Mod­u­lar Monthly

Stomp­boxes with mod­u­lar gear

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

There’s a huge world of in­cred­i­bly af­ford­able gui­tar ped­als out there that of­fer plenty of tone-shap­ing and FX. They work great with synths, and even bet­ter with mod­u­lar synths as tra­di­tion­ally ped­als come af­ter the out­put of a synth and be­fore the mix­ing desk or record­ing chain.

But with mod­u­lar, the pedal can sit any­where in the sig­nal path. Want to take an os­cil­la­tor through a cho­rus then into a fil­ter and VCA? You can do it. Or take your sam­pler mod­ule into a de­lay then back into the mod­u­lar for some dis­tor­tion? Any­thing’s pos­si­ble. In any for­mat, with any in­stru­ment, you can play around with pedal order and rout­ing, but mod­u­lar truly lets you rip open up sound gen­er­a­tion, mod­u­la­tion and pro­cess­ing to place a pedal any­where you link.

In order to in­te­grate ped­als fully with a mod­u­lar sys­tem, we need to think about sig­nal lev­els. Gui­tars are low-out­put pas­sive de­vices, and most ped­als are de­signed to work at those low lev­els. Mod­u­lar synths out­put a very high level, way above pas­sive gui­tar and also way above stu­dio line lev­els too, so level con­trol is im­por­tant. We need to at­ten­u­ate the mod­u­lar sig­nal on its way out, then boost the pedal’s sig­nal back up on the way back in.

We’ll be mak­ing use of the ALM SBG, which of­fers a dry/wet blend con­trol, level con­trol in and out of the mod­u­lar, and it also goes an ex­tra mile to con­vert mod­u­lar CV sig­nals to two types of ex­pres­sion pedal sig­nal. Mod­u­lat­ing ped­als with CV makes them feel like an in­te­grated part of the sys­tem. So let’s get into some patches and get started.

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