And to Bogaudio. That guy is a beast of a DSP programmer. Definitely in the past when making any kind of module the Bogaudio version is the one to beat, or at least try to get close to. I don’t think I ever “stole” any of his techniques, but I would always look at the source to try to figure out what he’s doing.
I’m taking up the 3 Module Challenge and giving it a gentle, non-sophisticated start This is a drone performed with dTrOY (a Metropolis clone), Plaits and Clouds.
What’s going on in the patch:
dTrOY is sequencing Plaits into Clouds. The patch starts with a note from the sequence captured in the freeze buffer of Clouds, the drone note, and that’s all you hear. The sequencer is stopped. With the blend knob of Clouds I then fade in the live signal from Plaits and the sequence is started. During the patch I perform with the harmonics knob of Plaits and change to a different sequence on and off. The patch ends with stopping the sequence again, and turning the blend knob of Clouds back to only hear the drone note again.
I don’t believe in completely ridgid rules, and playing with the concept and getting to know the modules better is the important point I think. Also - music trumps everything else. I use a bit of non-modulated reverb because for me there’s no music without reverb I also allow myself to fade in/out at beginning/end, but that’s it.
3 Module Challenge: A rhythm generator (Grids) is pinging a filter (Ripples) into a ping-pong delay (Chronoblob2).
What’s going on in the patch:
The rhythmic skeleton of the patch is formed by the Clock, Swing, Chaos and Density of Grids, together with the delay times of Chronoblob2, and these are not touched. The trigger out of Grids is pinging Ripples on the input. The accent out of Grids is pinging the frequency input of Ripples, giving a congas-like short frequency lift and the illusion of almost having two voices in the patch. The 2-pole lowpass out of Ripples goes into Chronoblob2 and is also patched back to itself, into the FM input, giving the timbre a lot more of a drum sound.
The patch is performed by wiggling the Map X and Map Y of Grids, changing the rhythm and the ratio between triggers and accents, and also manipulating the frequency knob of Ripples to change the frequency of the sound and the resonance knob to change sonic character and the sustain length of the sound.
Cheating: A bit of reverb, sue me
I watched your video on youtube earlier, and the one before that too and I really like the challenge. I saw the hashtag on youtube and listened to a few other videos as well. Are there any “rules” to that, because I think adding reverb or compression after the three modules is not directly related to the three modules used, but often necessary to glue everything together. I have a funky patch running atm where the sub-out of a VCO is clocking some things, but I really need some reverb in addition to my three modules…
The rules are actually pretty strict which I think is fine because it’s a challenge about what you can get out of severe restrictions. It was back in 2016 where DivKid and a couple of modular mates were doing “modular podcast” and they cooked up the idea of the “#3modulechallenge”. It was probably introduced in a blog or something, but the reference I can find for it is here, where DivKid is going over the challenge and the rules:
I guess it’s all in the thinking of “what is necessary” Strictly speaking only an oscillator is “necessary” but for me I mostly won’t bother with making anything musical without a bit of reverb and I won’t bother with something if I can’t make it musical, so… But everyone will have a different perspective.
I think the challenge is great, because whether we admit to it or not, we live in an ecosystem of embarrasing riches and option paralysis is always just around the corner, and it’s almost automatic to just throw something together without ever really learning the tools, and what you can actually get out of them, and how much music you can actually make with a little, if you’re forced to think about it.
So this kind of challenge forces you (me) to severely restrict yourself to only 3 modules and do some more work and experimentation and maybe manual reading, to discover what you can really make those modules do, and as a result your knowledge of the modules and of patching grows, and it REALLY does work. I’m telling you there’s a great freedom in discarding everything but 3 modules and really diving into them. It’s the same kind of restriction/freedom people experience with a fixed rack. You grow as a musician and as a modular patcher. I think that’s why this challenge is so succesful and inspirational and I don’t think it’ll ever go away. I highly encourage every modular user to try this challenge at least once, particularly when/if they feel stuck in a rut, or get this feeling that they can do a lot but know very little - it’s a great challenge!
Your 3 module offering is obscenely fun to play! Thanks.
Thanks, my pleasure! Yeah, you can get into a lot of trouble with that one
I made a patch with the upgraded Fundamentals plugin in Rack v2 beta-1, to check out all the improvements and re-familiarize myself with it. So this piece is only Fundamentals… plus Clouds for reverb, because you know what happens without reverb!
There’s a lot of nice improvements and I especially like the highly functional quantizer - check out the nice scale presets on right-click. I’m also digging the new WT LFO and WT VCO modules. I never seriously played with the random module but it’s very nice, pulling duties with both random CV of various kinds and also random triggers and Sample & Hold. Really nice. The upgraded ADSR with its beautiful UI should also come in very handy especially for beginners. All in all lots of things to like. I have a short wishlist and then Rack + Fundamentals would be all you need on a desert island.
I haven’t done any serious comparisons to v1, but it seems like Rack v2 and/or Fundamentals is very lean on the CPU, which should be good news for people with older or underpowered computers.
Thanks Lars, this patch does look interesting, the WT VCO and WT LFO will those be free?
Thanks ady! Yes, the two WT* modules are free, because they are part of the Fundamentals plugin, which is automatically installed when you install Rack.
Thanks, so V2 might be worth getting when it is finally ready for release. I’m still getting the hang of V1, there are so many great modules, I haven’t even tried yet properly!
Oh v2 is definately worth getting, lots of improvements all around. But there’s no rush. Probably not all plugins will be ready for v2 on release day so you can keep using your v1 installation, also after installing v2. They will live happily side by side.
A little patch with VCV Rack 2, celebrating that the Turing Machine is back. It’s such a unique and also a bit temperamental module, for driving a generative melody.
This little patch came out of a discussion on the forum here, and I wanted to share it because I find it so pleasing.
It’s basically a little advertisement for two of the brilliant modules we have in Rack…
Atelier::Palette: This is Plaits so it’s already brilliant. But it’s enhanced with a wonderful new design (thanks Pyer), and has broken out all the controllable features of Plaits, which you might not know of, right onto the front, so it’s very playable and user friendly. And it has some enhancements, notably the unison/spread feature which makes some gorgeous, big voices. Really, go play with it, it’s wonderful - Thanks Xenakios and Pyer!
ML Modules::Evolution: This is an extremely overlooked CV/Note generator/modifier, which I especially like for creating the kind of semi-random/evolving sequences, where you have a steady, regular sequence, that then evolves in a direction, resolves back to the original, and then evolves in a different direction again. It’s very pleasing to the ear. Think of it kind of like Fate but with memory. I highly recommend you give this a try. It can appear a bit obscure or un-intuitive at first, but read the short manual and then tinker with it.
So here’s a nice little piece with those two, to run in a loop when you just want to relax.
Many thanks for this great tutorial! Now i have an idea how to create nice melodies using randomness. I searched a long time for ways to do this Here is my patch that plays only 3 notes but with 2 voices:Evolution Have fun with it
Wishing you a blessed new year everyone!
I’ve been diving into OrangeLine::Dejavu and it’s quite a beast of a generative sequencer, especially with the polyphonic aspects. I also like pairing it with ML::Evolution to smoothen the transitions and throwing in the occasional high note. Here it is driving all three voices in a little new years celebration patch. Enjoy!
Bloody beautiful-very Japanese sounding to my ears-Yoji Sakamotoesque!
Thanks Ady! I hadn’t thought of that but I can see what you mean.
A simple drone using the lovely “Poly Seven Seas2” through Jorus and “the blob”, and Rings in “Disastrous Peace” mode. All driven by Bitshifter (nee Bohingler) through my favorite Pentatonic scale.
I’ve been neglecting the Vult so here’s a very Vult’y patch. There’s Noxious doing some obnoxious bass, Trummor2 on percussion duties, various crazy Vult sequencers for notes and gates and Caudal to modulate it all. But the star of the show is my first play with Opulus and it’s GORGEOUS! Seriously, just play with the presets, they’re fabulous. Great work from Leonardo again here, thank you! So finally used that as an excuse to purchase the full Vult plugin, don’t know what’s taken me this long. Vult is a very inspiring collection of high quality modules.