Hello community!

After having built up a little studio over the last couple of years (mainly Sub 37, Analog Four, Analog Rytm, Octatrack, Waldorf Blofeld, OP-1, Kore 2, Ableton with Push 2 and a Scarlett 18i20) I got myself a Mother 32 to give modular a try - as feared i got hooked instantly and ordered a case to start with. Because I really enjoy going out of the basement at times to tweak in the wild and to be able to maybe play little gigs outside I chose an Intellijel 7u 104hp. I also like the thought to combine it with another unit in the future :)

Maybe because I‘m new to this and coming from the DAW I was oriented towards more or less conservative and melodic sounds with dark and wide ambient soundscapes until now but I think the more experimetal stuff could develop after diving deeper into the knobs and cables.

Before knowing modular I listened to Carbon Based Lifeforms, Solar Fields, Aes Dana, Huva Network, Minilogue but also Stefan Bodzin, Worakls and Astrix or James Holden. Now exploring the modular world I really enjoy Colin Benders, Caterina Barbieri or YouTube artists like R Beny, Alan Dear, State Azure and Lightbath.

After watching hours and hours of modular videos I came up with an idea how to fill the first case - not knowing if I produced total bs... I think I will place the Mother inside at first to be sure having everything necessary to start with just to take it out later when the space is needed. My first sketch looks like this:

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_929442.jpg

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/modulesracks/datasheet/929442

So my main questions are:

Does this make sense to you having said the things from the beginning?

Did I forget something essential or will I not be able to get a bleep out of it this anyway?

Do I use some modules wich more or less do the same?

Do you recognise modules wich already have successors available?

Are there too many VCO‘s to begin with?

Also the idea of integrating a Circadian Rhythms and some drum modules is tempting, but having the analog rytm I think it would be wise to use the space for filter and effects in the beginning and let the drums come from outside the case - if this makes sense...

Sorry for maybe noobish questions, thanks an awful lot for your advice and nice patching,

Christian


Lots of problems here...first up, don't consider putting the M32 in the Intellijel cab. The space in that is expensive, and the Moog already has a case. Save your Eurorack hp for things that 100% require it. Next, the tile row; that USB tile is "standard" and Intellijel uses a different spacing for their tiles, so that won't fit in there. Also, the other Line Out tile isn't necessary, since the stereo I/O tile works with the 7U case's 1/4" connections. See here: https://intellijel.com/shop/cases/104hp-84hp-7u-performance-case/ for reference. Also, with the stereo line inputs, the Ears is redundant...you could just make do with an envelope follower such as Plankton's ENVF to extract envelope CVs. That also saves 2 hp. Plus, check your module depths... Intellijel lists a maximum (over the power supply) of 53mm, but the real fact is that you'll need space (even with the Intellijel supply having loads of headers everywhere) for your power connections as well as airflow. Leave space in the case for these.

That ER-101 won't be any fun at all without the companion module, the ER-102 Sequencer Controller. The Plaits and Rings both have third-party builds that take up less space. In a small build like this, it's important to reduce size as best as possible. Also, leaving the M32 where it belongs will help with this. And don't go with replacement panels at the start of all of this; leave the Dual Looping Delay as-is to help avoid potential hassles that might arise from a panel swap.

Speaking of saving space...is the Supercell necessary? It's a very large module at 34 hp, and if you want the granularization of the Clouds, you should also look at a reduced-size version of that. For that, see Tall Dog's uClouds; they also do a uRings, but Codex Modulex does that and the Plaits in 8 hp each for less money.

Now, as for what's not there that should be...VCAs, LFOs, mixers are all pretty much absent here, and are all pretty necessary. Yet another reason why that M32 belongs where it should be...you will need that 60 hp for things that require it. This build also seems to have a case of the "Big Sexy Module" problem; if you build this as pictured, you're going to be fairly disappointed due to the fact that Big Sexy Modules require quite a few boring, utilitarian modules in order to get them to really shine at what they do. I also see very little in the way of envelope generators, save for the Stages, and EGs are important to make some of these (such as the Morgasmatron) do what they're capable of.

Don't look at a bunch of YT videos as your prime info source, btw...while some are good, a lot of them are rubbish as well, and there's no real rating system to cull out the ones where users don't know what they're doing. Simply because someone can post a video doesn't mean they're an expert (although I can think of a few examples where the posters might think they are). Instead of studying these, hit places online that allow you to study classic synths with classic architecture, synths that (in some cases) have been around for nearly 50 years that are still coveted devices make for much better templates than some random musings on YouTube. Instruments like the ARP 2600 (one of the best teaching synths, btw), EML 101 and 200, Buchla 100 series, the Minimoog, etc provide much better models to extrapolate on. Also, unless you have some galloping terminal illness, it's not a good idea to rush the process of learning what to do and then doing something immediately. TAKE TIME to examine options, study, create multiple iterations of builds, etc...otherwise, you'll wind up with something expensive and unsatisfactory. No one gets their first build on MG right. Not even people who've been doing this for decades.

Ultimately, my suggestion would be to delete this and then start again. But before doing so, take some time to look at what you're doing musically and then start building based on the strong points you see in your current gear as well as those you encounter while browsing through MG. You'll find that what you end up with after proceeding carefully will be quite different from what you have here, but at the same time it'll be several thousand dollars well-spent on an instrument that gives you many years of discovery and use.


Hi Lugia

First of all thank you so much for taking your time and the detailed answer! It helps me a lot and I really appreciate it.

I struggled with the descision to put the M32 inside, too... I just thought I could easily remove it when the case is full but maybe it is better to leave it outside and invest in some longer cables instead :)

I checked out the clones of Rings and Plaits - looks good. Do you think the sound quality is comparable? The uClouds sounds great! Can you use this as a simple reverb, too? Because my intention was to have a reverb for the M32 and in the description I could not find something about this other than for example the Microcell Granular Processor.... also not too big.

Regarding the sequencer I would invest in the additional ER 103 if necessary. As an alternative I could use the Octatrack but I really like the idea of having everything in one case better. Taking the amount of space into consideration - would you say this is a good solution?

I didn‘t quite understand what you said about the Dual Looping Delay - would you keep it or take something smaller (I chose it because of the additional looping possibility and how it sounded in some of the videos).

Once agin thank you very much for your advice!


With the DLD, just leave it as-is with 4ms's stock panel. It's not difficult to read, so I don't think the expense/hassle of repaneling it makes sense. It's also a pretty control-dense module, so doing the work to get all of the controls, jacks, lights, etc lined up and resecured just seems like a major hassle.

The uClouds is simply a tiny version of the same thing as the Supercell. The Supercell adds more function controls, but at the core both are still the same open-source firmware. Same thing goes for the other smaller MI clones.

As for the sequencer...the ER-102 Sequencer Controller is definitely a must with the ER-101, given that it allows for memory-based control over the ER-101. The 102 has the SD card slot for memories, controls for loop-point changes and grouping loops, opens up new modulation possibilities, and can also do CV recording of things such as joystick, knob, etc gestures. Just as a composing "scratch pad" for grabbing clips for later use, the ER-102 is worth adding; in performance settings, it's damn near indispensable. Of course, there are other complex sequencers out there, though...maybe have a look at Hermod's Squarp, which is sort of a version of their Pyramid sequencer that's been retooled for Eurorack purposes. Something like that would also open up more space, too.


I will take a closer look at the Squarp... it seems really compact - at least more than 101 and 102 together. And there would be a little cash left to fill up the missing M32 ;) Already did that with the Maths at the moment.

Thanks once more for your help and have a nice weekend!