With a new year on the horizon, I thought it might be interesting for us to go on a little adventure in 2018. If you’re a regular reader, you probably already know that I have a lot of love for small systems. So, I figure, why not explore the creation of a new system together. We’ll be working to build a 104hp Make Noise synth. The goal will be a small, fun and economical beginning for a eurorack journey.
Why not build a more eclectic system?
There are advantages to this arbitrary limitation. Mainly, there’s less chance for analysis paralysis. Module options can be utterly overwhelming. By choosing a single, reputable manufacturer with a diverse portfolio we can more easily get to the business of creating a system and making noise.
Why Make Noise?
I’ve had some experience with Make Noise modules (STO, Contour and Pressure Points) each of these has shown itself to be a very well thought-out and versatile module. Furthermore, the Make Noise catalogue is sufficient to support the creation of a system. Some companies offer up great modules, but if you tried to make a system using only their modules you’d wind up with something a bit clunky and lacking in certain critical areas. Make Noise has a robust offering of sound-sources, LPGs, mixers, effects and all manner of control voltage sources, so there’s no issue making a system from it. They even sell a sweet little powered skiff… Perfection!
What will the final system look like?
It’s hard to say. Every small system should start with a vision. There’s a saying, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.” In Eurorack, I think no ModularGrid plan survives contact with reality. Theory is wonderful and vital, but bringing our sound machines into reality often involves not only incarnation, but reincarnation as theory is informed by practice. So, while I have a vision, I don’t hold that vision as immutable law. It’s just a guidepost as I begin my journey.
How will it begin?
With the bare necessities. For this project we are going to try and offer some relatively inexpensive ways to start. Relatively is emphasized here because getting into modular isn’t cheap. Startup costs can get pretty nasty, case, power supply, cables, and probably a controller (keyboard or sequencer) of some sort. Before we even start talking modules we’re easily two to four hundred dollars down the hole, and even cheap modules don’t come cheap. This project is designed to be a growing system. Rather than beginning at the end with a complete system, our beginnings will be humble, perhaps super-humble. This is but the beginning of a journey. While the first steps may be small, we’re going somewhere good and we’re going to have fun along the way.
Join us for the journey. It’s going to be a blast.