ModularGrid Rack

Hey y'all! this is my first post on Modular Grid, I started into eurorack this year after spending a lot of time in vcv rack and falling in love with the potential of modular, plus it's just so much fun! my goal is to make a system that can do lots of textural sound design stuff as well as percussion//bass in the industrial techno genre. Outside of my rack I have a Digitakt, Lyra 8 and a few FX pedals.

currently out of these modules in the list above the ones I actually own already are
- Rene v2
- Zlob F3DB
- Xaoc Belgrad
- Beads
- Pams
- Zlob 3 channel attenuator with sum output
- Zlob Diode Chaos
- Noise Engineering BIA
- Beffaco stmix
- Noise Engineering Sono Abitus output module

The rest of the modules I put in because I think they'd fit well but I have no idea if I have enough utilities or if this layout is completely non-user friendly, this is where I could really use some help if you can take a look at it and give me some advice.

Thank you.


Well, right off the bat here, there's two modules that are either discontinued or have supply chain issues with essential parts. These are the Grids (discontinued) and the HN 3xVCA (delayed due to no VCA chips). The Piston Honda might also fit there, as there was a great deal of confusion in the past couple of years as to whether or not The Harvestman's designs were going to remain available, and even though it lists as being in production here, this is one that either may require a possible substitute or you could simply go with a different wavetable oscillator. I wouldn't have gone with a Pam's here, either...given that the Rene mkii and the Make Noise Tempi have backplane connections that step up both of their games.

As for the layout, it's actually pretty user-hostile. I could whomp out a new iteration of this, but some of the module choices that've already been made are ones that ultimately contribute to that problem. Definite examples are the older Noise Engineering modules (fairly illegible panels...no fun at all if you're playing live and in a dim light situation) and the Zlob modules (same problem overall + very tight layouts).

Lastly, if there's a definite industrial spin to this build, I don't see anything that can really smash sounds up to get them into a more brutal area. For more industrial percussion, also, I would suggest Moffenzeef's modules, or something more synthetic that then gets run through one of Schlappi's audio manglers. Remember: back in the early days of Industrial, people were using a bunch of Roland stuff that they'd then munge up, and those Rolands were the more electro-sounding ones (TR-808, CR78, etc). Given that, you may actually find it MORE useful to get hold something along those lines, as the end result costs far less than trying to build drums into a Eurorack build, plus you get a lot of space in the cab back by doing this. It also helps that there's reissues of many of these, such as the Roland Boutique series or Uli's clones of the original 808, 909, and 606.


Thank you so much for the detailed reply Lugia, I've lurked a lot of your other posts on this thread and value your opinion.
I got the Pams early as primarily a clocked modulation source and with plans to sync with my Digitakt. but will definitely check out tempii although I don't think it has any midi connectivity?
The Zlob F3DB does a pretty solid job at audio mangling however the Schlappi and Moffenzeef stuff as caught my eye as well.
I really love modular so far and would find it fun to have some percussion in the case hense the BIA & MI, i'd also really love to avoid buying Behringer stuff.

i'll definitely think about what you said and try to come up with a new build.

I did want to ask though as I'm very new to hardware modular, what are some things to keep in mind about balancing utilities with other modules? (filters, E.G's, Sound Sources etc)


I did want to ask though as I'm very new to hardware modular, what are some things to keep in mind about balancing utilities with other modules? (filters, E.G's, Sound Sources etc)
-- pestilent

loosely:

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities = most variety for money and works well as a 'rule of thumb'

loosely because a sound source might be 2-3 vcos, a sound modifier might also be a sound source, maths might be seen as both a modulation source and a utility etc etc

I tend to see maths as a complex modulation source - if you want the utilities it has I'd advise to buy them separately

I'd be pushed to have much more than 1 sound source per row and support it properly though

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


Thanks for the reply Jim
really appreciate thee advice


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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


You could run an external drum machine like a Roland TR-8 through a Eurorack distortion module like Schlappi Engineering 100 Grit to get industrial percussion sounds and save money plus free up space in your case for more support modules and utilities. Also besides distortion, I’m finding that feeding drums through a compressor and EQ helps a lot as well.


with an external drum machine you might want to go with pedals for the distortion/fuzz/overdrive and the compression (to free more space in the rack) and a continuously variable filter - so that you can go from low-pass to high pass and all places in between

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


with an external drum machine you might want to go with pedals for the distortion/fuzz/overdrive and the compression (to free more space in the rack) and a continuously variable filter - so that you can go from low-pass to high pass and all places in between
-- JimHowell1970

Can you expand on this a little? I am using the TR-8S for drums...will eventually go down the stomp box 'path' as I purchased Bastl Hendrikson a few weeks ago for my Minibrute2/Rackbrute3U setup...but it sounds like using them in line with the TR-8S can also add some flavor to the drums?

JB


with an external drum machine you might want to go with pedals for the distortion/fuzz/overdrive and the compression (to free more space in the rack) and a continuously variable filter - so that you can go from low-pass to high pass and all places in between
-- JimHowell1970

Can you expand on this a little? I am using the TR-8S for drums...will eventually go down the stomp box 'path' as I purchased Bastl Hendrikson a few weeks ago for my Minibrute2/Rackbrute3U setup...but it sounds like using them in line with the TR-8S can also add some flavor to the drums?

-- jb61264

yeah - some pedals in line with the drums - specifically a gain pedal (which will add some compression) and a compessor can add to the drum machine without taking up valuable rack space - and pedals can often be had cheaper than modules (bigger market for them - both new and used) then feed that in to the rack (I'd use a veils - most vcas don't have gain - veils has 20dB there on tap - so can again add more grit at this stage if needed) and then go through a filter in rack - maybe a doepfer SEM or WASP - both of which can go from low pass to high pass on the turn of a knob - this would make an interesting processing chain for a drum machine to me - possibly with parallel processing at some point either before the chain - an ABY pedal is a great solution here - so you can switch between the processed drums and the unprocessed (or differently processed) drums - this is especially useful as distortion pedals have a tendency to loose low-end - so maybe take this into account when choosing a distortion pedal - maybe something specifically designed for bass processing

the hendrickson is a great idea for sending stuff from the rack into an effects pedal chain and then back in - especially things like delays and reverbs can be used so much earlier in the chain than usually and then brought back in - possibly for further processing - filtering for example

an envelope follower (or 4) is also really handy to have at this point - as are more vcas

I think you'll be wanting to expand the 3u to a 6u soon - try to keep the 3U - if you can - always good to have space to expand into!!!

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


A bunch of my stompboxes see duty as percussion manglers. One you should seriously look at is some sort of auto-wah...on snares, these work great with a very fast attack and release, adding a quick filter sweep to the drum sound. I've gotten deep into the Chinese stompbox thing, and one bunch of sellers I've had a great time with are what I refer to as the "Brantford Pedal Mafia", aka a number of sellers in Brantford, ONT in the same general family who all deal in pedals AND who have inventories in both the USA and Canada, which makes things easy for quick shipment. You'll find the "Kingpin", aka mec.2009 at https://www.ebay.com/sch/mec.2009/m.html


I edited and removed what I was writing as I don't want to hijack the OP's post

JB