ModularGrid Rack


I’m completely new to modular but looking to build my first euro rack.

I’d be grateful for feedback on the design above. At the moment I am just looking for something to get me up and running.

I want to integrate it into my existing DAW setup with Ableton and use CV tools, hence the ES-8 (I need USB)

I’m planning to house this in an Arturia Rackbrute 6U, so I have plenty of scope for adding more modules later down the line.

I realise this design will benefit from extra modules but I just want something to get started with, while also trying to minimise initial spend.

So does this look like a good starting point with options to get creative or am I missing something key here?

I want to monitor through headphones (hence Pico) and I’ll also be using my Arturia Keylab Mkii.

Grateful for any advice!

So does this look like a good starting point with options to get creative or am I missing something key here?

-- MrMojoRisin

Well, yeah, you are...pretty much any and all modulation sources are missing, and you WILL need those in order to make those modules do their thing. In short, they're essential.

Give me a bit, and I'll try and bang out a decent "start here" build in a Rackbrute.

Many thanks!
I was looking at adding Instruo Ochd/Maths/Pamela’s New Workout at some point- maybe they'd be useful from the start?
But grateful for your expertise

Maths, definitely...but in this starter build here, I think you'll have plenty to keep you busy on the starter version here. Plus, you've got 69 hp to build this on out later..and I dropped modules in here that are already set for future expansion.
ModularGrid Rack
Very basic, this...but as noted, it's ready to fill on out as time/budget allows. That's why there's the quad VCA, the 4-in stereo mixer (and its FX send/returns), and the two quad modules from Xaoc with their expanders. The Happy Nerding Isolator 2022 is optional, if you feel OK about sending synth-level to your mixer/interface/etc.

The only caveat I have here is whether or not the ES-8 will fit. It's got a depth of 50mm, and these days most portable cabs top out at 45 or so. It DOES have an 80 hp factory P/S, though, so it might be just fine.

[NB: The Isolator should be to the right of the TexMix master; MG "decided" it belonged where it wound up. Silly website...]

I'd agree in the main with @Lugia...

and add only get the isolator if you get clipping without it and can't mitigate that with a pad on whatever you are sending it to... you won't do any damage though - I've used an old yamaha mg10 mixer (cost me £100, years ago) and never needed anything to mitigate clipping...

also I'd consider a tiptop mantis case over the rackbrute - a little bit more expensive, but 40hp bigger, better power supply and most importantly no rack wart!! so more space for modules you actually want!

"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

Thanks for the advice. Really helpful

I have the Rackbrute already, got it £100 cheaper than the Mantis, although I appreciate the Mantis offers more HP and better power. I’m banking on the Rackbrute being enough to meet my needs. Although I don’t quite follow how to move the switch and power to gain another 4HP?

On the VCA, it’s difficult to source the Alyseum. Thoughts on either the Intellijel or Doepfer Quad VCA instead? The latter being a fair bit cheaper.

Although I don’t quite follow how to move the switch and power to gain another 4HP?

-- MrMojoRisin

The default Rackbrute PS is 5HP, you can pull it out of the case, unscrew the panel, and then use the panel as a template to drill the same holes in the top or bottom of the Rackbrute. Thus giving you an extra 5HP, nothing more needs to be done, and while you still have the default power supply rail voltage indicators, it's nice to have them in view so you could add this module for -1HP, and now you have 4HP extra for a multifunction like a Disting mk4, or whatever.

  • note that the depth for modules in that area will be less depending on how low you go, so plan your layout accordingly. Or, you could go crazy like me and replace the Rackbrute's power with the Intellijel TPS80W boards and then mount the Intellijel Power Entry 1U anywhere you want. Or not, but you have the option. Also, this thread on MW may interest you, pg 11.

  • edit - the ES-8/9 will fit in a Rackbrute as you got 53mm on the board side and 75mm of depth on the other.