Into Modular Part 2: Control March 16, 2017 10:51

I started my modular with the TipTop Mantis Case and a set of 4 modules from Roland/Melekko. Each module is actually a dual design, this gave me two Oscillators, Filters, VCAs, Envelopes and one LFO.

Having two of everything allows for 2 voice polyphony or stereo operation, but the trade-off is the cramped control surface.

Noodling around on even a simple system like this is fun and all, but you'll only ever make drones and sound effects if you don't get some CV and Gate control over it, so next I got the Expert Sleepers ES-3 mkII and Silent way. 

Put simply, Silent way lets you send CV and Gate signals right from your DAW. The signals are generated by a plug-in, which in turn is controlled just like any other instrument in your DAW.

The outputs must be routed to your audio interface, and from there sent to your modular. It works like magic, no MIDI jitter, not timing issues, just magic. There is however, an obstacle to overcome because most audio-interfaces block DC signals and you need those DC signals to properly control your modular.

Expert Sleepers ES-3

One solution to this, if you have ADAT on your interface, is the ES-3 Mkii. This pipes 8 channels out of your DAW via ADAT and converts them to 8 analog outputs on the module. Silent way does much more than send out note and gate information, you can create shaped envelopes and LFO's, clocks and triggers and so on.  The end result is, I can now control my modular from my DAW with more precision and ease than any of my digital hardware, which is quite impressive.