My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

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Faru
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My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Faru »

Hello wigglers!

I was thinking to get some feedback on my first case. I read quite a bit and it seems all the ambient cases are the same out there, with mostly mutable instruments. I played quite a bit with them in vcv rack, but they didnt excite me too much. I am already making music some years (click the links in my footer if you are interested in the style). I make mostly ambient or drone and have tons of field recordings from my travels around Asia. I use those mainly as sound sources rather than oscillators.

Its kind of base this case on my workflow of ableton, meaning I put the field recordings into the grain synth until I find something to build melodies and pads from it or through a resonator, put fx on it and resample and do it again :)

I already have the assimil8or, pams new workout and the f8r as well as the wasp filter and the external fx, which was quite a steep investent as a starting point, but hopefully gives enough fun to play with.
I dont need internal effects as I have plenty of pedals like the strymon el capistan, hologram electronics, black hole, moisturizer and a few others.

I am just curious if there are any important / basic modules missing. what do you think? I guess with having 8 tracks on the assimil8or, I cant have enough filters.

thanks in advance!
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James_S
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by James_S »

I have the PM but it's seems overkill with so few voices/ FX unless you plan on expanding this/ or will be running external gear into it.
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bronzebygold
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by bronzebygold »

It looks like you have no VCAs? That's going to be a problem. Also if this were my rack, I'd find Pam's and ochd to be far too little modulation for a case with so many huge and powerful modules. This is like putting a V8 engine in a golf cart. You really don't have the drive train here to control Assimil8or + Panharmonium + arbhar + filters.

I'd recommend against getting WMD Performance mixer in a case this size. You're probably better off using that space to add some utilities.
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Raindeer »

Oh yeh this one is really interesting and I can see you’ve given it some thought. I reckon you can minimize it a bit.

A few thoughts: Perhaps switch the Performance Mixer for a SSF Vortices (smaller and included expander has some VCAs that you’re missing). Also I’d switch Shelves for a Xaoc Katowice. Add an interesting Reverb (Desmodus Versio maybe). You also need some attenuversion for your modulations like MI Shades or similar.
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by 1n »

^ yep, in addition to PNW and Ochd, attenuvertors, sample and hold, VCAs and/or mixers would make all the difference - and you could make space for Shades, Veils and Stages, just to give three of my favourites as examples, by removing the performance mixer

i don't suppose you'd be lacking sound sources with the Assiml8or
Last edited by 1n on Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
mark_blacket
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by mark_blacket »

for ambient you'd want to have a lot of different slow modulations and vcas, just pam and ochd won't be enough, I'd suggest taking a look at sloths by nlc and some variation on buchla's source of uncertsinty
also I wouldn't count on pam for modulations too much, it's too restrictive and its dac is 10 or 12 bit, can't remember, but you'll get noticeable zipper noise when modulating amplitude of more mellow sounds
also, performance mixer is definitely an overkill, as previously mentioned
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Faru
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Faru »

thanks all! really appreciate the help and recommendations! I am still trying to wrap my mind around. loving the videos I see from the SSF Vortices, really nice! I added the modules I already have like the forbidden planet and the forbidden planet is not too exciting sound-wise.

Wouldnt I need a mixer with 8 channels at some point or I guess I can just mix them up and wont always need 8 separate channels. I kind of liked the Happy Nerding FX aid as a small fx unit, otherwise stick to the external FX. But tempted by the Strymon starlab. I love all the strymon pedals so far. had the big sky, but now mostly using the eventide black hole. not sure if a reverb module would make sense.

I also have some synth like the peaks, mircofreak, subharmonicon I could bring it with the input of the rossum or send / return modules

Thanks again for the great help!
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Sonic0boom
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Sonic0boom »

Faru wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:43 pm I love all the strymon pedals so far. had the big sky, but now mostly using the eventide black hole. not sure if a reverb module would make sense.
You'll be happy to know that the FX Aid has both Big Sky and Black Hole inspired effects :sb:

For the mixer, do you really expect to have up to 8 voices running? I recently switched to an outboard mixer and am very happy with that decision. If you are working with external gear, it's a good way to get them all together.
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by camo livers »

You may want to look at Lucy Says No by wildfire labs and the drone commander by rare waves.



Faru wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:43 pm thanks all! really appreciate the help and recommendations! I am still trying to wrap my mind around. loving the videos I see from the SSF Vortices, really nice! I added the modules I already have like the forbidden planet and the forbidden planet is not too exciting sound-wise.

Wouldnt I need a mixer with 8 channels at some point or I guess I can just mix them up and wont always need 8 separate channels. I kind of liked the Happy Nerding FX aid as a small fx unit, otherwise stick to the external FX. But tempted by the Strymon starlab. I love all the strymon pedals so far. had the big sky, but now mostly using the eventide black hole. not sure if a reverb module would make sense.

I also have some synth like the peaks, mircofreak, subharmonicon I could bring it with the input of the rossum or send / return modules

Thanks again for the great help!
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Faru
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Faru »

Sonic0boom wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:32 pm
Faru wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:43 pm I love all the strymon pedals so far. had the big sky, but now mostly using the eventide black hole. not sure if a reverb module would make sense.
You'll be happy to know that the FX Aid has both Big Sky and Black Hole inspired effects :sb:

For the mixer, do you really expect to have up to 8 voices running? I recently switched to an outboard mixer and am very happy with that decision. If you are working with external gear, it's a good way to get them all together.
great to hear with the FX Aid, I hope its available again. I only see the bigger version on reverb, but the smaller one would be enough. but then more fx is not the priority atm and I will start with other modules. will add some S&H as well.

Im not sure tbh, I will see and start with one mixer. I could start using the zones in the assimil8or and collect some one shots within one sample If i need a lot. In my ableton tracks I usually have somewhat 10+ tracks running, so probably have to rethink some ways of doing. I have an old Tascam 16 track mixer and one A&H z14, where I have some feedback loops going on with the 4 aux feeding into each other with various delays in there. but those mixers are not portable at all.

I think for now I have enough input and modules to try and think about! Cant wait (although my wallet is crying hard with all of this) :love:

can stages be used as a sample and hold or should I get a separate module? also what do you think about MI tides instead of stages?
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by etckla »

Faru wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:54 am can stages be used as a sample and hold or should I get a separate module? also what do you think about MI tides instead of stages?
Stages makes a great cv sample and hold as it is digital and does not droop. You can also manually offset the sampled voltage with the slider. (Though maybe look into it more if you're looking to use s&h for bitcrushing of audio signals as Stages isn't really designed to handle audio)

Stages is more of a "swiss army knife" than Tides. Tides specialises in related envelopes and oscillation. I'm tempted by the idea of having both!
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by steevolution »

etckla wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:20 am
Faru wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:54 am can stages be used as a sample and hold or should I get a separate module? also what do you think about MI tides instead of stages?
Stages makes a great cv sample and hold as it is digital and does not droop. You can also manually offset the sampled voltage with the slider. (Though maybe look into it more if you're looking to use s&h for bitcrushing of audio signals as Stages isn't really designed to handle audio)

Stages is more of a "swiss army knife" than Tides. Tides specialises in related envelopes and oscillation. I'm tempted by the idea of having both!
Stages is great once you learn how to patch each mode. I often find myself needing an additional LFO/decay envelope/slew/gate delay/S&H and stages gives you six of those in any combination. I rarely group the channels together since each one is so useful by itself. I like having it along side PNW, since it can do unsynced LFOs. My only complaint is that I wish there was a way to attenuate the signals. Taming 6 8V eats up a lot of attenuators.
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Faru
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Faru »

thanks for clarification! I went for cheapest modules now, so shades and for the time being the Doepfer A-145-4 VE and will order the SSF Vortices soon. I will get more modules when the budget is there, but that hopefully is a good starting point for now.

also realising now that I need tons of attenuverters and vcas 8-)
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by clusterchord »

Sonic0boom wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:32 pm For the mixer, do you really expect to have up to 8 voices running? I recently switched to an outboard mixer and am very happy with that decision. If you are working with external gear, it's a good way to get them all together.
+1

in a small case like this where space is at premium, and considering OP stated he already has effects/reverbs in pedals, to me it seems quite logical to incorporate external mixer. i'd feed the final vca output from each of the "voices" directly to a separate mixer channel, and connect all the pedals via aux send/return bus. like wise, if you have a voice that has pan automation connect it as dual mono.

this will leave room for much needed modulation and utilities.

as for effects, similarly, if there's pedals already, no need to squeeze one in the rack at all cost. that said, if there is an effect that imo warrants cv control more than others, it's stereo delay. especially in ambient setting it can make a big difference. i'd look at chronoblob v2, versios etc.
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Dadodetres
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Dadodetres »

I also play drone ambient (and generative).

First thing that comes to mind is: do you want to go more towards generative and "perform" as little ass possible? or do you want to perform?
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Sonic0boom »

And just to expand on using an outboard mixer, i use NW2S IO to multitrack out to a Tascam 12 mixer. I have some external mics requiring phantom power and use the aux out back into the modular.
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Dadodetres »

I wonder how you plan to use the F8R ?
Are those 8 channels of offset CV? In my big ambient rack I use 4 sources of DC offset at most:
1 TURN! TURN! as DC for main LFO speed, which controls the movement of the main LFO (Batumi) and the second channel as a fine tuner for a droneing the 4ms ensemble oscillator.(those are just examples, I wonder how do you plan to use them)
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/frequency ... -turn-turn
And the 2nd source of DC is a Vermona quadroPol:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/vermona-quadropol
which has 4 channels that can either work as DC, of attenuinverters, or other things....
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by parallaxmemory »

steevolution wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:20 am Stages is great once you learn how to patch each mode. I often find myself needing an additional LFO/decay envelope/slew/gate delay/S&H and stages gives you six of those in any combination. I rarely group the channels together since each one is so useful by itself. I like having it along side PNW, since it can do unsynced LFOs. My only complaint is that I wish there was a way to attenuate the signals. Taming 6 8V eats up a lot of attenuators.
Agree. Having to attenuate Stages LFO, erm.. stages, almost makes it bothersome for LFO duties. It would have been more useful to me, albeit a little more inscrutable in use, to have the mode button have a few more options to accommodate LFO shapes including bi-polar, and then have the knob be an attenuverter. I know there are some alt firmwares out there, but I am not sure they do this. I am shopping right now for small hp attenuverters to use with Stages.
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by etckla »

parallaxmemory wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:17 pm
steevolution wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:20 am Stages is great once you learn how to patch each mode. I often find myself needing an additional LFO/decay envelope/slew/gate delay/S&H and stages gives you six of those in any combination. I rarely group the channels together since each one is so useful by itself. I like having it along side PNW, since it can do unsynced LFOs. My only complaint is that I wish there was a way to attenuate the signals. Taming 6 8V eats up a lot of attenuators.
Agree. Having to attenuate Stages LFO, erm.. stages, almost makes it bothersome for LFO duties. It would have been more useful to me, albeit a little more inscrutable in use, to have the mode button have a few more options to accommodate LFO shapes including bi-polar, and then have the knob be an attenuverter. I know there are some alt firmwares out there, but I am not sure they do this. I am shopping right now for small hp attenuverters to use with Stages.
I hear you but I'm not sure id single out Stages for lacking attenuation. It's not a common feature on lfos and, you're much more likely to find it on inputs. Searching on here will find a few threads about lfo alternatives with attenuation (although Stages itself is unique)

also Don't forget that some VCAs (ie those with a bias control) can be used as basic manual attenuators. And it'll give you voltage control of the attenuation which can enable some interesting stuff (I realise this is kind of obvious and the whole point of VCAs but since it's a beginner afvive thread I'll leave it here for people to read :) )
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Faru »

Dadodetres wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:57 pm I also play drone ambient (and generative).

First thing that comes to mind is: do you want to go more towards generative and "perform" as little ass possible? or do you want to perform?
yes, good question. Def. perform!

This was my reason for getting the f8r module. Yes they are all for CV. I currently use it to offset the note ranges on the PNW, but also to change the loop length and loop starting point of my samples. This could all be modulated of course, but I kind of like the hands on and manual tweaking on those parameters. I could also let me perform the release and attack times of the samples. But I agree, im not sure I need all 8 for now and could make space for something else with a smaller module. Or actually could states do the same right?

I also like the idea of using the external mixer and will check out nw2s::io Thanks for all the info once again!

Edit:
this would be the current setup, removing the f8r and replacing it with 2 x 4tten (if available). not sure what the best placement for the modules are, but to. be found out. 8-)
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Re: My first Eurorack for feedback (for drone & ambient)

Post by Faru »

Hello wigglers,

I now have a few modules and preparing mainly samples for the Assimil8or, which is already fun.

I was about to order the vortices mixer, as I like everything about it. But then realised it has no send / return. I wonder if you have a recommendation or is there a way to somehow create some send return path. I like how compact the vortices is and every other mixer I look up, which has send return has 4 channels only and would therefore require a lot of space. I can only think of a tiny 2hp mixer so sum up the signals I want to send to my fx and put the return to one of the vortices mixer. Any ideas appreciated!
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