Hello. I am totally new to the modular world. I have owned a couple of synths in the past and currently own a pro 2. Recently i have been really intrigued with the idea of building my own synth. It's a very expensive hobby to deep dive into so I am here to make sure i am taking the right steps. I currently only have a A-100 case that i bought used in a good deal. In my modulargrid i have only filled the top side of the rack as it's what intend to build and finish by the start of the new year. I am looking to make haunting, fucked up soundscapes, and drones. So if you have any suggestions for that i would be more than pleased to hear them! But more importantly I want to be sure i have a good blue print and functional starting point. Here's what i have: ModularGrid Rack

Hi CatholicSkin,

To be honest with you that's a bit too small case, but hey, if you got it for a good deal, nice start and when you are getting deeper into modular then get an additional bigger case, that might work out.

My feedback on your rack:

  • I see a ring modulator but only one oscillator, you need two oscillators for a ring modulator though. Of course you can take two outputs of that single oscillator but I feel that's a bit limiting
  • Missing envelopes and LFOs too... yes I saw that dual EG from Erica Synths, it's a nice module, got that one myself, you can use it as an ADSR, as two LFOs, as two ARs or as one AR and one LFO. Still I feel it's limiting yourself enormously if you would just stick with that one module. Use this module for example as an envelope module (dual AR or ADSR) and get yourself an LFO module additionally to it. At least one LFO, better would be two
  • You wrote that you want to make/create f-ed up sound scapes, well it might be a bit too early at this stage but once you got yourself a bit experience with modular, after that consider the Erica Synths Black Octasource as an additional LFO (not as your first LFO). This LFO is a serious psychopath of a module, it's a serious sick module but in a positive way, no matter how dull modules you have, modulate it by this LFO and your dull modules become crazy too ;-) It's for semi till quite advance usage so get some experience with modular first before getting into this sick thing :-)
  • That Erica Synths Black Multi is a good module, I use it regularly, however for your small setup you might not need a multiple at all; up to you if you want to leave it in this setup or remove it and consider it for the future once your setup gets bigger
  • I see you planned a VCA (Doepfer A-130-1) which is good for amplifying CVs/gates, etcetera but I am missing an exponential VCA for your audio path, so you might want to consider a VCA Doepfer A-131-1 (that's the one for audio)
  • Missing an audio input/output module too --> how are you going to get your audio out of the rack to your mixer?
  • Generally you should think a bit bigger to get a bit more out of your modular system, so at least two oscillators, two envelopes (that dual module you got there might be just enough to start with, still a bit less though), two LFOs, one or two filters, two (or dual) VCA; actually the things I just mentioned (VCOs, ADSRs, LFOs, filters and VCAs), you just can't have them enough...
  • If you don't have an external sequencer, consider to start with a small sequencer, get experience with that and then you might in the future want to decide for a bit bigger and more flexible sequencer; it's not an easy job to decide (and have checked all the sequencers) which one fits you best, so take it easy on that one

Well that's it for starters, prepare yourself for the future to add a casing to be able to extend your modular system. This casing, it's nice you got a good deal on it but it's definitely too small.

Good luck and kind regards, Garfield Modular.

You're under budgeting in what you need to get started. Don't take this the wrong way. But from what I'm looking at you haven't grasped the concept of control voltages yet.

Planning out a rack without understanding how each module interfaces with the system as a whole will mean a lot of money spent in hopes of a functional system with even more money spent once you begin learning how the ecosystem works.

The concept of an ADSR, for example, is pretty common among all synth platforms. But the HOW of getting an ADSR to work in Eurorack is as important as its use.

Can you run me through how you would create a desirable sound in this set-up and control it? Including the patching? If you can't, then you're building your rack blindly and its going to end up costing you more money or disappointing you.