Hey! I just got into modular synthesis and decided a Minibrute 2S was a good place to start, and now it’s time to expand!

How’s this looking? What should I actually get?


it really depends what you are trying to aim for long term - this just adds a oscillator and a few basic effects

personally I would start by expanding the modulation capabilities some more

maths (see the 'maths illustrated supplement'), links, kinks, shades and veils (or modules that add the same functionality)

and then look at maybe adding another voice (sound source, sound modifier, modulation source) and ways to combine them more - a matrix mixer for modulation and an end of chain mixer (unless you have an external one already)

if you want to get the most variety out of your patches try to think in this ratio:

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

I would also suggest reading a load of other - 'how to expand my (insert name of semi-modular)' threads - they are all relevant

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


it really depends what you are trying to aim for long term - this just adds a oscillator and a few basic effects

personally I would start by expanding the modulation capabilities some more

maths (see the 'maths illustrated supplement'), links, kinks, shades and veils (or modules that add the same functionality)

and then look at maybe adding another voice (sound source, sound modifier, modulation source) and ways to combine them more - a matrix mixer for modulation and an end of chain mixer (unless you have an external one already)

if you want to get the most variety out of your patches try to think in this ratio:

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

I would also suggest reading a load of other - 'how to expand my (insert name of semi-modular)' threads - they are all relevant
-- JimHowell1970

Thank you! I think what I'm interested in mostly at first is things to add flavor to the sequences that I make with the S2. That's why I thought of reverb and delay and stuff like that...but I also would eventually like my system to allow me to make sequences of sounds I like, but also generative patches so it basically plays itself and I can manipulate it with settings and effects.


That sounds like a potential problem, actually. Remember, you only have 176 hp (of which 5 gets lost to the P/S module) in which to create something that does effects processing, sequenced patterns, AND generative processes. And from experience, it's possible to build something that DOES do all of that...but it ain't gonna fit in 176 hp. You're going to have to constrain the purposes here.

Since this is attached to a Minibrute 2s, go ahead and consider the sequencing part to be done. That simply leaves the timing aspects for that function. Effects: easy. There's even loads of space-efficient FX processors in the Eurorack domain.

Generative, however...to make really effective generative music, you need a LOT of modules that can transform one sort of signal into many different signals. So, we're talking about comparators for picking off gates from modulation signals, discriminators that can solve for minimum, maximum, or median control voltages, automated methods of globally changing modulation behavior, VCA complements that can function as mix automators, etc etc etc. Long list, basically. And if you don't go this complex, what you'll get will be the modular synth equivalent of one of those intensely-annoying "chirpy bird" electronic Xmas tree ornaments that only makes one or two sounds decently.

At the same time, it's TECHNICALLY possible to jam this all into a 176 hp cab...if you like moving three controls when you only meant to move one, and accidentally unplugging cables from a super-dense tangle of wires that overlays everything. There is a point at which you have to give way to the musical idea for the sake of making the musical instrument playable, though. In short, you might either want to scale down what this build is intended to accomplish, or consider scaling the build UP to a point where it's possible to do generative w/o it being a total snafu.


That sounds like a potential problem, actually. Remember, you only have 176 hp (of which 5 gets lost to the P/S module) in which to create something that does effects processing, sequenced patterns, AND generative processes. And from experience, it's possible to build something that DOES do all of that...but it ain't gonna fit in 176 hp. You're going to have to constrain the purposes here.

Since this is attached to a Minibrute 2s, go ahead and consider the sequencing part to be done. That simply leaves the timing aspects for that function. Effects: easy. There's even loads of space-efficient FX processors in the Eurorack domain.

Generative, however...to make really effective generative music, you need a LOT of modules that can transform one sort of signal into many different signals. So, we're talking about comparators for picking off gates from modulation signals, discriminators that can solve for minimum, maximum, or median control voltages, automated methods of globally changing modulation behavior, VCA complements that can function as mix automators, etc etc etc. Long list, basically. And if you don't go this complex, what you'll get will be the modular synth equivalent of one of those intensely-annoying "chirpy bird" electronic Xmas tree ornaments that only makes one or two sounds decently.

At the same time, it's TECHNICALLY possible to jam this all into a 176 hp cab...if you like moving three controls when you only meant to move one, and accidentally unplugging cables from a super-dense tangle of wires that overlays everything. There is a point at which you have to give way to the musical idea for the sake of making the musical instrument playable, though. In short, you might either want to scale down what this build is intended to accomplish, or consider scaling the build UP to a point where it's possible to do generative w/o it being a total snafu.
-- Lugia

Thank you for that incite! I see what you're saying. I think I'll probably focus then on enhancing my sequences and standard synth capabilities (I sometimes plug a MIDI controller into it for the keys), while leaving room to begin a generative system which it sounds like I'll have to get another case to actually fully accomplish.

Does that sound like an actual direction? I know with modular, direction is everything. And if so, are these some good standard modules for a beginning?


They're OK, sure...although I think the choice of the Brains module would be better-fit by using the actual Plaits oscillator that Uli ripped off. Costs more, but it's a more ethical choice. As for the FX modules, it's a decent complement, but you might also look at some smaller modules with more capabilities (the FX Aid XL comes to mind here) as keeping things small but playable is one of the keys to making this work. This will involve going to smaller modules, but at the same time you want to establish a point at which things get TOO dense for playability to work for your methods.

Another possibility would be to go with a complex oscillator, something a bit more Buchla-ish. With many of these, you get a continuum of variable timbres instead of the fixed wavetables of the Plaits. Bigger, yep, and more expensive...but more versatile in terms of the timbral variety. You also don't necessarily need a second oscillator for detuning and FM with one of those, since the "second oscillator" is already part of the module.

And while working out the build, try and aim for modules that offer multiple functions. For instance, while it's possible to get separate VCAs in modules, you want VCA modules that can also mix, preferably with a "breakable" mixbus like the Veils or Intellijel's Quad VCA. Or if you want something that distorts, look for devices that get tagged as "character" mixers, etc, that let you submix signals while, at the same time, offering a distortion/waveshaping capability. That sort of thing also helps economize space in a small cab such as the Rackbrute 6U.


They're OK, sure...although I think the choice of the Brains module would be better-fit by using the actual Plaits oscillator that Uli ripped off. Costs more, but it's a more ethical choice. As for the FX modules, it's a decent complement, but you might also look at some smaller modules with more capabilities (the FX Aid XL comes to mind here) as keeping things small but playable is one of the keys to making this work. This will involve going to smaller modules, but at the same time you want to establish a point at which things get TOO dense for playability to work for your methods.

Another possibility would be to go with a complex oscillator, something a bit more Buchla-ish. With many of these, you get a continuum of variable timbres instead of the fixed wavetables of the Plaits. Bigger, yep, and more expensive...but more versatile in terms of the timbral variety. You also don't necessarily need a second oscillator for detuning and FM with one of those, since the "second oscillator" is already part of the module.

And while working out the build, try and aim for modules that offer multiple functions. For instance, while it's possible to get separate VCAs in modules, you want VCA modules that can also mix, preferably with a "breakable" mixbus like the Veils or Intellijel's Quad VCA. Or if you want something that distorts, look for devices that get tagged as "character" mixers, etc, that let you submix signals while, at the same time, offering a distortion/waveshaping capability. That sort of thing also helps economize space in a small cab such as the Rackbrute 6U.
-- Lugia

Dude, thank you so much for your comments! I didn’t really know the ethical dilemmas with Behringer, so thank you for putting me onto that. I’ll swap out the Brains for the Plaits and just spend the extra $100. As for getting too dense to playability, that’s for sure a concern. I saw the Dreadbox modules in a video and was impressed with the sound for the price point, and I also like having my delay and reverbs in separate units. But with that said, I’ll shop around a little more.

Just made some changes to my rack up there. Let me know whatcha think. Also, any suggestions for great, smaller effects modules on the cheaper end would be wonderful!


The MiniBrute 2S has a CV clock in and clock out. This means you can sync additional sequencers to the MiniBrute. You noted that you were using the internal sequencer. What you can ALSO do, is trigger more modulation via an external sequencer or other sound modules, reset LFOs, etc. I believe the 2S sequencer only handles gate and pitch (one channel of CV).

Sequencers come in all sorts of styles, shapes, and sizes. So what works best for you I wouldn't know. But it's something to think about if you're "expanding" your MiniBrute.


Plus, there are entire categories of modules that can modify clock signals in various ways. You can count, divide, multiply and delay the pulses, add swing, shuffle, randomly skip pulses, alter the pulsewidth...and then, you've got Boolean logic, where you can take "normal" and "altered" pulses, slam 'em together, and get various other gate pulses out the other side. Logic modules are also super-useful for taking the gates from comparators and derivators, and using those as either "off" or "on" switches for more patch actions.

Tampering with clocking and gates works especially well with a second (third, etc) sequencer. For example, you could add one of Ladik's 4 hp 4-steppers, use that to change the tuning for the main sequencer, but only trigger the Ladik sequencer to shift steps when a certain combo of gates pass a logic gate.