So many interesting perspectives and experiences here, I feel the need to share my experience getting into eurorack and all this!
So in an attempt to escape using the computer to create music I got a Mother 32 and an Octatrack a few years back. Then discovered VCV which has not only become a great learning resource but also helped to clarify that modular is the right solution for me. One thing I have been doing recently is sampling VCV into my OT which quickly frees me a bit more from the computer. The M32 and OT helped me discover that I actually don’t enjoy the typical DAW / production method to create music anymore and helped to rediscover that awesome feeling I got messing with guitar pedals and four-track tape recorders in my teens. I have since been focusing my efforts on a live performance instrument workflow where I can jam, have fun in the moment and just track out a performance to produce a finished product. I should also mention that I come from playing guitar and piano, so having a tactile experience to create / affect sound is what seems natural and what excites me most.
So I purchased a Shuttle System which sadly arrived all beaten up (damaged box and scratches - definitely used) despite buying new, the retailer couldn’t explain what had happened. Having dropped the most ££££ I’ve ever spent on a single musical instrument purchase, I freaked out and took it as a sign to take a step back! After returning it and taking time to reflect I instead purchased a case and a morphagene, a few utility modules and some MI modules. After playing around for about a month with that I discovered that perhaps the Shuttle System would have been the right choice in the end, as the setup I just described, albeit fun, just kind of ended up producing stuff I could do in VCV Rack anyway (exception being the Morphagene) and the hands on ‘instrument’ aspect just wasn’t there.
What drew me to the Shuttle System in the first place was the overall sound of the oscillators, its design as a complete instrument and its ability to integrate with other gear like my Octatrack. My Mother 32 also gives me that sense of it being a playable instrument.
Now I’m back to saving up for a Shuttle System again.
If I have learned anything from all this, it’s that I prefer more complete modular instruments as opposed to taking on the role of designing my own system (in eurorack), especially given the expense, never ending, sheer amount of modules available. Perhaps it’s also a lack of experience in eurorack on my part. I’m also hoping I can spend less time researching individual modules and how they all fit together by taking this approach.
I love VCV Rack btw! It allows me to explore the world of modular and has helped me avoid that ridiculous room full of modules ‘eurocrack’ scenario and has actually led to me discovering more practical solutions for a live setup.