Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

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frenchcustard
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Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by frenchcustard »

it seems to me there are much easier and cheaper ways to make techno so what advantages have you found using eurorack over a couple of table top devices or a laptop? I’m not trying to crap on anyone’s process, genuinely curious
if it doesn't involve sonics, my interest in any module is in the 0% ballpark
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by transistorresistor »

for sure there are cheaper and easier and many would likely aruge better ways to make techno but how many of have the tone that you wind up with from using a verbos system, and how many of them deliver you at a track that is a product of the constraints present in said system? This guy is a member here, check out his channel, he's making tracks that are a great example of how imo uniquely awesome a verbos system can sound. Is it worth the trouble? To many, no totally not. But if this is the sound you hear in your head, what else delivers like this?

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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by thelowerrhythm »

There’s a lot more to something than on-paper efficacy or cost. Workflow means a lot in the creative process. I teach visual art for a living and am constantly confronted with students who either dislike something or feel uninspired until the right tools are in their hands.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by Joe. »

frenchcustard wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:35 pm it seems to me there are much easier and cheaper ways to make techno so what advantages have you found using eurorack over a couple of table top devices or a laptop? I’m not trying to crap on anyone’s process, genuinely curious
At the moment I'm using my Euro to create a voice (normally a bass). Gives me plenty of freedom to come up with a unique timbre when I'm placing it in a track.
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fac
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by fac »

My personal reasons:

1) Because I don't only make techno. I can make techno, ambient, drone, noise, IDM and other kinds of music with the same modular system.

2) Because it's actually easy enough to make techno with my modular. Once you know how to patch and sequence certain basic sounds, you can get a techno track going in a few minutes. Even faster if you have drum modules. Sure, it's still not as fast as pressing play on a 909, but it's just another approach.

3) It's actually a great way to show people how to work on a modular synth. I've done a few talks and short workshops on modular synthesis and always end up doing a techno track and people go nuts. Much more than if I did anything more abstract.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by luketeaford »

Modular isn't tied to a grid in the way that Ableton etc. is. You can get around that limitation with Max or something but then you have to make a bunch of patches to do it (fun but time consuming). A hardware modular running on slightly imperfect clocks or just a series of linked envelope generators making techno is a cool way to go about it-- something sounding rhythmic but that evolves out of its own patching rather than predetermined and refined in a special environment.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by Dragonaut »

The sound. Once you know you’re way around it’s almost easy to make inspired and unique techno on a modular system. It was a hardware based music in the first place and I think euro lets you get into that zone easily.
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wont
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by wont »

When I’m doing stuff just in a DAW I find that I spend a disproportionate amount of time fussing with plug ins, tweaking presets, and swapping things in and out. The options become overwhelming, the process starts to feel like channel surfing, and the results can be muddy and disappointing. When I’m doing stuff with an MPC or Elektron box, I get more engaged in the process but often feel like what comes out the other end is a bit generic or somehow sounds like a product of that device. When I’m doing stuff with modular it seems like more of an exploration that has a high ratio of happy accidents and unique sounds. The combination of trying something I might have seen in a video or read about here with a “wonder what would happen if…” attitude regularly results in “holy shit where did that come from.” It’s just fun.

When I need to sequence, record, arrange, or mix I’m very glad to have a DAW to rely on, but when looking for an inspiring sound or loop to want to record, modular provides the best starting point for me. It’s also the part I look forward to the most.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by wuff_miggler »

eurorack is good for the "wtf moments".
i'd rather masturbate with sandpaper than trying to arrange something on a nerdseq for example.
or doing repeating melodies/structured melodies.
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robotsarered
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by robotsarered »

I feel like eurorack just lends itself so well for techno with less effort. In general modular is pretty "on grid" unless you consciously push it off. And its easy to get repetitive melodies, and then you just play with filters and muting/unmuting sections. It takes much more effort to get melodic progressions and B and C sides to songs. Modular can do anything really, but if I'm just patching up a quick jam, it always comes out techno-ish at first.

For example my first step in a lot of patches is just getting a 4 on the floor kick going to follow the tempo and it just evolves from there.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by GuyaGuy »

I don't make techno but modular seems like a good choice for it. Techno is almost always vamp-based. It's more about the variations within a simple structure than complex chord progressions and wiggling is a good way to get variations. In the 90s I'd see DJs just play songs through laptop and just fiddle with just sweeps and delay amount. Euro is that times 1000 parameters, including remixing or even making the song in realtime.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by SunSpots »

thelowerrhythm wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:51 pm There’s a lot more to something than on-paper efficacy or cost. Workflow means a lot in the creative process. I teach visual art for a living and am constantly confronted with students who either dislike something or feel uninspired until the right tools are in their hands.
This is exactly what’s going on with me.
"... I am constantly confronted with students who either dislike something or feel uninspired until the right tools are in their hands." - thelowerrhythm
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by ATW »

Modular oozes techno. It’s on the grid with just a few clocks and mults, but with a mechanical funk of its own that you wouldn’t be likely to replicate elsewhere. And like Luke said, the sum of all of the slightly wonky synching gives it a particular charm. That’s all before you start getting into intentionally wonky clocking, stuff like variable comparator swing, using resets to force out-of-sync things back together on the 1, etc.

Then sound design—make all your own stuff. Bizzaro feedback-derived drum kits, pinged filters into wavefolders, wave splicing, self-patched reverb into an LPG, krell, whatever gets you somewhere. Roll your own analog kick, and have each hit be a little bit different, do some kind of crispy parallel processing of the highs, and go to sleep knowing that nobody (possibly not even you) will be able to find *exactly* that kick drum again.

No need to use traditional notes and piano roll. Quantize to any scale, or not. Sequence in any idiosyncratic, stochastic, generative, or prescriptive way that makes sense (vs Elektron’s way*) and create musical focal points with timbre and texture as the ‘melody’.

Use analog BBDs, spring reverbs, feedback, analog logic, and all the nonlinear flavors of the rainbow.

^ then, mess around with everything, perform the patch and get weird, and take all of the tracks (and any choice one-shots and loops along the way) and bring them into the DAW, (if desired). Rearrange, resample, and re-process in the modular again. Maybe by now you’ve created a small library of sounds, you load them up in a drum sampler or whatever gear is around, reconstruct some more techno with your own stuff.

* not knocking Elektron, I’m a fan of the Digitakt.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by ATW »

If I hadn’t fallen under the spell of modular hardware I’d likely be doing techno with VCV Rack / Ableton / M4L and Max and similar. That plus some controllers and such wouldn’t be cheap as chips, but it would be way more cost effective than primarily hardware. I mean a laptop is limitless in ways that hardware isn’t—you can create a software environment or Max patch etc that is incredibly flexible with macro control and deeply featured. You just have to embrace that laptop/controller-brain mindset, and then get rewarded (or cursed depending on your POV) by a near infinite number of virtual modules and voices and complex samplers, vsts, etc.

And then somewhere in the middle is a hybrid mix of hardware/software. Maybe a drum machine + modular voice(s), a desktop synth or other sampler/noise maker/processor. There’s probably an optimal mix for each person where the various interface paradigms complement each other, vs brain overload.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by dubonaire »

It’s fun.
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far
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by far »

Tbh euro seems perfect for techno.

You could ask why use euro for anything?

Or why do anything at all ever?
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by Jasonic »

I started building a modular system because I was bored with music. I used countless desktop techno machines, and computer programs, groove boxes, and drum machines, still have them all(I am a hoarder for instruments). I always felt limited to the circuitry in the box. I was bored with the sounds, and knew that there was another world of electronic music (techno) to explore. When I started making beats in the 80's, the word Techno was the same as electronic music. Thats what all the old people called it anyways. Creating your own modular system is an amazing way to make music of any kind. It's a way to express your own voice, because you put together this system. It feels even better when you DIY modules. I guess a lot of it has to do with the journey rather than the destination. I feel that my personal modular system is much easier to write some banging techno than any desktop box that I know of. I am also a woodworker, and building cases is really fun.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by robotsarered »

Jasonic wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:27 pm I started building a modular system because I was bored with music. I used countless desktop techno machines, and computer programs, groove boxes, and drum machines, still have them all(I am a hoarder for instruments). I always felt limited to the circuitry in the box. I was bored with the sounds, and knew that there was another world of electronic music (techno) to explore. When I started making beats in the 80's, the word Techno was the same as electronic music. Thats what all the old people called it anyways. Creating your own modular system is an amazing way to make music of any kind. It's a way to express your own voice, because you put together this system. It feels even better when you DIY modules. I guess a lot of it has to do with the journey rather than the destination. I feel that my personal modular system is much easier to write some banging techno than any desktop box that I know of. I am also a woodworker, and building cases is really fun.
Well said. Personally I just really prefer hardware over software. It feels more... real to me. And I have really grown to love the ephemeral quality of eurorack. It's like making chalk drawings. You make it, record it, and when you unpatch, you'll never get that exact sound again. It helps me keep things moving and just getting lost in daily/weekly jams.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by dburpasaurus »

dubonaire wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:18 pm It’s fun.
bingo. Modular does not optimize for cost / efficiency / diversity. But it’s very enjoyable. If you don’t like it don’t do it. Simple.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by Yes Powder »

why would you use hardware to make techno?
it seems to me there are much easier and cheaper ways to make techno so what advantages have you found using hardware over Reaper and some free plugins? I’m not trying to crap on anyone’s process, genuinely curious
Everyone wants to be analog until it's time to do some analog shit.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by wuff_miggler »

^ you'll find most artists find it easier to feel like they are so - much easier behind some fancy hardware - than a laptop and plugins.
some of the best and most fwd thinking music i know of is made purely with software :)
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dubonaire
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by dubonaire »

dburpasaurus wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:41 pm
dubonaire wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:18 pm It’s fun.
bingo. Modular does not optimize for cost / efficiency / diversity. But it’s very enjoyable. If you don’t like it don’t do it. Simple.
Well I think it does some things more efficiently than a non-modular approach if you know what you're doing.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by Stu B »

I’m mainly into techno, early tech house and minimal. I’m acutely aware that I could buy an Elektron or whatever for a tenth the price and poke away at that (it’s a source of internal debate on and almost daily basis), but the weird and fruitful side alleys a modular will lead you down are just too good to miss.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by Polarflux »

I think in some sense the question is wrong. The question should be “Why did techno create Eurorack?” And now the answer is obvious.
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Re: Why would you use eurorack to make techno?

Post by medium Rob »

Perpetual indeterminacy. endless ways to shape and control sounds, with directness / immediacy, always learning. it's totally immersive. eurorack can sound fantastic, raw, substantial, unpredictable, "alive", etc. The immediacy of it is unlike anything else, maybe similar to playing acoustic instruments, electric guitar, etc. ... I haven't experienced this sense or feeling of 'play' with Elektron boxes (yet) - the sounds I make with a standalone synthesizer / sampler / sequencer often feel limited, canned, etc. in comparison.
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