This is my first Eurorack set up. After some research I settled on a standalone synth voice, scope, and modulator. This enabled me to make some fun sounds on day 1 and learn more about the sound shapes. I decided on Maths as a first module because it is complex enough to keep me busy learning for a while, and is something to grow into.

For the size of the build and its limitations, it's not a viable set-up. It will work. But you're overpaying for the functionality. For a build this small the Data is pretty useless.

You'd be better off buying something like a Behringer Neutron for $300. You'd get more out of it, spend less, and learn more.

Thanks for your thoughts. I realize I didn't share some of my goals - I agree that if this was the only rack I planned to use for learning that a semi-modular unit would be better value. I intend to build a larger 6U rack in the next several months, aiming to master a few modules at a time. The Data unit has been very valuable to me to inspect waveforms and the harmonic spectrum, as well as debug some issues with CV coming from other gear that I have (several synthesizers and drum machines). My objective with this first unit was to move fully into the modular world, as I have several years of experience with semi-modular units and 20+ years experience as a musician. Going forward this rack will serve as a sort of "staging" rack as I learn new modules.

Thanks for going more in depth.

As far as growth, the Doepfer A-111 has very limited growth potential. As far as a synth voice, it's pretty limited in features compared to stand alone modules or other semi-modular synths.

For example, there isn't a sync input into the VCO section. The FM modulation is hardwired to the LFO or ADSR. There are lots of other examples, but I want to keep this brief.

I would definitely replace the Doepfer with individual modules as soon as possible if you're wanting to learn more in depth.

As long as you're going to a bigger case and are aware of the missing feature-sets, there shouldn't be any worries.

While people definitely poo-poo Behringer stuff, I have their 2600...and I would say that THAT would make a better choice here than trying to smash a build into a tiny cab like that. For one thing, it behaves and sounds spot-on, and that's based on having used rev.2, 3 and 4 2600s over the years. Some might claim that it doesn't sound like a "vintage" unit...but that's because it's NOT a "vintage" unit. However, I did use a rev.4 that was only a couple of years out of the box back in the early 1980s, and I think I would be hard pressed to tell that from the B.2600's present-day version.

Plus, it "talks" the same interfacing as Eurorack...1V/8va scaling, positive triggers/gates, and so on. And as far as I'm concerned, the original ARP 2600 was one of the finest teaching synths ever created...hell, it's what I learned on. So once you go for that bigger build, you can still use the B.2600 for a number of things, such as MIDI-CV conversion, extra patchable modules to go alongside the Eurorack, and the like.

Hi TheSoundOfMusic,

+1 for Ronin regarding his remark to get yourself a Behringer (short B.) Neutron. I started with that one as well and I do think it really helped me to check if I liked modular, yes or no... for me the clear answer was yes :-)

I agree with Ronin too about the Doepfer - A-111-x, that's something for later. I would start with a simpler oscillator (like the Doepfer - A-110) just to get used to modular in common, once you are more experienced with it you can look and check for complex oscillators, saves you in the beginning a bit of money as well and don't think a simple oscillator wouldn't be used any more once you become experienced. Simple or any oscillator at all are always good additions to whatever setup you like to get working with.

+1 for Lugia on the B. 2600 too. If the B. 2600 would be available at that time I bought the Neutron and if I realised how great (indeed) learning machine that 2600 is, then I would have bought the 2600 instead of the Neutron. I got the Blue Marvin version now since a while and wow, what a machine. That one is from a synthesizer principles-principle just blowing away your mind with, in my opinion, a fantastic cool (to avoid the word "vintage" ;-) let's call it) "old fashion" synthesizer sound (I mean this in a positive way), like the young times of J.M. Jarre, Vangelis, K. Schulze, Tangerine Dream, and the lot.

I don't know where you live but if you live in Europe, check the main synthesizer shop online websites, the B. 2600 default version is now on offer for just as little as 498 bucks! The opportunity to get fantastically started for a seriously reasonable amount of money. If you like that one, it confirms that you are ready for Eurorack and then save a bit longer, get a 3 x 84 HP or 3 x 168 HP rack and there you go. My main advice is to take it easy and slowly but start with a larger rack immediately (that's more cost effective). Take your sweet time and don't buy all modules you have planned or in mind in one go but buy them in little batches, gain experience, if and where needed adjust your opinion on certain modules and then buy a few more. Not everything in one go!

Since you mentioned that you have already experience with semi-modular synths then perhaps you are sure already about the fact that you love modular, well then just go for it :-)

Either way, I wish you good luck and have fun in the (semi-) modular synth world! :-) Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to for PDF formatted downloads

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I didn't expect any comments on my first rack, but I'm glad to find such a vibrant community on ModularGrid.

I appreciate everyone's perspective here, and I can see there are many directions one can take when entering the world of modular synthesis. I'm happy to report that this rig is more than meeting my expectations and I've learned a ton so far interfacing with other gear that I already have, which was one of my main goals (the Data has been extremely useful for troubleshooting issues and for waveform visualization). Most importantly, I've already made some great sounds that I'm happy with, and am having a ton of fun. I really wanted to go full modular and build a "staging" rack so I could master each new module I purchase. While the B. 2600 looks pretty great for someone just starting to learn about synthesis, I felt like I already had enough gear with similar functionality and desired to be more intentional with every module I purchase as I focus and discover my sound.