Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Who here is into MODULAR SYNTHESIS?

How did you get into it?
What kind of costs were involved?
How is going?
Is it what you intended it to be for your music?
Is it worth it at this point in your opinion?
Any recommendations for those interested in getting into modular synths?

«13

Comments

  • At first It looked super appealing to me, as I love sound design and experimentation, but I never could justify the gigantic outlay in cash for the type of modular setup that would hold my interest for long.

    $300 for for a Neutron is as far as I could ever go.
    if my time in MiRack, VCV, Softube and Voltage is any indication, I’d probably spend far more time goofing around than I would actually making music. I decided that deep, feature rich grooveboxes and HW synths with an extended mod matrix were closer to my style.

  • Was a cheaper option to obtain an analogue mono synth at the time i started, then it has turned into its only thing really. I bought everything secondhand and waited for the right modules to crop up. If you don't have much money its gonna take a looooonnnng time to build up. I wouldn't recommend any module, I would say you need to decide what you want (like a plan) to make out of it.

  • edited November 11

    I got sucked down that particular black hole.

    I spent far too much money on it, and probably - looking at it with a hard rational eye - it was not worth the expense. That said I love my modular and it is a lot of fun.

    It does what I hoped, which is to say provides me with an instrument which delivers sounds I wouldn’t likely generate any other way (though this is far less true now VCV and miRack exist)

    Advice? Start playing with VCV or miRack first. Then if you like the paradigm, buy an inexpensive semi modular that’s been designed to play well with Eurorack. I’d suggest a Behringer Neutron.

  • I've got some semi-mods (mother 32, dfam, neutron) and that's as far as I'm going unless it's on software. I think I got overly excited by the thought of patching. Truth is, I am way more productive on ios grooveboxes. I'll not be getting rid of my semi mods but I'm not going to go much further, unless I get filthy rich.

    I did read a thread at MuffWigglers that put me off getting into fully modular synthesis. It was sobering for me. Might be worth a read. Below ...

    https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=205572

  • edited November 11

    @kinkujin said:
    I did read a thread at MuffWigglers that put me off getting into fully modular synthesis. It was sobering for me. Might be worth a read. Below ...
    https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=205572

    Yup. I bought too much far too quickly (common behaviour, I think). I have stopped now that my rack is full and (critically) now that I have no more room for expansion. I guess I I could get Into the whole thing of selling modules to make space for new ones, but I really like the system I have.

  • I wonder how many people discover Eurorack is not for them only after they’ve invested quite a bit of $$ in a system. I’m afraid I’d be in that camp.

    From what I’ve seen from hundreds of modular youtubers, it’s a seemingly very small percentage who ever get good enough to make amazing music with it — and of those, most only after a very large investment of time.

    Of course not everyone gets into modular with the goal to make music (or “good” music), but if that’s your goal, it’s worth considering if the financial and time investment is worth it and what exactly you want out of it.

  • You could start with miRack and Audulus.

    After that, welcome to hell

  • My entry was a bit unusual I guess. I was (and still am) interested in early electronic instruments, before there were proper synthesizers. Theremin, Telharmonium, musique concrete, Stockhausen - you get the idea.

    One of these instruments was the Trautonium which was developed in the 30s for Paul Hindemith and later continued and played by Oskar Sala who did the effects for Hitchcock‘s The Birds, amongst many other tracks.

    One day I realised that Doepfer had several modules that together could recreate a Trautonium. So now I have 18U of blinkenlights and couldn’t be happier.

    Could I have done everything in Reaktor? Absolutely. Wouldn’t be remotely the same though.

  • edited November 11

    Getting into Modular Synths and EuroRack is kind of like getting into Leica Cameras...it's a one way road to a "Vow of Poverty."

    https://media.giphy.com/media/Hz6WKZkKkLOE0/giphy.gif

  • @echoopera said:
    Getting into Modular Synths and EuroRack is kind of like getting into Leica Cameras...it's a one way road to a "Vow of Poverty."

    Indeed. And yet there’s perfectly good Cosina Bessas out there for far less. My rangefinder collecting days were quite short because I kept to cheap fixed lens ones, not expensive interchangeable. I think the ones I liked best were the older Voigtlanders.

  • How did you get into it?

    Always liked maximum flexibility and control, and have an electronics / physics background anyway.

    What kind of costs were involved?

    Zero, as it's all in software! (first SunVox, then Audulus, then Hybris (Xequence-DAW-integrated modular synth)

    How is going?

    It's going great! :)

    Is it what you intended it to be for your music?

    Yes, absolutely happy with the results!

    Is it worth it at this point in your opinion?

    Absolutely!

    Any recommendations for those interested in getting into modular synths?

    Start with Audulus and Sunvox. Sunvox is more high-level and practical, while Audulus leans more on the scientific side because it's very low-level and resource-hungry.

  • I grew up on modulars, spending my school days in music shops in the 70s being a nuisance with their System 100, System 700 and Arp 2600 gear. I started building a Digisound 80 system in the early 80s but I didn’t design my casing to be modular, it was more like a single-unit patchable in the same vein (but not resembling) an Arp 2600.

    Over the decades I’ve grown to dislike modular synths, mainly because they’re messy looking and covered in patch leads as if they’re some sort of military top secret installation as we’d see on Dr Who (in black and white) or James Bond (Judo chop!). I now far prefer usability and intuitive ease of use, I prefer having fewer options, but good ones – the ones I would have patched up anyway, and I prefer something that you can at least run a duster over every now and again, to keep clean and tidy.

  • I was lucky to know someone who had a Moog Modular in his studio when I was still a young boy. Nonetheless, his PPG Waveterm and 2.3 keyboard fascinated me much more but at the time there was no way to afford a system like this. Got a nice Korg Mono/Poly instead, which helped burning the meanings of VCO, VCA, LFO, EG, SYNC, ARP etc. into my brain.
    Later I discovered the Clavia/Nord MicroModular that I "played" over an hour at a music fair.
    Of course I had to have one, still got it today, and tbh this was the first time I really got excited by modular synthesis. More than the classic Moog system V. The Nord was more accessible, more flexible and it sounded great too.

    It's fascinating to see the hardware modular world evolve like nobody would have dreamed of, even physical modelling modules exist and sequencers with insane power thanks to modern CPUs, displays and development tools.
    And now you can have it all on the iPad! :o

    A modular system is not my daily environment of choice.
    But from time to time I have an Idea that I feel a strong desire to realize and then it's great to have the tools handy.

    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

  • For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    Great list @rs2000

  • @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    Great list @rs2000

    Thanks, these are the ones I could spend hours with and forget to drink, eat, sleep.

  • @rs2000 said:

    @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    I would disagree. While these iOS synths are very powerful and can sound very good, when it comes to analogue tones none of them can hold a candle to, say, a Sputnik modular oscillator and a quality analogue filter, especially when it comes to bass duties.

  • @ElectroHead said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    I would disagree. While these iOS synths are very powerful and can sound very good, when it comes to analogue tones none of them can hold a candle to, say, a Sputnik modular oscillator and a quality analogue filter, especially when it comes to bass duties.

    agreed

  • @ElectroHead said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    I would disagree. While these iOS synths are very powerful and can sound very good, when it comes to analogue tones none of them can hold a candle to, say, a Sputnik modular oscillator and a quality analogue filter, especially when it comes to bass duties.

    OK, let's give it a try: Record a great sound on your Sputnik and filter, record it and I'll try to re-create it on an iOS synth.

  • Well, it’s all academic to me as I’m not going to go that route anyhow. The synths in my house (hardware) and the synths loaded in my iPad are plenty good for my ears.

  • @rs2000 said:

    @ElectroHead said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    I would disagree. While these iOS synths are very powerful and can sound very good, when it comes to analogue tones none of them can hold a candle to, say, a Sputnik modular oscillator and a quality analogue filter, especially when it comes to bass duties.

    OK, let's give it a try: Record a great sound on your Sputnik and filter, record it and I'll try to re-create it on an iOS synth.

    No eq compression etc.... just reverb

    Polysynth analogue

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/05pt8br7xd0yp20/Poly synth analogue .wav?dl=0

    Modular quick patch

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wcg76wr153p4dlr/Mod.wav?dl=0

  • @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    OK, let's give it a try: Record a great sound on your Sputnik and filter, record it and I'll try to re-create it on an iOS synth.

    No eq compression etc.... just reverb

    Polysynth analogue

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/05pt8br7xd0yp20/Poly synth analogue .wav?dl=0

    Modular quick patch

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wcg76wr153p4dlr/Mod.wav?dl=0

    V good sonic illustration! BTW what osc and filter? I don't have a Sputnik osc (or any eurorack) so couldn't rise to the challenge. I sometimes get to patch up a friend's modular and he's got a Sputnik. I've held off getting any of the new fixed-architecture hw synths for over two years, despite the plethora of reasonably priced, great sounding synths now available because I know I'll only really be content with a 3 osc mono with analogue fm and flexible waveshaping possibilities.

  • @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @ElectroHead said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    I would disagree. While these iOS synths are very powerful and can sound very good, when it comes to analogue tones none of them can hold a candle to, say, a Sputnik modular oscillator and a quality analogue filter, especially when it comes to bass duties.

    OK, let's give it a try: Record a great sound on your Sputnik and filter, record it and I'll try to re-create it on an iOS synth.

    No eq compression etc.... just reverb

    Polysynth analogue

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/05pt8br7xd0yp20/Poly synth analogue .wav?dl=0

    Modular quick patch

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wcg76wr153p4dlr/Mod.wav?dl=0

    ok! I'd start with the polysynth which sounds amazing indeed.
    Thanks for the file but could you please play it monophonic without effects?
    Also, let's start with individual oscillators please.

  • For me, modular isn’t about chasing some sort of special analog sound. Indeed the majority of my rack is digital. And I suspect that without a lot of care and effort on my part, my modular will output sounds that are “inferior“ to my hardware synths (all of which have after all been designed for playability and fast access to audio sweet spots).

    But that’s not the point for me. The “instruments” that I build on my modular are one-time networks of CV control and audio possibility that typically don’t have any meaningful analogs in the world of hardwired hardware synths.

    But as I said earlier on in the thread, there is some amazing software available (VCV, miRack, Reaktor Blocks, etc) and a lot of what seemed unique to hardware modular can now be easily built on-screen. Even if hardware has a genuine advantage for hands-on control, the cost differential between a running a rack of hardware and running miRack is so vast, that it’s hard not to argue in software’s favour.

  • @TrevorLlewellyn and @ElectroHead
    Here's a polyphonic example just for fun, not intended to be a close remake (would need Trevor's separate monophonic oscillator voices for that) but simply to show something similar without even using a modular synth.

  • I'm really interested in modular synthesis. Been into this since using audiomulch from the very beginning and then vaz mod/reaktor. Now VCVrack which peaked my curiosity even more and learn a lot about CV from this software. So now I got a Moog Matriarch which I am extremely fond of.

    Now the plan for me is to get an expert sleepers es-9 and then use VCV or any software that outputs CV to control the moog or anything else. Saves me on buying lfos, adsrs, seq modules. I am also eventually looking to buy a complex osc to integrate with the moog (matriarch's modules can be decoupled individually). It's definitely worth it for me even though it can get extremely expensive.

    Soundwise, the matriarch kills it and the keyboard feels great. I also like to record straight to wavefile while tweaking. It's a great performance synth with the advantage of being semi-modular.

    If you wanna get into this, you need to know exactly what you want and what you wanna achieve. I'd say watch a lot of youtube vids, check out modulargrid.net for info on modules. U could also check out tabletops like the make noise 0-coast which is pretty cool.

  • man, that polysynth sounds awesome!

    @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @ElectroHead said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @kinkujin said:
    For pure synthesis, modulars have lost their importance as synths get more and more powerful (SB Factory, NS2 Obsidian, Kaspar, Lagrange, GR16, SynthMaster One, iWavestation, Quanta, even the old thor synth!)...

    I would disagree. While these iOS synths are very powerful and can sound very good, when it comes to analogue tones none of them can hold a candle to, say, a Sputnik modular oscillator and a quality analogue filter, especially when it comes to bass duties.

    OK, let's give it a try: Record a great sound on your Sputnik and filter, record it and I'll try to re-create it on an iOS synth.

    No eq compression etc.... just reverb

    Polysynth analogue

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/05pt8br7xd0yp20/Poly synth analogue .wav?dl=0

    Modular quick patch

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wcg76wr153p4dlr/Mod.wav?dl=0

  • @paradiddle said:
    man, that polysynth sounds awesome!

    👍 that moog matriarch looks awesome!

  • @RUST( i )K said:
    How did you get into it?
    What kind of costs were involved?

    The sound, frankly. I heard the demo and loved it. I usually snagged a module once every few months, limiting the size to 2 frac rack, which is good—otherwise, it could have been really expensive :-)

    I couldn't learn from a fixed-architecture software synth. Try the Nord Mod software and it felt strange using mouse and etc. The moment I received the first rack and the first modules—a filter and an envelope, I started patching in every possible way without knowing anything much, just to make some sound w/o the oscillator, and I did indeed learned a lot from that. Many people learn from a software, and that's great—big saving, but I couldn't...

    Shameless self-promo: This one contains three tracks of live recording, panning and some editing in DP.

  • edited November 12

    @rs2000 said:
    @TrevorLlewellyn and @ElectroHead
    Here's a polyphonic example just for fun, not intended to be a close remake (would need Trevor's separate monophonic oscillator voices for that) but simply to show something similar without even using a modular synth.

    first i like to say that was a great take on my doodle :-) very nice. I think analogue has more errrr.. terms like power, presence and character i think in general which soft-synths struggle with more.

  • @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    @rs2000 said:
    @TrevorLlewellyn and @ElectroHead
    Here's a polyphonic example just for fun, not intended to be a close remake (would need Trevor's separate monophonic oscillator voices for that) but simply to show something similar without even using a modular synth.

    first i like to say that was a great take on my doodle :-) very nice. I think analogue has more errrr.. terms like power, presence and character i think in general which soft-synths struggle with more.

    Haha, thanks, it was quite fun actually. I think it's good to set up a challenge for oneself from time to time.
    I'm OK with soft synths but I can confirm that it's harder to make an analog synth sound bad vs making a softsynth sound awful :D

Sign In or Register to comment.