What's your reason to use SSP rather than just a computer?

Hi, I want to know about what’s your reason to use SSP rather just a computer?

For example, the type of the knobs on SSP are not very “tweakable” (unlike other normal modules), the benefits of hardware control are lost.

For communicate with other modules, you can also use an interface to communicate between the computer (e.g. VCV, Max/msp) and other modules.

So, what’s the benefits or reasons for you to use a SSP rather than a computer (digital and perhaps more functions)?

Thanks a lot!

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very good question

sometimes i think the SSP is just a very expensive mixing/attenuator module

the knobs are horrible to control fine values, much worse than any knobs i have on any other module (and certainly much worse than a trackball on the computer)

The comparison, on the surface, seems fair but falls apart very quickly when properly scrutinized.

  • Has 4 analog knobs. Computers come with none.

  • High quality 16 input x 8 output DC coupled audio/CV interface. Computer… 2x2 channels of garbage, the last time I checked.

  • SSP can be fit into your Eurorack, thus making it likely more portable.

  • It is easier to run VSTs in a computer than on the SSP, although possible - with limitations upon availability - within the SSP.

  • The list does go on. However, I find these kinds of ‘this vs. that configuration’ thing rather boring. You probably already know if the SSP is for you or not. Almost everything in Eurorack can be done on a computer these days via Softtube or VCV. This comes with a bunch of other factors like size, cost, drivers, interfaces, control boxes, cabling, portability, and so forth.
    There is also a different aesthetic & flow that comes from learning a boxes workflow and maximizing its creative uses. The SSP moves Eurorack further away from 1-knob-per-function (sort of) but you can patch a whole lot of CV and MIDI control into it. It is also performance optimized as whole system for audio. Not so much with a generic computer.

That tells everyone as to how fully you’ve explored it and the limits as to how YOU’ve used it.
You know that there is an MPE synth in there, right?
You aren’t using even one sequencer?
None of the 3 Mutable Instruments ports?
Wavetable oscillators aren’t for you?
No effects at all? The Reverb is surprisingly good for how simple it is.

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  • i don’t have an MPE keyboard or controller but i do have a Poly Pressure Keyboard, but the SSP doesn’t do MIDI poly press
  • i hate step sequencers, i do have enough of them (ZAQ the most interesting), the SSPs won’t even sync properly to MIDI clock (after a dozen of minutes there’s a drift) and the SSPs , albeit interesting, doesn’t really cut the cake if you talk sequencer feature(s)
  • do i need to check the MI VST ports ?
  • there’s not really a wavetable osc on board, it is called WTO but loading a (real) wavetable doesn’t let met address the (separete) waves in a manner that i’m used to in my other (real) wavetable synths
  • i expected a lot from the (live or not so live) granular slicing but that isn’t really addressable/modulatable in a manner i find attractive - to me!
  • the reverb is really really good, but is not really mono/stereo + there are too less parameters to tailor the sound to my wishes (the same for the delay, that’s even worse)

you are correct that i could have explored it more fully / deeply - but if every time i have a SSP session, i’m upset by how the interface gells/not gells with me, that puts me off when i want/need to spend more time with this beauty

Im a little surprised about the ‘tone’ of this topic…
if you don’t find the SSP useful - why buy it? if you have it already - just sell it?
no eurorack module suits everybody, we all have different requirements…

if it’s not for you just ‘move on’ to something more in line with your needs/expectations.

taking the question in a more positive light…
I do think its a legitimate question we ask ourselves when buying something like the SSP. (or many other modules)

what is the benefit of the SSP over a laptop plus something like ES-8 (and expanders)
(a setup I used a lot before I got the SSP)

well, if you always have the laptop turned on, and your daw/vcvrack running - then hell this is a powerful setup - of course your laptop can do ‘anything’… you don’t even need a eurorack system :wink:
(e.g. why buy rainmaker?,magento? X? I can do all this in vcvrack/daw/max)

but I agree its really enjoyable to have a hybrid system… (thats why I had the ES8), e.g. bitwig is really fun.

one issue I had with the ES-8, is it didn’t have enough IO… also when I wanted to run my rack ‘standalone’ , I’d have to repatch everything, since there was no mixer functionality.
to ‘fix’ this Id have need to replace with the ES-9 + expanders… instead i decided to put this money towards an SSP - as still the ES-9 would be very limited for standalone mixing compared to the SSP.

(talking of the SSP modules replacing modules, also my Clouds and Mordax Data were sold to help fund the SSP)

and this mixed standalone/hybrid operation of the SSP is fundamental to why I love the SSP.
it allows me to choose what functionality is ‘today’ in my rack , but this afternoon in my daw!

another thing to not be underestimate on hybrid setups using things like the ES-8, is round trip latency… its workable, BUT if you start sending cv and audio back n’ forth it will become an issue. ( * )
so when we run things on the SSP the latency is considerably lower.

( * ) check out Omni Cohen’s youtube video where he measures RT latency on the ES-9 with Vcvrack !

I agree a little with the notion that the SSP only has 4 encoders… so hands on control can be limited.
of course, you can offset this with other midi controllers (which is what I do) , but the same can be said of running on a laptop. (so i dont see it as an SSP pro or con - its kind of the same)

standalone - so most of the time, I run my rack ‘standalone’ without the laptop.
my SSP runs a ‘template’ patch with PMIX taking inputs from eurorack, and cue to the octatrack, taking midi from the rest of my ‘studio’)
a simple starting point… what I love, is in a few minutes, I might have added reverb modules as aux outputs, or added a few rings to be played from my keyboard - this hands-on re-patching is incredible.

as I mentioned above, my setup is also geared around having hands-on control for the SSP.
so I have a pyramid sequencer that can drive the SSP, and controllers to given hands on controls to SSP parameters - mainly im using the SSP UI for patch creation, and then it stays on PMIX to control mixer levels.

sorry, I realise this is a bit all over the place…
and it doesn’t even touch on how I use the SSP really
(since the the main Q, was compared to a laptop… which as I said, functionally can of course do the same … there are people saying … why buy eurorack… because vcvrack is free :wink: )

reality is… the way I use the SSP with or without the laptop/ipad, is nothing like how I used to use my rack with the ES8… its much better.

so for me its a fantastic module, does exactly what I need - and will only get better the more time I spend with it.

but for others, perhaps its not the right fit…
I’ve bought hardware and modules that didn’t really work out for me, or weren’t what I expected - I found its just better to ‘let go’, and find something that works better for me.
music making is personal, use whatever makes you happy and joyful :slight_smile:

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Computer or hardware. I tend to flip between hardware to software, I’ve run hybrid in the past but mainly now I use my computer for RX and Maschine or just eurorack. I still enjoy using my old Emu sampler from the 90’s much much more than any software sampler including Maschine, others much prefer software.
I was a huge fan of AudioMulch but I think I prefer using the SSP…it’s all preference.

Sorry if I’m confusing what you are saying here , but are you saying you map the 4 encoders to a midi controller? If so could you elaborate on that a bit please if not could you still elaborate? :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree I think the initial outlay for the SSP was for me by far the most expensive module I’ve bought or will probably ever buy! Turned out at the time of purchase I needed to replace my audio interface and I was looking for a eurorack sampler, add those two things together and I think the SSP has been great value for money (although I later bought a Assimil8or for sampling duties) without even including all the other modules.

Everytime I use the SSP in my (Fairly modest) rack I think about how redundant some of my other modules are. I think I might end up getting rid of a few and replacing them with Fx modules.

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no… (and i don’t think this would be useful :wink: )
I simply mean, I use the MIDI module to take midi CC, and then send the CV to the relevant modules CV input. I find this gives me what I need… (and I find the input offset/scale functionality invaluable for this)

also having things like external keyboards and sequencers means I can really ‘play’ the SSP without using its UI much … as i said, I tend to use it mainly for patching.

yeah, I hesitated for a long time on the SSP, thinking it was ‘expensive’
but IF it suits your needs, then really it can replace or supplement many modules.
e.g. a mordax data + es-9 is already ~ $1000
add a delay, reverb, clouds, wavetable oscillator modules in eurorack, and it soon adds up!
(and things like Mordax data, and ES-9 don’t really have much ‘hands on control’ either :wink: )

thats not to say, its a direct equivalence, its not…
rather its just for me the SSP has the functionality I need for it to be equivalent or better.
e.g. data is a better scope, but the SSP does enough for what I need in this area.

this is common with this kind of module… (think er-301/disting/O&C etc)
they cover a lot ground… the question is does its functionality cover what you need?
e.g. if you need the best, most complex, eurorack sampler get the Assimila8or … but for me it be a total overkill. it’s a difficult area for percussa… the hardware could be a ‘top of the class’ sampler, but the development effort needs to be distributed over, also being able a capable wavetable synth, a granular synth. development time is not ‘free’ , we all have to eat … thats hard esp. in these difficult times.

of course, its hard for ‘potential’ buyers too…
its hard to know if the functionality of the SSP matches your needs without trying it.
e.g. do you need a dedicated granular module (like Nebulae/Morphagene) or does the SSP cover what you need?
though, I’ve no access to testing modular stuff before I buy… so I find that’s true of other eurorack modules too.

one final thing… the SSP is not just about ‘replacing’ other modules.
due to the modular nature, of course, combining many of its modules is much more powerful that one module… ‘the whole is greater than a sum of its parts’

i bought it to support the dev in an early stage
and i thought, due to it’s modular nature, it could be like a swiss army knife, like replacing many modules at once
helas, the UI isn’t really the same as having separate modules and separate knobs (that do work precise, reliable and as expected) - and mind you, i’m all into digital
i never sell anything, so i have a big storage of things i don’t use anymore

yeah, thats true of all multi-functional modules. the UI and number of IO jacks, are their main compromise. the other I guess is complexity.
so, I totally respect those in Eurorack , that think this is not for them.
whereas, Im (generally) happy with that compromise.

I used to be the same, until very recently… but I’ve now found its better to ‘let go’.
its not (just) the monetary side … I also didn’t like having modules (and other hardware) around that I didn’t use - I think it ‘preys on my mind’ , I used to keep getting them out to ‘try again’, getting frustrated - repeat and rinse… and there was no joy in that, even if I got a small amount of use out it.
the SSP is a fair chunk of $ - It’d have to earn its keep for me, or find a new home :wink:

thats not to say I like switching things in/out…
I know some actively are ‘trading’ modules all the time - that doesn’t interest me, I find the whole selling/posting/packing process pretty tedious - so only buy what I intend to keep - but now Im ok, to say 'this is not for me…" (of course, if I get that wrong, I could always buy it back again at a later time)

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I mean, the same question could be said about any outboard synthesizer, eurorack etc…

It all comes down to personal tastes/aesthetics and workflow preferences. If a tool aligns with your criteria, then use it. If not, then don’t. There’s no defacto answer that will suit everyone.

For me personally, I like eurorack for sound design as a whole as I don’t need to stare into the void of a computer (which i clock countless hours on when working so it’s the last place I want to be). Even though the SSP is computer, it’s still in the euro ecosystem and offers the same traits of quick tactile control.

Could I do all this on a computer? Sure. Do I want to? No. Would I enjoy it more on a computer? No.


That being said… I wouldn’t mind a computer based patch editor for the SSP to take care of some of the more tedious tasks more quickly and load/transfer samples and recordings

not sure Id used a computer based editor… seems quick/easy enough on the SSP, and means I don’t have to start my laptop.

I do however transfer/rename samples over an ethernet connection to the SSP from my computer, that is really useful esp. since you dont need to power cycle SSP (which you do with sdcard ejecting)

Id prefer to use wifi, but unfortunately my wifi stick kernel module is not compiled on the SSP, so I need to see if I can build that - that could then lead to perhaps putting a web interface for file management, which Ive done on the Qubit Nebulae, and found really useful.
Its on my ‘list’ but then so are quite a lot of other things at the moment :wink:

Hey Technobear,

how do you connect the SSP to an ethernet connection? Is that complicated?

I could see the potential of a sample transfer; it would also elevate resampling sessions to a new level of speed and efficiency.

What I would also love is the possibility to rename presets from your computer, because in my sessions I like to save many presets, and renaming every single one of them just takes too much time with the SSP encoders.

On the topic, computer vs ssp;

I can only say that not only does the SSP has it’s own way of doing things, it also got it’s own sound;
so to just look at the functionality doesn’t serve justice to the SSP. The audio engine itself is unique and comes with it’s own delicate ways of doing things.

Also, there is currently no tool on the market that connects computers to eurorack like the SSP does.
So if you use VCV Rack, or Bitwig Grid, or Ableton CV tools, the SSP can be very valuable on top.

connecting via ethernet is covered here:

it can be a bit tricky (see my tips in that post) depending upon your experience.
if I can compile the wifi that could be much easier.

yes… its makes things much easier.

no… the ‘issue’ is the preset name is within the preset data, its not the filename. so its not possible to do this.

I find renaming on the SSP is ok, IF you do it as you go along.
as Ive mentioned elsewhere, I cleared off all presets from my SSP, and started from scratch and only have my own presets on it… and I make sure I renamed everything as I create it… so its only takes a few seconds.

even my ‘temporary’ patches are renamed things like scratch, rngstest … so I dont end up with loads of New12 :wink:

I’d personally prefer presets to use this ‘preset name’ as the filename. @bert

This would make sharing presets easier, since users would not have to rename them to an ‘available number’

Sorting, if the filename were sorted in the list, then users could prefix their favorites, to bring them to the top. Also re-ordering list, is a simple matter of renaming one file ( not the whole numeric sequence)

Similar to sorting, if ssp loaded first in said list, then appropriate naming ( eg 00default) would mean a user could select preset to load.

connection of a USB keyboard directly to the SSP would solve a lot (of naming problems, and mayby navigation too?)

hmm… yeah that could be interesting… I can imagine it being a pretty quick way to navigate around the networking screen, and also with some (clever) keyboard mapping even make selecting outputs quicker.
could even be useful for performance, as you could perhaps map ‘shortcut keys’ to flip between modules, without having to go back to the network page.

perhaps something for @bert to consider for synthor

funny , I always thought connecting a qwerty keyboard to eurorack modules was a odd/nerdy idea, but things like teletype and trackers, show it can be pretty neat (esp. some of the micro keyboards you can get, including wireless ones)

on a tangent note, usb keyboards do already work…
I used it when playing with Orca on the SSP.

you cannot see the keyboard here (I was concentrating on the screen) , but Orca very much a text/console based experience - a lot of people love this, as like trackers, it makes for a very quick workflow.
one thing I found was that this console mode, actually worked really well on the SSP.
the only thing I needed to do was to increase the default text size - due to the fact the resolution of the SSP’s screen is very high, compared to physical size. ( iirc this was something like 24 or 32 pitch, rather than default of 14?)

for those with linux skills, if you stop synthor, and similarly increase the console text size, the screen is quite ‘useable’

as mentioned elsewhere (kofi likely?), Im thinking of creating a kind of ‘launcher’ VST, that opens a backdoor to the stop synthor, and launch ‘custom applications’ … like Orca.

for me really just another example of the ‘untapped’ potential of the SSP that the community could already be exploring :slight_smile:


Interesting you mentioned the Mordax DATA. The DATA is probably one of my most missed modules after downsizing my rack. I’d be curious to know how you get similar functionality out of the SSP or if it would be possible to make a VST that’s just a scope with similar controls to the DATA.

If we’re talking keyboard… I was curious if a keyboard worked with SYNTHOR, so I plugged one in. It does! For a few limited things.

  • Enter seemed to correspond to PG+
  • Up/down arrows and Enter worked to select and turn modulation destinations on and off, when that list had focus on the Network page
  • Tab might have been switching focus between different lists on the Network page, but there isn’t any visual highlighting, so it was very hard to navigate around
  • Unfortunately it didn’t work for renaming presets :pensive:

@bert is this behaviour documented anywhere?

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