Hello everybody.
Here the link of my project : ModularGrid Rack
I will edit modules while reading at your suggestions.
I finally decided to jump in the world of modular and build my first synth. I had the chance to experiment with the wonderful kobol expander and to discover very typical 70/80's module and their sounds aesthetics. I'm pretty much experiemental and i'm not interested in specific genre of music, but i do have an interest about rich timbre harmonics, and noisy sound's mass, that why i want to get a bit more crazy than the very beautiful but a bit too much vintage academic Kobol.
I want to build a first rack in order to discover the very bases of modular synths but also to chose crazy module that can bring me a bit further in sounds experimentation than typical( yet veryyyyy goood but maybe not enough experimental soundwise ) doeppfer module. I also want a first rack that can be sufficient for short concert :) Budget max 2000E, 1800e will be perfect ( case included)

I was thinking to start with:
-VCO: Music Electronics Kermit MK III or Honda Piston ( i love the crazy soundswaveshape and dirty harmonics ).
-VCF: Mutable instruments Ripples Liquid filter
-MATH:Make Noise Maths
-VCA:Mutable instruments VeilsQuad VCA
-Envelope:4-channel Programmable Supermodulator Doepfer A-143-2
-Tool-BoxSteady State Fate

Do you think it will be a good begining ? :)
I really love the kermit MK III as a vco, but i was wondering if it will maybe orientate too much all my sounds in a specific destroyed aesthetic ?

Have a nice day.
Helio :)


I would choose IME Piston Honda MK2 over Kermit for your VCO. More musical and better options. Kermit excels as a quad modulation source since the oscillator is too harsh in most cases. I recommend put a case together here and share the link so we can help you better. You need support utilities like attenuator, mults and so forth. I highly recommend the Kinks and Links combo from Mutable Instruments or something like Links and WMD SSF Toolbox.


And if you dig complex timbres, there IS the Tiptop/Buchla 258t. Two of these, even better! They're a time-tested design, far less complicated to use than something like the Piston Honda while possessing the ability to get into VERY complex and shifting timbral content. And at $200-ish a pop...well, how can you say no?


And if you dig complex timbres, there IS the Tiptop/Buchla 258t.
-- Lugia
thanksss ! but so far the 258t is not developped yet because still under development no ? Unfortunatelly i need to buy my rack now.


I would choose IME Piston Honda MK2 over Kermit for your VCO. More musical and better options. Kermit excels as a quad modulation source since the oscillator is too harsh in most cases. I recommend put a case together here and share the link so we can help you better. You need support utilities like attenuator, mults and so forth. I highly recommend the Kinks and Links combo from Mutable Instruments or something like Links and WMD SSF Toolbox.
-- sacguy71
Thanks, i edit my post, now theres the link with my rack.
I was hesitating between the DPO make noise, the piston honda, and the kermit, different quality, complexity and also different price... As im a bit new in that world i dont understand yet how the attenuator, mults and so forth will help me: its a way to increasethe potentiality of each module by adding more connexion available ? i dont find the kinks and links combo so i put the WMD SSF on my rack.


As im a bit new in that world i dont understand yet how the attenuator, mults and so forth will help me: its a way to increase the potentiality of each module by adding more connexion available ?
-- heliovolana

Not exactly, they allow you to control your signals in different ways. Maths has attenuators but using those as simple attenuators will quickly become old, and you'll be looking for more. Luckily, attenuating cables exist, I bought some at Schneiders. Attenuators will attenuate (reduce) a signal, useful when sending an LFO to say a filter cutoff, you don't usually want your cutoff being moved for the entire range, the attenuator allows you to control that range.
Mults allow you to copy a signal (say an envelope triggered with your voice, to send it to both VCA and filter), etc. I won't go over what all utilities do, but someone already did, more or less : https://learningmodular.com/ Chris was also involved in the writing of an amazing book as well: https://learningmodular.com/patch-tweak/ Both video courses and the book are fantastic learning resources, a lot of effort went into those. There's also a lot of good free stuff on Youtube as well, for example my favorite Youtuber is Ben DivKid (), his videos are very informative even you don't have the module being demoed, as most techniques will apply to a lot of systems/modules.

--- Voltage control all the things ---


thanksss ! but so far the 258t is not developped yet because still under development no ? Unfortunatelly i need to buy my rack now.

-- heliovolana

Actually, the 258t and the 281t are supposed to hit the street next month...hopefully in time for Xmas.

Also, unless there's some set date that you MUST have the build completed physically, you might not want to cling to that "now" when you get out in the real and discover that, more than likely, a number of modules you're looking at are not in stock. Also, if you slap everything together and proclaim it all done...well, someone will come out with something and you won't have the hp for it. Or, worse, you discover a lot of things you should NOT have done and then you're stuck.

What I did when I started building up my AE system was that I had a vision of how I wanted to use it, and then picked an initial module set for about 130 spaces (AE uses spaces...20, 16, and 12 spaces being the cab widths, either x1 or x2 rows), and left the remaining 50 wide open. Why? Because I knew from Robert Langer (runs the company) that there were going to be a LOT more modules, so I used a bunch of blanks...and just waited. Same thing applies here...never assume that your modular is "done", because invariably, it's not. Plus, I knew beforehand that open slots would be 100% necessary; in your case, you can't predict how much space is needed, so it's important to be very exacting about module complements...but leave some flexibility so that, if something new and amazing DOES come out, you've got space for it...or, if done right, your build already HAS something like that.


Mults allow you to copy a signal (say an envelope triggered with your voice, to send it to both VCA and filter), etc.

-- toodee
WOWWW, thanks a lot for all those really appreciated feedback and tips.
It give me already a lot of experimentation desire !!!
I will investigate al those video , i'm very happy to discover this very generous community :)
And, can i ask you what do you think of my eurorack ? For you like it is now its a good starting point ?


Also, unless there's some set date that you MUST have the build completed physically, you might not want to cling to that "now" when you get out in the real and discover that, more than likely, a number of modules you're looking at are not in stock
-- Lugia
Sorry i wasn't clear at all? English is not my langage so i can be a bit approximative aha. I've a concert instalation project booked on midle of january and i want to rehearse intensively on my modular with my other instrument before.I want to avoid wasting money by taking the time with myself, the forum to choose the modules well, i also try them live in shop. ANNNND the idea is of course not to have a full perfect and definitive eurorack at that moment. This Is not my philosophy, for sure not my budget
My idea is to buy at least a 6u case, and occupy just the first floor,half of the place, with versatile and good module. And after litle by litle, experimentation after experimentation buying new modules. Thats why im interested in versatil module, but also kind of specfiic, unic, with the potentiality of going into complexity but also friendly module that are not super harsh to begginer to understand. I forgot to mention, but i live in Paris, close to the wonderfull modularsquare shop. So i also make a combination between my instinct, the forum and the precious advise and product available at modularesquare shop :) ( i want to support local shop ^^ ). I Will go there regularry and talk with the wonderfull staff to be sure to start with an inteligent instrument :)
Do you think than my instrument as it is with you're updated feedback is a good starting point or it still miss something to be enough for begining experimentation ? I update the image with your recomendations


It's still missing a lot, yeah. But as for this upcoming gig...that's definitely my sort of turf. How many channels will be set up for the installation, and is this gig supposed to be just background sound, or are you "onstage" for it? Is there a specific textural complement that you're aiming for, or are the musical requirements simpler than that? Also, what degrees of periodicity does this require if it needs to run by itself without much touch-up? Is this needing a generative aspect, or will it be played by hand throughout? These are factors that I'd need to know before I do any work on a redux of this. I definitely have some ideas, but I'll need to hone them down.


It's still missing a lot, yeah.
-- Lugia
The gig in Paris (in "les instants chavirés) is not a big challenge, This special event is made for shy pracitces, music that you made in your room, musics that you never show publically, the context is very friendly. Its a duet with a friend with a very vintage but simple modular synthetisor ( Mélison). We use also no input-mixing and piezzo amplification with diy wtf instruments for loop.
I'm very bored of my actual instruments ( no input mixing with cheap pedal gear) and the same sound aesthetic that emerge from that.To discover modular synth is a lovestory, for the first time ive the impression to find my partner instrument, and an instruent that surprise me always by what emerge from it and where it bring me.So the 18 of january is not a stress about finding the perfect system, its just a deadline, and a reason to make the official first step.
i just want to made ASAP a system that is a good base enough to learn from it for few month. for the moment, generating rich timber harmonic oscilations, modulate them from clear notes to dirty massive waves îs enough as far as im not trapped in same sounds possibility all the time: i'm more a noise, or electro-accoustic personnality: i'm first of all interested in the textures of sound themselves, i'm more interested in simple musical construction but with interesting, rich and well sculpted sounds.. I want a system that can be enough for experimenting with it for few month, i want to start little but i dont want to start too limitated in term of sound and composition possibility. In other words i want a minimum base, but a very well conceived minimal base that can bring me in different direction^^ It's a bit overwelming to read all forum post and watch a lot of video, but i've the feeling that already with vco, vcf, mixer,vca, atenuator and daddy maths, theres already a lot of hours of pleasure possible.And what i love with module like maths, honda, is that i've a taste of what they can offer but i've the feeling that there is plenty of possibility that i will discover by taking time with them. But i have the impression that you suggest me to buy 3 or 4 more module to made a good begining, no ? ^^feel free to tell me that im very naive aha ^^


Okay...with this build, I tried to keep most of the sourcing for these within the EU, aside of the Intellijel stuff which should be easy enough to get over there. The build is in the very portable (DO get the gig bag!) Tiptop Mantis.
ModularGrid Rack
This is a very potent but simple system, and will not only serve for the January gig (and then some!), but also as a starter "core" for a larger system. Here's what's in there:

Top row: The A-119 is Doepfer's input preamp, also has an envelope follower for extracting dynamic info from the input signal, as well as a comparator that fires a gate when the input amplitude is over a level you set. Then the Erfurt/Odessa combo gives you a very complex but straightforward oscillator, in this case involving additive generation methods. The Erfurt is an interface for some internal Odessa functions, such as harmonic modulation. The Veils is for the audio path and has sufficient VCAs for the three Odessa outputs (fundamental, evens, odds) as well as the external input. Or you could just use the mixer on the VCF as well, as this G-Storm module has a 4-in mixer in addition to a lot of controls that want manual manipulation. That filter, btw, is a clone of the Syrinx filter, an impossible to find monosynth that filtered in formants, not merely just a basic cutoff. Then for a bunch of complex delay behavior, there's an Intellijel Rainmaker.

Bottom row: PWRchekr to keep an eye on your DC rail performance, then a CVable master clock from Noise Engineering. This is followed by your noise source and sample and hold. After that, there's a single-channel quantizer from Erica, which can be used along with the clock to turn LFO curves into (potentially microtonal!) quantized CV. Four LFOs are next (perfect for feeding to the quantizer), then Maths for your complex modulation source. This is followed by a Frap 321 for CV/modulation "abuse" and then a Happy Nerding 3xVCA for three channels of modulation amplitude control. After this, a Quadrax/Qx combo, then back to audio with Beads for granular tinkering. The mixer has another Veils before it to control your mixer amplitudes, then that mixer is a simple Doepfer mini stereo mixer. Lastly, there's a Happy Nerding OUT, which gives you a balanced stereo pair of 1/4" outputs, but which also has TWO stereo inputs...so, one would go from the mixer to the OUT, then if you wanted to fly either the Beads or Rainmaker over this in parallel, there's the second stereo pair. This also has your headphone preamp.

So, this is a complete system. I worked at making it simple enough for basic use while, at the same time, giving a lot of control for timbral manipulation via either the Odessa or the Gyrinx, or both. And you have a dedicated input here, so you can pipe external audio into the system and manipulate that in the same way as the oscillator, etc. And since this is mostly EU-sourced, it should be easy enough to get the modules locally in Paris, or some other shop in that general part of Europe might have anything they're missing.

EDIT: And one point I forgot to mention: with this being in a Mantis, when it's time to expand...just get another Mantis and the connection kit. Super-easy! At US$335, they're the best bargain in basic Eurorack cases right now.


Hi and welcome,

I highly recommend that you buy a copy of the book Patch and Tweak, read it and download a free software called VCVRack on your computer before you buy anything. That will save you hours of frustration, time and money. Thank me later :-)

Also, since you seem unsure on the complex oscillator choice, perhaps watch videos on these different oscillators on YouTube? DPO is quite different from Piston Honda and so forth. Also since you are brand new to modular, you might want to instead get a basic oscillator VCO module and VCF filter module. That gives you more control and a better understanding of how oscillators and filters work.


Also since you are brand new to modular, you might want to instead get a basic oscillator VCO module and VCF filter module. That gives you more control and a better understanding of how oscillators and filters work.
-- sacguy71

Not to mention, if you get an identical VCO to the first, you then have the ability to slightly detune one against the other, which results in a much beefier sound. The Odessa is sort of an exception to this, though, in that you can work directly with the harmonic spectra and dial in exactly the timbre you want right there. But Plaits, regular VCOs, and the like definitely benefit from detuning.