2021: A Year in Gear (What You've Bought or Want to Buy in 2021)

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
User avatar
addled muppet weed
80673 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:34 am

:lol:

User avatar
KVRAF
6976 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:00 am

justin3am wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:32 am
Build a pillow fort and use it as an iso box. :hihi: 8)
:lol:

User avatar
Beware the Quoth
29707 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:02 am

WatchTheGuitar wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:48 am
Re cheap amps - I've heard very good things about those tiny 1 watt Orange and Blackstar amps. Ideal for home use.
While Ive been testing modules, Ive been running them exclusively into an Orange Crush Micro. Makes everything all nice and crunchy, like.
successfully and consistently snarky

User avatar
Beware the Quoth
29707 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:57 pm

Nearly done, but its been another slog; this is the case with multiple 'sets' of daisy-chained modules with their own connections to each other. Thought I did well with the Turing Machine until I unpacked the Tesseract Sweet 16 and GESS, which were to be hooked up to a Disting Ex.

Just for the record, because I couldnt find this in t'interwebz, for anyone wanting to do the same:

Connecting Disting Ex to Tesseract Sweet 16 Mk2 over I2C
  • Ensure the pullup resistors on both Disting (via switches) and S16 (via jumpers) are active.
  • Connect the 3 I2C wires in the same order on both devices
  • The provided I2C cables were quite short, so the modules have to be side by side, and I found it better to have the Disting on the left
  • You can make sure I2C is working from the Disting from Misc>I2C History
  • You can test MIDI over USB at the same time via a USB cable, and MIDI-OX or equivalent.
Getting the GESS to work
  • The GESS didnt seem to be generating MIDI notes, the solution was updating the Sweet 16 firmware to the newest version.
  • It might seem like the Tesseract webpage is pointing you at the 16n 'webeditor' to update the firmware. But it cant do that. Instead get hold of the Teensy loader from https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/loader.html
  • The correct file at the time of writing is Sweet_3.hex. However I couldnt download that directly from the link; I got a 600K webpage of the hex dump instead. I downloaded the whole github as a .zip, and extracted the 90K .hex file from that.
  • You will need physical access to the back of the S16 board to initiate the Teensy for uploading the firmware.
  • You dont need to connect a USB cable direct to the Teensy, you can connect via the front panel, while the module is powered.
successfully and consistently snarky

User avatar
KVRAF
5782 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:22 pm

My 18i20 3rd gen arrived today. Everything seems great EXCEPT that the ADAT inputs from my ES-6 are crackly. A couple of channels crackle every few seconds, but all of them crackle more when there's audio present. It seems unrelated to clock rate, ASIO settings etc. and is audible when I monitor the channels in Focusrite Control. I wrote to their tech support and also Expert Sleepers' forum on MW.

User avatar
KVRAF
6836 posts since 30 Apr, 2019

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:12 pm

My Focusrite, much earlier generation than yours so you’d hope no longer an issue, was really susceptible to noise through the USB. I got round it by placing the interface on a USB port that was on a separate USB header than anything else. Before that you’d kind of be able to hear aliasing noise when the CPU was doing anything.

KVRAF
13019 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:42 pm

foosnark wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:22 pm
My 18i20 3rd gen arrived today. Everything seems great EXCEPT that the ADAT inputs from my ES-6 are crackly. A couple of channels crackle every few seconds, but all of them crackle more when there's audio present. It seems unrelated to clock rate, ASIO settings etc. and is audible when I monitor the channels in Focusrite Control. I wrote to their tech support and also Expert Sleepers' forum on MW.
Sounds like a clock problem. I will often use the SPDIF as the clock source when I don't have word clock on both ends. I've found that more reliable than using the the ADAT as a clock source.

User avatar
KVRAF
5782 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:08 pm

I know it's not USB noise, because I can unplug the USB and just use direct monitoring and it's still crackling.

It does seem like it might be a clock issue, but I'm not sure what I can do.

The ES-3 I think doesn't even have its own clock; it gets the clock from its ADAT input. Then it passes it along to the ES-6 via a ribbon cable.

I think if I set the 18i20 to use ADAT clock, it's either saying "there isn't one so I'll use my internal clock anyway" or it's otherwise transmitting clock through the ES-3, ES-6 and back in to its input. If I set it to SPDIF clock, it just doesn't sync because there isn't anything connected that way.

Could be a marginal Toslink cable maybe...?

KVRian
895 posts since 1 Apr, 2005

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:14 pm

elxsound wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:41 am

That's a nice surprise then! Every time I get curious about this one, I see the used market (x2-x3 pricing) and I'm less curious. :hihi:

I'm hoping with the attention they're getting, maybe by next year they'll be able to produce bigger batches?
https://modwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 6&t=190546 is the Gate's home thread on Mod Wiggler. I suspect there isn't much left production upscale wise unless they're changing their philosophy in terms of production quality and control.

The scalper prices were pushing me to accept a long waiting time (I simply and principially refuse to pay more than list prices for new stuff). Actually I've joined the Scheidersladen list just in February. :-)

elxsound wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:41 am
For now, (especially as I'm new in the modular world) I'm looking to grab Optomix once it becomes available. I know it's not the same, but to get Mindphaser to be a littler more DPO, I think Optomix should bring to the table what I liked about DPO most.
I do have the LXD which is quite capable and my one does sound good. What "sold" me on the Natural Gate were the demo videos on their web site. It seems to offer a very wide range of control over the interesting parts of the envelopes. I will see.

KVRAF
13019 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:57 pm

foosnark wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:08 pm
I know it's not USB noise, because I can unplug the USB and just use direct monitoring and it's still crackling.

It does seem like it might be a clock issue, but I'm not sure what I can do.

The ES-3 I think doesn't even have its own clock; it gets the clock from its ADAT input. Then it passes it along to the ES-6 via a ribbon cable.

I think if I set the 18i20 to use ADAT clock, it's either saying "there isn't one so I'll use my internal clock anyway" or it's otherwise transmitting clock through the ES-3, ES-6 and back in to its input. If I set it to SPDIF clock, it just doesn't sync because there isn't anything connected that way.
Yes, looking at the web page, the ES-6 gets its clock from the ES-3 which gets it from the ADAT, so you don't have a choice. You don't want to set the 18i20 to ADAT clock because their won't be one, so you're correct, you set it to its internal clock. I didn't mean to imply that driving the audio interface from SPDIF has any advantage over its internal clock, it usually doesn't. I have just found when syncing two audio interfaces that both have ADAT and SPDIF (coax) that clock problems often go away when I link them with SPDIF as well as ADAT and use the SPDIF input as the clock source on the slaved interface. In your case you have no choice, the ES-6 will get its clock from ADAT.
Could be a marginal Toslink cable maybe...?
Possibly, or one that is too long.

User avatar
KVRist
92 posts since 25 May, 2012 from Sunny Philly

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:32 am

elxsound wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:34 am
pekbro wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:52 pm
elxsound wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:02 pm
I'm assuming there's a mixer in between?
Someone did give me an old mixer which i like, and thats good for the synths and guitar.
Modular is mixed in the rig then to the outboard or not depending on what im doin.

Guitar is kind of a prob as I have no real amp.
I need to choose a nice small amp at some point actually. For years, i just used software.
I've always found the amp situation difficult for the same space problem with choosing eurorack housing.

I've got a 15(?) year old Roland cube that's moved with me across the county, and one of these small Blackstar amPlugs to plug directly to headphones (perfect for late-night practicing, which happens often).

I did not know about the Positive Grid Spark or the Yamaha thr30. I was only aware of the UA OX, which is overkill (based on price) for my needs (/justification).

I've been recording directly into the computer and a 2nd chain for the pedals. It's worked nicely so far. I even tried recording from the amPlug and it's clean, but I would not be surprised if it starts to short out later on.
The THR30ii WL is excellent, 30 watts, using their soundbar tech it really throws the sound out and the modeling is good…modelled down to the tube used in the preamp. Its wireless and has a built in battery…pricey at $500 though.

The Spark is on sale right now, $260 with the bag…amazing amount of amps and fx all through an app that can be saved on the amp or just use the amp controls. Im using a ripchord 19v and powerbank to power it…solid built, great value.


Both can be used as audio interfaces via usb but the yamaha has quarter inch outs and allows simultaneous dry or wet tracking so you can reamp it. Boss katana Air is decent too and Vox have a model but Ive never tried it :tu:

User avatar
KVRAF
11459 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:56 am

foosnark wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:08 pm
Could be a marginal Toslink cable maybe...?
I encountered a similar problem with ADAT on my MOTU 828mk3. I used compressed air in the connectors and swapped cables and never encountered the problem again.

Can you do a loop-back test? Route the Focusrite's ADAT Output back into it's own input? That way you should be able to isolate the problem. If you send the ES-3 outs to inputs on the Focusrite interface, and route test-tone to the ADAT outputs, do you get similar crackles from the ES-3?

User avatar
KVRAF
3999 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:02 am

Re: Guitar Amp: I do have a THR10X which is nice, but not the best for recording. I dunno, I haven't really looked into it too much. I'll probably just spring for a Kemper Profiler at some point. That might be the best solution for me. :shrug:

*The Zoia is not bad on it's own actually, though I have yet to get a very good guitar distortion out of it. For clean though, it's nice. The reverbs, delays and whatnot are very good imo.

User avatar
Beware the Quoth
29707 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:23 am

Done. And it blinketh like a mofo. I have a couple of minor repairs to do, and a very old Doepfer VCA that might be dead, but that's it, thank Eris.
successfully and consistently snarky

User avatar
KVRAF
5782 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:59 pm

justin3am wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:56 am
I encountered a similar problem with ADAT on my MOTU 828mk3. I used compressed air in the connectors and swapped cables and never encountered the problem again.

Can you do a loop-back test? Route the Focusrite's ADAT Output back into it's own input?
Thanks for these suggestions. Something about pulling the cables out, dusting the connectors with compressed air and plugging them back in fixed it right up.

I've still got better cables on the way but I'll leave my cheap plastic ones in place as long as they still work. :D

Return to “Hardware (Instruments and Effects)”