Hi everyone

I have been getting into modular for a year now and have fallen into the eurorack rabbit hole. Trying to claw my way back to sanity I want to get smarter about how to make smart use of the space in my system.

What modules, functions do you prefer to combine or place together? How do you organise the space in your system so that it works best in your workflow? Do you have LFOs in one corner and effects somewhere else? Or do you create islands of voices? Or something else?

I understand that this differs from one person to another. Just curious about different approaches and your thoughts about them.

Thanks for sharing your experiences

Hi Cassek,

An interesting but I am afraid difficult question... I had asked that question myself as well... What's a good setup? Thus:

A) to make as efficient as possible use of the available HP-rack space
B) position the modules in such way that you have them in a logical order next to each other or at least in each other’s "neighbourhood"

If you just look at point B only and don't even take the space matter into account, that's a huge puzzle... The more modules you get the bigger the puzzle get.

Roughly I start in my modular on the left-hand side with clock modules & sequencers, then oscillators and LFO's, followed by filters, envelopes & others and VCAs & mixers and to end with the audio input/output modules at the right-hand side because for me at the right-hand side my external mixer stands next to my Eurorack ;-)

But as you mentioned already by yourself, it's a rather personal thing. You should do what works for you in the most pleasant & comfortable way. Or if you really want to improve your module-positioning: try to monitor yourself for a couple of days or weeks how you patch which modules with which ones and then see if you have a lot of (unnecessarily) long patch cables, those might be an indication that you could put a few modules closer to each other. I think the larger the setup becomes you can't completely avoid long patch cables though.

So I was struggling with that as well but I kept it roughly as above described and solved my space issue by just buying another Eurorack case. Why bothering yourself with such a difficult puzzle that every time becomes more complicated when new modules are added if you simply can solve it by getting yourself another rack to solve the HP-rack space issue? ;-) Might not always be possible, I know. I only can do that one more time and then I don't have space at all any more for the Eurorack stuff to extend but at the moment that was the nicest solution. Now I am happily adding modules without the concern of HP space (of course till a certain extend) and as long as there are not too many long patch cables, I am happy with that solution and don't stress myself too much with how to make it more efficient --> because it’s an almost impossible puzzle to solve. I think we all can use that time better to put that time into creating sounds ;-)

Not sure if this helps you but what I am trying to say is... don't stress yourself too much about this... if possible get yourself just more HP-rack space.

Also don't migrate to too many small modules because then sooner or later it's getting too congested and the patch cables are blocking too much your modules and knobs might be difficult to reach to use them comfortably.

Kind regards, Garfield Modular.

I follow a general rule of thumb: "up-left and down-right". Basically, control signals migrate upward on the left side, through the modulation/timing, then up to the VCOs at the top. VCO signals then go toward the right and downward; in smaller builds, the VCF is likely to be on that same "voice" row but if the space is larger, I tend to put VCFs between the VCOs and the mixing/output area at the lower right. This also should leave the VCFs and some of the VCAs in proximity to the modulation (envelopes, especially) for convenience and to keep the cable pattern somewhat sensible. The idea basically is an adaptation of the flowpath of the ARP 2600, save that modular architecture allows for considerably more flexibility in function placement than the 2600's fixed panel design.

There are logical ways to lay things out and then there are ergonomic considerations. Both are important. But diving into them first might help you figure out what works best for you.

The first consideration... ergonomics (using this term loosely). Patch cables have fixed lengths. Do you have enough patch cables and are they long enough to patch between the most distant modules. All modules have depth. Depending on the available depth in your case or even certain areas of your case may dictate as to where a module can actually be placed. The power draw might come into consideration if you're placing all your heavy draw modules together in one case and everything else in another.

Grouping. Grouping like modules together makes them easier to find. You may have all your oscillators grouped together, all your filters together, all your effects together, etc. I also try to put most of my modulators (LFOs, EGs, etc.) together with like with like. I tend to have my modulators flanking both my oscillators and my filters. I also try to group VCAs so they are close to everything.

When it comes to mixers or modules used as mixers/attenuators, I will try to have a general clump of them near the ends of the audio signal path, but I will sprinkle them around the case in areas where I know I would probably use one (such as one module near the oscillators). The same for active mults... having one near your oscillators is ace and you probably want one near your sequencing modules as well.

There's no right way to do. But if you're going to try to reorganize your case, you want to organize things in a way where your most common patching doesn't require several meters of patch cable back and forth all over your case with no slack in your patch cables. You never want to place strain on your jacks.