Learning Modular Synthesis: Eurorack Expansion

The "Eurorack Expansion" series core rack(Already registered and logged in? Click here to jump straight to the course.)

Let’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 (7-10 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. The original version of this course then looks at three representative but very different modules in each category, explaining their features and demonstrating common synthesis tricks and techniques they enable; the extended version available through this web site keeps adding new modules onto each category over time. 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:

 

There are three ways you can watch this course:

•     Click here to go the Eurorack Expansion course on Lynda.com. 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. Hundreds of music and audio courses are available there in addition to mine, all for one monthly fee.

•    Become a member of the Learning Modular Patreon tribe! My +5v patrons get access to the Eurorack Expansion source as a “thank you” for their support; my +12v patrons get access to all of my modular synth courses hosted on LearningModular.com.

•     Register & buy the course below for a one-time fee, and view it for years streaming from this web site, even as I add more modules to the course over time. Fill out the form below, choose your preferred method of payment, and then click the Pay & Register for this Course button. If you chose Stripe, this page will refresh – scroll back down to here and fill in your credit card info. If you chose PayPal, you will be taken to their site to complete payment.

After paying, look for an email confirming your username and giving login instructions; save it. (Look in your Junk folder if you don’t see it shortly after registering.) If you have already paid & registered, but are not logged in yet, click here or in the main menu select Training > Training Login.

 


Still undecided? I’ve created a several posts featuring free-to-all sample movies from the Eurorack Expansion course; feel free to sample these first:


Table of Contents for Learning Modular Synthesis:

Eurorack Expansion (extended version)

Module 1 Introduction
Unit 1 Welcome
Unit 2 Waveforms, harmonics, and voltages
Module 2 Integrating with a Eurorack System
Unit 1 Getting sound out
Unit 2 Comparing built-in and dedicated CV converters
Unit 3 Getting more expression out of your controller
Unit 4 Introducing the multi-function Disting
Unit 5 Improving articulation with a 2nd envelope
Unit 6 Patching VCAs for alternate outputs
Unit 7 Using VCAs to control mod depth
Unit 8 Mixing oscillator waveforms
Unit 9 Mixing and altering control voltages
Module 3 Adding a Second Oscillator
Unit 1 Adding a second oscillator: tuning
Unit 2 Adding a second oscillator: mixing
Unit 3 Intellijel Dixie II+: overview
Unit 4 Dixie II+: waveforms
Unit 5 Dixie II+: hard sync & flip
Unit 6 Dixie II+: static FM (frequency modulation)
Unit 7 Dixie II+: dynamic FM
Unit 8 Verbos Complex Oscillator: overview
Unit 9 Verbos Complex: harmonics (waveshaping)
Unit 10 Verbos Complex: FM (frequency modulation)
Unit 11 Verbos Complex: AM (amplitude modulation)
Unit 12 Verbos Complex: soft sync
Unit 13 Mutable Instruments Braids: overview
Unit 14 MI Braids: wavetable synthesis
Unit 15 MI Braids: analog emulations
Unit 16 MI Braids: West Coast techniques
Unit 17 MI Braids: vocal and formant synthesis
Unit 18 MI Braids: physical modeling
Unit 19 MI Braids: percussion synthesis
Unit 20 MI Braids: other algorithms
Unit 21 Lifeforms Double Helix VCO: demo + overview
Unit 22 Lifeforms Double Helix: waveshapes + VC routers
Unit 23 Lifeforms Double Helix: exponential FM
Unit 24 Lifeforms Double Helix: wavefolder + LPG
Module 4 Alternative Filters
Unit 1 Patching in a different filter
Unit 2 Doepfer A-106-5 SEM filter: overview
Unit 3 Doepfer SEM: alternate filter modes
Unit 4 Erica Dtech VCF: overview
Unit 5 Erica Dtech: exploring instability
Unit 6 Doepfer A-127 Triple VCRF: formants
Unit 7 Doepfer VCRF: adding motion
Unit 8 Rossum Evolution: overview
Unit 9 Rossum Evolution: Genus
Unit 10 Rossum Evolution: Q/resonance
Unit 11 Rossum Evolution: Species
Unit 12 Verbos Bark Filter: basic operation
Unit 13 Verbos Bark Filter: voltage control
Unit 14 Verbos Bark Filter: vocoding
Unit 15 Verbos Bark Filter: envelope followers
Unit 16 Modcan Multimode Filter: overview
Unit 17 Modcan Multimode Filter: details
Unit 18 Gotharman CS Filter: overview
Unit 19 Gotharman CS Filter: detailed exploration
Unit 20 Rossum Morpheus Digital Filter: overview + enveloped
Unit 21 Rossum Morpheus: drones
Unit 22 Rossum Morpheus: stereo drum loops
Unit 23 Rossum Morpheus: editing
Unit 24 Doepfer A-106-6 XP Filter: overview
Unit 25 Doepfer A-106-6: LP, BP, and resonance
Unit 26 Doepfer A-106-6: bandpass variations
Unit 27 Doepfer A-106-6: notch & all pass modes
Module 5 Waveshapers and Other Sound Modifiers
Unit 1 Patching in a sound modifier
Unit 2 Random*Source Serge Wave Multipliers
Unit 3 RS Wave Multipliers: wavefolding
Unit 4 RS Wave Multipliers: full wave rectifiers
Unit 5 AJH Synth Ring SM: overview + mixer
Unit 6 AJH Ring SM: sub bass
Unit 7 AJH Ring SM: ring modulation
Unit 8 Happy Nerding Super Sawtor
Unit 9 Doepfer A-113 Subharmonic Generator: overview
Unit 10 Doepfer A-113: subharmonic mixtures
Unit 11 Doepfer A-113: complex modulation & triggers
Unit 12 Abstract Data ADE-10: overview + input
Unit 13 Abstract Data ADE-10: vertical shaper
Unit 14 Abstract Data ADE-10: wave folder
Unit 15 Abstract Data ADE-10: feedback
Module 6 Envelopes, LFOs, and Other Mod Sources
Unit 1 Adding a different mod source
Unit 2 WMD MultiMode Envelope + Expander
Unit 3 WMD MME: envelope shapes
Unit 4 WMD MME: envelope modes
Unit 5 WMD MME: voltage control + expander
Unit 6 IME Kermit Dual Modulation Aid: overview
Unit 7 IME Kermit: voltage control & cross-modulation
Unit 8 IME Kermit: tap tempo
Unit 9 IME Kermit: lo-fi VCO
Unit 10 Sputnik West Coast Random Source: overview
Unit 11 Sputnik WCRS: fluctuating random
Unit 12 Sputnik WCRS: quantized & stored random
Unit 13 Sputnik WCRS: switch + sample & hold
Unit 14 Frap Tools SAPÈL: demo + overview
Unit 15 Frap Tools SAPÈL: quantized random voltages
Unit 16 Frap Tools SAPÈL: fluctuating + probability
Unit 17 Frap Tools SAPÈL: gates & clocks
Unit 18 SSF Ultra-Random Analog: overview
Unit 19 SSF URA: Sample & Holds
Unit 20 SSF URA: Random Gates + Opto Integrator
Unit 21 SSF URA: Random Flux
Unit 22 SSF URA: Audio Rate Clock Tricks
Module 7 Level Control: Amplifiers, Mixers, and LPGs
Unit 1 Patching in another mixer or VCA
Unit 2 STG Soundlabs .mix
Unit 3 Verbos Scan & Pan: overview
Unit 4 Verbos Scan & Pan: VC panning
Unit 5 Verbos Scan & Pan: scanning inputs
Unit 6 Lifeforms Dynamic Impulse Filter LPG
Unit 7 Lifeforms DIF: melodic uses
Unit 8 Lifeforms DIF: "Buchla bongos"
Unit 9 Lifeforms DIF: processing percussion
Unit 10 SSF Mixmode: overview
Unit 11 SSF Mixmode: saturation
Unit 12 SSF Mixmode: Expander
Unit 13 SSF Mixmode: percussion overdrive
Unit 14 WMD Digital VCA: de-clicking attacks
Unit 15 WMD Digital VCA 2/2: sample & hold
Unit 16 Roland 530 Dual VCA: overview
Unit 17 Roland 530 VCA: linear vs. exponential
Unit 18 Happy Nerding 3x VCA: overview, mixing, & enveloping
Unit 19 Happy Nerding 3x VCA: mod depth, tremolo, & autopan
Module 8 Effects Modules
Unit 1 Patching in and controlling modular effects
Unit 2 Roland 572: phase shifter
Unit 3 Roland 572: analog delay + chorus
Unit 4 Roland 572: gate delay
Unit 5 WMD/SSF DPLR VC Delay: overview
Unit 6 WMD/SSF DPLR: interactive performance
Unit 7 Synthrotek Verb: low-fi reverb
Unit 8 Synthrotek Verb: modulated resonator

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