Hey, been lurking around here, mw and lines for a while; wanted to put together this 3u but still not sure how capable this combination of modules would be.

ModularGrid Rack

The idea would be to have a synthetic voice plus the MG for manipulating (the 3u itself + acoustic instruments an field recordings) or as a tabula rasa to build patterns and "track". The MG being the center of the skiff, would have modulation from Pam's (which would clock everything plus sequence little phrases or add randomness when needed) and I would run it through Sisters (which at the same time would also filter the Telharmonic). Optomix and Maths as function generator and to modulate the Sisters, MG and the Telharmonic, mix some signals. Folder and Disting are pretty much self explanatory. I'm not sure how much I would need the Disting so I could replace it with something else.

Any improvements/changes/swaps you would suggest? Feel free to point out anything! (I wouldn't be surprised if this is full of dumb or redundant choices if not useless at all, so...)
Looking forward to the discussion ~


Can you post the link to the modulargrid page for your rack instead of screenshotting/uploading a picture? It's easier for people to play around with the system and make recommendations.

Well, if that's the idea, then there's some problems right off. First up: no signal input. This is a big problem for the external processing function, since you'll need to boost signals up to synth levels to work with them, and nothing here does that. Also, whatever you get for that function also needs to have an envelope follower as a matter of course; envelope followers track the dynamic level of a signal and convert that signal level into a control voltage that can be used for things such as filter cutoffs, VCA controls, etc. Necessary. Very.

Mixing via the Optomix is possible...but really, you need a second mixer (preferably with VCAs) here as well. It's not enough to just mix audio in a modular, as you can get very useful results from mixing different LFO/envelope/etc CVs as well, creating composite modulation signals from that.

Disting is nowhere near useless. It simply does too much to call it that, and for small skiffs like this, you need major multifunctionality. If I were to term something something I see here as 'unnecessary', it might actually be the Just Friends, but a lot of that is due to Mannequins' trendy psuedo-babble that they use to describe the module's functions...as to which, I would like to quote the great thespian Samuel L. Jackson: "ENGLISH, MOTHERF***ER! DO YOU SPEAK IT!?" Seriously, if I have to pull out a copy of 'Psychology Today' to figure out what a module does, I call that 'fail: major'. Anyway, terminology aside, you might even consider TWO Distings, considering what Expert Sleepers jams into the 4 hp they occupy.

I'm gonna tinker with this a bit...but I'm also going to presume that this isn't a powered skiff, and add a power supply just to be on the safe side. If you don't need that, then I suggest dropping in that second Disting, but this'll be done with only one:

ModularGrid Rack

OK, now that's solid. Notice that there's a bunch of itty-bitty modules here now, but the functionality is jacked way up. The optional P/S is at left, and like I said, if you're using a powered skiff, just replace it with another Disting and put that next to the one that's there.

External input: added. Morphagene and Telharmonic, as the heads of the signal paths, are right of the Disting(s). Then things change a lot. Next up is a Happy Nerding 3xVCA, which allows you to use the VCAs together in mixing or separately, as needed. Next, I mashed the Maths down to two of its contituent circuits with the pair of Doepfer A-171-2s, saving 4 hp. Waveshaper next, then a pair of modules: a Doepfer A-121-2 multimode VCF (which outputs all modes on separate jacks) and a 2hp mixer, which allows you to mix the VCF's outputs to get some very weird filter voicings. Same space as the Sisters, but still quite strange and cheaper. Then more VCA/mixing, and two FX processors, a 2hp delay and an Erica Pico DSP, which also serves to stereoize your mixed mono signal, so that you get a stereo signal out the right side with that Ladik output, which also has metering and separate inputs so that you can run the Morphagene path out through one, and have the Telharmonic voice on the other.

This thing is capable of some pretty nutzoid stuff, even with the minimal modulation section, due to the Disting (maybe two) and extra VCAs. As far as multiples go, my suggestion is, like with any small skiff, to use inline multiples or stackable cables and just be careful not to connect outputs to outputs. Should work...granted, it's a bitch trying to cram two different signal paths into 104 hp, but it IS doable!

Thanks for the feedback!

My initial idea before trying to get into eurorack was to build it around the Verbos HO but its size rendered the 3u format unusable almost, although I haven't discarded it yet as it is completely functional on its own with minimal modulation.

I'll have your edit in mind and keep both original and yours under revision before buying anything, trying to decide on the final format and all. Your input was highly valuable so thanks again. I understand the need for so many utilities and small modules but for example i'm not sure about the A-121-2+mix substituting the Sisters (ideally i'd buy all of them and try in my own and then just keep the option I like best, but....), I also think I could do without the external input (the A-119 is quite rough and I'd rather run the things straight into the MG with a preamp) and maybe invest in a better envelope generator + follower in that space; the removal of Maths might be quite smart now that I think of it. And yeah, the VCAs... you never can have too many, right?

Thanks again. Do you think I should keep something in mind for future expansion if I ended up building this skiff as is?

Cheers, - nw.

Oh, always keep expansion in mind, and be as fluid as possible about expansion...you never know what mind-warping new module might be about to drop that'll change your whole paradigm up! And frankly, the best way to prepare for later expansion is to admit from square 1 that it's going to happen. This is why I'll often tell users that starting with a larger cab than seems necessary is a must. After you get a taste of modular work, expansion is pretty much a given as the initial build suggests possible new directions, and having the open space on hand already makes exploring those ideas very easy. If there's anything you should keep in mind, it's that; consider going with 6U x 104, or maybe even a 6U x 126 such as the cost-effective offerings from Erica. "Go big or go home" definitely applies to selecting a first case!