"must have" modules

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g~tilde
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:25 pm

"must have" modules

Post by g~tilde » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:29 pm

Hi, a complete noob to this forum and using Voltage Modular (I have lots of experience using others) I have been looking for reviews, best bundles to buy, best modules to try out, and having a bit of problem finding a list of must have modules/bundles beyond the core. I already own Voltage Modular Core, which is the top tier. I am just needing some hints, tips guidance on which modules are a must have in my library. I have tried a couple times downloading in Demo mode, but before I can really dig into them, my day job gets in the way and the demo runs out. Demo is not my friend at the moment. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Cheers,
g~

tgrey
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:39 pm

Re: "must have" modules

Post by tgrey » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:46 am

Hello! This question is near impossible for anyone to answer, especially with the information given... but I'll at least pose a few thoughts you could consider that might be useful. You don't need to reply with answers to them all, they're really just for you to think about... but you'll probably see where answering a few of these could help us to help you ;)

What is your experience level with synthesis and modular/semi-modular styled systems? If a lot of the concepts are still new, it might be better to take your time, and buy in small amount so you can learn individual modules and ideas at your own pace without feeling overwhelmed. It can be a *lot* to learn at once, and if you haven't really considered where you're intending to get to, you might end up taking a really long and expensive path to get there.

What is your budget? There's a *TON* of really great modules, and even with current sales they can all add up! I've already spent far more than I ever imagined I would, but I don't regret any of it. Be realistic with your financial limits so that you can make choices about what modules are most important to you *NOW*. You can always add more in the future when the budget allows for it again. Tho the current sales make it hard to not go *CRAZY* :lol:

What are your overall goals for your system? Do you want to design synths and effects to call up as plugins in a daw for other projects? Do you want to do sound design and sculpting to be used as foley in a library for later? Do you want to get into fully generative ambient works, or techno/EDM? All of these could lead to wildly different module picks.

Also think about your desired sound... what artists sound most like what you are going for, or have influenced you to get to where you are now? Do you like gritty distorted lo-fi, clean retro silky synths, strange computer-y FM tones? Many sounds are associated with specific types of synthesis and processing, so identifying a few artists or genres might help us know what would get you closer to what you want to hear.

Sorry for the wall of text, hopefully it's helpful!

farbstoff-fabrik
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:26 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: "must have" modules

Post by farbstoff-fabrik » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:38 pm

Hi there,

Voltage modular core with elektro drums will get you far. What I missed in the beginning was:
- Octagon sequencer
- Stereo tempo delay
- Remote control

Later i bought
- complete year one collection of cherry audio
- psp full bundle

After that
- i got more but year one and psp really has enough in my opinion to get you going for months and months

g~tilde
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:25 pm

Re: "must have" modules

Post by g~tilde » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:47 pm

Hey tgrey

Thank you so much for taking the time to address my post. You were able to answer a 25,000 foot view question and break it down into workable bits. You did such a good job, I am hopeful others will benefit from your efforts.
tgrey wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:46 am
What is your experience level with synthesis and modular/semi-modular styled systems?
I would quantify my experience in synthesis as advance (hardware/software). The past couple years, software modular speaking, I have been working within the world of a "free" modular system but, I felt it was time for me to stop fighting trying to swim upstream. I have had zero experience with hardware euroRack-style modular systems, but to give a broad picture, my first exposure a gazillion years ago, I was working on a early modular systems - Moog.
tgrey wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:46 am
What is your budget?
I wish to be frugal, meaning, get the most for my investment. That is one aspect of the store that was, honestly, overwhelming and honestly not coherent at times. A small percentage of free items and some did have a demo; sadly little to no feedback from users. What's the right choice? A lot to choose from but - do they work as advertised, cost to functionality, and so on. This is vastly different from my previous experience where the was a big choice to try and see if it fits my needs. Notably, I just figured out yesterday you can re-demo a module by clicking on the Demo button. This was by accident-I must have missed this jewel of information in my searches.
tgrey wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:46 am
What are your overall goals for your system?
I mainly enjoy creating fully generative, aleatoric, algorithmic, ambient compositional works. I am less interested in creating another synth or a synth sound. At the same time, using this system in a DAW, like Ableton, I can ostensibly integrate other instruments easily to have at my disposal, in order to add color, depth, voices, and interesting bits of audio coolness.
g~tilde wrote:
Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:29 pm
Also think about your desired sound...
Actually, a wide plethora of sound, so this is harder to pinpoint. I am looking at frequency modulation to analog synthesis, subtractive synthesis, resynthesis... physical modeling for sound synthesis, etc. I have a not a purest and have no qualm pulling a VSTi into the mix to capture the sound I am after working with this system.

I do hope this is helpful. I trade you one wall of text for a tome. Cheers

g~tilde
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:25 pm

Re: "must have" modules

Post by g~tilde » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:50 pm

farbstoff-fabrik wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:38 pm
Hi there,

Voltage modular core with elektro drums will get you far. What I missed in the beginning was:
- Octagon sequencer
- Stereo tempo delay
- Remote control

Later i bought
- complete year one collection of cherry audio
- psp full bundle

After that
- i got more but year one and psp really has enough in my opinion to get you going for months and months
This is great stuff, thank you! I will review and look into your suggestions, 'tis the weekend for me to purchase! cheers,

tgrey
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:39 pm

Re: "must have" modules

Post by tgrey » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:04 am

My pleasure, glad to have helped! I didn't know we could re-demo either, that's an interesting find. I wonder if it's related to updated versions of modules, that way if it was once buggy you get a chance to try it again to see if it's fixed (or vice-versa :lol:)

Ok... I see your tome, and raise you a reference section!
using this system in a DAW, like Ableton, I can ostensibly integrate other instruments easily to have at my disposal
Check out "Plug-In Host" and "Mini Plug-In Host". They allow VM to load up a vst or vsti (and au on mac), and route audio or even midi into, plus you can pick a few controls and control them with cv inputs! Not all plug-ins work, but I've only found a few that gave me problems so far. I think these both come in the core package, so you should have them already!

First and foremost, my top recommendation hands down is Weevil's "Harmony". It is just magical. It quantizes up to three mono sources and I think 2 poly sources? And the quantizing can have selected modes such as the root, a harmony, the chord's top, etc. It can step through a series of chords in a progression... plus the circle of fifths based interface makes it incredibly intuitive. Worth every penny and more.
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/harmony

For general utilities, Andrew Macaulay's Ultimate Bundle is on sale for $30. It's not the most exciting bundle, but it has a TON of very useful utilities. I tought it was a steal at regular price, but on sale it's almost a no-brainer.
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/a ... ate-bundle

Collider Modular's "Func" is a fantastically useful function generator module, allows all sorts of complex functions with cross triggering and shaping. I can't possibly explain, but luckily there's a great vid linked in the description:
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/f ... -generator

Another steal of a deal, the PSP Ultimate Modular Collection is a lot of top quality effects and utilities too. My favorite here is to DelayEx because you can tap the feedback line to process it on it's own. Great for building custom complex delay/reverb networks. And PolyWobbler is great for adding life into poly voicings!:
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/p ... collection

I have absolutely loved the noises I'm able to get out of the Vult modules, especially Basal, Ferox, and Vorg. Dopamine can also be a neat addition for generative works, as it adds a sort of degradation and randomness that's *VERY* unique. A little confusing to learn at first tho. The first bundle is more about generating the sounds, while the second seems to be more about the filters:
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/vult-fury-bundle
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/vult-rage-bundle

I've also been getting some more great noises with Weevil's year one bundle, it has amazing waveshaping and wavetable oscillators, and simply the best oscilloscope for VM. It also has some simpler multi shapers, and the Rhythm Divider is a beast I still haven't entirely grasped yet. I highly recommend it, tho some of the modules seem to be a little on the heavy side for CPU demand (but understandably so):
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/w ... one-bundle

For generative stuff, I can't possibly give enough praise to Sonobios's "Uquence", it's a fabulous euclidian pattern sequencer. I use it so much for both rhythmic *and* melodic parts that I actually had to tell myself I'd stop using it for my next few patches just to challenge myself :lol: :
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/uquence-sequencer

These next three all come in the Cherry year one bundle, which I put off and put off because of the price, but finally bit the bullet and went in... of course it goes on sale like a week later, just my luck. I still find it to be some of their best (non-synth) modules yet, with lots of useful goodies in it such as:
Octagon, another fabulous sequencer. Closer to a traditional sequencer than uQuence, but with some super powerful additions. Note repeats, glides, different playback directions (including random):
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/octagon-sequencer

Random Task is basically a turing machine for creating and evolving melodies. It can be a lot of fun as an addition for generative works:
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/random-task

Remote Control allows you to control buttons and knobs in VM that don't already allow for cv control, which basically means *ANYTHING* can be automated:
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/remote-control

And then figure it also has the PS-20 and TB-303 modules too? Icing on the cake for that one.

Anyways, this is probably long enough... by now you might need to renew your library card!

tgrey
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:39 pm

Re: "must have" modules

Post by tgrey » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:57 am

How could I forget granular synths and processing? Here's my go-to modules for grains:

Nekomatic's Oscillatorro (and poly version), and Almanacs: All great granulators, one for synths and one for more raw processing. I think the best route is to get the bundle that comes with other extras, like the Midigator and 4x6 are *super* useful too. This bundle is on sale for roughly the regular price of just the oscilatorros and almanacs. Yet another steal ;)
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/n ... nch-bundle
https://store.cherryaudio.com/bundles/o ... rro-bundle
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/a ... -processor

JK's Sample Swarm and Sample Scrubber. Swarm makes it's own clouds of grains that can be useful all on it's own. Sample scrubber on it's own isn't granular at all, but I like to feed it into the Nekmatics granulators (this works well with the Swarm too!)
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/jks-sample-swarm
https://store.cherryaudio.com/modules/j ... e-scrubber

g~tilde
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:25 pm

Re: "must have" modules

Post by g~tilde » Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:47 pm

tgrey wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:04 am
My pleasure, glad to have helped! I didn't know we could re-demo either, that's an interesting find. I wonder if it's related to updated versions of modules, that way if it was once buggy you get a chance to try it again to see if it's fixed (or vice-versa :lol:)
. . . . .
Anyways, this is probably long enough... by now you might need to renew your library card!
There is a lot here which has taking me a several days to go through. It is a great reference and I am grateful for the guidance. For me, this has been very valuable, and great place for me to start; I hope others can gain some wisdom too. I do not feel nearly as lost. I have since purchased some modules, bundles, and more are on my wish-list. I need a 2nd job!

The [demo] feature/not a feature ... may be as you said due to that module was updated. I dunno, I had another set of demo modules that said - no. :lol: I am not sure if it is documented some place or not but it seems its a feature that should be available when trying to figure out if it will be the right module for you. Having such a short (yes 15 days is short if you work 10 of those days) window makes this challenging, being it is a one-time demo use, is problematic, imo.

I have already had some productive time with VM, understandably, I have a question that I will post outside this post. Thanks again for your help, I have a feeling we will be crossing paths again very soon! (see post: :geek: poly - mini plug-in host help!!!!) Cheers, Gary

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