Hey guys been lurking for awhile and I’m brand new to modular. Finally decided to just post my initial idea for my first rack because I basically have been over thinking every little thing and just need some opinions or suggestions. I’m looking to eventual make a dark ambient kind of space/ocean vibe rack if that makes sense. I basically picked these first modules as basics and to learn modular better. If there is basics I am missing please give me some suggestions. I plan on adding a sequencer, modulation and effects along with a sampler is the plan. Thanks guys!

ModularGrid Rack


So Im planning my first rack and wanted some feedback on the capability for the modules to work together, my inspiration was serge systems.

My main aim is to use it as a one voice cv lab of sorts for generative patching,

ModularGrid Rack

Cheers :)


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.)

You wrote: “...nor would any modular synth beginner be happy with one of these systems that only does a few things, albeit amazingly well.” I don’t agree with this at all and think it’s completely plausible that many beginners would be thrilled with a rack like the above – even with something quite a lot smaller and more restrictive. And this might relate to my next point, which is that another significant problem I’ve found on this forum is a tendency to IMPOSE one’s own values/interests onto others. Example: the very first response to a rack that was posted several days ago (made by you) was…
“Well, first off...it's really...ah...BLACK. But that's not good. Invariably, if you're creating a Eurorack along a certain look, then all you'll wind up with is a decorative prop...”

You know what I think is totally okay? Wanting to design an all-black rack. I also think it’s alright not to care at all about how your rack looks. What’s not okay are statements like yours, which not only neglect to take into account what might be important to the OP, but also actually insult them for caring about X.

This is getting into the details of Ronin’s last post and gesturing more towards a tangent, but the comment “one-trick-pony” and the implication that Ann Annie has more or less tapped all of the creative potential of that rack with a single 4 and half minute track seems ridiculous. And given your points in this thread emphasizing how much can be done with so little (steel drums with a little reverb, slinky, Pringles can) it seems ironic.

Also: perhaps I’m wrong, but based on the comments I’ve encountered on this forum I highly doubt if someone had posted a rack similar to the above, they would have received a response like Ronin’s, telling them that the rack worked but lacked versatility. I think it’s much more likely the response would have been along the lines of what I wrote...

“Some of us might be a bit rough around the edges about this, true...but when you consider that we're trying to help bedazzled kids in a candy store of epic proportions avoid the awful feeling of realizing they've spent several grand on a modular rig that only does a handful of things correctly, well, sometimes a "reality brick" thru the "fascination window" is an expedient way to get those people to realize...”

Besides the unnecessary condescension here, I fear that more than anything, Lugia, your “reality brick” is an effective tool to help people think more like you, and value the same things as you.

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.


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.


While I can see how this could conceivably be mounted in a Eurorack case, the rest of it doesn't seem to fit the criteria of being a proper "module". You only have outs for the VCOs, and an input for the VCF/VCA. There are NO patchpoints for any of the CVs/gate/trigs involved unless someone's coming up with a breakout module. And the audio outs aren't synth-level, but line or headphone.

Doesn't exactly seem like it belongs here...


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.
-- Ronin1973

Exactly. While I certainly detect the sound of some axe-grinding here, the poster of that bad noise doesn't seem to be taking that last part into account.

The vast majority of beginners putting racks up on the MG Forum might be trying to create rigs for what they think is a specific purpose, but much of that "purpose" comes from a misreading of seeing others using purpose-built systems (like Ann Annie's here) to create specific works that that rig was built for. And I don't think anyone on here would realistically believe that it's a good idea to optimize a rig for a beginner that's purpose-built for a very narrow range of work, nor would any modular synth beginner be happy with one of these systems that only does a few things, albeit amazingly well.

I'm very much reminded of the TB-303 here. Yes, it's this much-worshipped synth. Originals still go for a couple of grand. But the cold, hard reality of the 303 is that it really only makes about 6-7 different noises really well, barring modifications. So if someone were to come up to me, or Ronin, et al with one of these little plastic boxes and ask if they could get a good "Blade Runner" Vangelis sound out of it...well, they probably need some "splainin", not merely about the difference between a CS-80 and a TB-303, but about what criteria is needed for a proper synth that can handle A LOT of different possibilities. Some of us might be a bit rough around the edges about this, true...but when you consider that we're trying to help bedazzled kids in a candy store of epic proportions avoid the awful feeling of realizing they've spent several grand on a modular rig that only does a handful of things correctly, well, sometimes a "reality brick" thru the "fascination window" is an expedient way to get those people to realize that what they're planning might not only be a money pit, but a potential experience so dissatisfying that they're apt to bail on music (especially if they're really just starting out). It might seem less "triggery" to nice up what we're trying to say, but 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.


Thanks, the Temps Utile certainly ticks a few boxes. I have so far been staying away from menu-driven things, though I do realise I'm thinking of the Disting!!
I'm getting along fine with my Pittsburgh MicroSequence, with the direction on Random with possibility of a rest for gates and clock, then I'm using the pitch as modulation mostly.

*edit, Just grabbed a 2hp Div cheap on ebay so that might be my clock multiplying needs filled for the moment.


Thread: Box of Noise

+1 for bigger rack.

+1 for O_c (I suggest using alt firmware "Hemispheres").

This next bit may seem contradictory with my + for O_c, but I recommend you get a simple oscillator. Plaits is great, as was its predecessor Braids, but they are not the most intuitive modules. When you are learning modular, it is very nice to have easy access to raw wave forms (preferably simultaneously). Consider Befaco Even VCO.

Finally, this rack would benefit from a simple modulation source (Sin Phi Miasma / Rampage / Maths / Batumi).


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.


Hope you understand what I mean, I'm German speaking.

A few Months ago i started my Eurorack Journey and asked for Advice here on Modgrid. I also got Advice from Lugia and Ronin.

I really appreciated this because these People have lots of knowledge in Eurorack.

Maybe the Answers from Lugia sound a bit "grumpy"sometimes but I think he really cares that people don't waste their Money on a non Working Rack.

Lugia puts a lot of time and effort in his replies and advice.

But I agree with you. When someone posts his Rack on MG an the first thing they read is "unusable" or "doesn't work" may be a bit
discouraging for Eurorack Beginners :-)

But like I said. I think Lugia really cares that Beginners got the most out of their Money and a proper working Rack.


Thanks to @theartstrip for the 3x MIA, nice module, safe packaging.


Can somebody tell me a difference between ES-8 and FH-2?
I need the module to send midi to cv from ableton cv-tools to my Stillson Hammer mk2. The outputs could be set to be a note, gate or modulation source.
It doesn't necessary need to have a lot of outputs because i plan to use cv multiplier.

So i can't completely decide which module I need for my purposes. Maybe you could help with your opinion.)


Hi Danjas,

Regarding point 1, not sure but maybe the ACL Sinfonion can do this, you might want to check that module out. The con is the price.

About point 2 not too sure what you want, do you mean something like a random generator or something like that? If yes, there are several random generator modules, just go in this forum at modules and look there for what you might need.

Kind regards, Garfield Modular.
-- GarfieldModular

Thanks! Regarding point one i found Arpitech - if i understand right it could do some things that i need.

About point 2 - i mean not just a simple random generator, but a module that could generate another sound from the input audio, maybe morphagene?


Thread: Box of Noise

Hi Groc,

After reading your reply I am less worried and I think you are going the right way. As long as you know (or think you know) what you are doing regarding those sexy and fancy looking modules then that's all right.

Making a mistake is totally okay within Eurorack, has there been anybody out there that never made a mistake? :-) It's so common, that's totally fine and from those mistakes we can learn and improve ourselves regarding Eurorack or modular in common.

Did you bought already the casing? If not yet, then please consider a bigger one, for example the 7U of Intellijel, as already mentioned.

As Ronin mentioned there's always an interesting way to do things. It's like that old phrase saying: "There are many roads leading to Rome". The same is applicable for Eurorack. There are many different ways to get things done within Eurorack. With the exception of a few small matters, you actually can just do anything with Eurorack. You can patch whatever you like, you can experiment the way you want and during that process you learn a lot. So enjoy your first few modules and welcome to Eurorack :-)

Have fun, good luck and don't hesitate to check/ask here, kind regards, Garfield.


alt text

So far I'm pretty happy with where I've got to with the modules I've bought, my next purchase thoughts are around the following:
Expert Sleepers Disting Mk4
Noise Engineering Clep Diaz
2hp Arp
2hp RND
Happy Nerding FX Aid
Also need a Clock Multiplier

Or
Monsoon (NI Clouds Clone)

I need a bit more Random going into the Turing Machine, I feel I need a slow clock as the main clock with Multiplier for the lighter jingly/twinkly bits, a Clouds Clone and/or more effects for some textural washes of sound to go around what I already have (and derived from what I already have).


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?


As someone recently on the receiving end of some blunt but probably fair criticism for my proposed rack, I thought I would give my thoughts on this thread. I do think criticism, blunt or otherwise, can be useful. But there's a difference between being told your rack is lacking and what you need to learn, and being told to "quit immediately" if you don't pass whatever artistic litmus test. Hazel's post struck me as a thoughtful response to a thread which had a mix of helpful and holier-than-thou posts. That the first reply was "I'm not understanding the point" of the post surprised me, because I thought it made a lot of good points, especially the last paragraph about the value of making mistakes.

I take Ronin's words at face value that "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?" Many hobbies have hurdles for beginners. (Especially track and field.) To extend the running metaphor: yes, you have to get over the hurdles yourself, but a good coach can help you get ready to jump them.

For a forum where criticism almost seems to be the default response, there was a strange lack of self-criticism in the replies to Hazel's post. Instead, it was dismissed with "Besides criticism of other members and their decades of experience... what are you offering to this year old thread?" which both misses and underscores the point. Beyond this particular thread, I agree that there tends to be an "an unnecessary level of discouragement" in this community. And that's a shame, because this forum could be missing out on a lot of posters who either feel intimidated or just put off by the general tone.

Maybe I'd see things differently if I knew a lot more about modular and synthesis and attenuverters, if that's even a real word. But consider the opposite: how would the most experienced people here view the forum if they were coming here for the first time, without all their knowledge and experience? Would they want to stay and learn, or find somewhere else more welcoming? I ask that because I'm asking myself the same question.


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.


bought a doepfer wasp filter from @afriendofken - quick shipping, very happy.


Thread: Box of Noise

Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
I am a bit surprised by some of the things mentioned.
"Please try to plan less "fancy" or "sexy" modules however more classic components (they might look boring, they do look boring but you seriously need them) like VCOs, VCFs, EGs, LFOs, VCAs, etcetera."
Fancy and sexy have very little to do with what I am trying to achieve. It's all about the sound for me and if I could make the sounds in my head with 12 VCA's, I would be happy to do that :)
I have 3 Oscillaors, 2 VCF's, 2 EG, 5 VCA's and a basic LFO so far.
I have been reading what you suggested though and am seeing that my modules are fine but very incomplete without more utility modules.

''Another consideration is that you're using a lot of Mutable Instruments modules."
I am actually only using 2 but I get your point. I think one of the issues for "some" people new to eurorack, myself I would include here, is we do research and want to get what is considered the best quality and most versatile modules; therefore Mutable Instruments comes up a lot. However, like everything, maybe it is just a bunch of online magazines trying to profit from other peoples lack of knowledge and maybe there own, I don't know.

I read "Why your 6U x 84 generative rig won't work" and the replies that follow and I think you guys should write that short book for beginners.
Every time a newbe posts "Help! New to Eurorack", you guys can just give the link to the e-book :)
It would be so helpful and also it would help adjust the expectations of those really interested and not interested in learning eurorack, as well as the cost involved (especially for errors on purchasing unnecessary modules).
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.
I feel lost in a forest when it comes to that stuff. I am so use to midi and how easy it is to implement. I get Oscillators, Filters, EG's, VCA's and LFO's (a basic synth) but I think it gets complicated after that, which probably sounds silly to people with experience like yourselves.
I am always reading what I can and looking at Youtube etc but it is all so fragmented and incomplete. An authority on the subject would be helpful.

Thanks for all the info guys and for taking the time out of your days to help and you have probably saved me some money here so thank you.

I already ordered the Plaits, Stages, Polaris, Quad VCA and uFold pre this post so I will learn these as much as I can and use them with my Lifeforms SV-1. I will also add the Quadratt as advised and maybe a sequencer module.
I might also add the Disting at some point to see what other utility modules I need for my own purposes.

Ok, thanks again!
I can see I have a lot of reading and experimenting to do so best of luck.
I am sure I will be back...


Thanks, Ronin, for both of your replies, and I apologize if my first post sounded harsher than it needed to.

I’m not sure I agree with everything you wrote here. I’m not especially familiar with the Mother 32 but it seems like a very capable synth in it’s own right. The prospect of integrating it with a small eurorack setup that includes Disting, Tides, Maths, and Shades, and then adding some of the modules that placebo suggested (Strymon Magneto, Intellijel Rainmaker, MI Clouds, Make Noise Erb-Verb, Tiptop Z-DSP) seems to me far from “just piling on the bad.” It seems a bit strange to me that you can agree with the creative potential of a slinky or Pringles can (which I agree with too btw) but make the statement you did about the above setup. (It’s also worth noting that Lugia agreed with placebo’s recommendation to add effects modules to this rack.)

I apologize if these posts of mine aren’t helping as that’s really my intention, but I feel like the following point is valid: I think statements like yours above, and the quotes of Lugia’s that I’ve referenced, may in fact do just as much harm to the genre of synthesis than less-than-perfect setups that require the user to make adjustments as they begin to learn more.

I also think it’s possible there may be a bit more space for different approaches to a modular setup than it seems you and Lugia believe. An example… A rack that was posted a few days ago received the following criticism: “There's an Elements...and a Rings? OK with the Department of Redundancy Department, perhaps, but a waste of space otherwise. Lose one or the other.” Note they didn’t merely point out that these two modules are similar; they more or less gave an order. Yet I recall a video popping up in my youtube suggestions recently that featured a 6U case that not only had Elements and Rings, but Elements + two Rings (all three of which were being used). If I remember correctly it was quite lovely, had thousands of views and many enthusiastic comments. Might the OP of that thread have benefited from using both of those modules in a rack that was 12U / 84HP? I don’t know, but I think it’s reasonable to suggest that it’s a possibility.

Look: I hope it goes without saying that I’m not trying to start anything, or to insult anyone personally. We both agree that modular synths are wonderful instruments, and I agree that many people likely don’t do the necessary research required to get into this – that they post racks with serious flaws and that they benefit greatly from the advice of you, Lugia, and others… With a subject that can be so daunting though (it terms of learning curve and cost) I’ve found what I see as an unnecessary level of discouragement in many of the posts I’ve come across.


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.


Thanks to @pibou for the smooth transaction of a perfect Roland 521 VCF module!


I had a quite nice & responsive communication and smooth transaction with @LightsOfCeres. Highly recommended.
-- cereyanlimusiki

Me to...


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?


pretty stoked on the new arrangement of my live drum rig :) sequencing and voices in the base and mixing and modulation in the lid :) check the latest pics on instagram for a view.


ook, I definitely got your point so I added one more row. From where should we start now? Could i now preserve all my modules? thanks for your time.

ModularGrid Rack


Ronin1973:

I came across this thread while researching suggestions for eurorack modules that would be good for making ambient music. I think it’s pretty understandable I was left feeling frustrated.

Conversations often stray from the original topic in interesting ways but I disagree this strayed “a little”. It’s more like it took an immediate detour and then started to get back on track towards the end (and yes, I’m aware that I haven’t helped in this regard). If the OP had asked for advice about creative methods for making ambient music, or for people’s feedback regarding the importance of using specific gear, this likely would have been a very helpful thread.

I was admittedly being intentionally critical, but still, I find your response a little surprising. Lugia wrote: “if you have to labor under the misapprehension that you MUST have X piece of gear to do Y sort of music, then quit immediately, as you're not really making something that truly speaks of who you are musically.” Honestly, what could be more critical than that?

Personally, I agree that focusing too much on gear can be a hindrance and distraction, but there’s also a big difference between writing that doing so “kills ones’ creativity” and suggesting someone should quit making music because they believe they need X equipment. IMO it’s totally valid for someone to believe that a particular module is an integral and necessary part of their setup because of the unique properties it has.

I was trying to offer a different perspective. I found this thread because I had the same question as the OP but found this for the most part discouraging. I wrote what I did for others who might feel similarly. In the last paragraph I was kind of questioning the helpfulness of advice in general, but you make a valid point that this is an old thread that likely won’t get much attention.


I'm looking at getting some of these adapters for sticking 6HP worth of 3U modules into 1U rows:

https://reverb.com/item/28954223-3pcs-eurorack-3u-to-1u-eurorack-adapter-pulplogic-1u-standard

There's a way to rotate a module 180 degrees, but not 90 degrees, which allows for showing these modules in the spot they're going to reside in. Is there any way in hell this could be possible to implement, putting a submitted module of these adapter into a rack, and then putting a module into that rack?


I'm looking at getting some of these adapters for sticking 6HP worth of 3U modules into 1U rows:

https://reverb.com/item/28954223-3pcs-eurorack-3u-to-1u-eurorack-adapter-pulplogic-1u-standard

There's a way to rotate a module 180 degrees, but not 90 degrees, which allows for showing these modules in the spot they're going to reside in. Is there any way in hell this could be possible to implement, putting a submitted module of these adapter into a rack, and then putting a module into that rack?


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.


i recommend @toneburst. great builder and a kind and uncomplicated seller, cheers!


I was wondering if anyone used Neutron Sound QAT and/or QVCA ?
QVCA seems to be the classical OTA/TL0X4 design which from other modules I've tried is a bit blurry (for audio) when compared to say Veils..
For CV duties I think I could be better off with the quad attenuverter.


thanks to @rsillsley and @wazou, both very kind sellers who helped me begin this amazing journey into eurorack with modules in great conditions


Lol indeed!

Let’s recap what happened here as it seems perfectly illustrative of how modular grid can be at its worst.

The OP asks a very straightforward question looking for suggestions for modules that would be helpful for making ambient music. They receive a straightforward reply: “Rings, Clouds, Morphagene! These 3 are practically necessities in the 'Ambient Modular' genre...”

And then Lugia, apparently feeling slighted (that’s the only explanation that makes some sense), sarcastically remarks that they should quit making ambient music since they haven’t used those… that none of their “15+ albums of ambient work are valid anymore.”

Honestly, could it have been any more OBVIOUS that placebo92 was being suggestive and just trying to help? How anyone could interpret their response as implying that one needs those three modules to make ambient music is crazy!

Lugia then writes that a belief that certain equipment is necessary is a great way to kill one’s creativity. While there’s certainly truth to that, is this not a forum dedicated to helping people learn about equipment? Within this context, how helpful is that sort of comment? And that question is actually a bit of a tangent, since my main issue here is the fact that this thread became pretty much totally hijacked and did little to help the OP (hence their very understandable reply above). Modular synths are a pretty specific instrument… Might it be beneficial to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume there’s a good reason they’ve decided to invest all of the time, money, and effort required to use one, instead of, say, choosing to use a contact mic with a slinky?

Lugia clearly know a lot about gear, but I’m also reminded of professors who know their subject well and still make awful teachers. This is not the first time (or second or third, etc) that I’ve read their posts and found them not only unhelpful but actually discouraging.

IMO advice should always be taken with handfuls of salt, but... If you’re on this forum and reading this there’s probably a good reason. And… (referencing many other threads here), there are worse things than putting together a modular setup that lacks VCAs and envelope generators, or buying a module and having to return or sell it cuz it doesn’t do what you were hoping, or even spending thousands of dollars and countless time only to realize you’d be better off with a Pringles can. My point is these “mistakes” may be frustrating while they’re happening but they’ll also likely be priceless learning experiences that ultimately help define what you’re after.


Hi Ronin,

Yeah! That demo "says" it all, doesn't it? :-) So when are we going to the shop and buy it? ;-) Still my question stands regarding a convertor module for it... or how are you going to use it with modular?

Kind regards and thanks for sharing the above link, Garfield.


Thread: Box of Noise

Hi Groc,

Please read the posts in this forum under the Rack section this post: "Why your 6U x 84 generative rig won't work", that's very useful to people new into modular. Please also consider to plan a (much) bigger casing. Please also read other posts in the Rack section to get an idea of what other new persons to modular came across.

Please try to plan less "fancy" or "sexy" modules however more classic components (they might look boring, they do look boring but you seriously need them) like VCOs, VCFs, EGs, LFOs, VCAs, etcetera.

The Arturia Keystep is a good start to get a sequence into your modular. Don't forget to look at an audio input/output module. The Eurorack signals are not 100% compatible with the audio signals so the best way to go is for an audio input/output module. But if you really plan to go for an Intellijel case (take the 7U, not the 4U), then that should be fine.

Good luck with reading, investigating, understanding (check/ask here if any info required) and planning your modular system, and please try to read the entire posts in the Rack section of this forum. Try to avoid the "TL;DR" principle ;-)

Kind regards, Garfield Modular.


Hi Moderator,

Yes that would be great! Separately from the rack it would be good to be enable it for the public or keep it private (that note I mean).

Thank you very much and kind regards, Garfield.


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.


Thanks guys for your replies. I really understand your points of view and what you're meaning. Despite that I don't want to leave my modular departure before taking off (I've left numerous times). From your answers I perceived I really need more control over this system, of course through smaller useful modules. From where I need to start? Or...maybe, from where I can cut? Can I maybe remove the 4ms sampler? Actually I don't have a sampler in the studio and this is why I put it inside. Speaking clearer, I'm really an open mind musician and I was looking to a no controllable system (or i can say less controllable, obviously in a good and enhancing way...). I would make a system with more than one master clock, no related each one, and where I can experiment with melodies, my only beloved need in music. I put math because I read it should be the first modulator in a system. I know i'm following some intuitions, of course I gave too much importance to the single module and the whole system is now "unusable". What would you suggest? Could you please give me some "small" adjustments and try to make this system usable? Thanks for your time and your full answers.


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.


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.


Thread: MyCase

Thank you again Ronin 1973

In between jobs and X-mas is looming in a not to far distance meaning some obligations money wise, so I'll bring your advice to myself into the next year some time.


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.