Hi Guys,

While my first rack is getting finished I'm already driving myself crazy for making an additional rack.

ModularGrid Rack

The rack is quite straightforward a 4 voice synth which combines all the elements from a techno-ish beat.
The Varigate to drive all the voices which will receive a clock signal from my main synth. The Dinky for the drum sounds, The Mutant for some hat action, BIA ripples and Quad LFO for a bass line (the LFO will be used for more modulation with other modules) and yes I stole this setup from Ricky Tinez ;-) , the AI to add some melody and the Prism to add some effects. In my opinion a solid build which has all the basics to make some music. This synth will be an addition to my existing setup but also needs to be able to function as a stand alone unit.

This build is designed around the Noise Engineering modules because I really dig their sound!

First of all thoughts on my build? Would you make changes? Please tell me!

My second question is about the mixing section... I cannot sort it out properly and could use some advice!

Thanks in advance!

Jazzy


I just got my Arturia RackBrute 6u. And there seems to be some ac leakage which, when go softly touch the front plates of my modules I can feel a buzz. I also suspect that it messes with my modules, my marbles clock input is super sensitive, and randomly fires if I plug a cable into it. And I can hear slight seemingly random pitch variations in my telharmonic, I use an ungrounded plug. Will changing to a grounded plug work? Or what should I do? I have tried with both the supplied ac adapter, and an ac adapter from my make noise skiff (which don’t have this problem)

Thanks


Thanks so much Ronin. Pamela was appealing to me because of the euclidian and random step skipping functions which I guess I could more or less replicate with a divider and rene. I already own the plaits so I don't think I'll be able to switch it out.

I would be willing to lose the uVCA, but I want ears just as a preamp for getting things from line level to euro level.
What do you think about the two different racks? Is it alright to rely on planar as my only rack EG -there are two on the brute- and is the Morgasmatron worth the exchange of ufold, harvestman, and optomix?

Again, thanks so much for the suggestions.


The Renee has six trigger outs. For a system of this size, I'm not sure how much usage you'll get out of Pamela's new workout. You can replace one of your mults with a 2HP clock divider module and get rid of Pamela. If you go with the Knit version of Plaits (6HP), you can add in the Intellijel Dual ADSR.

Get rid of the uVCA and Ears and add in a Zlob Vnlcursal VCA with six VCAs in a 10HP footprint.

These are all suggestions and will depend heavily on your usage and needs. Kick it around and see if it works.


Ok taking that into account I have sketched up the following two racks.
on this one I used the harvestman polivoks clone:
poli

and On this one, I used the Morgasmatron:
morgas

in the rack with the morgasmatron I also switched the quadra and ufold for the planar. I was hoping that the morgasmatron would cover most of what I would get out of the ufold and the planar could replace some of the envelope capabilities of the quadra while also providing more modulation. I realize the Planar wouldn't be great as my only envelope source, but I do have an AD and an ADSR on the minibrute.

Would love to get anyone's thoughts on these two racks


If you go to eBay and search "gridwall," you'll find all kinds of grid walls and accessories... perhaps even some used stuff that's local.

This looks like an awesome idea for hardware enthusiasts who are short on space.


Got a Twin Waves from @teethgrinder . Mint condition, fast shipping and overall a no-nonsense deal. Thanks!


Thread: Rack setup

Also, if there’s anything you would swap out or change/move around for functionality/workability, I’d appreciate the insight.


Thread: Rack setup

Thank you so much, this is great! I’d heard the modular community was very helpful and obliging, and I’m so used to reading comments sections nowadays devolve into the worst humanity has to offer that this makes me excited about my modular future. Hoping I can give others the same insight further down the road when finally know what I’m doing:)

I actually have a Clouds coming in the mail in the next couple days, so I’m happy I could snag one. Are there a couple env gens you’d recommend? As you’ve probably noticed, i’d be ok with some DIY modules that are lower hp (Warps & Plaits) to keep some room open for some of the bigger ones like Magneto and the SMR, so I’m fine with squeezing some smaller alternatives into this Rackbrute 3U. I’m usually a purest with instruments, but I’ve heard the Antumbra replications and some of the other DIY’s are fairly comparable. I’m open to any and all advice, though, as I’d like to start off on the right foot. It’s more about saving space than money atm.

Thanks again!


Check Tiptop's Fold Processor out...very cost-effective. But if space is more of a concern, then West Oakland's new Sinulator (a six-fold wavefolder!) might be a better pick while still remaining relatively inexpensive. Also, eject the Doepfer A-148 dual S&H and look at their A-184-1 instead. In that, you get sample and hold, a slew gen, AND ring mod, all in a measly 4 hp!


Thread: Rack setup

This:
ModularGrid Rack
Sources are top-left, audio flows right thru filters and such. Maths and Turing Machine, plus P/S are lower-left to group mod sources, then the audio processing chain starts with the Freez to the Magneto. I/O is on lower right at the end of the processing set.

From my experience, following this sort of upward-on-left (control) and downward-on-right (audio) ordering method seems to work very well. You can clearly see the audio signal flow across the top row until it has to drop down to the processing and output, and the modulation is down and left so that it can reach "into" this path to affect the behavior of your sources and modifiers.

However, if you don't have a Clouds on hand already, you'll need to rethink that module, as it's been discontinued for quite some time. OTOH, removing it for a smaller third-party version would add some open space, and if that's the case, I strongly recommend adding some envelope gens to this alongside the Maths.


The 7U looks useful, but I've already built a 6U 104 HP case. It wouldn't be difficult to modify if I really felt the need to do so, though. I'm definitely going to sink an unhealthy amount of money into effects at some point. Right now I have to get operational. I can raid my pedalboard in the meantime. Here is my updated layout:

alt text

The Metropolis has been temporarily ejected due to cost constraints. I can use outboard sequencers. The Mixology is in there as a placeholder. I'm still researching options. Any recommendations on a simple, cost effective waveshaper? I know I still need a ring mod, too. Thanks.


Thread: Rack setup

Thanks for the reply and suggestion! I am limited on space, but don’t want to go t0o big, at least for now. Some of these (like the Erica Synths Multi to split the CV) I need specifically to help with the fact that I’ll be using a Microbrute, so was just wondering if I should have all of those modules together and then branch out from there. Is putting all of the like-modules together pretty much the standard, or is this your preference?


Maths offers two attack-decay envelopes. It can function in more complex manners with some creative patching. You'll want some ADSR envelopes somewhere as well. ADSR envelopes come in two general flavors: linear and exponential. Some ADSR units can do both. Intelligel makes a nice two EG unit for linear. Tip Top makes the Z4000 NS EG that can do both linear and exponential... and also gives you CV input to control each stage externally. You can find basic compact LFOs, like the Batumi with Poti expander with four LFOs available. I'd also recommend an Ornaments & Crime module for functions like quantizing and a basic sequencer. Sequencers do more than just play notes if you use them correctly. Think of it as a modulation source as well.


Thread: Rack setup

You're a bit limited on space so you might have a time trying to reorganize the modules.

I group all my oscillators together, then all of my filters, then my VCAs. My envelope generators, LFOs, etc go together. Then my effects go together. My outputs are usually near my VCAs or effects.


Thread: Rack setup

Hey everyone, Capt. Noobie here. Would anyone mind taking a look at my proposed rack and letting me know if there is a specific module placement within the rack you'd have all of these sitting? In order of functionality, like what modules should be placed right next to each other and work better with partner modules in this rack.

I'll be using a Microbrute as my controller btw. Thanks and much appreciated!!

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_874481.jpg


Hi Lugia!

Thanks for your input! Have decided I'll probably go with the Mother 32, as I found a lot of good reviews about it at https://edubirdie.com/research-papers-writing-services, to get my head around basic signal flows and what each module does/ works with other modules and in time begin forming a rack of my own.

Want to thank everyone for their help, I've been a student of music and sound for half my life but only started my journey into modules so appreciate hearing from those more learned than myself :)
-- OHELEM

You did the right choice OHELEM. Mother-32 is really good for beginners. Hope your "journey into modules" will be successful and soon you will share your tracks with us.


Hello. I'm new here. Nice to meet you guys.


Tides is clouds v2, 2nd w/ is crow


This is slightly more functional. But you need more, more, more modulation sources. One Maths isn't going to get you far, especially not with modules that are hungry for modulation like... well, most of what you have here.


The Bernoulli gate and Trigger Riot both add probability. Also, there is Marbles around.

I’m actually somewhat on the fence about randomness. I do like probabilistic triggers, but not generative sequencing. It’s just not my thing.


OK...have a look at this: https://www.specialtystoreservices.com/productchild.aspx?productid=15858&group=2663b&img=2663b.jpg&category=5501

Now, we've all seen these things in clothing stores and other retail establishments. They're pretty ubiquitous store fixtures, and you can get all sorts of attachments to put various shelves, posts, etc on them. They're pretty sturdy...and they're cheap...as you can see.

So? OK, here's so...let's say you have a bunch of 84 hp or 104 hp skiffs (or even a bit larger). With gridwall, you can get very cheap matching attachments such as shelves with lipped fronts that will hold these nicely. Some even have some angling to them, and other attachments can easily be adapted to hold controllers and such, also with angling in some cases. Then, start adding up the prices (which you can see typical examples of at the site above). Suddenly you have this way to make a CHEAP skiff holder that you can build into an easy-peasy 2'x6' synthwall over time. Need more width? Get more and link 'em together. And these not only look pretty decent and are durable, but with the open back you can easily dress cabling through the grid and keep things like power and audio connections out of the way. Plus, if it feels like the gridwall is getting tippy, just add a cheap shelf on the backside and put some bricks on it to act as a counterweight.

I'm going to be going to something like this for my smaller devices...CZ-101, SK-5, VSS-30, a couple of Boss DR-220s, the Microbrute, etc etc. But this also has a pile of uses for those doing Eurorack builds, especially those of you who are trying to build up a large system in smaller increments over time. Unlike some stand systems, there'll never be a discontinuation of gridwall, and it can be gotten from a lot of different store fixture companies located all over the place. Hopefully that's a useful tip!


Yep...actually, I'm partial to version #2, but here's a few tweak ideas there: first, if the M32 can function as MIDI-CV (which should be doable with the MScales), or the 0-Coast or System 1m, you can remove the A-190-2. Then if you remove the A-130 as well, you have ample space for an Intellijel Quad VCA, which not only gives you four VCAs (more VCAs = good) that have sweepable response curves, you also get some mixing functionality in the bargain, and this actually costs $10 less. Plus, pull the A-140 out and replace it with a Doepfer A-140-2 which, if you select the inverse envelope jumper function, then gives you positive and negative envelopes on each ADSR's output. Almost like having four ADSRs in the space currently filled by one for about $60 more. Not a bad tradeoff.


Mm-hmm! And don't forget the usefulness of adding randomization in that, such as probabilistic skippers and sequencers. Two that come to mind are Ladik's dual skipper and the Pithoprakta probabilistic sequencer. This is also where comparators get useful, too...having one on an LFO to "go high" when your modulation signal goes into a peak positive value on a slow LFO curve can be a great way to suddenly and automatically alter the behavior of the whole trig/gate setup in conjunction with some logic gating.


No. In fact, connecting a module P/S to a bus that's also being powered by another internal P/S can have disastrous results if one or the other has no reverse current protection.


Oh, I like effects just fine...when there's room for them. The problem is that many good ones take up a lot of hp, and in a small build that can be a problem, especially when the intent of the build is to create something with a lot of use options. In those cases, it's best to concentrate on synth function modules and leave FX as something for outboard, or to go with the smallest possible acceptable options. Even so, there's some killer small effects modules, like Purrtronics' Purrvrrb, Feedback's Chorus 106, the PICO DSP, etc with all of those going the extra distance to work as "stereoizing" modules for modulars which have primarily mono audio paths.


The big, most common no-no is probably the one involving using a multiple as a mixer. This won't work; it has the same effect as output-to-output patching. Multiples are always 1-in, many-out devices. To combine signals, you have to use a mixer, adder, OR combiner, etc depending on which signal is in play and/or what you want to do with the combination.

And while it's true that most modules these days have reverse signal protection on their outputs, you should always assume that they don't, and never patch an output to an output except in the few, ultra-rare cases where a manufacturer says there's a function that you can access by doing so. The reverse is fine, though...patching an input to an input is not only safe, it's what happens in a multiple.

A third patching mistake would be trying to patch a line-level (or worse, instrument-level) signal directly into a patch. This won't work well in varying degrees; external signals MUST be preamplified before they can be part of a modular synth patch. As for patching your output directly to a line input on a mixer, effects unit, amp, etc...this can be problematic if the input you're patching to isn't capable of handling the signal levels typical in a modular synth, which can range at peak from between 5 to 10 volts peak-to-peak. Some can deal with it, some can't, so it's best to have an output module of some sort, or even just an attenuator at the end of the patch to lower the level so that everything outside the synth is happy.

Patch mistake #4 involves patching one synth to another if they're not running on the same ground. This isn't as problematic for synths that run on DC via an external "wall-wart" or "brick" supply, but is very much a concern if the synth has an internal power supply on which the synth's groundplane is connected to the AC ground. If these sorts of synths aren't fed from the same AC outlets with the same grounding circuit, you run a very real risk of ground loops, which cause lots of hum and noise in audio paths and ripple currents in CV/modulation ones. The real and permanent fix to this, of course, is to star-ground everything in your studio to a single grounding point, usually on your mixer or A/D interface, but if you don't have that luxury, then making sure everything you're patching between is on a single AC circuit should work fine.


I bought a couple of Muta Jovis modules. Perhaps they are just mine, but there's a voltage drop when plugging in CV. So I wouldn't use them for anything pitch related. You may also suffer a pop when using them for audio.

The DivKid mutes are based on fast acting low pass gates (vactrols). So rather than being immediately off they rapidly bring the volume down or up (like a very, very fast fade). I'd probably go with the DivKid mutes if I was purchasing it all over again. That's my $0.02.


I would start thinking about effects. A nice reverb, a nice delay, maybe something like a Rain Maker or a Monsoon (expanded version of Mutable Instruments Clouds).

As far as synth modules, an Expert Sleepers Disting Mk4 is a cheap (under $200) add and has plenty of functions. An Ornaments & Crime module would serve you well as well.

Take it slow and really get to know your new stuff. Try to squeeze as much creatively out of what you have as possible... then get a feeling of where you'd like to explore. Modules like O_C and Disting are multifunctional. If you're using a particular function a lot, you might consider a dedicated module for that purpose... for example if you're using the quantizer a lot.

Don't be afraid to make a wild, one-off purchase every now and then too... sometimes something weird shakes things up a bit.


Thanks very much for your advices Lugia. Your remarks gave me a better understanding of the way a modular can be built up.

So, considering your suggestions, I modified the rack.
Here is the v2 :
ModularGrid Rack

And then, a likely sufficient but cheaper version (2000€ being a maximum amount, at least as a first step... :))
ModularGrid Rack

Your final judgment would be very valuable.


Me too.


Ah - I didn't realize that you still had the Mother 32. In that case, it should be perfectly fine to use the "KB Output" and "Gate Output" from the Mother (note though, that the Mother outputs -5V to 5V for V/oct, and I believe that the Plaits need positive V, so you may need to go up five octaves on the Mother to get positive V/oct ... or you can use Maths to add offset). But to get started, I really don't think that you need anything else at the moment (if anything, the Disting).

Another good advise is to go slowly in the beginning. It really is impossible to anticipate what you will find interesting and what you will eventually need. So start with a few modules. Push them as far as you can. Then it will become clear where to go next. The journey is the destination. :)


Thanks. I think I'm going to order the Cooper Traces unit, although it looks like there will be a short delay ordering from Perfect Circuit. What do you think about using the sequencer from the Moog Mother 32 in the meantime? It also looks I could possibly use the Gate Out of the Grandmother into a CV input on the Plaits. Let me know what you think about this short term solution.


I’ve started to become intrigued by the use of clock dividers, Bernoulli gates, Clocked/CV controlled attenuverters, Logic gates, LFOs, and switched multiples as an alternative to sequencers.

As in:
Trigger Riot, Klavis Mixwitch and Logica XT, ADDAC gates, Bizmuth, and Pamela’s New Workout, and Branches and two switched multiples all next to each other.


Hello!

My name's Jesse McClear... and I'm an electronic musician from the Metro Detroit area. The reason I'm writing, is that I'm trying to get a small business going... making eurorack cable hangers, studio desks, etc.

I currently have a eurorack cable hanger up on Kickstarter (only 7 days left!). I just wanted to share the links below, feel free to pass it along! I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jjmcclear/the-hex-01

https://www.instagram.com/eurodeskz/

https://www.eurodesk-z.com

Kind Regards,

Jesse McClear


all good advice, multiple sequencers - so you can sequence the sequencer (ie transpose)

the simple ones are really useful

even if in the future you decide you want a more complex sequencer, you can use the simpler ones for transposing or for general CV generation

how are you currently playing/sequencing???


I think this looks like a great start, and you don't need much more to get going.

One suggestion would be to find a way to generate CVs for notes and triggers. For example, with an FH-2 from Expert Sleepers, you can connect a USB midi keyboard to trigger and play different notes on the Plaits. Without a keyboard, there are a couple of other options. You could add a small sequencer (e.g., SEEK from Copper Traces). You could add a bigger sequencer (e.g., Rene2) but then you would also need a clock (e.g., Pamela's New Workout), and then you are well on your way down the rabbit hole. You could add a quantizer, and let the Maths drive the tones. Or, you could add a random generator (e.g., Marbles from Mutable Instruments) for triggers and notes.

Other than that, I can recommend a Disting Mk IV. It is the Swiss army knife of modules. It can be a quantizer, random generator, sample player, recorder, envelope generator, LFO, VCO, or fifty other things, all by itself. It is great for learning what module you need next. E.g, if you always end up using it as an LFO, then you need a dedicated LFO.


Thread: Change Log

Marketplace: new regions

Added Africa and Asia to the Marketplace


Also, I feel like this may be a daft question. But is the Row Power essential if I have a powered case?


So I have taken on the constructive criticisms of my first rack and I feel like this may be an improvement?

I will keep Plaits as I do require an oscillator and I love it's versatility, Ears is included so that I can input external audio from contact mics/other synths, etc. Whilst I may consider a MIDI interface for control via my Teenage Engineering OP-1 in the future, I have lef tthat out for now.

Although some said that Rainmaker takes up too much room, after researching it I still want it as part of my system, due to the sound design capabilities. Lofi Junky is also a must have for me.

So other than that, upon becoming aware of my lack of any VCA's or modulation sources - I feel that Maths and Veils would be appropriate. What does anyone else think?

I have left room for other modules in the future such as Yarns/Clouds/Magneto.

Does this appear to be a more functional version of my first post?


A few suggestions in addition to the excellent suggestions that Lugia made:

Switch to an Intellijel 7U case and put the noise, S&H, Quadratt, and audio I/O, perhaps MIDI module, if you need it.
Do you need all the functions of the metropolis or would a Varigate 8+ get you sorted?
You do need an envelope generator. Consider the XAOC Zadar or Malekko Quad Envelope.
Look at the micro version of certain modules, such as Beehive from Michigan Synth Works instead of Plaits.
The signal mingler looks interesting, but again quite a bit of HP. While not exactly the same, the Klavis Mixwitch does a good amount of the same, but you could add the Logica XT on top of it and get more out of it.
I know Lugia is not keen on FX modules, but I do like them. The question is always: how much control do you really need? Do you just want to add a little richness by adding a touch of delay and reverb, or do you intend to use it as an actual integral component of a patch where the FX changes in character? For the latter, you do need more control. For the former, consider the 2hp Delay and Reverb, or the Pico DSP. The Black Hole DSP2 is also nice and offers a bit more control and stereo. 2hp is hard to beat as a utility FX.
A nice mixer for your setup would be the XAOC Praga.


The power ribbon to the modules is most important. The -12V on the busboard should only be connected to -12V on a module. Twisting the ribbon and getting it wrong can do serious damage.

Other than that, the general advise is not to connect the output from one module to the output from another. But I have done exactly that myself, by accident, countless times when patching. The patches didn't work, but I have never done any damage to a module. I believe it was more of an issue with older modules. Newer modules are expected to be able to handle output to output.

I have also never had problems with voltages outside specified ranges, i.e., patching a negative voltage, say from a bipolar LFO, to the 1V/oct input on an oscillator that requires a positive voltage, or patching a 10V CV to an input that maxes out at 5V. It may not work as intended, but no damage is done.

Other than the power ribbon, don't worry, patch away ... :)

[edited for typos]


If you look at things like the Lightbath videos, something is sequencing the voices... in his Loom series, for example, it's Mutable's "Marbles" module.

If you are only processing external audio, I'd suggest replacing Plaits with something like Batumi or Pam's New Workout (and you'd have a little room left for another modulation source in 2-4 hp). That way, you could bring a signal in through Ears, process it with Rings and Rainmaker, and use Batumi/Pam's/extra little module to modulate various parameters.

If, on the other hand, you expect this system to generate all of your sound, you're going to be disappointed. As Lugia said, you need modulation sources... this system has none (in those same Lightbath videos, he uses Mutable's "Stages" module for this role... and in his other videos, he uses many other things).

One other thing I'd suggest... go for 104 HP instead of 84. The size difference is small, and the cost difference will be negligible, but it will give you more flexibility.


Hi all,
Here is a quick newbie question as I start exploring a modular setup for the first time. Is there anything in a modular rig that should not be connected together? I don't want to damage my modules but want to be able to experiment. Maybe there is an article or post but have not had luck finding one.
Thanks,
The Doc


Lugia,
Thanks for the great feedback, really appreciate you taking the time.
Looking forward to my adventure.


Actually, that was a rather nice haul. To make that an individual system, you'd need a VCF or two, some envelope generators, some more VCAs (preferably something with mixing capability, such as Intellijel's Quad VCA) and more modulation complexity, such as a Maths. The Waldorf + Elements pairing is super-enviable...wavetable/sampling paired with modelling will be a killer voicing combo.


Actually, Tiptop just dropped a new module that might be a key piece in manipulating modulation signals in the way you need. Have a look at their new MISO module, which is a complex arithmetical mixer intended for CV/mod use. Pairing that with something such as a Xaoc Batumi would make for an incredible and playable combo. Plus, a good complex drone VCO that you should be able to get some mileage out of would be the Synthesis Technology E352 Morphing Terrarium, a dual digital VCO with extensive timbral morph capabilities.


Great feedback. I see what you mean re: primary function vs. secondary/complementary function. The MG function search might have been adding to my confusion a bit, too. I'll check out some videos of the Mixology. Thanks.


Hello anyone willing to give this a look. I have some modules I picked up used and found floating around locally so I know this is not the best thought out system, yet. I also will be getting a Make Noise Black and Gold Shared System Plus that these modules will integrate with. Any suggestions to make this a standalone without the Make Noise would be appreciated.

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_875073.jpg

Thanks,

The Doc


Sorry if I was unclear, I already have Clouds, and Rings and Frames will arrive this week.

@goodbyebluesky82 , thanks for your input. I've only played around with Clouds for a few hours, but I see what you mean. I'm hoping that Frames will help me with the attenuation part, but I am thinking about additional generators. Do you have any ideas? Pamela's new workout looks interesting!