Hi all,

I'm looking for some help putting together a first rack. Here's a bit of what I'm looking to do:
- I use "classical" and semi modular synths but this will be my first modular system.
- I'm looking for a 6Ux104HP case so there is space to expand eventually but it stays portable.
- This will largely live away from any DAW, so I'm looking to house FX in the rack.
- I'm looking for a good all around system with which I can produce dark ambient sounds but mainly learn a new way of creating music.

Thank you all so much already for your help and advice :)


ModularGrid Rack


it's ok as a start - but I think you need more modulation sources and utility modules, for balance and variety... see my signature for some hints in that direction!!

re utilities: more mixing - for both modulation and audio + panning for audio would be good (could be handled with more vcas), which you might also find you need... I like matrix mixers for modulation sources - put 4 copies of 4 in and get 4 more related, but different modulation sources out - I'd also consider some basic sub-mixers - possibly something based on the moog cp3 (manhatten analog for example)

I'd consider replacing the Tempi with Pamela's New Workout - better for modulation purposes that tempi.. and smaller learning curve (no pain in the ass button combos) but there is a simple menu structure instead - and it will add some useful things in there - basic logic, pulse width manipulation, different waveforms etc that I'm not sure tempi does

you might also want to look at a simpler filter - they're always handy to have - doepfer make some good inexpensive takes on classic filter topologies - the sem and wasp are particular favourites...

I'd also be tempted to get something like the fx aid pro, or xaoc timisazora instead of the noise engineering effect module - more variety more easily...

6u case is a good starting point - Mantis is a great case!!!

I'd go slowly at first though - get the minimum that you think for a single voice... and don't forget some stackcables...

"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


To quote @JimHowell1970 "Utility modules are the inexpensive, dull polish that makes the expensive, shiny modules actually shine!!! sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

Maybe look at something like Frap Tools 321, SSF Toolbox, CVilization, maybe Ornament & Crime, or DistingEX

JB


To quote @JimHowell1970 "Utility modules are the inexpensive, dull polish that makes the expensive, shiny modules actually shine!!! sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

Maybe look at something like Frap Tools 321, SSF Toolbox, CVilization, maybe Ornament & Crime, or DistingEX

-- jb61264

hahaha - or just look at the signature above!!!

"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


Thank you so much for the help!

@JimHowell1970 I absolutely see what you're saying! I took the DPO out as I think it might just be a bit "much" and did the same by replacing the filter. The DTM also sounds great, thanks for that. Took your advice on the Pamela too, I've only ever messed around with the Tempi but heard from people that they really like Pamela.
I was looking at the Mantis actually and it's great to hear that they hold up! They look great and the price point is a real plus :)

@jb61264 Oh man, the DistingEX got my attention! hahahaha



It still needs some work on the mixing tbh...

plaits is dual mono (you could use the dtm to mix these before the filter)
wasp is mono
disting ex can be used as a sound source - as either (depending on what you are using it for) mono, dual mono or stereo
the 3 effects you have - beads, fx aid & magneto are all stereo (all can do mono to stereo)
the output is stereo

nb most vcos are mono

so you could do with a panning mixer (vc or not) and a stereo in/stereo out mixer... I know XOH has 2 stereo channels in, but I'm not convinced that's enough - wouldn't be for me

also you probably don't need a buffered mult... mostly needed for copying pitch information - but bloom has 2 outs - and you only have a single vco...

"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


@jb61264 Oh man, the DistingEX got my attention! hahahaha
-- GideonFalls

Its very powerful but be warned if you don't like to navigate menu's it may not be the module for you. I love it, it adds so much flexibility and capability to my setup. Actually (IMO) for someone just starting to put together a case, its probably one of the better modules to get early on...as you learn different functions, you find those that you really want/need in your setup and buy a dedicated module for it, then DistingEX can be changed to do other things and the cycle continues as you build out your system. Good manuals/tutorials make it pretty easy to learn/use. If you don't mind navigating a menu system in a module, its a great add.

JB


@JimHowell1970 Thank you much! Would the Mixology do the trick on the mixing/panning? I've gotten to use one a while back and liked it quite a bit. seemed very straight forward. And the Black Output instead of the XOH?

@jb61264 I'm fine with some menu diving, especially as it seems to have some good tutorials around! Thanks for that!


@JimHowell1970 Thank you much! Would the Mixology do the trick on the mixing/panning? I've gotten to use one a while back and liked it quite a bit. seemed very straight forward. And the Black Output instead of the XOH?

do you really need an output module??? what are you intending to use it for?

I think mixology is kind of large for what it does - if it had a headphone out then maybe, but m'eh - do you need cv panning??? it's pretty easy to patch when you do but takes a couple of vca channels...

personally I really like the tesseract tex-mix - it's expandable so you can add 4 mono or 4 stereo channels at a time - has 2 sends (mono) and 2 stereo returns (that can be used as a stereo send/return) and a headphone output... it might have a slightly higher noise floor and a tiny bit of bleed, but to be honest I don't really notice - there might be a bit of bleed on the sends when the channel is muted, but considering the price (really quite inexpensive) I really don't care... vcas on all the mono channels, manual pan on all the channels - main mix and cue mix... also has (iirc pre-fader) direct output expanders available... I go straight from the main modular level outputs into a cheap 10+ year old Yamaha mixer and from there into my main monitors - works great...

4mono channels, 4stereo channels and a master section will take up 34hp - but will probably cost less than 200 of whatever major currency you use - and you can do autopanning if needs be with the vcas and a lfo (or envelope) and inversion and offset and you get a headphone output included

btw - complaints from people about bleed may be because they are used to pristine DAW mixers - idk, but @Lugia and I had a big discussion about this in a previous thread - neither of us could care less about a bit of bleed - most 'classic' albums from the 60s through the 90s and probably into the 2000s have bleed all over them - definitely anywhere there's a microphone used - in some cases the bleed is a feature (planes flying overhead, cars parking outside, dogs barking etc etc) - adds character, if you know what I mean

"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


@JimHowell1970 SOLD! I never looked at the Tex Mix, but it seems amazing! Love that it's expandable and the price tag is a huge plus! A bit of bleed will certainly not bug me, very used to it:)

ModularGrid Rack
(Not sure why the preview doesn't show the updated rack... hahahaha)


I think you have to refresh something to get the thumbnail/jpg to update...

I've always built my tex-mix modules - very easy builds with only panel furniture and headers to add - all smd pre-soldered...

if when you expand - remember to tell Mangu how many modules you have - he'll send you the right ribbon cable for connecting them at the back!

going forward things to look at (ie to add if it was me) would be something like the happy nerding 3*mia (or tiptop miso or mutable shades) and something like mutable kinks (clones are available I believe) or wmd/ssf toolbox (may be unobtanium - may be replaced by a similar wmd module in the future) and maybe a small lfo, if it'll fit...

have fun!!!

"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