Very new to Eurorack.
I am looking to make music that is melodic, percussive and experimental.
I want to have a lot of diversity, functionality in a small rack.
I will be using this with both my Arturia Keystep (step sequencer) and Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox addition (so it will not use any hp space).
Any advice on additional modules not needed or needed, cross over that I might not be seeing etc.
Thank you.

Hi Groc,

Please read the posts in this forum under the Rack section this post: "Why your 6U x 84 generative rig won't work", that's very useful to people new into modular. Please also consider to plan a (much) bigger casing. Please also read other posts in the Rack section to get an idea of what other new persons to modular came across.

Please try to plan less "fancy" or "sexy" modules however more classic components (they might look boring, they do look boring but you seriously need them) like VCOs, VCFs, EGs, LFOs, VCAs, etcetera.

The Arturia Keystep is a good start to get a sequence into your modular. Don't forget to look at an audio input/output module. The Eurorack signals are not 100% compatible with the audio signals so the best way to go is for an audio input/output module. But if you really plan to go for an Intellijel case (take the 7U, not the 4U), then that should be fine.

Good luck with reading, investigating, understanding (check/ask here if any info required) and planning your modular system, and please try to read the entire posts in the Rack section of this forum. Try to avoid the "TL;DR" principle ;-)

Kind regards, Garfield Modular.

I read your post. You have an SV-1 and a Keystep. This rack will be in addition to those pieces.

"I want to have a lot of diversity, functionality in a small rack."
The nature of modular makes this a very difficult request to fulfill. I'm assuming that the SV-1 is going to be your go-to synth and what's in the rack will compliment the SV-1. What do you feel is missing from the SV-1/Keystep combination? Where are you going with your music?

Garfield mentioned getting the 7U version of a case. I would definitely recommend that too. It's a little more money up front. But you get more space and more features in the 7U cases.

As far as what you HAVE in the rack posted above... IF you get a 7U case, you will definitely not need the Intellijel audio I/O 1U JACKS module. Those are built into the back of the case and have a connector for the Intellijel audio I/O module.

The pedal I/O and pedal jacks I/O are nice to have. But there are better modules that will fit in that 1U space. Get an Intellijel Quadratt for mixing, inverting, and scaling your CV and even audio. You'll find it more useful than that other stuff (the Duatt doesn't offer enough channels in my opinion). Eurorack versions of reverb, delay, and bread and butter effects are nice due if they have CV inputs for real time modulation of parameters. That's something you generally can't do with most general, stand-alone effects units.

There are some things that might give you a wider palette of sound such as a module capable of ring modulation and/or distortion. You're on the right track with a wave folder. You can overdrive a signal with your Duatt... but there's no way to directly modulate the module. It's still not a bad module, though.

Another consideration is that you're using a lot of Mutable Instrument modules. There are smaller micro versions of these available. If you can handle the smaller knobs, it's a great way to save rack space for other modules.

I'd also suggest a module like Ornaments & Crime. Your Keystep has an on-board sequencer. But having a second sequencer that can be locked to the Keystep and be modulated within the rack is also helpful. Sequencers can be used to influence modulation rather than playing notes. The O_C can also generate envelopes rather than gates... so it can get you a long way even if used in a subtle manner.

To summarize. What you have here in conjunction with the SV-1 and Keystep isn't bad. Just go with a larger case. As you dive deeper into Eurorack, you're going to probably want to add more modules or swap out what you have for something else that might need more room. Give yourself room to expand.

Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
I am a bit surprised by some of the things mentioned.
"Please try to plan less "fancy" or "sexy" modules however more classic components (they might look boring, they do look boring but you seriously need them) like VCOs, VCFs, EGs, LFOs, VCAs, etcetera."
Fancy and sexy have very little to do with what I am trying to achieve. It's all about the sound for me and if I could make the sounds in my head with 12 VCA's, I would be happy to do that :)
I have 3 Oscillaors, 2 VCF's, 2 EG, 5 VCA's and a basic LFO so far.
I have been reading what you suggested though and am seeing that my modules are fine but very incomplete without more utility modules.

''Another consideration is that you're using a lot of Mutable Instruments modules."
I am actually only using 2 but I get your point. I think one of the issues for "some" people new to eurorack, myself I would include here, is we do research and want to get what is considered the best quality and most versatile modules; therefore Mutable Instruments comes up a lot. However, like everything, maybe it is just a bunch of online magazines trying to profit from other peoples lack of knowledge and maybe there own, I don't know.

I read "Why your 6U x 84 generative rig won't work" and the replies that follow and I think you guys should write that short book for beginners.
Every time a newbe posts "Help! New to Eurorack", you guys can just give the link to the e-book :)
It would be so helpful and also it would help adjust the expectations of those really interested and not interested in learning eurorack, as well as the cost involved (especially for errors on purchasing unnecessary modules).
You also mentioned, I think it was Ronin1973 that new users lack knowledge on triggers, gates, clocks etc. I think you hit the nail on the head right there.
I feel lost in a forest when it comes to that stuff. I am so use to midi and how easy it is to implement. I get Oscillators, Filters, EG's, VCA's and LFO's (a basic synth) but I think it gets complicated after that, which probably sounds silly to people with experience like yourselves.
I am always reading what I can and looking at Youtube etc but it is all so fragmented and incomplete. An authority on the subject would be helpful.

Thanks for all the info guys and for taking the time out of your days to help and you have probably saved me some money here so thank you.

I already ordered the Plaits, Stages, Polaris, Quad VCA and uFold pre this post so I will learn these as much as I can and use them with my Lifeforms SV-1. I will also add the Quadratt as advised and maybe a sequencer module.
I might also add the Disting at some point to see what other utility modules I need for my own purposes.

Ok, thanks again!
I can see I have a lot of reading and experimenting to do so best of luck.
I am sure I will be back...

You also mentioned, I think it was Ronin1973 that new users lack knowledge on triggers, gates, clocks etc. I think you hit the nail on the head right there.
-- Groc

I read your whole post. But this line jumped out at me the most. If we were to write "the book" one of the biggest recommendations would be to download and install VCV Rack. The basic system is free and there are a lot of free expansions. It's an entire Eurorack-style ecosystem that will allow you to add and play with modules using virtual Eurorack standards. When you're trying to get a feel for what is a trigger, gate, clock, CV, etc. it's an invaluable resource for learning and trying things out hands on. You'll walk away with a lot more knowledge of how modular works in the real world... by doing. I can't stress it enough.

Eurorack is tricky to get your mind around coming from DAWs and hardware MIDI. I think people get comfortable with virtual plug-ins and traditional MIDI instruments that are far easier to use than control voltages. Being able to recall complete patches and using a working INIT patch means little thought has to be given to HOW different components actually communicate with each other. In Eurorack, you literally have to make the connections between components by hand.

As you discover how CV works, you'll notice a lot of very basic modules can really unleash the full power of such a retro method of making synth sounds. It's that level of control that, personally, brought me to Eurorack.

It's all good. I hope you stay around for quite a while and post frequently. I'm still learning a lot as well. There's always an interesting way to do things.

Hi Groc,

After reading your reply I am less worried and I think you are going the right way. As long as you know (or think you know) what you are doing regarding those sexy and fancy looking modules then that's all right.

Making a mistake is totally okay within Eurorack, has there been anybody out there that never made a mistake? :-) It's so common, that's totally fine and from those mistakes we can learn and improve ourselves regarding Eurorack or modular in common.

Did you bought already the casing? If not yet, then please consider a bigger one, for example the 7U of Intellijel, as already mentioned.

As Ronin mentioned there's always an interesting way to do things. It's like that old phrase saying: "There are many roads leading to Rome". The same is applicable for Eurorack. There are many different ways to get things done within Eurorack. With the exception of a few small matters, you actually can just do anything with Eurorack. You can patch whatever you like, you can experiment the way you want and during that process you learn a lot. So enjoy your first few modules and welcome to Eurorack :-)

Have fun, good luck and don't hesitate to check/ask here, kind regards, Garfield.

+1 for bigger rack.

+1 for O_c (I suggest using alt firmware "Hemispheres").

This next bit may seem contradictory with my + for O_c, but I recommend you get a simple oscillator. Plaits is great, as was its predecessor Braids, but they are not the most intuitive modules. When you are learning modular, it is very nice to have easy access to raw wave forms (preferably simultaneously). Consider Befaco Even VCO.

Finally, this rack would benefit from a simple modulation source (Sin Phi Miasma / Rampage / Maths / Batumi).

Thank you for all the replies.

I have currently downloaded VCV Rack and I am going through Youtube tutorials.
Great recommendation Ronin1973!

Yes, I have already purchased a 4u 104hp case Garfield. However, it was the last case in the store as that Intellijel 4u case is now discontinued and I got a great deal on it. As soon as I feel myself outgrowing it, I will try to find a second hand 4u case and lock them together or just sell it it and grab the 7u, which is more convenient with the lid, handle and built in jacks.

Elodin - The Ornaments and Crime as recommended by Ronin1973 with "Hemispheres" and maybe a Batumi sound like they would make great additions.
First things first though, I will start going through the tutorials and VCV Rack. Great help.

I am also going through Chris Meyers "Learning Modular Synthesis" from Lynda.com and it is very helpful.
Fortunately it is free through my local library here in Canada.

Ok, great advice all around.

Happy modulating!