I’m not trying to have the perpetual analog vs. digital debate again, I have nothing against digital and I’m thrilled with a lot of the things people have done with digital modules.

But given the sea of different modules available, everyone has to make those “arbitrary” decisions for their rack’s limitations to some extent. The decision to stay fully analog is a mostly arbitrary but fun one, and you’re sure to get a certain sound that you wouldn’t if you melded analog and digital ones together.

So my questions are somewhat simple—any of you have experience doing it? Is it significantly more expensive? Is it terribly limiting?

I mean, the reason I’m going Eurorack instead of MU is that I want to take advantage of all the crazy innovative shit in Euro rather than the somewhat traditionalist, more often analog MU stuff. I don’t wanna be glued to only two or three brands. But then I also like the idea of starting with analog modules and later putting digital stuff in its own row.

More importantly, it’s been really hard for me to even know which Euro modules are fully analog. So many have digital components that I don’t even know if the vacuum tube ones are! Any tips on how to figure it out somewhat easily without elite knowledge of circuitry?


My advice is to figure out what you need your rack to do, and then buy the best version of the module that does that thing.
Analog... digital... doesn't really matter as long as you can accomplish your musical goal. If you need a resonator like Rings or something, it's gonna be really hard to do that with analog.
Have fun and good luck.


No, it really doesn't matter and tone is near impossible to to tell the difference now.


No, it really doesn't matter and tone is near impossible to to tell the difference now.

-- sacguy71

My point here is that—regardless of the long debated difference in signal character—making an all-analog rule would lead me to a completely different rack of modules than if I didn’t


What kind of music are you making?


That’s true but also limiting. You’d miss out on great modules from IME/Harvestman and Mutable Instruments like Piston Honda and Plaits which are digital and sound amazing while providing countless sound crafting options. That said, I do like analog modules like Rossum Trident and Moog modular.


What kind of music are you making?
-- farkas

For my current project I've been creating two-to-four bar synth motifs in Ableton, adding live a drum part (I'm a drummer), looping it and doing spoken word verses on top. It's got a dark industrial feel, but I still try to be musical and keep some replay value—I love glitchy/chaotic sounds but similar artists seem to be just trying to make people's ears bleed.

I've done this using my beloved DSI Mopho x4 and various plugins (Arturia, u-he, etc.) for a while, and after thinking long and hard about what my next hardware synth should be, I decided that instead of dropping $2-3k on one new DSI or a fragile vintage piece that I already have a great emulation of, I can spend that money starting a Eurorack and really make sounds no one has ever heard. After watching hundreds of Eurorack vids, I really think this is the best investment for my intentions of creating those haunting, hypnotic loops. Planning to start with an Erica tube VCO, Error Liquid Glitcher, Folktek Matter, Maths, maybe a Squarp Rample, and mixer/EG/utilities.


Right on. Sounds cool. Be sure to share some of your tracks here.
Yeah, I wouldn't set any artificial boundaries. Just do your research and find what works best for the sound you need regardless of analog/digital. The Error Instruments stuff is pretty wild. For what you are doing, take a look at Future Sound Systems stuff too (I'm the forum's resident Future Sound Systems fanboy. Haha).
Have fun and good luck.


Thanks, I'm checking FSS out as we speak. What are your favorites from them? I love hearing recs of companies I haven't heard of yet because it seems like of the thousands of modules shown on this site, people are almost afraid to get anything that isn't one of the top say 20 brands. ALM, IME, Make Noise, Bastl, Noise Engineering, Cwejman, Tiptop, Intellijel, Endorphines, Frap, 4ms, Bastl, Happy Nerding, Roland, Doepfer, Mutable, Erica, WMD, Instruo, Malekko, XAOC, Rossum. There's 500 more though lol


@JX5JX5 me too and small firms need to get more involved with the modular community to promote their products if we don't hear about them then we cannot buy their new boutique modules, right? All the big players started small at one time. Right now, I have a module from Abstract Data never heard of them before but wanted a super modulator and they came across in few videos.


Thanks, I'm checking FSS out as we speak. What are your favorites from them? I love hearing recs of companies I haven't heard of yet because it seems like of the thousands of modules shown on this site, people are almost afraid to get anything that isn't one of the top say 20 brands.
-- JX5JX5

The Recombination Engine is probably my favorite FSS module. It's a unique take on an analog triple oscillator. All of their stuff has an interesting approach though. The Gristleizer filter and VCA are pretty fun too (especially if you are a fan of Throbbing Gristle). Schlappi Engineering makes really cool/noisy modules too. The 100 Grit filter is on my radar for later in the year.


The FSS MTX pin matrix looks cool


I feel like my subconscious has been looking for a Throbbing Gristle module already... I'll check vids on these recommendations right now. Also I made a new post (sorry for so many I'm excited) with a dream rack that I'd love feedback on. Check it out!

and @sacguy71 I agree—I think there's a huge temptation among techy Eurorack builders to start their own brand, but with the element of reliability, it's definitely a 1%er game. You're right about more promotion being needed. It's such a niche community that promotion should be pretty straight forward; spend the money at the right podcasts, YouTube channels, sites like these. Seems like at that point the real game is having an amazing product. No one wants to buy some regular EG or VCA from an up-and-comer, we want to hit Happy Nerding or Pittsburgh for that. Aesthetics matter too—I personally find Tiptop's faceplates hideous and therefore won't be buying. I think to really make it work, you go the Folktek or Error route and just do something so unique it can't be ignored. Who knows if those guys are even making a livable income at it though.