Might I suggest checking out Verbos Electronics? My rack has sort of a melding of Verbos and Sputnik, flavored with a Make Noise Wogglebug. Also, the Spectral Processor doesn't exist yet, and it's been anticipated for almost 2 years now. Mark Verbos just announced his take on it, and actually has a working prototype.
Had the Sputnik keyboard, it's not bad. Responsive and good features especially for the price! Very light and thin, tho.
I can say this with the utmost understanding: I get it!!! My rack has evolved significantly since I started building it a few months ago. I had the quad VCA (Which really does sound great), and swapped it out for two Pittsburgh Modular Low Pass Gates, and I had the Sputnik Keyboard, but opted for a Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms Keyboard. I still utilize the 6 channel mixer, but just an FYI only channels 2-4 are stereo, 1 and 6 are left and right mono.
The only issue that I really had with the Keyboard was the hold to arp mode is poorly placed. You have to setup an Arpeggio before you can hit the hold button. Which means you have to be pressing the notes and THEN press the hold button (doable but tricky).
The Buchla-esque modules are very popular and understandably so. The amount of control that they feature is unreal and everyone has a different take on them. Roman (Sputnik) made a name for himself by making very good clones before BEMI re-relased the Easel (and took a lot of crap for it from some....). Tony Rolando of Make Noise used to work for Moog before starting Make Noise. His stuff is complex and esoteric, but in the right hands can do some incredible stuff. Mark Verbos of Verbos has really caught my attention. He's an East Coaster who repaired Buchla's and then just out of no-where said "here I am" and is making Buchla-esque stuff if Buchla started out in the 21st century. So each one has a different flavor and personality all their own. If you can, BUY USED. Holy smokes.... buy used. Ebay is nice, Reverb.com is better. Also, Detroit Modular has a great team and will work with you to the point where you feel guilty cause their service is so excellent, and Perfect Circuit has seasonal 20% off deals (this is assuming you live in the States).
Here's my setup if you are interested. Only issue with mine is the Sputnik Dual Oscillator is on backorder from where I bought it, and because it snagged it at an incredible deal, I'd be stupid not to just sit it out...
OH OH OH and one last thing...
modularaddict.com. You MUST buy cables from him. He has the nicest, most inexpensive cables anywhere, period. We had a very nice conversation once about getting started in the modular world, and his intent is to not break peoples wallets buying boxes and accessories, but by making it accessible for everyone. I kind of when a bit nuts buying cables... Lets just say under a $1 for braided cables certainly caught my eye....
That's really very nice. I looked at a lot of that, too, especially the Verbos Harmonic Oscillator.
I can imagine my system evolving similarly over time, and I'm open to it, so I appreciate the insight.
Since this is my first build, I wanted a "shared" type system, and I based the choices on what would parallel the functionality of a Music Easel, as best I could.
I was considering the Verbos or Make Noise shared systems, but went with Sputnik because of Roman's experience with the Easel clones (which is really what I wanted, but couldn't find).
I have already built the system, and have it in hand. I'm waiting on delivery of the Dual Oscillator, though, from CA (I'm in NY), so I can't really put it through it's paces until it arrives. But it's coming in 2 days, so, I'll know soon enough.
I'd really like to hear what you're doing with your system.
Thanks for the insight.
Romans clones have a habit of popping up on eBay in waves. Best advise is to grab the eBay and Reverb apps, and set them both to notify you whenever certain keywords pop up. You'll almost be guaranteed to find an Easel for 3500$ eventually, and the Roman Clones do come up when the Easel comes up.
The Make Noise Shared System is admittedly, beyond me. His way of thinking is, as I stated, esoteric. Some people can do extraordinary things with it, I'm just not one of them.
That's what's so neat about this: You can build it and tear it down 6 ways to Sunday and never be done. I just snagged a HP/LP Verbos filter to swap out my Befaco BF22, and had to move everything around just so it'd fit (who say's those Tetris skills would go to waste??).
Glad your Dual Oscillator is coming -- Perfect Circuit said that they were waiting for them to be built and shipped....
I just saw Alessandro Cortini perform with the Make Noise system.
Very interesting set, I was tempted to go that route.
The Dual oscillator was hard to find, but Analogue Haven in CA had some, so if you're still looking, try there.
He, and Bana Haffar are pretty much the ones whom I am referring too when it comes to the Shared Systems. Both highly trained musicians who have gone in very unorthodox directions. I've seen the Shared System coming up for about 4500$ new and as far as I know, there isn't anything like it; it stands on it's own.
And yes, Detroit Modular has a few on stock as well, however Perfect Circuit was doing a memorial day, 20% off sale... Way too good to pass up. I'll be patient as I have everything else!