Just as an update, this is where I am now. Have a 4MS PEG that I had to move out of the rack to fit the Z-DSP, but will put it back as soon as I find the resources to put the PP+Brains in a skiff instead.

ModularGrid Rack

this not small

I have the 420. I got it on sale for $679. I wouldn’t pay full price for it.

It’s extremely solid, well-built and the power is great. But they use proprietary screws, although they’re available in multiple places. It’s quite difficult to screw in a thicker module while using washers. You’d have to measure and get longer screws and make sure you won’t bottom out the rail.

Other than that huge issue, it’s nice. Therefore I’m mixed on it overall. But I can’t complain lately because I managed to find some thinner washers that have worked and now my modules aren’t going anywhere.

Edit : unfortunately I can’t answer other questions or comparisons as it’s my first case. I decided to go prebuilt for sanity’s sake and it was the most HP for the money.

Basically, the Pittsburgh Structure line was designed (and for a time, built) by Monorocket, who had a reputation for making extremely solid cabs with very ample power supplies. The Structure 420 shows this, both in its built quality and the fact that you get an overload and short-protected 6000 mA on each 12V bus, and 5000 mA on the +5. Compare this with the v.3 power supply on the A-100 p9, which is 2000 mA on the +12, 1200 on the -12, and 4000 mA on the +5V rail.

I think you should seriously consider Pittsburgh's Structure 344, though. 5000 mA on each 12V rail + 3000 mA on the +5, same protections + extra RFI filtering, and you get a really well thought out 1U utility row with some very sensible utilities provided. More expensive, yes, but the extras + the form factor (more like a Doepfer p9 in size) make a good bit of difference.

Yup...in fact, I have used (and plan to after the studio upgrading here is finished later this summer) a pair of tube bandpass filters in the analog side of my mixchain which I set up to roll off everything from 10 Hz down and from about 15 kHz up. The filtering eliminates potential low-end losses due to detrimental subsonics and/or DC, as well as countering the 'brittle' sonic issues that result from excessive high-frequency aliasing, particularly in the octave immediately prior to the Nyquist frequency. Plus, this puts 11 active 12AX7A stages per channel into the mixchain to add some extra euphonic even harmonic emphasis, thereby warming things up a tad and deepening the presence of the higher-mids and highs.

Hi there,
Anybody have this rack ?

Is it better than Doepfer A 100 p9 case ?

What do you think ?

I had two issues with my doepfer rack a 100 p9, so i'm thinking to buy this one for replace the both doepfer.
Let me know your "reviews"


Nice smooth and fast deals with @Hrtl and @aierror both fantastic.

Otherwise... how would we all be able to use modular synths if nobody can listen to it because a DC signal might destroy our speakers... it's somehow a bit confusing to me to be honest...
-- GarfieldModular

As Lugia said, using a transformer coupled output module is a safe and professional way to avoid DC problems in studios and going into a P.A. system (if a bit costly). In real life all mixers I have used, even cheap ones, remove DC from their outputs. If things sound gnarly out of your speakers when they shouldn't you probably have DC in your signal going into the mixer (or other monitoring device). A scope will help you see that.

Back when the first synths were concocted by Bob Moog and Don Buchla, you didn't encounter a lot of DC-coupled amps. Those came along a little later, as solid state electronics for power levels typically used in amplification became more common. As a result...plus as a result of the idea that you should be able to tap a CV at any point in a patch where it might be present, including the output...the idea that the output stage of a synthesizer should be DC-coupled was rather typical, and even persists to this day with some module designers. And that's yet another reason I strongly suggest to users that they make use of a proper output module, because these tend to be (but not always!) AC-coupled only. When you have a transformer or other isolation device before that final output point, the potential for DC-caused failures drops to zero...and you also get a bit of iron in the signal path that might sound good if pushed into a bit of saturation, plus that also helps with noise and ground-loop issues. Note that this isnt the result you get by simply using typical attenuators to step the levels down for output...that, in fact, is guaranteed to pass any DC that is present on the input side of the attenuator, just scaled down but still quite capable of causing harm.

Hi AJfish114,

I saw nobody replied you yet, I am new to modular synths as well and I am in a very similar position like you as well, planning a modular system, checking out modules etcetera. I have the kind of luck of having a quite large music shop not too far away from where I live and where I can test quite a few modules (not all though). Some feedback from me:

  • Regarding Malekko - Varigate 4+ or 8+, it really depends on what you want, if you don't mind to "dive a bit in the menu" then this might be good. If you are interested you can go in this forum to the Modular Discussion section and then look for the thread called "Sequencer search, with repeat option". Up to you if you want to read the entire thread however I just got a good advice or two from some members here, please scroll down to almost the bottom of that thread starting with the reply from Lugia on Monday, the 20th of May and the reply after his one, the reply by Ronin1973. Especially the latter reply, read his opinion, I think that might be very useful for both of us, since we are new to this :-)

I have tested the Varigate 8+ a bit, without a manual (and being new to modular synths) this isn't an easy module to understand, you really need to get the manual next to it and get started with it. So if you don't mind that plus the menu structures, then you should be fine.

  • The endorphin.es, the Furrrrhhh generator or however it's correctly spelled ;-) I had a chance of testing that for a very short time, first there was no noise at all and I had to turn one main knob quite a bit (it's actually an encoder that's why at first I didn't got sound out of it because someone just turned it for "hours" to one side :-) ). But once you get sound out of it, oh yes, beautiful oscillators and oscillator mixes you can get out of that module. For myself I feel it's a "bit" too expensive but I really can understand why you would like to have it, good one!

  • The Maths module from Make Noise is on my wishlist as well, I had a quick look at it and tested it just shortly only at that shop here not far away from my home. This is a complicated module, nothing against that, only not sure if we as beginners should consider that to start with, I will start first with some easier modules from Make Noise (are there any? ;-) ) and then a year later or so I also will consider the Maths. It seems to be very powerful in its possibilities. You can't really do anything wrong with getting that module is what I understood from people I have met at that store. One person I met said this must be part of any modular system... well not sure if that's correct but I guess it indicates that it is a module we should consider for sure!

  • The wogglebug from the same brand, that's a fun module, at least in my opinion. I just checked my written down comments I made when I had tested this module, yes, I had tons of fun with it, just for myself I must ask the honest question to myself: "Do I really need it?" Not sure, but it's good mood fun this module; so up to you really.

All other modules you have shown or mentioned I can't comment on because I haven't tested them yet.

From ALM those Alkemie's modules, I haven't seen them yet in the shop, they might not have them so I wouldn't be able to test it. If you have the change of testing them or once you got them, I would be very curious about your comments on these modules, please keep me updated, thank you!

Good luck with the search for the perfect setup! What I have learned so far is... that finding that perfect setup might be a kind of illussion. I think, and that's what you are doing so that's good, start small (meaning, keep some budget to buy later on some more modules once you have gained experience with your new setup) and extend by gained experience with the modules you seem to need and/or like, something like that I will do too :-)

Hello Wiggler with a lot of fives ;-) Thanks a lot for your reply!

Bad as in permanently kaputt --> that's bad indeed! You make me even more worried...

So that seems to be pretty bad indeed... perhaps I should approach this issue from a different angle then... what can I do to make sure that there wouldn't be a pure DC signal at the output signal of my (upcoming) modular system? Any "protection" module for that, or is there an easy trick to make sure of whatever goes out towards a line signal wouldn't have any "DC issues"?

Otherwise... how would we all be able to use modular synths if nobody can listen to it because a DC signal might destroy our speakers... it's somehow a bit confusing to me to be honest...

Thank you ModularGrid, I don't think it's a bug, to me it "looks" like more a time-out issue. I was typing (checking things in between as well and read over my huge reply a few times to get rid of my biggest typos) and that was for over 3 hours in total, so perhaps you have a look into the time-out issue of being logged in (meaning after a certain period of time one get's kicked out of the system)? If you don't want to increase the time-out timer (at what time is that set? Then I can put an alarm just before that moment ;-) ) another approach to solve the "issue" is that at least one wouldn't lost the reply one was just busy with... so one would have at least an opportunity to copy the reply, then login again, then paste it and then it can be submitted.

Thanks a lot in advance for looking into this!

By the way, for every reply I try to submit, I get every time (so far I haven't seen an exception to that) this error message in red above the reply message I am typing:

reCAPTCHA error: timeout-or-duplicate. Just try again!

Are you able to do something about that as well? Much appreciated! :-)

Hello Lugia and Ronin1973,

Both thank you very much for your feedback/information.

Though I usually don't mind complexity... I think, Ronin1973, I am going to follow up on your advice to start rather simple than spend a fortune on a large sequencer. Better start easy first and figure out what fits me best, exactly what you mentioned. It's also good to hear that you never can have enough sequencers :-) It puts me at ease ad not to worry and just start small, again, just as you mentioned :-)

All right, thank you very much both and though I had already a sequencer in mind, it's likely now that I might change that into just a smaller and cheaper one just to get started with that, will take that up into my planning of my new modular system.

You make me a bit worried about your warning about passing DC to my speakers that they will get wrecked, how bad is that?

Bad as in permanently kaputt.

Since I am a bit technical guy, I actually don’t understand the concern of DC signals? DC signal is, at least theoretically, nothing more than just the positive half of an AC signal :-) For which part of the loudspeakers would it be the killer? The subwoofers or the tweeters?

You might kill your woofer first. Due experimenting may proove me wrong though ;-)
Problem with DC on any audio signal chain is that it does not alternate and thus cannot be heard. More specifically it takes away from your headroom/dynamics usable for audio and puts useless stress on your speakers. That is why P.A. power amps usually have steep hi-pass filtering to void any DC in their output. (More smoking details on speaker death by DC on demand.)

-- GarfieldModular

Thread: The Explorer

I'm hoping to expand on the dfam really with the 60hp with some extra rhythm/weirdness maybe also some looping capability from the Squaver as I was planning on playing my Bass through that into the Boog as a melody section(although I may get an external looper pedal setup for this.

As I say I'm only just building it all up so hoping to keep it quite open for mow and see where it leads.

Thread: The Explorer

Hi TheDirtyLow, what are you expecting to get from the modular that your other gear cannot do? The Squaver has a row's worth of functionality to begin with...

I updated my 1.0 version.

In the empty space I added the disting mk4 to have some logic possibilities and just because it is just such a useful module.
And a stompbox/guitar pedal interface to add some effects such as delay and reverb to the system.


Oh this is ridiculous, I was writing a rather large (okay huge) reply here then when I submitted it I had to login again, and everything is gone...
-- GarfieldModular

My sincere apologies. One day I will find and fix that bug...

Thread: The Explorer

Hello All

I have been away from here for a while after getting distracted by life etc.
So I sold most of my gear (that I never got round to learning or using correctly) and I'm now looking to start again with the exploration.
I come from a Bass Guitar playing background so this time round I am starting with that in mind and am currently waiting for delivery of a Sonicsmith Squaver P+ that i found for what I consider a good price. This I am hoping with be a creative core of my plan being able to play a Bass and control which ever synths and modular I finally end up with.
So other additions currently are a Boog and a Dfam and with that in mind I am looking to fill a 60hp case to go under the Dfam within the moog two tier.

Any advice for filling this case.

(I also still have a MPC live which I don't have a clue how to use yet)

Thank you all for constructive feedback. I will take a step back. Most likely return for further advice. BR

i think the disting does this also.

Asking which sequencer is best is like asking what beer is the best. Now... if you're looking to get intoxicated... well beer is beer. If you're all about the journey to inebriation... you can branch off into sub-category after sub-category and still not cover them all.

Buy a small, inexpensive sequencer or module with sequencing built into it. Chances are you'll probably keep it around... since most sequencers can be clocked externally and synced to another sequencer... and sequencers can do a lot more than trigger notes.

As you build up some proficiency with your inexpensive, "simple" sequencer you'll start to develop a taste for what you like about it and what you don't. You could even buy two different types of inexpensive sequencers and see how you get on with them. Once you have some wiggle time under your belt, you'll probably feel more confident about selecting a larger sequencer.

I'm not recommending modules here but telling you about my own experience.

I started with an Ornaments and Crime module paired with a Temps Utile. I could get a fair bit done between the two modules.
I then bought a Pittsburgh Modular Micro Sequence. It looks pretty simple at first glance... but accessing features using long and short button presses and remembering which and what blinking light means what was infuriating. I pulled it from the rack in anger.

I bought a 1010 Music Toolbox because of the screen. I use it a lot but it isn't something I'd want to structure an entire song on. But it's really flexible and offers quite a few neat features like recording CV and audio (in a limited way). I also bought a Mimetic Digitalis from Noise Engineering around the same time. The Mimetic does almost everything the Micro Sequence can do and more.

I'm considering a Westlicht Performer... however they have to be built as they can't be bought retail. It's similar to the Eloquencer... which is something I thought about getting.

My recommendation is start small with the sequencer and don't be afraid of using small ones sync'ed together rather than trying to find a large one that does everything in multiples. You can never have enough VCAs... and you can never have too many sequencers. Also... anything that wasn't pulled from the rack in anger has an easy to manage interface. That's also a requirement for me as well.

the 4MS Pods is not deep enough (34mm) to hold a Doepfer Wasp (45mm)

Hello Lugia,

I think I have explained enough about hi-fi ;-) See my common reply and my reply to Ronin1973. Talking about the ARP 2600 though... I never had the chance to test or listen at it live but what I have heard of it, people talking about it, it must be fantastic. I had the chance, in a local shop here not far away from where I live, to test the nowadays available ARP Odyssey and to be honest with you I was a bit disappointed about the touch and feel of it. The sound was about okay but I wasn’t overly impressed. I heard on the Internet a demo of the to be released Behringer Odyssey and I must say I was pretty impressed about that sound, at least more impressed than about the ARP Odyssey. So let’s hope that the Behringer Odyssey gets closer to that sound of the ARP 2600.

You make me a bit worried about your warning about passing DC to my speakers that they will get wrecked, how bad is that? I was so far under the assumption that as long as I would put my amplifier not too loud (I stay usually away of volumes that go beyond -20 dB, with my mixer level at mid or zero and within the green LEDs level with perhaps sometimes hitting one orange LED), would that still be able to damage my speakers? :-(

If the answer is yes, what should I do then? Get monitors instead? Are they able to withhold DC signals? Wouldn’t there be the same problem?

Since I am a bit technical guy, I actually don’t understand the concern of DC signals? DC signal is, at least theoretically, nothing more than just the positive half of an AC signal :-) For which part of the loudspeakers would it be the killer? The subwoofers or the tweeters? But if one plays at a moderate level (which I usually do), I actually can’t see an issue here? Please enlighten me here, thank you!

Okay let’s avoid the word “hi-fi” for the sake of a good atmosphere within this forum, ha, ha ;-)

So please allow me to call it then... good quality audio? :-) And as in my previous common reply, “good quality” everyone can for themselves define what that is, it’s partly a personal taste rather than a pure technical specification only.

So back to “good quality audio”, with that new modular system I am planning, to start with I think I want to get started with two “synthesizers” (two synth voices?) within that new system. One for the... indeed more focussed on the “good quality audio” and the other one more for the fun tests, for squeezing out the sounds, for getting weird stuff out of it, in the search of an interesting sound, and then yes, I agree with you, the quality of the audio becomes then less important.

That’s the reason why I am interested in ACL modules and I was hoping Waldorf too, since I had the impression they might be focussing a bit more than average on good audio quality, for my, let’s call it: better quality audio output :-)

Then the other output or voice, the focus is not so much on good audio quality but rather on experimenting with sound and then I am thinking of Erica Synths and Make Noise modules; checking it out sonically :-) For me, both ways of approach have fun parts.

For the sake of my lack of experience, I will put Doepfer somewhere in between these two options, borrowing a few models for the fun bit of sound creation and a few other modules perhaps for the more audio oriented output of sound.

I hope you that it’s okay for you that I have this “split approach”, in that one way I focus a bit on the audio quality, whereby you might not agree with me ;-) and the other way I focus more on experimenting with sounds, and I think looking at all the modules I have checked so far, that my main focus will be anyway on those modules that create fun and weird sounds so for those modules, I totally agree, the “so called audio quality” is or shouldn’t be an issue there, it’s sometimes even wanted that it doesn’t sound too good ;-)

Well thank you too for all your help, and though we might have a minor difference in defining good quality audio, I hope you are still willing to support me further with possible future questions and matters I might have with this crazy nice modular synthesizer hobby! :-) Thank you!

Thread: Zetaohm ZMF

hell yeah!! sputnik had a prototype of something like this a few years ago but never saw the light of day. such a shame, but you brought it back to life. really looking forward to hearing more about this! (don't be shy about using different color LEDs!)

Hello Ronin1973,

For a common introduction please refer to my just previous message. I would like to reply to a few matters you mentioned in specific your reply.

For the hi-fi matter please refer to my common reply. Regarding hi-fi “consumer” audio... bbrrrr, the word consumer gives me cold thrills and I guess you meant it in a sarcastic or rather negative way and I only can agree with you, so no, I didn’t mean it in that way ;-)

As you can see from my previous common reply, I have not much experience other than my just now “3 months experience”, I almost not daring to mention it since it’s just close to zero experience indeed. But haven’t we all started with zero experience and starting either when we were a baby, a toddler or a youngster or like me a rather medium-aged person?

Indeed, very well noticed, I come from that “world” leaning back lazily in a comfortable chair and listening at good music from a good quality (I will avoid hi-fi ;-) ) audio installation, but that didn’t stop me, finally since February this year, to start with synthesizers, I am glad I did, the only little regret is it should have been 10, 20 or 30 years ago but hey, we all made mistakes, and this was my mistake ;-)

When I am (overly) enthusiastic, I usually am a bit “too soon” with that kind of things, either good or not I want a modular system ;-) Look at the amount of time I have spent into studying synthesizer stuff since end of February which is, in my opinion, totally abnormal, out of this world, but I did it. So, synthesizers must do something good with me, otherwise I wouldn’t have put so much efforts in it this far and this long... I guess...

Thank you for your kind warning that this is going to be expensive, I kind of “think that I know that” but one wouldn’t really know untill it’s too late, isn’t it? ;-) Anyway, I am okay with that, synthesizers became such an extreme hobby for me that I don’t mind as long as it kind of fits within the budget. The only scary feeling I have is that that budget might get extended, and extended, and extended, etcetera... yeah... sigh... isn’t that the case with almost all nice hobbies? :-)

You mention there are no wrong decisions, well isn’t that the fantastic beauty of modular synthesizers? What every you do with it, whatever you have patched or didn’t patch, whatever setting you have done or haven’t done, it might not be perfect but it isn’t a mistake either, that is modular to me! And I love it! :-)

I hope you don’t mind that I am saying this: You mention “programmed a synthesizer”, I know a bit or two about computers and programming a computer means you are going to “programme” the computer with a programming language like for example C, Pascal, Java or even assembler however I haven’t come across this with synthesizers?

May I assume that you meant to say “configuring a synthesizer”? Since being honest, I don’t believe that any one of us here really has “programmed” a synthesizer with perhaps a few rare exceptions if you had worked for example for a synthesizer manufacturer and you had there indeed hardcoded programmed some of their modules or something like that. We rather are doing complicated configurations, making patches, etcetera, yes, that one indeed you are right, I only start doing that since I got the Roland FA-06 in early March, before that, I never had configured indeed a synthesizer...

By the way, I had the opportunity of playing for about an hour with the Nord Lead G2 synthesizer, if of all synthesizers one comes close to “programming it” then it’s the G2, it’s still configuring it but on a very high and respectable level. For this moment, indeed, I consider that synthesizer as a few levels too complicated for me since my lack of experience. On the other hand, modular synthesizers are, at least that’s how I feel it, inviting me, almost screaming at me, to discover them, to test them, to figure them out, to get them “under control” ;-) and last but not least get some fantastic sounds out of it! That’s how I feel and I just can’t stop talking about modular stuff... sorry...

Oh yes, one last thing, you mentioned, modular is an expensive format to be your entry point into making music. Yes indeed, I do realise that and I wish it was about one tenth of the actual price, then it would be all more affordable ;-) But “making music” with it, you might be surprised with my reply on that matter however to be honest with you I don’t think I will make music with that, I don’t consider myself a musician and for the moment a modular system for me is the fun combination of testing it, trying it, getting weird and fun (and sometimes perhaps beautiful) sounds out of it and trying to understand it. So rather towards testing and sound design than really making music with it; well at least for the moment.

I love huge challenges, I always did and I always welcome new huge challenges, that’s one of the reasons why modular systems intrigue me so much that I want to get one, hopefully as soon as possible :-)

Thank you again for your kind help and I hope you will continue supporting me with my future questions/matters regarding modular synthesizers, very much appreciated!

Hello Ronin1973, Lugia and all,

Thank you very much for your responses, yesterday I wrote a huge reply (larger than this one!) to you guys but due to a time-out on this website, I lost the entire reply and have to start all over again...

Because of the above reason and to avoid yet another loss of efforts, I will split my reply in three parts, first this common part and then I will reply to your specific questions in a different reply.

To your both questions about hi-fi and what I expect from a modular system there is no easy and/or short answer, though I was hoping you would ask and put me into this direction since I have to explain to you a bit more about my background, so perhaps you understand my questions better.

As a kid, I played organ for years, can’t remember exactly how long, I think about 6 years or so till the moment my dad pushed me a bit too much on that matter that I give up on playing organ. A few years before that I start discovering “synthesizer” music as I called it that in the beginning, starting with J.M. Jarre and Kitaro, later followed by many other well-known artists using synthesizers and well known for that.

Though I stopped with playing music, I started to develop a serious interest in electronic music, however only from a listening point of view, after stop playing the organ I guess I had just enough of making/playing music that it didn’t came up to me to start doing something with synthesizers.

I owned all the way some seriously terrible non-quality loudspeakers but had nothing else and listened at music either with that or with headphones (much better than my lousy loudspeakers), till I bought in 2015 my B&W 683 S2 loudspeakers and about two years later a NAD C 368 amplifier. Audio heaven opened up to me with that installation and I still enjoy that almost every day. Last year I upgraded my installation with bi-amping cabling, I didn’t expect such an improvement with a rather simple effort, it’s fantastic, and if you haven’t tried it then I strongly recommend to use bi-amping (if your amplifier and loudspeakers can support that), it’s seriously worth it, but I guess that’s not a discussion for this forum :-)

So yes Ronin1973, I am a hi-fi fan since about 4 years now and I can enjoy good music on a good quality (avoiding “hi-fi” here ;-) ) audio installation. I don’t think this forum should be misused to start a huge discussion on what’s hi-fi or what isn’t, just a short description on how I understand it (which doesn’t mean that that’s correct but that’s just how I personally see it) is: a good quality audio installation, it’s that simple for me whereby everyone can decide for themselves how to define “good quality”; it usually is related to one’s available budget and one’s taste too. The entire marketing meaning of hi-fi I also don’t like, who does? ;-)

That as an introduction to my background, so you roughly have an idea “where I come from”. Several years back my son played piano and I looked at the notes he was playing and I couldn’t read even a single note of that! I was pretty much in a heavy shock because when I was young I could read fluently without any problem music notes from paper but not any longer any more, I know where the common/middle C tone is but that’s about it. I forgot all about making & playing music since I stopped playing the organ, now far more than 30 years ago... till recently...

A good friend of mine visited me for a weekend back in February this year. He had very limited luggage with him however the small but nice device in his so little luggage that he took out from his bag was a Teenage Engineering OP-1, what a fantastic device! I played less than about one hour with it I think but wow, that was the spark and the catalyst that catapulted me (back) into the world of synthesizers and making/creating music, the push I needed to get awake and started with this fantastic synthesizer hobby! After more than 30 years, I finally got awake again :-)

That was this year back in February, by early March I bought a Roland FA-06 workstation, I know, nothing compared to a modular system, I hope you don’t kill me for the fact I bought a workstation ;-) I just wanted to get started and using a device that was able of a few tasks.

Before March had a chance to finish off and handing the “time” over to April I realised, I needed something, I wanted less working in the menus and more working with direct knobs, handling direct parameters, etcetera. So, before it was end of March I bought myself a Behringer Neutron. A kind of dream came through, no menus (yes!), for everything I needed was a button to turn at and I could patch the sound the way I wanted it to flow, fantastic!

That was by end of March, before it was April, I felt after using the Neutron so intensively that I wanted “more”! Since end of March/early April it became crystal clear to me that I wanted a modular synthesizer system.

Ever since I am checking the Internet on different brands, on the several modules each brand has, the possibilities of such modules, etcetera. I was, no sorry, I still am overly enthusiastic and can’t stop checking anything about synthesizers, the different brands, their modules etcetera. So I created a spreadsheet list with, for me at least, the most common, known and interesting brands and their modules and I am close to about a little one thousand modules I got listed and partly checked in that spreadsheet till I discovered this website!

So fantastic! Almost all the modules from I guess almost all the modular brands are represented here, in an easy overview with good search functions, wow! The rack planner, that’s just beautiful and fantastic! I love it, and I therefore have a deep respect for the person(s) who created this and keep (!) maintained this, that’s really good and thank you very much for that!

I wonder if I am the most enthusiastic member here in this forum? :-) Since that friend came to show me the OP-1, I am not lying here with the exception of 2 perhaps maximum 4 nights that I didn’t work with it, I have worked non-stop, every late evening after work and after diner when the family goes to sleep, till deep in the nights, it never was before 3 am before I went to bed and 4 am or 5 am are no exceptions and still have to work the next day at 09:30 :-( So since end of February, non-stop, literally every night I am checking out on synthesizers, the basics behind it, the different brands, the reviews, the demos listening at it, almost everything, testing for a while, on an almost weekly basis at a local shop here, the several modular synthesizers brands and many (not all though, pity :-) ) modules. It’s just fantastic. The very first time I was in that shop that I started to test on those modular thingy’s, they almost had to carry me out of that shop, I just couldn’t stop testing and trying to understand the modular system!

Does this somehow convince you that I am seriously deep into this? :-) I am now for more than one month planning and checking many modules, trying to understand them, reading the technical specifications, watching demos & reviews about it and I just can’t stop doing that, still every night I am checking and I have literally drag myself to bed to at least catch some sleep to carry me through the day times and I can’t wait till it get night and dive into the synthesizer world again :-)

In my next replies I will come to your more specific points, I have to hurry now to avoid yet another time-out and losing everything that I just wrote down now.

Oh yes just to make clear, at the moment I don’t own a modular system yet, I am currently in the planning and checking phase and just can’t wait to get one but I have to be patience first before I can go ahead with that... I just can’t wait for that (I am repeating myself out of sheer enthusiasm) and I am oh so jealous about those here who got already one ;-) Well done!

Rest me to thank you Ronin1973 and you Lugia and it goes without saying, actually all of the forum members, for your kind help, information, feedback and sharing your experiences with me and here throughout the forum discussions.

I particularly like the thread “New to modular? Maybe this can be a beacon?”, fantastic, very helpful and thus a very big thank you for that.

Bought some modules from @pibou - good contact and nice deal - thanks a lot!


I'm not new to modular, I own and play on a techno based eurorack system.

I want to deepen myself in ambient eurorack music. So I set up a small
system which I don't want to expand in the future. I want this compact system to do it al since a
lot can be achieved with a few modules. Especially the ones from mutable instruments.

My question is about the technical aspect of the synth do I forgot any important (basic modules).
Or would this system work fine like this?

Thanks in advance for any help!!!

ModularGrid Rack

I think Lugia alluded to this, but I'll go into a tiny bit more detail:

When you first power on your case, there's a spike in current. Everything is snapping on all at once. Your modules might draw a certain amount of power once they are on and warming up. But the instance that you turn on the case... spike.

This is especially the case if you're using tube gear for example. Manufacturers like Erica created a line of tube modules and part of the work around was a secondary power supply to handle the additional overhead in power when turning the module(s) on.

Are you relying on Modular Grid to tabulate your amps or have you worked this out for yourself? Some modules on here have the wrong power values and some don't have any at all. So don't take what you see on MG as gospel. Do the math yourself and see how close you're pushing to the maximum. You can get the specs directly from the manufacturers.

A fuse is your last line of defense from some really nasty outcomes (including a FIRE). It's worth the time to investigate. Depending on your set-up... you just might need a larger power supply... or have a bad module or bad power supply.

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̋͋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̏̏ ̏ ˳̊̊̊̊̊ ͯ̍̍̍ͯͯ̍ͯ˳̥̥̥̥̥̊̊̊̊̊̊̊˳̥˯Ξ̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿▂ ̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋


. °ι ‪◙⃝‬

proc randnum {n} { return [expr { int(rand()*$n)} ]
‪‪‪ } ̋͋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̏̏ ̏ ˳̊̊̊̊̊ ˳̥̥̥̥̥̊̊̊̊̊̊̊˳̥˯Ξ̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿▂ ̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋.̵̵̵̵̥ ͯ̍̍̍ͯͯ̍ͯ ̋͋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̏̏ ̏ ˳̊̊̊̊̊ ͯ̍̍̍ͯͯ̍ͯ˳̥̥̥̥̥̊̊̊̊̊̊̊˳̥˯Ξ̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿̿▂ ̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋

                           koi8-r  _/                 [ 0x47-ff-9a ]_/                 https://z.x-xx---x.info

"̋͋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̋̏̏ ̏ ͯ̍̍̍ͯͯ̍ͯ˳̥


Just bought a Westlicht Performer panel from @MatrixModulator. All went well, so I have no hesitation in recommending him as a seller.


Colour Scheme

NOTE: Cables out of Maths CH. 4 Attenuated and Unity Outputs are for Moog Spectravox.
NOTE: Auto-Calibrate DATA then Tune M32/Disting B8 to D3, and tune Dixie II/Plaits to D2
M32 - Green
Disting mkIV - Blue
DixieII - Red
Plaits - Yellow

Maths - Orange
Peaks - Grey
A MIX/Cinnamon - Purple

Polyend Poly/ADDAC200B - Black
Poly CH. 5 Pitch Output/Anything related to Moog Spectravox - Purple Stackcable

A080 - Organella (no changes necessary)
A072 - Meridian (start "Speak" with no Delay then gradually increase to 24, using 1/16 length)


The modular system covers the Lead (Solo) and Bass lines for the arrangement.
The Lead Line is played by the Mother 32 and ES Disting mkIV set to algo B8 (VCO with Waveshaping)
The Bass Line is played by the DixieII and MI Plaits set to algo 1-1 (Pair of Classic Waveforms)

Gates and Pitches are sent from the Polyend SEQ both directly into the Mother 32 (for Lead voices) and into to Polyend Poly to be routed and multiplied later on.

The pitch tracking for the Lead Line is handled via MIDI directly into the M32's MIDI DIN Input, where as pitch tracking for the Bass Line is converted from MIDI to CV and sent to the second ES Disting mkIV H3 algo (Dual Quantizer) for added stability.

Both of the oscillators used in the Lead Line are filtered using the Ladder filter on the Mother 32 in Lowpass mode.
Both of the oscillators used in the Bass Line are mixed (1 source from Dixie and 2 sources from Plaits) and filtered using the Cinnamon filter in Lowpass mode.

There are envelopes for the Filter Cutoff and VCA CV for both the Lead Line and the Bass Line. The Filter & VCA Envelopes for the Lead Line are handled by MI Peaks set to Expert Mode so that there are 2 unique ADSR envelopes (Output A is for the Filter ENV; Output B is for the Amp ENV). The Filter Cutoff on the Mother 32 is manipulated by BOTH the Peaks Filter Envelope and the MIDI Velocities from the ASSIGN Out. These are sent to the internal VC MIX and the VC MIX CTRL is adjusted via the Keyboard Output on M32 and attenuated by Maths Channel 2. The Filter Envelope for the Bass Line is sent from the Unity Output of Maths Channel 1, where as the Amp Envelope for the Bass Line is sent from the Synthrotek ADSR.

MIDI Velocities were meticulously specified in the Polyend Poly for the Lead Line (as of March 31st, but might add velocities for the comping and Bass Line later on), and they are captured inside the M32 via the ASSIGN Output (set to Option#9: MIDI Velocity).

Mordax DATA is used extensively to monitor Oscillator tunings and Octave distributions.

Oh this is ridiculous, I was writing a rather large (okay huge) reply here then when I submitted it I had to login again, and everything is gone... (going backwards didn't solve the problem). I lost several hours since I put quite a bit of efforts in my reply to Ronin1973 and Lugia... hours of "work" gone :-(

I will try to get back to you another time, meanwhile, thank you very much for your kind replies!

I agree. Some serious study in VCV rack would go a long way.

But if the OP is dead-set on getting into Eurorack ASAP... I would recommend a preconfigured system if you have money burning a hole in your pocket.

Several manufacturers like Roland, Pittsburgh Modular, Make Noise, Erica Synths, Doepfer, etc. provide this.

Dealers like Perfect Circuit also offer their own in-house pre-configured systems. The median price is around $2000US. This isn't a bad entry point if you really just want to start wiggling knobs and learn-as-you-go.

Another and much cheaper alternative would be a semi-modular synth (as inexpensive as $300)... and a small skiff for external modules to be populated after you have a handle on the semi-modular.

Each solution has strengths and weaknesses and I'm not advocating any of them as being the best way to go. But they are better than your current plans.

Hello Ronin1973,

Thank you very much for your answer. Yes that makes sense indeed. So one would need yet another module to get line level input into the Eurorack. It would have been too easy and too nice with just this Link module ;-)

Also, you may not want "hi-fi". For example, if you had an original ARP 2600 displaying all of its sonic capabilities, you'd wind up with damaged speakers and possibly the amp as well...because the ARP 2600 had DC coupled VCAs going right to the output. And passing DC to your speakers WILL wreck them...but you'll be getting everything the 2600 has to offer sonically!

For that matter, once you've dived headlong into electronic music, you'll wind up wondering what "fidelity" is anyway. A lot of inventive work in the various aspects of the field has come out of mistakes, errors, and general screwing around...and NOT trying to achieve some pristine-fidelity result from the instruments and/or processing. The only place you should be concerned with "hi-fi" is when dealing with your DAW's A-D and D-A conversion so that whatever results you got (be that "hi-fi", "lo-fi", "no-fi", or just plain screwed up) are being recorded and reproduced properly. Beyond that, "fidelity" means zilch in a form of music where there's not exactly anything that you're trying to be faithful in reproducing, and in many cases a result that was a pristine "fidelity" result would be utterly useless.

I'm in agreement with Ronin here...this build is all but useless. There's so much stuff missing that would be essential to a modular's operation that I can't even tell exactly where this build is going.

You need to back waaaaay up and study how synthesis works...not just modular, but in general. This build has audio sources...and then it's missing everything forward from that that should be in the audio signal path until you get to the Rainmaker and Audio I/O. The sole modulation source is the Black VC EG...but without filters, VCAs, and so on, that's pretty much useless unless you want to modulate the oscillators to make funny noises. In short, it'll be a rather expensive and unsatisfying not-really-an-instrument.

If you insist on going with modular, you need to understand how it works before doing the musical equivalent of tossing $3k into your fireplace. My suggestion would be to stop messing with MG for a while, and instead get a copy of VCV Rack (https://vcvrack.com/). It's free, it functions more or less identically to a Eurorack system, and it has a very extensive module set. Learn what does what, how, and why...and also why the UNsexy modules in a build are sometimes more important (when taken as a whole) than those really superduper ones with the blinkenlights and twistenknobs. And if you insist on spending money on a physical device, start with a patchable synth that has most of the building blocks you need built in so that you have a proper device to learn on.

This is a problem that actually crops up on here a lot, btw. Right now, you have a lot of people running around going bonkers over modular synths, thinking they're the new essential (sort of like the hysteria over the Roland TB-303 in the mid-90s)...but the fact is that unless you have some real sonic ideas and goals in mind that you know require something other than a bespoke instrument, and unless you also know the tech that makes those ideas and goals possible by having learned them either via a good text on the subject, various software tools like VCV Rack, or hardware that's already taken care of the module selection process, the end result will usually be a lot of money spent on an unworkable system.

The short answer is no. Going from Eurorack level to line level requires attenuation. That can be achieved passively.

Going from line level to Eurorack level requires additional GAIN. You cannot boost a signal's strength passively.

Yes. Lots.

There are no filters. You have only one envelope generator. There are no VCAs. There are no LFOs or utilities. How do you intend on mixing your two different wavetable modules?

The Metropolis can output quantized scales and MIDI from an external source will also be quantized, so why the big Instruo? I don't have a problem with the RainMaker, but it's basically the only thing that'd you find accessible plugging in an external sound source.

Don't take it the wrong way. But I think you've put together a rack without the knowledge of how modular synthesis works. If you were to buy all of these modules, you will spend a lot of money and not get very much use out of it. At this point, you'd be better off buying a copy of Serum and staying inside of the DAW.

Interesting thread!

For me, top-down works better than bottom-up. Here is what that means:

In a certain sense, I used my existing vanilla synths and fx as a modular system (on a different level) so far. When stacking synths, that´s similar to combining OSCs. Likewise, building processing chains like (Synth A open filter) -> (delay) -> (Synth B audio in) -> (pedals) and so on. I´d call this quarter-modular in contrast to semi-modular. Or quadrant-modular if you want to be a smart ass :D.

Next stop: Semi-modulars. Opening up the box-internal signal chains at some points, granting more access. A good point to get started and learn, as you don´t have to do everything from scratch, but can gradually grow into things. Just inserting a filter or adding that 2nd and 3rd LFO is pretty easy this way. Buying and learning on an "as needed" basis is more fun to me, as I get instant results I can use in my tracks.

And then of course, the next step is full modular, a.k.a. crack effect.

-- Icon_Detach

I like semi modulars and synth voices. I think everyone should have at least one and they don't have to be expensive. When you have some creative inspiration in modulation, not having to take the time to set up a patch for a basic sound is liberating. When you're in the heat of creativity and just want something to throw down a working bassline, arp, etc... I can get it done and then focus on the details. I like VCOs from Noise Engineering and the Braids line of modules because they can stand on their own with just a trigger and a 1V/Octave source... yet still treat them as you would any traditional module and follow them with filters and VCAs for more wiggling fun.

How do you define hi-fi? You refer to it often. Do you mean hi-fi consumer audio? Record players, amps, speakers, a collection of vinyl, etc... or hi-fidelity musical instruments? What experience do you have with creating music... especially synthesizers? Depending on where you are starting from, you'll have different challenges. My concern is that you're coming from the position of enjoying the playback of great music and now you'd like to create music. Modular is an expensive format to be your entry point into making music. While not impossible, you're stacking the odds against you if you're learning to make music at the component level. It's not a terrific analogy... but it's like buying Formula-1 race car as the vehicle you're learning to drive with.

The worst thing would you be spending a small fortune, getting frustrated and burned out, then walking away from your endeavor. Modular synths are awesome... but then again I have some bias. :) I just want you to have an enjoyable experience. Have a think about where you're at and if you're entering modular a little soon... if you're coming from hifi audio.

There are no wrong decisions and I've assumed a bit in my response. But if you've never programmed a synthesizer before, you're taking on a huge challenge.

Hi, is there anything here missing - something which doesn't fit. I'm looking for wavetable synth with powerful melody shaping possibilities, able to work with external sound sources but also generate sounds from the rack.

I experimented with an API but paused any development because of unclear legal situation with the upcoming EU copyright reform. MG does not provide data dumps. Currently it's possible for unicorn users to get a xml/json of modules and positions in their racks. I did that some time ago on user request but I am not sure if that is used by anyone so maybe that feature will also vanish eventually.

Noted, I won’t do any scraping. Any chance of a one-off data dump? I’m not in any hurry, but it’d be nice to know if this is something which you’re at all open to. I’d be happy to buy a Unicorn account for a year in exchange for the effort ;)

No, there is no API and please don't scrape the webpage.
Best, Knut

I checked everything and everything was in a good way :/

A power supply fuse? I'd get inside that cab if I were you and see if there's not something shorted or misplugged on your power bus or module ribbons. That's more likely, given that you got the synth turned on and used it before the fuse popped.

Right...ratcheting is a rapid repetition of a single stage's voltage settings, generally at some fraction of the main clock pulse. Although, I will point out that while that Koma Komplex is a rather spendy device, it has a lot of possible control routings that can give you this result along with many others...particularly if you have a Boolean logic module (or two) in your build. Also, modules such as comparators can be used to output controlling gates in conjunction with using a sequencer row for timing CVs. Given enough logic, clock counters, dividers and multipliers, extra gate/trig sequencers and comparators, you can make even a fairly simple sequencer turn backflips.