ModularGrid Rack

I have 6hp remaining in my rack before I have to quit acquiring modular gear (jk!). I'm looking for suggestions for that last space.

The rack is mostly used for the creation of aggressive techno sounds. Some things which cannot be seen in the rack:

  • Sitting next to this rack is a Moog DFAM which provides some extra voices, envelopes, and the sequencers.
  • All the sound sources go straight into my mixing desk, so no need for audio mixers in the rack.
  • I have outboard for effects.

The combination of Pamela's New Workout, the switches, and the DFAM actually provide just about enough sequencing power, although you can never have enough switches! Pam can provide LFOs and Disting triggered envelopes. On the rare occasion I need a VCA I use the A-101-2.

So with this in mind I'm thinking some CV mixing might be the most useful thing to add, so I'm looking at the Befaco a*b+c, which seems to the most interesting thing in this class. (Other similar possibilities : 2 x Malekko Mix 4; Bastl abc)

What would you put in this hole?


I wouldn't put anything in the whole - I'd get the next case first - so there are no constraints on hp

But, if I wanted CV mixing in a case this size I'd be tempted to replace the doepfer LPG with a MengQi DPLG and a DC coupled quad cascading vca (so you have a voltage controlled CV Mixer)


Frap Tools 321 is a treat for mixing, shifting and attenuverting.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/frap-tools-321-


My take on it would be to look at a Happy Nerding 3x VCA, actually. This would give you the CV mixing, attenuverting, AND three linear, DC-coupled VCAs to have CV over your modulation, etc levels. Drops right into that 6 hp hole, too. And if needed, you can split out one or all of the VCAs. The Frap 321 is also a good drop-in choice...it all depends on how you want to do your CV/mod mixing and control and how much control you want vs. what you want the synth to have control over.


I wouldn't put anything in the whole - I'd get the next case first - so there are no constraints on hp

Haha well, quite. But for various reason that next case won't be coming along any time soon. (Although I already am thinking about putting the Tetrapad into one of those little 4ms skiffs, along with its expander and a "proper" trigger sequencer.)

But, if I wanted CV mixing in a case this size I'd be tempted to replace the doepfer LPG with a MengQi DPLG and a DC coupled quad cascading vca (so you have a voltage controlled CV Mixer)

I wouldn't trade the Doepfer LPG for the MengQi one, although that is a cool little module. The Doepfer is also a very fun and controllable filter which I use often. However I think if/when I expand the setup this quad VCA idea sounds quite promising.


Frap Tools 321 is a treat for mixing, shifting and attenuverting.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/frap-tools-321-
-- bhenry1790

My take on it would be to look at a Happy Nerding 3x VCA, actually. This would give you the CV mixing, attenuverting, AND three linear, DC-coupled VCAs to have CV over your modulation, etc levels. Drops right into that 6 hp hole, too. And if needed, you can split out one or all of the VCAs. The Frap 321 is also a good drop-in choice...it all depends on how you want to do your CV/mod mixing and control and how much control you want vs. what you want the synth to have control over.
-- Lugia

Thanks for the pointers guys -- these are nice alternatives I hadn't considered. With this setup I don't really feel that lack of VCAs -- all the voices have their own amplitude envelope -- so the main use would for modulating some other CV signal. This is intended to be a very hands on, playable system, and in particular I want to be able to switch from the DFAM being the main drums to the BIA being the main drums and back without stopping the music and ideally without repatching anything. For this a lot of manual control is needed.

So the Frap 321 is closer to what I am looking for. However when looking at the Happy Nerding 3xVCA I also discovered their 3xMIA which is even better! It seems to do everything the 321 does, with more inputs, more usable output options, and (major plus) all the jacks are at bottom of the module.

Versus the Befaco, the main advantage of 3xMIA seems to be more channels (also : cheaper); the disadvantage is that it can't be a ring modulator.

Any other thoughts?


Yeah, but ring mods are easy. If you can squeeze another 2 hp in, Circuit Abbey's Twiggy gives you two of 'em. You don't really need any controls on it, so that's something that makes sense as a teensy module.


Yeah, but ring mods are easy. If you can squeeze another 2 hp in, Circuit Abbey's Twiggy gives you two of 'em. You don't really need any controls on it, so that's something that makes sense as a teensy module.
-- Lugia

To make 2hp of space I'd have to lose my attenuverters, and despite my love of weird clangy noises, I think they are more useful than a ring mod!

Definitely leaning towards the 3xMIA. I guess I'll just hang out on eBay and see what turns up!


... and of course Disting can be a ring mod too. It's a shame Disting can't be all the many things it can be at the same time....


And that's the biggest problem I have with the Disting. When it's doing some high-end function, you feel like it's justifying its expense. But if you use it to emulate a couple of transformers and four diodes...I dunno, it just feels like a misuse of the module. MY ring modulators, for example, are all Tenderfoots...typical dual balanced passive ringmods, since you don't need power or really anything else to make 'em do their thing.

I should also note that NONE of those Tenderfoots are in a cab, btw. Both modules live inside patchbays, wrapped in electrical tape (sounds vaguely kinky, actually!) to protect the circuits, and with no external power. Gives me a stereo pair in my FX patchbay and also in the lab-gear one, and they work like a charm.


And that's the biggest problem I have with the Disting. .... if you use it to emulate a couple of transformers and four diodes...I dunno, it just feels like a misuse of the module.
-- Lugia

I take your point, but it seems impossible to get even the simplest passive module for less than £25 (if you want a front panel, which maybe you don't) and it doesn't take too many of those before you've paid for a Disting. Of course you can use them all at once, assuming you had enough space in the first place... which I don't. Anyway the Disting earns its keep for me.

I don't really want to say any more since I'm sure there is another thread about Disting somewhere else :)