I've been lurking around here for awhile, and would like to hopefully get a bit of guidance on my first Eurorack.

My end goal is to create a rack that I can create 'ambient' music with, which I appreciate is quite broad. More specifically, I love the type of music being done by people like r beny (https://rbeny.bandcamp.com/) and ann annie do (https://annannie.bandcamp.com/).

I'd like to be able to create sounds that I can also combine with my Cello (not actually through the modular) and also using some interesting field recordings. I've put together a starter rack, with some of the modules that have caught my eyes, but was hoping for a few recommendations. I've linked my rank below.

Firstly, due to cash restraints I'm likely to just get a few modules to begin with. I was thinking Plaits, Rings, Maths and Veils would be a good start. Would that be enough to play around with and get a feel for what else I may want to add?

Secondly, I'm a bit unsure on the importance of sequencers. I understand I can use something outside of the rack to do this, but without an external sequencer of some sort, is it possible to do this using other utility modules or through patching in a specific way?

Finally, is there anything specific I've missed or any further recommendations people could make. I do have some guitar delay, reverb and loop pedals that I can push the rack through, but it's also my understanding I probably need a module to convert the signals to pass through these?


For guitar pedals - go with Strymon's AA.1. Mainly because you can use it as two mono loops with a splitter (1/4" TRS to two 1/4" TS).
I'd check out Intellijel Quadrax or Frap Tools Falistri as an alternative to MATHS.

I had rings - not my thing ... but for what you are doing, it's perfect. I can only imagine what you could do pushing a cello through it!!!!
Can't go wrong with Plaits and Clouds. I'll never part with mine.
If you wanted to record grains of your cello or field recordings - look at Instruo Arbhar. Clouds might not be a greatest choice for this. Or even the Lubadh - if you wanted to get more into tape loop type stuff.
For sequencers - it depends on what you want - for more generative stuff, look at Marbles as a starting point. If you want to program specific movements - Rene2, or Intellijel Tete/Tetrapad - which can be programmed - but also do generative/cartesian stuff.
Lots of good videos from Make Noise, Intellijel and DivKid on all three of those modules.
I had Marbles - but I'm not a big fan of that type of randomness. Tete and Tetrapad are more my thing.

If you wanted to start small - you need something to make notes - get Marbles, plug it into an envelope generator (maths/Quadrax/Falistri), with pitch into Plaits (with internal LPG/VCA) and rings (plucked), mix it with Veils or Intellijel QuadVCA and then pass it into Clouds. Instant ambience.

Thanks for the response! The instruo stuff looks really cool.

From what I've seen the Marbles would be my pick of the sequencer, but I'm wondering if it's possible to do much sequencing with other modules at the start. I want to really get my hands onto the system and get an idea of how the basics with patching work before I just invest in all the modules I think I'll need.

@donman90 - I wouldn't call Marbles a sequencer. It creates "sequences" - but they are really just generative randomizations in a scale, with a set root key of C. Very difficult to customize the scale - definitely not live or in "real time". It is more closely related to the Buchla 266e Source of Uncertainty, and the modules derived from that (Verbos source of randomness, Frap Sapel, Make Noise Wogglebug). Easiest way to explain it's output: Take noise, quantize it to a scale of C major (as an example), and combine it with a clocked random gate. and you get 3 of those whose gates follow a pattern whose randomness can be locked in a loop 1 - 16 notes long.
IMHO - A sequencer typically denotes that you can construct a sequence - ie. [Step 1, E2, 1/4 note] [Step 2, G2, 1/4 note] [step 3, B2, 1/8 note]... and so on.
The best thing to do to get experience with marbles, is download VCV rack (free), read the manual from Mutable, and experiment. It is REALLY FUN! But, I found after using it for a few months, music generated by it started to just sound all the same - random loops of bleeps and bloops with no real construct or form. Plus... I could generate these patterns with VCV and output the CVs and Gates from my computer for free and save 18HP.
For a sequencer - I think one is better off with things like Rene2, Five12 Vector, Eloquencer, Circadian Rhythms, Verbos multistage, Stillson Hammer, Mimetic Digitalis, Hermod, ER-101, NerdSeq, Metropolis, or my favourites: Frap Tools USTA, and Intellijel Tete/Tetrapad.