ModularGrid Rack

Haven't shared much about my rack build progress since January I think, so here's a quick update for anyone interested.
Long story short, I started making music again in late 2019 after about 15 years away. Used to have a bunch of old hardware synths, some fairly desirable, and got really burnt out with computer recording so I just sold everything and didn't even miss it for a long time (except for my old Moog Rogue, dammit I miss that thing). I stumbled across some interviews with Genesis P. Orridge and Richard H. Kirk in late 2019 and got really inspired to make electronic music again, mostly just as a conceptual art project exploring repetition, noise, improvisation, and glitchiness. Got into modular because I always loved synths and had some disposable income throughout 2020. Tried a bunch of different modules and sounds feeling my way into eurorack-land, bought, sold, learned what I loved and hated, rearranged, added, removed, bought, sold, and rearranged again... and finally settled into a system I enjoy using. I've got just enough desk space (and cash) to add another 104hp and that should be enough for quite a while (famous last words, I know).
The sounds I really enjoy working with the most come from the years 1973-1983: pretty much simple primitive analog subtractive synthesis and recording techniques in the vein of Phaedra/Rubycon-era Tangerine Dream, Tin Drum-era Japan, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, Klaus Schulze, Michael Hoenig, Ashra, Fripp & Eno, early Human League, post-punk and goth... you get the idea.
I don't really gravitate towards granular, "west coast," or digital FM. Basically, I could make the kind of music I like with relatively simple equipment.
So, the rack pictured is what I already have with a few things included that I will be picking up shortly. I am very happy with the layout so no complaints about that. I have some ideas to fill the empty 48hp eventually, but I'm not in any hurry and would welcome your ideas if you think there are any modules that you think might suit the direction I'm increasingly heading in. I already have polyphonic sounds covered with a Prophet Rev2, a B-company VC340 string machine/vocoder, and Roland JV1010. I've got sampling covered with an MPC, so no real need to add that to the rack. I've been window shopping the SSF Vortices "character mixer," WORNG Soundstage stereo field filtered mixer, and Xaoc Devices Sarajewo analog syncable delay. That new WMD Kraken looks pretty sharp too. But I'm totally open to suggestions.
Lord knows I don't NEED any of this stuff, but it's always fun to hear others' perspectives. Thanks in advance for anyone who read this far or has suggestions. Have a great evening.


Wow, I feel so inadequate now sitting here looking at my Rackbrute 6U...lol
So much cool stuff in your setup, there's no way I could begin to make any real recommendations. I don't see anything like a Disting EX or maybe Ornament and Crime which may have some 'different' things for you to play around with since they have so many functions on them.

Couple of questions for you if you don't mind. How do you keep everything 'in synch'? I notice you have Pams, Eloquencer, Arpitect, etc...Do you use Pams to keep everything clocked together? Do you clock things separately but at the same time?...so not clocked from the same source?

Also, how are you using Warps? Do you have parasites firmware installed?

JB


@jb61264 Haha. Honestly, you probably make far more innovative music with your 6U Rackbrute than I do with this monstrosity. Lol
Yes, I use Pam's to sync everything. For the most part, PNW is my "start/stop" button and it serves as a master clock. I don't always take advantage of everything it can do but it's probably the most important part of my rack. I mult a few clock signals to the sequencers to keep everything in sync, and use the Moffenzeef Mito, Zularic Repetitor, and Branches for weird clock multiplications, divisions, etc. to trigger envelopes and drums.
I don't enjoy menu diving which is why you don't see O&C or Disting EX. I have a Disting Mk4 than comes in handy, but I've mostly invested in modules that specialize in what my favorite Disting algorithms offered in limited form. I'm mostly using it as a side chain compressor or tape delay now. O&C offers a few things that I would like to have, so that might be something to consider.
Warps is my most recent purchase. I haven't settled on a favorite setting yet. I do have Parasites and I've been having so much fun just trying all of the different settings. The binaural doppler panner, crossfolder, ring mods, and frequency shifter have been fun. I've mostly used it on drums, and need to spend more time with it. I haven't even tried out the delay yet, and it's supposed to be really good. I'm shocked Warps doesn't get more love. It was an instant keeper for me, but I have semi-weird taste I think.


Hey Farkas

This rack is awesome, so many modules I've never heard of,

Am I right in thinking that you could take the rhythms from the zularic and mix them together to get different rhythms out at bus A and bus B dependent on which way you toggle the switches?


Am I right in thinking that you could take the rhythms from the zularic and mix them together to get different rhythms out at bus A and bus B dependent on which way you toggle the switches?

-- greenfly
Hi @greenfly. Yep, that's exactly what I use the Short Bus for. I have multiple gate sources that I combine in that module and switch rhythms or add fills by hand. It can lead to some really fun results. And it's a passive module!


Hi Farkas,
I can REALLY recommend that XAOC Sarajewo you've been eyeing anyway. When you sync it to your PAMs and then step modulate the delay time... man - so many interesting and harmonically rich sounds! And a very hands on unit with absolutely no menu diving involved - which I love!
If you want to put some polyphony into your rack (and maybe sell some of your "outrack gear") I'd recommend Subharmonicon - best inspiration and harmony machine ever! Though it's 60 hp and carries a hefty price tag... Instruo Harmonaig and Saich make a great pair as well. I find it pretty handy to have those polyphonic elements integrated in my rack, but I guess you are good with your external polyphonics, so never mind ;-)


Thanks for the great suggestions @Jonau. I have REALLY wanted a Subharmonicon since it was released. I wonder what modules I could add to what I already have to get a similar experience. I can get subharmonic divisions with Maths and I have a few sequencers already. Hmmmm... I'm going to look deeper into patching a makeshift Subharmonicon. Great suggestion.
Also, the Sarajewo looks awesome. I have a powerful delay in the 4ms DLD, but something about the Sarajewo is very attractive to me. Thanks for sharing your experience.


Am I right in thinking that you could take the rhythms from the zularic and mix them together to get different rhythms out at bus A and bus B dependent on which way you toggle the switches?

-- greenfly
Hi @greenfly. Yep, that's exactly what I use the Short Bus for. I have multiple gate sources that I combine in that module and switch rhythms or add fills by hand. It can lead to some really fun results. And it's a passive module!

-- farkas

might have to get one of those then - I'm using the quad switch at the moment - I take a rhythm out of child 1 and child 2 and toggle between them. I wouldn't mind swapping between them both as that one is passive too.


another option is a passive switched multiple...

doepfer do one - Steevio, MylarMelodies and myself use these for combining triggers... in Steevio's words "I've been doing it for years... and it ain't broke out yet!"

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


@jb61264 Haha. Honestly, you probably make far more innovative music with your 6U Rackbrute than I do with this monstrosity. Lol

I seriously doubt that, especially at this point in my modular journey where I'm still trying to understand how to use VCAs efficiently...lol...most of the cool stuff i'm getting out my setup at this point is from modulating parameters on my Hydrasynth but I've been having more fun lately with using O_C and Disting EX together in the last couple weeks.

Yes, I use Pam's to sync everything. For the most part, PNW is my "start/stop" button and it serves as a master clock. I don't always take advantage of everything it can do but it's probably the most important part of my rack. I mult a few clock signals to the sequencers to keep everything in sync, and use the Moffenzeef Mito, Zularic Repetitor, and Branches for weird clock multiplications, divisions, etc. to trigger envelopes and drums.

Good to know you can use Pam's that way...I'm considering a Rackbrute 3U build to add...Pam's would be the first module I add.
Right now, my Beatstep Pro is my start/stop button to clock sync the Hydrasynth and then I use a couple stackcables from the clock out of the Hydrasynth to clock my Rackbrute 6U.

I don't enjoy menu diving which is why you don't see O&C or Disting EX. I have a Disting Mk4 than comes in handy, but I've mostly invested in modules that specialize in what my favorite Disting algorithms offered in limited form. I'm mostly using it as a side chain compressor or tape delay now. O&C offers a few things that I would like to have, so that might be something to consider.

I'm considering the Disting MK4 to replace the Ladik Slew Limiter in my setup as I believe it has a slew limiting function should I ever need/want to use it...I guess I just don't know enough about using slew limiter yet to know if its something I need a dedicated module for in my smaller setup...for me in just a Rackbrute 6U, the swiss army knife modules seem to make sense.

Warps is my most recent purchase. I haven't settled on a favorite setting yet. I do have Parasites and I've been having so much fun just trying all of the different settings. The binaural doppler panner, crossfolder, ring mods, and frequency shifter have been fun. I've mostly used it on drums, and need to spend more time with it. I haven't even tried out the delay yet, and it's supposed to be really good. I'm shocked Warps doesn't get more love. It was an instant keeper for me, but I have semi-weird taste I think.

Warps is a module that I've probably had the most fun with so far taking out from Hydrasynth and combining it with the internal osc in Warps to get some cool sounds...just need to figure out how to get those sounds to 'jump around' better now.

I do actually have two modules that may be worth considering...one is the QX Expander for your Quadrax...I finally got one for mine after waiting for months for them to be avaialable. The other is a module that I've looked closely at but it might be another 'menu dive' module that you're not keen on...u-he CVilization

JB


I actually bought the QX at the same time as Quadrax. It was pretty cool for patching up some generative kinds of sounds, but it started collecting a little dust and I sold it as I became focused on a more deliberate hands-on approach. I'm not familiar with the CVilization. I'll check into it. Thanks for the suggestion.
I was using the slew limiter function on Disting a lot at first and upgraded to the WMD Time Warp. I'm very happy with my choice there. I use the Time Warp in most of my patches.