ModularGrid Rack

I have ~174 hp I am want to fill. I am looking for suggestion for something that will be new and interesting with this rack.

This is also accompanied by a Make Noise Black and Gold plus and an Erica Synths Black System.

just looking for some cool modules I have not though of that don't duplicate what I already have.


Is this a real rack that you have? Don't you find yourself running out of modulation?


Yeah, I'm thinking envelopes, random, and probably VCAs. Maybe a Voltage Block too?


Is this a real rack that you have? Don't you find yourself running out of modulation?
-- etckla
yes. its just grown overtime. I have semi modular stuff that i use for lots of that. was hoping to find some new modules I just have not heard to add to it.


Yeah, I'm thinking envelopes, random, and probably VCAs. Maybe a Voltage Block too?
-- farkas

i agree with these... suggestions on some interesting ones to check out? (actual modules)


Quadrax and Zadar for envelopes and more since you already have Maths. Triple Sloths or the Zlob Diode Chaos for random/chaos. VCAs are kind of a personal thing. I like the FSS Gristleizer VCA for a distorted character and the AJH MiniMod, but you might want to add some quantity with something like Veils or the Intellijel Quad VCA. For 8 channels of stepped modulation I definitely recommend the Voltage Block. I love that thing for giving me that last little bit of movement that I need.
Have fun and good luck!


Looking at your rack again, I'm feeling like I would want something like the WMD Performance Mixer if you don't have an external mixing solution that you already prefer. I would probably want some attenuverters too, something like the Happy Nerding 3xMIA if you can find those. I know that were out of stock for a while.


OK you should fill the rest of the rack with NLC chaos modulation modules and a metric tonne of VCAs


I like farkas's suggestion, actually. A build of this size could 100% benefit from a comprehensive mixer like that WMD, especially if you pick up the extra fader and mutes modules. It works very well as a final level VCA per channel, plus also, something like that can handle your autopanning, put CV control over your FX send/returns, and give you mutes on every input. Even better, if you add Happy Nerding's OUT, you then get one more parallel stereo input that can be mixed with the mixer's output, and this is a perfect way to slot in one more stereo FX return on your main stereo outs.

Also, take a very critical mindset regarding the modules you currently have, and start considering whether or not they effectively fill their spaces. For example, I see a Make Noise Function in the next-to-lowest row, and that occupies 8 hp and only gives you a single two-stage envelope. If you swapped that for a Doepfer A-140-2, you could fit TWO ADSR generators into the same space...or you could go with their A-142-4, which gives you four independent Schmitt triggers (instant attack, manual control over decay). The Erica stuff isn't particularly "function-dense", so you might consider whether something that provides more functionality would be a good substitute for what's there presently.


Some module suggestions:

-- Erogenous Tones units would be my top suggestions as you could add a LOT of envelopes, simple LFOs, VCAs, attenuverters etc with a few modules, e.g., get a lot of "power up" to your rig with little HP by using these very "dense" modules. I consider something like 4ms SISM or ET Levit8 critical in a medium to large system; I need at least 1 SISM if not more in a big build. ET VC8 would be a very HP efficient way to add VCAs if you're needing more.
-- Instruo Ochd, I see you already have, but honestly you could stand even more LFOs in a rig this size? Ochd is a great choice, I have multiples. I love Mutable Instruments Tides, but that is rather different from Ochd. If you're going to get ET Radar, those 8 lanes can be used as simple LFOs or as envelopes
-- WMD performance mixer, as others have said, just makes a ton of sense with a system this big
-- the Random and Chaos type units from NonLinear Circuits are IMO very interesting and on my list of "next" modules
-- if you wanted to add further sources and filters, the Rossum stuff is great. Their filters have really changed my mind what a filter is.

Other comments:
-- looking at your build and comments, I'm seeing a ton from Erica (Techno, Fusion, Black systems), MN Black and Gold, and a major portion of the Instruo lineup. Can you share with us a little i) how you got to your existing system ii) some of your goals / vision for your system as it evolves? That would help us give a bit more tailored input

-- if I had the units you do, I would probably focus next on adding a significant number of "boring" modules, utilities and such, to "superpower" the modules already possessed. IMO the "boring" modules are hardest to understand initially, but go a very long way to add depth and playability to a modular system. My early systems were overly skewed towards sound sources; as a result, the system seemed "flat" (e.g. lacking real depth, power, complexity). It was adding a big complement of "supporting lineup" modules that really balanced my rig and gave it a lot of depth and interest. I think this rig could get a great lift from an added complement of utilities. To that end, practically, I'd suggest you scan through the more "humble" looking offerings from Doepfer and Ladik; for not a lot of $s or HP you could really add a ton of function and depth to your rig. The options from Deopfer and Ladik are too numerous to list, and particular selections really depend on what direction you'd like to take your rig.

-- what are the semimodular items you mentioned using for a lot of modulation etc? It's kind of hard to get a real sense of your setup without knowing the significant external items you link to the modular to fulfill some needed modular functions. Maybe you don't need some of the items I'm suggesting because they're already represented in your semi-modular?

Hope this helps some! Cheers, Nicholas


Quadrax and Zadar for envelopes and more since you already have Maths. Triple Sloths or the Zlob Diode Chaos for random/chaos. VCAs are kind of a personal thing. I like the FSS Gristleizer VCA for a distorted character and the AJH MiniMod, but you might want to add some quantity with something like Veils or the Intellijel Quad VCA. For 8 channels of stepped modulation I definitely recommend the Voltage Block. I love that thing for giving me that last little bit of movement that I need.
Have fun and good luck!
-- farkas

thank you! i have really been eying quadrax and zadar. Others I will give them a look. appreciate it.


Looking at your rack again, I'm feeling like I would want something like the WMD Performance Mixer if you don't have an external mixing solution that you already prefer. I would probably want some attenuverters too, something like the Happy Nerding 3xMIA if you can find those. I know that were out of stock for a while.
-- farkas
i do use an external mixer.. but i really want that WMD just cant justify the hp since i already have an external one.

will check out the 3xmia :)


I like farkas's suggestion, actually. A build of this size could 100% benefit from a comprehensive mixer like that WMD, especially if you pick up the extra fader and mutes modules. It works very well as a final level VCA per channel, plus also, something like that can handle your autopanning, put CV control over your FX send/returns, and give you mutes on every input. Even better, if you add Happy Nerding's OUT, you then get one more parallel stereo input that can be mixed with the mixer's output, and this is a perfect way to slot in one more stereo FX return on your main stereo outs.

Also, take a very critical mindset regarding the modules you currently have, and start considering whether or not they effectively fill their spaces. For example, I see a Make Noise Function in the next-to-lowest row, and that occupies 8 hp and only gives you a single two-stage envelope. If you swapped that for a Doepfer A-140-2, you could fit TWO ADSR generators into the same space...or you could go with their A-142-4, which gives you four independent Schmitt triggers (instant attack, manual control over decay). The Erica stuff isn't particularly "function-dense", so you might consider whether something that provides more functionality would be a good substitute for what's there presently.
-- Lugia

i had not seen the WMD with the 2 extra modules. Honestly i really like this idea. The HN out not sure what that would add as i have and out on my black system and black and gold already. but perhaps I am missing something?

I get you on the hp vs function. I get attached to my modules, very hard to part with them. I would almost prefer to justr get another rack ;) but great advice.


OK you should fill the rest of the rack with NLC chaos modulation modules and a metric tonne of VCAs
-- etckla

hmm never heard of this.. but thats a cool module for sure! will check it out.


Some module suggestions:

-- Erogenous Tones units would be my top suggestions as you could add a LOT of envelopes, simple LFOs, VCAs, attenuverters etc with a few modules, e.g., get a lot of "power up" to your rig with little HP by using these very "dense" modules. I consider something like 4ms SISM or ET Levit8 critical in a medium to large system; I need at least 1 SISM if not more in a big build. ET VC8 would be a very HP efficient way to add VCAs if you're needing more.
-- Instruo Ochd, I see you already have, but honestly you could stand even more LFOs in a rig this size? Ochd is a great choice, I have multiples. I love Mutable Instruments Tides, but that is rather different from Ochd. If you're going to get ET Radar, those 8 lanes can be used as simple LFOs or as envelopes
-- WMD performance mixer, as others have said, just makes a ton of sense with a system this big
-- the Random and Chaos type units from NonLinear Circuits are IMO very interesting and on my list of "next" modules
-- if you wanted to add further sources and filters, the Rossum stuff is great. Their filters have really changed my mind what a filter is.

Other comments:
-- looking at your build and comments, I'm seeing a ton from Erica (Techno, Fusion, Black systems), MN Black and Gold, and a major portion of the Instruo lineup. Can you share with us a little i) how you got to your existing system ii) some of your goals / vision for your system as it evolves? That would help us give a bit more tailored input

-- if I had the units you do, I would probably focus next on adding a significant number of "boring" modules, utilities and such, to "superpower" the modules already possessed. IMO the "boring" modules are hardest to understand initially, but go a very long way to add depth and playability to a modular system. My early systems were overly skewed towards sound sources; as a result, the system seemed "flat" (e.g. lacking real depth, power, complexity). It was adding a big complement of "supporting lineup" modules that really balanced my rig and gave it a lot of depth and interest. I think this rig could get a great lift from an added complement of utilities. To that end, practically, I'd suggest you scan through the more "humble" looking offerings from Doepfer and Ladik; for not a lot of $s or HP you could really add a ton of function and depth to your rig. The options from Deopfer and Ladik are too numerous to list, and particular selections really depend on what direction you'd like to take your rig.

-- what are the semimodular items you mentioned using for a lot of modulation etc? It's kind of hard to get a real sense of your setup without knowing the significant external items you link to the modular to fulfill some needed modular functions. Maybe you don't need some of the items I'm suggesting because they're already represented in your semi-modular?

Hope this helps some! Cheers, Nicholas
-- nickgreenberg

Thanks! i am really liking the idea of the WMD plus the ET modules.
re: other stuff - m32, dfam, subharmonicon, matriarch, odyssey, ms20 are what i use primarily with the modular stuff. I mostly sequence from the DAW and keystep pro.

why these modules: I started with the ES black system so i had an attachment to their stuff, the others just came as i heard them and thought I wanted to make something with them. I use the system for non-atmospheric music. So in actually structured songs. At this stage (since i finally got everything in one large case) I want to make it more functional, like you said with "boring" modules. I appreciate the feedback.

also thinking if i get the WMD i can get rid of the roland 531 and free up 20 hp. Only other modules i am considering removing is the ES Toms (another 16hp). I think i can do without the "mutes" for wmd because this is a studio only rig. I will research today and post a new build with these ideas.


@tenebre6 whilst you are upgrading modulation I would seriously consider upgrading utilities too - adding a matrix mixer for combining modulation sources and a mutable kinks if you can find one, or the functions it has in other modules - sample and hold (there's the divkid one), logic (I like joranalogue compare2) and rectification

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


appreciate the feedback so far. just a note any order i make takes 2 months to arrive, returns 6 months if its even possible and I cant demo any module prior to purchase. so i have to rely on reviews and youtube videos. So i deeply appreciate the feedback.

here is an updated. The wmd mixer helps with lots of functions. I checked everything suggested and I put in then rack the modules i liked AND could actually acquire. Lots of the modules are "out of stock" or "pre-order" which makes it difficult for me to ever get.
a real bummer as i liked the xoac and EG stuff a lot.

I am definitely looking for the "boring" modules at this stage, so appreciate the ideas. (the roland 531 is not in the rack because i think i could sell that with the wmd , just repetitive.


I see you're using a lot of Erica TUBE/Fusion modules as well as the Plasma Drive. What is your power supply situation?

To add some interest... a Trigger Riot, for complex pattern generation might be fun for your drum situation.
A Worng Electronics Vector Space for complex modulation possibilities.
A Noise Engineering Mimetic Digitalis for adding some stepped CV modulation into the equation (lots of fun hooked up to the Trigger Riot).


I see you're using a lot of Erica TUBE/Fusion modules as well as the Plasma Drive. What is your power supply situation?

To add some interest... a Trigger Riot, for complex pattern generation might be fun for your drum situation.
A Worng Electronics Vector Space for complex modulation possibilities.
A Noise Engineering Mimetic Digitalis for adding some stepped CV modulation into the equation (lots of fun hooked up to the Trigger Riot).
-- Ronin1973

new rack has 5 separate doepfer PS. it was custom built with my modules in mind, so power left to spare :)

really like that Vector Space and the Mimetic Digitalis but both appear to be out of stock :( lots of good suggestions so far but most of the modules aren't easily purchasable. thats Vector is wicked cool though!


really like that Vector Space and the Mimetic Digitalis but both appear to be out of stock :( lots of good suggestions so far but most of the modules aren't easily purchasable. thats Vector is wicked cool though!

-- tenebre6

Just did a quick check of Reverb.com. There's a new Vector Space in the UK going for $250US. The seller seems to have good feedback.


really like that Vector Space and the Mimetic Digitalis but both appear to be out of stock :( lots of good suggestions so far but most of the modules aren't easily purchasable. thats Vector is wicked cool though!

-- tenebre6

Just did a quick check of Reverb.com. There's a new Vector Space in the UK going for $250US. The seller seems to have good feedback.

-- Ronin1973

appreciate it! looking to buy after 1 month once i figure out exactly what i want ;)