We are the music makers - producers?

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  • I have an Acidlab Bassline Mk1 to sell if anyone is interested.

    I need something as close as possible... but with note-in via midi.

  • Have a Cyclone TT303 here just now, a friends - we're sorting out our live set, it sounds fucking ace through a RAT

  • Roland TB-03 also takes midi note in (and various CCs). And yeah... overdrive that bad boy.

  • So... I’ve been saving for a Digitakt to use as a drum machine and sequencer for a while now and have been double checking my assumption that DAW-less is the right way to go. This is to drive a mother32 and DFAM. Then i discover this. It’s not cheap and it’s obviously cheating to buy a combination package, but the potential of building something along these lines is very interesting...


  • That is a lot of money in one chunk for a drum machine + bass synth but it's quite keenly priced (for boutique modular at least), if you consider a per-module cost. Not to say you couldn't build something for quite a lot less by mixing and matching modules and buying multi function stuff. I imagine you'd quite quickly want additional utility modules (mults/VCAs/etc) so factor in costs for them too (plus case & powersupply).

    Have you played with a modular at all? For programming drums I don't think they're anywhere near as direct as a good groovebox or drum machine.

  • My humble opinion is you’d get much much more out of the Digitakt + DFAM + M32 + an Analog Heat, and for less than half the money. By sampling the DFAM and M32 into the Digitakt you could build up complete tracks in a really nice way if you wanted.

    I feel like a lot of the hype around the Techno System is down to it looking cool and having a cool name. It’s a slick looking system and clearly loads of fun to jam on but if you’re not really invested in the eurorack/modular way of working I think you might find it a bit limiting for making whole tracks. For the money, at least. The individual drum synths sound good but you’d probably do just as well with a small rack of the Tiptop 909 clones, or just the excellent TR-8S for a lot less money. Or 909 samples in the Digitakt of course.

    Having said that, if you want to work by jamming out and recording loads of stuff and then editing it together in a DAW then it could be exactly what you’re after.

  • Just watching that video again, I remember wanting to run my TR-8S through the Analog Heat imitating the same patterns and post a video of it with “problem????”

    Good analogue distortion makes everything sound good.

  • Cheers guys!
    All really good points. I need to invest some time in thinking about workflow and process. Honestly I'm not certain that ultimately I want to even properly produce my music or not. I wonder if just the experience of just bashing out some farty bass and beats in a non-midi, non-repeatable way is going to be more theraputic and fun than investing the time in preparing a more fully sequenced track and creating a polished, finished product.

    The trade-off with digital is samples and menu-scrolling, when basically I just wanna play with my knob(s). For me this journey is more like learning to play a musical instrument so just maybe modular analogue is the way to go. This is why I sold my Aria gear and bought the Mother32 and DFAM; I don't want to scroll through menus to manipulate samples of analogue gear.

    In practical terms I'm probably going to have to sequence drums though, which the DFAM happily does for itself. But I need another drum machine with more of a 909 sound to layer on to it (also a 303 clone might be nice) which brings me to the above compromise (MIDI = samples + menu scrolling) or significant cost and lack of repeatability with a modular setup.

    Maybe there's a solution with the Digitakt as drum machine and sequencer used with a midi to CV convertor for some of the more dirty, organic, squishy stuff I'm looking for?

    Again, thanks for the input, this one is on me I think, but if anyone has more to add I'm all ears x

    Incidentally, ideally I would just be making techno like this (jump to 15'40")

  • You know the answer then, get some drumsticks and a few plastic buckets!

  • @freddo this is a mate and I working stuff out with TR8S and DFAM, first jam we had together - some of its OK - the DFAM really needs a compressor before the mixer, it can get 'quite' lively!


  • ^^ Handpan and plastic cement bucked techno is massive in the West Country.

    You can substitute the handpan with any panel van if you want.

  • No midi cc implementation though.

  • But Overbridge soon


  • thanks, "that was amazing, mate" :D

    Yeah compression is also a concern, esp. mixing and matching digital samples w/analogue gear.

    Of course, I could just suck it up and learn to use the M32 sequencer

  • you’d probably do just as well with a small rack of the Tiptop 909 clones

    yeap, together with a step sequencer like this looks very playable https://www.modulargrid.net/e/tiptop-aud­io-circadian-rhythms

  • I mean, that’s the thing with the M32 for me, it’s a bit shortcut-y and hidden-menu-y in places in a way that digital stuff like the Aira System-1 or SH-01A aren’t. It’s more a question of design than whether they’re analogue or digital.

    Add an SH-01A to a Digitakt loaded with Samples From Mars packs and run it all through an Analog Heat... could work. Eurorack isn’t so much about pure analogue sounding intrinsically better, it’s about the totally different modulation and sound design possibilities that arise from separating all the component parts and being able to wire them up any which way.

    If you did go that way you could do worse than the tip-top drums and an Intellijel Dixie + dual VCA + System 80 Jove filter as the basis for the synth voice. That shit sounds good.

  • Yeah of course, you’re totally right about the analogue vs digital. I guess I’m at the sharp end of the M32’s shortcomings as I don’t have a workflow to integrate it in to, but it really does sound really organic and rich in a way my System-1 / SH-01 never did. That’s probably the Moog Label on the outside tho.

    Edit: what’s weird is that on the audiophile thread I’m the chief advocate of a fully digital setup, then I come here and tell everyone how I hate digital samples. Hopefully I’m the only person who’s noticed.

  • tip-top drums and an Intellijel Dixie + dual VCA + System 80 Jove filter

    Cheers. You seem to know a lot about modular but I thought you were pretty tightly wedded to Elektron kit. Is there unrequited love in your past that you might want to share?

  • I was laughing at this joke all evening 🤣

    It does feel like “Jake from elektron” is their only employee sometimes. I imagine him youtubing all day and then rolling up his sleeves on the weekends to code a bit more of Overbridge

  • That might be you having a preference for the more “energetic” Moog sound then. The 01A sounds almost exactly like a 101.

    All about finding what works for you isn’t it, some trial and error is definitely involved!

  • But I need another drum machine with more of a 909 sound to layer on to it


    But Overbridge soon ;-)

    I'm guessing this is based on the stupidly long time it took to release, but in fairness OB has been out for like a year and is working well. They just released a big feature update for the Digitone as well.

  • Heh, I’ve come really close to diving into modular so many times but it would probably only be one or two key elements in a wider mix. I’ve done quite a bit of research into what I’d want, and every time I hear that VCO through that filter in Mylar Melodies’ setup it makes me sit up in my seat.

    I do love the Elektron way of working though. I’m very used to it now, to the point where I’m considering switching from the TR-8S to an Analog Rytm mk2 mainly to have the more flexible per-step synthesis control.

  • https://youtu.be/YbsvFMEvPo4?t=472

    Bloody hell, that guy is amazing... got some serious rhythms going on there

  • TR-09?

    yeah, maybe, but... I just fell down another rabbit hole of midi clock sync vs. start/stop. Seems that the M32's sequencer can't be disabled so to utilise an off-board sequencer like a digitakt I'd have to disable clock sync and prevent the M32's sequencer from also triggering. That would mean no other clock-synced midi devices like the TR-09.

    You lot must be even more bored of me going on about this than I am.

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We are the music makers - producers?

Posted by Avatar for mattty @mattty