The idea behind this rack is to build a new performance techno rig that I can use as a practice instrument (and for fun). I want to dig into sound design and so use a sampler such as the Erika Sample Drum a central piece of the system. There is no plan to bring a DAW into the picture.

ModularGrid Rack

Some notable inspirations are Julia Bondar's standalone racks (without the heavy use of Endorphin.es modules) and some of Jeremy Blake's (aka Red Means Recording) live performance rigs.

Case

I already have a Mantis case, with which I am very satisfied!

Modules

On the top row, there are two VCO sound sources (Plaits, C&P), two filters (Forbidden Planet, QPAS), and an wavefolder. Following that is a straightforward way to add a drum track, with two Pico Drum2. Next is the Sample Drum that I'll use with both externally created samples and recordings. The A-138s mixer is there to create a stereo sound path out of the multiple sources. That can then be fed into one of the stereo effects modules, such as the FX Aid and Beads.

Bottom row is where I'm really unsure about what works well. It starts with Shuttle Control being driven by the BSP. Pamela, Batumi, Maths, and Zadar generate all the necessary triggers, LFOs, and some envelopes. Veils is the main VCA. I'm still figuring out the role of Ornament & Crime, but so far I appreciate its versatility. Shades can be used to adjust gain or CV if necessary. Finally, Prism and Viol Ruina bring some more sound manipulation. The last WMD MSCL provides compression.

Half of the modules come from a previous rack (in a tiny Cre8audio NiftyCASE), which still seem suited for this new rack:
- Mutable Plaits
- Mutable Beads
- Mutable Veils
- Mutable Shades
- Winterbloom Castor & Pollux
- ALM Pamela's NEW Workout
- Make Noise QPAS
- Tip Top Forbidden Planet
- Erika Pico Drum2 (2x)
- Doepfer A-138s
- After Later uO_C

Sequencing

I'll be doing most of the sequencing of the melodic parts and percussion on a BeatStep Pro. Although I don't plan to travel with the case, it seems more ergonomic to dispatch the signals from a MIDI-CV module such as the Shuttle Control, than to route cables from the back of the BSP.

Output and Mixing

The audio outputs are all going to be sent to a Mackie 1202 mixer. I'm concerned that it could be difficult to quickly stage or adjust the gain of the some sound paths, so I included a Mutable Shades to perform simple attenuation if needed.


I'm guess you are looking for feedback

I really wouldn't bother with midi... bsp is built for pitch & gate (and modulation cv) so unless you are averse to patch cables (& remember they're intrinsic to using a modular synth) - I'd dump the midi->cv module as redundant and use that space for something useful like more utility modules...

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

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities


I'm guess you are looking for feedback

Yes, thanks! I mistakenly believed that is was always the case for this forum.

I really wouldn't bother with midi... bsp is built for pitch & gate (and modulation cv) so unless you are averse to patch cables (& remember they're intrinsic to using a modular synth) - I'd dump the midi->cv module as redundant and use that space for something useful like more utility modules...

Agreed! The small convenience factor doesn't justify the space (and price). This design even started with a Hermod, but its utility didn't seem to fit particularly well with the goal, and it was taking even more space.


Or at the very least, switch the Shuttle Control out with a more "open-ended" MIDI module, such as Hexinverter's Mutant Brain. Smaller, too.

As for the drum modules, I'd suggest leaving them out and using a drum machine that's locked up to a clock in the modular. That way, everything stays in sync AND you save buttloads of money in the process. Also, it opens up space that you can partly use to put four exponential VCAs in front of the A-138s, which is precisely what would give you CV over mix levels.

And as for stepdown from synth to line levels, just use one of these: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/ladik-p-520-4ch-out-line Best $30 + shipping you can spend for that!