Lamond Design

About My Modular | Tech Talk by BendingBus

Designed by veteran engineer Paul Schreiber in 1998, the MOTM Analog Modular Synthesizer System is utilitarian, not fancy-looking, and maybe the best synth in the world. Built for pro-studio use, reliable tank-like construction, and just all-around fantastic sounding. These 35 modules are housed in a case by Lamond Design which uses standard studio 19” rack rails mounted horizontally. Powered by a Hinton Instruments busbar system.

The setup uses three MOTM-650 MIDI-CV converters. These three units stacked vertically on the left receive note data from the keyboard and sequencer—which is then voiced and modulated by the synth’s oscillators and filters—and outputted by the three dual-VCAs stacked vertically on the right. The system outputs 6 voices (tracks) to the multi-track recorder. Patching uses Grimm TPR cable for the audio lines (good sound), and Mogami 3080 for the modulation lines (good flexibility).

Musically the system uses pure intonation by the MOTM-650’s ability to adjust the incoming equal temperament MIDI data and output micro-tuned control voltage to the ultra stable MOTM-300 oscillators.

View on ModularGrid.

MOTM Analog Modular Synthesizer, 35-module system

Control Units

  • Maschine Studio [sequencer]

    Komplete Kontrol S49 [keyboard]

  • 650 Four-Channel MIDI-CV Converter, x3

  • 850 CV Pedal Interface

Oscillators, Noise & LFOs

  • 300 Ultra VCO, x4

  • 310 Micro VCO, x2

  • 350 Morphing Terrarium

  • 101 Noise Generator / Sample & Hold

  • 320 LFO

  • 390 Micro Dual LFO

Filters

  • 440 Discrete LP Filter, x2

  • 480 CS-80 HP/LP Resonant Filter, x2

  • 485 GX-1 Filter

  • 490 Moog-style Ladder Filter

  • 410 Triple Resonant Filter

Envelopes & VCAs

  • 800 ADSR Envelope Generator, x8

  • 190 Dual VCA, x4

Other

  • 830 Dual-Mode Mixer

  • Cascaded Multiple

About My Modular [2014] by BendingBus

Well, the new modular synth is up and running! 

Why modular? If you're into the primordial thing that is sound itself, not a specific instrument, it's the ideal sound-shaping tool for studio work. You can craft nearly any imaginable sound using a modular; strings, bells, percussion, cymbals, ocean waves, a dying cat, as well as otherworldly abstract sounds. The audio quality, and all the available outputs, make it a serious tool in the studio. 

The system uses MU modules (which stands for "Moog Unit"), the original large format of the 70s. The system is equally split between MOTM and MacBeth modules. MOTM modules have a clean "modern" tone, big as a house sound, and highly musical. MacBeth has a slightly more "retro" tone. Both are among the best sounding synths available, very hi-fi to my ears. 

Modular synth  setup 2014

Modular synth setup 2014

The modules are controlled by a central unit -- the MOTM-650 (one of those rare "vintage digital" pieces that is long out of production but simply can't be beat). This unit takes notes played on the keyboard and converts them into controlled voltage, which is sent out to the modules. What makes it special is that it outputs pure intonation with deadly accuracy (1.00 volt = root note, 1.25v = a major third, 1.50v = a perfect fifth, 2.00v = octave, etc, all user programable). And it's polyphonic, controlling up to four oscillators gracefully. 

Rhythmic patches are controlled by a MOTM-730 (also discontinued, but Paul Schreiber built me one). 

Ross Lamond in the UK created a fantastic custom cabinet out of cherry wood, outfitted with dual power supplies... 

Lamond Design  custom case

Lamond Design custom case

Finally, for monitors I wired up a pair of Focal CMS-50. These little guys have fantastic thick midrange, which is where you want the focus for synth recording.