Hello All,

This is my first post and first time getting into modular.A little about myself ,I am 40 years old army veteran ,I have no music background (started 5 month ago), I find myself doing a little bit of ambient music and Doing a lot of techno. I do have gear but I want to step into the world of eurorack. I feel like I can get more control over my sounds in my approach to music ,simplifying workflow since I know little to none about scales and creating melodies .I love drum machine and been learning a lot about them, been using it as a Meditation tool, making cool noises and relaxing. Occasionally I just like not stressing about accomplishing anything really.

So I am here for help like need alot of help because this Became complicated for me and over my head. I did learn about vco,vcf and etc .but their so much module Brands ,that it became confusing. Suggestions are very welcome please. I have some modular that I own. Which I post with thread here. Maybe this is a good start but don’t know where to go from here.

Looking for easy rhythm making, making Ambient/techno sounds and controling/discovering sound.

I appreciate everybody here taking your time reading my post and I want to thank you and happy making music.

Modular I have :

Erica synth Sample drum
Pamela new workout
basimilus iteritas alter
quadratt 1u
intellijel 62hp case

Gear I am using :
Roland mc-101
Behringer td-3

This looks like a really good starter system. There are a lot of opportunities to discover sounds by sending modulations from Pams to BIA and Sample Drum.

What do you feel like you're missing?

The 1u Midi interface would allow tighter integration with your Roland and Behringer

A dedicated audio mixer might be useful. There's an Intellijel 1u option or Mixup are designed to work with the case outputs

If you want to do manual rhythm sequencing Steppy or Varigate would be a nice addition. Take a look at Zularic or Numeric Repetitor if you want to discover interesting rhythmic patterns. Euclidian Circles does rhythms based on mathematic divisions

If you want melodies Varigate can be set for 2x Gate + 2x CV... and it can act as a master clock for Voltage Block. Some other good melody sequencing options would be: Scales, Pico SEQ, Super Sixteen or Bloom. People love or hate Bloom so research before you buy

Hello 33PO

Thank you so much for replying, what I feel like I was missing was rhythm, knob control and less menu driving. I wanted to use eurorack and a drum machine combo make a smaller size since I don’t have much room and getting rid of Roland and the Behringer ,I like Pam‘s new workout its very powerful but I didn’t feel like a great workflow going into each section and changing parameters didn’t feel as inspiring than using dedicated knobs for each sound. I know very hard describe what I am trying to say. I am going to check out the ones you suggested ,varigate sounds interesting. I appreciate your recommendation suggestions I’m gonna check it out into research thank you so much again.

Cheers -Alex

Well, right off the bat, the cab's a bit small. Even if you're aiming for a basic-type rig, 62 hp + tiles is really tight, which leads to one of two outcomes:

1) You wind up with a bunch of 2-4 hp modules and then learn how to program a modular synth with a pair of tweezers. Or...

2) You use more or less "normal" modules, but then run out of room for the entire thing.

One thing about trying to build a drum machine in Eurorack, also...it's expensive AF and when compared to present-day drum machine offerings, you won't get your money's worth. Typically, when someone tries this, the costs for JUST the drum machine part can typically run $1-2k; contrast that with most any drum machine on the market presently. And it's not like you can't use a typical drum machine with a modular...the synth should be able to "speak" whatever sync signal is incoming, and if your modular has some way to trigger its sounds from an external source (MIDI, typically), you can still use the modular's sequencer to send triggers...either directly, or over MIDI.

Gonna mess with this for a bit...
OK...check THIS out...
ModularGrid Rack
So, I tossed the 62 hp cab and shifted up to Intellijel's Palette 104...for obvious reasons! Those smaller cabs are really more for "mission-specific" builds, in the end...say, if I wanted to add a "deeper" modulation core to my gear, that size would be fine. But an entire synth doesn't fit nicely in something like that, as noted above. So...what we got here?

TILES: Stereo input on the left...allows you to input a stereo signal for processing via the modular. Noise Tools is next, providing a master clock (you can use that to drive the Pam's, btw), noise source, sample & hold, and portamento. QuadrATT after that to handle various mixing duties. This would mainly be for jumbling up modulation sources as each pot is an attenuverter, meaning that you can invert the polarity of a signal...so if you want something to go DOWN at the same rate something else goes UP, QuadrATT's your boy. MIDI next...then Intellijel's stereo VCA, which gets followed by their Stereo Mixer. By having a stereo VCA like this, you can have sounds "fly in" against others...for instance, the Clouds clone can be via the VCA, dry out direct. Then patch FX VCA into one pair, dry mix in the other, then let a modulation source "turn up" the VCA so that the Clouds effect gets slightly delayed and fades up, instead of the usual T60 profile of peak-to-zero of a reverb, etc. Lots of twisty things.

ROW: Pam's is back. But THIS time, it's got something to gnaw on: a Xaoc Moskva II sequencer. I really like the circular programming ring for the on/off/skips and CV values, plus this thing is really capable as far as 8-step sequencers go. Full of tricks, in short! Then you've got a quad LFO, Xaoc's Batumi (and it's got its expander), then an After Later dual VCA (topology based on Mutable's Veils VCAs). That and the QuadrATT are your "mod core" for altering and mixing modulation signals to get more...what else?...modulation signals. This is how you can get LOADS of useful signals out of a handful of modulators. After that, Zadar for four channels of envelopes (and it also has its expander).

Then I melt your brain...this has FOUR VCOs. And they've got internal quantization, they do wavetable synthesis, can be internally modulated, and on and on...those Klavis Twin Waves IIs are serious! In this case, I've got things semi-set up so that the VCO 2 in each works best as an FM modulator for VCO 1, with VCO 1 being the "voice" oscillator. Two more VCAs, then a dual SVF from Happy Nerding...or is it one really complicated VCF? Well...it's potentially BOTH. And after that, yep, VCAs...remember, you can NEVER have too many of these. They make these things GO, pretty much. After the VCAs, then the Alyseum Q-mix gives you four pannable input channels and your audio chain master. The last thing there is the aforementioned Clouds clone; yeah, it's a clone, but the knob layout here isn't as bad as others'. And having a granular module to mess with your audio is a real "must" these days, so this can either...

1) be used as a "passthru" from the Q-mix to the Stereo Mixer tile, controlling the wet/dry balance on the Clouds clone, or

2) be used as a separate effect by using the mults in the "toolbar" to split out "dry" audio (and send the output to one stereo input pair) and "processing" audio (which gets sent to the other stereo input, either straight or via the Stereo VCA).

Both work really well. Note also that I put the "toolbar" on this so you can keep in mind that you've got the various buffered mults, adders, jacks and all that in the build. Useful thing, that.

So, yeah...this has a lot more going on in terms of both modules AND sonic capabilities. This should keep you busy for a hot minute or three. Plus, it's a good illustration of the difference that you can get with a basic case resize.

Hey Lucia,

Thank you for putting so much time of building a modular set up, it’s a beast of a rig. Yeah I think I limit myself with the 62 hp case maybe that’s the cause of my head, trying to put so much into a small case think that’s where I got over my head. I have to say it did fried my brain 4 vco wow but everything You said does make sense in the rig. I wonder if I can get another 62 hp case and combine them. Would that Disrupt the flow of the modules ?

Again I appreciate your input and I really want to do this rig , going to see if I can get a bigger case here. I really thought I can do a nice little rig on a small set up but I think What I’m asking for Has to be in a bigger rig to accomplish my music goal I’m trying to achieve and it seems that I may have to go Big here.

Happy Sounds

I'd advise bigger still - you have no room for expansion past what's in the 'bigger' case and imo 1u is a false economy - the cases that have it are expensive for what they are and often include superfluous functions that you may not need - midi and output modules are the main culprits here!

get a tiptop mantis instead and there will be space left over so the inevitable 2nd case is further off...

the mantis is best balance of hp/cost/manufacturer reputation/good power supply there is...

getting a tiny case 62hp and planning a 2nd 62hp cases immediately is a waste of money!

and spending a little bit more to buy a mantis will at worst set you back a month or so on buying a module - and you should go slowly buying modules anyway so that you learn them properly rather than superficially, before adding more modules...

"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

+1 what Jim is saying…I started with just a Rackbrute 6U and that was all I was ever going to have…now it’s 2x Rackbrute 6U and a Rackbrute 3U :) I wanted some flexibility to use modular with some of the other stuff in my studio (Minibrute 2, Hydrasynth) and to be able to mix/match smaller setups to take with me when I wanted. If I were in your shoes though I would definitely get a Mantis as suggested… you can still just fill it with a few modules like a smaller setup would allow but you will have lots of room to grow if (well when) you decide to add more


I'd advise bigger still - you have no room for expansion past what's in the 'bigger' case and imo 1u is a false economy - the cases that have it are expensive for what they are and often include superfluous functions that you may not need - midi and output modules are the main culprits here!
-- JimHowell1970

Yeah...you'll note I only put Intellijel tiles in there, treating the tile row as a second utility bus. It DID allow me to shift the modulation mixing/inversion/etc/so forth up to the QuadrATT, so that was a useful space-save for the 3U row. As for the I/O tiles, they're in so that the 1/4" case jacks are useful...so they went in, although I did make sure to go with that new "Stereo Mixer" tile. It allows easy parallel processing, or you can use it as a very basic crossfader, and it connects to the output 1/4" jacks just like the original Stereo Out.

But yes...Eurorack is like the grout mold in your shower: no matter what you do, it keeps growing! MY advice for a first cab would either be a Mantis or a reasonably-cheap portable cab like the ones Case From Lake builds. And in both situations, you're dealing with cases that have bigtime current capabilities so that your system never gets anywhere near its maximum draw.

Added some suggestions to your rack.

ModularGrid Rack

Quadratt - Tame wild CV from Mimetic and Pam's before sending to BIA and SD
Midi - for clock syncing and melody programming from other devices
Stereo Mixer - to mix and connect to the palette 1/4 jacks

Pam's - Clock and synced modulations
Euclidian Circles - 6 channels of mathematically derived gate rhythms and manual step sequencing
Mimetic - stepped CV sequencing and modulations
BIA - kick or bass lines
Sample Drum - drums and breaks
Versio - awesome FX unit that can be reprogrammed with alternate algorithms

Patch to send modulations like crazy from Pam's and Mimetic. This will bring BIA, Sample Drum and Versio to life

If you'd rather focus on melodies and note programming, then swap out Versio for Scales or Pico SEQ. Maybe drop Pam's since you don't like menu diving, then add one of the note sequencers and keep some effects in the palette.

then... get a bigger case :D

I really appreciate everybody’s help out here and helping me do this. It’s like I want to do all these built but I need to commit to one . I check out all these options , and make this happen I will update my progress .