Hello modulargrid community! I'm brand new to modular but not producing music, where I've been for 5 years. I based this design on the 4U Palette Case from Intellijel at 104 HP. I've really liked the sounds from the Brains and DPO and figured I could use Maths, Morphagene, and X-Pan to make some crazy bass sounds. I think one really nice addition to this rack would be Scales, and if I remove the F-110 filter bank and Outs module I'm pretty sure I'd have enough room to fit that module. The only problem is I'd have to sacrifice some of the 1U VCA modules or I could remove the Steppy module since Scales is already a sequencer. What do you guys think?

Please feel free to critique everything, I'm here to do this right the first time!


I would personally opt for just one complex oscillator, on top of removing the 3u audio jacks in favour of utilizing a 1u outs module for that (or just get the headphone 1u module if you absolutely want phones connection).

whilst Maths is a serious modulator, I think you will quickly find a threshold for modulators if you need to use half for VCA control. I would personally choose the DPO over the Brains, however they are very different in execution. Complex timbres or lack thereof are great via the DPO sans a filter. The Brains being a Braids clone can handle lots of different styles of oscillator algorithms for output on top of drum engines built in.

If you just want a sick synth voice for bass/leads, I would pull the Brains, Filter, Steppy, Outs, and swap them for another complex modulator (maybe Mutable Stages - very handy for small cases). Scales is great, but the sequencing can become tedious compared to other sequencers (Sh101 style) so it may be something to consider with the extra space to check out something like the Muxlicer from Befaco or something with addressable steps that aren't super linear unless you want that. Theres so many great sequencers in modular, or the ability to create your own if clever.

The beauty of modular is the modulation/sequencing/switching schemes that result in complex tones/music accordingly. These modulations can still be done via hands somewhat, but you only have 2. The nice thing about the Morphagene is you can record passes of knob twists and layer on top, but you have to play that into your approach on any given patch.

X-Pan is a better mixer than VCA solution (it can be used as a general VCA, but somewhat overkill for what you need). I would swap that out for maybe a LxD or maybe Veils fader version for more VCA controls as needed. I would just feed that into the morphagene and feed the L/R directly to the outputs. The 1U VCAs are great for utility, but the lack of attenuation directly on them leave one wanting (same deal as LxD), you could use channels 2/3 on Maths for this I suppose.

I mocked up this skiff that I personally would rather see: More modulation options, attenuation/attenuverter options, focused on the main oscillator for tweaking. You have 4hp extra so in theory could throw a mutable marbles as the main sequencing option for more interesting/evolving patterns over time/modulation friendly. Unfortunately space fills up fast if you use modules that are 20HP+.


1st real critique - don't post links to jpegs - post links to public racks - then we can click through and help you better

ModularGrid Rack

I'd also generally agree with scalebrain

cases under 6u/84hp are best suited for a single voice - as there is not enough space to comfortably add the support modules that that are needed and often overlooked by beginners - although not that bad - take the b-company module out & everything to the right of morphagene and you've got a better start - personally I would recommend a bigger case to start with - there's a good chance that by the time you fill this case you will have realised that this is not a rack that you want to patch that much and that in order to get there you need more utility modules (and probably that 2nd voice) and are buying another case - when you could have just bought the right one in the first place for less

nb there are different types of sequencer - steppy is a trigger sequencer - scales has a melodic sequencer, but looks a little fiddly to be honest - if this is how you intend to program 'tunes' then I would consider looking elsewhere

it's often better to start with modules (or functions) that you want and work to the case from there - instead of starting with the case

it's also often better to start as simple as possible and grow organically from there rather than planning racks that may or may not work for you

get a bigger case (intellijel are quite premium - look nice but expensive for what they are) and just get a sound source, a modulation source, a sound modifier and a way to play and a way to listen (a quad cascading vca such as veils is an excellent choice for this)

get the ones you like the look/sound of most - so for example: dpo, maths, morphagene, veils and a decent sequencer (preferably that does gates as well as v/oct and preferably with an internal clock)

next up you should look at more utility modules and a decent filter and then more modulation before a second voice

this ratio seems to scale well for modulars to me:
sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities (including sequencers and controllers)

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

Unfortunately space fills up fast if you use modules that are 20HP+.

or the case is just too small - these beauty cases are great for focused systems especially for experienced synthesists, but as starter cases they are poor imo

good starter case sizes are 6u/104hp (mantis for example) or 9u/84hp (doepfer lc9) - both economically priced and with decent and proven power

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