I recently had my case built (9U 128hp) and installed power but I’ve been reading on modular stuff for a couple years and just recently started watching a lot more videos and trying to retain what I’ve been ingesting.

My immediate goal is to become familiar with the pieces of equipment I currently have in my rack before I start going crazy buying cool new toys. Beyond anything else I say in this post I know this is priority#1.

My long term goal is to produce music/sounds for myself. Performing live is not my goal, sitting in my office tweaking knobs is. If I had to explain what kind of sonic experience I want to produce I’d have to say a mashup of Helene Vogelsinger and Skinny Puppy. Sounds odd I know but I’m a believer of if you can think it up it’s only a matter of time before you can do it.

My immediate issues are ins/outs. I got into modular to get away from the computer. I lose all creativity sitting at a computer. I want a module or piece of equipment that I can send an audio source (ambient noise, nature sounds, etc) to put behind/between/in front of the modular sounds.

I would also like outs that have headphones, stereo outs, some way to connect to a pair of speakers.

Finally, I need suggestions on how to record/mix it all without using a computer. I’ve had Ableton but I’m really looking to not make this a computer project.

I just have the basics right now but I know I need a good in/out. Any ideas?

ModularGrid Rack

Well, let's tackle some of your list... there's a lot to cover and I don't think it's going to be a one-brief-post reply.

Let's talk about recording. Well, that's an entire thing. Any two-track recorder should work if you're just looking to record your stereo mix as-is. But if you're looking to track individual parts and mix later, it'll be a mash up of the number of parts versus the number of inputs you have in your recorder. If you have more parts than inputs, you might have to sync your modular gear with your recorder and make a few passes to get every isolated part.

Speaking of recorders, if recording to Ableton is out, then you could try the Akai MPC Live series with CV outputs. Maybe it's too close to a DAW for your liking. Else you can go with a straight multitrack recorder from Zoom, Tascam, Sound Devices. I have my eye on the Cymatic Audio uTrack24 recorder. The price seems fantastic (under $600US).

If you must synchronize, that's usually done via MIDI, so you'd need something like a Pam's New Workout and the MIDI break-out expander for it and a recorder that can sync.

Good info, I’ll read it again when I’m not on my phone. It’s been years since I’ve had an MPC3000 so I am a bit familiar with MPC’s. I’ll take a look at that route.

Edit- I will also look into the multitrack recorders. I think that would be easier for me. I am trying to keep some of my options narrow otherwise I go down a deep expensive wormhole. Perhaps an MPC isn’t the best idea especially if I don’t currently want to use it for anything else.

Any idea on a good module to get me from the rack there?

Working outside in, I’d suggest you consider the following:
1) As mentioned above, a potable audio recorder (Zoom, Tascam etc) is your best bet for recording. You can also make field recordings with it and bring them back to your system.
2) There are great output modules (I have a Befaco, WMD, Joranalogue is great) and they usually have a headphone out as well. You can have a separate input module if you will be importing sounds or a combined I/O module (eg. Intellijel I/O).
3) You will have to look at a mixing solution that feeds into your output module. Befaco STMix is a nice 4+1 stereo mixer that will duplicate mono L to R, with level control, DC-coupled to mix CV but no pan control. If you eventually upgrade your mixing solution, you can still use it for sub-mixes. Next level up would be a larger mixer with pan control and Aux Send/Return (eg SSF Vortices). The top end (expensive) solution would be a Befaco Hexmix + Expanders or a WMD Performance Mixer (I have one, it is f***ing awesome and transformative).
4) You could mix outside of eurorack as mixers can be quite inexpensive, but then you would have to bring all of your eurorack level feeds down to line level which is not practical. Sorry for the length of the reply. Good luck

Actually, it might not be the computer that's at fault here. My bet is that this disconnect is due to the DAW, and not the computer itself. I myself went through this when I kept trying to figure out how to integrate ProTools into a compositional workflow...which would never work. As a compositional platform, PT just downright SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS!

Ableton, on the other hand...that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. It does everything that PT doesn't like to do just fine, and a lot more besides. And if it DOESN'T do what I need, I can fix that, thanks to its integration with Max. It takes far less effort to figure out than PT, too. However, I should note that I like to mix in analog...I just prefer having the sounds under my fingers, so I get that. You might try a "hybrid" setup like that yourself...multitrack in Ableton (and this works so much better with a proper multichannel interface), then mix in analog to a digital 2-track. This way, you get that same incremental control...but you can ALSO make use of outboard processors with ease, which also has the effect of reducing the processor load on the DAW. Sure, it has a learning curve like most anything else, but it works more "musician-ish" if that makes sense.