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Old 11th July 2016 | Show parent
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Originally Posted by Yoozer ➡️

CV/Gate is the default language for modular.

However, the Elements alone is not likely to be enough by itself, but I'll leave that to others to tell you what stuff you need.
There are other tricks to get several voices... if you've seen my Youtube videos, I have a small (but powerful) two row system that can have multiple voices going... and I only have one VCA... I know the mantra is "you can never have too many VCAs" but, what if you want droning parts? Or what if you have a full voice module that doesn't require additional VCAs?

Incidentally, for the OP, if he wants the Elements, that would be pretty much all he needs as it does have it's own internal VCA as well as Reverb! And besides being able to "Bow" "Blow" and "Strike" there are hidden synth modes in Elements, as in most Mutable Instruments modules. (Also, their Braids module by the way also has a built-in VCA that you can turn on or off.)

In my case, I use their Warps module as a VCA, even though it's technically not a dedicated VCA module (it's a Crossfading/Wavefolding/Ring Modulating/Bit Comparator/Vocoder that happens to also act as a VCA. And with the alternative firmware loaded... )

Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➡️
Wise advice. You can't afford not to!

One thing I'll add, as a devil's advocate (Now that needs an emoji), is that modular has a non monetary cost that isn't spoken of that much. Time. I'm just dipping my toes in the kiddy pool of modular (System 1m/Mother 32) and I do already see that the format begs for experimentation in a way that fixed synths do not. Different than software modular too, in the sense that at least after I'm done building a patch in Reaktor I can make a bunch of snapshots for it and return to them. At that point it becomes no different than any other software synth. I personally want to revisit sounds all the time. I kind of feel that "curating" the instruments in a piece is a big part of the process, and with modular, one of the instruments tends to be tabla rasa or something other than what you want next. Think of it like decorating your new home, but one of your paintings is an Etch-a-Sketch and it always gets shaken blank by the movers so you just don't have to think where you're going to put it, you have to remake what it was showing if you want that again. (You may not) So, for me, that helps put the "breaks" on how large I'm going to let this get, if I let it get any larger. I probably will, or at least make it different than it currently is. I don't foresee myself letting it get too out of hand though, G.A.S. or not. The ability to work nimbly and fast is too important to me to let it get out of hand. The main benefit to me, and I think the OP as well, is in the fact that I made a synth that no manufacturer would have made me.
I agree that it can be a "Time" thing a bit, but as with fixed synths, as long as you learn your instrument, there shouldn't be an issue. Most people today using fixed synths or software rely way too much on presets. I was fortunate enough to start on this stuff before preset synths were available (back in the 1970s with the Arp Odyssey, Korg MS-20, etc.) so if you just learn "synthesis" and what the knobs do on your particular synth, you should be able to create or recall any sound you like... same with modular. It takes me about 5 minutes to come up with a patch that I want. Seriously.

Also, modular is like Zen... as Buddhism states "nothing is permanent" and "live in the moment". So it is comforting to start with a clean slate each time and create something new and fresh... because, why retread what you've already done before?

Originally Posted by ergoton ➡️
Really! No, I didn't know that. Awesome!

I honestly consider getting one of these, but like I've said before, I will have to try one first. The next store that might have one is about 8 hrs away, so on some occasion it's going to happen.

I'd have two little questions about modular though (no experience at all, sorry),
1. are they all monophonic and 2. could I control the Elements using the CV outs from my Minibrute, for example? It has Gate and Pitch out. I see the Elements has Gate in... and Midi is out of the question, I gather.

Sorry for those noob questions, I'm more knowledgeable about subtractive, traditional keyboard synths and the musical side more than the tech side, but even though this side of synthesis is new to me it's great fun to explore.
Don't be sorry, these are good valid questions!

1. Yes and no. That is a tricky one. Yoozer pretty much explained it well, but there are exceptions/tricks/grey areas. But for the most part, yes, Monophonic, but with multiple voices happening (depending of course on how much you expand.)

2. Absolutely! I perform every month live with a bunch of modular guys and gals, and a lot of them use either their Minibrutes or Microbrutes to interact with their modular system!

Also, one of the best utilities out there that I highly recommend, is the Korg SQ-1 sequencer. It's only $99 new and you could use it to sequence your Minibrute, any MIDI synths, your modular stuff... I have two of them!

And MIDI is not out of the question... there are many MIDI to CV modules out there. When I worked for Synthrotek, they had a good simple MIDI/CV module that I tested and works really well. With it, you could sequence your modules from your DAW, or use a MIDI keyboard to control CV parameters on your module.

And with that, I will leave you with a couple of videos for inspiration... not my best work, but hopefully you'll be able to hear what all can be done with a fairly small setup (and as you'll see, I don't do "bleeps and bloops" nor do I do techno.)