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domingo, 22 de janeiro de 2017

An old eurorack modular experiment with a crippled system!

I know there are many demos of eurorack modular synthesizers available, some of them with truly monstrous systems!
But this post is about a simple demo I did when I started my eurorack modular system and which I hope shows you can still produce really nice sounds with a pretty crippled system!

My modular system when I started it!
I started my eurorack modular synthesizer some years ago, after I got a really nice deal on a 6U Doepfer low-cost case with 3 Tiptop Z3000 MkII VCOs, a Doepfer A-188-2 Tapped BBD Module and an Analogue Systems RS-510e Trapezoid Generator (unfortunately without the power adapter, so it wasn't possible to use it...).
That same time I also ended up getting a Frostwave The Resonator, which is basically a Korg MS20 filter (with both low-pass and high-pass sections) in pedal format but with CV inputs that made it a perfect addition to this small modular setup (especially considering there was no filter module in this system).

Back in the studio I already had a Doepfer MAQ16/3 sequencer, which features CV/Gate as well as MIDI (notes and CCs).
Despite it can be used to play melodies, I think it really works well when it is used to sequence different parameters, making it a great sequence to add some motion to the sounds!

But even with this sequencer, it was still a pretty limited system...
The lack of VCAs meant it wasn't possible to play it with a keyboard as it wasn't possible to turn the note off...
And the lack of mixers meant that the nice amount of VCOs available couldn't be brought to full use as it wasn't possible to produce detune sounds or any kind of chords since I could use only the output of one of them...
Also, despite there were 3 VCOs and 3 tracks available in the Doepfer MAQ16/3, the lack of any proper envelope was a significant drawback when it comes to modulators...

Still, despite all the drawbacks mentioned, it was possible to produce very interesting sound experiments with it, as I hope to show you in the demo below!

This was one of my first experiments with this small system, using the VCOs to modulate each other and outputting only one of them into the Frostwave The Resonator, which then outputs the signal into the Doepfer module.
To get some extra motion, I used the Doepfer MAQ16/3 to modulate the VCOs, making use of all 3 tracks available!
And as you can notice, I tried to produce as much timbral change during the demo as possible, which resulted in quite some interesting sounds as the recording progressed.

It is definitely not on pair on most modular synthesizer demos, but the point was more to make the most of what was available than producing a great modular synth demo.
And when you take into account all the limitations this system had back then, I think it shows that you can still produce really nice sounds even if you don't have a very featured modular!

Fortunately I have been able to expand my modular system considerably, but that's a story for another post ;)

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