I am trying to figure out my first rack, I am into most experimental sounds and messing around combining and dividing to get weird and crazy stuff, but sometimes get musical things out of it. I don't need percussions, nor bass lines oriented modules. I can always get another Tiptop 208 case, there is no pressure for space, not travel or mobile stuff.
I will use the Korg SQ-64 as the brain sequencer, clock and quantizer. The TR-8S as my drum machine and Behringer Model D for the bass line. In conclusion I just want a extremely focused noise mutable Lead sound rig. Apart for the 208HP, I want to build a 108HP mono/stereo effect rig. I have both of them Public, I will pay attention to all the experts ideas and helping comments if I ever get one.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Here is the second part of this rack with lot of changes:
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Lots of audio...but very little in the way of control or modulation. That's a huge stumbling block, as you NEED the control and mod modules in order to get the audio stuff to do what you want. If I were you, I'd go back and delete this, then majorly rethink the bottom row so that you finally do have the right mod/control complement.

Another point, also...the Z8000 and the Pitt Double Helix are hella huge. Taken together, they occupy 56 hp of the total 208, which is close to 1/4th of the entire build. I noticed that you don't have a problem with a second Mantis...which is good, because if you insist on using these, you're going to NEED that second cab. It's not just that they take up 56 hp, either...you also have to factor in ancillary modules for these. The Z8000, for example, has no quantizer onboard...so there's an extra module. Then you'll want some way to make the clocking more elaborate, which lets the Z8000 really get into complex behavior, especially with some Boolean logic onhand. So...yet more modules. Etc.

Instead of the "Buy another Mantis" option here, try and come up with ways to replicate the behavior you want in the build...but smaller, and with more onboard features. For example, the Squarp Hermod is only two hp smaller than the Z8000...but at the same time, the Hermod has EIGHT channels, MIDI interfacing, quantizing, and so on, which eliminates the space requirement for those ancillary modules.

One other point, also...don't assume that you're going to build a separate effects build, because you'll invariably find that you'll want the use of some of the "main" build's modules. It would make more sense to build up a single, unitized system that contains all of these features and then you can have numerous interrelated patches running FX and sound generation, sometimes even in sync with each other.

Thank you very much!!

I more or less understand your concerns and points and I can see clearly the overall is focused in space, lucky for me, this is not a major problem, but I clearly understood the point. I need to say something on this matter, I literally don't have small hands, and it won't be fun play around with smalls nobs and cumbersome 2HP/4HP modules here and there. I had to decide for the small mixers as a way to get some extra space, but I am still thinking on it. But certainly you are right, I need to look for another OSC, I need two VCO for sure, but they can be smaller than the PitsM. I was already thinking about it.

I know the Z8000 is huge and it can't work alone, but I will paired with the Korg SQ-64. And I will definitely look the Hermod module, this is exactly the reason I opened this thread.

And, yes, I need to think more about the clocking system, but overall the SQ-64 will take care of everything externally, I didn't mean to build a stand-alone rack, I will use my external gear with it. The SQ-64 can handle almost everything regarding sequencing, quantizing, clocking, even step gating/clocking the Z8000 Clock inputs. But, you are certainly right, I need to think more on this.

About Clock system modules, what could be my best option, taking in consideration I can generate divider/multiplier clocks from the Expert Sleepers FH-2 module when needed too. I was thinking in something like the 4ms QDC, but it takes 22HP with its expander.

Thanks again, I appreciate it.

Edit: I expanded the rack to 416HP, to show the two Mantis is a fact.

A few questions...
There are a few things you seem to have more and more of... like wavefolders.. I see two of them. Do you foresee needing two of them? Is there something about each that the other can't duplicate? The same question for the Intellijel "Outs" and "Audio I/O".

If you're concentrating on mangling, some sort of sample playback/mangling module might be nice... like a Morphegine.

You might want to consider something like a Trigger Riot. You'll hear a lot about clock... surely... but having odd rhythmic triggers controlling sequencer steps, etc. are great for strange results.

The Black Modulator is nice. But it doubles up as S&H as well as an LFO. You can keep it. But I would also get a dedicated LFO module that is fully featured with sync, reset, CV etc. You may want to use both S&H and an LFO at once without compromising.

Try the FH2 for clock... certainly. But you may get a little frustrated with the module having to menu dive.

You are right about the wavefolder modules, I will get rip of one of them for sure. I will most probably keep the bifold for the Xfader option, I need it.
Regarding the Ins/Outs, I do need both at the same time; the top one is for getting in external stereo/mono audio, process it and send it back to the external mixer while the bottom one does what it has to do.
And yes, I am thinking in a sampler playback unit, and definitely you are right again, the Morphagene is one of my options, but most probably I will go for a most simple module on that aspect.
I read about the Riot, but I think it is not for me, I can still do random stuff with the same amount of outputs on the SQ-64. And I was thinking in something a little most elaborated for generating a smaller amount of gates in case of need, like Marbles.
You are right with the Black Module, I was thinking the same, you can't use the S&H and LFO at the same time. It is so bad.
But If I decide to go with the FH-2 instead of the most simple Intellijel unit, I will have LFOs from there. And MOE outputs can generate LFOs too.
If you have a nice LFO on mind, let me know.

Edit: I think I better look for a separated S&H module instead of looking for another LFO. ^^

You certainly have lots of good points.
Thank you very much for your thoughts.

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For modulation and clocking, two staples that I own and love are Batumi quad LFO and Pamela's New Workout. Both are superb and powerful modules that can do a lot of things.

Thank you very much!!
I definitely added both of them, I knew about the Pamela, but it is a little troublesome to get a new one.
Where can I get a new one in USA online stores?

You can search on Wiggle Hunt
Wiggle Hunt (Global modular synth gear search)

Looks like Control and Detroit Modular Have them

Thank you very much!!

OK...now that the 416 hp cab is in play, I did some major adjustments to the initial version of that. There was a lot of superfluous stuff in that, and that was dealt with pretty quickly. For one thing, the only mult that's in here now is the 1 x 8 Erica buffered mult on the top row. As for the rest, just use inline mult widgets, and you'll be fine; you don't need several buffered mults, as their primary use is to keep scaled/quantized CVs on pitch by avoiding voltage sag. The Studio Electronics mixers also went away, as they're just too big for a build of this size. Once I got things pared down to size, I dove into the rework. So...
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On the layout: things have been majorly regrouped in favor of function groupings, instead of splaying out all of the various "voices" all over the build. This actually makes the result much more intuitive and easier to patch.

Top row: This is all audio. The buffered mult is first, then the two Pitt oscillators, and then the Bifold. After this, you have the Mob of Emus...and I gave that a Bubblesound hex VCA so that every output of the Mob can now be brought under modulation control via the VCAs. The ONE got co-located with the Beads (a sensible pairing) and then the Panharmonium ends things up with more VCO processing.

Second row: Modulation left, filtering right. The mod sources here (except for a slew limiter, which fits into the signal flow between your MIDI interface and the buffered mult for the oscillator CVs) are all envelopes: Quadrax, Zadar, Dual ADSR, and the Quadrax and Zadar have their expanders. The other side is mostly filtering: Forbidden Planet, Linnaeus, Rings, then a Veils gives you CV control over the levels of four signals. Now, how that works is like this: if you wanted a signal via the Linneaus AND the Rings, you'd patch the left outs into the first and second VCAs, and the rights go to the third and fourth. With the way that the Veils' "breakout bus" works, you then take outputs from 2 and 4, and then you have two stereo pairs under full VCA control. The last bit there is a stereo summing mixer that lets you sum down three stereo signals to one stereo output pair.

Third row: Again, this is split with more modulation and control on the left, and your FX on the right. The MIDI interface is first, then a more complex dual sample and hold with an internal noise source. After that, the Batumi (with Poti), a triple linear VCA for CV/mod control over modulation signal levels, and the MISO fits in before the Maths. Then the FX themselves, with the two Tiptop modules up first, then the Mimeophon and Warps. The Dual Black FX was removed mainly due to redundancy, plus the new output mixer allows a lot more flexibility in terms of FX routing, as you'll see.

Bottom row: Control on most of this, with the main mixer taking up the right end. The left end's small modules all play around with timing: the Pam's, an Adventure Audio clock counter, a quad pulse delay for shifting/swinging clock pulses, a dual-channel stochastic pulse skipper, then a Joranalogue dual window comparator, which allows you to pick off gates from modulation signals or when any CV exceeds a given value. This is a window comparator, also, so you actually get THREE pickoffs per inputted mod signal. And all of these timing modifiers get down to a dual Boolean gate from Frequency Central. All of this allows you to really mess with the clocking and triggering, especially where the control of the different layers in the Z8000 are concerned. One more little module gives you stereo audio inputs, and this is located next to the WMD Performance Mixer, which contains your final level VCAs per input, gives you two different AUX busses to feed your FX from the strips (and this is where those two Tiptop modules come in, since you can simultaneously use the ZVERB and ECHOZ and have them return to the mixer in parallel and NOT series, which is more of a pain to control), panning, your headphone preamp, and a number of other useful procedures.

Lastly, you'll see two little 1U modules on the left side on rows 2 and 3...those are KonstantLabs PWRchekrs, which let you have visual feedback of the health of your DC busses while you use the system.

Now, yes, there's a number of things that were removed...and really, I don't think you'll miss them at all. The big key here was to try and "multitask" as many modules as possible. For example, the dual S&H before was just a dual S&H; in this build, the noise source is integral with that and the module has more complex routings internally. And some other things were added, like the hex VCA after the Mob of Emus, which now lets you "strum" through the six different "voices" and then sum this down, either as stereo (with the lefts in 1-3, rights in 4-6) or mono (just use the mono out). There's a lot of that in here now. But this now has a pretty good balance between modulation, control, generation, modification, and utility across both the audio AND mod/control signal paths. And most importantly, there's plenty of that to go around to really make the audio aspects here shine.


You have given me lot of homework. I need to study a lot of this, especially those first meeting modules on there.
I understand your arrangement and why is that. It is cool.

What got my complete attention was the small 1HP power checkers, something so important I didn't know it does exist.

But, there is something I really need and you took out; the WMD stereo xfader and compressor, and so the Erica DSP2, these units are essentially to process external stereo audio source and sent it back to the external mixer w/o mixing with the internal audio line, the Intellijel IN/Out on top row in the rack was for that purpose..

My first conclusion is, I need to get out modules for external stereo processing to a small case, like the 4ms pods.

I appreciate all the perspectives and POV in this modular approach.
I need to check all those modules out and distribution, I will be busy for awhile. ^^

Thank you very much, again.

I got more or less what I want running on track now.

I haven't read a lot about all this as I'd like to do, but I am doing it slowly.
I am learning about he modules and reading some manuals and stuff, I am more the type to read big books and manuals instead of watching videos.
OK. I will summarize a little what external devices I have so you could make an idea why important and relevant modules are missing.

Korg SQ-64
Roland TR-8S (I don't need drums on the rack, the SQ-64 will move the drum machine)
Behringer Model D (Bassline here)

The Hydrasynth and the Microfreak complement all this.

Now, I won't be buying like crazy these modules, I will get a small desktop modular synth first.

I need to choose 2 out of these 4 units:
-Pittsburgh Lifeforms SV-1b
-Erica System Pico III
-Make Noise 0-Coast (But, as at the moment I want those Make Noise modules present on my rack, I will most likely ignore the 0-coast)
-Moog Subharmonicon

So, the rack is most likely to complement those devices, not mean to be stand-alone.
After I play around with them and learn more about modular and voltage stuff, I will start building the rack.
As I said before, I want lot of potential options of sound modifications and experimentation for main leads and crazy stuff.

I would love to have the Qu-bit chord module on the rack, but I can't find where I can fit it (physically)

Now to business, how does it looks?
I got rid of the Z8000, it won't help for my purpose after reading the manual, so I got more LFOs. Isn't it a bad idea to have lot of LFOs, right? or there is a better practice instead of wanting lot of modulation sources?
I got rid of the FXs modules (The Distings are safe, that isn't their main purpose on my rack anyway) I will be using my external pedal and FXs units. (FX2000, NTS-1 and Collider)
I got rid of the mixer, I will assign one of my mixers to this rack (VLZ4)

This is most likely all I wanted to say right now; ohhh BTW I have my doubts with the Pulsar, I'd love to have that module on my rack, but I am having a hard time trying to figure out the real purpose for it on my rack, so meanwhile I just put it beside Pamela.

@Ronin1973 @Lugia @JimHowell1970
Thank you very much to all the community.

The Hydrasynth and the Microfreak complement all this.

-- Hikove

I have a Hydrasynth that I'm building my modular around...although to be honest, its being built around that and the use of my DAW/VSTs and an Artura Minibrute 2 as well. I have an Arturia Minibrute 2 which will be added into the mix eventually and that is why for me, I chose to buy the Rackbrute 6U (much to the chagrin of many on here :) ) I currently have Maths and Quadrax that I am working through and its quite a rabbit hole using those with the Mod 1 and Mod 2 inputs on the Hydrasynth (I have the desktop version). I also just figured out how to use the Ring Modulation to accept audio into the Hydrasynth from my DAW and yet now another rabbit hole. Good luck with your build...I can't imagine doing anything but a slooooooow build with modular systems to get used to all the possibilities that it presents.


Excellet!! @jb61264

Yes, exactly what I want to do, explore slowly and integrate my gears into the modular world.

Thank you, and GL to you too.


More or less my project is taking form, I had to expand the design with a Intellijel case, the 1U row rocks.

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I read here and there and all of you are awesome. Pointing out even the most minimal details even with information of all kind.

Thank to all of you.