First things first i should mention im a complete modular noob but im not new to synthesis. After spending a couple weeks reading forums and watching a tonne of videos i thought i would make a "dream" starter rack. I would massively appreciate it if you could look over this setup and any advice would be appreciated :)
Is there any blindingly obvious utilities im seriously lacking? Not enough modulation? (which i love) Do i have redundant modules? maybe due to not having the prerequisites to use it properly. I understand this could be absolute trash that cant even make a sound but If you are going to critisise it, please can it be constructive criticism only :)
From my basic knowledge i believe i have two sequencers that i can route to 4 sound sources two of which can be used as lfos which in the end i can route to the mixer module in the top so i can balance levels. If i am missing crucial modules for this to work please do tell me.
Also I intend to start my modular journey with the atlantis and metropolis modules. Correct me if im mistaken but would i have a functioning albeit limited synth with just those two modules?
Thanks for the advice and knowledge :)
EDIT: I did replace the granular processor with the ADE-32 Octocontroller but it didnt update for some reason.
Welcome to modular synths :-) Let's start with the "easy" part. If I am not mistaken you are looking/planning here at an Intellijel casing, nothing against it, really. Just if you get yourself an Intellijel casing with a 1 U row then only Intellijel 1 U modules (or compatible brands to Intellijel 1 U) are going to fit in that 1 U row... this means the Pulp Logic isn't going to fit. So get rid of that Pulp Logic module ;-)
I have been attracted by the Atlantis module from Intellijel myself several times as well and I still once and a while look at it and think: "Hmm, interesting!"...
But then I sober up from my sexy module syndrome and hold a virtual mirror in front of my face and wonder...
Why should I have a modular synthesizer and then get myself a complete synthesizer module? What's the real point of that? Sure, it's easy and in one go, you got pretty much, kind of lazy way of deciding not to decide to go into the details of all modules and just go the easy path of getting yourself a complete synthesizer module... in a modular synth?
I gave that thought a few moments and then, at least for myself, I felt... oh that's odd... indeed why I want to go for a modular synthesizer and then buy a complete synthesizer module, that doesn't make sense, now does it?
That's the reason why I haven't bought any complete synthesizer module yet because... well then I could have bought instead of a modular synth, just a complete external nice interesting synthesizer, couldn't I?
Don't get me wrong here, I do believe the Atlantis is a fantastic module, I am still considering it, but the price keeps me away from it together with my above "philosophy".
To summarise this: To start with a modular synth and then as the first or second module to buy a full synthesizer module... mwaaahhh, that sounds odd and weird at the same time to me ;-)
I hope you do get my point here? :-)
Instead of starting with the Atlantis and Metropolis, if this was going to be my rack, I would get rid of these two modules for the moment and start with others. I wouldn't start with two Dixie 2+, just start with one, get some experience with it and then decide if you love it so much that you need a second one or if you would like to give another brand's VCO a chance instead? So wait with that Shapeshifter as well, most likely one of the best modules in the world but a heavy one to start with, so you might want to consider another second VCO to start with. Then when you got experiences with that Dixie 2+ and the 2nd other VCO, then check if you still want that Shapeshifter and a 2nd Dixie 2+.
Not sure if you should start with an ADE-32 module, looks quite "heavy" to me to start with, I would rather consider at least one or perhaps two more simple LFOs. EGs you have for the moment enough I think but you are lack on a few classic LFOs.
Beside the QPAS filter, you might want to consider a 2nd filter for some variation. I can confirm though that the QPAS is nice, I just got it recently myself and I am quite happy with it. As a second filter, just as an example, you might want to go with a Doepfer - A-124 Wasp filter, little beauty that is. Or if you want a slightly milder one consider the A-106 SEM filter instead, both are nice filters to use.
Assuming you will get rid of Atlantis, Metropolis and the Shapeshifter, you can pamper yourself with even a third VCO, let's say the Plaits from Mutable Instruments? Then you have a bit more of a variety to play with and the good thing is... you still have space left in your rack. Leave that free space, you need that for the near future once you got a bit experience with your rack, your ideas might change a bit on what you want to add, etcetera.
Regarding those 1 U modules, make sure you don't forget to add an audio output module, that can then connect to your Intellijel casing output connectors.
I think this should do for starters, should give you some "food for thought". Take it easy, don't plan the entire rack full and I wish you lots of fun with planning and later playing your rack :-) Kind regards, Garfield Modular.
Thanks ill take it into consideration i think you may be right with the vcos i will get a shapeshifter eventually. I will say however im totally fixed on the metropolis sequencer its perfect for the music i create but yeah i think your right i should actually try and make a modular synth not just connecting a full sythesizer to a sequencer haha. Thanks for your input Garfield :)
Yes the Metropolis sequencer is indeed an intriguing module, you are right about that, it's on my wish list as well, then again, I got a huge wish list ;-) So if you like the Metropolis so much, keep that one then and (for the moment at least) get rid of the Shapeshifter and the Atlantis. Soon enough once you get started you will notice that you need more space, then get your second 7U Intellijel casing and then you can make your dream come through with the Atlantis and the Shapeshifter (if you still want them by that time).
Besides utility and functional support modules like Kinks and Links, a good mixer helps a great deal. For filters, I like dual mode filters that offer a wide palette of modes in one module and the ability to mix CV for modulation. The Dual Borg filter and IME Bionic Lester MK3 filters that are in my setup are bonkers and offer tons of variety in patches. I recently discovered logic and offset modules thanks to folks here who gave me such advice and these really add spice as well. Where are your LFO modules? Modulation is a big part of modular systems and I don't really see any here. I am a big fan of the Batumi LFO so easy to use with 4 independent LFOs that can work together as well. Kermit is a beast of a module but I don't recommend it to beginners as it is super deep and more of a computer super modulator than an LFO.
The Atlantis is a good starting point if you're building a small system first and then adding to it little by little.
But if you're going to dive in fully, then it starts to lose its luster. The plus side is that the patch points are pretty much all there to break the unit out into its individual components (oscillator, filter, etc). The downside is that it's all or nothing in terms of what you get. You may do better getting individual components that will offer you more flexibility and features.
Mixers. You have a Quadratt. It's functional as a small mixer, attenuverters, etc. But you really are going to need at least two small mixers of the Quadratt nature (not necessarily the Quadratt) and a main mixer if you plan on having more than one voice or sound coming from your rack.
There are better units out there, but for the PRICE and SIZE, I'm very happy with the Blue Lantern Stereo Sir Mix-A-Lot. Gain, panning, mutes, plus two aux sends on every channel... plus a pair of stereo returns. You can do better on features... but I don't think so on price.
Also, you should have empty space in your rack. No one learns modular without getting their hands dirty. The more you learn, the more your experiences CHANGE your end goals and desires from your system. If you buy everything all at once and you have no space left over, you're committed unless you start selling stuff off... while you're still trying to learn to use what you've got. Always plan for a "whoops, I should add a..." and have the space for a couple of reasonably sized modules at least.