So I was thinking about getting a synth to feed my DT and it occurred to me that I might be able to take a small and measured step into eurorack. I don’t have the money for a massive modular system and I’m not sure I’m interested in that anyway. But what I was thinking is that if I got a small powered case and started with one or 2 oscillator modules then even if I just record drone notes to use as the basis for DT sound design then it’s a good baby step. I wouldn’t even need envelopes and VCAs if I understand correctly. The DT could also sequence stuff in the future if I get a MIDI to CV/gate module and then I can go as far as I want down that path if I get the bug for it.
It even occurred to me that some eurorack modules have built in envelopes or LPG so I can do some sound shaping if I want to sequence and/or sample plucky sounds etc. Something like mutable plaits or something else with a built in simple envelope would give me a lot of variety at a cheap entry point.
To give more context - I started thinking about a budget analog synth like a microbrute or monologue but I honestly don’t want the keys and I have very limited space. I figure that with eurorack I can add more sound sources over time and still use the DT as the “brain” of my setup for the foreseeable future. Or, indeed, I can go down the modular path if I want to.
I reckon I can get a small powered “pod” type case and an output module and a sound source for about £500. The alternative would be to spend that money on fun “pocket” synths like volcas etc where I can spend less and it’s more piecemeal.
I welcome any suggestions or ideas. I’m fairly open minded at this stage.
Just remember don’t feed it after midnight or it might turn into
Joking aside, something wavetable based could be a great source and can provide a lot of mileage, 0coast also could be a good partner both as a source of samples and to be sequenced from the DT, as well as an entry into the hole of modular, the semi modular nature of it means that with a very small system a lot can be achieved.
As I own an A4, I have looked at a small modular setup to take advantage of the A4’s CV capabilities and MI Plaits, in a Doepfer small case, is one obvious option.
However, if I owned a DT, which has 8 MIDI tracks, I would not look at modular and specifically not Plaits, which is a digital synth.
For similar money you can get a Blofield, a second hand Virus Snow or even an Electribe 2 all of which are way more powerful synths than Plaits.
With a small Eurorack system I would strongly advise you to use an Octatrack. I’ve just picked up a secondhand OT and am amazed at what I can do with samples compared to the DT. I’m keeping my DT but it has a very specific set of functions that don’t really match the versatility of the OT.
One thing I love about the DT is the USB monitoring. So I can feed a VST synth (lets say Reaktor) through the DT and into the OT where I can sample and mangle using scenes and parts etc. Or I can sample into the DT and then make some changes, create patterns, which get processed through the OT.
Long story short - for maximum sampling mayhem and creativity it would be better to add an OT to your DT setup before you go down the Eurorack route.
That’s what I thought half a year ago by getting into Eurorack modular synth. It keeps growing, and by now I do DIY modules.
It can only be “small and measured” using digital modules but you already got a digital Drum computer/ sampler/ Wavetable synth.
As recommended above, I would choose a semi-modular synth such as 0-coast (small and measured that one is for sure). If you still wanna go modular some time down the road, you could put the 0-Coast into the Eurorack as you first module and expand from there.
Wait for NAMM. Its rumored that Korg will release a Volca Westcoast. With patchpoints. Might be great Sample fodder Source.
“I’m going to take a small and measured hit of crack”
Why not a moog mother 32 ? Awsome semi modular…
Buy a big case. You’ll need it.
I had a feeling you guys would give me a load of sh*t about a small step into eurorack. I guess I had it coming!
Thanks for the suggestions. I’m gonna spend a bit more time looking at hardware synth options. The mother 32 and DFAM both look great and I’ve played with a 0-coast before and that had its own unique charms. As a personal preference I’m leaning more towards something with a more immediate knob-per-function interface which is why I was never interested in an Electribe or Circuit for example because they just look too menu-driven and annoying. I might as well use all the soft synths and DAWs that I already own. I’ve gone totally cold on that now. I’d rather spend 5x the money and get real pleasure from a piece of hardware. I haven’t touched a DAW for weeks since I got my DT and I don’t miss it at all.
Keep an eye out for second hand cases - as peoples systems expand and they have to buy bigger cases their original starter case will often go for fairly cheap.
My first case, 1 row of Doepfer 84HP, had already passed through 2 or 3 people before me.
And second hand modules too.
Check out VCV Rack. …that’s the cheapest step into eurorack I’ve found
Hi @bradleyallen. I apologise for causing stress! To be very specific, what I was saying is that if I want to sample drone notes from a eurorack oscillator then I don’t need to shape the sound by feeding the output into a VCA which is shaped by some envelope or other control voltage. The idea was to have a source of long samples with timbral variation (I turn a knob by hand) over time so that I can sample that and use it as my starting point for sound design within my DT.
I fully understand that if I want to create a full “synth voice” within eurorack then I need other building blocks for shaping amplitude, filters etc over time using envelopes, LFOs, VCAs etc. I apologise if I wasn’t clear!
On an unrelated note, I am considering my options for a desktop synth that I can sequence or sample.
If you go Eurorack you definitively will need envelopes and VCAs! And attenuaters as well as attenuverters. Also some form of random Source. The sequencing power can come from the DT via Midi/CV modul but sometimes its nice to have a sequencer inside the modular too and CV control that from a random Source, e.g. to do different clock dividing etc. My wise advice. Set yourself a limit how large the system should grow. I Limited my System to 3U, 104HP which is for me Perfect and already prevented me to spend too much Money. Set yourself also the Goals you want to achieve with the system and then start buying modules. And VCAs…you cant have enough of em…
What modules do your 3u setup contain? I’m still trying to put together a small modular myself, mostly modules that are multi-functional.
I am not Sure If this is for any use to you. This is highly chosen for my needs.
The system is supposed to be a self contained soundscape creator, which can be utilized also for Standard east coast Synthesis, but also for Sound Exploration and Sound Design. Also great to mangle or accompany any other synth i have. Digitakt, Keystep, A4, Peak, Digitone.
i would definitely go semi modular to start. only because it gives you all the basic building blocks that you can get dedicated modules for later on that still can be patched together easily.
Any full synth voice, modular or semi modular containing osc+filter+envelope+lfo paired with a reverb module or fx pedal that can go into infinite decay will get you in drone territory VERY fast.
Had the same idea about a year ago. I am currently 2200 Euros deep. We are not kidding about the addiction.
Buy a monologue or minitaur. Or even better a Bastl Kastl which is amazing for drones.