Nord MicroModular as bass processor?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by elros, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Has anyone tried this? The Nord Micro Modular has two inputs and two outputs, and is basically a digital thing that will emulate analog synth modules, in a totally modular and programmable fashion. In it are modules like compressor, expander, filters, distortions, mixers, phasers, choruses, LFOs, ring modulators etc etc. So I was thinkning that it'll perhaps work well as a bass processor: one can program a bunch (99) of different sounds that can be combinations of different modules, and the box itself is quite small and has three assignable knobs that may adjust stuff such as compression ratio, wet/dry mix, modulation speed or depth, filter frequency....

    Anyway. I was just wondering if anyone has tried running their bass through one of these, and if it is any good at processing bass signals. If it is, I might have to try and get one.... :rolleyes:

  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    interesting. Anybody?
  3. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I'm gonna bet it works great. Clavia makes good stuff, the Nord line is very popular. Could not tell by the site, but I am sure the inputs are "full range", as apposed to say a geetar pedal. They do say they are line level inputs so I would suggest running it after your pre-amp or in an effects loop. Its been discontinued but I am sure you can find one. $500.00 bones or so, used, better be good.
  4. bassmatik


    Oct 19, 2004
    i heard it once live. a band processed vocals through it. it sounded nice, some cool distortion+filter+echo effects.... ;)
  5. It should work very well, I used to play bass through an old Minimoog years ago and it was great for filtering. However you won't be able to trigger the actual synth sounds, but you can use all the effects and filters.
    Here's an interesting site that has a unique usage and trigger for using the Nord.
    It has been tempting me in the oddness of it all, you can hear some samples on their site.
    The other thing that would make using the Nord handy would be having a midi converter plugged in.
    Let us know if it works out.
    Good Luck,
  6. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Here's an update:

    A while ago I discovered that Clavia has discontinued the old Nord Modular series, and have replaced the whole thing with Nord G2, which is the next generation Nord Modular, basically. They do not, however, offer a "micro" version of the G2. Only a rack version that has no hardware user interface at all.
    So I thought that I was screwed, also since they never made an OSX version of the editor for the old Nord Modular.
    However, recently I found that they had reluctantly released a beta OSX version of the editor. So I started looking around for a used Micro Modular. I didn't find any - those I talked with ended up wanting to keep theirs....
    But now I've got one. :) It's very nice! I just got it today, and will do some experiments in the coming days: hooking it into the effects loop on my amp and see what can be achieved.

    Stay tooned.
  7. cherevo


    May 23, 2005
    I'm also very very interested in this toy. If it works well, I would immediately sell my Gt6b. This is controlfreak stuff. Please keep in touch with us!

    Things I would like to know (cause I haven't seen any other discussion on the net about this in guitarcommunities) :

    * Do you need a pre-amp or D.I. for the line in?
    * Aren't there any problems with connecting this to your bassamp without using fx-return/send?
    * Aren't there any tricky filters in it that'll delete/decrease important low frequencies?
    * Is it possible to control the patches with a midipedal or something?
    * Is it possible to insert reverb? I only saw delayfx.
    * Is it possible to pitchshift (ocataver)?
  8. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    OK, here's an update.

    I'll try to be brief.
    The Micro Modular works with bass. But it isn't really made for it.
    It is definetly capable of some (much) crazy and different stuff.
    It isn't so well suited to give a good bass tone - that takes more tweaking.

    Yes, most likely. The line inputs seem to be +4dBU or something (I'm not sure). They need a bit of signal level - there's no input gain adjustment.
    This is what I did. I put it in the loop of my Eden WT-800. It gave a decent input signal to the Micro - but the clean output is weak: when disconnected, it's louder than when the signal goes through the MM - even with the levels at full on the MM.
    No, not that I heard. Clean signal is quite clean.
    That should be possible, yes. It responds to program change messages.
    No, alas. And the delay module only goes to just over 2mS. It is designed for modulation effects - you can build a flanger with it for example.
    There is no pitch shift module, no. You might be able to design an octave divider in there, though.... :cool:

    So, it can work for bass. But it obviously isn't designed for that. It is a synthesizer - it models an analog modular synthesizer. So you need to understand how the analog modular synthesizer works in concept. All the stuff with control voltages, modulations, attenuation, mixing of signals, connecting the stuff and tweaking the knobs (it quickly gets to be many many knobs)... it all takes much time and IMO isn't very bassist friendly. If you like spending hours doing that, you may have more luck than me. I probably won't use it much for bass processing. It is too far-out for me.

    I dig the vocoder though, King Crimson style. :hyper:
  9. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    How's the memory? How many modules can you use at once, generally?

    Regarding an octave: it has a ring modulator module. If you feed the clean bass signal into both inputs of the ring modulator, you'll get an octave up. I'd be interested to play around with it to figure out a way to do pitch-shifting. I want one of these!
  10. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    How many modules? It depends. Modules are very different. Each module uses a certain % of the total available processing power. More complex modules use more.
    Any patch that you find online (like here) could give you an idea of how many modules the MM can handle.
    (the NM proper has four times the processing power of the MM, but that only means that it can do four patches simultaneously. One patch has the same processing power on both the NM and the MM.)
  11. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    So I got one of these, too, and it's a lot of fun. I've been reading up on synthesis and my brain is hurty. I did find a pitch-follower patch that lets you control the oscillators with your bass (or whatever audio instrument). It needs a little tweaking, but it seems to work.

    The NMM can do a lot of things that specialized (expensive) stompboxes can do: all of the ZVEX sequenced wah, trem, ring mod sounds; envelope control of most parameters (you can clone a Toadworks Enveloope, or Pigtronix Envelope Phaser). It can do some great bit crushing sounds, wavewrapping, sample and hold. Even the super-short delay time can be worked around with some ingenuity (I've seen some patches that use 100 S+H modules to emulate BBDs). It probably wouldn't be too enjoyable if you just want to plug in and play. But it's great for those of us who look forward to getting a new effect, and then get bored with it after 15 minutes because we've seen everything it can do.