ModularGrid Rack

Currently using a DFAM/Mother32 and marbles/plaits/pams/zadar combo and having a decent time but it's time to find a bigger case! (and more effects modules)

I've put together this system using mostly modules from the manufacturers that I think are doing the most interesting stuff in the space: Mutable Instruments and Make Noise. Paired with the intellijel 1U stuff, I think this is going to do what I want it to do (make stuff to go over external drum sequences) and be flexible enough to stay interesting for a long time.

I'm mostly wondering whether the layout works well enough (tried to order it left to right going clock sources --> sequencing/utilities --> voices --> effects --> mix out), and if I have a good enough mix of sound sources, effects and utilities.


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layout is difficult - it's personal and there are patch cables of all sizes.. so no need to worry about that - find something that works for you - it may take a few goes over a few months

personally if you want all the modules in this case I would get an even bigger case to start with (or at the very least keep the case you have too), as you could almost definitely do with another row - mostly for imo utilities for manipulating CV - plus the most important Make Noise module of all: Maths

I find this ratio is a good starting point:

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

because you can send the same sound source to multiple sound modifiers, you need a lot of modulation in order to support the sound modifiers and sources and you need plenty of utilities, for controlling, mixing, modifying and mult'ing with and without voltage control all the voltages running through the synthesizer - unless of course you want to 'perform' with the case - even then I prefer the use lots of modulation - adjust modulation and re-route it method of performance as opposed to the frenetic micro tweaking you often find on youtube

things that could be cut back - sequencing - there's a lot of sequencing in there for not that many voices - I would remove rene for now - keep it for case 2 or row 3 or whatever - and I'd probably think long and hard about replacing one or all of the make noise effects modules and beads with smaller modules that will do similar things in less space - 2 or 3 fx aid xls and optionally a disting ex will give you something similar but take up about a third the space - leaving room for more utilities - or just use the old case

the major shortage I think is mixing - yes there are quite a few mixers in there already, but I'd want a matrix mixer in there - mostly for mixing modulation sources - possibly more vcas and definitely more filters and a wave folder

I'd also look at upgrading mixup as an end of chain mixer - you have x number of audio outs from modules and x-y mixer channels - and think about the difference between mono and stereo and how you deal with that/need to be able to mix mono (panning/stereo-izaton) and stereo sources together etc

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


I agree with Jim on a bigger case and a bigger mixer, whether matrix or end-of-chain. Personally, I think the layout is pretty good. It makes sense to me anyway.
If this were my case, I think I would keep Rene and eliminate Marbles to add an analog oscillator (like a Dixie or Rubicon) and wave folder. But everyone has different needs and ideas, so have fun with it!


Thanks for all these replies Guys, super helpful! Rene is out (might go into the 60HP addon to DFAM and the mother32 with pams as an intermediary between the two systems), and so is wogglebug- I figure the noise tools is probably a good enough source of random.

Added maths, the matrix mixer, the MUM M8 filter and the uFold down the bottom.

ModularGrid Rack


just be aware the chances of getting a black maths are near 0 - they only come with the b&g shared system - the standard one is the one with white knobs

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


You could replace the grey front with a black version from Grayscale

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/grayscale-maths-v2-grayscale-black-panel


I'm mostly wondering whether the layout works well enough (tried to order it left to right going clock sources --> sequencing/utilities --> voices --> effects --> mix out), and if I have a good enough mix of sound sources, effects and utilities.
-- finkaven

I try to organize by function.
1. Oscillators
2. Filters
3. Modulation/VCAs
4. Effects
5. Sequencing
6. Mixing

At the top of the case or cases I'll have my oscillators and filters.
At the bottom of the case, and closest to my hands, I'll have sequencing and mixing. Basically everything that I will want to get at quickly and tweak. Your bottom row will be busy, but you won't have to patch OVER the top of those modules. That's something to keep in mind as cabling can get really gnarly in a complicated patch. Which brings us to patch cables. Short cables can be good... but extra long cables and a few Velcro ties can make management a LOT easier.