And I'm not even kidding. I've spent 5 years slowly upgrading from a single Rackbrute 3U to dual Rackbrute 6Us, and gradually all aspects were refined and eventually cemented into a complete system that I'm incredibly happy with. All my modules perfectly complement each other and they are arranged in an ergonomic, functional, logical and visually pleasing way. All the patch points are grouped together in logical places, and all the controls are exactly where I want them. Modules of the same manufacturer are clustered together, but only if it makes sense functionally. Cable length is minimized for patches I use often, and I can usually get by with using only 15cm and 30cm cables. I have experimented with all kinds of layouts and this one is by far the best one I've come up with.

It took me a long time to finally come up with a bass/kick drum sound that I liked. First, I used an external drum machine (DrumBrute), but when I discovered I could produce a much more pleasing drum using the STO and Maths envelopes I decided to get rid of it and go fully modular. However, the patch took up all of Maths, the STO, and my favorite VCA (Xaoc Devices Tallin) so I decided to replace all of this with a 2HP kick. Unfortunately, I did not like the sound at all; way to "clicky" for me. For a long time, I continued to use various patches to create my own kick drum but finally decided to buy a Vermona Kick Lancet. It was exactly the sound I was looking for! Together with the Vermona Retroverb Lancet they fit perfectly in the empty space inside the hinge of the two Rackbrutes. You should see it, it's really quite wonderful.

And now, my desk is full. There is no space to reasonably fit any more synth gear, and I have no desire to add anything anyway. I love the endless possibilities and the raunchy analog sound of my setup, and it will remain in this exact configuration for decades to come.

Here is a picture of the rack in real life:

Photo of SplendorWTF's rack

You can listen to my music (freely!) on https://www.splendor.wtf/


decades to come .. wow
nice setup tho, you've got me thinking now about the vermona kick !

SH


Now that's a hella beautiful build! Layout's different from what I prefer, but the bases are all covered here.

And that brings up a point: it DOES take time to create the "perfect build". Five years? Yeah, I could see that...


Really love your system design. I can tell you put an incredible amount of thought into it, and I'm just scratching the surface.

That said, good luck with that complete thing. :D


You mean you can't put together that mega ambient/generative build in 104HP with zero time or knowledge invested. :)

It's lover-ly :)


I love that black spot of just Doepfer jack inputs, its even visible on your photo.
May I ask how you are mixing your sound on this? is it "only" with the VCAs and then straight to the 2x3 µmix?

Congratulations on your great setup, I also did listen today for a while, sounds crisp! ;)


May I ask how you are mixing your sound on this? is it "only" with the VCAs and then straight to the 2x3 µmix?
-- zuggamasta

I use the Veils as a voltage controlled mixer, and the combined output goes to one of the various effects modules, or to the Retroverb. The output of that goes into the Links and/or A-138u (depending on whether I'm doing stereo stuff). From there it goes to the HN Isolator, which has the most impressive output transformers I've ever seen in an output module! Its balanced TRS outputs go through two custom-made cables to Mackie's Big Knob (custom made to short the ring and the sleeve, because the Big Knob does not support balanced input...) and from there I can select whether it goes to the monitors or to the headphone amplifier.

The custom-made cables are actually Y-cables that mult the signal and send it to a PCIe audio interface (ESI MAYA44 eX) so I can record it using Audacity. The Big Knob allows me to switch the audio source to the output of the audio interface so I can listen to the recording (and watch movies). It completely eliminates the need for a mixing desk, and it's completely passive too!

I have never given a live performance but I'm practicing for one. When I'm on location, I'll plug the Isolator's output straight into front of house and let the mixing engineers be amazed by the quality of my signal 😎


Thank you for the detailed explanation! There are so many ways to get a mixing setup in eurorack, it amazes me every time!

A live set would be lovely, but what ever floats your boat 😉


Hi Splendor,

That's a beautiful and tidy setup. Slightly bit small for my taste but it's a pleasure to the eyes! :-)

I had a look on your website and listening now to some of your tracks. Are you by any chance making this music for Minecraft? Would fit good into that community I guess :-)

I wish you lots of fun and sonic pleasure with your beautiful setup, enjoy! Have a good weekend and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Very nice and inspiring considering I have a Rackbrute 6U with two modules currently (Maths and Quadrax).
I'm still quite new to the modular scene and don't know what a number of the modules in your setup do...can you describe how you have things set up between the two 6Us?...like top for synth and modulations and bottom for drums and other stuff?

JB


@jb61264 - if you right click on the rack in this thread you can open the link as another tab and then get infomatics and click through to read what every module does (how do you think we manage to give rack advice - there are over 7k eurorack modules!!)

but in broad strokes (the rack seems to me to be)

the top 2 rows are mostly vcos, modulation and effects (plus grids - which is a trigger sequencer)

the middle row is more utilities and effects = plus vc-t-networks which is 4 percussion voices (or you can use it as filters) and a basic vco

bottom row is mostly things that you'd want in easiest reach - control modules, favourite filter, voice etc

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


To add to @JimHowell1970's excellent answer: I designed to top two rows to be completely usable as a synth on its own - VCOs into VCF into VCAs with lots of modulation capabilities. The Grids can be used as the clock source and the Pico DSP can be considered its "output module". I have a Twisted Electrons Crazy8 laying around that I can use as the sequencer.

When paired with the lower half, the Clock 'O Pawn becomes the clock source and the Manther Growl and the A-110-2 become the main sound sources, or an added bassline to the sound of Plaits and tELHARMONIC, or just a mayhem of distorted sounds alltogether 😁

Another interesting tidbit about combining 2 Rackbrutes is that, by default, the lower half mounts "upside down", as can be seen in this video by BoBeats. This means the power supply of the lower Rackbrute will be in the bottom right, which disturbed me. However, by unscrewing the wooden side panels it's possible to "flip" the internal assembly so that the hinge can be mounted on the other side, making the two Rackbrutes in the same orientation again. Definitely something you'll want to do when getting your second Rackbrute!


To add to @JimHowell1970's excellent answer: I designed to top two rows to be completely usable as a synth on its own - VCOs into VCF into VCAs with lots of modulation capabilities. The Grids can be used as the clock source and the Pico DSP can be considered its "output module". I have a Twisted Electrons Crazy8 laying around that I can use as the sequencer.

Curious as to why the variety of VCAs…why wouldn’t you just use one type of VCA multiple times? For example, you have the 3X VCA and then also the Veils quad VCA in the top row…why not just two of the Veils? Is it for different functionality that some have vs others? Different sonics? Looks like the Tallin is also a VCA?

Another interesting tidbit about combining 2 Rackbrutes is that, by default, the lower half mounts "upside down", as can be seen in this video by BoBeats. This means the power supply of the lower Rackbrute will be in the bottom right, which disturbed me. However, by unscrewing the wooden side panels it's possible to "flip" the internal assembly so that the hinge can be mounted on the other side, making the two Rackbrutes in the same orientation again. Definitely something you'll want to do when getting your second Rackbrute!
-- splendor

That is a great tip to know, thanks! I’m probably a good couple years away from that :) I do have the Arturia mini brute 2 which I was thinking to mount to the 6U…second guessing myself as to whether I maybe should have gotten the 2S instead for the sequencing

JB


Curious as to why the variety of VCAs…why wouldn’t you just use one type of VCA multiple times? For example, you have the 3X VCA and then also the Veils quad VCA in the top row…why not just two of the Veils? Is it for different functionality that some have vs others? Different sonics? Looks like the Tallin is also a VCA?

Well, I just love VCAs, and each one has a different quality. The HN VCA has attenuverters so they can be used for inverting envelopes and even AM synthesis, the Tallin has 3 kinds of distortion to choose from, and Veils has offset and linear/exponential controls. Besides audio, I also like to use them for control voltages and as switches in logic patches. You can never have too many VCAs!

I do have the Arturia mini brute 2 which I was thinking to mount to the 6U…second guessing myself as to whether I maybe should have gotten the 2S instead for the sequencing

If it's any consolidation, I had the MiniBrute 2S before I got my second Rackbrute, and I was always second guessing myself on whether I should have gotten the one with the keyboard :-D


Effective VCA complements sort of REQUIRE different VCAs...since you can't really use an exponential (for audio, primarily) VCA to control modulation signal amplitudes. You've basically got those two types: linear, in which voltage relationships are maintained, and exponential, where the signal follows our psychoacoustic exponential hearing profile. Also, most of the latter tend to be AC-coupled and won't pass a signal below a certain frequency, generally in the subsonic range. Linear VCAs, though, tend to be DC-coupled, which allows modulation and other subsonic signals to be processed by the VCA.

Then there's the Veils and the Intellijel Quad VCA. These are DC-coupled...but have a curve control that lets them work on a smooth continuum between linear and exponential response. Far as I'm concerned, these (and designs based on the Veils topology) are the "standard" as long as you have the space for them. Now, you see me (and others) using the Happy Nerding 3xVCA for modulation VCAs...and these are perfect for that in terms of space needed (6 hp) vs amenities offered (three linear VCAs) as you probably won't use those for audio. So when you have an obvious application that requires something other than that sweepable curve, sure, use different VCAs.


Hi Splendor, thanks for sharing!
Maybe this is a bit off topic but how do you like the ergonomics of the two RackBrutes? The lower part is laying flat on the table and the top part in an almost 90 degrees angle, if I see it correctly. Quite often I see „angled systems“, so I wonder if you had any issues with that (I‘m noob, so haven’t tried out myself).
Regards, C.


Maybe this is a bit off topic but how do you like the ergonomics of the two RackBrutes?

Both horizontal and vertical positions have pros and cons:

Horizontal pros: right underneath your fingers, supports cables, headphones, and coffee cups
Horizontal cons: looking at it from an angle, gathers dust more quickly
Vertical pros: better visibility, less desk space, can use it as a phone stand
Vertical cons: slightly more effort to reach

The benefit of combining both a horizontal and a vertical case is that I only need short cables to connect lower modules to upper modules. The added benefit of the Rackbrute is that it can be folded up for transport.

If you're starting out, I'd recommend getting a vertical setup first. It looks nicer and takes up less space. I've always admired the no-nonsense stackable Doepfer cases for that purpose 👍


by unscrewing the wooden side panels it's possible to "flip" the internal assembly so that the hinge can be mounted on the other side, making the two Rackbrutes in the same orientation again. Definitely something you'll want to do when getting your second Rackbrute!

-- splendor

So good to know, thanks. I can finally put the ES-9 in the far right of the bottom RackBrute!

The screws on the side panels are Torx, right? I've never come across these before. Do you know what size screwdriver you need? Just wanna make sure I order the right one.

Thanks again for this super useful tip - your setup is fantastic.


The screws on the side panels are Torx, right? I've never come across these before. Do you know what size screwdriver you need? Just wanna make sure I order the right one.
-- Manbearpignick

The best solution here would be to hit a home improvement store and pick up a set of Torx drivers. Not all that expensive, plus if you run across other Torx-fitted stuff, you're covered.