My Eurorack journey has begun

Dude, the sounds are awesome. That bass has that classic analog feel to it. Plaits sounds like a viola or something. Its pretty cool you do all the sequencing with Bloom. What is quantizing it? I thought you were getting an intellijel quantizer at first, but maybe Bloom does this already? Anyway, I’m excited to see how your patches progress as you go, fun stuff!

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Thanks very much Adi!

Yes, Bloom can quantize to a selection of the most common scales. I had the Intellijel quantizer in there, but Pyer and Paul convinced me to go with an Ornament & Crime, which can quantize to user-defined scales, and so much more.

Yeah, it’s an adventure and I’m exited to see where it’s gonna go as well :slight_smile: For now I feel like I’m just learning the ins and outs of the different modules, which is a great pleasure in itself. This is my research playlist for the Bloom:

Maybe I’ll produce that Ochd video you mention, I did think about that actually. In the meantime, here’s the man introducing it himself:

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That bass line is especially nice. I know you’re going to make some great music with the rack :slight_smile: What Bloom bugs have you had - the mutation range?

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Thanks very much Paul! Yeah, I quite like the sound of that Spectrum VCO, and then paired with the AJH filter which is a super high quality Minimoog filter. The Spectrum has so many nice features, seems like close to the ideal bread and butter VCO to me so far. I got the tip about that one from Chris Meyer/Learning Modular, when he was putting it in his monster case in the second Feeding The Monster episode on DivKid, I belive it was. Those are so good and packed with knowledge.

The Bloom bug I encountered was, that when multiplying the speed, and maybe externally clocking it is a factor as well, sometimes it stalls for a brief moment, simply stops emitting gates, and then starts again. You can actually hear it in the last few seconds of the video, as I’m fading out. I might have to try and make a simple test-case and file a bug-report with Qu-Bit and see how responsive they are. There was something else, when dialing in the gate-length, that seemed kind of buggy.

With the mutation knob, I actually found that if you dial in a very small amount of it, it’s quite useful. Just making the first LED half-lit or lit. Then it works pretty much like Marbles set to very slowly let new notes in to a frozen sequence. And the branches knob is fantastic. You can let it do it’s thing, and then hit shift-reset and you’re back to the base sequence. Good stuff, very useful for live play as well methinks.

Thanks.

Those videos are still on my watch list. Looking forward to spending some time with them.

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Actually that one might also be my audio interface flaking out, so not sure that’s a Bloom bug yet…

Oh gotcha, that’s awesome Bloom does that! And, I didn’t realize O&C quantizes to user defined scales, extremely useful!

This would amazing if you made a video about ochd. I feel like it would be pretty easy with the ES-9 and AH PolyScope in VCV. You almost don’t even need to see ochd itself, as long as you can see, and maybe even hear with some sounds, what is happening between the different lfos and turn/modulate the frequency knob and observe.

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RJModules has a module inspired by Ochd, but I don’t know Ochd well enough to know how close it is to the original:

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It sounds like it’s an exact clone of Ochd from it’s description. I haven’t tested it.

I’m starting to get to grips with my Qu-Bit Bloom sequencer and its generative aspect. It’s got some quirks and maybe a bug or two, but it seems like I can actually get it to do the things I hoped it could, so I’m happy. A tip from the manual: A quick turn of the Mutation knob is enough to regenerate the branches if you don’t like them, but won’t mutate the trunk sequence.

It’s somewhere in the club of the Turing Machine and Marbles for generating notes and melody, with the difference being able to control the starting sequence, and it’s actually quite a powerful little beast with all those features.

Here are some fragments from a session of playing around with it. It’s just a 4-note starting sequence in Pendulum mode, with 3-4 branches, slowly modulating the Path CV. And that Fx-Aid: Best buy ever! Sounds gorgeous with an ever growing list of effects ready to download. Igor really hit it out of the park with this one.

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My Instruo TS-L finally arrived (the 2020 upgrade, wohoo) and it sounds fantastic! With that my first system as planned is now complete, and here’s a bit of an ambient drone from it.

The underlying drone is played by a mix of the TS-L PWM and waveshaper outputs, through Ripples and into the wonderful FX-Aid. On top of that I have the Bloom sequencing Plaits, and into Mimeophon where I’m playing with the “flip” switch, which is pretty fun.

It’s a fairly simple piece and it’s dawning on me that I’ve built a pretty deep synthesizer here, with years of exploration before me. And that was the plan but holy smokes :slight_smile:

Enjoy!

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Sounds great.

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Thanks Bruce!

This is the result of this fine evening’s noodling with the Eurorack.

The dark pad is the Erica Graphic VCO with some modulation, into the ever lovely FX-Aid. It’s driven by one of the sequences of the Qu-Bit Bloom and slowly transposed by Stages.

The bell-like voice is Plaits into some lush delay from the Mimeophon. It’s driven by the other sequence of Bloom, at twice the speed, with some occasional transposition by hand using my Keystep.

Mixed and recorded in VCV Rack via my ES-9. Enjoy!

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I try and keep Saturdays my “holy days” which means my head and schedule is clear for some noodling with the modular :slight_smile: So this is what came out today: There’s a bit of everything - Graphic VCO for a kick, Spectrum VCO through MiniMod VCF and FX-Aid for a bass swell, and the TS-L through a short delay of Mimeophon, played by a Stages sequence with two of it’s stages being semi-random, all orchestrated by Pam’s. Instruo Ceis for the nice ADSR; this really is a full-featured module that I see too little mention of, it’s much more than an ADSR, and uO&C for quantizing.

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How has the ES-9 worked out for you? I’m planning to get some hardware, but to save some cash at first I want to use Bitwig (my DAW) and Rack as the source of much modulation, going via an ES-9. Any thoughts on that would be very much appreciated.

It’s working out pretty well for me I’d say, and you can certainly build out a eurorack around an ES-9 as the beach head. It can do a lot, send any signal (CV, gate, audio) from the computer to the euro and any signal from the euro to the computer. There’s plenty of in/outs and the internal mixer and router is crazy flexible. It also serves as a regular output module of course, with stereo jacks and headphones out, and I have already used that for taking it out of the house and jamming a bit with some friends.

It is big, hot and expensive of course, so I guess the only question is whether the modules you need to do what you want, if you don’t have the ES-9, will take even more space and money. It all depends on your use case. It’s certainly well fitted for the scenario you describe, but if you already have an audio interface with ADAT, it might be worth checking out some of the other Expert Sleepers modules that only send signals from computer to eurorack. But if you already now know, that at some point you’ll be sending several tracks of audio and perhaps other signals, from the euro to be mixed and recorded in the computer, you might as well go for the ES-9 straight away. The more you are planning to use a computer with your eurorack, the more the ES-9 makes sense.

I have no idea what sounds you like, and what modules for euro you’re planning on getting, but just throwing out an idea - you could get a great start in the euro, with an ES-9, a Plaits, an Instruo TS-L and a Ripples 2020, as an example. It’ll give you hands on with a couple of great voices in the euro and all the rest - envelopes, sequencers, modulations, effects, mixing, recording, etc. you can use the DAW/Rack for. If you’re mostly into analog you can also check out e.g. the Dreadbox Chromatic line of modules, that seems to offer a lot of functionality at a very attractive price point, and I think they sound good. But there’s many ways to skin that cat :slight_smile: For starting, a semi-modular in the euro is always great value for money, and I was very close to getting a Pittsburgh SV-1 as the backbone of my first system, love that thing, and there’s also things like the Behringer Neutron, the Mother-32 and others of course. But if you know that a couple of years down the road you’ll have a decked out 6U eurorack on your desk, you might as well start with discrete modules IMHO.

I would say the ES-9 is a great piece of kit and it hasn’t let me down yet.

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Thanks very much! That’s really helped. My plan is to create soundscapes, not much music, using modules which have more random sources of audio, such as the RF Nomad, Power Starvation, Sputnik Radio, etc. I also don’t have a good audio interface at the moment, so being able to use the ES-9 with modular gear and also get sound from my trusty old MS-20 will be good. :smiley: Thanks again for writing up your thoughts. Very much appreciated.

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Here’s today’s little snapshot from the journey of learning how to use my eurorack system for making music.

A slow and quiet ambient piece with subtle modulations and very little going on. Made for relaxing/sleeping/coding/meditating. Kind of a space and satellites feeling to it.

It’s basically just two tracks of Plaits into Ripples, ending in a big reverb from FX-Aid. Modulation from Ochd and random arpeggios from my Keystep.

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Nice one :slight_smile:

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