Do you use Modular?

Do you use a hardware modular in conjunction with your expressive instrument?
(virtual modular is another interesting discussion, for another post … as some of these are very viable for MPE/voice per channel )

Im pretty new to modular (Ive a small Eurorack and AE modular) , so far Ive not used it with my Eigenharp or Soundplane, except as an ‘accompaniment’… which I do think is an interesting role.

mainly, of course the issue is Eurorack is expensive enough as is, without trying to create a polyphonic system… and even if you do, then it is hard to share control over voices.
(Doepher are starting to change this a bit, with some of their new quad voice modules)

But I am soon going to start using the Soundplane with the modular, to get that direct contact, expressive feel.

I’ll probably just start as a mono expressive voice, but have quite a few ideas of using as an ‘expressive surface’, which I want to explore.

so Im very interested in others thoughts, and directions.
is there much use for these instrument combined with modular?
how do you use them?

(Id love to see some performances if any any one has made any videos :slight_smile: )

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Getting my feet wet with Voltage Modular and VCV. These (being software synths) lack the haptic side of the game for obvious reasons. But it’s nice to get the feet wet :slight_smile:
Honestly mainly building stuff where a semimodular synth would also have been sufficient. But what interest me on modular synths is the ability to play sounds without automated envelopes - in some “usual” synths these are hard to get rid of…

yeah, thats part of the joy of modular (virtual modular included) , it doesn’t make assumptions - and that includes some history of being played without keyboards/midi.

I was also just saying to @NightMachines, that Ive a feeling theres a bit of a “similarity” in modular and expressive instruments - in both cases we are seeking hands-on/direct contact with sound.
Modular has a history for this hands on control as well, if we think about things like the Doepfer Ribbon or Make Noise Pressure points, Ears or various other interfaces that exist.

This is why Im starting to explore the Soundplane with modular, I think its a really interesting combination.

(Ive already got MEC running on Bela Salt module, so I don’t have to go via OSC or Midi, it can be straight Soundplane -> CV :slight_smile: )

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I feel like modulars and polyphonic expression instruments are also equally challenging to program. Finding a way to use all this X, Y, Z, Velocity, Slide, etc. data from an MPE controller in an instrument’s sound, without it being either boring or totally unplayable, is quite tricky in my experience. It’s the modular equivalent of patching something more unusual than a standard synth voice but also not just chaotic noise :smiley:

Check out Alessandro Cortini. He might just be using the Soundplane with Aalto and Kaivo, but he has a ton of Buchla modular gear as well, so I’ve got a pretty decent feeling that all of it is synced/used in conjunction with one another.

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While I have the means to control my modular from MPE instruments (ES-3 for the Eigenharp, and a CVC for the Continuum), I tend to just use it as a means of either non poly expression sound (sequences, drums), or routing the audio from my expressive instruments through additional processing.


This is pretty much my approach, as well. I might use the breath pipe or strip on the Eigenharp to control something on the modular, but that is about it. To me it makes more sense to let them complement each other than trying to play one from the other.


When I was deep into Eurorack, I found the Shuttle Control worked well with my Linnstrument. With 16 programmable CV outputs, there are many different configurations that can be achieved, Here’s a link to their online programming page to see all the options.

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And then there’s all the expressive options in Eurorack/Modular as well. A lot of different controller modules, including breath.

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Yes, but I’m still searching for a meaningful way to connect the two. I wish there was an ios app to convert and the data from roli seaboard block to cv that I could use via ES-8, one or two voices would be enough.

I should try again the Rise module from Softube Modular. I used STM with seaboard block previously, but in the box, even with polyphonic patches. I’ve used to make one voice, and then use 4 separate tracks in Reaper to distribute the cpu load better.

I have the capability to do so (thanks to both es-8 and SSP) but it’s not something I’ve pursued very seriously because it takes so much more setup than a dizzying variety of software does.

I just picked up the SSP myself, and am planning to explore this fairly extensively.

It’s a lot of setup, as you say. But, it eliminates a rats nest of cables trying to do anything similar without.