ModularGrid Rack

Hi i am new to this forum and new to Euro-rack, so bear with me if i do noob mistakes and ask silly questions :D

I did some research for the last 3-4 weeks, And this is now my first build, Just a humble start!

I want a machine to make techno music with in my studio, later on i can live play with it.

Got the Mantis case with green legs. later i will need a bigger case.

My Questions in my head now is, am i missing something important in this build now ?
Can i send the sound to my mixer now so i can record in my daw?

What should i prioritise to get next ? how to Expand this build for great techno music.

Any help is most welcome.

Couple of things...

You say you have a studio rig. What's in it as far as instruments (ie: synths, drum machines, sequencers, etc) already? This is going to be a major key to what should go into a modular rig and will help determine what sort of focus the build needs to have.

Second: I hope you're not expecting that the equipment is the thing that will make the music work. Truth is, that's on you...not what gear is at your disposal. A modular of any workable size is a hefty expenditure, both in money to outlay for it and time spent in getting how you use it sorted out. You can have a Synthi 100 at your disposal because you had the $50-100k to drop on it...but if the talent needed to make that spendy thing really sing is lacking, that's not a wise purchase.

Last: there are a LOT of machines to 'make techno music with'. Fact is, the people who started all of this (the house guys in Chi, the Belleville 3) were working with crap they could afford from want-ads, used music shops, and pawn shops. That's what shaped how techno sounds to this day. If you don't have experience with electronic music gear on the basic levels, such as with older gear, patchables, etc and thinking starting with a modular is the 'big secret'...guess again. It would be like trying to go through driver's ed in a $500k Ferrari.

Just sayin'...

Hello Lugia.

My rig is Mac, Apollo uad2, Logic X, Studio live 16.0.2 PreSonus, Roland MC-303 groovebox, Yamaha RM1x, Virus indigo access, Yamaha CS1x, Prophet-6 Sequential, Elektron Analoug Four, Digitak, Octatrack MK2, Mackie Big Knob, Speakers are Adam A77X, JBL, Bheringer, DJ gear is from Pioneer, vinyl, cd, mixer. I have a Shure SM85 Microphone. I use a Zoom H2 for sampling/recording as well.

I know how to use the equipment, i started from Commodore 64, Amiga 500 to make music, my first pure Techno machine was the Roland MC-303 in 7th grade.
Today i am 38 years turning 39 on april 24. On the 25 of april the items in the picture arrives, marking the start of my next 40 years of making Progressive! , Techno, Acid, Trance, House, Club music.

Artists that has inspired my music making are many, this are a few of them: Tony De Vit, Mac Zimms, Ricardo Ferri, Carl Cox, Silvio Ecomo, Umek, Mauro Picotto, Cari Lekebusch, Ben sims.
Recently i discovered Colin Benders in this Eurorack world.

And i strive always to have my own sound :)
I understand it has to sound good from me, and that the equipment is not everything.

But damn man, already for me before i have even one module! this is heaven and a candy store mixed with a toy store for me :D
I feel like 7th grade when i walked out of that store with a mc-303 in my hands, all over agein.. That kick sound is still the greatest, and i understand that euro rack is the way to go for me now that i can afford it.

Thank you for your reply, and any more inputt from you would be much welcomed! :D

ModularGrid Rack

I added the Intellijel audio interface2, and Intellijel uJack, that covers it so i can record in my daw and use headsett in the eurorack box, and now possible to use a 2nd headsett from Presonus mixer when working live. and headsett number 3 and 4 from apollo if needed when i record other music people in studio.

Thanks, now i am interested to find out what else i need to expand this world in the most interesting ways, for designing new original sounds.

Be it deep SUB bases that makes the ground shake, leads, pads, etc. Good modules that are generating sounds. this is what i look to add now, and more drums.

Good suggestions are welcome :D

Have you considered a packaged modular system like the Phenol or Modulor 114 before dropping 50k into a full blown Eurorack to see if you like patching wires and can get it to work for your workflow?

I too lust after gear but started small with just a Make Noise 0-coast to see if patching is for me before blowing 10-50k in modular gear. You already have tons of gear so maybe a few small modules may work or small modular system like the Make Noise Black and Gold Shared System?

[Attempt #2...god, I love what accidental keystrokes can do in Windows. Feh.]
ModularGrid Rack
OK...some things were removed, notably the Audio Interface. It doesn't work like you think it does. It's just an analog stereo out (which you have already) and a stereo in (for which you don't have the space in this to process incoming audio). I also took out the effect insert module; again, it's not going to be that useful, plus I added some effects (notably a Juno 106 chorus clone) to better suit this build.

I shifted things into their respective signal paths, also. The 'monosynth' is up top, 'drum machine' is down so you can easily access the sequencer like a playing surface and get at the knobs for on-the-fly tweaking.

As for the 'monosynth', there's now two VCOs. Running just one often results in a thinner sound, but with two, you can do some slight detuning and generate that big, harmonic-sweeping sound for heavy bass. One can also sync with the other for weird lead timbres, too. I set up the modulation section so that the Disting is in position for multiple usages, and Maths provides control curves for the two VCAs, through which you can feed two different waveforms from the LFO. By doing that, you can cause things like delayed LFOs, LFOs that rise in amplitude over time, etc. Added a pair of AR envelopes for the VCF and its internal VCA...that module is a Moog Rogue VCF/VCA clone of sorts. I went with that because it's going to be a bit dirtier, which will punch the monosynth signal out better.

'Drum machine' is the Circadian Rhythms, then there's a passive mult to allow you to distribute a pair of triggers to other points in the build. Drum modules are an 808 and 909 kick (more BOOOOOM), a Delptronics module + expander which has some 606 and 808 characteristics, 909 clap, 808 maraca, and 909 hats and cymbals.

After that, there's a submix for six of the drum modules. Yes, there's more than six, I know...but certain ones you can run through this stereo submixer, then mash via the MSCL stereo comp/limiter and pound the HELL out of the sound that way, while still sending a couple of other drums, plus the monosynth's VCA output, through the main mixer up top. The 106 Chorus can then either be used as an inline effect for the monosynth or a mono drum voice before mixing that into the other stereo input on the main mixer. The first stereo in, of course, is where you'll want the drum submix (and MSCL, if desired) fed.

Yes, the main mixer is possibly overspecced on inputs. Trust me, you want that. Anyway, just feed the stereo out from it to the Output, take your headphone feed and stereo line-outs from that, and that should do it.

It's a relatively simple build, mainly owing to space constraints. And frankly, before going all the way in on this (especially the drum part), you might want to take mixxalot's advice and look into some more prebuilt gear. I would suggest checking out the Roland TR-8S (the new one, not the original TR-8) for drums; by doing that instead of going with much of what's on the bottom row, you then open up a LOT of options for the modular which, with the Circadian Rhythms, you've kind of got 'locked' into a specific usage at present. Besides, the TR-8S samples, has the 808, 909, 606, and a few other Roland kits standard (no 'plug-outs'...ugh), multiple assignable outs, and works like the 909, more or less. And it's about $650-ish over here. There's a couple of other things that come to mind, too, such as the MS-20 Mini + of Aphex's longtime mainstays. You might also consider losing the's sort of 'vanilla', doesn't really rip through a mix very well, which is typical for Yamaha's analog modelers. Pads and such are OK with it...but other things do those as well or better, and more besides.

Also look at the MFB Tanzbar line- these to me sound amazing for EDM and house/techno drums. I have a Volca Beats and using a friends Elektron MD but rather than buy expensive modular drums have been looking at a Tanzbar unit down the road.

I would rather have something like the MFB Tanzbar or MFB Tanzbar lite than the Roland TR machines but that is just my preference.

Hello Mixxalot, thank you for the advices, The Tanzabar looks nice. and been considering a packaged modular system.
I have now taken a look at the Modulor 114 and Phenol systems. I am sure they are nice for a start. But i am 100% sure this is something i want to do, to build a big system. The Mantis case from tip top i feel already is too small, but i will keep it for portable use. I am thinking to build a case on the size of, Pittsburgh Modular Structure EP-420 Desktop kabinett, and i like the Doepfer 100 monster cases.
I want to have a full wall. so i have more options in the future for designing unique sounds, regardless of cost.
I intend to go all in, and expand for the next 40 years or more, as long as i live and are able to be creative.
I allready want more Sequenser options.

Thank you for answering me :D

i did not know about the machines you mentioned.

Sure thing Exigen! I am sure that our resident expert Lugia will chime in as well with his thoughts. Have you considered getting the Microbrute 2s package that has the Arturia Microbrute plus case/power supply? That would be great way to go and you can add a few modules slowly and see what works for you. Modular drums are EXPENSIVE!

The Phenol and other kits are nice and affordable before launch into a full 50k setup. My buddy has such a wall but it set him back a small fortune! Plus he has tons of other gear that he bought that he never uses now.

Hello Lugia.

Thank you for making that a finnished build for the tip top mantis case.
You have helped me to understand a little more now, I see now that the sequenser i chose is mostly used for drums and maby a base line. and i have too little room to do much more, I will build this and learn how to use it, you gave me alot of good information that will help me to grow.

I understand the signal path a little better now, thanks to you. I will keep the audio interface for future build, i know i will need another bigger case soon. The module for adding fx, i will keep just for that bigger case too.
But if i get hold of all the modules you added i will make it so. This will give me a good box for making analog groove.

Thanks for the mixer ideas. Will order them for this build.
The Roland TR-8S is nice, i can get that one, but i also want to check out the kicks in euro-rack format, i have never seen a eurorack wall in real life. so i dont know the sound yet. but i hope it will amaze me.

If you got time to tell me more about what i can do to make another more insane system, another more interesting system with another more interesting Sequenser, and what other option i have with the eurorack format, I dont mind if there is 300 cables to manage. I want to dive in on the deep end. I am able to spend 50k on this over time, and then some more, but i will invest in getting more understanding first so i dont end up with to many modules i dont need. I will make one step at a time. I dont mind if the modules are complicated with many menus.

So if you want to build a Pittsburgh Modular Structure EP-420 Desktop kabinett size system on this site and explain it to me more in depth i would be forever happy! And thank you again for taking time to enlightening me!

I find all of these interesting :D Verbos Electronics , Rossum electro- music modules, Gatestorm Steady state fate, Pitsburg modular,, Orthogonal devices! ER-301 makes me drool.
And to have functions for making vocal changed in any way shape and form, to resample them.

I might be asking alot haha. But music is what i use my life on. I am not taking money with me in heaven, so i might as well use them for sound creation now that i am here.

What modules is good for making Arpeggiators and simmilar task´s like that ?

Best Regards from Exigen.

I would get a Buchla Skylab, Elby Serge, Make Noise Shared Black and Gold System, Doepfer A100 system
and Moog Model 15 modular for that wall of Eurorack sound and have plenty of cash left over for custom add on modules.

For example:

See what Buchla can do:

See what Serge can do

ANY modular can do arpegiators that is basic thing anything can do that has a sequencer. You also want a good sampler.

Oh and don't forget to get a keyboard controller while you are at it. I like the Korg MS 20.

The Serge, Buchla, Make Noise, and Moog modular will have all that you need. I think it would be wise to find a modular store to visit and try gear out before spending cash. Join a local music group and make friends with modular gear. That helped me a lot and I am still treading cautiously since I don't have tons to blow on the wrong gear.

Also are you planning to play live at all? You probably also want a lunchbox portable setup as well.

Here is what you can do JUST with the MS-20 and Make Noise Shared System:

It can make some killer drums without a drum module too.

Synth wall, eh? 50k budget or so, hm? Ooooooooookay...this build uses four Doepfer 9U Monster Cases and two Doepfer Monster Case Bases.
ModularGrid Rack
Now, the first thing you'll notice immediately is a lot of repetition in the modules. This is very deliberate. When you're building on THIS scale, what you want is to pick what would make sense in, say, a Pittsburgh EP-420, and then repeat this over and over so that you can generate a very massive, complex sound, but at the same time you don't wind up getting utterly lost on the patch panel. You know what all the devices are, and their location is all grouped so that each set of modules functions as a singular unit. This is why you also see a lot of 2hp Mixers interspersed throughout the VCOs and LFOs. Each brace of four devices can be easily summed-down into a much more complex signal. And where there are four devices in a module, these modules get their own mixer, allowing for extremely complex admixtures of waveforms. In other places, multiple modules exist to service other sets of multiple modules, such as you see on rows 3-5, right cabs.

So, the top two rows are 'voicing'. There are a total of forty-eight oscillators, although in the case of the VCOs in the Sputnik Duals, one of each will be used as an audio modulation source by default due to that module's architecture. Each oscillator section also has its own summing mixer. The top row (which also contains the buffered mults and passives for CV distro) is summed at a Quad VCA, so each submix group has VCA dynamic control. Row two, left cabs sums with an mixer that can split into either 8-1 or 4-2, with inversion possibilities. This section also contains four slew limiters, located near the CV mult/distro section above. Row two, right cabs is waveshaping: three ring mods, a subharmonic generator, harmonic multiplier, two Elby triple waveshapers, two Tiptop Folds, a Doepfer A-137-2 waveform animator, and four active Moog CP3 clones, which then sum down further via another Quad VCA.

The functions on row three are split. Left cabs is the LFO section, right is a SISM, two A-143-1s which can function as AD envelopes or as complex function generators. Two more sets of quad FGs are to the right of those, feeding a pair of quad LPGs. The Pan/Mix on the end allows summing of or crossfading between the main mix outputs of the quad LPGs if needed.

Rows four and five, left cabs are all complex modulation sources, with more SISMs, 16 linear VCAs (summable) and more 8-1/4-2 mixers as seen above for complex modulation source mixing. At the end of this section are four VC Polarizers for inversion/modulation of summed modulation signals.

Rows four and five, right cabs contain the complex envelopes (four Stages, four Quad ADSRs) and SISMs for envelope mixing. Then the filters take up the rest of this section. Each filter subrow is duplicated, but filters can be broken out of this and/or interconnected as needed. A pair of formant filters is in place for the Doepfer A-106-1 resonance inserts, although it's possible to also use the EMW Multi Bandpasses for this as well. Note that the primary filters in this build are filter pairs, which can allow for further breakout of filtering functions as well as complex interpatching for elaborate timbral behavior.

Row six is where the architecture of the build starts changing. The first few modules are random sources; the HN EQ by the Sputnik random source is for VC noise coloration, so that the noise distribution can be modulated and changed for the WCRS's use. Four Shiftys are after this for arpeggiation of the WCRS's sample and hold or, just as easily, arpeggiation across any sampled source. Up to sixteen discrete stages of analog shift registers are available if all four Shiftys are patched in series. Four window comparators follow for complex gate/trigger extraction from modulation curves. After this, an ARC Artificial Neural Network handles complex logic functions over gate/trigger behavior for timing complication. The Bytom is a gate/trigger integrator. This is followed by more gate/trigger extraction modules, then CV manipulators (two Ladik minimum/maximums and two EMW manual CV folders). At the end of this section, four linear VCAs are in place, along with a CV adder and a triple DC offset source.

On the right cabs side of row six are, first, more CV processing (SISM, Quad VCA, and a Doepfer Morph Controller), but then the rest of the row is taken up with what could be termed 'master' filters for overall timbral processing. The last of these is a Frap Fumana, which allows complex vocoder processing of synth audio; a Thonk version of a Doepfer A-119 (not in production just yet) is next to the Fumana for inputting external audio as well as envelope following and gate extraction from signal dynamics.

Row seven is the angled row in the Monster Case Bases. On the left is the MIDI interface, an Expert Sleepers FH-1 plus two expanders for a total of 24 CV/gate outputs from this. This was chosen so that any USB-capable MIDI controller can be plugged directly into the system, but it is also possible to use an external MIDI box to send computer-sequenced MIDI into the system. The next several modules are all for the purpose of generating time modulation in various ways. Three different sequential switches are next, all of slightly different types and usages. Quantizing and similar functions are after this, with two o&C builds plus an Instruo Sinfonion for polyphonic quantizing and harmony generation. Naturally, all of these devices are intended to work either separately or in tandem functions.

The right cabs side of row seven is audio processing: dynamics, frequency-shifting, delays, a Doepfer A-101-3 modular phaser, a Juno-106 chorus clone and an Elby digital reverb, with these last two being mono-to-stereo capable. A Rainmaker delay and Jomox T-Rackonzier close this out with complex effect processing, and the output module is at the far right, keeping the external cable draping similar to that found on the left side.

Row eight is the MCBs' 'flat' row. A complex master clock is here, which can also take clocking from the FH-1 or can also be CV controlled for time modulation. Then sequencers: one traditional 'row' type, and two multichannel Eloquencers. Right side has controllers first: ribbon controller interface, three assignable CV fader controls, two joysticks. The ultimate 'controller', however, occupies the rest of the row; this is a full ADDAC VC mixer system, with three AUX busses, CV control over dynamics and panning as well as numerous other functions.

This system, as I noted, is intended for use with an external controller, with either CV/gate or USB being acceptable input methods for control signals. Controller should optimally be placed in proximity to the mixer and ancillary control modules.

Current needed for the whole system is 12051 mA on +12, 8066 mA on -12, and 181 mA on 5V, which should be within the distributed supply capacities of all six cabs with Doepfer PSU-3 supplies. Total module expenditure estimate by MG is $47,655.00.

That was fun...

Wowzer Lugia.

That was brilliant. I like different packages for the reason that they can be used together or stand alone in portable setting like if I had just the Buchla Skylab that can be my workstation at a club DJ type event. But yeah the wall of power as you discuss would be impressive indeed! I have a buddy with a wall similar to that but not quite as big. I was in awe when he showed me his setup.

BUT my budget is much smaller and realistic so I am happy to play in the small end of the fish pond before diving deep into Eurorack. Even if I won the 100 million dollar lotto tomorrow, I would probably never spend 50k at a pop on new gear. Probably get one system and master it then see about options. My experience being new to all this taught me to squeeze out drops from one module- the 0-coast which is amazing for that itself. I can only image what 10 modules would do for me!

I've dropped sums like that before...but when I have, it was always preceded by extensive research, sometimes as much as years worth. Even back when choosing gear was simpler due to there being less to choose from, I would still expend a lot of care on checking and crosschecking as much info as possible before money ever entered into the equation. There's a saying: 'informed customers are better customers'...and this is true, because when you're dead-certain about where you want to go and how to get there, the expenditure process becomes effortless because all of the 'hard part' has been done already.

Wise man Lugia, same here. I used Elektron before and needed a hardware sampler/sequencer/synth that was light and portable and can handle modular gear and MIDI. The 0-coast is my baby step into the world of modular on a budget and so far a lot of fun.

I prefer west coast synthesis , FM and wave table synthesis to traditional east coast subtractive synthesis (eg: Moog) because of the unique approach of creating from a fresh scratch pad and building up a soundscape versus using filters to take away until the final product is developed. Also the industrial aggro music uses mostly FM and west coast synthesis eg) NIN and Ministry for crafting their sound.

Mind you, it uses that now...but if you wind the clock back to the inception of industrial, West Coast devices didn't enter into the game at all. Throbbing Gristle, for example, was one of the first 'major' artists to make major and consistent use of a Roland System 700, which is very Moog-like in its architecture. Daniel Miller started off with an early Korg monosynth. Cabaret Voltaire were very much into Roland and Yamaha stuff, along with Chris Watson's prominent use of a Vox Super Continental.

The first West Coast industrial user I can recall off the top of my head was Naut Humon, of both Rhythm & Noise and Tipsy (much later), who had some direct connections with SMS and Serge back in the late 1970s/early 1980s. And he, naturally, was on the West Coast, based in SF. It wasn't until considerably later, after the modular 'purge' starting in the mid-1980s up into the early 1990s, that you saw a lot of Buchla and Serge use by users outside of either academia or the segment of the pop industry that had bushels of cash necessary to spend on such things. But it was also that 'purge' that allowed that to happen, as prices on these things plummeted; I still kick myself over letting an 11-panel Serge 'blue panel' system plus modular video synth get away from me back in the early 1990s because I didn't have $3500 to drop on it. Of course, these days, you may as well add an extra zero to that figure along with a lot of other upward math.

True and back then before modular became popular, bands like KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Funker Voght and Front Line Assembly were using hardware synths like Roland SH-01, Korg MS-20, Nord and Access Virus.

Those first two were actually sort of in a transitional period in synths. KMFDM used both analog but also quite a bit of digital. SP, however, seemed to use anything you could plug into a wall socket as long as it spat noise out the other end. I still have fond memories of grad study back at the University of TN, cruising up to Gatlinburg on my downtime and blasting Puppy's early racket (ie: 'Bites', 'Remission', 'Mind') out of the car to the apparent dismay of tourists. "Why...that doesn't sound like mountain music..." sh*t, Sherlock.

Yeah old SP was fun- hard to listen too as they were quite experimental for the time but very insightful use of synthesizers. I also like the old New Order stuff back when they were Joy Division. KMFDM had the best lyrics and overall package and made use of samples quite a bit on their old stuff. BUT my favorite is Wumpscut that one man show Rudy had some harsh industrial grade cuts. Sad that he gave it up after admit he could not make a living out of music.