Hi folks,

This is the current state of my Rack. I started building it a few months ago and have already had some good fun playing with it in its current state. I guess it's rather basic. I mainly use the Marbles or the Pam's to generate random tunes that I send to the Plaits. I like to jam on it trying to get some sounds and loops I enjoy. Eventually I record those for later use when I produce music.

Now, I would like to expand it somehow but not sure yet what to get next.
Do you have some tips and ideas on how you would improve/use this rack?

ModularGrid Rack


Should probably add some sort of EG…Zadar or Doepfer A-140-2…more modulation is always good, maybe Quadrax…ornament and crime adds a lot of functionality as well but some don’t like menu diving

JB


I read the original post and I'm going to come at this from the angle that your current workflow isn't going to change but you just want more options. So I'd recommend adding three modules:

Noise Engineering Mimetic Digitalis
My thought is to add a Mimetic Digitalis from Noise Engineering. It's a four channel 16 step sequencer. You may or may not use it for pitch. But where it should shine for you might be four channels of stepped CV modulation of four different parameters in your set-up.

Intellijel Quad VCA
I'd also add a true VCA module (the Mix 3 doesn't have individual outputs). So something like an Intellijel Quad VCA would work. That way you can either attenuate the amount of CV coming from Mimetic OR use the Mimetic to modulate the amount of CV coming from another modulation source (like an envelope or LFO).

Blue Lantern CMOS Party (discontinued but still available on Amazon)
Finally a logic module. Any generic logic module should work that has at least OR and AND outputs. Being able to take two patterns of gates/triggers and derive a third pattern is always useful. There are other logic outputs that also might be interesting when comparing.

I think between these three modules you'd be able to add some dynamics to Plaits or Marbles timbres that would make for some good sample fodder.


Just to confirm a few ideas that have already been mentioned.

If you want something that has a lot of possibilities, you should definitely get Ornament and Crime. It does so many things from sequencing, LFOs, and much more. You can change the firmware to make it (using Teensy) into a drum/rhythm module even.

Secondly, as @Ronin1973 mentions, a VCA could be useful in many situations. I have a Intellijel Quad VCA and indeed it gets used a lot. However, I noticed that Doepfer have what looks to be an even more (useful) VCA with the A-135-2. Although I don't have this (yet) it looks as though it has a more interesting set up. It has attenuators, like the Quad VCA, but more interesting two extra mix outputs, 'Selected' (takes the signals from Inputs, provided they've not been diverted via an Output) and 'All' (all signals going to the Inputs). This can/could be particularly useful, and the Quad VCA doesn't have this possibility.

It's also a lot cheaper too.


Careful, though...the A-135-2 only offers linear VCAs, plus it's DC-coupled. Given those two facts, it's something that should be "deeper" in the modular...with the best location being somewhere in the modulation environment to control modulation amplitude.

What's needed for audio paths...especially end-of-chain situations...is exponential VCAs that are NOT DC-coupled. For one thing, our hearing doesn't follow a linear curve; the decibel scale is exponential, and that's how we perceive "apparent loudness". Also, DC to your amp...I love that thumbnail pic...well: Sort of explains it all, really.


I would go with Batumi instead of Maths as it takes up way less space and easier to use.


@Lugia

Good call, I hadn't thought of that. However, if I understand what you're saying, so is (as an example) Veils DC-coupled, both ins and outs. Is that really such a problem?


Thanks for the input all.

How about the veils (2020 version) instead of the quad vca?


Actually, the best way to deal with DC offsets is to have something in the final path that blocks it. Quite often, this'll be the VCAs in a performance mixer, but you can also grab a Happy Nerding Isolator for about $100, and this'll give you isolation transformers which you can overdrive slightly to get that "big iron" warmup. And a ganged final level, too, plus the transformers also work the opposite way to help decouple the modular from any crud trying to get into the instrument via the outputs...ground loops being a big culprit here.


I'd get a sequential switch to send Math's and Pam's modulation through so that you can quickly wreck and change the routing of your pitch/control/modulation around the case very quickly. It encourages spontaneous finding of results and not keeping static while you explore your system sometimes. Depending on the one you get, you also get a new pitch or rhythm sequencer source to build a patch around.

NI makes an incredible one. ALM also has the Boss Bow Two, highly recommend. For smaller footprints, PUSH by ST Modular is a 5 step sequential switch in 4HP! I personally have the Bizmuth chaotic signal router which is a little more esoteric. Guarantee adding a piece like this will give you results!


I'd get a sequential switch to send Math's and Pam's modulation through so that you can quickly wreck and change the routing of your pitch/control/modulation around the case very quickly. It encourages spontaneous finding of results and not keeping static while you explore your system sometimes. Depending on the one you get, you also get a new pitch or rhythm sequencer source to build a patch around.
-- DrFrunkensteen

@DrFrunkensteen The sequential switch mode is what I've been focused on using since I got CVilization a few weeks ago...so much fun. I have been messing around with sending the output of my Hydrasynth into a buffered mult and then taking the four outs from that into each of the inputs on CVilization and then routing each out to an input on my Cosmix mixer getting all sorts of interesting craziness not only by modifying the CVilization but also mixing in and out each of the inputs on Cosmix. I know I'm only scratching the sequential switch surface so to speak...

I'm interested in your comment about using it with Math's (which I have)...you are saying to route the output of Maths in to the sequential switch? Can you elaborate a little more on that?

JB


Actually, something like a Branches clone (Mutable's is discontinued) could be fun. These are Boolean gates which, depending on probabilistic variables (CV controlled ones, too), route a gate/trigger to one of two outputs. So if you routed sequencer clock pulses through this and only used one output, you'd have a stochastic clock skipper. Or route a raw clock between two different clock modulators with random swaps. Or a whole lot of other entertaining tricks.