Learning Modular Synthesis: Eurorack Expansion

The "Eurorack Expansion" series core rackLet’s say you already have a semi-modular synth (such as the Moog Mother-32), or a small full-modular system. What should you add next? And how do you get the most out of what you just bought? Those are the very issues I tackle in this extensive (7 hour) course, which is the logical follow-up to Learning Modular Synthesis and Learning Modular Synthesis: Moog Mother-32.

After an introductory movie demonstrating how I will be displaying audio, control voltages, and harmonic spectra as well as the color-coding for patch cables in this course, Chapter 1 goes over what I consider to be the main utility or “glue” modules you should consider for any system, including mixers, VCAs, multi-function modules such as the Expert Sleepers Disting, and more. I then look at six major types of modules – oscillators, filters, other sound modifiers (waveshapers etc.), modulation sources, level control modules (VCAs, mixers, and the such), and modular effects – and show you what to look for and how to patch them into your system. I also look at three representative but very different modules in each category, explaining their features and demonstrating common synthesis tricks and techniques they enable. By the end, I think you’ll have a much better idea what features to look for in a module, which ones might create the sounds you’re looking for, and how to make good use of them once they’re in your system. Here is the introductory movie from this course (due to be released July 2017):

When it is released this July, this course will be available through Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning. If you don’t already have a Lynda.com account, register through lynda.com/trial/chrismeyer and you’ll receive your first 30 days free before your credit card is charged.

In addition to this course, I will regularly releasing movies on additional modules, and posting them here on LearningModular.com. I have also created a post on the “glue” modules I chose for the teaching rack I use in this course: The “Eurorack Expansion” Host Rack.


Table of Contents for
Learning Modular Synthesis: Eurorack Expansion

Introduction

  1. Welcome
  2. Waveforms, harmonics, and voltages

Chapter 1: Integrating with a Eurorack system

  1. Getting sound out
  2. Comparing built-in and dedicated MIDI-to-CV converters
  3. Getting more expression out of your controller
  4. Introducing the multi-function Disting
  5. Improving articulation with a second envelope
  6. Patching VCAs for alternate outputs
  7. Using VCAs to control modulation depth
  8. Mixing oscillator waveforms
  9. Mixing and altering control voltages

Chapter 2: Adding a second oscillator

  1. Adding a second oscillator: tuning
  2. Adding a second oscillator: waveforms
  3. Intellijel Dixie II+: overview
  4. Dixie II+: waveforms
  5. Dixie II+: hard sync & flip
  6. Dixie II+: static FM (frequency modulation)
  7. Dixie II+: dynamic FM
  8. Verbos Complex Oscillator: overview
  9. Verbos Complex: harmonics (waveshaping)
  10. Verbos Complex: FM (frequency modulation)
  11. Verbos Complex: AM (amplitude modulation)
  12. Verbos Complex: soft sync
  13. Mutable Instruments Braids: overview
  14. MI Braids: wavetable synthesis
  15. MI Braids: analog emulations
  16. MI Braids: West Coast techniques
  17. MI Braids: vocal and formant synthesis
  18. MI Braids: physical modeling
  19. MI Braids: percussion synthesis
  20. MI Braids: other algorithms

Chapter 3: Alternative filters

  1. Patching in a different filter
  2. Doepfer A-106-5 SEM filter: overview
  3. Doepfer SEM: alternate filter modes
  4. Erica Dtech VCF: overview
  5. Erica Dtech: exploring instability
  6. Doepfer A-127 Triple VCRF: formants
  7. Doepfer VCRF: adding motion
  8. Chapter 4: Waveshapers and other sound modifiers
  9. Patching in a sound modifier
  10. Random*Source Serge Wave Multipliers: overview + VCA
  11. RS Wave Multipliers: wavefolding (odd harmonics)
  12. RS Wave Multiplers: full wave rectifiers (even harmonics)
  13. AJH Synth Ring SM: overview + mixer
  14. AJH Ring SM: sub bass
  15. AJH Ring SM: ring modulation
  16. Happy Nerding Super Sawtor

Chapter 5: Envelopes, LFOs, and other modulation sources

  1. Adding a different modulation source
  2. WMD MultiMode Envelope + Expander: overview
  3. WMD MME: envelope shapes
  4. WMD MME: envelope modes
  5. WMD MME: voltage control + expander
  6. IME Kermit Dual Modulation Aid: overview
  7. IME Kermit: votage control & cross-modulation
  8. IME Kermit: tap tempo
  9. IME Kermit: lo-fi VCO
  10. Sputnik West Coast Random Source: overview + noise
  11. Sputnik WCRS: fluctuating random
  12. Sputnik WCRS: quantized & stored random
  13. Sputnik WCRS: switch + sample & hold

Chapter 6: Level control: amplifiers, mixers, and low pass gates

  1. Patching in another mixer or voltage controlled amp (VCA)
  2. STG Soundlabs .mix
  3. Verbos Scan & Pan: overview
  4. Verbos Scan & Pan: voltage controlled panning
  5. Verbos Scan & Pan: waveform mixing
  6. Lifeforms Dynamic Impulse Filter: overview
  7. Lifeforms DIF: melodic uses
  8. Lifeforms DIF: “Buchla bongos”
  9. Lifeforms DIF: processing percussion

Chapter 7: Effects modules

  1. Patching in and controlling modular effects
  2. Roland 572: phase shifter
  3. Roland 572: analog delay + chorus
  4. Roland 572: gate delay
  5. WMD/SSF DPLR VC Delay: overview
  6. WMD/SSF DPLR: interactive performance
  7. Synthrotek Verb: low-fi reverb
  8. Synthrotek Verb: modulated resonator

Conclusion: And there’s a lot more

  1. Going further