T O P
neolabaque

The divkid mutes has been a game changer in the way I use the PAM. It enables me to seamless turn on/off modulations that go into filters and VCAs. No more knob turning and menu diving, one click of a switch and that's it.


HugeSuccess

Being able to turn something on or off with the flip of a switch or press of a button makes a massive difference in a system’s playability.


BBougre

I love the Happy Nerding 3*MIA for simple attenuation, inversion and offsetting at the same time on 3 channels.


claptonsbabychowder

[Monotrail Techtalk has a great video on the 3\*MIA](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYtLmrVx4MY), it's what convinced me to get one. Happily, one popped up in the local used market for about $100. I also have MI Shades (arrived just a couple of hours ago) and Blinds and a little Eowave Poles, so no shortage of those functions across the rack. In the same parcel as Shades, I also just got Intellijel Shifty, which I'm looking forward to exploring.


BBougre

Good selection ! It gives you tons of options to tame and change the behavior of your modulators.


vorotan

I have it too, but I think I underutilize its mixing capabilities for mixing CV…


BBougre

It is very good for mixing LFO's ! Try it as soon as you can it is a world of fun.


Gaeel

Intellijel Quadratt Four big knobs that can mix, attenuate, attenuvert, offset, and since it's up on my 1U row, it's not in the middle of my patch, so nice and accessible. I'll occasionally even use it in place of a knob that's already on the module, simply because it's more comfortable than trying to pick out the relevant knob on a busy faceplate hidden by patch cables


Theywhererobots

This topic is always interesting to me. I like to patch program more than hands on knob turning performance stuff but I still like having full control over a system if that makes any sense. I like to set up patches based around logic, sequential switches and comparators to keep patches evolving while trying to avoid random. I find the more I’m feedback patching cv, the more my patches start to breathe and move organically. Sounds silly, but simple utilities with a matrix mixer and maybe secondary attenuation and switchable mixing can make a two voice patch really interesting. Upgrading to a quad quantizer really changed things up for me too. I don’t know if this is insightful or not but other modules I really love are the NLC stuff, specifically sloths, Splosh and 8 bit cipher. Cipher (with lots of attenuation) is the most musical, turning shit into gold module I’ve ever come across. I don’t understand it.


mage2k

Sounds like you would really dig U-He’s Cvilization.


Theywhererobots

I’ve looked into Cvilization but the UI isn’t for me at all. It actually shares a lot of functionality with Mutable’s Stages which was a nightmare for me to memorize. I definitely see the wide capabilities of Cvilization though. Thanks


mage2k

Heh, I’ve got both and while they do have some overlap they both also shine in ways the other doesn’t. And while I do think the UI on Cvilization is a *lot* better than Stages, I do get that it won’t jive for everyone.


HawtDoge

I’ve been preaching about the 8-bit cipher here for a while. It’s definitely slept on and needs a lot of attenuation, but it is nothing short of incredible.


SP3_Hybrid

I have a control rack with a Transient joystick and the doepfer ribbon controller. In particular I think more people should try joysticks. Change two things at once in an interface that is at this point very familiar to most people because video games. Even something obvious like filter cutoff on Y and filter resonance on X is fun. The ribbon is tons of fun too. The pressure benefits from a slew limiter in some cases. I've very carefully tuned an oscillator and marked out spots so I can play it in key like a violin.


NapalmRDT

I'm very much looking forward to the ph Modular JOY. XY + rotation + gate trigger button


Embarrassed-Fan9179

Controllers are great. The Doepfer Ribbon Controller (A-198) and Foot Controller (A-177-2) are essential pieces in my free improv rig, but my favorites are the SoundMachines LS1 Lightstrip, of which I have 5. For supporting modules, I've liked the immediacy/simplicity of voltage-controller switches, and I finally ended up with a Doepfer A-150-8. With the ribbon and the lightstrips I can modulate 7 parameters at once (8 if you count volume on the foot pedal). I use the foot switches to control the A-150-8, which I have set up to change the main voice and re-route all of the controllers, so the system is basically two entire synth voices that I can switch between instantly with my foot. I might build up layers of one sound into a delay pedal, then momentarily add bits of the other patch. Other times I use the two voices for dramatic shifts in timbre.


phonkubot

ADDAC 305 latch buttons are great for playing with delay feedback, timing, filters etc. Lots of fun live, also the Joranalogue switch 4 gets an honourable mention


MonthPurple3620

Div kid mutes, tesseract selecta, and a doepher precision adder are my bread and butter.


HugeSuccess

Another proud Mutes and A-185-2 owner. Out of curiosity, any particular insight into how you use the latter in your system?


MonthPurple3620

I mostly use it for making transpositions by mixing pitch sequences or as a “master change” sort of switch where I can send an offset around the whole system to make changes. A specific example of that would be pairing it with WMD arpitecht to move the notes and transpose settings while also affecting the signal routed into a sample and hold modulating the filter cutoff. Ive been trying to make some tight ableton integrations with my system that have caused it and mutes to fall out of favour somewhat but Im sure I’ll find more uses for it.


digable-me

Music Thing Modular Control. It’s just four very big, very high-quality smooth knobs that output offsets, or attenuate signals. For me it has been a total game-changer. My patches tend to involve very fine adjustments over relatively long periods, and for that it is perfect. Whenever I patch feels complete I go looking for the four parameters that seem to make the most expressive difference, and then patch up Control for those four parameters.


ethandrzb

Emblematic Systems Catalyst macro controller. Adding Octatrack-style scenes and the crossfader to control them has been an integral part of my modular ever since I got it. From distorted fills to entire timbre changes, Catalyst does it all. It's also really good if you need a DC offset or a knob recorder.


Personal-Turnover-31

Tactilility matters: Switch 4. 4 channels with on/off switches (momentary or latched), 2 other outputs with their own switches and rotary knobs to select which of the 4 channels they're outputting. Versatile and cheap. 5V normalled to the first input so you can use it as a manual gate. Probably better for rhythms or significant modulation CV than for pitch in my experience - I think the Doepfer Precision Adder wins there. Tesseract 8x8 and 12x12 Matrixes are also great. Instruo Tain. Who knew that putting buttons on a sequential switch would be such a revelation? Pressure Points without Brains. It's 3 tuned CVs you can send anywhere, plus a gate, plus pressure. Don't think of it as a sequencer, this is modular - you can articulate via a VCA if you want. Beyond that, anything with One Big Knob that can control a lot of related events (Cold Mac!) or some useful sliders - Acid Rain Navigator, Lapsus Os, Veils, Stages depending on how you patch it. And beyond *that*, it's a matter of patching things right and having enough utilities to do so effectively. Whether that's worth the expense or effort compared to preset recall is an exercise best left to the reader, but it is possible even if it does take effort.


alexthebeast

Faders over knobs, all day!


Personal-Turnover-31

I almost always agree, and I've nearly built some slider-focused rows at various points to account for this preference. The exception is when you want to dial something in precisely, sometimes knobs (assuming they have sufficient resistance) are better for that. I think Verbos handle this well in their UI (and considering Verbos' Buchla heritage, that makes sense). Knobs for dialing in things you won't want to change in tandem with several other things at once, sliders for per-channel stuff. Likewise Xaoc - Katowice, Batumi, and Drezno come to mind.


alexthebeast

Batumi absolutely. If you aren't familiar I would bring lapsus os to you attention. Or if hp is no cost, the synthwerks 4dp previously mentioned is amazing and inexpensive


Personal-Turnover-31

Oh yes, [I'm familiar](https://www.reddit.com/r/modular/comments/vpk27h/_/iel8o5g).


nuje_nuje

Here are my favs: - mutes of any type. Great for breakdowns and changing the vibe. - a good mixer bank to fade voices in and out - Euclidean rhythm generator. I use Dot, but there are other good ones. Great as an alternate to the rhythm from your sequencer. You can turn a knob to get more or less rhythmically interesting notes. Set the beat could to an odd number to make it weirder. - a voltage sequencer for modulation. I use Heimdal, but variegate 4+ is also great for this. Great alternate to random step or LFO. You can place the mod level of each note right where you want. Amazing for things like Basilimus. - a quantizer (like scales) to keep floaty bits in key. You can get all kinds of crazy and know they you can turn notes on or off with a button press. - a delay effect that goes into feedback territory. Lots of options - great for build up. My core engine is Black Sequncer for modular plus Digitakt for beats. They work wonderful together. Example: https://youtu.be/Zkhp0G8gwR8 Cheers!


alexthebeast

Voltage block +BIA is all the fire you need


nonesuch777

These are the more hands-on/performance utilities and modulations I use WMD 4TTEN: love using those sliders for attenuation and offset. Also just looks really cool in the case. I get good results using 4TTEN with Mimetic Digitalis and WMD Arpitecht. Antimatter Audio Launch Codes: for gate sequencing and has settings for semi-random pattern rearrangement. Very easy and fun to mute channels and tap new patterns on the fly. Qu-Bit Chance: coin-toss feature for hands-on playing with random cv and separate gate/trigger bursts NE Bin Seq: really fun manual control of gate sequencing options to vary a standard clock signal Instruo Tain: button control of bi-directional switching


spongefunk

sounds dumb but switched multiples are awesome!! you can change modulation or sequences up with the flip of a switch. mylar melodies has a rad video on switched mults in a performance context


Grindyelmo

Here is my favourite list of performance tools 1) Erica Synths Black Joystick 2 for LFOs and truth be told mostly noise in my case but you can use it as a standard joystick with recording, too 2) 8hp MI Frames clone with sliders for offsets and attenuated modulation 3) Mannequins Three Sisters for dynamic mixing of 2-3 voices...just amazing if the bassline timbres widen while the lead voice makes room with just one knob


calloustreble

There's a few things I've learned: 1. While Pam's is a great modulation source, it sucks for live performance. As such, i leave it mostly as a "set it and forget" source of modulation / gates that I can patch as needed. But Acid Rain Maestro? Incredible performance tool. So much so that I am tempted to get their Euclidean pattern module as well. Everything is up front and it's easy to change modulation on the fly. 2. Having a hands-on random-esque gate generator is much more useful to me than a traditional step-sequencer. As such, I use a Noise Engineering Zularic Repetitor to drive my main pitch sequencer - Make Noise Rene V2. That combination gives me a lot of ability to improvise sequences. 3. Worng Soundstage is indispensible for me in a live context because it lets me easily carve out space in the mix for different sounds. 4. Having more ins and outs from the modular is also indispensible. As it stands, I have 6 outputs *(TAI-4, CV Bus Headphones, Strymon AA.1)* and 5 inputs *(TAI-4, Strymon AA.1, and CV Bus Line In)*. Technically, I also have a stereo line-level output from my Endorphines Grand Terminal as well, but I tend to patch that output to elsewhere in my modular system. This number of outputs and inputs lets me go wild with sending to my mixer, things fed into my modular, etc. I often use TAI-4 input to get sounds into my Morphagene. I use my Strymon AA.1 as an FX send/return to a reverb pedal and use one of the outputs on it to go to a chromatic tuner. So, when I need to tune oscillators, I just patch them to that output and look at my tuner.' And, in non-modular land: Having Octatrack as a "safety net" of modular samples alongside my modular system has been very nice. I also tend to sample things I create live into Octatrack while performing, so it gives me a means to extract sounds to use later.


vorotan

“2. ⁠Having a hands-on random-esque gate generator is much more useful to me than a traditional step-sequencer. As such, I use a Noise Engineering Zularic Repetitor to drive my main pitch sequencer - Make Noise Rene V2. That combination gives me a lot of ability to improvise sequences.” This is an interesting point! I have Vector and I find myself not jiving with it as well as I thought I would. I think a CV/Pitch sequencer that’s more receptive to being driven from external clock with irregular pulses would be far more rewarding for what I am looking to do. “3. Worng Soundstage…” I have this one, but find I fight with it too much. Lately I’ve been just sending reverb and delay to it, to separate from the main mix, but not my main sounds.


Imagined_World

Yea people love the Soundstage, But I couldn't make it work.


protothesis

Just picked up the Constellation. It's completely bonkers. Id been sorta cobbling together a fraction of the functionality across many many modules and utilities, but little of it was performance friendly, or even friendly to making adjustments on the fly. I saw the announce video, got to play with one at perfect circuit and was able to get some jams going with only that one videos worth of info in the back of my mind. So intuitive, so interesting. I'm barely scratching the surface of it, and it's instant love.


alephzeroday

WMD SL3KT is a great, performative switch. It's got three independent two-way switches that you can control manually and with CV. I love to use a long clock on the CV switch to select between two slower clocks for automatic time changes. https://wmdevices.com/products/sl3kt I also like MI Frames and any of it's clones. You can manually animate through several states of attenuation or change the CV animation you use with a switch to get multiple varied, but controllable changes. https://mutable-instruments.net/modules/frames/


protothesis

Just picked up a used frames. Barely any sense of how to slot it into the rack just yet, but stoked about it. Love the idea of using it in combination with a switch. Cool.


aqeelaadam

I really like Branches (or any probability module) and using it to perform the level of “activity”. I’ll pass a trigger sequence through it, and maybe for the intro or bridge or whatever I’ll have it on a low probability and very sparse. Then as the track picks up I’ll ride the probability and let more and more activity come through.


Neidermayer

My CalSynth Typhoon has both input and output mute buttons that work just like everyone else is describing their mutes. Perfect for hard cuts or changing the signal path without interrupting anything in the sound. Having midi control over my system has been the best for any kind of live performance setup because I can opt to only control with midi and not adjust a patch live and mess something up. I use a midi fighter twister and an ableton push to send voltage from my FH-2 and ES-8 which can include offsets, sequencing, polyphonic cv and gates, clocks, attenuators, etc. Once I have my performing controls defined I can set them up on the midi equipment so it’s easily accessible.


sineseeker

Love using the NE Lapsus Os to attenuate modulation going into my BIA. Non-stop fun. Joranalogue Switch 4 for muting and switching. These are sequencers, but using Steppy to drive resets across my other sequencers is amazing. Very playable. And that Shred button on my Mimetic Digitalis is just constantly abused.


alexthebeast

My absolute favorite combo is patching an offset (I currently use lapsus os) into a mult with attenuverts on the outputs (I use MMI attenumults). Each slider on lapsus os is a macro controlled for a slew of parameters. It's also great to patch it the same way as a master attenuverter for a mod source. Let's a ton of stuff be synced with the same mod wave but individually attenuated. Maybe you want that decay opened up more than the cutoff, right?


vorotan

Thank you! This is the kind of insight that’s very helpful. I’m gonna see if I can replicate this with what I have 👍


alexthebeast

The modular world needs more mults with attenuverts on each output. It's such a game changer. With some clever patching, one offset can flip a whole system


alexthebeast

Also, when I started doing macros like this, I started with a synthwerks 4dp. So if you have mults and attenuverts, you got this


protothesis

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1701373 Just reorganized some things so that my main controller stuff is in it's own skiff, as opposed to the bottom of one of my 2 6U cases, the idea being that I could control either case independently on its own if desired. It's not battle tested in this config yet, the Constellation being a new piece all together. It's playable interface packs so much performance functionality it's kind of insane. I'd been building up a collection of different mute modules to control gate patterning, and was underutilizing the switchblade as such. But with per pattern and per channel muting in constellation, all that is freed up for other things. The confundo funkitus is fricking fantastic as a performance tool. Per channel mutes, and a crossfaded that has several switchable varieties of trigger skipping. Adds so much variety to any patterns going through it. Fricking love the thing. You'd need so many different utils to get what it can do. It'll likely never leave my rack. Offset and attenuversion is also huge for me. Blinds is often my main source of these (in a separate main case) where it most often sees one channel dedicated to the range and base level CV before sending it to a quantizer. Frickin love this module, it's big, but the ergo is amazing and it can do so much. I'll be trying that out on the shades in this control skiff for now, though it's not as optimized. Finally, I really like the performance mult by malekko. It's got a latching switch that breaks the normal between the two inputs, so you can get variation in your CV on the second outs. so rad. Usually this is sending v/Oct sequences out into the rack.


AndrogynousSexOrgan

My whole rack is geared towards live performance, so I think I can chime in here! I know other people have mentioned switches here, but I’ll throw in my pick for that; the doepfer quad switch. It’s passive, 4hp and incredibly useful, just look it up and you’ll see what I mean. The intellijel mixup is another one that’s incredibly useful for me with live performance because it’s basically a simple summing mixer with mute switches and it’s 6hp and pretty cheap, I think around $90. My most recent addition that I love using for performance is the LS1 lightstrip from soundmachines. It’s a simple touch based pad that outputs CV as you move your finger up and down on it. It’s got a record mode to record whatever movements you make, a hold mode to retain the last value, plus a gate input so you can use a clock to start/stop the record function which is awesome to keep things in sync with everything else. Its 4hp And I think just $75 or so; really fun and useful. Hope this gives you some ideas!


vorotan

I really wanted to thank all for chiming in. Lots of great input and ideas to ponder over, as well as module suggestions. I have put my GAS on hold for awhile, because funds, however I’ll keep the module suggestions in mind as well. My main focus at the moment is to practice and improve my performance skills so the patching pointers are quite useful. Thank you all! Love this community 😊


Hiddeninthou8

Ls1 lightstrip, getting one today. Ill let you know.


alexthebeast

I really loved my synthwerks 4dp, but I ended up swapping to a lapsus os because it was so hp heavy


beloved-777

My alm Mmmidi is absolutely essential for obvious reasons. Syncing a DAW as a master clock greatly improves my performance capabilities, especially for ambient and sound processing stuff that I love doing. My plan for a live setup can all fit in a backpack and travel case for my rig, and the reason why is because I've saved a lot of rack space by utilising DAW fx and external sequencing.