Hello!

I'm new to modular, old to synths/synthesis, ready to dive in. Not trying to go overboard, so wanted to start with a small palette case and a few core modules. I need some advice on my selection and perhaps some suggestions on where I could go from here:

ModularGrid Rack

Basically, going for a great sounding Roland-like voice (missing from my collection) with some fun generative capabilities that I wouldn't be able to produce with a standard non-modular.

  • Pachinko
    A clone of marbles. Was pretty blown away by the demos of this thing. Thinking this would act as the "brain" of this build, or just a cool source of modulation if I'm using external midi.
  • Dixie II+
    Solid analog voice with decent modulation capabilities. Open to other options as well, though leaning towards something analog. Must have some stuff to modulate.
  • Jove
    This thing sounds so good! Sad that it's hard to track down the smaller version, but willing to have a larger filter for better "playability". Also I like the extra features on this one.
  • Javelin
    Was really impressed by the features on this envelope. I know that envelopes aren't must-haves in all systems, but coming from a world where I have 2-3 at my disposal, this would be nice to have. Fairly slim module as well.
  • Pique
    Peaks clone. Tons of features in a small package. Figured it would be good in a smaller system like this one.

Open to feedback on that selection. On to things that I want to expand, mostly utilities such as:
- Attenuverter/attenuator
Was looking at Lapsus Os for this, seems really cool but maybe overkill. Quadratt 1U might be the way to go since I have that extra space.
- Clock
Pachinko gives me some control over this so not sure how necessary, would like feedback on that.
- Mixer
Can't decide if this is a necessity, might be nice to have a small one.
- FX
Totally not a must-have, this is a small system and I have other gear for that. So only would want small modules for this that really add something. The Intellijel Digiverb sounds pretty good, so perhaps that if I have any space in the 1U.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! Super excited to start this journey and grateful for any wisdom you can share.


Just a matter or preference:

You're probably good with Pachinko, but as a principal I only get original MI modules if available. Ergonomics of the originals can't be beat. Maybe look at Pamela's New Workout for some randomization in a smaller package than Marbles

I'd drop the envelope generator and go with a function generator. Joranalog Contour is a favorite if you want to save space.

You'll want a VCA. Quad is overkill for a small system, but check out Veils, Intellijel Quad VCA, or ALM Tangle Quartet if you're planning on expanding. You could also look at a envelope + VCA combo module like A-142-2 Dual Envelope Controlled VCA.


As cliched (and HP expensive) as it sounds, I'd want to add a Maths in a smaller system like this. Will open up a lot of possibilities and can be a standin module for a lot of functions while you learn the basics, also does envelopes very well imho. You have limited space, and it is a big module, but I keep being surprised at how much I enjoy working with it and how much I learn from it.


As cliched (and HP expensive) as it sounds, I'd want to add a Maths in a smaller system like this. Will open up a lot of possibilities and can be a standin module for a lot of functions while you learn the basics, also does envelopes very well imho. You have limited space, and it is a big module, but I keep being surprised at how much I enjoy working with it and how much I learn from it.
-- troux

Yeah Maths would be good! Or take a look at Stages as a function / envelope generator, sequencer and more.


Thanks for your responses! I feel like I was focused too much on optimizing on space where I should be more worried about user experience. Ended up finding a good deal on a 150hp powered case, which will really open things up. Will take a more serious look at maths now. Joranalogue Contour also impressed me, which is similar in function I believe, though smaller so not as powerful.

Someone just put up their dixie II+ and quad VCA for a good price, so I bit. It has begun!

Again, thank you for your feedback, really helped adjust my perspective. Will update this thread as I start putting something together.


The acquiring of modules has begun. Here's where I'm at for anyone interested:

ModularGrid Rack

Trying out Ornament and Crime as a multi-functional module to see if I like it. Figured it can be a flexible stand-in for what a patch is missing, whether that be LFO's, envelopes, a quantizer, or something weirder.

Went with the Joranalogue Filter 8 for my starting filter instead of the Jove. While not as sonically pleasing, it's got an insane amount of sound sculpting options. I can always pick up a Jove down the road when I'm itching for a new filter.

Other than that, original marbles, dixie II+, quad vca, and a few utils to get me started. Will probably want an attenuverter soon.

There's a big math-shaped hole in my rack. After I get more comfortable with these modules, that's next on my list. Or something like it at least.