3U Modular Synthesizer Format
This was my very last complete Eurorack instrument, which only existed for about half a year. A 600TE touring instrument that can be easily folded (in a patched state) and then is about as big as a tenor saxophone case. It was perfect for me in terms of transport handling, however I actually wasn't happy with the very small Eurorack format (12V) itself. When I got the opportunity in 2015 to take over some Buchla Clone modules from Roman F. (the man who had developed many of those Buchla Clones), I unceremoniously parted ways with no regrets and switched to the Buchla 200 Series, which had what I k was looking for. However, I still carry a few Eurorack modules today.
Eastcoast - Westcoast
In 2012, I had decided to realize a more travel-friendly EURORACK instrument because of the easier transportation (at that time I only had the 5U MOTM format). It was only two years after I had changed from ARP instruments to the MOTM Modular format (5U 15V) after 30 years and I was very pleased with the sound. However, MOTM was not ideal for traveling. It was quite bulky and also weighty. As I figured out later, the patch cables of my MOTM alone were heavier than my whole, first Eurorack instrument, both patched and in a wooden travel case!
While my MOTM synth was designed "eastcoast" (Filter focus and ADSR with VCAs), I had designed the Eurorack synth "westcoast", i.e. a bit on the FM side, with waveshaping and LoPass Gates. I loved that. However, I suffered from the appearance of the "Frankensynth" and I felt the Mini-Pots were rather unpleasant to tweak. The change from sliders (ARP) to knobs (MOTM) was much more pleasant than I had expected, but the Eurorack format was overall too "fiddly" and too cramped for me - and then there still was this screeching optics.
In addition, I rather was on the "15V track" - that had already started with ARP: While the ARP 2600 had 15V operating voltage, the Odyssey (I got the first one in 2006) only had 12V - and it somehow sounded smaller, less powerful. I had countered that with the ARP Little Brother (an expander with a 2600 oscillator). However, I also was missing some things on the Odyssey that I used to really appreciate on my ARP 2600. So I finally ended up in the Modular formats - and the "problems" had obviously come along. I'm just trying to describe my path, and that it consistently led to Buchla. Well, I hear more and more very well sounding music - from Eurorack instruments…
I have never completely abandoned the Eurorack - the 80 Audio to CV outputs of the Expert-Sleepers modules alone require about 100 TE and they are substantial for my work on the Hybrid-Modular. I am also enthusiastic about the Intellijel Planar as a vector mixer.
These 86TE with 32x CV and 8x Gate are living in and on my Buchla:
The two outputs of the Intellijel Planar modules run into the Dual VCA and with the ADDAC FootControl I can use one VCA of the Dual VCA module for my volume pedal.
The Eurorack format offers so many important and good modules - actually, no matter which format you are familiar with, the easiest solution to a problem is to use Eurorack modules. The "Trigger/Gate to Buchla Pulse" module (above) from Synovatron is a perfect example of this - and I also prefer having a small case with Eurorack (and one power supply) than a bunch of small individual devices all of them having their own power supply.
One more example: the ARP Little Brother requires 15V triggers - and the Kenton MIDI to CV interface can deliver 15V triggers. It's only natural that the amplifier for all the volume differences between the formats gets thrown in to balance things out.
Actually, I recently purchased even a sequencer (my first one!). I always found the concept of the sequencer in the ARP 2500 interesting and after Behringer offered these modules, I decided to make a new attempt to establish friendship with a sequencer. Very sad though that the "Sequential Control 1027" module only has 8 steps per row (color) - the ARP 1027 had 10 steps (musically this is a big difference because it's easier to get out of the 4/4 pop world). Probably I will replace the module 1027 ( in case a friendship evolves) someday with a MAX patch and put a quantizer and microtuning behind it right away - like this (without quantizer) the settings are rather tedious because adjustments take way too much time until the tuning is correct. Obviously, the Mix Sequencer cannot be implemented in the synth without hardware.
Audio to CV / CV to Audio
For me, the Expert Sleepers modules are THE missing link par excellence! A modular system suddenly takes on a whole new meaning! Calibration and tuning can be automated! Sounds, if patched identically, are exactly reproducible even with the most complicated value changes - exactly that, what is normally not possible with such a system.
It's the most contemporary combination of computer and synthesizer. For "non-programmers" there is a fantastic collection of extremely usable CV plugins by Expert-Sleepers called "Silent Way PlugIn Suite". DC, LFO, Step LFO, Quantizer, Trigger, CV Input, CV To OSC, CV To MIDI, AC Encoder and Voice Controller. This means that incoming CV values can also be converted into Midi or OSC data. Due to the OSC compatibility, corresponding controllers, e.g. on iPhone or iPad, can be realized quite easily. All parameters also have a MIDI address. This is VERY extensive - the Voice Controller PlugIn alone features 122 parameters! Especially the traveling modulists will like the fact that some modules can be left at home due to the included functions.
CV may be generated directly from audio interfaces (with "coupled DC" audio outputs) as well, but it has too many shortcomings (e.g. too little volts). I didn't even start with it, already because I required the analog audio outputs of my audio interface for audio. Digital transmission via SPDIF, AES or ADAT (Expert-Sleepers) also saves a double DAAD conversion and the signal strengths, if transmitted digitally, do not have to be calibrated regularly, as it is the case with CV from analog audio outputs. Finally, the winning argument is that with two digital audio channels I will get 40x CV at once, while on the analog way only 1x CV per audio channel is possible.!
This video shows how easy it is - especially with the Silent Way PlugIns - to send, edit and receive CV:
Power is no longer an issue, but 10 years ago there were only very few good Power Supplies. I still own my TipTop Zeus Studiobus with a 4.6A PSU, which I think is very good. I used to use three Studiobus boards, today just a single one.
Although I don't mind the extra-large toroidal transformers in the MOTM, I found toroidal transformers in my first Eurorack case to be very disturbing - especially because you handle around in the instrument very often (e.g. when changing modules). They also make the instrument significantly heavier. The Studiobus was a real relief.
I am also very satisfied with the small "4MS Row Power" ( my power supply for the Eurorack modules in the Buchla).
Text & Translation Soon!
4th Industrial Revolution?
New World Order?
The Fall of Babylon the Great And I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues!
"We are the CO2 to be reduced!"
19 inch devices - Cases - Buchla - Eurorack.
RME Bob 32
AES Breakoutbox - NEW!
ARP Odyssey Case
Frequency Shifter Model 285r
CV-Tools - ARP 2600 inspired
Dual Amplifier. As new!
MakeNoise Wiard Wogglebug
Intellijel Dixie CTRL
Control Expansion für den Dixie VCO
SKB R2U Roto Rack
In top condition!