Hi all!

General question, but I'm curious how long you typically keep a patch before starting a new one? Additionally, how do you know when you've fully explored your patch and are ready to move on to something new?

I find that my patches only last between a few days to a week before I feel the urge to explore something new. I realize that I'm most inspired when building a new patch, rather than returning to the befuddling spaghetti of an older one. However, as my rack and experience grow, I'm finding that there are seemingly infinite variations to explore within each patch. Also, I've read several posts of people who keep patches together for weeks or even months! Due to that, I'm starting to wonder if I'm exploring each patch deeply enough, and if my lack of inspiration with older patches actually comes from a lack of knowledge.

How do you know when you're "done" with a patch and ready to move onto greener musical pastures?

Do you have any strategies that you when use to explore your patches to ensure that you've squeezed out all the music you can from it?

Thanks everyone!


I know I'm not typical but if I come up with something that I know I'm going to use on a track I'll definitely leave it patched up for months at a time. Yes, I'm a slow worker haha. If end up needing to use some of the modules involved then maybe I'll write the patch down before disassembling it. But I have a pretty large system so that's not always necessary. Anyway I think this kind of thing is highly individual and just depends on your goals, your method of working, the size of your system, etc.


Interesting, thanks for the response. I suppose I would agree that it's very connected to all of those variables (goals, style, size, etc.). At the moment, my system is still relatively small (https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_2086285.jpg - how do I post a link to my rack rather than the jpg?), so I think part of my issue is that I can't work around an existing patch too easily if I want access to a module. The other part is that I'm just an impatient person (sigh).

The temporary nature of patches is part of the fun for me, but as I said, I'm starting to realize that maybe I'm not actually exploring them deeply enough before I remove the cables. But as each patch is a learning experience, I suppose that it's just a matter of gaining more experience with my modules and my own workflow.


If you want to post a link to your rack, just click on your user name, right click on the link to whichever rack you want to show, and then select "copy link address".


Cool, thanks!


Hi HGsynth,

For me it's similar as it is for Adaris. I also keep my patch usually for several months. Till I really can't find any more any variations on what I like and then I might start a total new one. I usually just keep on extending while finding other sounds, on the already existing patch. Meaning that it becomes at the end very complicated, most of the times most of all my patch cables have been used and then sooner or later (but rather later) I am forced to start completely from scratch. :-)

Have fun with the patching and modular in general and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


For me it's a bit different. To keep myself away from TV, I committed myself to making a new track every day. So every evening, I pull all the patch cables and start from scratch. 2-3 hours later, I post the result on SoundCloud. I've been doing that since March. I can tell you, it's a very fast way to learn a lot about patching techniques.

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


For me it's a bit different. To keep myself away from TV, I committed myself to making a new track every day. So every evening, I pull all the patch cables and start from scratch. 2-3 hours later, I post the result on SoundCloud. I've been doing that since March. I can tell you, it's a very fast way to learn a lot about patching techniques.
-- Arrandan

That's a hell of a disciplined way to learn, wow. Those are cool tracks, by the way!

I feel that this approach is somewhat similar to mine; each time I patch I try to find slightly different ways to connect everything to avoid a rut where each patch sounds the same. Also, after a few days, I'm usually out of cables and decide to start anew out of boredom (there's that impatience I was mentioning earlier). I also sometimes purposely limit myself to a small selection of modules, both to push myself by setting artificial restrictions to work around and to counter the impulse to use every module and cable in every patch.

@GarfieldModular, thanks! I remember you saying in another thread that you predominantly do generative stuff. Do you typically find that you start a patch the same way each time? For example, I've realized that I rely too heavily on O_c's shift register and quantizer to start a patch, and am trying to avoid being overly reliant on that same signal path.

Appreciate all the feedback, everyone!


Hi HGsynth,

Yes, by times I start always using the same approach however I don't mind to let go an (old) idea and start with a totally different approach. So on average I think that keeps things in balance. Once and awhile (especially when I am lazy) I start with the same (start-) setup and then evolve from there the patch however also on regularly basis I start with completely something new, never done before so to speak. Especially when I get a few new modules, I like to try a complete new approach and take it from there.

To summarise this: it really depends on a per case situation, sometimes that, sometimes something else :-)

If you recognise already the fact that you always start with the O_c as your starting point, then one day when you want to do a complete new patch, "forbid yourself" to use the O_c in the upcoming new patch and just try something completely new not remotely related and close to your usual O_c approach. Dare to try something else, and you will see after a few times you forgot you have an O_c ;-)

Have fun with the patching and try things you never tried before, don't care about the result, if it doesn't satisfy you then try again from scratch, till you find something that surprises you and you like, keep then that kind of creative approach in mind and try that approach in a similar but different way! :-) Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Awesome, thanks for the tips!


That's a hell of a disciplined way to learn, wow. Those are cool tracks, by the way!

Thanks! It takes a bit of discipline, yes, but the reward is very large indeed. It also buys me a lot of freedom as I hardly feel any attachment to what I make. Which allows me to do crazy stuff, like today's experiment with a 5-beat rhythm. That's completely new for me, so a quick track later I know a bit more of the possibilities.

For some occasions, I leave the patch a bit longer. For example, there was a modular meet on Sunday. I started the patch I presented there on Thursday and worked on it until Saturday, leaving it intact for the day after. That's something I've been considering exploring more of. Building up a number of elements, then recording it as a jam. I notice it allows me to explore more complex patches and song structure.

Modular playlist on SoundCloud - One Track Per Day


Great question!

For me it depends on what I'm doing in the studio in general. I have a lot of equipment and I write with modular gear based on if it fits with the composition or not. That said, I have a fairly good sized set of racks (check my racks, they're all public) and I find that sometimes I'll leave a patch I really like wired up for a long time (never for months). If I need to move on, I snap photos of the patch, and make a video recording so I know what it was about the sound that I liked. It's also a good way to see the patch wiring, the knob positions and so on. That way if I want to attempt to recreate it alter, it's way easier.

I'm actually trying to get to a position where I can have the minimal number of modules that have the greatest versatility. I have somewhere around 100+ modules so it gets a bit frustrating knowing that I have any handful of modules that will accomplish the same things. I like making music way more than I like fiddling around with my rack setups and wiring!

"I'll just plug this in here and see what happens."


I'm actually trying to get to a position where I can have the minimal number of modules that have the greatest versatility. I have somewhere around 100+ modules so it gets a bit frustrating knowing that I have any handful of modules that will accomplish the same things. I like making music way more than I like fiddling around with my rack setups and wiring!

-- frankdog

True that. I have a smaller rig (at least at the moment, fingers crossed that changes), but to be honest, I find I push myself in more interesting directions when I limit myself to only a few choice modules. I still think the best modular piece I've made so far was with nothing more than the Minibrute 2s, Veils, and O_c. Somehow now that I have many more modules than that, I can't seem to recreate what I did. Which I guess hits on your other point of making notes/recordings of patches.

@Arrandan, very cool. Things in 5 just have a certain funk to them, don't they. I'm definitely going to attempt your approach of aiming for regular, disciplined recording of jams and then moving on to a new patch. At least until I build a better understanding of my modular system and have a critical mass of modules that allows for longer-term exploration of a patch.


Interesting topic! Yeah, I generally have the approach of unpatching after I catch something on 'tape'. The process and approach my vary depending on the size of the system, though.

Also, I don't intend to gig with my 'full' system, so moving on from a tune always feels like a breath of fresh air.

All the best!

Here's a recent one that emerged from such a quick repatch.


Very interesting, thanks.

Also, cool track! How did you get the light, bouncy runs that pan back and forth throughout the piece?


Thanks for that! If I recall, it was the Microfreak running through the Arturia fragments. All the best with your projects.


Sometimes weeks and months when I have a patch that needs to be consistent until I have time to record and sample it.
I simplified my workflow with a 1010 Music Bluebox mixer/recorder that has been a real game changer for my life. Now I can record happy accidents so if I change patches at least the great accidents are saved forever.