When building your own modules, you're not designing anything. You generally can buy the faceplates, circuit boards, and either supply your own parts or can buy a kit that's ready to assemble. The only challenge would be kits that use tiny surface mount components. There's a micro - Eurorack group on Facebook somewhere that has all kinds of builders recommending and helping each other.

Mixers are a good thing. IMHO you need two mixers. One for summing audio and or CV and a larger stereo mixer as your main mixer. There are a TON of options. The caveats are how much space and much money do you want to spend? Pittsburgh's Lifeform's, Blue Lantern's Stereo-Sir-Mix, Happy Nerding's mixer (forget name), Roland's 6 channel mixer, etc. Some include line-level outputs built in, some do not. Some have more aux sends than others, some offer modulation of pan or volume level... others don't. Some have headphone outs... others don't

I bought the Blue Lantern option because I wanted more sends and the price was right. I'm happy with it. But it lacks headphone outputs, CV modulation, or line level outputs. But I didn't want them in my mixer (personal preference).

The MIDI to CV option is always great. You can go as low-end or high-end as your needs require. 2HP makes a small, simple MIDI to CV converter with a USB-C input. I use an Expert Sleepers FH2. Either option is good. It just depends on how deep you want that tie to be between your DAW and your rack.

Please note the most current Disting is the Mk4. Be sure you're buying the "Mark Four." Development of the prior versions has stopped and the Mk4 still receives regular firmware updates. It's not worth it to save a few bucks on a Mk3 IMHO.


What are the strong points and weak points of the Neutron and what direction are you looking to go in with your set-up?

There are lots of directions you can go if you're looking to beef up your Neutron.

The Neutron has a lot of great basic circuits on it.

The one thing I would suggest would be an output module capable of stereo line-level outputs. Eurorack level is a lot hotter than line level so you may (or may not) have issues if the audio path terminates in your rack rather than the line level output of the Neutron.

The Neutron lacks effects except for the delay. So you can stretch things quite a bit with a wavefolder or a swarm generator. Effects like reverb, chorus, and the standard lot that have CV modulation go a long way as well... check out the Tip Top Z-DSP as far as effects generation. It works off of hot-swappable cards. So you get a wide palette to choose from if you buy additional cards for it.

A third oscillator is always a welcomed addition as well.

There's nothing wrong with any of the kit you've selected (including your Intellijel wavefolder). The Disting is a nice sampler-plate of different functionality. So if you have your case and an output module, I'd get those plus the Disting and have a play for a couple of weeks and see what tickles your fancy before purchasing the rest of the lot. But that's my opinion. :)


Sorry... I was not familiar with the Domino and I thought it was just an oscillator. From what I can tell it IS a synth voice.

We can work with that. So your synth voice is going to need gates to trigger the VCA and will need pitch information via CV plugged into the 1v/OCT jack. That's the basic requirement to get a pitched note from the synth. From the look of it, the only envelope parameter available is the decay time. Other synth voices have more options but also a heftier price.

If you're into DIY electronics, check out the Ornaments & Crime and Temps Utile. You can build the micro versions yourself and save a lot of cash. Between those modules you'll have a TON of functionality in 16HP and won't need the Steppy or the Scales (at first). Throw in a Disting for $200 and betwen those three you have a nice system for modulation, clocks, light sequencing, etc.


You're welcome. Have you thought about the 1010 Music BitBox rather than the Salmple? I found it pretty easy to use, especially for looping inside the rack so you're not dependent on Ableton. I personally found floating back and forth between a DAW and my rack to be off-putting and takes me out of "the zone" of Eurorack. The moment I pick up a mouse the magic is gone. :)


Welcome to Eurorack. There are definitely a lot of opinions out there.

I will try to take on some your concerns but out of order.

The first thing is system size. In my experience, most people want as small of a system as they can get away with because of the cost. That's a reasonable desire. But then you're trying to fit a handful of modules into a very small space, so not only do you have to really consider the size (in HP) of each and every module... but the functionality of that module in terms of features as well as the ergonomics (small pots are much harder to work with). So you're making putting together a brand new rack exponentially that much harder.

The reason for going with a larger case is simple. You're paying more up-front to save yourself paying more later on. If your system keeps growing you'll need to either add a second case or replace your starting case with a much bigger case and sell your first case. You'll more than likely keep adding modules to your core system as you learn and discover your own tastes in Eurorack.

The Intellijel 7U case is very popular. But if you buy one, you're committing to buying 1U modules in their standard. They make their own 1U modules and 3rd parties like Plum Audio and Shakmat, for example, are starting to jump on the bandwagon. Pulp Logic is the other 1U standard. Please note... that the 1U module formats are NOT compatible with each other. But the bottom line is that 1U modules are not the standard and almost everything in 1U can be found in the same or similar modules in the standard 3U.

As far as building your system overtime. Yes, you can do that. But just know you are buying synthesizer parts. No one part (generally) is an entire synth unless it was built for that purpose (look up "synth-voice"). What comprises a "basic" system is very arguable. But in my opinion, it's two VCOs, a VCF, at least four VCAs, an LFO, two 4:1 mixers, a noise source, and some attenuverters to scale down your control voltages. You will also need a way to PLAY your synth. So you'll need at least one sequencer that makes sense for you and an output module to go from synth to line level. The sequencer... you can go as big or as small as you like depending on needs. If you're going to drive the system via MIDI then you'll need some sort of MIDI to CV interface.

At this point, your head is probably spinning because there are so many choices and so many ways to build a system. Here comes some more boilerplate recommendations that I seem to repeat over and over to people just starting out: buy a synth voice or a Eurorack compatible stand-alone synth. Intellijel, Pittsburgh Modular, and many other companies make complete synths that fit in Eurorack that are patchable. They are great as the core of a new system and will stay useful even if you expand to a monster system. A stand alone system like a Moog Mother 32 or even a Behringer Neutron are great as they don't eat up any rackspace and you can buy a smaller "skiff" rack of additional modules to supplement what you have in the stand-alone system. As your knowledge grows, then get into specialty oscillators, different filters, effects, and modulation. This would be the cheapest way into Eurorack.

The other is to just buy a standalone system preconfigured. Then you're guaranteed to have something useful without having to do all the research first. Roland, Pittsburgh Modular, Doepfer, Make Noise, all have their own turnkey systems. Again, you can always add your own specialty modules once you find an area you want to explore.

DIY is a great way to save money on a module. But once it's built, you still have the same issues to contend with. However, you can offset your costs by building modules for others that don't want to pick up an iron.

And finally, posting your rack. I found your rack. To post a link to it that pops up in your thread, simply visit the rack like you're going to edit it. Then copy and paste the URL into your post. Your URL should look like this but without the spaces:

https: // www.modulargrid.net / e / racks / view / 1067379
And show up like this:
ModularGrid Rack


There are drum modules in here enough for a basic beat. But nothing to write home about. Have you gone through all of your options for percussion? Eurorack percussion modules are an expensive way to add drums to your system. Unless you're going to modulating the hell out of them, then you're basically building an over-expensive drum machine. Though, there's nothing wrong with doing this... it will just be expensive on every front (money, space, additional utility modules).

If you do want your percussion in-rack, then how do you intend on mixing all the drum modules together? You have one four input mono mixer/VCA and have a bass drum, clap, cymbals, and hi-hat... no snare. The ES9 can be thrown in... but then you're relying on your DAW to mix.

There seems to be a schism between a Eurorack synth and a Eurorack beat-box with half of what you need for each. Though, you're definitely loaded up on filters.

In my opinion (just my opinion), I'd look for an external drum machine and use my rackspace for synths or effects. The Eloquencer can drive the drum machine via MIDI and you can save your CV and gate outputs for the synth side of things.

If you're really wanting to build a Eurorack percussion set-up after-all, I'd consider putting it in a separate case and building it separately. Granted you can always patch between cases if there's something you'd like to use that's not in one case and not the others.

Have you looked at any of the Erica Synth drum stuff? They even sell a full system designed for techno... including so basic synth modules for leads and basses. It's not cheap by any means. But I'd really think about the turn-key system and then maybe adding some additional modules in a skiff or other rack if you feel that you need them later. Sorry if this doesn't answer your question directly and seems to meander. But I'd definitely explore some other options before making a decision or finalizing this build.


Wow, that's awesome. That would make signal processing so much easier. I found an ALM version with an offset that takes up 4hp vs the Befaco 5. I'm starting to think planning out a rack is just as fun as actually playing. Thanks again, Ronin.
-- omegasnk

Learning, learning, learning. The more you know how this stuff works... and works differently than "traditional" synths, the better you will be at planning out a rack that works for you. But it's really tough that in order to gain experience, you have to plan a rack out before you really have a handle on the environment.

IMHO, your first case should be big (at least 208HP total) and you should put just enough gear in it to get going. Then as you master what you've got, start adding modules that excite you. But you have to have a "basic" system first so you can explore in different directions. Again just my experience doing this.


The Intellijel 7U would be a great choice as it's in the same series and you can still plan on using the 1Us... just note that the Intellijel 1U standard IS NOT the Pulp Logic standard for 1U. So be sure any 1U modules will fit in your specific rack.

With the Mother32, you CAN put it in the rack. But that's something you should really have a good think about as the Mother32 comes in its own case with its own power supply. So putting it in a rack means you lose that many HP for modules that need to be in your rack.

The more you research, the more you'll know. Oh... and always devote some space in your build for adding a few more modules. Even if it's 20HP... the ability to squeeze in that ONE module that would really set things off once you've started USING your system is some good headroom to have.


The Maths will be enough to get you started with attenuators. Channel 2 and 3 are dedicated to this. But you may find you'd want something like a Befaco Attenuverter. It also includes an offset dial. The offset allows you to center your CV around a point other than zero. Just imagine taking an LFO that goes from -5 to +5v and then attenuating it to -2 to +2V. Then using the offset knob to change the range from +1 to +5.


I don't have experience with the 4MS... but I'm willing to evaluate one! :)

A module you might want to try is the Expert Sleepers Disting Mk4. It's under $200US. I hate the interface. But it's full of different routines for reverbs, compression, resonators, etc. It's great for trying out different effects and figuring out if you'd like a dedicated module. Your Erica DSP will have some overlap but not too much as the Erica concentrates on just effects and not processing.

Another benefit you have is the ES E9. You can use your DAW as a virtual module with audio and CV flowing between. While not convenient, you can explore different effects and decide if you'd like something in hardware.

If you're keeping the MiniBrute, then you have access to additional traditional envelopes, filters, etc., I'd hang on to the Neutron for a while as it can serve as a utility box of modules until you're ready to retire it.

The biggest lack I see are mixers and attenuators/attenuverters. Most people overlook them. You're missing out on the power of modular if you can't submix signals or attenuate/invert them... both audio and CV. If you have an SQ-1, then the Voltage Block might be a bit redundant vs. adding some more utility modules. You have to make that call, though. Be aware that the Ornaments and crime does have some basic sequencing abilities in it that will cover a portion of what you get out of the Voltage Block.

Also... order your modules in stages as you are meaning to fill this rack. As you get to know each of your new modules it might influence where you go in finishing off your rack... priorities will change. So don't be in a rush to fill this thing.


How would you like us to evaluate your rack? The current state of the picture or functionality without the semi-modular synths you've mentioned (Neutron, MiniBrute, 0-Coast)?

If you're dependent on your semi-modulars then anything in the rack is a bonus. As a self-contained rack, there are a lot of holes or things I'd be concerned about if it was given to me to use without the semi-modulars.

If your plan is to ditch the Brute, then having a Rack-Brute case may not be the best option for your modules. You've already bought it so we're stuck with it... unless you really like the format. Again... where should we be aiming?


I hope that doesn't put you off of getting into Eurorack. Most semi-modular synths are a good value for those just getting into Eurorack. Small systems just don't provide a lot of value for the money. If you have the money and are going to expand in the near future... they make more sense. But you have to cram a lot of features into a small space and that too has to be a consideration.

You'll also find something called a "synth voice" which is basically a Eurorack module that contains all if not most of what you need for a synthesizer. Intellijel also makes the Atlantis module which is based on the Roland MS101. That too would also make a great starting module. But you'd have to supply a MIDI to CV converter if you want to use a controller or you DAW to address it.

Just don't think of any starter modules or synths as entry-level. Most of them aren't. The Mother-32 or Atlantis still hold there own in a massive system. So you won't lose value if you expand. You just might end up with some redundancy or options depending on how you look at it.

Are you going to take another crack at sketching up another rack? You didn't pick bad modules at all. It's just the configuration would make things difficult for you. I hope you try again.


Welcome to Eurorack.

Issues:
You're buying a case and completely filling it. You'll have to buy a second case if you want to expand. I hear what you're saying but the reality is that most people want additional functionality once they get some wiggle-time in with their modular.

For the price, I prefer Intellijel's old 4U 104HP case... but they stopped making them. If you can find one of those 2nd hand, I'd recommend pouncing on it.

For the size of your case the Metropolis is just too big. It's nice to have a sequencer in the case. But you'd save money and do better buying something like a Keystep Pro or a Beatstep Pro. The Metropolis can't sync to MIDI so whatever you create with it won't sync to anything else without some more modules... but you don't have the room. If you really want a sequencer, I'd look for something smaller that has the ability to sync to MIDI.

You need mixers. You have none. The Intellijel VCA can sum two inputs. But there's no way to control the proportions of each signal. The 2HP VCAs do not sum according to the manual.

There's no LFO in the set-up. I'd think about that as LFOs are pretty common in most synth systems.

Overall... I think you COULD keep this case to make a basic system if you replace the Metropolis with another sequencer (internal or external) that has MIDI and then reclaim the saved space for additional modules you may want or need. Small systems are much harder to put together than larger systems as you're trying to balance space with practical functionality. The value of a small system is usually so limited that they are no more capable than a plug-out synth like a Behringer Neutron or a Moog Mother 32. Honestly, I'd recommend buying a Moog Mother 32 rather than what you have here. Less expensive and more features.


Start a fire then be the one to discuss fire safety... got it.

What you have done... intentionally or inadvertently is troll this thread. ALL of your posts have been in this thread and they are critical of everyone. Let me slow clap that for you.

Then you mock others who actually help people. You are acting as a troll even if you think you have some sort of moral high-ground. As it's just you complaining and justifying your insults against some hyperbolic straw-men you make everyone out to be.

The bottom line is that you have contributed nothing. Your bag is empty. This is all that you have. When you do post something constructive, I'd be really happy to see it. But so far you haven't. What IS your level of knowledge regarding modular? You seem to be the master of forum etiquette and will to put the hammer down on anyone who doesn't live up to your standards. But as far as substance. You have none.

I'm going to drop this conversation right here. There's nothing much more to discuss. You don't have the goods. You've been judged and found wanting.


Wow, helping others… what a novel idea. Do you need a tissue, Ronin? Have you downloaded VCV rack? There, I think I've got you matched. As for Lugia, making popcorn seems more apt to help than any of the advice of theirs I’ve quoted.
:) :)

-- Hazel

And there we have it. What have YOU done to participate in the community? You've criticized and been critical of others. But when all of the inflammatory posting is done. You have nothing. Yes. I recommend VCV Rack to people starting out. So do a lot of other regulars. It's free and really helps people get their heads around the modular architecture. You should download it if you haven't already. It'll really help you.

You're dismissive of Lugia's advice. I've found it invaluable and so have many other PARTICIPANTS in these forums. There's decades of experience in his posts if you care to read the forums and learn something.

I'm not sure why you're hell bent on attacking people. But if that's all you have to bring to the table, then it's all you have. If you do have some usable advice, I'm happy to take it.

I'm currently at a crossroad in my set-up. I want a Westlicht Performer but will probably have to commission it to be built. But on the other hand I have an FH2 and thinking of expanding with another 8 outputs. But I'm really not keen being dependent on my PC and would like to venture into some live playing. If I go live, I may want to go with a Shakmat Clock o' Pawn as my clock source. Would you recommend the Shakmat?

Thanks


Things I don't see:

Filters
LFOs
ADSRs
CV sequencer
Stand-alone VCAs
Effects: reverb, delay, distortion, wavefolding, etc.

The Koma has VCAs, but they are a part of your mixer. You may want to modulate or attenuate a signal earlier in the chain.
Filters... I didn't see much in traditional oscillators.
CV sequencer. You have Yarns to connect via MIDI. But that looks like your only source for sequenced CV. The Circadian only handles triggers/gates.

Perhaps in your strategy you don't need any of the above as there aren't any traditional VCOs etc. Everything seems to be digital. So for the sake of argument, why this rack when a stand-alone digital box might give you all if not most of this functionality... like something in the Elektron family.

But that's what I have with nothing more than a picture of the rack to go on.


You don't like when people are curt and when people don't baby you. Got it. Find somewhere else to troll. I looked up all of your posts here. Tyson has ONE post that Lugia and I were gracious enough to help out with. Hazel has done nothing but troll.

As far as the two of you HELPING anyone... nothing... not a single post. Isn't that amazing? You love to criticize others but have done NOTHING to help anyone else. The majority of BOTH of your posts are just criticizing other members.

Now I get it... both of you seem rather intelligent and have a lot to socially opine about. But you contribute NOTHING. In your quest to turn this forum into a "safe-space" all you've managed to do is piss off the people who are actually helping people through their first steps into modular.

I have a really novel idea... how about the two of you show us by example. You can reply to other peoples' posts and show us exactly how a reply should be crafted with some sage advice on what's right or wrong with a rack. Once each of you has at least 20 of these posts HELPING other people, come back and critique others.

Until then, you are the epitomy of trolls. Just take a look at your posting history and try to argue against it. I'll make some popcorn.


Is your case 6U or 3U?


My racks are a bit of mess between what I have and some desired modules... but I own about 90% of what's in my racks. Who ISN'T planning a rack upgrade?

As far as the 1010 Music Bit Box... you might like it. It also runs two alternative firmwares: one is a wavetable synth and the other is a multi-effects processor. If you buy the Bitbox, SynthBox, or FXBox, it's all the same module with different writing on the face-plate. You simply download the other firmwares to new microSD cards and then load the firmware. It's a big module at 26HP and $600... but you can find it on sale for as low as $500 brand new.

Be careful about the 1U 3rd party modules. Intellijel 1U isn't compatible with Pulp Logic 1U.

Plum Audio makes a 1U Ornaments and Crime for the Intellijel system labeled with "For Robots." It's more expensive than your typical O_C unit. But what makes it additionally fun is the extended CV range.
https://www.plum-audio.com/product-page/1uo-c-4robots

I really LIKE the OC module. For me it's how I would envision a user-friendly Disting module would be laid out. I like the quantizer in it. The sequencer is also pretty nice and responds in some very interesting ways if you wish. I haven't got into some of the more exotic features with LFOs and shift registers. There's a modded firmware that uses better descriptions. Plus, as you mentioned, at least one other full alternate firmware. I've not messed with them. I've had my OC since first starting my rack. It will take you a minute to learn the layout and how to get around. It's also not a module you want to try and make setting changes with too quickly because it's easy to adjust the wrong thing if you're not paying attention. But I still really like it. I use my Temps Utile a lot more... but mainly as a clock divider or Euclidean rhythm generator. Your Pamela does everything a Temps Utile does I believe....

If you gave me your rack, would I put one in there. Yes.


I hate my Disting. I find the user interface to be just jacked and difficult to work through. However, it's a great module to have if you want to explore lots of different functions. I've used to to figure out what kind of modules I'd want to have complete versions of... like a quantizer or a comb filter, reverb, etc. It's also great in those "I just need one more (blank)!" moments... an extra VCA, an extra oscillator.

In all honesty, a Eurorack drum machine sounds great on paper. But once you start pricing out everything you're going to need, you'll find it to be an extremely expensive way to go... even if you get dedicated drum modules. That's a lot of money to reinvent a drum machine. I bought a 1010 Music BitBox to act as an in-rack record/playback system. Boom. All my drums. I can also record in-sync. So if I have a long ambiance, I can loop record it or any other part.

Beware the rabbit hole. It will suck your wallet dry.


After that symphony of self-awareness, I don't need to add anything, except to point out that you're the only one in this thread who seems to be melting down over a little criticism. But good one about us snowflakes.
-- tyson

You must be reading things in your outrage voice again. Zero meltdown. I really don't care, honestly. Everything was moving along nicely and someone got triggered and felt the need to social justice warrior all over the forum. Is there anyone else feeling sensitive who needs a tissue?


Enjoying the conversation.

The Disting has a slew limiting mode. I'm not sure how advanced it is, but you might want to try it out with the Mimetic. The Disting also has a Euclidean mode. So you might be able to have it take on those duties if you're trying to spare you Pam. I use a Temps Utile for my Euclidean stuff. Same principle.

I listened to your Youtube... cool. Yeah... I'd definitely plan for a nice reverb module sometime in the future. I hope you have the money and space! :)

I'm not familiar with Stages so I can't give you any thoughts of how you can incorporate it. I know it can do envelopes.

Befaco makes a 6HP slew limiter. You'll find quite a few slew limiters that are 6HP and under.

I hope you get your computer fixed soon to record your stuff. You can use the Disting to record audio with if you have something you want to keep. Just be aware that the Disting records at 46kHz and not the standard 44.1 or 48... so you'll have to sample rate convert anything you pull off the micro-SD card.


Tasty.

I'm looking at the rack. The Erica DSP and the Disting are both capable of producing reverbs, delays, and can be addressed via CV for modulation. I'd try using those. That Mimetic Digitalis would be great for varying parameters of either or both. Make Noise offers a slew limiter much like the two in Maths... but in a much smaller package. I'm not telling you to get one. But a slew limiter can give you a much more musical transition between CV signals that suddenly change in voltage. For the most part, slew limiters come in two varieties: one that slews rising and falling slopes the same (basic), one that slews rising and falling slopes independently (like Make Noise Maths or Befaco Rampage). The Mimetic responds to gates/triggers to advance to the next step. So you could supply those with the Squarp in any rhythm you find useful.

I'm still on the fence about the Wavetable synth. I dug a little deeper. It seems that it can only work with internal wavetables, though Erica does have a ROM expander for them. Without hearing all of the wavetables... I can't really pass much judgment on it... but it seems to be redundant if you have a Plaits module. It's not a wavetable synth, but you can get variations on a sound in the same manner (different architectures but you can index variation(s) of a sound in the same manner).

The Noise Engineering BIA is nice. I own one as well. The Noise Engineering stuff can be a little harsh sounding sometimes. But all of those strange harmonics might be nice if you're drowning the original signal in reverb as drone fodder.

I think the bottom line is that you might want to try a little harder to make something useful with the Erica before giving up on it. Not because I think it's a great module or not a great module, but it might be an opportunity to flex/grow your knowledge even if you ultimately dump it.


Thread: Why

i litterally have 20 pounds why am i here
-- DKraftman

Because you have Eurolust. Have you tried VCV Rack yet? It's a Eurorack simulation and it's free. You can keep your 20 quid in your pocket and pick up some knowledge while that 20 is growing to a couple thousand. When you have the funds, you'll spend them wiser and get more out of your investment.

On the less expensive end... an inexpensive rack and a synth-voice module is a good entry point. You can even go with something like a Behringer Neutron, a Moog Mother 32, as stand-alone synths that can be patched into a Eurorack system. They are great synths to start with and will stay relevant no matter how much your system grows.


I looked at your rack above as well as your update (by clicking the link of the picture). You've put in some more work.

The first thing that draws my attention is the QPAS filter. It's a niche stereo filter. There's noting wrong with the QPAS, put apart from the "Outs," there's nothing else in your rack that really supports a stereo signal. I'd want something like a Joranalogue Filter 8 or an Intellijel Morgasmatron if I was putting together a first rack and add the QPAS later when my system could support it.

You talk of "space/ocean" styles of sounds. That makes me think of reverbs with long decay times and delays with a lot of feedback. I don't see any modules of those types in the rack. Eurorack effects that are designed to be modulated are awesome. There are other options with outboard gear like pedals... it's going to depend on your needs.

Also missing are any dedicated utility modules. The Maths can do some of that work as far as attenuating and attenuverting signals. But if its doing that duty, you might not be able to use it for something else.

Some other bits you may want to add would be some sort of noise source (pink and white). Noise can add a bit of character to a sound, especially when mixed and filtered with that sound. Sample & Hold as well as a logic module will give you some additional possibilities... but only you can say if that would fit your needs.

The Zadar is good. But it might not be bad to have a couple of traditional ADSRs as well. I'd go with an ADSR with lots of CV inputs like a TipTop Z4000 and have one or two of them in the rack.

For your set-up, I'd have one mixer that's capable of audio and CV mixing (the Mixup should do this) but I'd also have a main mixer with even more channels. I have a Blue Lantern Stereo Sir-Mix-A-Lot. it has six inputs plus two stereo returns. It was in the $200-$300 price range. That might be the ticket since you'll probably be adding more modules and possibly effects. It would also be great pairing it with the QPAS.


Well... it's hard to say if you need to replace the Wavetable VCO. As a source, it doesn't have a lot of modulation inputs. Are you running the VCO through... filters, wavefolders, distortion, comb filters, etc.? Each module you place between the VCO and the reverb is an opportunity to alter your sound as well as modulate that alteration.

When you wash something in reverb, the sound basically smears. Subtle differences in timbre tend to wash away. So you might want to possibly try the same VCO and run it through two completely different signal paths (or more!) then mix between them using some very slow modulation... just an example.

Before you toss the Wavetable VCO and spend more money, maybe a picture of your current set-up would be helpful. Oh, and the 2HP reverb is pretty limited (I own one). It's good to have. But I'd want something with more parameters that can be modulated. Oh.. and have you tried placing a filter after the reverb. Even a simple band-reject filter can add some motion to your ambient sound.


Wow. I appreciate hearing others' experiences here, but the sycophancy and lack of self-awareness in Ronin's last post just drives home what toxic tendencies this forum unfortunately has. (Talk of "triggering" is sort of a giveaway.) Style and substance are of course not two unrelated things, and the irony of not appreciating either here is a bit much. Anyway, thanks, Hazel, for the lovely video links. And thanks for sticking your head above the parapet with your well-written, and, yes, substantial contributions to this thread. Hope to hear more from you on another forum.
-- tyson

I'm completely aware of myself. I just find it infantile to sit and be critical of someone who is HELPING you. If you want someone to stroke your hair and tell you what a good boy you are... that's not happening. You get curt and frank advice. When you toss a bunch of modules in a rack and ask for feedback. That's what you get. If you'd like to show me the errors in my suggestions. If you disagree with my suggestions... fine too. I also learn a lot from other peoples' advice.

What I won't do is baby you in your excitement to put something in the box without knowing what knowing what you need to make the box work. Sorry if I'm not playing the social-media, social-correctness game that is so important to you. But it seems YOU and quite a few others have decided to plant your flag on some sort of social etiquette rant rather than learning how to use a control voltage synthesizer. Do you have any other complaints or social snowflake boo-hoos or are we done?


Thanks, Lugia, for chiming in. I’m going to try to make a few points and then I’ll be taking a break from this. (I don’t mean for that to sound as temperamental as it may.)
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For any readers that might be interested, I came across this interview with Ann Annie and found it insightful and inspiring. I also found that it kind of contradicted Lugia and Ronin’s points. Also! I learned that Ann Annie’s first step into eurorack was with a Mother 32, and a 42HP rack with only one module. Kind of ironic considering the OP of this thread... You see: eurorack can all start with a very simple, restrictive setup. There’s a good chance you’ll have an excellent time with it, and as you begin to learn more, you’ll start realizing the next best steps you should take towards creating your own personal, ideal rack.

-- Hazel

You seem like a passive-aggressive troll that has nothing of any substance to seriously contribute... but hey... that's just my opinion. You seem pretty much all about criticizing others. I agree with Lugia... show me some substance.


I'd much rather get someone triggered and thinking instead of coddling them in platitudes, lies about their build, etc and then letting them discover on their own that they've blown several grand on The Machine That Goes "Ping!". The latter isn't a responsible stance at all.

-- Lugia

That's what I named my rig when I started out... because I appreciated the irony.


Thanks tyson… the last thing I want for active members of this forum to feel is like they’re being ganged up on, but it’s also nice to know I’m not alone here.

I managed to track down the video I mentioned in my last post. Whether or not this music is one’s taste is of course not the point. It has 33k views and over a thousand likes and the first two comments are: “this wins the grammy for best generative synth track” (Lugia’s thread titled “Why your 6U x 84 generative rig won't work” might be worth bringing up). And then: “This just leaves me breathless everytime I listen to it. It's almost painfully beautiful..”
Scroll further down and someone posts: “Amazing! How is it possible to obtain more information on a setup like this? I am no musician but I would love to have something like this at home and play around with it. I guess it will be a diccicult task to master...”

Here’s an answer/plausible scenario. Do some research and come across a site called modular grid with the unique feature of being able to create a virtual rack which you can submit for feedback. Post a similar setup to this video (or even an identical one). Receive criticism along the lines of this:

  1. Lots of attractive modules but totally lacking in utility modules. Will make a great decoration or prop but good luck making music with it.

  2. TWO Rings + an Elements and Plonk! Call the redundancy department. And way too many mutable instruments modules. Plus these are available in smaller HP so a total waste of space.

  3. I see an Optomix but no real VCAs? Totally unusable.

  4. I suggest doing a lot more research before posting another rack. Etc, etc…

Looking at a price tag around 5 thousand dollars and facing comments like these, feel really discouraged (and confused?) and never take the next steps towards getting into modular synthesis.

Was the genre of synthesis potentially just harmed?
-- Hazel

Thanks for the post. Ann Annie is pretty famous in modular. The rack you're looking at works. But I seriously doubt that this rack is all of Ann Annie's modules. This rack was probably specifically built for this piece by someone with some serious knowledge and talent. If you want to reproduce this song with those sounds... perfect. But we're discussing what usually turns out to be someone's full kit that has to be more than a one-trick-pony.


Some of my favorite modules are Ornaments & Crime as well as Temps Utile.

I have the Pittsburgh sequencer. I hate that thing with a passion. You'll get more use out of an Ornaments & Crime and more features in 8HP (microversion) than the 10HP Pittsburgh. That's beyond the scope of what you're asking. But I found it worth mentioning.

It also can function as a quantizer, LFO, and some other nice functions

The Temps Utile can function as a 1-in, 6-out clock divider/multiplier. It also does Euclidean and simple trigger sequences, some internal logic, and is also 8HP.

Research those two modules and see if they fit within your creative horizons.


Thread: Box of Noise

You also mentioned, I think it was Ronin1973 that new users lack knowledge on triggers, gates, clocks etc. I think you hit the nail on the head right there.
-- Groc

I read your whole post. But this line jumped out at me the most. If we were to write "the book" one of the biggest recommendations would be to download and install VCV Rack. The basic system is free and there are a lot of free expansions. It's an entire Eurorack-style ecosystem that will allow you to add and play with modules using virtual Eurorack standards. When you're trying to get a feel for what is a trigger, gate, clock, CV, etc. it's an invaluable resource for learning and trying things out hands on. You'll walk away with a lot more knowledge of how modular works in the real world... by doing. I can't stress it enough.

Eurorack is tricky to get your mind around coming from DAWs and hardware MIDI. I think people get comfortable with virtual plug-ins and traditional MIDI instruments that are far easier to use than control voltages. Being able to recall complete patches and using a working INIT patch means little thought has to be given to HOW different components actually communicate with each other. In Eurorack, you literally have to make the connections between components by hand.

As you discover how CV works, you'll notice a lot of very basic modules can really unleash the full power of such a retro method of making synth sounds. It's that level of control that, personally, brought me to Eurorack.

It's all good. I hope you stay around for quite a while and post frequently. I'm still learning a lot as well. There's always an interesting way to do things.


For what you are planning, the lack of filters, VCAs, VCFs, attenuators and attenuverters, you are just going to have a very expensive and poorly functioning sampler on your desk.

You've fallen into the same pit as most people new to Eurorack fall into. You seem to not understand HOW a control voltage environment works and you're cherry picking modules that you seem to like. You really need to educate yourself how Eurorack/modular synthesis works and start planning AFTER.

I realize that you're planning for this to work with VCV Rack. But there are gaping holes here. I'm not picking on you. I hope everything works out well and you get everything out of your gear you're looking for. But this build is just lacking.


My best advice to you would be to download VCVRack (it's free) and set up a virtual Eurorack synth then try to play it.

In this set-up you're missing a lot of key elements to even a basic synth. What is a VCA? Why are they important and what can you do with them? Do you know the types of VCAs that are around? How many would you suggest for this set-up? What is an attenuator and/or an attenuverter?

How will you attenuate control voltages going to the resonance input for your VCF for example. The filter cut-off has a knob that functions as an attenuator... but the resonance doesn't. Manufacturers put attenuators and attenuverters (an added expense) on inputs they believe will get a lot of use. But there's no rules saying that they have to. If you want to control the amount of attenuation with other parts of your system, you'll need VCAs as well.

How will this synth play notes? There's nothing on here that can deliver a sequence of pitches AND gates. The Vari-Gate only does gates. What will handle pitch information?

You're also missing a lot of modulation sources. LFOs are very handy and standard sources of modulation. There's not one here. Where are the envelope generators? The Maths can do simple two stage envelopes... but what about ADSR envelopes?

Regarding the filter. It's only a low-pass filter. It has different outputs that supports different cut-off slopes. But that's the only kind of filtering you can do with it. I'd check out something like the Joranalogue Filter 8 to give yourself a lot more options... unless you're going to add a few other filter types to your system, which would be expensive.

The mixer is DC-coupled (so it can mix audio or it can mix control voltages). It's fine. But you may also want to consider an output module that converts synth level to line level. Modular synths operate at a much louder volume than your average line level synth.

Maths. Maths is a great utility module to have around. But it's a jack-of-all-trades.


Eurorack is pretty trendy today. There are a lot of people who are excited to get into it. I don't blame them.

But in the rush to get into the genre of synthesizer, they often don't bother understanding what makes Eurorack actually WORK.

So a nice percentage of racks that are put up for advice are like the one above. Recommending modules for ambient music making... no problem. Discourse and disagreement on what modules to recommend? Always.

However, simply acting like a sales clerk and watching people throw good money after bad is a thorn in the side of many people in this forum. Is it their money? No. Is it going to affect them personally? No.

However, it does affect the genre of synthesis. When people walk away from a bad experience... they blame the gear and the genre. Yet they refuse to learn how control voltage systems ACTUALLY work. The rack above follows suit. The recommendation to buy module-du-jour for making ambient music from... THAT RACK... you're just piling on the bad.

As I said, I can't speak for Lugia. But I believe his views are similar to mine. We want people to have great experiences and really enjoy their racks and cases. But they have to get past the first hurdle of what exactly IS a modular synth and how do you interface with it?


Thread: Box of Noise

I read your post. You have an SV-1 and a Keystep. This rack will be in addition to those pieces.

"I want to have a lot of diversity, functionality in a small rack."
The nature of modular makes this a very difficult request to fulfill. I'm assuming that the SV-1 is going to be your go-to synth and what's in the rack will compliment the SV-1. What do you feel is missing from the SV-1/Keystep combination? Where are you going with your music?

Garfield mentioned getting the 7U version of a case. I would definitely recommend that too. It's a little more money up front. But you get more space and more features in the 7U cases.

As far as what you HAVE in the rack posted above... IF you get a 7U case, you will definitely not need the Intellijel audio I/O 1U JACKS module. Those are built into the back of the case and have a connector for the Intellijel audio I/O module.

The pedal I/O and pedal jacks I/O are nice to have. But there are better modules that will fit in that 1U space. Get an Intellijel Quadratt for mixing, inverting, and scaling your CV and even audio. You'll find it more useful than that other stuff (the Duatt doesn't offer enough channels in my opinion). Eurorack versions of reverb, delay, and bread and butter effects are nice due if they have CV inputs for real time modulation of parameters. That's something you generally can't do with most general, stand-alone effects units.

There are some things that might give you a wider palette of sound such as a module capable of ring modulation and/or distortion. You're on the right track with a wave folder. You can overdrive a signal with your Duatt... but there's no way to directly modulate the module. It's still not a bad module, though.

Another consideration is that you're using a lot of Mutable Instrument modules. There are smaller micro versions of these available. If you can handle the smaller knobs, it's a great way to save rack space for other modules.

I'd also suggest a module like Ornaments & Crime. Your Keystep has an on-board sequencer. But having a second sequencer that can be locked to the Keystep and be modulated within the rack is also helpful. Sequencers can be used to influence modulation rather than playing notes. The O_C can also generate envelopes rather than gates... so it can get you a long way even if used in a subtle manner.

To summarize. What you have here in conjunction with the SV-1 and Keystep isn't bad. Just go with a larger case. As you dive deeper into Eurorack, you're going to probably want to add more modules or swap out what you have for something else that might need more room. Give yourself room to expand.


I reread your original post. You're want to use Ableton with your rack. Cool.

Here are some ideas.

The Expert Sleeper modules are very good when it comes to interfacing with a DAW.

The FH-2 and newly release ES-9 are worth checking out.

The FH-2 converts MIDI to control voltage. The 8 outputs can be set up as either gates/triggers or CV. So any combination is possible with CV, gates, clocks, etc. The FH-2 is also expandable if you need more outputs.

The ES-9 skips the translation from MIDI CV and acts as a direct gateway between your DAW and your rack: audio, CV, gates in both directions.

They aren't cheap and they aren't exactly easy to set-up/edit, even when using the browser interface. But they are very powerful. I'd do a little research on them as well as any alternatives by other manufacturers.


I'm not understanding the point of Hazel's post. It seems to be hyper-critical of those who responded a year ago.

To shed some light on my take on the community: we're not sales people. This isn't a music store. We're not going to make a recommendation without giving some background. There will be side conversations related to the original post but straying away a little from the original post. That happens in most casual conversations. Lugia has a valid point regarding making ambient music. It's not the module du jour that makes a genre work. It's the knowledge acquired producing it.

In my short experience with modular, there's a large segment of new people who seek out specific modules but do not have the experience or knowledge to create a system around those modules that will work as a viable creative platform. So the conversation centers around someone putting together a collection of attractive modules with no infrastructure built in to actually make them work as a cohesive instrument.

Besides criticism of other members and their decades of experience... what are you offering to this year old thread?

Something to think about.


To "fix" your system there aren't any small adjustments to be made. That's the point we're trying to express. To make your proposed system worthwhile in the limited amount of space really isn't workable. We have to add functionality and there's just no space to do that. A larger case would make it possible. Until there is more space, you're not going to get anywhere.

For what you have here... you'd be better off buying a semi-modular synth and a simple desktop sampler. It will be less expensive and complete.

If you're going to do this all in the confines of Eurorack, you're going to need a bigger budget and a bigger case. Sorry to be that blunt about it. But there's no making this build work with just a couple of tweaks.


I'm looking for a vector space quite some now; I'll definitely snatch one if it pops up in a good price!Seems like a well though out module..
Batumi and Zadar are nice dedicated LFOs/EGs.
I'm quite pleased with O&C quad LFOs which is less than half their price..
I don't quite like the envelopes on the O&C though, I don't like the Peaks' envelopes either; can't exactly express why they just don't feel "right"/snappy enough..
My other gripe with Batumi is that it's basic signals only and I think I'm quite covered on those with my two Stages..
I should take a closer look to Tides v2, it seems more useful than Tides v1.

-- belzrebuth

Now is a good time to buy as we're getting into Black Friday sales. Check out Perfect Circuit if you're in the USA.

If you're looking for snappy EGs, you'll probably have to go with analog envelope generators the Z4000 EGs from Tip Top are designed to be very snappy. The Z4000's also include controls for scaling as well as attenuverting the output (negative envelope generators, or EGs that start out negative range and peak in positive... you get the idea.

I've found the Batumi to be pretty useful in a small footprint. If you have alternatives then its redundant... but an option. If I'm looking for a "less basic" LFO, I have VCOs that get far down into that range and with some additional modulation can create some interesting LFOs.


Small builds are a lot harder to plan out than large builds. There are more factors stacking up against you. You need a lot of knowledge of modular to pull it off and get what you need out of your build.

If you're new to modular, it might seem counter-intuitive. But a larger build is going to be much more forgiving and give you what you want and need for more generalized and beginner purposes. A smaller set-up will be less expensive by the shear token that there are fewer components. But it's moot if the components you put together won't give you the functionality that you're going to need.

This is a common problem and misconception when planning your first rack: "oh, I'll go smaller to save some money." But you end up spending a fair amount of coin for results that will be less than pleasing unless you absolutely know what you're doing.


The K2 is on my short-list. I watched the Perfect Circuit demo of it. There are some modern applications and sounds you can get out of it... as well as some of those fat early 1980's funk and R&B sounds. But the Perfect Circuit demo seemed pretty tasty to me.


Modulation and an all-black rig.

Okay...
Worng Electronics Vector Space - combining modulation sources for interesting results
Xaoc Batumi and Poti in their alternate black face-plates - quad digital LFO with expander.
Xaoc Zadar in black face-plate. Quad digital envelope generator. An expander is also available for this (don't know name).

You can get smaller versions of most of the Mutable Instruments stuff if you're okay with smaller knobs.


Thread: MyCase

The micro version of the Temps Utile is 8HP. It offers up to 6 channels of Euclidean rhythms, gate sequencing, clocks, clock dividing/multiplying, etc.

Maths makes for great slew limiting since the rising and falling slopes can be slewed at different rates. You could also use a Befaco Rampage instead. It depends what other features you'd also like to have on-tap.


Thread: MyCase

Reading glasses. I've given in to my age and I use them when I need them. It's best to just leave a pair of readers next to your set-up. I found a pair of fold-up glasses that fit into a case the size of an oversized cigarette lighter. I keep them in my pocket.

The next issue for older eyes would be proper lighting. I love a dimly lit room when I'm being creative. But dim light makes seeing tiny print even harder. For this, I have tree solutions. I placed a large lamp in my music room. I also have a desktop lamp with a gooseneck. The third thing is having a USB charging port connected to the 5v rails in each of my 3 cases (Intellijel). I can then use USB gooseneck reading lamps in my case. But you'll want to check if they inject noise into your signal and pull them before recording.

For rhythmic complexity... I like Euclidean generators. I won't explain them here, but you can find several modules capable of generating them either as dedicated modules or a function within... like the Temps Utile module. I'm also considering buying a second hand Trigger Riot after watching a few videos on it. I really like the idea of creating rhythms by indirectly influencing a parameter than simply just programming them by hand. You can get pretty wild by patching from one Euclidean generator to another, throw in a logic module, and possibly triggering a reset periodically. You can also use/misuse clock dividers to great effect in the chain somewhere. You can also literally mix gates/triggers together at low volume and where they align you'll get a legit trigger (devices like logic modules want to see a minimum voltage to count a signal as being true, so they are great to add to the end of the analog summing to make sure you get clean gates/triggers).


Hi Lugia,

Thanks for your detailed reply. Unfortunately, it's not what I wanted to hear, so I demand a retraction. How dare you lecture me about some made up "rules" after I put my heart and soul into that theoretical rack?

No, seriously, thank you. Is there a downside to powering the Nebulae with 5V other than needing to keep a separate tally of the power usage? According the the ER-301's website, its peak current is 250 12V+ rather than the 300 listed on MG, which would bring the 12V+ total down to 772. I understand that the consumption listings in MG shouldn't be taken as gospel, but it seems I'm painfully close to being able to safely power this little rack with the supplied power. And I admit, just aesthetically, I'd rather not have two separate "on" switches, even if - especially if - one isn't being used.

But I'm prepared to hear what I don't want to hear.

Thank you,

Tyson

-- tyson

Hi Tyson,

I'm going to include some info that's loosely related to your posts and some that's more on target.

Some modules offer alternative powering solutions and set-ups. For example, modules with vacuum tubes in them may require additional power supplies because of the huge draw from tubes at start-up. Erica has a vacuum tube series that requires a separate "tube warmer" power supply for start-up. I believe they may have solved the issue for later models in the series. But if you see a tube in your gear... you really want to focus on start-up voltage draws. What Lugia said is important.

Digital modules are noisy. It's just a fact of life; especially with modules with display screens. Digital modules are also built to different specifications depending on the builder. You might find people putting digital modules in a separate case or in a corner of their case away from modules that might be more sensitive. Some modules, like those from Noise Engineering, have a toggle switch on the back that allows them to be powered from the 5v bus in order to improve interference.

If you hear the term "passive" it means the module requires no power. A passive mult or a simple attenuator would be examples. Some will work passively, but have "active" portions. The Noise Engineering "Mutis Jovis" is passive four channel mute module, for example. It works passively. But if you plug it in, the LEDs indicating signal level will work.

Hope the information is helpful in some part.


Hey. My advice:

Delete this post and reformulate it towards your end goal. Post a link to the proposed rack. I realize that this rack will evolve and change as your building it. But there might be some advice that spurs you to make additional tweaks or changes along the way.

Also, take a look at some of the feedback on others racks and take not of the criticisms and why they may or may not be valid.


Looks like a nice list of modules cherry-picked into a rack.

If you wanted to change the polarity of a CV signal... how would you do that with THIS rack?
If you wanted to scale a CV signal, mix two CV signals... again... how would you?

I don't see any traditional ADSRs. Why not?
The Batumi can always use the Poti expander. In a large set-up, it's very much worth the 3HP.
The only dedicated effect is a Chronoblob... if you're doing ambient, where is your reverb?

All in all, this looks like a fantasy build that has very little study behind it. Sorry to be so harsh. But if someone else putting together a rack sees this they should take these comments to heart.


The Rubicon 2 makes sense for a mature rig. For a skiff... I wouldn't think so as getting a nice palette of modulation sources out of skiff would be a bit difficult (sources, attenuation, attenuverting, etc.).

I've managed to get some sounds out of it that put it in league with some of the coarser sounding Noise Engineering stuff. ALSO... it has an LFO mode that can go pretty slow. So you can use it as a source for complex modulation of other oscillators/filters etc.

For me, the value is there due to its usefulness. But the cost rises proportionally. :)


The Dixie II+ is a basic VCO. It really doesn't do much more than any other basic oscillator. It has a sub oscillator, which is a nice feature if you make a lot of bass sounds or a sub factors into the sound of your patch (not always bass).

The Rubicon 2 is more of a complex oscillator due to its "through zero" capabilities among other features. You'll also see that reflected in the price. You can substitute the Rubicon for a Dixie... but not the other way around if you start diving deep into features.

I have the Rubicon 2 and I'm considering the Dixie as an additional VCO... I have a Z3000 but prefer the workflow of the Intellijel stuff.