Hello everyone,

I’m getting into modular and need some feedback on a basic rack for now. I’ve done a lot of reading and looking at feedback from the experts so I hope I’m on the right track. I tried to get utilities and VCAs. :D

For the case I recently acquired an A-100 P9 and A-100 PB for a good deal. That “should” give me some room to grow. I’ve only planned out on the P9 for now.

My music is honestly anything and everything. But to narrow down, I’ve always listened to House, Techno, Trance, and the like since I was a kid. I’m also learning guitar, specifically blues and delta blues, so incorporating guitar in the future is possible.

For gear I already have a Minitaur, Micromonsta 2, Werkstatt with CV, Micro Granny, and Microfreak. I do want to incorporate those in the future. While I do want my modular to be all encompassing, I have some gear now that works well so why not utilize those.

Sequencing will be done with my OXI One when it gets here, I also have a Keystep that I could use in the mean time.

For recording it will be done via either my Zoom H6 or, preferably, Ableton. From there I can add effects etc. until I get modules for that role down the line minus the one that is in the 3rd row.

My big thing with modular is I don’t necessarily want to get the same thing everyone else has which has lead me away from big self contained syths. However, I realize some modules, Maths, Plaits, etc. are popular for a reason.

For my rack, the first row is what I’ve come up with with the second row as alternatives to a few modules. Modules are somewhat based on price unless a module does many functions for the cost. The last row is for future purchases for ableton and a disting for extra functionality.

Let me know what you guys think.

Oh and I plan on getting all the Buchla TipTop modules because…well Buchla.

ModularGrid Rack

okish - some thoughts:

needs more utilities to get the most out of the 'expensive shiny modules'

more mixers - a simple cheapish mixer would add the ability to mix 2 vcos (or in the case of the doepfer 2 or more waveforms) before hitting a filter

attenuators - always useful and inexpensive

another modulation source is a great idea - to complement maths - which is fantastic but really should be seen as maths - see 'maths illustrated supplement' - it's a great jumping of point and learning tool for patch-programming and patching in general - but another modulation source would add a lot - especially when combined with a matrix mixer

possibly also an envelope generator - an adsr if you want to sound like a keyboard - or something less complex if you're not so bothered

end of chain mixer - it might be a better idea to get a bigger one now (so you are not selling this one to get a bigger one in the future) - there are also expandable mixers - at the lower end of the market - tesseract tex-mix is good value for money - nb sidechaining/ducking can be easily patched by mixing the envelope of the sound source you want to duck and an inverted copy of the envelope of the sound source you want to sidechain and then use that into the cv input of the vca you're sending your

I'd go for the fx aid xl over the milky way - it's more versatile

for the utilities - doepfer is a great brand - inexpensive and reliable - also really good for other things like classic filter designs and vcos etc

"some of the best base-level info to remember can be found in Jim's sigfile" @Lugia

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

Awesome info. I saw your post many times and have the maths supplement already downloaded.

I'll take a look at tex-mix and the fx aid xl as well. I have no problem getting something bigger now instead of waiting since I know my system will grow.
It's easy to get lost when researching especially when some modules can do multiple things and realizing if it's doing this one thing then can't necessary do the other thing.

Thanks for your insight. Back to the research and reviews.

Beyond the very good advice of @JimHowell1970, I note your faithful love for House, Techno and Trance music. I would therefore advise you to include at least two types of modules absent from your current selection: a beefy oscillator (Noise Engineering for example offers a few like the Manis Iteritas), or a complex oscillator (like the Furthrrrr Generator). And at least a kick module (like the Tiptop Audio BD909, or more widely an Erica Synths Sample Drum).

Perfect. I'll add those to my list. I am a fan of the updates Noise Engineering did on the Microfreak.