It's been a little over 30 years that I saw my fist modular synth up close and personal that took up a whole wall in a bedroom. I have had or been able to work with most of the synths from 70's/80's, semi-modular and non modular alike. I am now looking to build a system and have come up with this system as of now. I already own the DixieII+, duel ADSR, and TipTop power supply. My original thought was to build up around my Mother 32 and Ocoast, but now I just want to build a self standing synth. I was thinking about another VCO, but any thoughts or direction that I could/should take would be welcome. I'll house the system in two TipTop 19" rack system for now.

Also for the DIY kits, what company's should I look at for reliability, quality, and clean sound, if I choose to go down that rabbit hole?

Thanks in advance for any and all constructive comments.


(Edit: I made a change to my rack, so I guess that one needs to click on rack image up top to see the changes.)

I'll start by saying I REALLY don't like the uZeus power supply. It only supplies 500mA to -12V, and your system as specified is already in the danger zone for crapping the supply out (you need to keep the utilization at least under 80%, if not going so far as under 66%, of the rated). Upgrade to a 4ms Row Power 40 which supplies significantly more juice to the -12V rail.

Second, you only need a buffered multiple for primary pitch CV. You can totally use a passive multiple for Gate/Trig, as well as use one for modulation that doesn't need to be dead-on accurate. I'd replace two of your three buffered mults with passive mults and save yourself some money and some power connectors.

As for module selection, it ultimately comes down to how you're going to use the synth. My guesses based on your proposed layout and your statement of "self-standing modular" is that you're looking for something that would be like a "super ARP-2600"...something that has all the bells and whistles associated with a traditional monosynth with the benefits of patching. If this is the case, I'd pop in another Dixie II+ to have three audio-rate oscillators (with the ability to drop two of those oscillators to LFOs) and a Make Noise ModDemix to have a ring modulator (well, two). In addition, I'd substitute the big Pittsburgh Modular mixer for three 2hp MIX modules; one to the right of each oscillator.

I rearranged the system to have a left-to-right, sound sources over modulators flow to it.

ModularGrid Rack

You still have 18hp remaining in the bottom row that you could use to add another filter or an effects module or two.

Nice work for that final 18hp hole, my suggestion would be a Chronoblob delay and, provided it fits, a Doepfer A-199 spring reverb. And, of course, you can tie those two together by patching the reverb into the Chronoblob's insert in its feedback path, yielding some interesting results.

But also, I'd chop up that output into two other possibilities, both from Erica: their DSP, which is a mono-in/stereo-out effects processor to 'stereoize' your overall sound, and their Out, because you (of course) need that output stage to step your levels down. Doesn't have the nifty dual 1/4" jacks, but still does the job.

As for reliable, top-shelf kitwork, several firms come to mind: Elby, Synthrotek, Random*Source, and Erica again. It's also worth a plunge into Synthcube to see what's in there, as a lot of tiny DIY firms work through them.

m1sterlurk & Lugia,
Thank you both for your input and knowledge.

Yes to start I was thinking of a nice mono synth that I could build upon when needed. m1sterlurk thank you for the updated system layout and additions, very helpful. Lugia thank you for the information on the DIY company's and suggestions for additional modules. I still need to think about this rabbit hole a bit more, but will up dates later.

Actually, think about it a LOT more. Even back in the days when you'd only have a couple dozen modules from the manufacturer you'd opted to build a system from, getting that end-result right tended to take a lot of time, study, crumpled-up paper wads, hair-pulling, and confusing e.e.-type considerations that most musicians were ill-prepared for. Now, in the wild and wacky days of Eurorack, there's about 6,000 modules, it doesn't matter who made them because they all work together, and you have an unlimited choice of cabs from tiny to room-filling. Technically, that should make matters MORE confusing, but since you also have the awesomeness of a huge user-base, resources like MG here, and firms making stuff that's light-years improved from the bad ol' days of early analog, the confusion level seems about the same (if not a little less, actually). But there's no substitute for putting an initial version together, then whittling the hell out of it to come up with a well-optimized result!

Also, I really suggest looking closely at the great monosynths of history, and seeing why it is, exactly, that they're still coveted items. People crave things like ARP 2600s and Odysseys, Minimoogs, Pro-Ones and the like not merely for their sound; these synths also 'got it right'...their ergonomics, playability, rational layouts and so forth are a big part of why users still pay big bucks for them.

Take your time. Research things. The care you put into creating any instrument will reward you years on after you finally assemble it.