Get Dirty with the DIY Drive FX Eurorack Module: A Guide to Using the Music Thing Modular Mini Drive

The Music Thing Modular Mini Drive is a versatile 4HP Eurorack Drive/Distortion module that can add grime and warmth to any sound source, making it less polite. It offers two inputs, high and low gain, which can be mixed for a unique output. The Drive knob can be adjusted from silent to lots of gain, providing a dirty gain for modular level that works well with line inputs, such as a drum machine. However, it is not suitable for an external input for a guitar.

Using the Mini Drive module is an excellent way to transform a polite sound source into something less polite, but always experiment with the levels, as the output can sound entirely different depending on the settings. It can also be used to just add a nice bit of warmth to your input, bringing out the character of your sound.

One of the unique features of the Mini Drive module is its ability to work exceptionally well in feedback loops. The classic Minimoog trick is taking the audio output and adding it back after the oscillators, before the filter through this circuit. This way, the filter is in a feedback loop, which will add resonance and fuzz. Another technique is to patch sound (radio music or a Osc/env/filt voice) into ‘low’ and one output to the primary output. Now patch the second output to a filter, delay, or reverb, and the output from that back into ‘high,’ then turn up and add what happens. If the feedback isn’t wild, invert it with an attenuverter before going back into high. This way, you can achieve feedback tones and experiment with different sounds.

Although the Mini Drive module doesn't have CV in, it can be used with a VCA or filter to modify the amount of grime. You can also get more experimental and try blasting an LFO or a sequence into one input to see how it affects the audio in the other input. The outputs are passive multed together, providing a unique output.

In conclusion, the Music Thing Modular Mini Drive is a great addition to any modular setup for those looking to add some dirt and distortion. Its unique features and versatility make it a popular choice for those seeking to experiment with feedback and signal distortion. Experimentation is key with this module, and it offers an opportunity to create unique, less-polite sounds that can transform any sound source.

Example Usage

If you want to add some grit to your drum machine, try patching one of its outputs into the "low" input of the Music Thing Modular Mini Drive and the other output into the "high" input. Set the Drive knob to your desired level of dirt and blend the mixed output into your mix for some extra edge and character. Don't be afraid to experiment with different input levels and Drive settings to find the perfect amount of distortion.

One way to use the Mini Drive is to create a feedback loop. You can take the output from a filter or delay/reverb module and patch it back into the Mini Drive's input, and then route the output back into the filter or delay/reverb. Experiment with different settings to achieve unique and wild feedback tones. If the feedback isn't as wild as you'd like, try using an attenuverter before going back into the Mini Drive's "high" input.

Further Thoughts

One great way to utilize the Music Thing Modular Mini Drive is to use it in conjunction with a drum machine. Patching the drum machine's output into the Mini Drive's "low" input, and then patching the "high" output into a filter or delay/reverb effect can yield some truly unique and dirty sounds. Experiment with different Drive knob settings to achieve the perfect amount of grit and distortion. Additionally, try adding an LFO or sequencer signal into one of the Mini Drive's inputs to really push the boundaries of the module's capabilities.