Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, Joe.

Post Reply
User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:08 pm

I'd like to record some stuff from my Eurorack, but I'm putting this in Modular General b/c it's not euro specific.

I would like to be able to record tracks which could then be played back at various speeds, in reverse, looped, or any combination.

I'd like as many tracks as possible, but it's not essential to me that I can record more than a stereo/dual mono at once, although I wouldn't object to dual stereo/quad mono input. More than that would be overkill for me.

I'm not particularly looking to "sample" things in the "record a snippet and play it back pitched" or "build a drum kit out of recordings" sort of thing, I don't need it to handle sequencing or drum machines or anything like that.

I would like it to be relatively portable, ideally no wider than a Keystep and no deeper than a 6U case. Not one of the Expert Sleepers modules because I have no more rack space, and I may want to DI a guitar or non-euro synth in.

What I'm picturing is something like a Tascam PortaStudio (have one, love it) or a Zoom R24, but I don't think the Tascams do manipulation of the recordings like that, and the Zoom seems to have mixed reviews for how usable those features actually are.

Does such a thing exist in 2021? Lets say on a "realistic" budget of $1,500, or am I better off getting a Focusrite 4i4 and a DAW?

User avatar
mildheadwound
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 461
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 9:40 am

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by mildheadwound » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:13 am

The zoom24 doesn't do any of the things you mentioned, (Varispeed, reverse, etc), except record. (The portastudio even has midi- which the zoom does not). Sounds like you are more after a (RC505)loopstation, or one of the electroharmonix loopers, or something along those lines. I believe they do pretty long loops, have reverse, overdubbing etc. Plenty of great eurorack loopers too. I couldn't reco the reflex liveloop enough, and when expanded, it gives you, i believe, 16 stereo tracks.

User avatar
authorless
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2444
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:41 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by authorless » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:16 am

Nothing is going to beat a Laptop, audio interface, and DAW.
"Wait a month and buy from a fellow wiggler who's desperate for new modules." - Johnisfaster

"It's oscillators are so precise and lifeless it's actually a digital modelling analog synth." - nadafarms

User avatar
Jlevine711
Common Wiggler
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:38 pm
Location: Houston, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Jlevine711 » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:22 am

How about the 1010 Music Bluebox?
Electronic musician based in Houston, TX.

Original Music: https://soundcloud.com/htxedifice

DJ Mixes: www.mixcloud.com/htxedifice/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/htxedifice/

User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:37 am

mildheadwound wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:13 am
The zoom24 doesn't do any of the things you mentioned, (Varispeed, reverse, etc), except record
The webpage for it says "In addition, you can create your own custom samples and loops from recorded audio tracks. Quantization and time-stretching can be applied to ensure perfect synchronization. Three playback modes are available for each pad (Repeat, Gate, and 1Shot)."

Am I misunderstanding what they're talking about? Maybe not reverse, but it sounds like it would get me the rest of the features.
mildheadwound wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:13 am
(RC505)loopstation, or one of the electroharmonix loop
None of those would give me control over mixing though right? I was under the impression that those pedal based loopers were more or less "what you record is what you get" for live performance, not so great for recording and editing
authorless wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:16 am
Nothing is going to beat a Laptop, audio interface, and DAW.
That's what I'm thinking, I was trying to leave the laptop out of it because it can be such a distraction but it seems like it might be the only/best option.
Last edited by Skelecaster on Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:41 am

accidental double post, please delete
Last edited by Skelecaster on Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
cinnatoastg
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 536
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:31 am
Location: Ann Arbor

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by cinnatoastg » Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:41 am

authorless wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:16 am
Nothing is going to beat a Laptop, audio interface, and DAW.
^^^^

User avatar
EATyourGUITAR
has no life
Posts: 7750
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:24 am
Location: Providence, RI, USA

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:55 am

The question is what is the BEST.

https://vintageking.com/antelope-audio-10mx

https://vintageking.com/burl-audio-b2-bomber-adc

This is AES or SPDIF so you will need a USB audio interface with a digital input. If you are creating sample libraries and selling them, it is important to use a process that is transparent.

If the question is what is under $1500 then that is a completely different question. You need to decide which one of those specifications is important.
WWW.EATYOURGUITAR.COM <---- MY DIY STUFF

User avatar
Pelsea
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1362
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Contact:

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Pelsea » Sun Sep 05, 2021 1:13 pm

I'd get a cheap MacBook and a modest audio interface. There are plenty of free or low cost audio editors to provide the features you list.
Books and tutorials on modular synthesis at http://peterelsea.com
Patch responsibly.
pqe

User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:00 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:55 am
The question is what is the BEST.

https://vintageking.com/antelope-audio-10mx

https://vintageking.com/burl-audio-b2-bomber-adc

This is AES or SPDIF so you will need a USB audio interface with a digital input. If you are creating sample libraries and selling them, it is important to use a process that is transparent.

If the question is what is under $1500 then that is a completely different question. You need to decide which one of those specifications is important.
I don't really feel like you read the post... I pretty clearly said I was looking for a setup around $1,500 and that I was looking to record tracks, seems like you just jumped off based on the title

User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:04 pm

Pelsea wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 1:13 pm
I'd get a cheap MacBook and a modest audio interface. There are plenty of free or low cost audio editors to provide the features you list.
The more I research the more it's looking like that's the answer. I was really hoping there was some cool hardware portastudio that had these nice experimental features but it doesn't sound like there is. I already have an almost brand new Macbook and a Scarlett 18i20, I just don't find them particularly pleasant to work with and certainly not portable, but it seems like if those are the features I want I'll just have to get over it or live without them.

User avatar
EATyourGUITAR
has no life
Posts: 7750
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:24 am
Location: Providence, RI, USA

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:53 pm

Skelecaster wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:00 pm
EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:55 am
The question is what is the BEST.

https://vintageking.com/antelope-audio-10mx

https://vintageking.com/burl-audio-b2-bomber-adc

This is AES or SPDIF so you will need a USB audio interface with a digital input. If you are creating sample libraries and selling them, it is important to use a process that is transparent.

If the question is what is under $1500 then that is a completely different question. You need to decide which one of those specifications is important.
I don't really feel like you read the post... I pretty clearly said I was looking for a setup around $1,500 and that I was looking to record tracks, seems like you just jumped off based on the title
I read the title and the body. they were in conflict with each other. I don't think you read my my post. if you did you would see I mentioned your post about the $1,500 price limit. if I didn't read your post I would not know there is a $1,500 price limit which is how I know that I read your post but you didn't read mine. so anyway I guess now you are saying that you are not looking for "Best modular recording setup in 2021?". Maybe you should change the thread title to "recording setup < $1,500?".
WWW.EATYOURGUITAR.COM <---- MY DIY STUFF

User avatar
authorless
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2444
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:41 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by authorless » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:32 pm

Skelecaster wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:37 am
mildheadwound wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:13 am
(RC505)loopstation, or one of the electroharmonix loop
None of those would give me control over mixing though right? I was under the impression that those pedal based loopers were more or less "what you record is what you get" for live performance, not so great for recording and editing
Some of them do let you control the volume of each track.They still Might not be what you want, though.
authorless wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:16 am
Nothing is going to beat a Laptop, audio interface, and DAW.
That's what I'm thinking, I was trying to leave the laptop out of it because it can be such a distraction but it seems like it might be the only/best option.
[/quote]

If you can have a laptop that you only use for music it can be helpful.
"Wait a month and buy from a fellow wiggler who's desperate for new modules." - Johnisfaster

"It's oscillators are so precise and lifeless it's actually a digital modelling analog synth." - nadafarms

madcaphorse
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue May 11, 2021 3:05 pm

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by madcaphorse » Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:33 pm

Please excuse the "I don't have one, but maybe..." post, but I wonder if Norns might be up for the task. It should be able to accomplish all these tasks, though I don't know how much it can do with existing programs or if it would need to be coded up a bit. I did find this relevant looking reddit post (though a bit tldr):

User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:12 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:53 pm
Skelecaster wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:00 pm
EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:55 am
The question is what is the BEST.

https://vintageking.com/antelope-audio-10mx

https://vintageking.com/burl-audio-b2-bomber-adc

This is AES or SPDIF so you will need a USB audio interface with a digital input. If you are creating sample libraries and selling them, it is important to use a process that is transparent.

If the question is what is under $1500 then that is a completely different question. You need to decide which one of those specifications is important.
I don't really feel like you read the post... I pretty clearly said I was looking for a setup around $1,500 and that I was looking to record tracks, seems like you just jumped off based on the title
I read the title and the body. they were in conflict with each other. I don't think you read my my post. if you did you would see I mentioned your post about the $1,500 price limit. if I didn't read your post I would not know there is a $1,500 price limit which is how I know that I read your post but you didn't read mine. so anyway I guess now you are saying that you are not looking for "Best modular recording setup in 2021?". Maybe you should change the thread title to "recording setup < $1,500?".
insanely pedantic for absolutely no reason, perhaps next time I should just put the entire post in the title for you to avoid any confusion. :doh:

You clearly are aware of what the post is asking for, so why play this ridiculous game? Who is this supposed to be fun for?

User avatar
Polarflux
Common Wiggler
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:43 pm
Location: The Pub

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Polarflux » Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:57 pm

With the RME UCX II you can connect a thumb drive or Fat32 hard disk and record directly from the interface without having to be connected to a computer. Looks like a pretty sweet option in addition to being an audio interface with dc coupled outs. It’s $1499 and is beginning to show up in shops as the replacement to the Fireface UCX. This is what I’m planning to do.
Reality is whatever refuses to go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K. Dick

User avatar
revtor
Dialing it in..
Posts: 2360
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:31 am
Location: North Jerz

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by revtor » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:07 pm

1010 blackbox will record dual mono /stereo for as long as you want and can play up to 16 recordings back at different speeds, reverse, etc.
It is marketed as a sampler with a sequencer, but can simply do what you’re asking for, for a lot less than $1500. Might be a fun box for you to try out.
Fellow North Jersey Synthaholic

moo_lefty
Common Wiggler
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:10 am

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by moo_lefty » Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:33 pm

Looking forward to the boredbrain optx for 8 Adat in & 8 out https://www.modulargrid.net/e/boredbrain-music-optx

User avatar
Skelecaster
Common Wiggler
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 8:54 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by Skelecaster » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:03 pm

revtor wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:07 pm
1010 blackbox will record dual mono /stereo for as long as you want and can play up to 16 recordings back at different speeds, reverse, etc.
It is marketed as a sampler with a sequencer, but can simply do what you’re asking for, for a lot less than $1500. Might be a fun box for you to try out.

The blackbox and the bluebox both look very interesting, I'm going to have to download their manuals and read through them

ProgRocket
Common Wiggler
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:13 pm
Location: Cologne, Germany

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by ProgRocket » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:51 pm

Yes, "Molten Modular"/Robin Vincent was totally excited about the bored brain ADAT solution. I never owened an audio interface ... which one would be a good entry level companion to the bored brain optx? Needs to have fully working 8 INs and OUTs. It seems like these ADAT ports, even on the higher level devices > 500€ are not a given. Is that right?

User avatar
WarpHead
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:15 am
Location: Europe

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by WarpHead » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:10 pm

ProgRocket wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:51 pm
Yes, "Molten Modular"/Robin Vincent was totally excited about the bored brain ADAT solution. I never owened an audio interface ... which one would be a good entry level companion to the bored brain optx? Needs to have fully working 8 INs and OUTs. It seems like these ADAT ports, even on the higher level devices > 500€ are not a given. Is that right?
As I've recommended quite a bit lately: RME Digiface -- if only requiring an adat bridge to the computer.
Don't believe the hype.

User avatar
cretaceousear
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2675
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
Location: Suburbia, London

Re: Best modular recording setup in 2021?

Post by cretaceousear » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:49 pm

Another former Portastudio use here, if you're still not decided:
Our band, well me, had an R24 - brilliant for recording four of us with zero hassle - we record live, four or more instruments, plus drums off Mac, plus vocals, so 8 tracks at a time was not always enough. Now we've got a Zoom L12.
I barely attempted using the R24 to do anything else, it was so much easier to get the Wav files off the card and edit in a DAW (Reaper for me). The drum machine on the Zoom was a flipping nightmare to do anything useful with.
Unless it has motorised faders in this day and age it's a non starter.. apart from band situations where they are the perfect solution.
As everyone else says go with a four channel interface and try Reaper for your editing.
..magic sauce, the ketchup of catchup

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”