ModularGrid Rack

Hi, eurorack noob here!

Lately I’ve been thinking of getting some modules to complement my 0 Coast and recently my purchased Dreadbox V3. I planned this rack here with that idea in mind (initially it was just the ES8 and the MATHS) but, you know, I just got carried away! Not 100% if this could work as a standalone system, though.

I’m mostly computer based, so I’m not looking for a huge beast (that’s why i tried to keep it in the realm of 84HPs). As I said, i have no experience with full modular systems, and I’m especially worried with all things physical (i’m thinking of getting an Eowave’s 84 HP wide 3U Skiff as a case but i don’t know if it will get me enough power…) but I’m pretty well versed in Aalto, so i think i get the hang of how modular works. At least to a degree.

Looking to do mostly tonal and “musical” stuff with it. Any ideas and suggestions will be more than welcome.

Much thanks and greetings in advance!

As a stand-alone unit, it seems to be missing a filter and a dedicated LFO.

The ES8 gives you DAW to CV access. That means your DAW will have to generate gates and CV. The other solution is to use a MIDI-to-CV solution. The FH2 can do this. There are also much more simple modules that are smaller in space with the same functionality as an FH2, but more limited in scope.

For me, I'd ditch the ES8 and Optomix. That opens up 16HP.

I'd put in a 2HP LFO v2 (2HP) and a Befaco MIDI Thing (6HP).
I'd also put in a Happy Nerding HN VCF (6HP) and a 2HP Mix (2HP).

Those changes will give you a lot more options in your rig.

You can open up 4 more HP by ditching the York quad attenuator and using external attenuators in line with your patch cables. Koma makes patch cable extenders that do just that. You can then use that 4HP for something like an Expert Sleepers Disting Mk4. That will give you a boatload of extra functionality to experiment with.

This is just one possibility and you might be able to swap other modules if they are to your liking.

First of all, thanks a lot for your answer, Ronin. Much, much and appreciated!

Connection with the DAW is a critical part of the system, but also on of the areas which I am most clueless and lost. I've spent some time reading and looking for options and the ES8 and the —too prohibitive for me— Shuttle Control seemed like the standard. What are the advantages of using the FH2 and also the MIDI thing? It looks like I am actually losing HP, right? Also, would you get rid of the VCA?

Thanks again for your time!

By using a MIDI to CV converter you can connect to your rack as if it is a typical hardware synth via MIDI. This allows you to connect any MIDI device to it (controllers, DAWs, stand-alone sequencers, etc.). If you go the USB to CV route, you can use your DAW as a piece of modular equipment. But then you're limited to addressing it AS modular.

MIDI-CV: less expensive, easier to use, universal
USB-CV: more expensive, more difficult to use, very specific

You will also find, especially if you're using a PC that the USB-CV solution wants to be considered an audio interface. PCs do not like multiple interfaces directly connected. Macs are a little better as they can aggregate multiple interfaces.

I'd go with a MIDI to CV solution for such a small rack as you'll have fewer headaches. You can always add an ES-8 (or even better an ES-9) to a larger set-up where you can get more use out if it where the trade-offs are better.

Getting rid of the VCA? Hell no! :)

You need VCAs. You can get modules with more VCAs in HP8. But what you have here should be adequate with lots of extra features like mutes. I'd keep it.

Thanks again, Ronin! That has been very helpful to me. I'll keep your advice in mind. Greetings!