I'm fairly new to the modular world, and am looking to build my first little rack. I've already purchased Intellijel's 4u 62hp palette and Mutable Beads. There's also a used Plonk for good deal, but I'm not sure what modules on this rack I'd substitute out if I got it. I'm looking to create something "well-rounded (as everyone says)" and generative. I tend to like random abrupt percussive esque stuff, but also nice melodic harmonious stuff. I also play guitar and drums which I'd love to throw into this, hence the line input. But I honestly have no idea what I'm actually going for, just have to try stuff out I suppose. Anyways, let me know if you have any comments/suggestions. *I know C4RBN is sold out forever, I'd definitely like to know any alternative 4hp or less models that are just as good. Thanks!
I'm looking to create something "well-rounded (as everyone says)" and generative.
you probably won't really achieve that in this size rack
I tend to like random abrupt percussive esque stuff, but also nice melodic harmonious stuff. I also play guitar and drums which I'd love to throw into this, hence the line input.
neither of which are at line level... and will require further amplification - the 1/2 veils clone may cover this, but then you're a vca down... beads has some gain built in I believe but I've never used it
But I honestly have no idea what I'm actually going for, just have to try stuff out I suppose. Anyways, let me know if you have any comments/suggestions.
I'd try to spend quite a lot of time trying to work out 1 thing you want this rack to do before spending any more money and focus on that - or upgrade the case so that it is big enough to discover what you want/need by buying more modules and patching it
*I know C4RBN is sold out forever, I'd definitely like to know any alternative 4hp or less models that are just as good. Thanks!
modules smaller than 4hp crammed in small cases with other small modules = crap ergonomics = no fun to play
I would suggest going and reading a lot of other newbie rack posts and taking a look at my signature and contemplating the formula therein
"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!!!
Agree with Jim. Well rounded and playable isn't going to happen in 62hp.
If I may ask, what is it that is drawing you to modular that you aren't getting in other formats? To get a well rounded eurorack, you will likely need to spend a considerable amount of money over a long period of time. You mention that you just want to try stuff out, which can be a lot of fun, but may be very frustrating creatively (and financially) if you you don't have much of a plan for your initial investment. If you must stick with 62hp to begin, I would recommend concentrating on a single one of your initial goals, either random abrupt percussive stuff OR nice melodic harmonious stuff.
Good luck and have fun.
1_ A Guitar into Beads is a fun idea. Beads has 'attenurandomizers' for randomizing the most creative aspects of the module so you can just sit back, jam, and get lost—I've played a guitar into Beads for hours in the dark.
2_ For Drums, have you seen the Percussion Interface from 4ms?
I love envelope followers! I think they are the most special, magical modules to have. Everyone, but kids especially, light up when they scrape or hit a surface or pluck a spring and hear some grand elaborate sound come out. It feels as though the sounds were generated by the surface touch 1:1. That's my favourite parlour trick.
3_ You're leaning heavy on the 'random' generative modules but as you're an acoustic musician also, I can't imagine you'd be amused by random for very long—like watching television with randomized channel changing—at some point the guitarist or drummer in you will kick in and you'll want the randomizing entertainment and the novelty to stop so you can develop a groove, or refine an idea to an expressive personal musical level. The "random abrupt percussive esque stuff" you like might not actually be random so much as unexpected, and that is the listeners perspective. Once in control of the modules, random, true randomness like chaotic arbitrariness can be either boring or anxiety inducing—you'll find yourself always twiddling knobs for a more 'refined', 'character', 'musical' sound.
4_ The good thing about the Intellijel 62 is that it is super popular. Put it in your search engine and image search all the other people with your exact case asking for advice and showing their setup. (Especially from r/modular and the Intellijel forum)
5_ 62HP is a great start. You could always buy a bigger case later and use the 62 for more portable duties. Modules like the Tetrapad and Planar are great to have as lap or close-at-hand controllers in a 62. This setup is a good explanation of what I mean when I say what sounds like random from the audiences perspective can actually be tightly controlled, hands-on performance modulation: (note: at 0:56 he set it to randomize only to quickly abandon it for the more controlled sound with the joystick and the sliders—he literally couldn't listen to more than 2 seconds of randomness before he turned it off. That's worth noting.)
6_ You can still buy C4RBN, just don't prolong buying it for very long. If you can't get a C4RBN there is the µVCF at 6HP and then Wasp, Ikarie, Ripples, etc at 8HP. A filter is one module that you will want to play hands-on. So that's where size is 'the bigger, the better' —Perhaps rethink having a Maths eat up 1/3 of your available rack space. You won't find many 62 cases with such a big utility module. (consider the Make Noise Function or Instruo Cnoc). But there's always more room in more racks. : )