Synth Site: Clavia: Micro Modular: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Bulldogge a hobbyist user from USA writes:
The MicroModular is one of the most flexible synths which has ever been created. The architecture can range from a basic juno-ish analog emulation to a complex additive/fm monster and essentially anything else you can think of which isn't sample-based (or wavetable-based, allthough you could probably set up some simple wave-sequences using the event sequencer...hmm, that's something I hadn't thought about, probably similar to the Sidstations sequencing...). The software is absolutely simple to install and a joy to use.

The MM does have a distinct sound, which can often be described as harsh. However, if you program carefully you can get fairly smooth sounds. One of the strong points of the MM is bass--it can really hurt a speaker and rattle the walls. Often overlooked are the excellent analog-style drum sounds (nothing realistic, but nice), which are easily mated to the simple but effective sequencers.

There are some negatives, as others have noted. It would be nice if it had more knobs (but I believe a Knobby or PC1600x could fix this), and unless using a very basic architecture it is essentially monophonic. If you like built in effects, you don't have very many to choose from--just a phaser and a chorus. But, if you are looking for a dirt-cheap synth which can make allmost any sound imaginable, then the MM is for you. At the price this sells for, it is allmost a sin not to buy one.

Oh...it would be nice if you could write your own 2-dimensional waves (or download samples) and use these in the architecture...perhaps in a future software upgrade. Besides that I can't think of many other things that I'd like to improve on--a good thing to say about any synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-22-2000 at 23:43
x a professional user from United States writes:
Yeah, there aren't a lot of controllers on the micro modular and you have to connect it to a compter to design sounds, there's minimal polyhony, etc, etc.

But the simple fact is the micro modular is a brilliant synth with a mind numbing amount of sound programming options. I've been splitting the patches into soundscape/rhythmic one note extravaganzas and various interesting timbres, some polyphonic, all capable of being three or four very different timbres with the twist of those three little knobs.

When I bought the micro modular I was expecting a flexible (although limited) synth that might fill in some sonic space. I had no idea you could get so much out of a single patch. That's what a lot of people don't get about this synth. Sure it can emulate a lot of classic synth sounds and techniques, but it's the things that just aren't available anywhere in this price range that make this a special synth. In the old days I would have killed for a mono synth that could do a tenth of what the micro modular does. Even today I feel this is a bargain for the synthesist looking for the unusual and unique.

Downsides, there seems to be some latency on some patches. The lag between patches is acceptable. Besides the Electribes I can't think of anything that offers so much value. If you can't find a sound out of this box you don't know how to program it and that's not much of an excuse as there's thousands of patches freely available to learn or tweak.

I have noticed that the general sound is harsh, not as warm sounding as analog. And to that extent it's my opinion that it's silly to compare VA synths to analog. They recreate aspects of the sounds that many of us remember but that is a small part of what the micro modular does.

Even if you don't know much about synthesis I'd argue that this is a good way to learn. You learn not only about THIS synth but you learn about synthesis in general. As many others have said, skip this if you're looking for lots of polypohony and emulative timbres. That's not what this synth is about. To anyone that experiments this is one of those synths that you can get lost just listening to what you program. One voice is often a minimalist song in itself.

This is so much more than what I expected which is the biggest compliment I can give.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-24-2000 at 03:32
Lsd User a professional user from Denmark writes:
Yeah I love the machine.Still there is to little knobs to assign to but the sound is great.Worth every buck I paid for it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-26-2000 at 05:30
Ochre a part-time user from NY, USA writes:
this synth is amazing, the programming capabilities far exceed anything else I have ever played before. since the routings are completely up to the user, you can get many sounds that are truly unique. within the first week of using it I made a few sounds that totally blew my mind, and were like nothing else I had heard before.

there are a few things to watch out for though: 1) if you are into your every-day subtractive analog type synthesis, this thing is decent, but there are better things out there for the money (I find it lacking in the low end, and not as warm as I'd like). 2)if you have the $$ consider getting the modular rather than the micro, you don't realize how much you want the extra polyphony until you get the thing!!! it is possible to squeeze more than 4 part polyphony out of the thing, but usually not practical. 3)if you are not into designing your own sounds don't even consider buying one. it can be difficult to program, and takes a lot of creativity to use it to it's full potential.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-24-2000 at 23:05
Tunnel Fear a part-time user from NY, USA writes:
I picked it up off of EBAY for $455 about a week ago...and wow....it does everything...and I do mean everything. I am sooo glad I sold my Super Bass Station for this... It's making me want to get the Nord Modular so I can have more timbres... but.. if you know how to program it right...you can get multiple timbres outta one..in a manner of speaking. I'm using a patch I made, right now, that has two TB-303's and a choir pad sounding thing..and its only at 88% DSP load. Modular synthesis, as stated before on here, is definately not the easiest thing to grasp...but just study the billions of patches that you can download off the internet and youll be all set.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-22-2000 at 16:27
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