ModularGrid Rack

This is my best-so-far, fits the budget, small but I think mighty rack for making ambient soundscapes with ability for Max MSP and Ableton to get in on the fun. Overall I want to make a system that is like a Cat's Paradise - things everywhere to twist, trigger, physically hit and touch that lends itself to powerful improvised flexibility (so if you fine people can point me in the direction of that, too, I would be soooooo grateful!)

I couldn't find many demos and opinions on the omnimod but it looks pretty sweet and versatile (if I expand in other ways it could still be relevant). And the third party MI stuff with the different firmware and capabilities definitely appeals to me, though, sorry folks at MI. ES-8 is the crux of this whole thing being able to flow back into my laptop and become part of a larger ecosystem, and I think that one fits the price to power ratio pretty well.

Psychedelic Environments as I'm looking to get some interesting evolving soundscapes going from the modular, to layer with Max and Ableton + live instruments. I'm also thinking I can cover my lack of logic with Max and the ES-8. Are there any simple tricks to get this rig more "trippy" without breaking the bank?

Thank you for checking this out and helping me navigate the modular waters!


Hi Xerah,

Do you have already some other synth stuff or just your laptop and this rack design? If you just have (or going to have) what's displayed here in your rack then I think you miss a few basic modules like: oscillators (you never can have enough of them; even though if I see the Atom and you most probably using that one), filters, EGs, perhaps a mixer and a logic module too?

What I like from your rack design is that you have left quite some free space for (near) future extension that's very good because you will need that. You might want to consider the 2*104 HP case from Intellijel instead; that one is easily to be extended with yet the same case for future purposes and has a bit more space compared to this one.

If you do most of it with your laptop then this might be fine, with the available information a bit difficult to advise you. Good luck with the planning and kind regards, Garfield Modular.


Hi Garfield,
Thanks for the reply! I was thinking about the differences between the 104 HP vs. the 84 HP - $50 for 20HP x 2 at 3U + 20HP at 1U seems like an easy upgrade decision. I would love to have more modules, but quickly found out my budget of $2k~ (case incl.) gets swamped before I have the bases covered and communication with my laptop. Is there some things I could cut back on to make room for what you'd suggest? I was planning on trying to cover as many bases as I could with the ins and outs of the ES-8 until I can get physical modules in the rack. Do you have any suggestions for a mixer?

I figured the cheapest way to model this synth and get started in modular was to have it create drones and backgrounds that can both be augmented by/augment what is happening on my laptop. I'm not sure if this rack screams that, but I was planning on making what I needed in Max to supplement what I found to be obstacles in the hardware - while still being flexible in future expansions. I appreciate your reply and it's gotten me considering the software vs. hardware feasibility of what I'm trying to do.