Hi gals and guys!!
My name is Jorge and I'm a professional bass player, about to take the plunge into Eurorack. You are all culpable also!! :D

I'm planning my first case and started with the idea of getting the Make Noise CV Bus Case, and actually the Shared System as an inspiration, but I want to base it off, as much as I can, Instruo's modules.
But after talking with a friend and listening to his advice, I think I'm more leaning to have a case with 2U rows and the central 1U row to setup like a "HUB" for typical useful stuff, as a Mult, Mixer, Output, etc. for example, instead of the actually MN one.
What would you consider in that central strip, if you were thinking about such solution? I'm searching for inspiration!!
This is my "in progress" case: ModularGrid Rack

Thanks for all your input!!

Jorge


I'd have to say that you've already managed to paint yourself into a corner. Even if you piled utility module after utility module into that tile row, you'd STILL be screwed. Don't rely on that space to hold ALL of the various utility modules that this build is demanding already...because it can't. Honestly, go back to the 3 row version...you can cram more function into a 3U row than a 1U one. Tiles are really more like "convenience" devices...they're nice, but they're also not a real replacement for fullsized modules, except for basic functions.

Also, modulation sources...well, there's a Maths and a Stages. That's a good START, but if you look at how much modulation the rest of the build really needs to make it do what it can do, you're not even close. Either add more modulation, or back down on the "Sexy" modules.

And one other point: basing the practical operation of your build on a certain aesthetic is, invariably, a huge mistake. The Instruo modules sure do look great, I'll admit...but once you've got the music made with them cut and mixed, no one's going to give a rat's about what your rig looks like. This is leading you down the wrong track, both functionally and fiscally. Instead of going with these expensive-as-hell choices in ALL cases, consider alternatives. You will probably find that you can shave a lot of the costs on this WAY down, and you're also apt to find modules that work as well or BETTER than these spendy things. Put some more time into this, preferably by clearing the decks on this build and starting from the very basics above. Trust me, you'll wind up in a better space than where this is headed right now.


Thanks Lugia for taking the time to answer and your insight!! Much appreciated!! :)

I see what you're saying and although aesthetic is a part of it, it's not the only one!! ;) My project is a "Shared System" but with, as much as possible, Instruo's modules. So, 2x3U rows would be the main space and I though the 1U would be useful for the same reason as the CV Bus in Make Noise's case is.
But I guess Instruo doesn't pack as much functionality in their Modules as MN, so that's where the other options have to come to the rescue. But I see my plan was misdirected!!

If you're so kind, would you point me in the right one for this project?
Thanks in advance, mate!


Hi Jorge...
you are a bass player, my first question would be, perspectival, how you would want to use the case - compliment the bass, integrate it, parallel it...you get my point I guess. Based on that you need different "advises" or directions.
I cannot agree to what Luigia enough...your "sexy module" choices consequently require a hell of modulation, additionally counting on voices you plan, you would need an extensive mixer, which would take a proper amount of space - or you want to go external here?
I hope you get the point that based on your choices there are consequences and especially modular is a great example of that =)

Answering your question of what utilities as well leads to counter questions: what is your ultimate goal? I do not see filters btw...
Usually utilities are following the main choices and compliment them...

OK, let me make it simple and tell you according to my humble experience what would be the steps I would follow, if I started all over again:
- Get clear what modular delivers to you and your journey. How would it compliment? How would it enhance or add
- Never let case size, style, color drive your decisions. At least not at the beginning of your journey
- Most videos, reviews out there are based on a single module and seen or experienced in isolation > take your selection/choice into consideration when choosing modules as they will work together in YOUR context
- Try to build building blocks of modules, instead of randomly buy "stuff" that does not compliment each others
For example, the Make Noise Shared System is an incredible example of building blocks being MUCH more than the sum of its pieces by complimenting each other module and PERFECTLY working together.
For example the Instruo Cs-l alone would require multiple triggers, envelopes, LFOs, sequencers input...in short "modulation (as Gulia already said...) > you would need to decide if the Cs-l is your goto choice and consequently go for complimenting modules to support your choice.
For example the Lubadh has at countless CV modulation possibilities, same choice and consequence as above: if Lubadh is your goto module, research what compliments it...

Its actually not easy to explain with words but I hope you see that the magic in Modular is the endless depth of choices and consequences and the key word is complimenting modulation!

OK, I took off a bit - sorry!
Coming back to earth: As I see it, you need
- ins/outs for your bass
- outs to the outside world
- more VCAs (mainly for modulation but as well for different sound characteristics)
- a multiplication of Maths functions (yes its THE swiss army knife but when Maths modulates Cs-l you need more for other modules...and yes you have disting Ex4)
- Not sure where you want your journey to go...but there is so much more...mults, logic, envelope followers ESPECIALLY to use together with your bass!

Some general observations on top of utilities:
- a least a sequencer to bring movement
- Filters?

Soo much to say but all linked to your choice(s), its a quest. Looking forward to hearing back from you!


My perspective in addition to the good advice given above:

Aesthetics are cool. I think they are important. I always make an effort to organise my rack using aesthetics as one of the guiding principles - it does make a difference to me. Of course this does not negate functionality, ergonomics etc. and you should always consider these too.

I would highly recommend an Envelope follower and gate/trigger generator:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/mutable-instruments-ears

or if you want something really nice:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/xaoc-devices-sewastopol-ii

These will allow you to take the sound AND the signal information from your bass guitar to influence your modular synth.

With this as your starting point, think about the kinds of things you would like to do with that envelope follower and gate/trigger/

e.g. each not played on your bass guitar could trigger a sequence played on the modular or a sample playback or provide the clock for your sequencer, an envelope for your filter cutoff, the possibilities are endless.

The point being is that you need lots of ways to process that incoming envelope and trigger - so as BORING as it is I would highly recommend a multiple and a clock divider/multiplier - so ONE trigger generated from playing your note on your bass guitar can trigger a whole sequence of events or events that only play once every four notes etc. etc.

Finally once you have melted your mind trying to figure out the millions of things you could do with clocks, triggers and envelopes, look at additional sound sources and FX modules.

I would also highly recommend looking into wave folders, tone shapers and compressors - ROAR!

Have fun, I too look forward to seeing what you do here :)

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

-> kel_ & jletra
ok ok I'll give you the aesthetics part...it adds as well to the motivational and satisfaction part to simply look at your case(s) as pieces of art and be "proud" of the collection =)


Hey t0b1,

The best part about modular is that it can be (more or less) whatever you want, if aesthetics don't matter to you, or you happen to enjoy terrible ergonomics or even not having enough modulation sources... who is to argue?

Hehe

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Roger That!


I cannot thank you enough!!! What great feedback and advice I'm getting here!!!

Maybe I have to get a bit more concrete on the purpose of this project!... :D
I don't plan on using my Double Bass at all with this case (if that changes in the future, we'll see and then I'll check those nice EF suggestions Kel_!! ;)). One of the things I want to get away from is precisely the constant engagement, attention and activity that my work in the orchestra and practice require!!
I want to build a System where the patch sort of unfolds and let's me slowly tweak and react to what itself wants to be... I hope that makes sense! A sort of lazy music/sound/noise making machine... Mainly atmospherical, ambient, drone...

I always think about the Shared System precisely because of what t0b1 said. It seems like the "perfect" enclosed ecosystem. I see now that that's where Instruo's modules kinda "fall short", since they are not made thinking about that kind of small system, but as pieces of a much bigger (with more MOD sources, etc.) rig.
What if I based my system on the SS but exchanged only small pieces, like the DPO for the CS-l and the Morphagene for the Arbhar? Does that make sense?
And instead of René and Pressure points, I think I would go for another kind of sequencer, like Erica Synths Black Seq coming out soon. Seems like a well thought out multi sided solution to lot's of sequencing and modulation sources.
Also, I thought about waiting for the Euroburo (I have a Zoia Pedal that I use in my electric bass pedalboard) since it seems like one it could really solve lot's of problems, specially in context of a small System like the one I'm planning.
The 1U row on MN Case seems really practical as a in/out, multiple, etc. solution in one single "Module". So that's what inspired my initial post, case I don't want to get MN case, but DIY one, maybe with even more functionality, if possible. But still in that 3Ux3Ux1U format.
I'm very glad I posted this question, so many things are coming out to take into consideration!!! What a great community!! :)

Thanks again all of you!


I cannot thank you enough!!! What great feedback and advice I'm getting here!!!

Maybe I have to get a bit more concrete on the purpose of this project!... :D
I don't plan on using my Double Bass at all with this case (if that changes in the future, we'll see and then I'll check those nice EF suggestions Kel_!! ;)). One of the things I want to get away from is precisely the constant engagement, attention and activity that my work in the orchestra and practice require!!
I want to build a System where the patch sort of unfolds and let's me slowly tweak and react to what itself wants to be... I hope that makes sense! A sort of lazy music/sound/noise making machine... Mainly atmospherical, ambient, drone...

I always think about the Shared System precisely because of what t0b1 said. It seems like the "perfect" enclosed ecosystem. I see now that that's where Instruo's modules kinda "fall short", since they are not made thinking about that kind of small system, but as pieces of a much bigger (with more MOD sources, etc.) rig.
What if I based my system on the SS but exchanged only small pieces, like the DPO for the CS-l and the Morphagene for the Arbhar? Does that make sense?
And instead of René and Pressure points, I think I would go for another kind of sequencer, like Erica Synths Black Seq coming out soon. Seems like a well thought out multi sided solution to lot's of sequencing and modulation sources.
Also, I thought about waiting for the Euroburo (I have a Zoia Pedal that I use in my electric bass pedalboard) since it seems like one it could really solve lot's of problems, specially in context of a small System like the one I'm planning.
The 1U row on MN Case seems really practical as a in/out, multiple, etc. solution in one single "Module". So that's what inspired my initial post, case I don't want to get MN case, but DIY one, maybe with even more functionality, if possible. But still in that 3Ux3Ux1U format.
I'm very glad I posted this question, so many things are coming out to take into consideration!!! What a great community!! :)

Thanks again all of you!


If you like the Make Noise formfactor and want to combine with 1U modules, have a look into the Intellijel Performance Case 7U. If you combine with their 1U modules you would have an incredible package as alternative to the MN one (which is awesome in its own way).
What you are looking for is "generative music". Go have a search on that term in your video library of choice...
My personal and straight to the point approach here is Intellijel Plog combined with trigger sources, random CV and/or slowly evolving lfos. In order to make that "interesting" you might want to look into VCAs combined with sequential switches (e.g. the A-151 from Doepfer).
Have a look as well into the Krell Patch construction, "hidden" in the 0-coast manual from Make Noise.
Lastly you need a bad-ass reverb to make it shine or shimmer or walhalla or whatever verbing =)


I cannot thank you enough!!! What great feedback and advice I'm getting here!!!

Yes, it's a good one :D

What if I based my system on the SS but exchanged only small pieces, like the DPO for the CS-l and the Morphagene for the Arbhar? Does that make sense?

Sounds great to me!

t0b1 mentioned the Krell patch - this is a GREAT place to start from for what you have in mind. I recommend that you study it very well and only buy the modules you need to recreate it.

This will get you to close to where you want to be for the least expense and let you play around with the system to get a feel for it.

Once you have got your head around that you will have a much better idea of which modules to buy to extend this patch.

I strongly advise against going out and spending £4K on modules, it's a much better plan to have some blank plates and go slowly.

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

@Kel_
@t0b1

Thank you again for your help and sorry it took me a while to get back in here! I've been researching a lot the last couple of weeks, trying to take up as much information as I can and make sense of all the great advice I got from you guys. I also wrote Jason and got around the tutorials for lots of modules that I was (and am) eyeing! :D

With that in mind, I have now what I think will be the beginning of an auspicious project.
I'd start with a couple of elements, namely the main voice. I think the Arbhar would have to be there also, though, it's so deep..!!!
What do you guys think of this version?
Anything that pops out as a major deficit/problem?? Or suggestions that would make more sense??

I've been very often quite lost in the most basic of things, like I/O, Mixing, stereo elements!! The options are immense and so different.
One addition is the Pedal Interface, which I think will be rad since I got some very nice pedals that I use with my e-bass (including an MF 101, Meris Ottobit, and the Swiss army knife of pedals, the ZOIA!)) :)

ModularGrid Rack


All good!!

My initial reaction that it is still too much to get in one go... I consider myself a very fast learner and have 30+ years experience of messing around with synths in one for or another and it would still take me a few weeks to get the basics on that lot!

Other folk will disagree I am sure, but I find Granular on a synth voice to be one of the most boring things ever, I much prefer a radio signal, a voice sample, a short clip from a band playing live, found sound, nature recordings, city soundscapes, industrial noise to be far more interesting.

I am not saying don't get all these things eventually, just that it would be much more prudent and would serve you much better to get one voice, sure go for the CsL (YEARS of exploration in that alone), and think right, what do I actually need to get this doing something:

Maths - always a good choice!!

Okay, maybe a mixer too!

The Pedal IO - great if you have loads of pedals and holy moly, if you have ZOIA then well... that along with those 3 or 4 modules will keep you busy for ever!!

Don't just take my word for it, will it really matter if you just get those and see what you can do for a week or two?

Check out the Maths supplementary manual to et some idea of the power you have in just the one module alone:

PDF Download of Maths Supplementary Manual

I can pretty much guarantee your perspective will change once you get hands on!

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

@Kel_
Thanks for your feedback!
My plan is in line with what you said, sorry if it's not clear!! I would eventually get to the case pictured, not in one go!! HeHe!! :)
Step 1 is, therefore, to get the Cs-L going with Maths, Wogglebug, and the 1U Interfaces Pedal I/O, the I/O in and headphones and Quadratt for extra mix+ attenuverter duties.
The 4ms Mixer+Output should come along also, cause... yeah, output and mixer! Or do you mean another kind of mixer?!

The Arbhar would be there precisely to get some ambient sound mangling, noise, different drone notes, percussion sounds, etc.. So I could create different tapestries above or under which the Cs-L can develop, change and do its magic. Does that make sense?

I'm glad I found a direction, and I'm also glad I asked you guys!! Going slowly and getting to know a couple of modules, before diving right in and be overwhelmed! Difficult, but I'm getting stronger! ;)


Ahah... well in that case I say go for it.

Just don't set your heart on ending up with what you have described here, as I mentioned previously, once you get hands on you will have epiphanies that will change your perspective and outlook! Take your time and enjoy :)

As an aside, in the mean time, do you have an iPad? If so I highly recommend checking out some of the granular apps, Borderlands is outstanding and all the Apesoft granular apps, simply outstanding e.g.

http://www.apesoft.it/stria/

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Thanks for you answer! I feel confident it's a good step! :)

I unfortunately have no iPad... Is there any equivalent as an app for macOS?

Would you think I should definitely get VCAs in the beginning?
And could give me your thoughts on the Output module? I've also checked Rosie and the Xpan as alternatives, for example. also the Intellijel options...


a quad vca, such as veils, in first batch of modules is a great idea

output modules are not always needed - it really depends on what you are plugging into

unless you absolutely need balanced, then you may need nothing other than adapter cables and/or attenuators, which are useful anyway

veils will work fine as a mono unbalanced output for example


Sure, go for the VCA too, those are always useful :)

...and yeah, what Jim said re. output module! I used one in the beginning because I thought I needed one, now I just go directly to my mixer and attenuate there, there's enough headroom. Like with all signals, you should turn down the appropriate input attenuator and main fader before plugging anything in and bring the levels up slowly paying attention not to clip the inputs (although this can be fun on some analogue desks ;) )

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!