Hello,

Looking for feedback on my rack(suggestions for replacements or things I may have overlooked. My aim was to create a rack that could create pounding warehouse techno and other variations.

The second dilemma that has occurred to me is the prevalence of digital and occasionally menu filled modules. This include the NerdSeq, Sample drum, and Zadar. While on one hand, these modules offer tremendous flexibility in both their features and functionality, the screens and menu can sometimes feel like a hassle in putting and idea down. Though I have never used a DAW, I feel like I have almost indulged in what I found so despicable about them(too many menu, too many options).

Anyway, rant aside curious what people think about both these questions.

ModularGrid Rack


I have no idea about which modules to use for screaming techno - from the look of the rack - usual noob issues - too many big shiny modules - not enough support modules - but that could just mean too small a case!!!

as for what you called your second dilemma - I would not be so hard on yourself - use the tools as needed - analog/digital - really who cares??? definitely not anyone in any audience you might have!


Hi,
Looking at your rack , i'm counting 4 vcas and 6 channel mixers and you got 5 voices which only one is a synth , i presume the chainsaw oscillator, i don't think you need this much vca unless you uses them as attenuators or else. you'll need one or two compressors for pounding techno.

For the digital side of thing , i have the zadar and the sampledrum, they're excellent modules and there's clearly a balance between complexity/features and menu diving.
The zadar has 3 pages of menu in which every envelope is represented and controlled by his respective knob. one menu for looping & cv assignement , one menu for chaining enveloppes and one to save. the other button is for switching between the 4 enveloppes, ,thats it , i love the zadar this is so useful and deep , and really easy to get your grasp on it.

the Sample drum is way more complex but is a real exemple in successful design, these modules are a breeze to understand and use.
i don't own the nerdseq but i think it's this one that will make you scratch your head :p
have fun


Not workable. There's too many utilities missing here, which is ironic since many of these expensive modules need those unsexy, cheap ones to do what they do.

Tear this down, and start over in a larger cab. MUCH larger. Build what you think SHOULD work...then start paring that down while continuing to make sure you've got the basic functionalities you need.

One other point: this actually DOES NOT have enough VCAs. The three present are fine for CV/mod work, given that they're linear, plus you can use the module for mixing these. However, this also needs VCAs for the audio path to control levels and impose envelopes. A proper performance mixer can fix this, plus potentially add CV over panning, FX, and so on. Also, if you feel like you need to compress the audio, do this externally. You don't have the requisite space in this build to sacrifice other functions for something that'll be done easier via an external processor on the synth's output.

I should note that it's far more difficult to create a successful small build than a larger one. You have to understand what you want the instrument to do in terms of your own music...preferably before building!...and know how to fit those functions into a small cab with suitably-sized modules. But there's also the point that it's actually pretty EASY to use a small cab to create something that simply won't work...or, at least, it's easy without a proper knowledge of what you're trying to accomplish.

Also, get a copy of VCV Rack. Spend some time (as in quite a bit) in there and make the information somewhat innate so that, when you transfer the ideas from VCV to hardware, you already will have a build that works and, also, which you might be able to fit into 2 x 84 hp. VCV Rack makes it MUCH easier to see what extra widgets are needed in a given build as well as offering different ideas on what you might want to do. https://vcvrack.com/


Not workable. There's too many utilities missing here, which is ironic since many of these expensive modules need those unsexy, cheap ones to do what they do.

Tear this down, and start over in a larger cab. MUCH larger. Build what you think SHOULD work...then start paring that down while continuing to make sure you've got the basic functionalities you need.

One other point: this actually DOES NOT have enough VCAs.

Hey thanks for the feedback. I am currently not looking to make the case any larger. Really intrigued with the idea of having something that is very portable as I don't have a place I can really "set up" permanently. I have revised the system and included more utilities(VCA, Manglers, mixers). Let me know what you think.

ModularGrid Rack


I don't think Lugia is necessarily suggesting to buy a bigger case!! although I would strongly suggest that 104hp is a much more sensible starter case - and is still very portable, unless you are a small child!!

the idea is to create a much bigger rack on modulargrid so that you can add all the support modules that you actually need for the shiny black expensive modules that you have thrown in you rack and work out each voice so that you can work out how to have fewer voices in the same size rack you have here, but with the support modules that are needed to effectively play it and to be able to patch and repatch in multiple configurations - there is no point buying a modular that can only really be patched effectively 1 way

in doing this you will get a better understanding of what you need in the rack and not just what you want because it looks cool

make copious notes - how you would patch the synth etc etc taking into account things like how you will mix, why are there stereo outputs on the erica dsp, but nothing else is stereo (except the fx aid - I'd go for the XL - more modulation inputs - and probably 2 of these over the erica dsp) - how do you take a mono voice and send it to stereo (panning mixer?) the erica dsp takes the same mono input and copies it both left and right and then processes it - you have no control over this!

I hate odd sized modules - says he thinking very hard about getting an erica seq (it's the cheapest smallest sequencer with memory - i wish it was 4hp and not 3 though!!!)

it will lead to hard decisions - almost definitely remove voices or get a bigger case - or use a smaller sequencer - the nerdseq is overkill in this size case

once you have made the hard decision and implemented it in a modulargrid rack - come back here for a second round of is this actually a workable synth