January 26, 2008

Uh oh, here we go again...

by Chris Randall

I know I swore off modulars like two years ago, as a big fat waste of time and money, but there's some really interesting stuff coming out for Eurorack format lately, and I have to admit that it has piqued my interest.

In particular, I've been eyeballing the Livewire shit. The Chaos Computer (yeah, I realize it isn't released yet, you literal fucks...) obviously has my attention, because it's just the sort of thing I like, but most of the Livewire line seems to live somewhere between cool and sexy. I've been pondering getting a 6U Doepfer rack and making a system expressly for play-by-itself type shit. Does any of my fair readers (excluding, you know, all the people I banned for posting retarded comments in the last thread) own some Livewire shit, and can you speak to its general build quality and robustness?



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Jan.26.2008 @ 3:38 AM
I have a Dalek. Build quality is very good better than Doepfer and Blacet, about par with Cwejman.

As for robustness switches and pots are still firm (as new) after about a years use - real use.

Overall it has a very solid feel and reeks quality on both the user side and the PCB side.


Jan.26.2008 @ 8:39 AM
Livewire stuff is definitely well built, and I think there's a Frequensteiner in my future.

I did have a bad experience with the Dual Bissell though. You can't use it for normal portamento--it scales down the CV so that an octave equals about a fifth. Very frustrating. Their customer service is great though, and the modules look wonderful.

Chris, you need to get some Harvestman stuff. Especially the Polivoks filter and Zorlong Cannon. DO IT...modulars are so fun...


Jan.26.2008 @ 9:24 AM
If you aren't already familiar, I'd recommend checking out James Cigler's "Felix Inferious" blog (link [felixinferious.ot.co...]">link [felixinferious.ot.co...]). Plenty of Eurorack format reviews and demo videos to be found there.


Jan.26.2008 @ 9:49 AM
I'd go for a livewire/plan b modular myself, if I really wanted to open that can of worms... but my wallet isn't infinitely refillable.

Jan.26.2008 @ 11:53 AM
My God, the Harvestman gear is sick! Somehow the idea of an 8 bit sounding modular system really appeals!

Jan.26.2008 @ 12:29 PM
d wagenbach
I worked for Livewire for about a year and a half and we did focus on quality to the point that quantity suffered. The oscillator that's coming out shortly should be pretty remarkable and the Chaos Computer is sort of similar to the Klee Sequencer.
I like the Harvestman stuff a lot, too. it's great to see people doing something other than cloning a bunch of Moog stuff over and over.


Jan.26.2008 @ 12:33 PM
Chris Randall
Yeah, the Harvestman stuff has caught my eye as well. And Plan B is making some nice things. The clinical Doepfer modules have never done it for me at all, but there's some really cool American Eurorack shit now.



Jan.26.2008 @ 12:58 PM
brandon daniel
Trust it, it's good. Mike would much rather let his output slow to a trickle than release subpar quality. Difficulty acquiring his signature knobs is often a reason for lack of modules in stock at various distributors.

That said, I question the desire for an analog "plays by itself" system. As someone with a fairly large eurorack rig, and who has some familiarity with making self-playing patches, I believe strongly that complex control systems are much more efficiently created digitally, leaving the analog modular stuff to generate the tones.

Sure, it can be done, but it takes a lot of modules to do something good, and you paid a lot of money for those extra modules that are replicating patterns a digital control system + multichannel midi->cv would be better at.

Basically: Been there, done that, your premise has some flaws.

That said, they sure are a lot of fun!


Jan.26.2008 @ 1:31 PM
Can someone point me to a description oof what the Chaos Computer does? I've only seen pictures, but no info.

Jan.26.2008 @ 1:47 PM
Someone was just making fun of me for getting back into modulars. Oh wait, that was you.

I'm hoping to make a library of freaky sounds to sample. The Livewire and Plan B stuff looks great to me, I might adapt some of it to MOTM format someday. I'm hoping to slowly build up a system, and keep it this time...


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