I wish to create a small modular system (64 HP) for ambient experiments. It's essential that this has a stereo path. I am a bit confused about the output, so post this small fragment for your comments.

I cannot seem to find a compact module that allows me to send a stereo mix to line out, while listening to a different stereo mix. Every DJ mixer has this rather essential function, but I can only find very large mixer modules in Eurorack format. Please tell me I am missing something obvious!

In the meantime, I constructed what I need here. 13 HP is really too much for me to devote to output alone. 10 HP would be better.

ModularGrid Rack


That's a stale image, even though the correct one shows up when you click through.

Also, all the text is missing when viewed on Firefox. Chrome works fine. Perhaps this is a known bug?


some advice you can take or leave - ditch the beauty case

work out the modules you want and those that are actually needed to support them (probably at least as much space again) and then add 30-50% for expansion and then find the case - allowing at least 25% headroom on all power rails - I allow 10mA/hp/rail for unfilled space

this way you will have a modular that will accomplish your goal and you may not get the urge to buy another case in 2 months when you outgrow the beauty case

you do not have to fill the whole case at once (you may want some blind panels so you don't short anything though)

I started with a 6u/72hp case - it lasted 6 months before, with only 12hp left I decided I wanted Maths and bought a mantis as well - 4 years or so later and I have 1500hp...

Utility modules are the inexpensive, dull polish that makes the expensive, shiny modules actually shine!!!


Ah no, I don't plan on using a case anywhere near this small! I just created this for illustration with these modules.


No, I think Jim means "64 hp" is too small. And I concur.

Also, those "very large" mixer modules are NOT simply mixers. Unlike DJ mixers, modular mixers can contain loads of other SUBmodules. Have a look here: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/toppobrillo-stereomix-2-silver-panel

That there is, in my opinion the best balance of control, capacity, and amenities in a Eurorack performance mixer. At 24 hp, it's actually pretty small for what's inside it...which consists of:

4 input VCAs
4 autopanners
4 AUX send VCAs
Mutes/solos
Cue (this is the thing you're looking for, right?) bus
Separate cue mix output
Mono AUX send bus
Stereo AUX return
Headphone preamp (with selectable Cue monitoring)
Ganged stereo output control
Metering
...and of course, all of the manual controls. Basically, you can use this same module to control levels, your FX, stereo placement and more all thru CV. So what it ALSO does, therefore, is to replace all of the modules that you'd need to build one up in...oh, geez, I don't even know how many hp that would take in discrete modules!

Hence the point behind Jim (and I) telling you to ditch the "beauty case". Sure, they LOOK convenient...but when you fill out 64 hp with a scad of small-spaced modules, what you're REALLY going to wind up with is a small box with an eff-ton of tiny, annoying to use controls, slathered in patchcords due to the lack of space, which then complicates things even MORE because they get in the way of the tiny, annoying to use controls.

Sure, small cabs have their uses. Using them to house/power a few "mission specific" modules to augment something else is a great idea. They also seem to be very convenient for YouTube presenters to misrepresent how to build a PROPER modular system, which is one reason why they pop up on there so often. Other than that, hell, they don't even make for a decent doorstop! Seriously, circular-file this idea and look into a suitable cab instead...or if you're still also wondering why, then...

Intellijel Palette 62 (3U + tile row at 62 hp, powered) = $299
Tiptop Mantis (2 x 104 hp, powered) = $335.

So, $36 more gets you a cab that you can build a real, workable, PLAYable, and fully-outfitted system in. I know what choice I'd make...


I'm on a tiny 98hp rack and I'd also argue that you probably won't have much joy from a 64hp ambient machine and wonder where you'd get two usefull stereo signals out of it to cue your mix...

But for the threads names sake and anyone else looking for an output module with stereo cue, Bastl Instruments to the rescue:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/bastl-instruments-ciao-black

From the module description:
4 high quality line outputs for your modular in compact format. With line level clipping indication is handy for both recording and live. Headphone output can be quickly switched to listen to one of the stereo channels. It is also great for jamming because you can separately create a sound on your headphones and then flip a switch to mix it into the final mix directly with this module.

Best luck and fun with your ambient rack!


Thanks for your time and help so far.

But for the threads names sake and anyone else looking for an output module with stereo cue, Bastl Instruments to the rescue:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/bastl-instruments-ciao-black

Yes, I had found the Ciao, but can't think of a case where I would want to switch the cue mix instantly into the main monitors. Add one HP, make the switch a fader, and we'd be in business!

Unlike DJ mixers, modular mixers can contain loads of other SUBmodules. Have a look here:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/toppobrillo-stereomix-2-silver-panel

That there is, in my opinion the best balance of control, capacity, and amenities in a Eurorack performance mixer.

Yes, I do appreciate that this is a nice mixer for the size. But it's also overkill for the needs I am considering in this thread. I don't need the sends nor the pan controls. However I still need to cue, so that I can set up two different chains of effects and move smoothly between them. I don't want to subject the audience to every dial change, but only the sweet spots.

I am cognisant of the limitations a smaller case puts on performance. As it turns out, I am simultaneously specifying a Tiptop Mantis case for the studio. (Great minds think alike?)

I have been working in synthesis for decades, often from first principles (mostly in Reaktor and Max). But for this application I wish to leverage the possibilities of the more monolithic modules that are currently available. My performance rig would rely heavily on field recordings and prepared stereo files (played with Disting EX), processed with granular synthesis, using modulators and effects. I will not need a full suite of VCO, VCA, VCF, EG, LPG, etc.

Here's the thing... not everyone is able-bodied. I am quite limited in how much I can carry to a gig, with 10 kg in a rucksack as an upper limit (preferably much less). That is why my performances in the last twenty years have involved a laptop, audio interface, and little more. I am considering Eurorack because it's more compact that taking many individual devices, especially when it comes to multiple power adapters, etc. (My Nord Drum, Nord Micromodular, Volcas, Pyramid, etc. can stay at home.) Despite the patch cables, it is much easier to set up and tear down. Despite any physical limitations I may have, I prefer autonomy.

Looking at a (fictional) modified Ciao, it's apparent that 6U is enough space to devote to dual stereo output with cue. I would be maybe OK with 10U. 13U seems too much for my rather minimal requirements.


Just to add some detail to my previous comment, here's a travel rack I was considering. The advantages are that the output jacks can be accommodated in the 1U space, leaving room for an output compressor, which I find almost a necessity for live work.

ModularGrid Rack

This is not finished, since it doesn't really give me the two autonomous signal paths I need to flow changes out of the stereo sampler. (I will also be add external sounds directly to the Braids input.) 24 HP is devoted to modulation: perhaps this can be more compact. Would be good to have a delay unit, even a simple one, so I don't need to bring along my Nemesis.

Ideally I should work out my needs in a larger rack first, then downsize for travel. Ideally, then, I will win a great deal of money. :-)


For the sake of completeness, I will link to Martin Doudoroff's fantastic compilation of mixers. It is clear from that list that there is no solution for my simple task, likely because there is no tradition of stereo paths in Eurorack.

For any designers who might be reading, I will specify my ideal Stereo Crossfade Output Mixer. This is optimised for the least amount of contact during performance.

  • Two stereo inputs (A and B), each with an attenuator (pot and CV control) and post-fader metering (LEDs).
  • Two stereo outputs (main and cue):
  • The first (main) output normalled to a pair of line-level outputs, with a level pot and metering.
  • The second (cue) output normalled to a stereo headphone jack, with a level pot and metering.
  • A cross-fader mixing the inputs to both the main output and the cue output (inverse of the main mix). Therefore, when the fader is all the way left, input A goes to main and input B to cue. When the fader is all the way right, input B goes to main and input A to cue.
  • A switch for the headphone out, selecting main and cue.

My initial rack combined the WMD Axys stereo mixer with the Erica Synths Pico Out for headphones and Ladik A-541 for balanced line output. But this is cumbersome, requiring three modules in 13 HP. By contrast, the above spec can be achieved easily in 10 HP.


The problem with making your output mixer too small is that it'll be a major PITA to use. You CAN find mixers in that 10 hp and down size that will give you stereo, but as you make the module smaller, you also eliminate the room on its boards for VCAs, autopanners, etc etc while, at the same time, giving you a very fiddly mixer with no CUE function (no room for it, remember?), no VCAs, and so on.

Again, this gets back to this "beauty case" problem. The mixer you want here DOES exist...in fact, there's a few of them...but there's no way you'll be able to jam one of those AND all of the synth's basic modules into a small skiff like the above. Or rather, you COULD...but the result will be very fiddly and annoying to use due to the tight spaces left for your fingers in amongst the knobs and cables. Personally, I would go with a larger cab and larger panels to minimize ergonomic issues than going this small, which will just maximize them.


My proposal has 9 jacks, 5 pots, and a switch, in 10HP. Only one pot (the crossfader) is regularly adjusted during performance. The layout should give the crossfader a generous amount of room, free of jack connections.

This proposed panel seems generous compared to many existing modules. For example the WMD ALYS has 14 jacks, 2 pots, and a switch in 6HP. What I am proposing is actually more roomy. It will be easier to use for reasons of space and because it doesn't include unnecessary features. The whole point of this thread is that I don't wish to use the three cramped modules mentioned in the OP.

Larger mixers all have features that are inapplicable to the application I have described. That is because they are not designed for cross-fading two (and only two) stereo streams. Hence they waste space. (For other applications they might be fine.)

I have already clearly said that because of my physical disabilities, I need to limit the size and weight of any rig I carry to a gig. This is hardly strange: many other performers have similar requirements (even if for different reasons). The lack of understanding here is perplexing.

OK, maybe 64 HP will be too small for the music I wish to make. Who knows? But that is also irrelevant to this thread. Because no matter what size the case, I don't wish to waste room on functions that are simply not needed.


My proposal has 9 jacks, 5 pots, and a switch, in 10HP. Only one pot (the crossfader) is regularly adjusted during performance. The layout should give the crossfader a generous amount of room, free of jack connections.

This proposed panel seems generous compared to many existing modules. For example the WMD ALYS has 14 jacks, 2 pots, and a switch in 6HP. What I am proposing is actually more roomy. It will be easier to use for reasons of space and because it doesn't include unnecessary features. The whole point of this thread is that I don't wish to use the three cramped modules mentioned in the OP.

Larger mixers all have features that are inapplicable to the application I have described. That is because they are not designed for cross-fading two (and only two) stereo streams. Hence they waste space. (For other applications they might be fine.)

-- robin0112358

that's how a lot of modular companies get started - someone wants a module and it doesn't exist

all modular synths are compromises, to some extent, I would concentrate on getting something that ticks all the boxes that you need (either in a single module or a few modules) and not worry too much that there's an extra feature that so far you haven't got a need for - next week you might!

Utility modules are the inexpensive, dull polish that makes the expensive, shiny modules actually shine!!!


Here's a sample design in 10 HP. I have no idea how to embed images, so a link instead.

It's called the "Stereo ! Mix", pronounced with a "bang", as in negation. That describes the standard use.

  • With the fader to the left, stereo A is sent to main.
  • With the fader to the right, stereo B is sent to the mains.
  • With the fader in between... well, it's a mix of the two.

The headphone output defaults to the "!" on the switch, meaning that the opposite signal is sent to the phones. This allows automatic cueing, without the need for cue buttons. Only the cross-mix fader is used in live performance.

But if you like, you can switch the headphones to monitor the mains. This can be useful in an environment where otherwise the mains are too quiet to hear.

I built a module like this in Reaktor that I've used for years. Here I've added CV control of the three input pots.

Could be smaller than 10 HP, but then it would be cramped. ;-)