Hello everyone - hope you are all well and staying safe,

So, I use 2 cases together (an 84hp and a 104hp). I never use them independently and don't want to buy another case to combine the 2 so I'm just sticking to that for now. I plan on eventually getting a 104 HP/7u Intellijel case but that's not anytime soon.

Looking for ANY general advice on my current set-up (I don't know anyone who knows about synthesis IRL so I just want someone to look at what I've put together! The modular community is absolutely dope. A real wholesome bunch!).

Looking for more specific advice on the drum portion:
I was thinking of getting rid of Pico Drum and the 2hp VCA/Verb leaving 7hp for a different drum voice - but it would be hard to replace 2 voices from Pico Drum and I'd be losing the 2hp modules. Might not be worth it. I could get rid of the Pico Mix too and have 10HP for something like Noise Engineering's BIA or another TipTop ONE and a 2nd Plaits in the form of the 6HP knit (those small pots make it hard to tune but it may be a good sacrifice since I already have a full sized Plaits.) That would give me 2 solid drum voices but would lose the Mixer/VCA/Verb.

Thanks for reading!

PS the module has to have CV over pitch.



actual link to rack

ModularGrid Rack

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

I'm still of the opinion that drums don't belong in these sizes of builds. For one thing, emulating the voicing of a classic machine such as a TR-909 costs an arm and a leg. But if you don't have a full percussion module complement, then the drums just sound sort of random.

OTOH, present-day standalone drum machines are sufficiently sophisticated that they can replicate much of the functionality you'd find in a modular built that costs a few THOUSAND more. And you can get these with extra trigger/gate outs for firing off other events...which IS where you might want some accent percussion in a module or two. Plus, some have individual outs...with which you can separate and process each percussive separately.

Short answer: I totally agree with @Lugia. Many other connoisseurs (including modular dealers...) have the same view.

Longer answer: my own and personal strategy, from the beginning, was little or no modules dedicated to drums. First, I was already well equipped (old TR-707, DrumBrute Impact, ADX-1, Volca Drum, Volca Sample, and now a brand new RD-6 :)
And by selecting for my modular Nebulae which incorporates a one-shot polyphonic sample player (within its alternate instruments), Disting mk4, Rings (great percs module too), and last but not least BIA, I was ready to achieve a whole bunch of drum sounds. Plus, more recently, I even added Plaits, LIP, and One. I think I'm a spoiled modularist, right?

However, I must admit that I am tempted today to conclude with two small 2hp modules: Kick and Hat only. Just for some modular techno sessions.

There is no conclusion here that is suitable for everyone.
I just wanted a modular instrument that was quite sound design (and random or stochastic) oriented.
It's all a matter of artistic direction and budget.

But I remain firmly convinced that a 808 or a 909, a Mini Pops or an Oberheim DMX, belong to a different animal species. They are like birds; you have to leave them alone, and not put them in sort of cages/cases :))

Yuppers. And I should also note that these machines (in my case, a 909 and two 606es) were crazy-useful LIVE, no DAW...in the mid-1990s. The ability to send triggers to various other devices and even mess with the timing/rhythm of those in real time was very freeing. And then, of course, the bass channel of the 909 also provided a good source for the building-damaging CZ-101. I actually used that same configuration for a number of live sets in the 90s.

Great discussion. I love modular drums but they are very expensive! I have ten drum modules and they are cool but I’m way more productive using a dedicated drum machine or sampler if I’m in a hurry to whip out techno or play live. Case in point: a fellow synth buddy kindly loaned me his Elektron Rytm MK2 drum synthesizer. I was able to build a compelling techno set in minutes. Plus can save and use presets. Now to do the same in modular requires way more effort, time, and cost. I usually just patch a kick, clap and hi hat into my Euclidean Circles sequencer and get a fun tribal drum beat going. But using Metron or Eloquencer to sequence is more involved and tricky.

The Rytm costs under 2k new, comes with what you need and is portable. Same modular easy 5-10k. I’m experimenting with a small techno setup soon once Queen of Pentacles arrives with Ground Control.