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Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece

chysn

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Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« on: September 11, 2016, 06:07:51 PM »
I wanted to ask if anybody here uses a Pro 2 as the primary controller for a modular system, especially (but not exclusively) if it's a eurorack modular synthesizer.

I'm currently using a Little Phatty (with CV outs) as my modular centerpiece. I'm pretty happy with it, although there are some things I wish it did better, from a modular standpoint. I've got some specific questions, and forgive me if these could have been answered by the manual.

(1) What is the voltage range of the CV pitch out? For the LP, the lowest E is -2V, and the highest is +4V. The negative voltage is important for transposing sequencer CV with a unity mixer. If the Pro 2's pitch CV starts at 0V and goes positive, it wouldn't be much use to me.

(2) Is it possible to copy CV assignment settings across patches? The great thing about the LP's CV out panel is that I always know which cable is which. The gate, pitch, mod buss, and two EG outs always have cables plugged in, ready when I need them. If I need another EG, I just grab one of the blue cables. It's a little limited (for example, I have no access to velocity CV), but the convenience is nice. I'm a little concerned about the Pro 2's settings-per-patch system, and how I would manage that.

(3) Glide and pitch bend: send via pitch CV? For the LP, it's Yes, and No, respectively. CV for glide from the controller is beautiful, because glide would use up one of my Functions. Lack of pitch bend is annoying, but not annoying enough for me to perform the mod.

(4) Is volt-per-octave tracking good for the CV pitch in and outs? For the LP (and, apparently, all the new Moogs), they simply didn't care about the input, and the V/8ve tracking is poor. You can send it to the factory for a calibration trimmer, but again, hardly worth it. CV out tracking is dead nuts, though, which is the important thing.

If you have any other comments about how the Pro 2 works in a modular system, I'd be grateful to hear them.

Thanks!
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 07:11:36 PM »
All of this is from p77-79 in the manual:

1) 0v-10v, though you can add (subtract) DC bias to the output (it will still remain between 0-10v)

2) Per-patch assignment is better than global CV out assignment, IMHO, but this can be useful as well, if you only want to push modulation CVs out to a drone, for example, while ignoring the pitch CV.

I've got a SEM Pro coming that will connect to the rear of the Pro-2, so I've been looking at this fairly closely as of late, as well.

3) no and no IIRC; I'm not sure I'd want glide overlaid upon note number; same goes for pitch bend. I think this would be a good reason to have a spare lag processor, or a means to handle the maths at the modules.

4) Tracking is dead on, and my Waldorf Pulse 2 CV output tracks it nearly exactly.
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000

chysn

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Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 08:01:49 PM »
Thank you for your response.

The Pro 2's range is similar to that of the MicroBrute, and it's one of the things that makes the MicroBrute frustrating as a CV controller. 0V is too high, as a starting point, especially if you're using a unity mixer for sequencer transposition. It's even difficult to coarse-tune oscillators low enough to get a real bass range. There are transposer modules available, of course, but it would be a shame to have to cede the space. I haven't yet found a good alternative that makes the MicroBrute really usable for low notes, which is a shame because it's got a good sequencer.

The CV Output sticky thread here says that the DC offset actually will take the voltage negative, which is pretty clutch.

I understand that per-patch CV assignment is potentially more powerful. This seems to be an area where flexibility conflicts with day-to-day usability, as it seems like it would be tedious to re-patch your modular every time you change a Pro 2 sound. I'd be interested to get your take on it after you spend some time with the SEM Pro.

As for glide, I think my use cases justify it on the controller. Usually I'm playing one synth or the other. In that case, it's nice to have the single on/off switch and rate control right at hand. When I do play both synths, I always want the glide rates to be identical. If I wanted the rates to be different, then I would hook up the lag processor to achieve that. On the other hand, it's not really a deal-breaker. CV assignment and the pitch range are more likely to be deciding factors.

It's nice to know that the Pro 2 tracks well. I think that MIDI is probably better than pitch CV in 2016, but my modular synth doesn't have a MIDI module, and probably never will.

Congratulations on your pending SEM. Let us know what you think!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 08:22:31 PM by chysn »
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 09:40:20 AM »
Posted in other thread:

If the output voltage, including negative offset, exceeds the 0v lower limit, does the CV out floor at 0v? Or does it actually issue a negative voltage?

I'm not sure that the offset actually allows the output to dip below 0v, but I suppose that it's worth asking.
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 05:42:20 AM »
you can get -10V to 10V from the CV outs.

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 03:34:39 PM »
you can get -10V to 10V from the CV outs.
excellent!
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000

chysn

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Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 07:32:03 PM »
Yes, thank you, Mr. The Dog.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 05:51:57 AM »
The Pro 2 is why I started buying eurorack. So far I'm having a blast experimenting and seems that just about anything I think of gets interesting results. Really enjoy running VCOs through Pro 2's external in and clocking the sequencer via CV is great too.

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 10:58:23 PM »
The Pro 2 is why I started buying eurorack. So far I'm having a blast experimenting and seems that just about anything I think of gets interesting results. Really enjoy running VCOs through Pro 2's external in and clocking the sequencer via CV is great too.

Same here. It's a great bit of kit and a lot of fun to play around with.

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 05:34:14 PM »
Can I be persuaded in one direction OR the other?

and your case for each:

Akemie's Castle
Make Noise 0-Coast

VS.

Roland TB-03; TR-09
Soulsby Odytron

VS.

Oberheim TVP (or korg ms20m)
KorgR3;DSI OB-6;Yamaha Reface DX;&CP
VST's:FM8,Dexed,DaHornet,PlogueChipSounds,
Anticipated $$$:
Synth: OberheimTVP, Arturia MatrixBrute, KorgMS20m, Korg Arp Rev1/2FS,(DSI Pro2;Rev2;vs Atmultitron)
Akemie's Castle, Make Noise 0-coast, Odytron
OtherModularSuggestions??
+Line6Helix

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 05:47:36 PM »
Can I be persuaded in one direction OR the other?

and your case for each:

Akemie's Castle
Make Noise 0-Coast

VS.

Roland TB-03; TR-09
Soulsby Odytron

VS.

Oberheim TVP (or korg ms20m)

Might I suggest the SEM (Patch Panel or Pro) with the 0-Coast? The SEM's weakest link is its lack of modulators, while it has plenty of opportunities for patching 'em in.
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 06:38:25 PM »
Also, since I forgot to mention:
These alternatively:

Soulsby Atmultitron; and Odytron

VS. the mothership:
Arturia Matrix
KorgR3;DSI OB-6;Yamaha Reface DX;&CP
VST's:FM8,Dexed,DaHornet,PlogueChipSounds,
Anticipated $$$:
Synth: OberheimTVP, Arturia MatrixBrute, KorgMS20m, Korg Arp Rev1/2FS,(DSI Pro2;Rev2;vs Atmultitron)
Akemie's Castle, Make Noise 0-coast, Odytron
OtherModularSuggestions??
+Line6Helix

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 06:43:29 PM »
Can I be persuaded in one direction OR the other?
and your case for each:
Akemie's Castle
Make Noise 0-Coast
VS.
Roland TB-03; TR-09
Soulsby Odytron
VS.
Oberheim TVP (or korg ms20m)
Might I suggest the SEM (Patch Panel or Pro) with the 0-Coast? The SEM's weakest link is its lack of modulators, while it has plenty of opportunities for patching 'em in.

---------------.......................
Would you then lean toward Oberheim Two Voice Pro and the SEM-X Eurorack Mini sequencer(I don't remember Release date) together/maybe?
KorgR3;DSI OB-6;Yamaha Reface DX;&CP
VST's:FM8,Dexed,DaHornet,PlogueChipSounds,
Anticipated $$$:
Synth: OberheimTVP, Arturia MatrixBrute, KorgMS20m, Korg Arp Rev1/2FS,(DSI Pro2;Rev2;vs Atmultitron)
Akemie's Castle, Make Noise 0-coast, Odytron
OtherModularSuggestions??
+Line6Helix

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 11:29:30 PM »
Can I be persuaded in one direction OR the other?
and your case for each:
Akemie's Castle
Make Noise 0-Coast
VS.
Roland TB-03; TR-09
Soulsby Odytron
VS.
Oberheim TVP (or korg ms20m)
Might I suggest the SEM (Patch Panel or Pro) with the 0-Coast? The SEM's weakest link is its lack of modulators, while it has plenty of opportunities for patching 'em in.

---------------.......................
Would you then lean toward Oberheim Two Voice Pro and the SEM-X Eurorack Mini sequencer(I don't remember Release date) together/maybe?

I own a Pro-2 and a SEM myself, so I'm (personally) good to go as far as a sequencer goes; the TVP firmware seems to be a bit of a moving target at the moment (but I'm sure will eventually get sorted out).

I have not spent much time with the *tron units, to be honest.

There is discussion regarding the MatrixBrute here: http://forum.davesmithinstruments.com/index.php/topic,234.0.html
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2017, 11:24:12 PM »
Can the Pro 2 act like FM synthesis (OR vs. OB-TVP?<ie. <labeled "input" on the OB-TVP>)

DSI Pro 2: Description "from official DSI stats page: insert link "" yeah, i know how. but anyways:
A New Classic for a Generation
"harmonically-rich FM and AM sounds"
Two New Filters Based on Vintage Designs
"The two filters function in either serial or parallel, or anywhere in between. Two of the four oscillators can be routed through Filter 1 with the other two routed through Filter 2 for a broad range of tonal possibilities."
"Plays Well with Modulars"
Delays, Envelopes, LFOs, Arpeggiator, and a Multitude of Modulation
"and a sixteen slot modulation matrix with dozens of modulation sources and destinations."
KorgR3;DSI OB-6;Yamaha Reface DX;&CP
VST's:FM8,Dexed,DaHornet,PlogueChipSounds,
Anticipated $$$:
Synth: OberheimTVP, Arturia MatrixBrute, KorgMS20m, Korg Arp Rev1/2FS,(DSI Pro2;Rev2;vs Atmultitron)
Akemie's Castle, Make Noise 0-coast, Odytron
OtherModularSuggestions??
+Line6Helix

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2017, 10:15:41 AM »
One thing that Ive been wondering about is the external input on the Pro2. Is it safe to take the modular level audio straight into the external input?

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2017, 11:33:20 AM »
One thing that Ive been wondering about is the external input on the Pro2. Is it safe to take the modular level audio straight into the external input?

I've had no issues with the (somewhat hot) output of a (Tom) Oberheim SEM directly into the external input; common sense dictates that there are limits, of course, so start with an attenuated signal and gradually raise the level until things go nuts (if they do).
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 2000

Re: Pro 2 as Modular Centerpiece
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 06:19:46 AM »
One thing that Ive been wondering about is the external input on the Pro2. Is it safe to take the modular level audio straight into the external input?

Totally. Just start at zero and increase ext. input volume accordingly. There is also a gain parameter for ext, but I haven't had a need for that yet.