Hello amazing humans who are no doubt lightyears ahead of me in the world of modular synthesis. Here, I submit my first Eurorack for your consideration. I hope to learn if I've missed anything spectacularly necessary or overlooked something glaringly obvious in the setup. I'm also eager to learn which modules you might recommend as a natural next step. Your advice, suggestions, guidance (even disapproval) would be endlessly helpful and very welcome. Regarding the intended use... I've lived in the word of sampled orchestral libraries and fully loaded synths for years. I compose orchestral pieces with electronic flourishes. Stylistically, I trend toward overly romantic string passages mixed with somewhat dark electronic elements. For example, I love the deep space romanticism of a morse code S-O-S repeating off into a whirling expanse, thick electronic FWWWWAPs to anchor strings and regimented bleeps and beeps that sound as if they've come from the real-time operation of a spaceship. My interest in modular is both sculpting new less common, less familiar sounds, creating drones that I can use as a layer mixed into my current work, as well as feeding in some raw audio in order to twist it out of all recognition. Anyhoo. That's me. This is what I have so far and I'm excited to snatch up some of your wisdom!

"Ambitious it is looking", Yoda would say.
Two rackbrutes to fill, lose some MI modules, get some modules that will combine what there already is; e.q. logic or sequencer stuff.
Sound design can be achieved relatively easy, but in Euro it is mostly about the instant joy.

You are awesome! Thank you!

I went through and read what you like to hear from your electronic elements.

Research "sample & hold" modules. Bleeps and bloops often sound pretty good with random/semi-random pitches.

Quantizer. If you want generative pitches, forcing them into a scale is a bit more musical. That's what a quantizer does.

Research Euclidean rhythms. There are a few modules with this capability (I love the Temps Utile for this). Combining them, using a logic module, triggering one one set of Eucs with the output of another pattern... you can go on and on. It makes coming up with interesting patterns pretty easy without a lot of composition.

Effects. Reverb, delay, ring modulation... etc. The standard lot. External (non-Eurorack) effects are cost effective. But Eurorack modules with CV inputs offer more creative possibilities.

You have two semi-modular synths in your rack. All of your basics are covered.

As your Eurorack collection grows, you'll probably evict both of them from the rack to make space for more modules.

Bonus points for leaving open rack space for expansion. Feel free to look up my rack "The Machine That Goes Ping" for any of the stuff I use.

Awesomeness! Thank you! I'll start checking out sample and hold modules and Euclidean rhythms. Also, I've checked out your rack. All I see is a bunch of stuff I want for some reason... but don't know why. I'm guessing that's not uncommon. Thus begins my journey into the world of modular synthesis -- and total broke-ness. Thanks again.

"Broke" and "Eurorack"...two terms that seem to go together an awful lot these days. I always thought Dieter's idea was to make modular synthesis more affordable and accessible...

I'll echo Ronin's point about the patchable synths in there. Removing a patchable from its case...that you've presumably already bought and paid for...isn't very economical. Not only have you paid for the case(s) these should be in, you're paying MORE to house them in a Eurorack cab, and this can often be quite a bit more. Assuming that these are Arturia Rackbrutes, each hp of space in them costs $2.04. So if we took the two patchables in here already and then worked out the cost for their space (130 hp), we arrive at a cost for space of $265.20 to house both, which already have housings and power, in the Rackbrutes. Not a good idea. Eurorack cabs really should be for actual Eurorack modules that don't have the convenience of OEM housings and power supplies.

I'm also not 100% sold on the Rackbrute these days, either. They're a GREAT match to a Minibrute 2 or 2s, true. But in practice, you actually lose 5 hp to each one's power supply, plus you're going to have to deal with depth limitations over the busboard. And they're not that big, so there's a tighter amount of room for expansion. Instead, you might look at something beefier like Erica's "Monster Case", which is 2 x 126 hp, with 2.5A of power on each 12V rail, and a max depth of 140mm. Yes, it's more expensive at $599, but the cost per hp is actually only about 30 cents more, and you get a much bigger cab, better P/S, and the ability to go to 4 x 126 by adding the appropriate end-bolsters and a second cab. That's a far more serious case, and also a more long-termable case as well.

Thanks for the reply! I wish I’d have found this site before I splurged on everything. To be honest, I’d meant to start by making a minimal investment, building the system over time. They’re just so damn beautiful. I got in way deeper than I’d planned. “Just... one... more... purchase.” “I can stop whenever I want!” Anyhoo. I failed to consider the cost of real estate on the case. It seems so obvious now. There is so much to learn. I do appreciate the help though. Thanks again for taking the time! I’m rereading everyone’s posts this morning.

  • superchrissie!

I'm an Intellijel case user. The quality is good. I like the Intellijel 1U, especially since more modules are planned and third parties are now starting to see the value. I have 2 7U 104s and 1 4U 104.

Well.. whatever you end up doing, don't put the Moog and Boog into your rack eating up expensive space, keep them in their own boxes.