Hi,

I would like to ask if this is an acceptable setup? I did my research well. Except I am having a hard time figuring out to make an end product that works well.

My intentions for this machine are to make it a sampler/mangler and wavetable synth. Planning to create ethereal but also obscure sounds for my production. On the software side of things I use Renoise|Reaktor 6 so I am used to using tracker interfaces.

In the end to repeat myself I am looking for a versitile non creative restricting machine.

Thank you for your time reading this and have a nice day.

Kind regards,

Glenn


Hi Glenn

have you bought these modules or are you still thinking about it?

you seem to have a lot of sound sources (morphagene, dpo, panharmonium, SWN), a few sound modifiers (panharmonium, morphagene, wasp, ripples), a sequencer and almost no support modules - including (but not limited to) modulation sources, vcas and mixing

how are you going to mix these sound sources - you have an output module? but no way of mixing to stereo (3 out of 4 your sound modifiers are mono) and no way of mixing waveforms from the dpo (other than 'final' I guess) - the only mono sound source - or combining say the outputs from swn before sending the signal to a filter

there are no delays or reverbs - really useful especially if you want to do what you have stated - you can't go wrong with an fx aid xl

not enough modulation - Stages is a great module - but it is enough on it's own for that number of modulation inputs and it is not necessarily a great first modulation source, especially for you, yes it can provide 6 envelope, but they are very short and patching it to do something else quickly eats up channels

perhaps you should look at zadar - you can get very long and varied modulation envelopes out of it

I copied the rack so I could make sure it was an swn hiding and found a load of modules hiding out of the rack - the cat was unhappy to see me! - the only module that I would recommend that you add to this rack is Maths - it's a particularly great module - especially as there is the maths illustrated supplement which documents 32 self patching ideas - and as such is a brilliant primer for modular synthesis in general - even if you don't buy the module - read the supplement!

VCAs - the vca appears to be an afterthought - VCAs are fundamentally important modules - they control the amount of a signal going through the module and they allow you to do this with a control voltage - so you don't have to do it with your hand - when patched with appropriate (and essential) modules (an lfo, a mult and a polariser/offset) you can turn 2 vcas into an auto panner, use a cascading vca - you can also use them to change the level of control voltages going to modulation sources

I would dump the pico one and replace it with something like veils (a quad cascading vca) which will also work as an input module if needed as well as a mixer

I always strongly recommend a starter set of utilities - links, kinks, shades - or similar modules (kinks has been discontinued recently - buy one if you can find one!) and a quad cascading vca (as mentioned above)

I also often recommend following this ratio to get more out of your modular for less cash:

sound sources

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


Ripped into this...since the aim was to make a creative device for granular and wavetable synthesis, but there was an awful lot wrong with the implementation, I jumped in and came up with a little something that goes in one of Case From Lake's 3 x 104 cabs (see https://reverb.com/item/36194432-9u-eurorack-case-powered-84-or-104-hp-desktop-synth-modular-synthesizer).
ModularGrid Rack
OK...so, let's have a look at this thing...

Top row: This is almost all audio, save for the Ladik dual slew limiter at the left end. Starting from the left, you'll find a dual input preamp specifically for feeding external audio to the various sampling-type functions in the rig. Then the dual slew, and after that is Mordax's new GXN granular synthesis/sampling module. Then for wavetables, I put in an Intellijel Shapeshifter. Since these are both stereo-out modules, there's a Veils next and a Doepfer A-138s for spatializing the sources before they're fed to the Rossum Morpheus. That stereo digital filter is a modular version of the "Z-Plane" filter found in some of the later E-Mu Proteus synths, albeit without the "brakes" that E-Mu originally had in there to keep things more or less under control. Then as if that wasn't enough, the Qu-bit Data Bender is a stereo digital audio "buffer" which can be abused in numerous ways to mangle audio prior to feeding that to the mixer in the bottom row.

Middle row: Modulation, except for the effects at the right end. The little white sliver is a Konstant Labs PWRchekr, which is a VERY useful way to both fill 1 hp AND to keep an eye on the health of your DC power busses. Then the Qu-bit Nanorand gives you a bunch of random options ranging from noise, to random outputs, to sample and hold, and the like. The Shifty is a neat little thing that'll probably be useful with the GXN, as it's an analog shift register, a series of cascaded sample-and-hold circuits that store-and-forward CV values that makes for a very effective arpeggiator-ish module and which can allow for a degree of hocketed polyphony. Then the Maths, followed by a Frap 321 for manipulating modulation signals, and a Happy Nerding 3xVCA for linear-response VCAs for controlling modulation levels. Both useful for LFOs and envelopes, a Quadrax is after those, along with its Qx expander for cascading the EGs, etc. Then another expander is after that, the Nin, which is for the Xaoc Zadar quad EG. And while that's it for the modulation, there's still a couple of effects: a Calsynth Monsoon (an expanded variation on Mutable's Clouds) and an Instruo Arbhar, both of which offer a wealth of granular-based transformations.

Bottom row: Control, pretty much. An Erica 1 or 2 voice MIDI interface also allows you to lock up your DAW clock to the clocking environment in the build as well as providing two channels of CV and gate for DAW-controlled sequences. Then next, there's a pile of clock manipulation tools: a Frequency Central High Towers provides four channels of clock division, then the Eowave Swing offers another four channels of delayed pulses. The Ladik Skipper is a dual-channel stochastic pulse skipper, which can be CV controlled to add random dropped notes and/or rests. Then Frequency Central's Reset Simulation provides Boolean logic for tampering with clock behavior. After that, a Xaoc Bytom works as a "diode-OR" summer set for clock pulses. After all of that, then we have the NerdSeq tracker sequencer, which can NOW be used in some much more complex ways thanks to all of the clock manglers. Following it is a Frequency Central effect module, their Stasis Leak, which gives you a CV-controlled stereo reverb, tap-tempo delay, and chorus, and since this uses a mono-in/stereo-out interface, it works perfectly with the FX send/return on the Toppobrillo Stereomix2. That mixer contains VCAs for individual levels, panning, and AUX send levels, plus a CUE bus, headphone preamp, FX send/return loop, mutes per channel, and one or two other surprises. Lastly, since we now have a situation where you'd want to split the Stereomix2's output to one or the other (or BOTH) the Monsoon and Arbhar, I changed out the Befaco output module for Bastl's Ciao!, which gives you a mixable pair of stereo inputs, your balanced outputs, and another headphone preamp (post-mix and post-FX).

So...why is this so much bigger? Well, when you start playing around with these big, complex stereo source and modifier modules, they tend to require a lot more to wring every last bit of strangeness out of them. And that "more" is, naturally, more modulation and control signals. So this got a big kick from a two-row design to three rows so that this can be accomplished effectively. Thanks to Case From Lake's crazy AF prices for their well-powered and well-designed cabs, this isn't so much of a budgetary "hit" as, say, going from a Doepfer A-100 2 x 84 to a 3 x 84 (which would cost $145: from $530 to $675). Plus, it also contains a lot of what Jim mentions above, which also takes space to implement. But at this point, this is a pretty solid rig as it stands here. You might run out of ideas with it eventually...but that's likely to take YEARS, since this is so full of possible uses and/or abuses.


Hi Jim

Thank you so much for your time and reply as it helped me out alot. Tomorrow I will have more time to go indepth but for now I changed things up a bit. The biggest change would be removing swn. From all sound sources it is the one I need the least. After that I added a bunch of utility: (The ones you named I will research them indepth later since I just got of work.)

The thing I am not quite sure about are LFO2 and ST mix. I dont think they are ideal to handle that many mono outputs even though SWN has been removed and I have added Shades. I'm guessing I must search for some summing mixer...

And btw I just loved Zadar. It is exactly what I need. Thank you very much for that and your info I'm just curious what you meant by your last sentence as it got cut of for some reason?


sounds sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

due to the < 's needing spaces around them

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


I had a quick skim through Lugia's reply too

almost everything he says is spot on - almost always in my opinion

better to start without a planned case and work out the modules you want and the modules you need to support them + 20-30% free for expansion - rather than starting with a specific case

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


Thank you so much for all that work. I'l check the rack intesively. After that i'l come back to this thread with hopefully something better. I'l keep all you both said in mind. Thank you once more. I'l have some work to do now. :)


Yeah, when I do a rebuild, I do have to settle on some sort of cab to stick it all in. And those Case From Lake cabs are really attractive on a number of levels, so I've been concentrating in that direction as of late, especially when people appear to want something more substantial than a Mantis (awesome tho they are!). My aim here is to come up with a divergent idea with these, which hopefully then jog posters' minds about things they'd NOT entertained as being part of their build. Plus, it's always helpful for people to see a possible goal, even if their end result might be different.


Just a quick note:
The Instruō arbhar has an expander that comes included with the module (you don't have to buy it separately), it's another 2HP. It has 8 CV inputs and allows for CV control over all the remaining parameters not found on the main faceplate. Very useful.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/instruo-arbhar-expander

https://www.instruomodular.com/product/arbhar/

https://www.instruomodular.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Arbhar-Quickstart-Website.pdf


Hi guys!

Link to the second version of "Die welt ist alles, was der fall ist":

ModularGrid Rack

So I took my time and made a revision of my idea. I followed Lugias idea mainly. But still I may have got some weird picks here and there. The cases from Lake Cabs are amazing and so cheap for what they are. They look beautiful too. Really got that natural vibe that gets to me instantly. Thank you for bringing those up. o/

I chose to not include the Instruō arbhar while it all looks and sounds amazing I chose to go for the Morphagene instead (maybe). The sound speaks more to me. I am also not sure about including the Shapeshifter. It is way better for my use-case than SWN but I may still just remove this module. Same can be said about the morphagene and or DPO. I'd love to include all of these but budget and an overload of sound sources do not seem right to me, what do you guys think? Both The Z-plane filter I fell in love with, just wow. Same can be said about the data bender.

The left half of the bottom row I am not sure about. I was thinking of including less chaotic stuff. But maybe this will work just fine... I will do some more research about these control modules. While some look great I do not know if they fit my use case -yet.

My idea got a bit out of hand by including two more rows but I plan to buy it in two periods of time. I hope this revision is better as I took the whole day off to get this together. I still got two weeks till I will start the build IRL. So until then I hope this machine can grow.

Kind regards,

Glenn


My idea got a bit out of hand by including two more rows but I plan to buy it in two periods of time. I hope this revision is better as I took the whole day off to get this together. I still got two weeks till I will start the build IRL. So until then I hope this machine can grow.

Kind regards,

Glenn
-- LNITB

Not out of hand - it's given you an idea of your actual case size and power requirements

Personally I would go a lot slower than this - buy the right case and just a minimum viable synth - 1 voice (sound source, modulation source, sound modifier and whatever support modules you need for that - how to play, how to listen etc)

actually touching modules can change plans quite a lot too - especially once you first start patching

so I would then get used to that for at least a few weeks before adding anything else - and add slowly - make notes of things that you want to do but can't - ask questions etc - this will influence you as you acquire modules

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


I'l follow up on that advice. I am making a raw sketch of what I will buy first atm.

A question I have though:

Is it really that usefull to have a mixer module IN the rack itself? Because I have some VCA's and eg:shades. And could mix outboard on the UCX software 'Totalmix' or does this have its drawbacks?


It depends. If you're talking about basic mixers, the sort that get used for summing, these MUST BE in the build.

As for using external mixers at synthesizer signal levels for your outputs, this can be a problem, particularly if you're aiming to send synth-level signals into an A-D converter that's expecting to see standard pro-level (ie: 1.4Vrms @ 0VU) signals. These are almost certain to overload. There are analog mixers that CAN handle these sorts of levels, but the rationale for using present-day performance mixers in a modular setup is that you can automate many different aspects of your mix via modulation signals. Before these got more common, I would say that mixing via a small outboard mixer with the preamp gains rolled WAAAY back would be the right move...but when things like the Stereomix2, etc now exist, they're 100% the right way to go.