Hi I recently got really interested in building a modular synth. So far I bought a Nifty Bundle with the case (84hp) Cellz and Chipz. That makes 60HP left that I want to fill with some interesting modules. I don't necessarily have a narrow vision on what I want to achieve. I just want to play around and have fun creating some engaging evolving sounds. I do like weird modulations and imperfections so to say I am more of a kid playing around than a "real" musician. So far I came up with this rack:

Pams New Workout: For clock and somewhat a jack of all trades for triggers and signals. (Bought)
Plaits: As my main voice (it seems to be quite versatile in what can be achieved with plaits)
[Marbles: A random sequencer with room for interesting modulations]
[Branches: Trigger/Gate randomization]
[2x2hp Tune: Tuning frequenzies. So far I planned 2 one for each voice]
Cellz and Chipz: They are non-negotiable as I already have them. I know they are not the greatest modules yet usable
[Doepfer A-138n: A mixer where I can merge my voices]
Doepfer A-121-3: Highpass Lowpass Bandpass for filter reasons
Twiigs: For randomization (swapped in for Marbles and Branches)
Mutable Instruments Veils: Swapped in for Doepfer A-138n

That makes for a total of 10 Modules. Now the Question: Is it any good? Any suggestions? Am I missing anything?

Update 22.06.21
-Got rid of the the 2hp tune as it was deemed unnecessary
-Swapped the mixer for a Mutable Instruments Veils
-Got rid of the branches and Marbles and inserted a Twiigs (4 random gates + pam should still be a lot of randomization)
-Bought Pams new workout as syncing cellz and chipz with external gear is a pain in the ass as off now and beeing one of the highest rated and most popular modules this doesn't seem like a bad starter (tho it might be a bit overloaded for a beginner like me)

Update 23.06.21
As I got a decent deal on Twiigs and a nanoRings (still considering getting the big one if I feel like it) I ordered those two. Living in Europe it is kinda hard to get those modules from serious sellers that provide warranty (again correct me if I am wrong) so I just had to take them.

I do believe that for a full-fledged Eurorack-System this case will be too small yet this is just the start of my journey. I will probably pick up the modules one by one so even filling up this case will take its time. The gaps it has are filled by external gear for now (OP1+Electribe and some guitar pedals+external mixer). Once I get to the limit of the case I can still consider adding more or switching to a bigger case. So the new question erupting is: What to get first/next?


VCAs, for starters. Right now, you have no way other than manual control to impose an "envelope" on your sounds. That's the sort of thing that's pretty much a "fatal error" in most builds.

Your biggest problem here is, in fact, the Cre8 cab itself. I know you see loads of single-row "beauty case" builds on YouTube, but it's worth noting that those usually fall into two camps:

1) The build is a very specialized device that's not suitable as an all-around modular system. Or...

2) The build HAS everything, including absolutely no space for your fingers whatsoever.

Neither of these are of much use, really. What I would suggest is to strongly consider a larger cab to accommodate a much larger (and far more comprehensive) module complement so that you DO have a proper system. As for the Cre8 case...keep it, as I think you'll find that it can work nicely as a cab for your controller setup. It already has its Cells module, after all, and having the oscillator there, then adding a better controller would make that a little bit like the old ARP 2600's 3620 keyboard with its auxiliary modules and extra expression controls.


Besides what Lugia said you could maybe build a single mono synth voice in this case. You already have a basic sequencer and a dual vco plus LFO. So you might want to start „east coast“ and add two envelopes (imho Maths is too big for your case), vcas, a filter and are ready for some bleeps and bloops. Possibly you even have some space left for later additions.
Maybe you could also go west and add something like Happy Nerding FM Aid or some Waveshapkng utility and a Low Pass Gate (LxD) plus some envelopes and vcas of course.


pitch output from both marbles and pams is quantized - the 2hp tune modules are superfluous

marbles contains something like a mini branches - I use both but I have a lot more - you don't need this in this size case

in this size case I would remove the mixer and one of either pams or marbles and add a quad cascading vca such as veils

I also agree with both Lugia and CM487 - in that the case is too small for more than a single voiice - and probably better used as a control skiff for a larger case

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


So here are the updates I did so far

__Update 22.06.21 __
-Got rid of the the 2hp tune as it was deemed unnecessary
-Swapped the mixer for a Mutable Instruments Veils
-Got rid of the branches and Marbles and inserted a Twiigs (4 random gates + pam should still be a lot of randomization)
-Bought Pams new workout as syncing cellz and chipz with external gear is a pain in the ass as off now and beeing one of the highest rated and most popular modules this doesn't seem like a bad starter (tho it might be a bit overloaded for a beginner like me)

I do believe that for a full-fledged Eurorack-System this case will be too small yet this is just the start of my journey. I will probably pick up the modules one by one so even filling up this case will take its time. The gaps it has are filled by external gear for now (OP1+Electribe and some guitar pedals+external mixer). Once I get to the limit of the case I can still consider adding more or switching to a bigger case. So the new question erupting is: What to get first/next?


personally in a starter case I would rather have Marbles than Pams - I have Pams and whilst I use it a lot - I'm not a big fan of programinig it - the screen is small and at the moment it is not in an ideal position in the rack to see the screen - marbles on the other hand has a lot of knobs so is much more interactive

I really wouldn't bother with twiggs either - Pams or Marbles can do this and there is not so much in the case that you will need or want a branches-alike module let alone 2 - I have one and a DIY one in the back log - but I have about 1500hp of modules - I use the branches I have mostly for hats - as it is easy to get nice skip/open/closed ratios by self patching the top section to the bottom section

I would also consider swapping out the micro clone of plaits for a real one - there is plenty of space and ergonomics are very important - micro modules = poor ergonomics - it's possible you've never actually seen an eurorack modules in reall life yet - a lot of people in this situation get a shock with how small modules actually are - it'll cost a few extra $/€/£ but not many - and mutable support is fantastic - I had a button fail on Marbles - back to Emilie to fix - sent last Thursday - should have it back this Friday!

how are you intending to sync the modular to external gear with Pams? - there are a couple of midi expanders which may work - I use an audio pulse in the DAW (the one i use is from make noise web site) and send that through an expert sleepers es8 when I need sync and use that as clock in to Pams - in computer OSes audio is much higher priority than midi - so timing is tighter - using a midi clock via a BeatStep Pro was sloppy/out of time

as a next module - if you can find one buy kinks - it is a really useful inexpensive utility module - it's been recently discontinued - but there is still stock in some shops

otherwise I would buy plaits and then veils - plaits has a built in lpg (which is a combination vca/low pas filter) - so to a certain extent you won't need either a fillter or vca for the audio path to start with - the vcas will be useful for modulation purposes (modulate your modulation)

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


I feel a lot of feels for this. I started my case with the Cr8 Nifty as well. Still enjoying it and I've not made any further steps of expansion. As Lugia stated, the biggest draw back is jamming it full to the point of not having finger space. For now that doesn't cause enough pain to change, but I can see it coming down the road. I was pretty specific in what I wanted, and maybe most of all I wanted a small amount of HP to insist on being specific. My goals were a random-ish, single voice, musique concrete tool to supplement other gear I use (Korg SQ-1, many delay/loop/verb/ring mod pedal options, Arturia Drubrute Impact, KaosPad 3, and a myriad of cassette looping tools and shortwave radios.

For sharing purposes:
Maths
Uplaits (main voice)
Tiptop Forbidden Planet Filter
Deopfer Dual VCA
Bastl LOL Mute
Wogglebug
Morphagene
2hp Div
ST Modular Mia 2x2 crossfade mixer
Bastl Hendriks Pedal Interface

I decided to learn everything really well, embrace boundaries and not worry about what I can't do quite yet. My current setup is hours of fun and the Make Noise modules are pretty endless, as far as learning goes. The uPlaits has been a great voice option. That said, things I look at lately are a filter with separate ins and outs (the Tiptop filter sounds amazing though), Resonant EQs, Low Pass Gates, and a more stable clock source (Woggle is fine, but it's limited). Pams is def on the list. I also use the SQ1 a lot for clock.

Anyway, enjoying the comments and suggestions here. So much to learn.


As I want to use the Pams as my main "trigger" for everything else I would sync it up via the nifty case clock output (midi from my OP1 into the cases midi input). Then the Pam will give me synced clock signals and divisions or multiplications thereof. If the midi clock really is way too far off the clk in on the Pam should also be able to be synced by a click-track (correct me if I am wrong on that). While Pam can run the 16 step sequencer of Cellz (needs a signal and a division of 4 of that signal) Marbles can't as far as I know.

As far as the micro and nano modules go I understand the concerns and I really like the aesthetics of the full-sized Mutable Instruments but the small clones have their own appeal by being more cost and space-efficient. While of course this can make things messy too for a first dive into modular they seem to give me more bang for the buck.

For the branches/twiigs: I really like the simplicity of the concept and feel it might be a fun thing to play around with.

Speaking of voices the plaits was the first to catch my eye but now as I understand things a little bit more I had quite some fun playing around with the Mutable Instruments Rings in VCV Rack. Coming from a guitarist background I just resonate (no pun intended) with the strings sounds it can create. Could Rings be a good option instead of the Plaits?


Rings is a great option - I came from a guitar background too and really like it for those sorts of tones - plucky is pretty easy to dial in and the red or orange/red mode (not available in vcv rack iirc) on polyphony gives a nice stereo ish spread - alternating notes left and right

using other sound sources as input works really well too - drones etc are available

I very rarely send mine through a filter or vca though - mostly just through a delay - mostly clouds or magneto or disting and then at the moment I'm sending everything through an fx aid xl on the lo-fi algorithm

so you may find you don't need one - or maybe you do, but stereo - blades perhaps or qpas

if you are enjoying vcv rack something like an es8 or es9 can be a great link between the vcv rack and the modular

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


VCV rack for me is more of a learning program than something I want to integrate into a physical setup. I just put together stuff there to see how it interacts with each other to get a general idea about how stuff is working. So no es8 or es9 for me.

Update 23.06.21
As I got a decent deal on Twiigs and a nanoRings (still considering getting the big one if I feel like it) I ordered those two. Living in Europe it is kinda hard to get those modules from serious sellers that provide warranty (again correct me if I am wrong) so I just had to take them.


nice, enjoy!

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


If you like chipz , I would get rid of it and get the basimilus and the use that with your pams, it’s awesome trust me. I have a cre8 case too, I think it’s ok but I think their modules are utter rubbish.


I mean yeah the modules are pretty limited but you do get quite a lot for the 60€ the bundle costs more than the solo case. For now, I will keep them in for some background noise.

Getting back to the Mutable Instruments Kinks. I do get the sample and hold thing now and feel like I could totally benefit from that but the other stuff on the Kinks don't really appeal to me yet. So I lean more into a Doepfer A-148 as a simple dual sample and hold module.

Edit: Also I am looking into getting some rhythm background going in this case. It doesn't need to be a full drum set but maybe something to create a somewhat "enjoyable" metronome percussion or maybe bass. Maybe If I just modulate a bass-drum module? Or a Hihat as it kinda gives me 2 elements (open/closed). Again I do know I can't get it all into this case so it's more of a fancy metronome thingy I am aiming for


kinks is discontinued - I'd pick one up if you can find one - the other functions are very useful

maybe look at 2hp for a kick and snare - maybe even a hats - do check for depth though - 2hp can be quite deep and the nifty case does not seem that deep

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


maybe look at 2hp for a kick and snare - maybe even a hats - do check for depth though - 2hp can be quite deep and the nifty case does not seem that deep
-- JimHowell1970

Just a heads up that any 42mm deep 2hp modules should fit just fine in the Nifty. I've had the VCO and the VCA in that case, and while it is tight, there is still a few mm of clearance once seated.