Hi all,

I'm looking to dive into the world of generative music, and would love some thoughts on this rack (my first). I've already got an Arturia Minibrute 2s (seriously, it's a beast!), a Behringer model D, and an Arturia Keystep 37 for some external oscillators, lfo's, and sequencers, and am looking to expand into proper modular with the Rackbrute 6u. I'm hoping the above has a lot of functionality to get some cool generative sounds and rhythms going.

Is there anything I'm missing?
Are there any major redundancies?
Do you have any suggestions for alternate modules to that will help lower the price?
Do you have any suggestions on the organization in how it might relate to workflow?

Thanks so much, I'm really excited to go down this road. This pricey, pricey road.

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_1679044.jpg


nothing about this screams generative to me - how are you expecting to generate random sequences? and modify them over time?

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


Does the Minibrute 2s have a clock out? Assuming you'll be using that with your rack? You might get recommendations to use smaller modules, like maybe FX Aid XL instead of Beads, maybe Bastl Ciao! instead of the Audio Interface II and ALM headphone output...the idea being to free up some HP to add some additional VCAs or utility modules.

I have the Minibrute 2 (keyboard version) but I honestly haven't yet used it much and so am not sure if it has clock out capability. I have a Hydrasynth Desktop (which I use as a clock source for my Rackbrute 6U). I've read quite abit about trying to build drums into a smaller rack like this and to avoid it if possible (BIA)...do you really need that one since you have the Minibrute 2s? Just throwing things out there to consider...I'm farthest from being any sort of expert like others who will respond, but based on feedback I've gotten in the past, those are things I would look at initially.

Here's my Rackbrute 6U setup fyi if you're interested: ModularGrid Rack

JB


nothing about this screams generative to me - how are you expecting to generate random sequences? and modify them over time?
-- JimHowell1970

Thanks. Between the external gear I have 5 sequencers and 3 LFOs... I was thinking that these could be used with the PNW, Maths, and Logic to add randomness/change over time. Definitely seems like I've more research to do (no surprise there). Any suggestions of what type of modules I should be looking for?


Does the Minibrute 2s have a clock out? Assuming you'll be using that with your rack? You might get recommendations to use smaller modules, like maybe FX Aid XL instead of Beads, maybe Bastl Ciao! instead of the Audio Interface II and ALM headphone output...the idea being to free up some HP to add some additional VCAs or utility modules.

Yeah, the MB2s has a clock in/out, but I was thinking of having the PNW as the master clock. I'll look into the Bastl Ciao. Thanks for the suggestions!


Does the Minibrute 2s have a clock out? Assuming you'll be using that with your rack? You might get recommendations to use smaller modules, like maybe FX Aid XL instead of Beads, maybe Bastl Ciao! instead of the Audio Interface II and ALM headphone output...the idea being to free up some HP to add some additional VCAs or utility modules.

Yeah, the MB2s has a clock in/out, but I was thinking of having the PNW as the master clock. I'll look into the Bastl Ciao. Thanks for the suggestions!

-- HGsynth

Sounds good, i just mentioned the clock on the Minibrute because one of my goals was to conserve as much HP as possible for utilities, etc. Give yourself some options on your build page...for generative I think you probably want more LFO power? I have ornament and crime which I think can be useful for generative and also looked at Permutation (Grayscale) but ended up wanting to get Disting EX instead.

JB


Banged on it. Now, if you've got enough external devices, this should work quite well.
ModularGrid Rack
This is sort of upside-down from how I normally set things up, but I also know that the Arturia P/S likes to be in that upper-left corner. So the top row is the "control/modulation" row and the bottom is the voicing. Also, the width was wrong; Arturia's user notes state that the Rackbrutes are 88 hp, and that also opened up a couple of neat possibilities.

Top row: P/S, then this is where the Pam's modules wound up. To up your "variable module" game, the Disting went away, to be replaced by an Ornament&crime, which can serve as loads of different things...especially for that top row. After that is a dual window comparator...this is a generative MUST, as comparators allow you to pick off gates from LFOs and the like. And with this being a window comparator, you'll get more than just a single threshold-crossing for each incoming signal. After this is yet another useful thing, Tesseract's VC Logic...which sounds pretty much like what it is: two logic gates with CVable mode selection. Then there's a quad LFO for free-running LFO signals x 4, followed by an interesting Ladik LFO which has CV over rate AND wavefolding...yeah, you can screw with the LFO waveform! Maths is next, then you have a Frap 321 and a 3xVCA for modulation manipulation. Last, for envelopes, there's a Zadar with a Nin expander.

Bottom row: Big changes here. First off, the Doepfer A-119 allows a mono signal into the system AND extracts the envelope, sending that CV to a separate jack. You also get a gate when the level crosses your set threshold, which also can serve as a third comparator in a pinch. The single Plaits is now replaced with a Doepfer A-111-4 Quad VCO, giving you much more than you could get from a single VCO, it being Plaits notwithstanding. A Veils follows this to give you CV over amplitude plus VCO mixing. I swapped the Doepfer LPF for something MUCH more nifty, G-Storm's clone of the Korg Delta/Poly-61 VCF...which offers both LP and BP modes in your choice of 2- or 4-pole topology. The Polaris is next, with a PanMix jr. following that to serve as a manual mixer for your filter outs as well as providing stereo panning over those. The PanMix feeds a dual VCA for stereo mix level control, then it's on to the Beads, then an FX Aid XL takes that output and applies FX before the signal path hits the Isolator, which gives you transformer isolation on your outputs to help with noise/crud issues AND to give you a pair of transformers which you can "hit" a little hard to get some nice, euphonious saturation.

The big problem here is that, if this is supposed to be a generative system, it's a little "tight". I was able to add enough modulators and pick-offs to help with that, though. But this would really turn out better if I didn't have the Rackbrute constraint to work against. That's really the big stumbling block here; even putting the build into something slightly larger, like a Mantis, would give more working room to go with some larger/more ergonomic modules plus offer more room in general for additional functions. But for now, this is pretty serviceable.


The big problem here is that, if this is supposed to be a generative system, it's a little "tight". I was able to add enough modulators and pick-offs to help with that, though. But this would really turn out better if I didn't have the Rackbrute constraint to work against. That's really the big stumbling block here; even putting the build into something slightly larger, like a Mantis, would give more working room to go with some larger/more ergonomic modules plus offer more room in general for additional functions. But for now, this is pretty serviceable.
-- Lugia

Wow! Thanks so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to give feedback. This system looks cool, the Ornaments and Crime in particular seems amazing. I'll look into the Mantis case, as well. Out of curiosity, since I will be buying modules one by one over time, is there a particular module of the above that I should make sure to get first, or early in the process?


is there a particular module of the above that I should make sure to get first, or early in the process?
-- HGsynth

All of them.

But I would start with Pamela's New Workout and Ornaments and Crime. You're at about the $500 mark with purchasing those two. I would get them to familiarize myself with their operations. You should be able to use them with your MiniBrute and Model D. Those two modules can do quite a bit even though they aren't on the "sexy" list.


is there a particular module of the above that I should make sure to get first, or early in the process?
-- HGsynth

All of them.

But I would start with Pamela's New Workout and Ornaments and Crime. You're at about the $500 mark with purchasing those two. I would get them to familiarize myself with their operations. You should be able to use them with your MiniBrute and Model D. Those two modules can do quite a bit even though they aren't on the "sexy" list

-- Ronin1973

Maths would be another that you could potentially do a lot with your Minibrute as well (and has a pretty good learning curve to it as well so getting a head start on learning it is not a bad idea)...when you get Maths, do a search for "Make Noise Maths V2 Illustrated supplement" and bookmark that sucker.

Also, not to complicate things, but ornament and crime has an optional firmware called Hemispheres (which I installed) that essentially allows you to split the module in half and support two simultaneous applets with different functions at the same time. It does overwrite the original firmware which you can easily reinstall but you might want to take a look at what it offers here: https://github.com/Chysn/O_C-HemisphereSuite/wiki versus the apps that are included on the original firmware here: https://ornament-and-cri.me/

JB


All of them.

-- Ronin1973

Hah, if only!
Thanks for the info!


Maths would be another that you could potentially do a lot with your Minibrute as well (and has a pretty good learning curve to it as well so getting a head start on learning it is not a bad idea)...when you get Maths, do a search for "Make Noise Maths V2 Illustrated supplement" and bookmark that sucker.

Also, not to complicate things, but ornament and crime has an optional firmware called Hemispheres (which I installed) that essentially allows you to split the module in half and support two simultaneous applets with different functions at the same time. It does overwrite the original firmware which you can easily reinstall but you might want to take a look at what it offers here: https://github.com/Chysn/O_C-HemisphereSuite/wiki versus the apps that are included on the original firmware here: https://ornament-and-cri.me/

-- jb61264

I've been excited for the Maths ever since I started looking into modular. Seems like a beast, and definitely hoping it plays nicely with the different sequencers on the MB 2s. I'll check out Hemisphere, as well. I'm loving all these rabbit-holes. Thanks!