Synth Site: Miscellaneous: MOTM: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Modularandall a part-time user from USA writes:
I have used an extensive number of modular systems (Serge, Modcan, Doepfer, Wiard, Blacet, etc.). First, let me go over the good points. The quality of components is top notch. I think that this is the best kit modular out there. I think that the filter offerings are quite nice and varied. There is plenty to experiment with and get nice sounds out of. I think that any instrument is only limited by the capabilities of the user. However, I think that there are some rather problematic omissions in the MOTM line. I really do not think that the range of modules is very extensive, even with the pending release of the 500 series (for weirdness??). There are few CV manipulation and processing modules (which Serge panels offer plenty of). The lack of an LED on the envelope module for visual feedback is plain moronic...you don't need an EE to tell you that. I can't figure that one out. Hey, every system has it's weaknesses. I think that one of the strong points of going with MOTM is that you have a very passionate community of users to help you along the way. There is something to be said about that. The filters sound great, the oscillators are a little too plain for my use, but it is really capable of a wide range of sounds.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-02-2002 at 16:23
Iczer 1 T-POG a professional user from New York writes:
The good thing I've discovered about motm is you can have all thoes great analog synths in one bundle without cluttering your studio. I have owned just about every analog mono synth out there and have found MOTM to cover just about all of them. Lets face it if your a collector or performer then by all means you should buy an MS-20 but as for me studio sound desgine is my thing. I have owned an MS-20 and sold it because of motm. Octave cat is a great mono synth, I've owned one, well thats gone thanks to the 440 not only do I have the cat, but its the same type filter used in the prophet 5 rev 2 (which sound better that the rev 3) and the octave voyetra 8 so I get all that + a fully open ended system to boot. Korg PS-3100 no problem the filter is there. Yamaha cs 5, 10, 15, 30, 50, 60, 80, 20 and 40m its all there, why because paul just made the filter and you'll find the same in almost all the cs series. I have found MOTM goes above and beyond this train of thought. However no matter how many ways your able to emulate these great synths passed, MOTM goes further and by patching all these features togeather or mixing them in diffrent orders you get a truly unique sounds not found anywhere else. You can pick and choose how you want your set up to be and expand on them. I was also glad to see 3rd party developers come into the seen (braclet, encore, ect..) and take part with new ideas making it discrete. MOTM's future looks great and more modules are in devlopment. The bottom line, MOTM is a fun and intresting modular. It provides the user exploration in the modular world and could still sound like a basic synth if you want it to. The weird cv moduals are comming soon and will put a new twist on the system (needed) and theres word of a double moog filter on the way, I've herd the single (due out in may) and compaired it to the one in my multimoog and believe me its identical (not a pretender). As for now the system just keeps growing and I'll be right there to see it. Doepfer serge, modcan, wired, ect... are all unique in there own right so I wont compare them. MOTM is a great synth for what it does. Best of all every day people are finding new and intresting was to modify and compliment this system (MOTP moduals of the people) . Now thats freedom...... Type a serch and you'll find them.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-27-2002 at 05:48
Steve a hobbyist user from NJ writes:
This is the best modular out there. A whole compliment of basic synth modules are now available as opposed to about a year ago, and there are many more esoteric modules due out in the future which will really give this modular system the weirdness factor that modular synthesizers are known for. The prices are great for what you get, which is top quality components, circuts and mechanical design. These modules are designed to last. MOTM is the only modular out there to use standard, easy to get or make, durable 1/4" patchcords, none of those wimpy 1/8" or oddball bananna jacks. Available in easy to assemble detailed instructions kit form, as well as fully assembled and tested. As of now, there are 3 filters available (killer lowpass, multimode (1/2of an MS-20), and the triple bandpass filter. Also available are the ultra stable osc and fully featured VCLFO modules, an ADSR/AR env. generator, S&H/noise/vibrato module, VCA/ringmod module, sub octave generator, dual VC switch module, and power supply and a utility patch panel of course. Coming soon is an awesome lag processor. As you can see, the basics and much more are already covered, and with over a handful of new modules in the works, soon MOTM will have as many modules as most of the other companies out there, at about double the quality.. Do the math and see that MOTM is in the middle of the price range too. But it is also the highest quality system available!! MOTM, it's a no-brainer!.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-21-2000 at 19:48
Dave Bradley a professional user from USA writes:
Now that the VCOs are shipping on the MOTM system, I can add my two cents. They are awesome. I used Emu modulars for many years and thought I would never be able to find a modern system that lived up to its feature set, ease of use, and sound. The VCO is the heart of any system, and let me tell ya buddy, these are the best I've ever used. Compared to the Emu, they are more stable with temperature, track better, and have all of the features of the Emu, including soft sync. The sound of all the waveforms is warm and clear, and is musically useful even without filtering.

I looked at all the modular systems being manufactured today and chose MOTM based on the following criteria: 1. Ergonomics - wonderful smooth pots, big knobs, plenty of panel room, sturdy jacks, intelligent panel layout 2. The attitude of the designer - to build the BEST performing, lowest noise, most feature rich modules possible 3. Parts quality - simply the best 4. Looks - hey, it's sexy 5. Price - not my most important criteria since I wanted the best I could find, but the prices turned out to be very reasonable, especially if you build the kits. There is nothing cheaper available with anywhere near the quality, sturdiness, performance, and sound.

What I found as a pleasant bonus was that Paul, the chief designer, is very open to design and feature suggestions. There is a growing community of MOTM users on a mailing list that get the chance to influence the system's evolution.

The kits are incredible. I consider myself an advanced builder, but the level of detail in the instructions insures that if you can solder, you can build them. I have built 13 kits now, with not a single problem caused by missing or incorrect parts. I could not recommend MOTM more highly.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-13-1999 at 11:38
John Barlow from US writes:
I had been looking for a high quality line of modules to use with my small Serge system and have felt very fortunate to find the MOTM line of modules. I have been building/using these modules since they first started being produced (about one year ago) and I'm quite impressed to see that MOTM has really come into it's own, and I look forward to a promising future.

I have built many electronic music kits over the years (including PAiA and Serge) and have found the MOTM assembly instructions as thorough as any available -- about 25 to 30 pages per module. There is a very exhaustive introductory section (for beginers) as well as a step by step assembly procedure (a MOTM kit could easily be the first kit one builds, and have it work perfectly; unlike some others I've built and have been unable to get working at all). The manual also includes: a section on the design theory of the module; a thorough section on calibration; the specifications of the module; a section on how to use the module; a section on troubleshooting, and (unlike the old Serge kits) the complete schematics.

Paul S. (the man behind MOTM and Synthesis Technologies) provides top rate customer support. The MOTM modules are shipped in the US by Priority Mail and usually arrive within three days of being shipped (shipping has taken less than a week from order to delivery, in my experience, for any module currently available). I have found Paul to be extremely helpful and patient regarding any questions about design and usage of MOTM. There is also a MOTM e-mail list where users can share ideas about future modules, patches, and even modifications (for the infidel among us). So one feels a strong sense of community with these modules.

Paul is an EE with a good number of years in electronics design (and more specifically, design of electronic music equipment), as such, he takes great care in designing the PCB layout to insure the lowest noise and highest quality. He always chooses the best components available from the (extra strong) front panels, the beautiful two sided PCBs with plated through holes, the best electronic components, the Switchcraft jacks, to the potentiometers rated at 100,000 turns. He has designed the system so that it will last trouble free for a great number of years.

The system has a "classic" modular look clearly influenced by the old Moog modulars. The modules are 5U high (just under 9 inches) by 1U, 2U, or 3U wide (1&3/4, 3&1/2, or 5&1/4 inches respectively) and there are rack rails available for mounting the modules into a standard equipment rack. The modules are finished with a black crinkle paint and printed with white paint for indicators and panel markings (the panels are very easy to read). They have a very attractive look and are a joy to use, due partly to the large knobs and smooth rotation of the potentiometers.

The future of MOTM looks to be very promising after this first year of the line being available. It will clearly be more than just a VCO VCF VCA ADSR line (and nothing more). There are two very interesting modules currently available: the MOTM 120 Sub Octave Multiplexer (which I find most useful for creating unearthly timbres), and the MOTM 700 Voltage Controlled Signal Router (an extremely useful, if often overlooked "housekeeping" type of module). And while there will be "klones" available of some of the most sought after classic modules, these most certainly will be much more than clones. They will have additional features and be tweaked to a very high standard.

As I mentioned at the begining, I was looking for something of the highest quality to use with my Serge system (without paying the astronomically high prices that a Serge demands), I feel very lucky to have found the MOTM system when I did.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-03-1999 at 12:01
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