Recreate a MonoMachine voice in Eurorack?

Hi there!

A half-serious idea, but curious if some ok-level approximation of MnM voice architecture could be done in eurorack. With exclusion of sequencer, of course (can be leveraged by Digitakt or any other Elektron sequencer). Makes sense or too expensive and/or complicated?

So you’ll need a wavetable oscillator, fm module, basic waveshape oscillator, some sort of sampler, midi-to-cv converter, filter (though this double filter architecture is quite unique to Elektron), delay, bitcrusher/distortion module and 3 LFO’s.

Erica synths have quite nice and affordable modules, including “pico” series.
Oscillator duries are definitely Plaits (even with FM).

First define “ok-level”, “too expensive”, and “too complicated”, at least with respect to the MM itself.

Well, regarding the “ok”-level and complexity…
I am thinking about setup which would allow to 1) approximate the core sound of the machines (wavetable, fm, etc) and 2) partially re-create typical MnM modulation techniques - direct LFO modulation of osc and effects parameters (3 LFOs with 1 target each) and sequencer parameter locks (let’s say, 4 modulation targets at the time). Modulations of the LFOs are excluded.

For the price I think about 2000 euro just for the modules (a usual 20/21 market price of used MnMachine itself, correct me if I’m wrong), but I feel that it’s too optimistic.

and these definitions are actually a part of the question. To what extent the MnM architecture could be replicated in hardware world nowadays (and does it still not making much sense in comparison with software emulation)?

plaits/braids comes to mind as a somewhat comparable multi-osc in concept, tho entirely different sounding and veering off into wildly different directions philosophically.

the filter, amp envelope interaction with the sequencer, delay with all its accoutrements, sample rate reducer (my favorite aspect of the mono sound) are all very unique and integral to the sound. Recreating the whole voice accurately is hard to imagine out of context unless someone steps up and somehow cracks the code and ports all aspects to some DSP euro platform

If you just want an inspired single synth voice for the same price as a mnm, go for it. If you want it to sound like a mnm just get a mnm.

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i think it’s kind of a fool’s errand that will end in tears to try and emulate a complex digital synth in eurorack. you might approximate certain aspects of parts of the sound but really eurorack is so deep w/options these days you can probably find something really satisfying and new to you that also scratches that itch.

there’s a lot of FM options in euro but w/o the sequencer and p-locks you’re not gonna get to MnM territory… and though there’s things like the malekko voltage block for step based modulation… it’s not quite the same. also, the FM in the MnM is implemented in a really interesting way with a lot of range in the sound.

you can certainly put together a nice FM voice in euro… w/the Humble Audio Quad Operator but you’ll need some envelopes and other modulation to make it do monomachine type things and it won’t sound the same.

euro is about finding things and functions you like and see what works for you regarding price/features/interface etc and letting it be what it is instead of trying to make it something it’s not.

just my 2cents. ymmv of course.

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An expensive sequencer module, and one or more puredata-inside modules - could get you an audio approximation of one track. Still you are over 1k and that doesn’t include a case!

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Unsuccessfully attempted something similar with the MD, quit euro shortly afterwards. :wink:

Lesson learnt was that several oscillators and a few supporting modules in a skiff doesn’t go as far as you would think.

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Consider that Mylar Melodies, a guy with a serious amount of modular experience, tried to recreate the DFAM (a pretty simple analogue monosynth with analogue sequencer) from individual euro modules, and wasn’t happy with how it worked and sounded… I don’t think you’re going to get close to what the Monomachine is. Also, the Monomachine is not just six separate voices taped together. It has three internal stereo busses and audio inputs, and the chaining/trigging/routing that’s possible as a result is a big part of what it does.

However, if you took this as a seed of an idea, and accepted that it will become its own thing, you might end up with an interesting instrument that’s specific to you (which is pretty much the raison d’etre of modular).

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try it in something like vcv rack first, this should let you test any theories before spending big on modules.

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Thanks all for your inputs! It was not a real plan, but just an attempt of “brute force” thinking. Why the hell not, with abundance of contemporary options. But now I see the complications.

Even with proper modules and unlimited funds, the hell lot of time would be spent just to tune parameters.

The better investment would be a proper multitimbral synth module and some sort of performance sequencer with CC-locks.

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Thanks for the info about DFAM, was not aware of that.

Regarding the busses and internal routing - yes, agree. I skipped this aspect, because one needs to build a full replika of the machine to work this way. Cannot even imagine what building blocks could provide such functionality.