Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some Wiard for Xmas

A few days ago I received three new Malekko/Wiard modules: the "Unkle" Oscillator, the Boogie filter, and the Noisering. The first stage of my euro modular is now almost complete.

Here is a picture of the system in its current context:

Top to bottom, left to right: Tascam US-800 USB audio interface, rack case with FutureRetro Mobius sequencer and Malekko/Wiard eurorack modular system, Korg EA-1, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro mixer, Korg ER-1 with Korg Monotron, Nord Lead 3, and iPad 2 with Multitrack DAW.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Samplecorder in da house

This module allows one to record audio snippets and play them back at any speed/pitch. I can't wait to try some sequencer-controlled resampling.

Also, I've run out of cabinet space and had to take out one module to try the samplecorder. I will fix that as soon as posible.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New album featuring the modular synth

My new album Hexagon has been finished and it has modular sounds all over it.

Visit my music site to download it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More euro stuff

I sold my Waldorf XT (superb synth but had not used it for a couple years) and Allen&Heath ZED-14 mixer, and purchased a few more eurorack modules: second Anti-Oscillator, second Envelator, VCA and 8NU8R (attenuator). This is how the little euro guy looks right now:

The Wiard modules behave quite differently from the dotcom stuff. I can't wait to start recording music with these.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Current state

I have not posted any recent pictures of the full 5U modular, so here it is:

Modulation Orgy

I just received a new module: the Synthetic Sound Labs (SSL) Tap Tempo LFO, aka, the Modulation Orgy. Although I haven't had any chance to use it, it looks like a very cool module: it's an LFO that syncs to a clock signal (e.g., from a sequencer or drum machine) and thus can sync to tempo, it has 8 different waveforms, which can be distorted by changing the ratio of the durations of each half-period (e.g., for the squarewave this amounts to classic PWM), and it also has a frequency multiplier. But the best thing is that each parameter is voltage-controlled, so this thing should be able to output some interesting modulating signals.

On the other hand, this module filled the remaining empty spaces on my portable cabinets, which means I'm unable to add any more modules until I buy first a couple of rack frames, and even then, I'll only have 8-12 spaces left! And no space for another cabinet.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New modular, new format

When I was going to buy my first modular, I really wanted a Wiard Series 300 system, but they were very expensive and out of production, so I went with a system instead.

A few years later, Malekko Heavy Industry started implementing Wiard designs in the (much cheaper) Eurorack format. I decided to sell some other gear and try the Malekko stuff. I plan to build only a couple rows (ok, maybe three), and this is what I have so far of the first row.

Modules are: Malekko Output, MakeNoise/Wiard Wogglebug, Malekko/Wiard Anti-Oscillator, Malekko/Wiard Envelator, and Malekko/Wiard Borg 1 Filter. All supported and powered by a Tiptop Audio Happy Ending Kit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some new modules

After a few weeks of waiting, I finally received the following modules:

- 20Objects Ardcore 001 (arduino-based programmable interface)
- STG Soundlabs Wavefolder
- STG Soundlabs Signal Amplifiers (triple VCA)
- Oakley Multimix

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two new recordings

Here are two recent recordings of my modular synth with some other gear:

andsti plam - Modular synth, Elektron Machinedrum, Nord Lead 3, Roland HD-1, Korg Monotron

xipci function - Modular synth, Elektron Machinedrum, Nord Modular G2

These will probably become part of an upcoming album.

I'm also looking at adding another modular format in the near future.

Friday, March 4, 2011

1st Quarter 2011

I found an excellent deal on a Moon Modular 563V2 Trigger Sequencer, so I was able to scratch that off from my list. My "sequencing section" is now finished and looks like this:

Top row: Q119 Sequencer.
Bottom row: Q962 Sequential Switch, Q128 Switch, Q171/172 Quantizer Bank, Moon 563V2 Trigger Sequencer.

I also found a rare MAM RS3 Resonator, which is a bank of three vactrol-based bandpass filters with integrated LFO, envelope follower and CV input. Works great as part of my modular FX rack:

My next purchase, if I get a decent tax refund, will be some STG modules: Mankato Filter, Wavefolder and a mixer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

At the end of 2010

It didn't took me long to choose new modules. I started with my first non-dotcom module: the Synthethic Sound Labs 1310 VC Digital Delay. I also added some Megaohm Audio modules (their filters are great), and of course some stuff, like the new quantizer bank, a couple oscillators, and a very much needed power supply.

This is how the modular looked on December, 2010 (sorry for the crappy quality iPod photo):

In the course of 2011, I plan to move the Mobius sequencer to the top of the left stack and fill the 14 spaces left with modules from STG Soundlabs, Grove Audio, and

Here is a boring video of one of my new modules, the SSL Digital Delay:

The third cabinet

In September, 2010 I was still getting it together after the experience of buying a new house, but I decided to get a little something for my birthday. I found a cheap second-hand 22U rack cabinet (equivalent to 32 module spaces) and started planning how to spend my Xmas bonus.

The new home

I didn't add anything to the modular from April/2009 to May/2010, partly because I was saving for a new house, and partly because I "upgraded" a few pieces in my studio. In June/2010 I added a Moog MF-103 Phaser to the setup.

This is a picture of the modular in its new home, taken in August, 2010.

Here's another picture with the synth fully patched for a live jam (Sept. 15, 2010):

And you can hear a recording of the patch here: 0915.mp3.

Second cabinet full

By April, 2009 I had already filled the second cabinet. The last module I added was the Q119 Sequencer, a great companion to the Mobius. I also bought other Electrix boxes: WarpFactory and MoFX. These work great in a modular setup.

Here is a picture of the whole thing:

Eventually, I grouped the three Electrix boxes and the Mobius in a single rack:

Starting a second cabinet

In 2008 things were stable again, and I was able to get a second dotcom cabinet and a FutureRetro Mobius sequencer.

This is a picture from September, 2008 - click to see in full size:

With this setup, I started recording some live jams. Here are some videos:

2007 purchase hiatus

During the last third of 2006 and most of 2007, I had many changes in my life. After moving back to my hometown, having my income slashed nearly in half, and a baby coming, I couldn't afford any modular gear. At the end of 2007, I got a nice bonus and treated myself with a Nord Modular G2.

Here's a picture of all my modulars (though I later sold the Nord Micromodular):

First cabinet full

By August 2006, I had added a Q150 Transistor Ladder Filter, a Q125 Signal Processor, and a Q117 Sample & Hold. With my first cabinet already filled, I started including other gear (Yamaha E1010 analog delay and Electrix Filter Factory) into the modular paradigm.

Here's a patch using it all:

Here is one of the tracks recorded with this setup: 3xO+ks

One year later...

After a few months, I finished with the Entry-System plan, and started adding some extra modules. By June, 2006, I already had three oscillators, two envelopes, two amplifiers, noise source, mixer, multiples, SVF, and the MIDI interface. Only four spaces left in the cabinet.

The beginning

After some research, I decided to go with Roger Arrick's (dotcom) brand for my first modular. They are a Texas-based company with excellent customer service and the best price/quality ratio. I started with the Entry-System monthly payment plan, and asked Roger Arrick to hold the first shipments for a few months in order to save some shipping expenses, so when I received my first shipment, it already contained a minimal but workable selection of modules.

This is me opening my first package on July 2005.

As you can see, Roger packs his stuff extremely well.

What was inside? A nice portable cabinet with power source, Q137 Power Interface, Q104 MIDI Interface, Q106 Oscillator, Q107 State Variable Filter, Q108 Amplifier, Q109 Envelope, and a few patch cables.

My first patch: a typical oscillator->filter->amplifier with gain controlled by the envelope.

And this is the first thing I recorded with this system: Modular1 track. As you can hear, even such a minimal setup can achieve a wide range of sounds.

Welcome to Sintesote

Sintesizers are one of my passions, and modular synthesizers are my favorite.

In 2005, I started building an analog modular synth from In 5 years, my modular has grown quite a bit. I found some old pictures and decided it would be a good idea to write a (b)log about the progress of (becoming addicted to) building a modular.