I'm a bit limited with my Rample. I like the samples that are in there, particulary when they're quirky, but then I can't combine those with regular drums because I'm stuck to one bank. So I was considering adding something extra. I'm also bumping into the limitations of my Oxi sequencer, or rather the connectivity. With Rample, I'm taking 1 sequencer and 4 trigger outs, but I frequently wish I could free up that sequencer for something else than drums.

So I was looking at drum boxes like the Drumlogue, the LXR-02 (standalone), the Volca Drum, Elektron Digitakt/Syntakt, and others that I decided were too expensive. Several sound good and seem to have great built-in sequencers. Very appealing! Until I realised I really like CVing stuff with S&H or the Joranalogue Orbit. Even when the sound comes out in separate outs, you can only do so much. For example, controlling the decay of a kick drum or tom can't be typically done with CV on these standalone boxes.

On the other hand, there's modular drum machines. The one easiest to compare is the LXR drum module, as it has the same sound engine of the LXR-02 standalone. There's plenty of CV capability in there and it all sounds very nice. But triggering that from my Oxi would take 7 out of 8 triggers. And for some reason, the LXR module has no midi. (Honestly - the one with the sequencer has midi but the one without doesn't...). So either I'm on the lookout for another hybrid drum machine, or I could try and live with the limitations of an in-box experience.

Or I could try something like this! With a 4MS pod, it would become a nice semi-standalone unit that I can CV from my main modular, yet use standalone as well. Does anybody do something like this - build your own DIY modular groovebox/drum machine? Doesn't have to be the Nerdseq, could be another sequencer.
ModularGrid Rack

What do you think?

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


I'm a bit limited with my Rample.>

That just doesn't sound good...


I'm a bit limited with my Rample.>

That just doesn't sound good...
-- BerkleeGrad1984

Hahaha, well, I'll grant you that. "With the Squarp Rample in my current rack" for you then ;-)

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


I am now looking at this, which is 20hp and €200 cheaper. I've been using Drambo for MIDI drum sequences so it would work.
ModularGrid Rack

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


200 Euros is not insignificant, and a 20hp savings too!

And yes, your "With the Squarp Rample in my current rack" change requires far fewer visits to the doctor. :)


200 Euros is not insignificant, and a 20hp savings too!

And yes, your "With the Squarp Rample in my current rack" change requires far fewer visits to the doctor. :)
-- BerkleeGrad1984

I was just reading the urban dictionary on rample and had a few loud laughs and beer up the nose moments. Hilarious! If only Squarp knew. Except if they did it on purpose, of course!

I'm currently in the planning phase of a new DIY rack. It'll have to be a 9U 168hp because of size limitations. I would've preferred 12U, but with my current 7U Intellijel, it's already a nice 700hp instead of the current 200, so that should do for some time (and I have space for another 9U 168hp so...). When the build is done, the LXR and FH-2 will be dutifully purchased and publicized in the current thread. But below is a preview of what I currently have in my 7U, with the 1U modules replaced by 3U versions, and some want-to-haves added. Relabi is ordered in the meantime. The layout is obviously not finished. I wouldn't dare put all the multis right next to each other, it makes no sense at all, and the same for the MIAs.

Still looking to add another melodic voice. For that, I'm looking at something very CVable. I like the Twin Waves I have. It combines two oscillators and despite the single parameter, the two oscs can influence each other which can go crazy quickly. I was looking at the Piston Honda and Kermit, but Industrial Music Electronics modules have very limited availability. Not interested in big-screen modules like Cloud Terrariums and a bit stunned by FM, so suggestions are welcome.

ModularGrid Rack

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


I have a B-MonoPoly. I know it's not a module (and it's Behringer), but it's controllable via CV (along with all sorts of I/O: CV, MIDI, ETC). 4 oscillators and lots of other goodies (modulation-wise). It would inject a more "traditional" synth voice into your setup. It's also built very solidly, which I consider a real plus in this world of plastic-y crap.


I have a B-MonoPoly. I know it's not a module (and it's Behringer), but it's controllable via CV (along with all sorts of I/O: CV, MIDI, ETC). 4 oscillators and lots of other goodies (modulation-wise). It would inject a more "traditional" synth voice into your setup. It's also built very solidly, which I consider a real plus in this world of plastic-y crap.
-- BerkleeGrad1984

It’s actually looking pretty good for a Behringer! For the more traditional sound, I have the CEM3340 based bOSC in there. That chip was used in the Prophet 5 and others and it's pretty great actually! I'm using it with FM in my track of yesterday on Soundcloud

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


It’s actually looking pretty good for a Behringer! For the more traditional sound, I have the CEM3340 based bOSC in there. That chip was used in the Prophet 5 and others and it's pretty great actually! I'm using it with FM in my track of yesterday on Soundcloud

-- Arrandan

Well that one's on me: I completely missed your 3340 module in my perusal of your rack. I will listen to your track later today. Look forward to hearing it.


Really like the track. The opening sounds very JX-3P-ish, which really takes me back!


Well that one's on me: I completely missed your 3340 module in my perusal of your rack. I will listen to your track later today. Look forward to hearing it.
-- BerkleeGrad1984

Yeah, it's a little hidden thingie in an ever-expanding rack, but it's very, very good indeed. I just started playing with the FM, throwing in a chaotic envelope from Zadar, and that's the effect you're hearing in the tenor.

Really like the track. The opening sounds very JX-3P-ish, which really takes me back!
-- BerkleeGrad1984

Thanks, glad you like it! I actually borrowed a JX-8P from a friend back when they were actually still sold. That, and the Commodore 64's SID, are definitely a great part of my musical upbringing. Sounds you would never hear on a radio, even in the 80s when experimental was in the limelight.

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


I just picked up ALM Busy Circuits Akamie's Taiko and having soo much fun with this module! It does drums and synth FM stuff quite nicely.


I just picked up ALM Busy Circuits Akamie's Taiko and having soo much fun with this module! It does drums and synth FM stuff quite nicely.
-- benscott

In demos, it sounds really cool indeed! I was looking at getting separate modules for each drum, specifically considering the WMD modules. It's actually the announcement of their closing that triggered this whole search for more drum power for me. But it gets really expensive quickly, splitting it all up. Crater+Chimera+Fracture were around €950 when I checked a week ago and they've just gone up to €1050.

I just found out about the Magerit Metro, which combines a crazy amount of functionality into 13hp. Sequencers, full drum machines, effects, you name it. For €200 as well! Honestly, it looks like an incredible offering for a starter module. If that would've been available and I'd known it, it would've been a serious competitor to the Squarp Rample I ended up purchasing.

I'm actually liking the LXR module more and more (virtually speaking - I don't have it yet). It's €500 and it's got up to 4 separate outs and 5 CVs. For the cymbals voice, it's actually using FM, so I'm pretty certain it can be used creatively.

If you have any other oddball suggestions, keep'em coming! That's what I love about this hobby - there's always new to discover, and what seems a great idea one day can be replaced by an entirely different approach the next day!

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


LXR looks interesting but I am waiting for Winter Modular Zaps and Rabid Elephant Portal Drum as these look really cool as well.
So far Akamie's Taiko is super amazing fun. I will upload a demo sometime this week.


I hate to play devil's advocate, but I'm actually going in the opposite direction with drum modules right now. I do a lot of rhythm-focused stuff so I invested a fair amount into modular drums and samplers, but found I just kept investing more and more because I couldn't quite get the nuance and sound I was looking for. I tried adding an MPC, but that didn't do the trick either. Finally, I added an Alesis Strike Multipad and that was the missing piece for me. Now, I am selling off most of my drum modules (still keeping a couple modules and drum machines).
That LXR looks great, and I actually considered picking up the desktop version. I'm sure you will get great (and fun!) results from it. In my experience though, drum modules can be an expensive slippery slope considering the additional sequencing and modulation needs to keep them interesting. Just wanted to throw that out there as something to consider. Your needs and experience may differ, of course.
Good luck and have fun!


As a drummer myself, I'm avoiding @farkas "expensive slippery slope," although I wish I could do the same with filters...ugh.


Ha! Yeah, I pruned my filter obsession... er, I mean collection about six months ago.


So prunes will work for modular problems too? Now THAT'S a cheap fix!


I hate to play devil's advocate, but I'm actually going in the opposite direction with drum modules right now. I do a lot of rhythm-focused stuff so I invested a fair amount into modular drums and samplers, but found I just kept investing more and more because I couldn't quite get the nuance and sound I was looking for. I tried adding an MPC, but that didn't do the trick either. Finally, I added an Alesis Strike Multipad and that was the missing piece for me. Now, I am selling off most of my drum modules (still keeping a couple modules and drum machines).
That LXR looks great, and I actually considered picking up the desktop version. I'm sure you will get great (and fun!) results from it. In my experience though, drum modules can be an expensive slippery slope considering the additional sequencing and modulation needs to keep them interesting. Just wanted to throw that out there as something to consider. Your needs and experience may differ, of course.
Good luck and have fun!
-- farkas

Hey Farkas, thanks for the response. I've been doing a bit of generated drums combined with manually programmed ones, with the generation coming from PNW (or Drambo on the iPad, similar idea) and the programming done on my Oxi. I'd start using my iPad with MIDI more to free my Oxi for melodic voices. I see what you mean with the slippery slope, but isn't that with everything modular? I've got 3 filters now in 200hp and I'm already looking at what's next. Obviously, the same is going to happen for drums. And oscillators later on! I like to think discipline works, and a wife who questions every purchase ;-)

The Alesis Strike Multipad looks very similar in concept to the Nord Drum 3P and it's priced similarly as well. Looking up a comparison, there's the Roland SPD SX in the same market as well. I looked into the Nord after reading very good reviews of its sound. I'm not a drummer, though, and while I'm open to learning it, now may not be the right moment. Still, very interesting tool and I might change my mind ;-)

The Sweetwater demo of the Alesis focuses very much on loops and automation, something I saw less of in the Nord. Is that a major feature for you? Did you check out the others before getting the Alesis?

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


Yes, I definitely checked out all of the multipads. I'm not working much with loops for drums, but plan to use some of those features for vocal samples (all processed through the rack). The Nord Drum looks cool, but I wasn't looking for synthesized drums as I can do a lot of that sound design in my rack or with the DFAM. The 32GB of memory in the Alesis was one of the selling points for me over the older Roland, though I see that Roland have just announced an updated SPD that looks strikingly like the Alesis with almost the exact same features (for more $, of course).
I'm not a drummer either, and believe it or not I'm not a huge fan of samplers, but it's great to have the ability to have that physical/human approach to rhythm in a largely robotic/sequenced system. As I mentioned, I was getting frustrated with the lack of nuance and dynamics in the modular drums that I had collected. With the velocity layers/multisamples in a decent sampler, that frustration is now gone.
I'm building a hybrid approach with the Alesis. I have MIDI out from one of my drum machines triggering samples from the multipad, so I can still program it in an X0X style without having to play everything via drumsticks, and I'm adding a Mutant Brain MIDI interface to my rack so that I can also trigger events and sequences from the multipad in the traditional way with sticks. It's exactly the approach I was hoping for all along, I just didn't realize that it could be done.
Yes, this approach is expensive too (as all eurorack is). But, the possibilities seem limitless, and I always felt incredibly limited with modular drums. I was able to sell off some of my drum modules to pay for the sampler, and the scope of sounds I have access to is now so much greater for the same amount of expense.
Again, this is just my experience. Your needs are probably much different than mine. I thought a dissenting opinion might be of interest to the conversation. :) The important part is to have fun, and that LXR looks like 100% fun. Just consider what it is you are really hoping to accomplish before you spend your hard earned cash.
Good luck!


Hi Farkas! I looked at both the Nord and the Alesis now and the difference is simple - synthesis vs samples. Samples enable looping, so there's that. Otherwise, there's pros and cons for both.

With the Squarp Rample I am currently using, I actually have multisamples that I can trigger with CV, so velocity based if that's what I want. It's a great feature indeed - a boring repetitive hi-hat suddenly comes to life. As you said - anything that doesn't do this, suddenly sounds flat. It gets a bit weirder and more unpredictable with the Squarp's more exotic sets of samples, which is also nice. Aside from that, I like to get variation into it by CVing the pitch (simple sample speed on the Squarp), filter, ... Particularly with S&H or something like the Joranalogue Orbit 3, I'm getting pretty interesting results. You can hear it in the clicking-ratchetting sound on this track: . It's not the most modulated I've ever done, but the ratchet is actually another layer of the regular click sample.

So for me it's currently about 1 - more flexibility. On the Rample, you select a kit and those are the 4 sounds you'll get - period. Of course, I can muck about combining samples into new sets and adding my own ones (I have a great set recorded at a blacksmith!) but I haven't gone down that rabbit hole yet. Sample management is file management and as such, for me, a much more boring endeavor than wiggling knobs. Then there's 2 - the 4 sounds in a Rample kit are limited when percussion becomes complex. 3 - the Rample's modulation capabilities are limited, I want more. For that, a module like the LXR has the great advantage. 4 - will I want to start actually playing the drums at a certain point? Certainly looks like fun, and I have an in-law to learn from. For that, obviously, it would be one of the pads we discussed here.

I expect I'll go with the LXR module first to get the extra flexibility that I want. I can add the drum pads afterwards and hook them up to trigger the internal sounds, the LXR or the Rample. But very interesting to see what triggers you in drums! Layered samples are an aspect that I really liked unconsciously in my Squarp Rample, and now I understand better why. It's one of the things that put me off when I tried the Dirtywave M8. You trigger a hi-hat sample every off-beat? It's always the same. Boring!

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


I found this little gem from Tesseract while browsing for sequencers. With the expander, it just fits in this pod!
ModularGrid Rack
Funny thing is this Tesseract isn't only a sequencer and midi-capable as well. It also has a sample player and a very basic drum synth built in.

I still need to look into it more deeply. There's only 4 cv in and I don't know what they can be mapped on. PS: just looked it up. Those cv ins can be used for literally anything - Euclidean length, filter resonance, drum synth decay, reverb level, you name it. Pretty impressive!

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day