Input/Output and Mixers
As the title suggest, these modules interface with your system. Outputs can be audio interfaces or just attenuators to keep the signal from getting too hot before it hits a mixing desk/soundcard. Inputs can take guitar or synthesisers and process that with your modular.
Mixers are useful not just for blending audio signals together but mixing CV signals too. You can also amplify or attenuate CV to get desired effects.
I like my Trouby Modular Jack 8 for interfacing with my patchbay, the Doepfer A-119 or Xaoc Devices Sewastopol is a good shout for for input device. There are far too many good mixers to mention in these pages.
I will cover these sorts of modules in greater depth at another opportunity. In principle they are ways of modifying CV, attenuators turning it down, inverters inverting it (surprisingly!), offset modules add a certain amount of voltage to some and polarizers are a little more complicated.
Doepfer’s A-183-2 is a one-stop shop for three of those four functions, while the Toolbox (mentioned in other sections) does inversion as well as sample and hold, white noise, slew limiting and inversion.
Where to Buy?
If like me you’re starting out with a Doepfer system, EMIS is a really good place to get your first few modules. Andy is very helpful and answered many emails from me before I committed to buying anything. If you’re in London then it’s definitely worth getting yourself down to London Modular who have a great range of stock and are very helpful lads, too. They stock most everything:
Elsewhere in the UK and Europe is Post Modular (annoying flash website!) and SchneidersLaden, both of whom are efficient and well-stocked. Always worth keeping an eye on eBay, too: lots of bargains to be had.
If you got to the end of this and you still don’t understand, or you would prefer to sit back and have someone far cleverer than me explain it, you can check out this excellent set of videos by The Tuesday Night Machines where he’s explained nearly everything you need to know in handy YouTube clips. Check them out:
In the coming weeks and months I’ll be adding new modular guides on the basic operation and patching of some of the above modules, how to clock your Eurorack with Ableton/Logic, how to get into audio processing and whatever tickles my fancy. Enjoy and happy patching!
If you’ve gotten this far and want to read on, check the next instalment in this series, Modular 102: East Coast Synthesis in Eurorack.