

Guys, I'd totally appreciate the help. I hate to sell the little polys that I have but I think it's come time now to cross that bridge into modular land.

Thanks!
Old 20th September 2012
  #2
ozy
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🎧 5 years
My two cents:

I used for several years a dopefer A-100 system with some custom things, interfaced with a semimodular and a OB SEM.

Tell you what.

The doepfers are "modular" as far as "the ultimate routing experience" is concerned.

Lotta fun and lotta learning and plenty of ideas.

But when push comes to shove...

... a slim phatty sounds better than any combination of dopefer LP filters,

... the sem in basic "70s analogue lead" configuration sounds twice as rich as a multi-modulated doepfer patch,

etc.

careful with PAPER SPECIFICS and MODULE GAS.

The easiest answer is: "go for the cheap eurorack, and stuff it full with weird universe/revolting and perception/twisting extra modules".

But that answer doesn't necessarily amounts to "this sounds good".

Now, let other more sophisticated modular experts give their advice,

but I told you why I SOLD a doepfer.

It was too much "in my head", and too little "in my ears"
Old 20th September 2012
  #3
Bio
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
... a slim phatty sounds better than any combination of dopefer LP filters,
Most of which sound completely differents... (imo it's very easy to find modules similar to LP in sound (not necessarily doepfer) with as good if not even better sounds)

Quote:
but for now I think I kind of want an all-in-one thing to start with, like a System 100m, and from there I can start to think about adding more bones when required.
Imo you should start with a semi modular, it's easier to begin and you can expand on it latter, when you know what you want to add, different colors, new modulations etc...
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➑️
But when push comes to shove...

... a slim phatty sounds better than any combination of dopefer LP filters,
Hey thanks for your 2c.

I should point out, I have a pretty good array of mono and polys, your typical subtractive synthesis stuff and a few digital-analog hybrids. In addition to what I now own in that domain I have also owned plenty more that I have sold off, many I miss, I wish I could keep them all but really you don't need much. There's a fine line between being a musician and being a hoarder and though I think it's fine to be a collector it's also good to know the difference.

That aside, my point is that I have some good synths, like a slim phatty, but which are to me far more pleasurable, fatter, immediate, deeper, doper, and more creative.

I am venturing into sound design, picked up some arts funding for an installation in Manhattan next year, so strange new tones and textures is what I after. I have enough things that go wubwub, play leads and bass, make pads and do lazer sounds. I just picked up an ESQ1 this week and BOOM new tones = new palette = new dimensions, you know what I mean.

The other thing is I am deeply feeling that whole Jeff Mills thing, intelligent sequencing, and spare Detroit sound, so yeah I guess MIDI would be a good thing, ---> CV etc...

But thanks for chiming in.
Old 20th September 2012
  #5
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Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hi, did you read these threads?
They are about the same subject, an affordable, but complete first modular.
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...o-modules.html
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...-eurorack.html
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...-core-vco.html
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...-part-2-a.html

understanding the processes in a (modular) synth can help you make a choice, how to put a setup together that might suit you.
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...n-patches.html

of course a Doepfer Basissystem or a Pittsburgh will be a great start, but they're certainly not the only choices out there.
Eurorack Modular Synth Planner
good luck with the search!
don't hesitate to ask any specific questions? heh
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #6
ozy
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bio ➑️
(not necessarily doepfer)
that was my point.

I didn't mean to discourage Kotare from buying a modular!

I just have objections to Doepfer as such.

I anticipated the obvious "start with an a 100 and stuff it with weird add-ins" suggestion,

by saying that MOST good integrated analogues SOUND better that their "equivalent" ENTRY-LEVEL modular.

I didn't make the next step (recommending less modules of a higher quality, or a vintage semimodular), because I didn't test, e.g. dot.com modules.

I leave that to people who have a direct knowledge of these brands.

I just said: since is used to GOOD analogues, he gotta go for HIGH-END modular.

Less modules, better quality, don't believe spec charts.

sacrifice "modular novelty" for "good components", or you will bore quickly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bio ➑️
filters different from LP
of course!

Of course I didn't compare ONE 24db LP filter with a wide array of filters of the oddest modes.

Of course a a100 equipped with 5 different filters beats easily (as far as NOVELTY is concerned) the almost-unroutable, stuck-to-LP, phatty.

I just said: "take the dopefer 24db ladder filter, and it will sound less good than a phatty. Take their SEM emulation, and it doesn't sound at par with a sem"

take their midi-cv interface, and it's disappointing for somebody accustomed to quickly programming any kind of midi routings on any trivial DSI module.

Etc
Old 20th September 2012
  #7
Bio
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🎧 10 years
Yes, but there are still good Doepfer filters like a105, a124 Wasp filter etc...

Doepfer is great !
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
ozy
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bio ➑️
Doepfer is great !
not in absolute terms.

That's my point.

Subjective, of course. But not unsubstantiated.

Good learning tool, nice club tool, wonderful demo tool, it is enticing to have moogish, arpish, SEMish, waspish things all gathered together...

But in the end it sounds more or less always "doepfer". very German, a bit harsh, definitely thin and "fizzy", "noisy".

And the interface (knob range and feel, ability to tweak parameters in smooth and detailed way, etc) is WAY inferior to - say - a prophet08's

First synth? the 1300 bucks version? GO and BUY, immediately.

Long experiernce with analogues, high expectations? Look for other better brands.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil ➑️
Hi, did you read these threads?
They are about the same subject, an affordable, but complete first modular.
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...o-modules.html
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...-eurorack.html
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...-core-vco.html
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...-part-2-a.html

understanding the processes in a (modular) synth can help you make a choice, how to put a setup together that might suit you.
https://gearspace.com/board/electron...n-patches.html

of course a Doepfer Basissystem or a Pittsburgh will be a great start, but they're certainly not the only choices out there.
Eurorack Modular Synth Planner
good luck with the search!
don't hesitate to ask any specific questions? heh
Yep I have read those threads and more and also on other sites. I understand modular synthesis pretty well having owned some keyboards that used modular synthesis.

There are some pretty specific questions there if you take care to have another look. The conversations so far have already been very useful.

But thanks.
Old 20th September 2012
  #10
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Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
you're welcome.
modulars are extra work, but fun!
Old 20th September 2012
  #11
Bio
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Subjective, of course
Enough said.

Lots of great music made on it.

Look and listen to Bakis Sirros for ex.

Lots of Serge, vintages etc... Ultra massive Doepfer.

Doepfer IS great, maybe not for you but still.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➑️
Long experiernce with analogues, high expectations? Look for other better brands.
I totally agree - I am used to some pretty nice osc+filter combos here - maybe not the AA-class of polysynths but the A-class. So my ear won't agree with something that has the features but lacks the sounds, y'know?

Because of that the whole Doepfer sound is not so much for me at this stage, only because I'd like some proper flavour in there for starters, on my limited budget ($2000-2500)

It probably sounds tragic, but for those first raw waveforms and filter I'd probably be looking at something with a classic "analog" sound, as people understand it, something like a system 100m or some such, from that era or with the sound that comes from that era.

I have to say again, listening to the thread, it's REALLY helpful. All I need is 2x osc, multimode filter, an LFO, audio input, 2x env if possible, and x-mod + ring mod is pretty key too but I can add that later along with some other LFOs. Like a Jupiter 6 type set up but with modular routing.

My idea was that, with something of quality (and maybe you don't think a system 100m is of quality?) I could have those good sounding first oscs and filter, a snappy env or two, and the other components I could start to add on?

Knowing what I have been used to using (Jupiters, Prophets, Moogs, Korgs, SH Rolands, CS Yamahas, blah de blah) and knowing that I'd like to have these tones in a modular but also the ability to find new tones and feelings through more mod and x-mod options, do you think this would be the best bet for someone like myself?
Old 20th September 2012
  #13
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🎧 10 years
You need to choose a format (eurorack, frac, modcan, buchla, .com, etc...) before looking into what modules to buy. The differences are in the audio and CV connections (1/4 inch vs 1/8 inch and power requirements. Frac format for instance has the same connection size as eurorack but the power requirements are different so you cannot mix modules in a case without making modifications. Eurorack and frac rack format modules are also smaller than the other formats.

I went the eurorack route because of the variety of modules.

If you're looking to start small and slow just grab a tip top happy ending kit, a basic VCO, a VCF, envelopes, Lfo, and whatever else will fit into 84hp. Also buy used when you can and save a bit of money. Multifunction modules that can do several jobs at once, such as the makenoise maths, are a good fit for a small system. One manufacturer, intellijel, has a number of small and powerful (features per hp) modules that are also useful in small systems. Doepfer stuff is good and reliable so don't be put off because they are more vanilla than the modules put out by other manufacturers.

<removed by moderator: no fishing please? ONLY specific links to topics allowed, not generic ones! thanks>

Last edited by Reptil; 20th September 2012 at 01:23 PM.. Reason: "fishing" removed
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
ozy
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOTARE ➑️
maybe you don't think a system 100m is of quality?)
heck, of quality it is!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KOTARE ➑️
I have been used to using (Jupiters, Prophets, Moogs, Korgs, SH Rolands, a Chroma, blah de blah)
what I suspected. I then confirm my recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KOTARE ➑️
I'd like to have these tones in a modular
Understandable. Not easy at all.

Same mistake I made years ago: "of, if I could route my prophet to the SEM's filter then have a further noise generator modulate the filter EG"... Answer? "A modular!" Purchased a A100... Got older and wiser.

That's my point.

It is not easy to match a screaming synced prophet5 with a 1000-euros eurorack modular in "prophet5 mono" configuration.

For the same money, you get more "holes and knobs" but less "guts".

If you build a modular in "minimoog" configuration for 2000 bucks, you will NOT get the sound of a voyager old school.

in A/B test, you will notice the difference.

The nearest thing to a semimodular whose character and sound quality approaches the instruments you are currently using,

is the voyager XL.

The oberheim "son of 4 voice" could have, if it had come into existance...

Their price is NOT 2500 bucks or less.

QED
Old 20th September 2012
  #15
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🎧 10 years
2.5k -

Endorphin Es Dual Oscillator (Nov. release)
Schippmann VCF-02
Doepfer 145/147
Pulp Logic Entry Point
Intellijel Quadra / Expander
Fonik MH31 Ring Mod

That'll give you a small /flexible / powerful system with (imo) killer tone .

Or you could just get a Macbeth Micromac.....
Old 20th September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Some good ideas in this thread at Muffs....lots of different flavors of small modular systems.

Muff's Modules & More :: View topic - Cool 3U starter systems or stand alone (4 newbs) POST YOURS!


Old 20th September 2012
  #17
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🎧 10 years
Dont forget VCA's & mixers & multiples !
Old 20th September 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not inclined towards an all one manufacturer systems, but this system Danjel from Intellijel put together is one sexy beast....

Old 20th September 2012
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
If you want character you should check out Make Noise DPO (Buchlaesque dual oscillator with wavefolder), Livewire Frequensteiner Filter (steiner synthacon filter) and Doepfer A-199 Spring Reverb.

Circuit Abbey Gozinta is a dual input module that can do clean or distorted.
MFB Dual LFO is a cheap and chearfull dual lfo that resets easy.
Manhattan Analog MIX is a clean and small 3 to 1 mixer.
Make Noise Moddemix is a mixer/VCA/Ringmod (Dirty)
Malekko/Wiard Xmix is a mixer/VCA/Crossfade/Ringmod (Clean)
Pittsburgh Modular Audiomixer/Attenuator is handy as it can do attenuating and mixing
Intellijel uVCA is a nice dual VCA with adjustable curve from LIN to EXPO
Intellijel Quadra is a compact quad EG
Make Noise Maths (currently under revision to include S/H) can do envelopes/mixing/LFO/attenuverting/slew/trigger delay and a whole lot more.


Order twice as many patchcables as you think you need, and dont forget multiples and/or stackcables.
Old 20th September 2012
  #20
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If you really want to go for a one manufacturer system, I can whole heartedly recommend Oakley modules. You can get their MOTM format modules for about the same price as eurorack modules from other manufacturers. Oakley's stuff is top notch. Very high quality sound and build. Check their catalogue from here:

Oakley Sound Systems: Analogue Synthesizer Modules and Synthesiser Repair

On that page there is also a link to Krisp1's page. You can order ready built modules from his site. Highly recommended!

Note that Oakley modules pack more power than is instantly obvious by looking at the modules' front panels. There are usually very handy "hidden" features. You'd better read the module descriptions when you browse through the catalogue. Especially handy are their ADSRs. Also check the COTA filter: there's a feedback input to create your own flavour resonances.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOTARE ➑️
Knowing what I have been used to using (Jupiters, Prophets, Moogs, Korgs, SH Rolands, CS Yamahas, blah de blah) and knowing that I'd like to have these tones in a modular but also the ability to find new tones and feelings through more mod and x-mod options, do you think this would be the best bet for someone like myself?
Sounds like you want UHE Diva.
Old 21st September 2012
  #22
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Nothing useful to add, but I like your youtube beats Kotare
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jizmatron ➑️
Nothing useful to add, but I like your youtube beats Kotare
Cheers mate. I'm in New Zealand also, in Dunedin after a stint in Wellington. I see from some threads you are feeling the whole classic Chicago + Detroit sound. I'm a fan also.
Old 21st September 2012
  #24
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🎧 10 years
Best vintage sound for that price is micromac.. most sound design a accurate circuits would be a used Cwejman S1 Mk2

Sent from my DROIDX
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rust Creep ➑️
Best vintage sound for that price is micromac.. most sound design a accurate circuits would be a used Cwejman S1 Mk2
Appreciated. The Macbeth stuff, it has a Moog-ish sound from the clips I've heard. I've never really been a huge fan of that wet bottom end.

The Cwejman looks amazing and I think I am more in that direction. Because I already have some nice analog synths here that give me the growling wubwub lazer noise thing I want instead to find something that has quality OSCs but can take them into interesting, new sonic territory.

Thank you.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
you can never have too many wubwub laser noises.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #27
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Old 21st September 2012
  #28
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🎧 10 years
What about the pittsburgh foundation?
Old 21st September 2012
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Someone mentioned sexy?

Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mans ➑️
Someone mentioned sexy?
So this modular here, what are its pros and cons? What is its best kind of application? This is one of the "complete" kind of modules I've been looking hard at...
πŸ“ Reply

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