Hello everyone,

Thinking of my first Eurorack. I'm looking for a little system composed by long life and good sounding modules (that's why I chose Synthesis Technology). I want to experiment with clock sources/melodies and see whats goin on.

What do you think? Am I missing something?

Looking for your suggestions, thanks in advance!


ModularGrid Rack

Unusable. This contains no VCAs whatsoever. No proper envelope gens, either. Lots of snarrrrrrrzy modules there...but none of the ones needed to make this work. Small builds require smaller modules, and this one's got only one (Manhattan's CP3 clone). And if you've gone to the trouble of cramming 4ms's STS in there, why isn't the final mixer stereo? Or at least, why no stereo output?

Two options, both beginning with scrapping this build and starting over...

1) Start with a larger cab. If you want to use these honkin' big modules, well, bigger = more hp needed. Plus, if you want to use these honkin' big modules (notice I keep dinging on that point where this smaller build is concerned), you will need more space (as in twice as much, most likely) for the necessary modules you've omitted as well as other modules that will make this much easier to use. Seriously. Try assembling something like your original in VCV Rack and see how UNsatisfying it is to use a synth with next to zero control capabilities.

2) Start with a larger cab (again...yes, there's a pattern there), but only somewhat larger. Then scrap ALL of these big modules and try and reduce your panel sizes to something that makes more sense in a smaller build.

Actually, your best bet is to do both. But before that, get a copy of VCV Rack and examine why all of these "boring" modules are actually 100% necessary, and then spend some time studying other experienced builders' MG rigs. From both exercises, you'll notice a pattern that emerges regarding necessary modules, module combinations, setup and signal flow, and so on. But at the very least, do not drop a pile of $$$ on the above build. I can guarantee that you'll be extremely disappointed if you do.

Small builds are a lot harder to plan out than large builds. There are more factors stacking up against you. You need a lot of knowledge of modular to pull it off and get what you need out of your build.

If you're new to modular, it might seem counter-intuitive. But a larger build is going to be much more forgiving and give you what you want and need for more generalized and beginner purposes. A smaller set-up will be less expensive by the shear token that there are fewer components. But it's moot if the components you put together won't give you the functionality that you're going to need.

This is a common problem and misconception when planning your first rack: "oh, I'll go smaller to save some money." But you end up spending a fair amount of coin for results that will be less than pleasing unless you absolutely know what you're doing.

Thanks guys for your replies. I really understand your points of view and what you're meaning. Despite that I don't want to leave my modular departure before taking off (I've left numerous times). From your answers I perceived I really need more control over this system, of course through smaller useful modules. From where I need to start? Or...maybe, from where I can cut? Can I maybe remove the 4ms sampler? Actually I don't have a sampler in the studio and this is why I put it inside. Speaking clearer, I'm really an open mind musician and I was looking to a no controllable system (or i can say less controllable, obviously in a good and enhancing way...). I would make a system with more than one master clock, no related each one, and where I can experiment with melodies, my only beloved need in music. I put math because I read it should be the first modulator in a system. I know i'm following some intuitions, of course I gave too much importance to the single module and the whole system is now "unusable". What would you suggest? Could you please give me some "small" adjustments and try to make this system usable? Thanks for your time and your full answers.

To "fix" your system there aren't any small adjustments to be made. That's the point we're trying to express. To make your proposed system worthwhile in the limited amount of space really isn't workable. We have to add functionality and there's just no space to do that. A larger case would make it possible. Until there is more space, you're not going to get anywhere.

For what you have here... you'd be better off buying a semi-modular synth and a simple desktop sampler. It will be less expensive and complete.

If you're going to do this all in the confines of Eurorack, you're going to need a bigger budget and a bigger case. Sorry to be that blunt about it. But there's no making this build work with just a couple of tweaks.

ook, I definitely got your point so I added one more row. From where should we start now? Could i now preserve all my modules? thanks for your time.

ModularGrid Rack

My best advice to you would be to download VCVRack (it's free) and set up a virtual Eurorack synth then try to play it.

In this set-up you're missing a lot of key elements to even a basic synth. What is a VCA? Why are they important and what can you do with them? Do you know the types of VCAs that are around? How many would you suggest for this set-up? What is an attenuator and/or an attenuverter?

How will you attenuate control voltages going to the resonance input for your VCF for example. The filter cut-off has a knob that functions as an attenuator... but the resonance doesn't. Manufacturers put attenuators and attenuverters (an added expense) on inputs they believe will get a lot of use. But there's no rules saying that they have to. If you want to control the amount of attenuation with other parts of your system, you'll need VCAs as well.

How will this synth play notes? There's nothing on here that can deliver a sequence of pitches AND gates. The Vari-Gate only does gates. What will handle pitch information?

You're also missing a lot of modulation sources. LFOs are very handy and standard sources of modulation. There's not one here. Where are the envelope generators? The Maths can do simple two stage envelopes... but what about ADSR envelopes?

Regarding the filter. It's only a low-pass filter. It has different outputs that supports different cut-off slopes. But that's the only kind of filtering you can do with it. I'd check out something like the Joranalogue Filter 8 to give yourself a lot more options... unless you're going to add a few other filter types to your system, which would be expensive.

The mixer is DC-coupled (so it can mix audio or it can mix control voltages). It's fine. But you may also want to consider an output module that converts synth level to line level. Modular synths operate at a much louder volume than your average line level synth.

Maths. Maths is a great utility module to have around. But it's a jack-of-all-trades.

Dear guys,

I let some time passed and now I'm back to you. I revisited my idea, I added a lot of space and modules. I think it's an expansion of my original idea. To refresh your mind, I want that all will be set around the sequencers and I'd love also to interact with other external synth of my studio, that's why I included the intellijel interface. Could you please explain what do you think now? I know maybe this system is a bit bigger as a starting eurorack but I'd also love it to be a long time instrument, I don't want to struggle every day to what to add or remove.

Thanks in advance for your time, best.


ModularGrid Rack