Hello there,

My name's Clément. I've been playing and using synths since 2018-2019. Starting slow with a Korg Volca Modular, then a Korg Minilogue, then an Arturia Microfreak, then a Moog Mother-32 and some other hardware and software synths. By watching videos on youtube and playing synths alone and with my friends, I've been more and more fascinated by the modular world (as we all are obviously). I then got the hands on a Make Noise Strega and a 0-CTRL, I've been so glad and happy with those two. I also got a DIY arduino synth made with an arcade stick, which works in his own way and is wonderful, but unfortunately, there's no CV or any other possibilities of modulation, so it's kind of a only live instrument.

Anyway, I've decided to really start my journey into modular synths, but I need some advices about what to get first. My idea was to keep the Strega & 0-CTRL and then starting slow by buying just a rack and one or two modules, just to give more possibilities to those twos, then surely switch to full modular at one point, just take the time to understand better each module I'll get. I've already choose my first rack and it's gonna be an Intellijel Palette 104 HP.

I mostly want to do drone / noise / ambient kind of stuff, no drums, no melodies, just play with noises and sounds. Experimental thingy. I also want to be able to use my guitar or bass with the modular (as I do with Strega), but maybe in a second time.
I was thinking that my first modules didn't need to be sound sources, maybe any other things that can help me expand my Strega & 0-CTRL. I'm lost in the sea of brands and modules.

Sorry for the long post, but I think it was necessary if I wanted my request to be precise.
Hope you can help me and have a great day!


Hi, I’m new as well and will soon order my first set. Will not be able to help out with the specifics you’re asking about here, but I think this buyers guide from the r/modular was really helpful to navigate the world in the beginning!

Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N46vujaaUOv2yyZq66Tuw5PNQmiBcRPypyQyHzghqos/edit?usp=sharing

Actually, the OP needs to get the 0-Ctrl as well, because https://reverb.com/item/39263230-3dwaves-triple-tier-stands-for-the-make-noise-0-coast-0-ctrl-strega-semi-modular-synthesizers With that stand to keep things organized-ish, getting the third device for the Make Noise "Cheapsel" and putting them all in one spot is an excellent opportunity and super-easy.

As for the Palette, though...that doesn't really click, particularly if you're shooting for drones, noises, and generative things. Around here, the common wisdom is that the best solution for a new modular build and new user is the Tiptop Mantis. 104 hp x 2, $335, with a seriously stonkin' power supply (3A on the +12!). Can't beat it with an ugly stick!

Couple of other points: first, you should probably aim for a more all-encompassing modular with the eye to making it capable of working with the 0-stuff. But at the same time, a fully-built-out modular can function as a "nexus" of processing, control, and sound generation for the "Cheapsel" as well as most anything that winds up in the studio. So it's not JUST an instrument. In fact, one of my installation works from c. 2000 uses my modular (Digisound 80) purely as a processing device.

Second, a build in a Mantis can be easily expanded. Tiptop has a set of connecting brackets that lets you put two of them together in an "over/under" configuration (see here: https://tiptopaudio.com/mantis/) and that'll double your hp immediately. And 416 hp can hold a scary-powerful synth! Plus $335 beats $399, especially when you consider the additional space, the excellent power supply, and also...it's just as portable as the Palette. Hell, Tiptop even offers a gig bag sized for the Mantis.

One last suggestion: you might also budget for a suitable controller. With a modular system, your best bet has got to be Arturia's Keystep Pro. I absolutely love mine; in tandem with some of the other sequencing hardware here, the KSP also fits that "nexus" definition.

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Two things:

1/ Download and try VCV Rack software
2/ Buy a copy of the book Patch & Tweak

DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT buy anything before doing the above items.

Thank me later :-)

1/ Download and try VCV Rack software
2/ Buy a copy of the book Patch & Tweak

DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT buy anything before doing the above items.

Thank me later :-)
-- sacguy71

"Patch and Tweak" is decent...but the "try VCV Rack" part? Yeah, +1 billion.

VCV does a great job of emulating Eurorack, but also in taking Eurorack to a zone or two where it doesn't normally go. Just make sure to have a potent piece of computing hardware to run it on; see the FAQs there.

Hey there, sorry for the response time.
First of all, thanks to you all to have taken to time to answer me and to try to guide me throughout this journey, very kind and useful.

1/ Alltvin
Thanks a lot, I read it a bit, very useful indeed. I'll get back to it when I'll be more comfortable with the modules.

2/ Lugia
My english isn't that perfect so I didn't get everything you told me, but I've got the main parts ahah.
Yes my first thought was to get an 0-COAST and a 3-tier rack to complete the "Cheapsel" but at one point I wasn't so sure, I just wanted to jump directly into the modular, but I've realised now that it isn't the best solution for me now.
About the Intellijel, yeah you're probably right, money wise too. I just didn't wanted a big thing to start (Tiptop Audio Mantos), considering what I want to do, but as I've seen everywhere, everyone said that it's the best option, so why not. It was the 1U row and the options that attracted me, but I know that it's clearly not a good reason to buy it. Thinking of a getting a controller too, but maybe just the Keystep 37 to start with.

3/ sacguy71
I was already using VCV rack, but I gave up, not really my thing at the moment. But now with the V2 and my growing knowledge, I've took it back, and yeah, wonderful idea, don't know why I didn't do it before. I'll buy the Patch & Tweak book too. Patience is the key in this world.

Thanks a lot!