Hello everyone. New member here, so nice to meet you all. As a long-time synthesist with a history dating back to my Roland HS60 purchased in 1986 I have only recently taken the road of the modular and am finding it very interesting although am still very much the student, learning as I go.

Here's my rack below. At some point I am sure the System 1 is going to sprout wooden cheeks and sit atop the rack at which time I shall be putting other units in the hole where it once sat. Would be interested to hear what you might add yourselves over time?

Oh and yes, I am partial to Acid and classic Techno. Thanks for your time.

ModularGrid Rack

Good thing you're already down with removing the System-1m. Devices that have their own cabs and power don't belong in a case that's intended for things which don't have them. It also sneakily increases the cost of your System-1m, as you're now housing and powering it twice.

I've spent a hot minute here looking at this build, sorting out what bugs me about it. And then it hit me...that 303 sequencer. First of all, it takes up about 1/4th of the entire build. Second, it's sort of an anachronism...it's something from the period where there were no decent TB-303 emulations or reissues, and while the voicing had been sorted out by that point in time, the sequencer was still defying redesign. And third, it costs half a grand, which I suppose is cheap when compared to a $3k original Roland 303, but which is dumb as hell when you can get Cyclone Analogic's TT-303 mkii for $300-350 street, brand new. And yeah, it emulates the original device almost perfectly. It would make a lot more sense to me to outboard one of those, then have a suitable MIDI interface in a smaller build overall (maybe as small as 1 x 104, even) so that you can pass note data from the TT-303 to the modular. Want to filter it further? Then add a Doepfer A-119 for an input pre + envelope follower. And THIS way, you can build a more general-purpose modular that 1) costs less, 2) isn't so huge because of huge modules, and 3) dovetails nicely with anything laying around the studio, instead of being mission-specific.

The Behringer 303 clone is $150 and comes with Eurorack patch points. It won't bolt to a Eurorack case... but for that price... not a bad option.

For the limited space that you have, putting gear into the rack that already has its own case is a very expensive and limiting option. They are eating up your entire case... as well as the huge, retro sequencer that doesn't really offer all that much in terms of size vs. functionality.

Which modules do you already own? I noticed the old build of the Tip Top ADSR in the rack.

Thank you both for your time responding to my post. I know you have lots of insight as demonstrated on other threads so it is of value to me. I think I was possibly not clear in my first post - this is actually my rack - I was given the 'rack' itself and a number of other modules and already had the System 1m (which I really love) hence it lives in there, but as you can see I am out of room. Not an issue as such as I am slowly learning what I have and am not in a rush to expand. As you noticed I entirely agreed with the point that the 1m need not be in there, but your points regards the Autobot and M303 are well made. They were bought several years ago on something of a whim and sat awaiting the rack. I do love them but if they take up room that is not required then it is a fair point well made.

On the other hand as I already have this rack and the System 1m removal frees up some space, perhaps my asking what could be of value to you in the space it leaves would be a fair question?

Thanks again - a pleasure getting to know you all.


Hmmm...OK, well, I still hate that Acidlab sequencer being in there. If you had the ability to trigger some of the other states it has via trig/gate pulses, it would rock. But they obviously built this to be as close to the TB-303's underimplementation as possible...which isn't good, given that you're talking early 1980s sequencer tech, and things have gotten a lot more interesting since then.

So...keepers: all of the Tiptop modules, the 2 hp mixer, and the A-130-2.

Now...things that have to be replaced are the weird 3-pole VCF (or something suitably acieeeed-ish) and the sequencer. And that weird filter ain't easy to replace...but this is EURORACK, dammit, so...yep, replacement exists! Check out DinSync's VCF303. Yeah...the filter AND the oddball EG/accent circuit that it also needs to get that sound. Perfect! Smaller, too! As for the sequencer, it needs to output that important accent pulse AND have the proper glide behavior...which gets us to the Copper Traces Seek. Multiple sequence memories, all of the outputs needed, plus a bunch of extra trickery for less $$ than the Acidlab, and in far less space...but doing an improved version of the same thing.

That's just for starters...I'm thinking that I'm going to bang on this for a hot minute, see what I can toss out...

Makes for great reading and some modules I have not heard of - I will take a look. Thank you.

Updated! Now THIS is a superior piece of kit!
ModularGrid Rack
OK, let's check this out...this now has two discrete "voice" channels, one being a 303-style and the other being a more conventional dual VCO lead/bass synth. Both of these are serviced by an extensive modulation and timing section in the lower row.

Top row: retained the Tiptop power inlet. Then the SEEK is a much-shrunk TB-303 style sequencer with quite a few more amenities than the Acidlab one. This feeds a Klavis dual VCO...onboard quantizing, ring mod, loads of waveforms, sync modes, etc. Then the dual outs go into the dual ins of a Tiptop Wavefolder, which interpose the incoming waveforms against each other AND provides a suboscillator divider. A pair of AR envelopes, next, and then an excellent multimode VCF which also incorporates a VCA for punch on the ACC outputs from the SEEK. But also, the ACC can be fed to the 2hp COMP, which lets you mash the crap out of your accented notes for extra JOYREX-style filth and nastiness. The A-130-2 is the end of the TB voice, also providing a second VCA for the lead/bass. That part uses the two Tiptop VCOs, into a Wavefolder yet again to mix and modify those. That then hits the LP VCF.

Bottom row: the little 1 hp sliver is a Konstant Labs power monitor, with pilot lights for your P/S rails to check for problems there since the Tiptop uZeus inlet is missing these. MIDI next, with a mini clone of the Mutable Yarns. Then a very twisted little dual clock/logic module, which is where the timing fun begins. A Hikari Euclidean sequencer then provides conflicting pulses, which can then be combined and resolved in the Boolean A-166 to create strange, new timing variations. The Toolbox provides a bunch of useful little bits...comparator, switch, summer, rectifier, etc. Then Doepfer's A-118-2 provides noise, random voltages, and either a sample and hold or track and hold. Triple linear VCA/mixer next, primarily for modulation level control. The mod sources themselves consist of a Maths (natch!) and a Zadar + its Nin expander; between these two, ALL envelope and LFO activity for the build gets generated and spread for the entire build's uses. Another dual VCA next, this time with variable response to allow it to be used for either audio or CV/mod, then after this is a 2hp Verb, usable for stereoizing/deepening a mono voice coming from that dual VCA to feed to the Clouds clone. That module's stereo output then feeds a Happy Nerding stereo transformer isolator + level control, which can just as easily be repurposed for dual mono use for the separate voice sections to have individual outputs.

How's that?

Nicely done, Lugia.

Let me throw a penny into your dollar's worth of knowledge.

I own a Z3000. Would I buy another one... no. Do I like it yes.

BUT.... one thing I learned after some wiggle-time, is that I like being able to switch octaves on the fly (usually measured in 'feet' from the old pipe organ standard). When blending two oscillators, there's value in being able to try an oscillator at a different octave instantly and then being able to go back. It's also nice when performing to switch an octave for variation.

The Z3000 only offers sweepable control of your pitch. So it's not a possibility to do this. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably go with an Intellijel Dixie II+.

Though, come to find out the original poster already has his two Z3000s. How do you like them, Pauly?

Would you look at that. My lack of experience would mean there are concepts there I would never have considered. Thank you so much Lugia, for taking the time to pull that together. Simply put I now when people are more skilled than me and that is a rack I will work towards...perhaps I may, or may not, change items as I learn more myself but what a target to aim for in the coming months. Thanks again.

Ronin, yes, I love the oscillators but the fact is that I have relatively little experience in this field so very likely do not know what I am missing. How exciting that this is going to change over the coming months.

There's a big change coming in my overall synth setup. I have had a Kronos 88 for 2 years...genuinely great piece of kit but I have found it to be rather unfriendly as far as programming goes, so that is heading to Ebay to be replaced by an old Roland RD250 or 300 so I can keep my hand in with piano playing. My MPC 2500 JJos remains as I am so used to it's sequencing and drum sampling. Plenty of other kit accrued over the years will mostly remain (Bit One, Radias, JP-08 x 2, Prophet 2000 of all things amongst others), but I have a new focus of discovery coming up. How exciting. Thanks so much again and I will be in touch and get more into this community.

Don't even THINK of dumping that Bit One, btw...those last analog Crumars have an awesome sound to them.

Yeah, I thought of trying to incorporate an octave switch, but the space just wouldn't materialize. At the same time, though, I'm quite used to VCOs with full sweeps, and find them easy enough to work around. In fact, you're more apt to run across interesting detunings without fixed octave offsets, so there's that "happy accident" factor creeping in. Plus, in both cases of VCO groups, I opted to have the Wavefolders act as "mixers" so that detuned combinations can actually do quite a bit more than just have detuning going on. A bit Buchla-esque, I think...

I like the cut of your jib - you're quite right about the Bit One. A great-looking synth too, Darth Vader would have one for those quiet down moments, although he's not keen on vocoders.

I'll be building this rack out over summer, learning more as I go and dipping in and out of the forums here as I go.