Arturia RackBrute 6u

The RackBrute 6u satellite rig as it currently exists. Lots of empty space to work with.

As part of the MiniBrute 2S bundle, I received a RackBrute 6u. I’ve already moved some modules to it and had some sessions using it, the main Modular and the MiniBrute 2S. I’d say if you’re considering a Brute, the deal with the RackBrute is hard to pass up. In my case, doubly so, since I was able to unload the Monorocket case I was only half using.

So far, I’ve only got the overflow from my old rig contained inside. This consists of an STG Envelope and .Mix, a few multiples, a Mutable Veils VCA/mixer and a small sequencing setup consisting of an old Pittsburgh Modular 8 step Sequencer, Intellijel uStep and uScale II. I also put the Tip Top Audio Fold Professor and Evaton Technologies RF Nomad for a little fun.

My focus for this satellite rig, I think, will be to make a self contained system with a few oscillators (ideally 3) a few filters (ideally 2) and then enough modulation to make it interesting. I would like this to be the rig I take live or focus on in live sets.

Modular Grid rendering of the Satellite rig as-is.

For the oscillators, I’m on the fence about getting some big, complex oscillator like the Rossum Electronics Trident Triple oscillator or Industrial Music Electronics Hertz Donut mkIII, or going with multiple smaller, simpler oscillators, like 3 Intelijel Dixie II+ or Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms Primary oscillator. I could also mix and match since I have the space.

Filters are a harder choice. In any system, really, it is the filters that determine the voice of the instrument. Having the Steiner Parker filter in the MiniBrute 2S, I’d like to get something smoother. Something that I don’t have represented. I’d love to find some dual filter topology to put in there. Possibly an Intelijel Morgasmatron or even an old Korgasmatron would do fine. I do miss my Doctor Octature mkII, and it would be nice to have one again. That one can also double as an awesome sine wave oscillator / modulation source.

Fortunately, there is no rush, and the second hand market for Eurorack has definitely turned to a buyers market. I don’t know that I’ll need to buy any of this stuff new.

Studio blog, 2019-10-06

I’ve missed a few weeks of studio blogging, but they haven’t been in productive. The last few weeks, I took care of a few long standing items while also making significant musical progress.

First off, I have made significant strides in getting to know (and love) the Akai Force. It seems do definitely be taking over the spot I’d had the MPC Live in as the MIDI/Audio centerpiece. It is by no means, as I’ve said, perfect, but it is very close! It lacks only a way, really, to cue up one song after another with minimal button pushing to be that perfect piece of live gear for the musician that doesn’t want to carry a laptop.

The second development, is that I took advantage of a pretty significant deal that Arturia was running and added a MiniBrute 2S to my rig along with a RackBrute 6u (it also came with a gig bag and cables for all of the above). With this purchase, I sold off the other Monorocket travel case that I was only half using anyway and transferred the modules to this one.

I have the idea now for a 3 or 4 track set. The first would be a modular improvisation on the MiniBrute + RackBrute, the second would be on MPC LIve, the third would then be on the Akai Force, with the final track going back to the MPC Live + Brutes. The idea is that I would be able to load it all up at the start of the initial set and then just play through to the end giving me round about an hours worth of material. The rig would be light enough to carry, so I could consider gigging.

And, yes, I am really starting to feel the itch to perform in some way again. What form that takes, internet streaming or actually finding venues is another discussion to be had.

As I am working on the pieces, I need to consider how to fill out that 6u. I want to make it its own rig, independent of the MiniBrute 2S if I can, but that’s not completely necessary. I already have spare utilities for it. I’ll post separately about that discussion.

Space..the final limitation.

For the last few days, I’ve been nursing a more than minor gear-boner for an Arturia MiniBrute 2S + RackBrute. I like the idea of setting that up next to the main modular and getting rid of my current overflow case, which would go a pretty good way to paying for it. I also like that there is a nice bundle available on that bundles the 2S, RackBrute and a case for the two. I have the idea in my head that I could take this simple rig with, perhaps, just the Akai Force to some undisclosed secret location and make music it on undisturbed by others for a weekend jam / retreat.

And that’s great. But honestly, I have no idea where I’d actually put it in the studio, particularly the case. I don’t have any large flat surfaces left, with the devices I have. There is the large space in front of the big modular where I could lay the case on its back, I suppose…but I’ve never really liked horizontal cases like that.

So I probably won’t get it because it just damned well won’t fit.


Post-Coldwaves Malaise

My throat is sore, my body sore and my asthma a tic more a problem than usual.   Coldwaves is over.

There isn’t much to really say about it.   It is what it is always is for me.   I see all the people I know or knew in that scene and I am reminded of how I never really belonged there.   That, for whatever reason, I am and will always  the outsider.  At this age, I’m 99% ok with that.  Damned if the demon inside my head won’t twist that over and over again though.

Anyway, it’s over.  On to next year.