Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about starting my modular journey and I would greatly appreciate your advice!

The rack I'm trying to build will start off as an ambient droning rack but will eventually get voices on top of that.
I'm looking for a rack that will "play itself", so no midi controlling or DAW.
I'm not into total chaos, just the right amount! ;)
I'm not looking to start with a semi-modular.

Here is what I got for now:
ModularGrid Rack
PNW will supply gates and LFO's.
Chord V2 will be droning and will be modulated by PNW.
Disting MK4 will be used as effect-unit for now.
HPO will output to my headphones while patching.
Case is a Rackbrute 6U.

Am I missing something right now? Recommendations for the future?

Thanks in advance!


You have about 25% of a functional system laid out. I'm being generous.

I would learn a lot more about synthesis and modular synthesis before planning a system.


Hi there -

Here is what I got for now:
ModularGrid Rack
PNW will supply gates and LFO's.
Chord V2 will be droning and will be modulated by PNW.
Disting MK4 will be used as effect-unit for now.
HPO will output to my headphones while patching.
Case is a Rackbrute 6U.

I actually think this looks like a great starting point if this is your first foray into Eurorack. What makes this work is that you've got a clear vision ("an ambient droning rack for chords"). This setup wouldn't work for everything, but I think it's perfect as a starting point.

Pamela's New Workout is a tremendously flexible & powerful source of clocks and clocked modulation, and its ability to internally attenuate the level of modulation coming out of it is super helpful in a compact system like you're describing.

I haven't used Chord v2, but the fact that you can get both chords or single voice(s) out of it makes it a good starting point. I might consider swapping it for Plaits myself, but they're both great.

Disting should be a nice utility player - can be effects, as you note, or lots of other things (a quantizer if you wanted to use random voltages out of PNW as a sequence, for example).

Good luck with this!


I'm in agreement with Ronin here, actually. It might be a far better idea for you to get a copy of VCV Rack and start to explore these musical ideas in that environment, both to get some chops up as well as to get a clearer idea of what you'll actually need to accomplish this should you opt to work this out in hardware.

Fact is, there's a big "WARNING" sign in your initial post. Generative rigs that work really well tend to be larger setups, not the sort of thing you'd have in a Rackbrute 6U. While that initial module choice has nothing glaringly wrong with it, it's small enough that there's plenty of room for things to go that way as the design progresses. Since you have a clear musical direction in mind here, don't work it out in hardware, as you're apt to discover that you took a wrong turn a few purchases back and a $250 error in judgement will have turned into a $1250 one. Figure out how to get to where you want to go with ZERO expense first in order to avoid this.


Pam's New Workout is capable of delivering clocks as well as some basic waveshapes instead of gates. Chords has modulation inputs but those inputs do not seem to have any attenuators/attenuverters built-in to it. So if the value can't be attenuated within PNW, then you're stuck. Also, PNW only generates voltages up to 5V. That may be problematic if you're looking to trigger an envelope... which may be up to 8V or even 10V. How are you going to modulate any of the values coming out of PNW?

The Disting Mk4 can do a lot. But in this case the OP described it as only being used as an effects processor.

The headphone module is just for monitoring.

Even if this is for some sort of drone machine, there's a lot missing. You're going to want a filter. I do not know what the oscillators in Chords sound like... but a filter will go a long way in shaping the sounds. You're going to want some VCAs, attenuverters, and an actual CV source for generating pitch... even if you're generating drones. With that, I'd also recommend some sort of slew rate limiter unless you want your drones to suddenly change pitch if you shift the voltage going to the 1V/OCT input.

I think you're really shooting yourself in the foot expecting anything usable from this built. It will make noises. But will they be useful?

You've picked modules that you like with very little consideration to how to actually get them to work as a system or as to how you will create any useful drones... that actually evolve over time.


Maybe I'd start with "One knob per function"-modules and nothing with a display. No menu diving, just explore modular with three basic modules like ST0, Optomix and Math. With clever patching this setup will drone your socks off. Future modules could be Varigate 4+, Rings or Morphagene.