_truck // plork
Modular Musings - Episode 2
I've been doing a lot of updates to my modular setup recently. I've been easing off my insane purchasing pace in favor of really learning the modules that I have. But I began to encounter issues with my robaux SWT16+ that lead me to want to replace it (as they were not the first issues I had with the unit, and likely would not be the last, either).
I did some research and I came to the conclusion that, for my needs, the Tiptop Circadian Rhythms was a pretty perfect fit. This, of course, lead me to buy one, which prompted yet another case reorg.
I realized that to make the easiest work of this planning, I would do best to create a sort-of fake modulargrid case that comprised all four cases I was dealing with. I wound up with a bizarre hybrid monster since one case is the pallet 62 from Intellijel, which is much smaller than the others, but it nonetheless helped a ton with planning. The build went off without a hitch, and aside from one last-minute change, worked well as configured.
I essentially grouped the trigger-actuated and performance modules near the CR, and the oscillator voices and modulation near the Hermod. I was pretty pleased with the design once I was able to sit with it.
What I didn't quite expect was the impact on my studio setup.
When I brought the cases back to the studio, I found myself wanting to adjust the layout to better accomodate the arrangement and allow better playability. The Tete had been on a stand in the pallet case, which was easily accessible. However, now, it was at the front of one of the larger performer cases, and if I left the previous arrangement in place, that meant that it was three rows deep behind the shared system, which made reaching it a bit tricky.
So I changed it up, and this is now the result:
In case you're wondering, with this system, I have the option to clock the modular either from the Beat Step Pro's internal clock, Ableton Live, or a different source like Tempi, Circadian Rhythms, random manual triggers, or whatever.
The setup, if you're curious, when using the BSP is to set it to internal sync, connect it to the host port on Hermod, set Hermod to take its clock source from the host port, run the Hermod's MIDI out to the MIDI in on the uMIDI, use the uMIDI's clock divider to divide down the 24ppq timing from the MIDI/BSP clock, and mult that divided signal out to everything in the rig via the Extra Mullet. I use one Extra Mullet exclusively for this so I can have many different modules sync'ed to the same clock. I pass one of those mults off to Tempi's Tempo input for any further divisions or weirdness I may want, and to gain another six outs I can use for the Shared System's modules.
When driving from Ableton, the setup is very similar, only uMIDI and Hermod get their sync directly over USB from Live, the BSP gets its clock from Hermod, and the uMIDI USB sync'ed clock is what gets divided down and multed out to the rig.
How do you clock your modular system? Leave your setup in the comments. I'm curious to know what variations exist out there.
So that gives most of the background that brings us to the video above.
I've been trying to get to the studio early and spend some time every morning (an hour or two) experimenting with a patch on the modular.
This video is a short, early morning experiment I did to play with the Analogue Systems RS-290. The focus of this piece is the Intellijel Plonk running direct to the RS-290 Sampler/Delay with two bipolar channels from Quadrax modulating delay speed and FB gain.
In addition to that, there is also an aux send chain on the WMD Performance Mixer that runs to the Make Noise Echophon, then to the Erbe-Verb, and finally to the Morphagene. The Morphagene SOS knob is full counter-clockwise, however, so it isn't really contributing anything to the signal. Both the effected Plonk signal and the (eventual) drums from BLCK_Noir and LDB2e are running pretty heavily to this aux send.
At the end, the juttery bit is my ancient BLA003 failing suddenly. It's been particularly unstable lately and seems to be forcing me into an upgrade path, which I am not fully happy about, especially since I might as well update to 16 I/O if I'm going to bother, and that will necessitate a patchbay rewire.
The 003 failure is a bit sudden (obviously) but it felt like a fitting way to close the piece, so I kept it.