Hi, I'm planning on building a Eurorack in a standard 19" rack. Given there are so many modules, different functions, and use-cases, I feel like I might have missed some critical components. I have a Moog Grandmother I plan on playing together with this, as well as integrating this to Cubase, and control certain triggers and sequences from the DAW. I plan on starting with (buying) row 1 (upper 84 HP), and expand as I get used to things and save up some more money. Therefore, row 1 is the most important to begin with. So, what do you think about the setup?

alt text


link to actual rack!!!

ModularGrid Rack


what sort of music do you intend to make?

do you already have the 19" rack?
do you have more than 9u free? whilst you may see this dream rack as 'end game' there's a very good chance it won't be - and you are not planning in room for possible expansion

you don't need 3 uZeus rack warts - just 2 and 1 of the boost power supplies - also saves 4hp
personally I would try to go with a power supply that will power all three rows from a single power supply - there are plenty to choose from - and if possible avoid the rack warts all together - may involve drilling holes in the 19" - I'd drill the holes and use a couple of befaco excalibuses to power this rack myself - this would save 12 hp!

'reasonably' well balanced - things I would try to do though:

get a midi interface with more channels - befaco do a reasonbaly, priced one that has 8 outs in 6hp iic

swap both the intellijel quad vca and veils for new veils - which will save 4hp - remember these are mixers too and that they can be used for cv as well as audio and as input modules - they have +20dB of gain - so you can probably drop the input module

you have quite a few 2hp modules - which can be great, but, they appear to be in places where they might be awkward to use and make using other modules difficult - getting a couple in the first row is probably a good idea - so you can determine if you actually like them before getting more

rene is quite a big module in this size case imo - but it may be the feature module that you want, idk

I'm not sure that you need to have 4 modulation sources - I would rather have fewer and have interesting ways of multing/modifying/mixing them rather than a lot of different ones - I'd grab a kinks (immediately whilst they may still be available) and a matrix mixer, possibly 2 - probably in place of stages and contour 1 - although I do really like stages - so I would probably try to keep this - maths I would definitely keep - download the illustrated supplement and work your way through it a few times - it's a great modular learning resource

I would seriously think out your mixing - it doesn't make a lot of sense to me - especially the 'end of chain' audio mixing xpan and the addac? you could probably find a better solution for that in a single module

I'd also consider replacing the dual fx with a fx aid xl - smaller and more versatile!


Hey Jim,

Thank a lot for your extensive feedback. I'm sorry I changed the rack from the original post, I was supposed to make an alternative rack. I like to experiment with sound design and music in different genres, but I primarily focus on sound design for film scoring but also melodic electronic music with interesting polyrythms.

I already have the 19" rack, but with no side or back walls, only the front. I made the rack as part of one of my bechtops where I have the Moog Grandmother on top. I also have the µZeus power module and one 19" Eurorack from TipTop audio. I do not have a back panel to connect a larger power connector unit, but I guess I can build that later when I expand the rack. It's a great idea to avoid all these power supplies in the panel itself, but for the first row, and beginning of the rack, this will be the supply for now.

Thanks for the tip on new veils, it looks great, and I love to save some HP :) It has been difficult to plan and imagine what I would need with basically zero experience, besides playing around with the Moog synth. You're right, I dont need the input module either, hehe, and probably I will not use instrument input very often anyways.

Fot the mixing, I was looking first at the Roland 531, but it was so big, and I thought with the Addac, and a simple output, I would have the option of using the addac as a VCA as well as a mixer. If I went for the 531 I would probably not need the X-pan, but I really liked the ways to produce interesting stereo images from the X-pan, and I really want it, I think.

I will look into the fx aid xl, I was never sure about the dual fx anyways.

Cheers!


panning is quite easy to patch with vcas - mult the signal you want to pan to 2 vcas - nult the modulation source you want to use for for panning and send one copy to one of the vcas and invert and offset the other and send it to the other vca


Yes I guess that would be fine, but maybe with the X-pan, I would spare some vcas? I have to start with the upper row, and I only have the new veil in that row (if I follow your suggestion, which I probably will). Additionally I do not have a proper output module on the upper row to begin with, and I planned on using the X-pan as a stereo output module to start with, and use the vcas available to control the volume... I'd rather avoid buying an output module twice.

I'll think about it for a bit... and post a revised plan for the upper row only in the thread


I tried to replace the X-pan with something useful. I also replaced the 2HP MIDI to the MIDI Thing by Befaco.

Instead of the X-pan I included another envelope generator (FC system-X), and a MI Links utility module for better patch capabilities. For the final stereo output I thout of using the 2HP VCA...

In this setup I also swapped Intellijel Quad VCA to the new Veil

alt text


I had a long look at this, and came up with a variation on it that seems to do a better job at sound design overall. No percussion modules...sort of...
ModularGrid Rack
See, the problem is that when you try and build tons of functions into a small build like this, you wind up shortchanging ALL of those functions as a result. So what I did here is to kick this back to being ONLY the synth. With a few surprises...

Top row: Voicing, obviously. The dual input preamp is at the left end, with a pair of envelope followers below this in the middle row. The single VCO was replaced by Void's Gravitational Waves, which gives you a complex oscillator plus a ring modulator. Then, to process the Gravitational Waves, I added an Intellijel uFold after the 4-in 2hp mixer, which will allow for even more complex timbral behavior out of that dual VCO. Then this can be submixed again via the dual inputs on the Ripples VCF, making it possible to combine both the wavefolded AND clean outputs. After that, an Elements clone from Antumbra...which is the "sort of". Since you can use all sorts of physical models as "activators", and since you have mallet models for this, the Atom can then give you two channels of all sorts of bonks and thumps, PLUS it gets its own stereo VCF (Bastl's wild new dual-peak stereo VCF, the Ikarie). But if you want even MORE bonks and thumps, I put in a Make Noise LxD after the Mordax, so you can process its outputs through those lowpass gates.

Middle row: Mostly modulation. First are the envelope followers for your input channels, which allow you to extract dynamics from inputted signals and then output them as modulation CVs. Links, then a Doepfer noise/sample and hold module as both of those things were missing from the original version. I also put in a dual slew limiter in 4 hp (Ladik) which doubles the job of the Joranalogue while halving the space! Plus, you get selectable slewing for CV up-motion, down-motion, or all motion. Then the Clep, Stages, Maths, and Shades...followed by a Happy Nerding 3xVCA to give you some dedicated VCAs for modulation use. After this, a Quadrax/Qx setup gives you four loopable 2-stage (or 3-stage, depending on the control input and mode settings) envelopes.

Bottom row: Control. The little white thing is a Konstant Labs PWRchekr, which lets you have visual feedback on your DC rails. Then the MIDI interface was replaced with Expert Sleepers FH-1, which can work as an interface for the DAW's MIDI, or you can just as easily connect any class-compliant USB MIDI controller to this. Tempi got added because it has some special interconnectivity with the Rene, allowing you to be able to toss much of the previous clock gen/modifiers as a result. After that, I put in a mono-in, stereo-out digital effect specifically set up to work with the AUX setup on the Toppobrillo Stereomix2. That mixer gives you VCA control over levels, autopanning, VCA over AUX sends, mutes per channel, a CUE bus, headphones, and a full AUX setup with a mono main send and stereo return. I then kept the Befaco OUT as it not only has your ganged stereo output control, but it also makes the switch from CUE to output a tad easier if you patch the Stereomix's CUE out to the CUE in on the Befaco.

So...uh...where are all the VCAs for the audio? In the mixer, that's where. Also, everything was rearranged for ergonomics, especially the move of all of the hands-on controller stuff to the bottom row. And where's the power supplies? They're in the rack itself, as I opted to rework this for a powered cab such as the Doepfer LC9 or, better still, one of Case From Lake's portable 3 x 84 cabs. If you can go with an INTERNAL supply, you do three things...

1) You open up 12 hp of space
2) You can get a beefier supply than the uZeus
3) You avoid having power circuitry anywhere near the audio path, which is something you definitely DON'T want! Not to mention, those little uZeuses can get HOT, and internals can be overspecced to the point where they don't do that. The Doepfer LCs have their hefty, toroid-equipped ones, and Case From Lake is pretty much the Burger King of Eurorack cabs: special orders don't upset 'em, so you can have it YOUR way!

Now, one thing that made this rework kind of...ah...dicey was the size. A really good sound design rig needs quite a bit more of that, which again gets back to Case From Lake and their ability to resize from their basic designs. Instead of 84 hp for a width, you could go to 3 x 104...or even 3 x 120 or 3 x 126! They do that. If this build were allowed to sprawl out more, it would then have the space to be taken up to a serious sound-design level. This build is good...but if more space could make it BETTER, well...


Wow! that is fantastic @Lugia. I'm so excited by this modular stuff, I can barely sit down. It is quite the makeover you did on the original rack, but to be fair, I have never built or used a Eurorack before, so I was pretty much guessing what modules I would need.

It makes a lot of sense when you explain the integration of each module you selected, and thank you for that, otherwise I would have a hard time understanding how this new setup would work. The positioning of the modules are also very clever concidering the potential mess with patch cables. When I build a 9U rack, I will build a power grid on the far backside of the system, and it should not be a problem. I have some wood laying around.

I also like the separation of voices, modulation, and control/effects on the different rows, didnt think of it like that before. I checked around on youtube to see some examples of the Gravitational Waves and the Atom, and they sound pretty awesome. They are quite big though, but I guess you get a lot out of them in contrast to the space they take. I was a littlebit "sad" that you removed the Iteritas Alter, but then again, I guess the Atom can produce similar results and more.

As a newbie to Eurorack, there is a lot to get my head around to understand the system that you produced, and in general, and I don't really know how to respond to the setup in any meaningful way, yet. I will have to think about this for a bit, but it looks great, and it makes a lot of sense the way you describe it. I am really thankful for the thought you put into this!

My biggest problem right now, is that I can only buy one row. I need to be able to use it effectively, as a one row system, but at the same time, have the ability to expand to a second row without sitting on modules I might no longer need. I will look at the setup and the way you intended it to work, and see if I can extract some modules to begin with. I will use the one-row system together with the Moog Grandmother, and the first row should, in my opinion, extend the capabilities of the Moog, add some new effects, patch capabilities, and possibly have another voice source. I'm not really sure what kind of modules would complement the Moog the best.

Concidering that I build the racks (19" server rack style), I have no problems expanding the size in the future. I can simply build another rack right next to it, and effectively get 2*84 HP. The rack I have now can fit a little more than 12U in height. A new rack besides it could be higher. But to fill these racks would be extremely expensive, and I dont see that happening anytime soon. The first row I will buy pretty soon, within next month. The second and third row will come sometime in the end of the year perhaps, also after a lot of playing around and learning more about this.

Again, thanks a lot for your feedback. Much appreciated!


Somewhat attempt to the first row....

alt text


Hi, if you're planning to fill up a 19" rack with separate rows, this is the solution that works for me, in case it helps you:
- Tiptop rack ears (two pairs) €40
- Tiptop 84HP rails (two pairs) €80
- Behringer CP1A (one) €60
You may need an extension flying bus as you fill the rows, since the CP1A provides 14 connections. Other than that it works perfectly for me at roughly €1.1 per HP.


Hi, thanks for the tips @Mazz. I have a tiptop audio rack (a kit) that cam with the µZeus power supply and a 1000mA power adapter. But when I expand the rack to more rows, I will remove the Zeus and place a PSU behind the rack with some bus boards.

I came across the DOEPFER A-100DIY1 KIT 1 WITH DOEPFER 15V2.5 AMP TRANSFORMER, which comes with a power adaptor with 2.5A (I dont have to deal with the wall current), 2 x 22socket bus boards, and it also comes with 4 x 84HP rails! btw, the PSU delivers 1.2A, similar to the Doepfer PSU2.

Basically, to get my 2nd and 3rd row, I simply need some rack ears and Im good to go... buy modules


Well, if you want to go with open rack frames, I think there's a housing solution here that you'll dig (provided you're in the USA). I ran across a firm out of Missouri that builds serious, solid portable racks with a very shallow footprint, and I now have several pieces from them. Check this out: https://prospeakerparts.com/collections/rack-cases-carpet-covered-2f/products/procraft-10u-12-deep-equipment-rack-10-space-made-in-the-usa-w-rack-screws This could also hold a power conditioner or a tile row at 10U, but if you only want the space for 9U worth of frames, they've got that too: https://prospeakerparts.com/collections/rack-cases-carpet-covered-2f/products/procraft-9u-12-deep-equipment-rack-9-space-made-in-the-usa-with-rack-screws And there's several others that they do that are fairly Eurorack-friendly, including some snazzy angled racks for studio use.

But the back's open! Ahhh, that's easy too. They carry unmounted rack rails and both solid and vented rack panels, too! You could even go as far as mounting a 7U panel on the backside of that 10U unit and then a Eurorack frame in the bottom 3U for mounting power inputs and supplies, or even a dedicated 1/4" output pair...then just slap some blanks on the rest, and there you go! And that 12" depth is super-easy to tote, but if you go with a smaller cab, you can get into 9" depths: https://prospeakerparts.com/collections/rack-cases-carpet-covered-2f/products/procraft-6u-9-deep-equipment-rack-6-space-made-in-the-usa-with-rack-screws And in fact, there's one sitting to my immediate left right now, housing the remaining patchbays on the right side of the desk. Nice stuff!


Hi @Lugia, thanks again for some solid advice. These are some awsome looking rack housings, and would definitely support my needs, however, I am not in the US. I live in Norway, a bit far away you could say. But for now, I allready have a 19" rack. I bought some rack rails and built a 19" frame from some solid wood 2"by2", also functioning as some of the legs for the side-desk ;)

If the crypoto market allows, and I want to expand further from my first rack setup, I will definitely concider finding some similar rack housings to the ones you provided, giving they ship to Norway. It would be nice to be able to move my setup if I need to.

Btw, do you own any of the racks in your rack list here?


Nope, I don't. These were all build reworks for other users that I did on here. When I work on those, I'm also working with my 40+ years of experience in electronic music plus a sizable background of material I've studied (and still do) to stay more or less up to speed in Eurorack.

Now, if you're in Norway, it would probably make more sense to go through Thomann, as they've got a huge selection of suitable cabs for rack frame mounting. Plus, they have cheap ATA cases, which will let you travel with everything prepatched...just pop off the lids, jack in, and cut loose!


I understand. Well, the builds looks amazing, and it was really nice to get feedback from experienced people. I didnt expect anyone to care to answer, but the response was way beyond my expectations, and it seriously helped me. I cannot thank you guys enough for the support and feedback.

Yes, Thomann is great. I have looked through some cases there, pretty neat ;)