ModularGrid Rack

I'm putting together my first rack. This is more aspirational road map than exact blue print. I have plenty more modules I would like to add but have left some space for the feedback I get here. I could buy all at once but I suspect starting in the top left and working my way across a few modules at a time to learn is more realistic.

I would like this to be a stand alone box as much as possible.

Thank you for your feedback. I hope my first attempt isn't too painful for the seasoned pro's.
-Garymon


Hmmm... I have a lot of thoughts here, but first, what kind of music are you hoping to create with this, and do you have any other synth/sequencing/drum gear already?


Thank you for your reply @farkas.

I'm not very good at sticking to a genre but in general glitchy beats, dark atmospheres, samples with some warble.
Inspired by artists like Murcof, Amon Tobin, Burial, Fever Ray for some tonal examples.

I'm interested more in the generative possibilities that in sequencing but I'd like a bit of both as it's nice to have some steady elements to root things while the generative aspects dance around.

Gear wise: I played in live bands from the mid 80's to early 90's and collected the basics of a studio with gear at that time. Then transitioned to making music on the PC for the remained of the 90's.
After that family and career (I'm a software engineer) cut more and more into my music time. I was planning to move internationally in 2020 before the pandemic hit and so sold all of my old gear over the last couple years in preparation. So as of right now, it will be this modular and some headphones. If things go well I will eventually need some additional gear and an interface with my computer but I'm in no rush.

My intention for the modular system is a creative outlet away from the computer screen that I can nerd out on. In the past I mostly worked alone but I see there is a modular store that seems to have fostered a local community that I would like to get to know. Pandemic has this introvert missing humans.

Budget-wise I have enough resources to go really nuts but considering this is a hobby and not my career there is an upper bound to what is reasonable. Of course when GAS kicks in I'm sure my idea of what is reasonable will slide upwards. But as a starting point I think $5k is a reasonable place to be. I have spent a lot of time looking at the Make Noise shared system. I like a lot of what is included in the shared system but I know I'd almost immediately want to get all the modules above that are from other companies.

Also as a noob that knows he is a noob I realize that I have a learning curve to climb and taking the the time to do so slowly gives me time to explore each module and how it can interact with its neighbors. Too many shiny things all at once can be counter productive.

Let me know if I can answer further questions and thank you for the help.


Great info. With 2020 being what it is, it's definitely a good time to get back into making some music. I love Amon Tobin and Fever Ray.
Well, let's think about your proposed rack. You have a few different sequencers (Mimetic, Steppy, Euclidean), all with different strengths, weaknesses, and learning curves. Have you considered combining these into a single, more powerful, full-featured sequencer? I would recommend a master clock like Pamela's New Workout for sure (It can do gate sequencing, Euclidean rhythm stuff, LFOs, etc. with 8 outputs, 12 if you get the expander). The sequencer itself is a matter of taste, but I would try to whittle it down to one good one that can do multiple channels of gate and CV.
Again, a matter of taste but, I feel like there are better options for drums beside the Queen of Pentacles. It's getting very mixed reviews, and for that kind of money I think I would choose an outboard option like the Roland TR8s, TR6s, or something similar. You would have access to every great drum machine sound of the past, sample playback, fun and intuitive sequencing, and some effects. I think the TR8s also functions as a USB interface as well, but you may want to check on that. I have Endorphin.es prior drum machine (Blck Noir), and it's a love/hate thing. I rarely get exactly what I want out of it. I also have Endorphin.es Milky Way effects module, and I would HIGHLY suggest you consider replacing it with a Happy Nerding FX Aid XL. Similar cost and only 6hp, and it's a much more versatile multi-effects module. It may even diminish your Erbe Verb GAS.
Basimilus is fun. Arbhar looks like a blast too. Maths, Ochd, and the stereo mixer are good ideas. I would recommend looking for modules that have CV inputs though, so you can modulate all of the parameters. That's the whole fun of modular. It doesn't look like you can control volume or panning via CV on the mixer you've chosen.
You have the Optomix low pass gate, which is great, but I would recommend adding a complex oscillator to have fun with that. Something like the DPO, Furthrrr Generator, Verbos, etc. will be so versatile for melodies, percussion, and general wacky bleeps and bloops.
Finally, utilities like VCAs, mults, sample-and-hold, submixers, logic, and the like will be very important too, and you don't have a lot of that stuff. Mutable Instruments' Links and Kinks are small invaluable utility tools that should be in a smaller rack like this.
Those were my first thoughts as I looked over your rack idea. I'm sure others will have some good ideas too.
Have fun and good luck!


Wow thank you! Lot to digest but I will give my initial thought and follow through on the suggestions.

Side comment: It irks me when someone posts a question like mine asking for feedback on something they plan to do and then argues with every suggestion from more knowledgeable people. Yes, I have become emotionally attached to this rack that doesn't even exist yet but what does that matter if I build it and then find it is just a miserable experience due to poor choices? So I'm setting my feelings aside and opening my mind to take in all I can. And of course the beauty of modular is anything I kick from the rack now could always be added later to a well balanced system if I just can't let it go.

Great info. With 2020 being what it is, it's definitely a good time to get back into making some music. I love Amon Tobin and Fever Ray.

It's funny I hadn't really thought about making music for a long time and then I stumbled on to people doing fun things on YouTube and started to get the itch again.

Well, let's think about your proposed rack. You have a few different sequencers (Mimetic, Steppy, Euclidean), all with different strengths, weaknesses, and learning curves. Have you considered combining these into a single, more powerful, full-featured sequencer? I would recommend a master clock like Pamela's New Workout for sure (It can do gate sequencing, Euclidean rhythm stuff, LFOs, etc. with 8 outputs, 12 if you get the expander). The sequencer itself is a matter of taste, but I would try to whittle it down to one good one that can do multiple channels of gate and CV.

My thinking process that got me to 3 sequencers was I liked the Euclidean first, especially the interface for dialing in the various rhythms generated. But it's only going to drive a drum kit not the entire system and in general I don't want everything sequenced anyway. I then saw various people using mimetic and basimilus paired together to make interesting percussion and bass lines. Finally, I did realize that sometimes you just want to sequence something simple: a kick, a snare or some cv input and so I added the steppy which is out of the way in the 1U space until you need it.

But with that said, I will start a new rack from scratch and follow your recommendations. I hear Pamela's workout get talked about a lot. I know I watched some videos showing it's usage and didn't get excited about it from what I saw. I don't recall why off hand but I will set that aside and just add it to the rack as the master clock and look at other sequencers.

Again, a matter of taste but, I feel like there are better options for drums beside the Queen of Pentacles. It's getting very mixed reviews, and for that kind of money I think I would choose an outboard option like the Roland TR8s, TR6s, or something similar. You would have access to every great drum machine sound of the past, sample playback, fun and intuitive sequencing, and some effects. I think the TR8s also functions as a USB interface as well, but you may want to check on that. I have Endorphin.es prior drum machine (Blck Noir), and it's a love/hate thing. I rarely get exactly what I want out of it. I also have Endorphin.es Milky Way effects module, and I would HIGHLY suggest you consider replacing it with a Happy Nerding FX Aid XL. Similar cost and only 6hp, and it's a much more versatile multi-effects module. It may even diminish your Erbe Verb GAS.

Hmmm I really wanted to avoid external gear but I do see for the price the TR8 is probably a better value compared to the QoP. But like you said elsewhere in your reply part of the fun is modulating everything. so externalizing the drums seems to be counter to what I'd like to do. Also, I've owned a stand alone drum machine before and I found tapping in each part to not be my greatest strength. I do though have a good ear for what I like. Which is why I liked the Euclid Circles. Turning those knobs and listening to the different rhythms interact is really immediate and satisfying.

I liked the sound I heard demoing from the QoP that I would describe as dark and agressive. Do you have suggestions for another drum module that would do the job better with a better range of CV inputs?
I will do some follow up as well looking into the TR8. Maybe its usage is different than my limited experience.
I didn't mind the cost of the QoP if it delivered a enjoyable experience but do admit I wasn't crazy with the amount of space it took up. .

Basimilus is fun. Arbhar looks like a blast too. Maths, Ochd, and the stereo mixer are good ideas. I would recommend looking for modules that have CV inputs though, so you can modulate all of the parameters. That's the whole fun of modular. It doesn't look like you can control volume or panning via CV on the mixer you've chosen.

Good to hear positive about those modules.

Yes, as for the mixer I was just trying to find something to mix the various sound sources down for the stereo out and wasn't thinking as far as cv modulation and performance type control for this control. I will chuck it and keep looking for something better.

You have the Optomix low pass gate, which is great, but I would recommend adding a complex oscillator to have fun with that. Something like the DPO, Furthrrr Generator, Verbos, etc. will be so versatile for melodies, percussion, and general wacky bleeps and bloops.

I had the Instruo CS-L in the rack at one point to work with the Optomix in just that way but before I posted I pulled it out to free up some space for suggestions. I will spend some time comparing it with the other complex oscillators you suggested.

Finally, utilities like VCAs, mults, sample-and-hold, submixers, logic, and the like will be very important too, and you don't have a lot of that stuff. Mutable Instruments' Links and Kinks are small invaluable utility tools that should be in a smaller rack like this.

Part of me finally posting this was I knew I was lacking utility but lack the real world wisdom to know how best to fill that gap other than just buying a bunch of each with little idea of if I was under or over doing it. Also, some of the complex modules can satisfy multiple roles like Maths but does it replace one stand alone VCA, two, three? It's these little details that I have spent the most time on with the least amount of progress. I will check out links and kinks, thank you.

Those were my first thoughts as I looked over your rack idea. I'm sure others will have some good ideas too.
Have fun and good luck!
-- farkas

Thank you, I have a whole bunch more research to do now. Good thing I enjoy the process.


I use my Elektron Octatrack as my external drum machine as modular drums would easily cost me 5x. That said, the BIA is tons of fun and can do a lot more than just drums which is why I love mine especially paired with the NE Cursus Iteritas. I recommend Kinks and Links. I use these utility support modules all the time in patches so useful. Attentuators/mixers are key as well to create submixes and route options. I need to add more to my setup- MI Shades is perfect for this sort of thing. On my list for the holidays.


Thank you, Sacguy71

I see what you mean about the cost as I search around.

I will add all of your suggestions to my lost of mods to review.
Kinks and Links have been suggested twice now.

Thank you, again. I'm off to check these out.


Like I mentioned, it's all a matter of taste, but I find (and I think some folks here would agree) that the cost to effectiveness ratio of modular drums is not all that great. I've spent a fair amount of money on drum modules and rhythm sequencing options and ultimately enjoy the process and results of my $300 Behringer RD8 much more than most of the drums I come up with in my rack. Basimilus's sound and modulation versatility are excellent, and it's fun to stumble upon interesting or random rhythmic ideas with modules like Euclidean Circles (which I may end up buying one of these days), but overall I find modular drums as a good supplement to external drums. Elektron makes great drum machines, though I didn't click with their interface, so the immediacy, versatility, and value of the Roland x0x-style drum machines makes a LOT more sense to me. Drums and polyphony are where I find weaknesses in the modular approach, so those are the external sources I incorporate with my rack.
Edit Check out the WMD drum modules. The Crucible, Crater, Chimera, and Fracture are pretty awesome.
The Cs-L looks killer. I've got the Furthrrr Generator and you'd have to pry it from my cold dead hands. :)
After you start getting some modules in your rack, you will know what you need next. You will find yourself reaching for something that isn't there, and that's the next module you need to get. The Expert Sleepers Disting Mk4 or Disting EX is a good module to get early on because it covers so many of those functions that you don't realize you will need. Take a look through the manual for the huge list of functions it can serve. It's kind of menu-divey and not super fun to use, but I'm finding it more and more valuable every day. I'm still finding new things it can do.
Keep us updated and let us know what you decide. Have fun!


Everything in Eurorack costs a lot, but for mixers it's ridiculous. Just to pick two things in stock at Thomann today :
* Befaco Hexmix + Hexpander = £730
* Soundcraft Signature 22MTK = £700
The difference in capability between the two is huge. By all accounts Hexmix is a good mixer, but you pay a gigantic premium to have it your rack. If you really need that for your live show or whatever I guess you just have to pay it, although there are lots of mixers in 19" format. In the studio it's nuts.

People often say modular is a bad choice for drums, but at least there are lots of interesting options (like BIA, the WMD modules, the SSF Entities... drool) that don't have obvious equivalents in other formats. Big multi-channel mixers -- nah.

Obvious this does not apply to small inline mixers that can do CV as well as audio. Those are essential.


Everything in Eurorack costs a lot, but for mixers it's ridiculous.
-- the-erc

Not necessarily. Ladik has their M-610, six channels, with pan and mono/stereo i/o, for $100, and it's expandable several ways. Now, yes, this means you won't have VCAs on every single thing, but it's just as simple to put your level control VCAs upstream from the M-610's inputs and then you'll get the same result. Autopanning: same deal...put the panner upstream of one channel, patch its outs to both sides of an M-610 input and leave the pan pot in the center. About the only things you'd lose with this over a higher-end performance mixer would be mutes and AUX send/return...but yet again, these can all be worked around. Even with the workarounds, also, you still come out ahead, monetarily.


Not necessarily. Ladik has their M-610, six channels, with pan and mono/stereo i/o, for $100,
-- Lugia

Nice -- Ladik to the rescue again! How do they manage to make their stuff so cheap compared to pretty much everyone else? You still get better value for money buying an external mixer, but at least Ladik give you a reasonable cost option.


Nice -- Ladik to the rescue again! How do they manage to make their stuff so cheap compared to pretty much everyone else?
-- the-erc

Because most of the Ladik modules are "primitives"...they consist of the submodule circuits that you'd find behind the panel of a much more complex device. Since they're making A circuit as opposed to a BUNCH OF circuits, the cost stays down. This is the same principle guiding the development of AE's modular, which is also quite cheap and quite powerful, but for the most part also sticks with primitives.

Nothing wrong with that approach, either. A lot of old-skool diehards (like myself, I suppose) are used to patching with simple modules to build up the subsystems, instead of buying the prebuilt subsystem off the rack. A little more tedious, a LOT more potent.


Like I mentioned, it's all a matter of taste, but I find (and I think some folks here would agree) that the cost to effectiveness ratio of modular drums is not all that great. I've spent a fair amount of money on drum modules and rhythm sequencing options and ultimately enjoy the process and results of my $300 Behringer RD8 much more than most of the drums I come up with in my rack. Basimilus's sound and modulation versatility are excellent, and it's fun to stumble upon interesting or random rhythmic ideas with modules like Euclidean Circles (which I may end up buying one of these days), but overall I find modular drums as a good supplement to external drums. Elektron makes great drum machines, though I didn't click with their interface, so the immediacy, versatility, and value of the Roland x0x-style drum machines makes a LOT more sense to me. Drums and polyphony are where I find weaknesses in the modular approach, so those are the external sources I incorporate with my rack.

The feedback on this is consistent and, as I think about it, most of the videos I have watched use external drums as you suggest as well. So I get it that this approach has been tried and found the be lacking or just not very practical.

As I was thinking about the feedback I realized what I really want to build is a groovebox with a modular interface that I can plug some headphones in and experimenter away without needing to connect a bunch of outboard gear. This will be set up on my coffee table (Ok, I don't own a coffee table currently, but you get the idea). But we don't always get what we want so...

So I guess I will look into the Electron's (Octatrack and Digitact) as well as the Roland TR-8 and whatever else comes up as I research. I have this bad feeling I will buy one of these and then spend the next few years mastering it and never get around to actually buying the modular system this was meant to support. What didn't you like about the Electron interfaces? Is it very menu divey? In my day job I do a lot of interface and usability work so I get cranky with hardware menu systems that use a postage stamp sized screen for complex processes.

The other option is to start with the modular system and include some minimal drum support (maybe a pair of pico drums2 plus the BIA ) and when if this is not satisfactory, I look at outboard gear with a better sense of what I need.

Edit Check out the WMD drum modules. The Crucible, Crater, Chimera, and Fracture are pretty awesome.

Will do! I haven't looked at any of those yet as best as I recall.

The Cs-L looks killer. I've got the Furthrrr Generator and you'd have to pry it from my cold dead hands. :)

I really like the look of the Instruo modules. Despite me going on about one wanting just one box I admit to daydreaming about getting a custom made black and gold rack just to hold them, just for aesthetics reasons. Good to have dreams.

After you start getting some modules in your rack, you will know what you need next. You will find yourself reaching for something that isn't there, and that's the next module you need to get. The Expert Sleepers Disting Mk4 or Disting EX is a good module to get early on because it covers so many of those functions that you don't realize you will need. Take a look through the manual for the huge list of functions it can serve. It's kind of menu-divey and not super fun to use, but I'm finding it more and more valuable every day. I'm still finding new things it can do.

I have been avoiding picking modules that require more than casual menu use but did already add the Disting Mk4. It just has some much to offer it seems worth the hassle.

Keep us updated and let us know what you decide. Have fun!

Thank you for all of your help. It's really helpful.

I see the rack above updated when I ripped out the QoP and friends but it isn't showing the most recent additions unless you click through.
Right now I am just moving things around and trying to cover all the functional bases. But I will build slowly and make adjustments as I go.

After gutting things I was a bit lost on what to do. I ended up borrowing the approach used in this minimal setup with some replacements and a bunch of additions.

-- farkas


Everything in Eurorack costs a lot, but for mixers it's ridiculous. Just to pick two things in stock at Thomann today :
* Befaco Hexmix + Hexpander = £730
* Soundcraft Signature 22MTK = £700
The difference in capability between the two is huge. By all accounts Hexmix is a good mixer, but you pay a gigantic premium to have it your rack. If you really need that for your live show or whatever I guess you just have to pay it, although there are lots of mixers in 19" format. In the studio it's nuts.

I'm just starting out so concerns in regard to performing live or recording are far off for me. Right now I just need to mix down so I can listen on headphones as I begin to explore.
From what I have seen in terms of a performance mixers, outboard is functionally better for less money, so yes, when I get to that stage I agree 100%.

People often say modular is a bad choice for drums, but at least there are lots of interesting options (like BIA, the WMD modules, the SSF Entities... drool) that don't have obvious equivalents in other formats. Big multi-channel mixers -- nah.

Obvious this does not apply to small inline mixers that can do CV as well as audio. Those are essential.

Yes, I think that is sufficient for living room jam needs for now.

-- the-erc


Everything in Eurorack costs a lot, but for mixers it's ridiculous.
-- the-erc

Not necessarily. Ladik has their M-610, six channels, with pan and mono/stereo i/o, for $100, and it's expandable several ways. Now, yes, this means you won't have VCAs on every single thing, but it's just as simple to put your level control VCAs upstream from the M-610's inputs and then you'll get the same result. Autopanning: same deal...put the panner upstream of one channel, patch its outs to both sides of an M-610 input and leave the pan pot in the center. About the only things you'd lose with this over a higher-end performance mixer would be mutes and AUX send/return...but yet again, these can all be worked around. Even with the workarounds, also, you still come out ahead, monetarily.

-- Lugia

My rack when I originally posted had the Ladik 610. Now I am looking at the Happy Nerding Pan Mix as it has CV control over panning and I just noticed it has a headphone jack so I could skip the 1U headphones module. But it is considerably more money I just noticed. I may go back to the ladik until I find I need something more specifically.


Your groove box approach is how I got into modular, and I couldn't be happier. It's fun to build and use a completely 100% personalized instrument. Including a few drum modules is probably a good idea as you are starting out. Maybe that will be exactly what you were looking for, or if not you can always sell them on Reverb for a fair amount. I've bought and sold a few clunkers, but like you, I try to do a good bit of research before buying. If I know I'm just not going to use something after I try to incorporate it into my setup, I don't get attached to it and sell it. As far as being able to modulate a bunch of different parameters, those WMD percussion modules I mentioned are excellent. I got the Crucible and may pick up the Crater, though I probably don't really need that one.
Yes, the Elektron stuff is way too menu-divey for me. Their stuff sounds great and they have their diehard fanbase, but there is a steep learning curve and I lean more towards "one knob, one function" and not pages of menus, submenus, file subfolders, button combinations, alternate button combinations, etc. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. My workflow just appreciates the Roland and x0x-style sequencing for drums. Once you start building your personalized groove box, you'll know if you need to add outboard gear to get the results you're looking for.
I'll take a look at your updated rack plans now.
Take care!


If I was in your shoes, just starting out, this is the rack I would want to work towards. I have two of the TipTop Mantis racks (and I'll soon buy two more), so that's what I'm basing this on. They have plenty of power. I own about half of these modules and have enjoyed working with them
The TipTop Throbbing Gristle sample player that you chose is discontinued, I believe, though they do pop up used occasionally. Instead, I've substituted the Disting Ex and the Erica Sample Drum to cover those capabilities. Mutable Instruments' Plaits is a mega-versatile digital oscillator that can cover the ground of the Chord Organ you chose and do waaaayyyyyy more (including wavetables, analog modeling, noise, resonator, some fm, etc.). Along with that, I included the Dixie analog oscillator so you can get into complex oscillator territory, and a versatile filter. You'll want envelopes, VCAs, submixing for drums, and attenuators so Maths, Veils, and Shades cover that. And then you still have your drums and sequencers. I left 10hp blank too.
This would be a source of fun for a long time, and it's still got room to grow.
ModularGrid Rack


Your groove box approach is how I got into modular, and I couldn't be happier. It's fun to build and use a completely 100% personalized instrument. Including a few drum modules is probably a good idea as you are starting out. Maybe that will be exactly what you were looking for, or if not you can always sell them on Reverb for a fair amount. I've bought and sold a few clunkers, but like you, I try to do a good bit of research before buying. If I know I'm just not going to use something after I try to incorporate it into my setup, I don't get attached to it and sell it. As far as being able to modulate a bunch of different parameters, those WMD percussion modules I mentioned are excellent. I got the Crucible and may pick up the Crater, though I probably don't really need that one.

It sounds like we have similar approach to this. Although, I can see how difficult it will be to stay restrained. I went to YouTube to watch some videos about the Roland TR-8 but was distracted by Red Means Recording review's of Rample and QD and now I have a copy of what he was using in the videos as something to think about as a later possible addition. I'm probably not the first person to wish for a Doctor Who Rack that fits on the lap but holds infinite modules? (Whispers: l a p t o p) ¯_(ツ)_/¯

(I'm not sure why it is showing, for me, an early mostly empty version here in the thread)
ModularGrid Rack

Yes, the Elektron stuff is way too menu-divey for me. Their stuff sounds great and they have their diehard fanbase, but there is a steep learning curve and I lean more towards "one knob, one function" and not pages of menus, submenus, file subfolders, button combinations, alternate button combinations, etc. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. My workflow just appreciates the Roland and x0x-style sequencing for drums. Once you start building your personalized groove box, you'll know if you need to add outboard gear to get the results you're looking for.

Again, we are on the same page. For the most part I'm not a fan of deep menus. I am impressed with what I see other people do with the electrons but watching someone use one just irks me. I will eventually go watch some videos on the Roland TR-8 just so I have in the back of my head what it offers.

I'll take a look at your updated rack plans now.
Take care!
-- farkas

Thank you so much for all of the suggestions. I was struggling to cover all of the bases. I still need to read up on the new modules you included but my gut feels is this is a great start that will keep my busy for a very long time. I like the look of the Intellijel cases but after you suggested the TipTop I see its half the price and has it's own charms and POWER. Ok, time to get familiar with everything you added.

Thank you, Again.


Research the Roland TR8S instead of the older TR8. The TR8S is a vastly improved drum machine that includes faithful emulations of every legendary Roland drum machine, sample playback capability, and with their recent firmware update even an FM synthesizer.
Have fun.


Because most of the Ladik modules are "primitives"...they consist of the submodule circuits that you'd find behind the panel of a much more complex device.
-- Lugia

Yes BUT, e.g. :
* Ladik dual attenuverter + offset = €50
* 2hp dual attenuverter (no offset) = €71
* ALM dual attenuverter + offset = €100
There are lots of similar examples! (Not to pick on 2hp or ALM, their prices are the same ballpark as most makers.)


Hi Garymon,

I'm also doing the "groove box" thing, but with some non-modular assistance. You can do a lot with not very much. 6u should be enough for anyone, eh? For example if you listen to the first minute of :

https://the-erc.bandcamp.com/track/2020-06-28

Except the hihats, every sound is BIA, with a bunch of modulation, and some outboard delay. The sequencer and modulation source is Pam's New Workout. This is my rack, though at the time I didn't have Font. (The bass that comes in after 30s is a DFAM.)
ModularGrid Rack
I have basically decided that what I need to take this setup forward is a Beatstep Pro to make it more playable. It can do more than most Euro sequencers in the x0x style at a much lower price, and the buttons are nice and big :) Pam can do Euclidean rhythms and random pitch/mod sequences when those are needed.

Anyway, coming back to your rack, it looks super fun. The only thing that looks off is you've only got one "normal" oscillator for the Percall to chew on; I feel like you want another to justify its hp. By count you have 22 potential trigger/gate sources, before you start making more out of kinks, which is plenty :) A switchable OR bus is very useful thing to combine rhythmic sequences

p.s. Sorry for hijacking your thread to rant about mixers. I think I meant to post in a different thread :-/


Research the Roland TR8S instead of the older TR8. The TR8S is a vastly improved drum machine that includes faithful emulations of every legendary Roland drum machine, sample playback capability, and with their recent firmware update even an FM synthesizer.
Have fun.
-- farkas

Thank you for clarifying. And of course my local shop has an open box sale on just this item. I'm like a squirrel in a nut shop.

https://patchwerks.com/collections/open-box-items-deals/products/roland-tr-8s-rhythm-performer-open-box


Hi Garymon,

I'm also doing the "groove box" thing, but with some non-modular assistance. You can do a lot with not very much. 6u should be enough for anyone, eh? For example if you listen to the first minute of :

https://the-erc.bandcamp.com/track/2020-06-28

Except the hihats, every sound is BIA, with a bunch of modulation, and some outboard delay. The sequencer and modulation source is Pam's New Workout. This is my rack, though at the time I didn't have Font. (The bass that comes in after 30s is a DFAM.)

Nice track!
That's one of the the things I am still getting used to. I was watching a video for, I think, the WMD Crater and they were using the trigger CV for the bass drum and then pitch cv for a bass line. No need for individual modules.

I have basically decided that what I need to take this setup forward is a Beatstep Pro to make it more playable. It can do more than most Euro sequencers in the x0x style at a much lower price, and the buttons are nice and big :) Pam can do Euclidean rhythms and random pitch/mod sequences when those are needed.

I've noticed those seem quite popular. Seem to offer a lot of utility.

Anyway, coming back to your rack, it looks super fun. The only thing that looks off is you've only got one "normal" oscillator for the Percall to chew on; I feel like you want another to justify its hp. By count you have 22 potential trigger/gate sources, before you start making more out of kinks, which is plenty :) A switchable OR bus is very useful thing to combine rhythmic sequences

The percall was removed here is the latest incarnation:

ModularGrid Rack

p.s. Sorry for hijacking your thread to rant about mixers. I think I meant to post in a different thread :-/

It was helpful for me. Since I am thinking of this as a groovebox and my initial need was just to get the collection of sounds to some headphones I just assumed slap a mixer in to mix down to stereo. I didn't consider the big gap in price and value between a module and outboard. Nor was I giving much thought to the needs of live performance mixing or keeping things separate when recording until the last moment. I still have a mixer in there for my immediate need of simple monitoring but now I know down the road I will eventually need an outboard mixer.

-- the-erc


Looks like you kept the modules I suggested. Be sure that's what YOU want. It's your instrument, not mine, so go slowly and don't buy everything at once. Your actual rack will probably end up very different from this plan.


Looks like you kept the modules I suggested. Be sure that's what YOU want. It's your instrument, not mine, so go slowly and don't buy everything at once. Your actual rack will probably end up very different from this plan.
-- farkas
Yes, for sure. I'm working through the modules learning and getting a feel for each one as well as comparing to similar modules. I admit to feeling the urge to buy everything at once but it should grow more organically to give me time with each module.


Looks like you kept the modules I suggested. Be sure that's what YOU want. It's your instrument, not mine, so go slowly and don't buy everything at once. Your actual rack will probably end up very different from this plan.
-- farkas

After a bunch of hand wringing I bought the tiptop mantis case plus the Euclid circles and the BAI to get started.

After everything arrived I realized no patch cables were included. So I ordered those and they arrived today.

And of course I don't have a way to hear anything yet. :-( I kept getting stuck trying to decide between an outboard mixer versus in case mixer. Finally today I decided to not decide and bought a basic four channel mixer that doesn't cost much and can be used for CV later when I get a big boy performance mixer. The mixer should be here in 3 days.

Next purchase I am thinking will be maths unless my exploring leads me in another direction.


Awesome! Have fun.


BIA is an amazing module. I also like Plaits and Plonk both can do percussion as well as many other things. If you modulate a few modules then a basic groove box is possible in a small modular setup.