# Some very basic Questions

Hi, so I have to consult the Community and I hope that someone is so kind to give me some basic answers on some basic AND some maybe stupid questions. I’m still a Rookie in Modular and Patching but I have some Experience in Sounddesign. I’m struggling very hard in building a very simple Songstructure (Intro, 2 Drops and a Break). First of all, I want to do this with the fundamental Modules because I need to understand the basics. I also own the Pulse Matrix and Panametra. so a basic and decent sounding little Tune must be possible.My first Approach is chaining Sequencers and here comes my first and Stupid question. I know how to chain 4 Sequencers with the 4-1 Module but how do I chain it further to eight seuqncers or more? This question is embarracing but I’m sometimes “behind the Moon” in Patching… Second more cosistent Approach is the Songstructure by Logic but I almost gave up because it sounds sometimes as I have some funny bugged modules that do different things as they should. So if maybe someone could tell me how to patch just a simple sequence switch with logic, I might get it. Third questions is maybe a little tricky. I need something like a Counter. A Sequence should be played maybe four times, before something new begins. Any Idea how to make this maybe not so complicated. I know the fundamental constructs by dave venom but they are still hard to understand… If not an comprehensive module suggestion would be appreciated. Ok, hope you guys can five me some input and if you help me, I maybe can help you somehow… (I’m not too bad in Mixing Music, so if you interested in some sound improvement in your patch, just ask…) And by the Way: Is there no Omri Cohen Video showing some Patching Ideas with the Pulse Matrix?

If I wanted to chain together multiple sequencers, this is something I might end up with

There are 3x3 8 step sequences, these go into the merge to make a polyphonic cable, and then into my switch module `PolySplice` (other switches are available).

The gate of the last step of each SEQ 3 module are mixed into a single signal and this is used to advance the switch. (you dont actually need to mix them, one will do, but mixing them allows you to turn off the gate for some of the sequences if you want. Alternatively, you could use a clock divider on the sequencers tempo to trigger the switch)

So you end up getting a `72` step sequence out the end (right side), and of course you could add more, the polyphonic cable into the switch can have up to `16` sequences.

And as a bonus, my `PolySplice` module can move between the different sequences in different ways, so it doesn’t have to be a linear progression.

Hope that helps for that part of your post (ps. some line breaks might be nice )

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Might be a little overkill, but you could use my `Kalkatron` module to count things

Oh, and just to mention, in order to actually make use of a count, or any arbitrary signal really, you will likely want to use a comparator, such as

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Also, don’t make the mistake thinking “I can do everything with the Fundamental plugin and stick to basics” because Fundamental does not do everything. Often there are simple modules that do what you want and trying to do that with Fundamental would be a herculian effort well beyond “the basics” (but potentially fun). A better approach might be to identify the 5 plugins that together does 99% of what you want 99% of the time. Of course the problem then is that everyone will give you 5 different plugins but you can have mine if you like.

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+1

at large, there’s some redundancy in the huge VCV library, but a surprising amount of modules are there to be used. For instance, for sequencing chains of discrete changes (a song’s structure, chord progressions that aren’t looping), have a look at Mindmeld’s Shapemaster.

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This is the one single module that I urge everyone to learn in depth, it’s incredible. Then, buy the Pro version.

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I know I often use a mixer with cv control to arrange. I may have A and B sections playing together and have something like BogAudio PGMR send cv to turn up or down channels of a mixer like MixMaster. I may send a divided click to PGMR and put it in charge of when things happen.

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Thanks for your answers. Further Input allways Welcome, specially this chaining and logic thing, that make feel me stupid or the modules are really bugged. Even the fates flip flop sound weird. I also own the Shapemaster and know the capability of making a full song structure including automation and everything. This fundamntal project is just a pesonal challenge and study. I have all elements ready and even a very basic “Mastering chain”. The last “tiny” part is the hardest: An easy structured arrangement. If I get it done someday, it would maybe be at least a little profe of concept. The idea with an cv controlled Mixer arrangement seems “doable”. I will try this maybe wifth wavetable lfos…That could be less pain i the a… because I still have to learn a lot with voltages… Thanks

Navigator by JPLab might interest you for a counter, you can divide a clock and use diff divisions per step, this can advance 2 channels of CV and 2 gate ouputs, I sometimes use this as an arranger/event starter. It even accepts 2 clocks and you can choose between them per step also. Makes for more complexity in arranging with little fuss in patching. It may still have the clock inputs reversed, a small bug that the designer knows about.

Honestly, the quick answer here is buy VCV Pro and arrange in a DAW. I may be in a minority, but I think standalone Rack is terrible for producing finished songs with proper musical structure. I can understand that some people like the challenge of chaining different sequencers together and designing complicated logic, and I’ve done that ro an extent before, but it’s just not my thing. If you don’t want to spend the money, try Cardinal which runs as a VST plugin for free (but with fewer modules and no library). I never finish anything with a musical structure so it’s not an issue for me, I just make wierd sounds and fade things in and out!

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I have the Pro Version and I also have DAWs (Ableton, Bitwig and Cubase). I know the difference but to get deeper into this modular thing, it’s somehow necesssary to really start making Music with it and not just Sounds. It’s just a personal challenge.

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These are useful;

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ML audio has a 8 step switch. I know there are more.

Computerscare has soly pequencer. Never used it but it would appear that by merging all your switch inputs with vcv merge and feeding that into the soly pequencer, you would get a 16 step sequential switch…

But basically, if you go with the “sequential switch” method, you can just use a switch with many inputs, and sequence the triggers to advance.

If you want to get more meta, have a clock drive trigger sequencers for each part via unique sequential switches. Use another trigger sequencer to send reset pulse to restart and sync all switches to 1. Hope that is helpful.

Before I got the Pro version, I struggled with the same concept of arrangement within Rack itself. So I turned to trigger sequencers running on a divided clock. Here is an example of a patch driven completely by a sequencer, each trigger starts or stops a passage, or instrument:

Its a crappy old patch, but the concept is there. These days I prefer to “play” a patch, than to plan out when what must happen. Or I automate it all in a DAW. But that seems to take the magic away.

Have fun exploring. . .

For me modular is more connected to the concept of creating instruments, not a daw or any other arrangement tool. Trying to have an instrument behave like one, is bound to some (unmusical) limitations. Where as when you treat it as an instrument, it means you have to master creating a sound first in order to do anything musical with it.

The only exception I found in this, is the generative genre, where the patch runs on itself. But still it is me who decides if it is musical what it generates, and if not, I alter it or connect controllers to it and play it live.

My point is that trying to make modular do something for which it is not best equipped for, can be rather exhausting. You can learn how to cook with a brush, but it won’t make you a better painter.

I use modular as a live tool (with dedicated controllers and/or as an effect), or I record the sounds and put it into a musical context after.

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Everyone has a diff approach. I like Big clock driven Rube Goldberg machines of triggers, gates, and voltage. Making events happen and linking one event with another is a joy to me. I will tinker many hours to perfect a self playing patch that has many twists and turns and surprises. But then I have that to add more instruments or vocals, but at its core often a completely arranged in VCV track that holds it all together. I don’t get the same thrill of accomplishment in Ableton, something about DAWS leaves me cold. I treat it like multitrack tape machine and do my initial planning in VCV.

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Yeah I get that and you are right ofcourse. I only wanted to show that “just making sounds” is a great start to get them into “sounds that inspire to make music”. I do not think inventing a linking system is the fastest way for this. Instead actually diving deeper into into the sound itself, will give more satisfying results I believe. Connecting the dots is easy when the dot has a character so to speak

But each to his/her own ofcourse!

For a simple expandable sequencer, there’s always Bogaudio’s ADDR-SEQ and the ASX expander. With 22 of the ASX modules you can get up to 184 steps in total. Simply add them to the immediate right with no gaps to hook them up.

Cool idea thanks