Current Rack:
ModularGrid Rack


Original Post:

Hello modular gridders,
in the last weeks I have built lots and lots of different iterations of a small footprint modular that will not break my bank and does the following things on day 1:

befaco MIDI THING, 2hp CV, befaco A*B+C, befaco MIXER, befaco OUT v3 in a 98hp Jumpskiff:
+ It does not have loose cables flying around (that's why I'm planning with the Jumpskiff instead of a even cheaper tiptop audio)
+ It can act as a midi playable synth voice, preferably rough and bassy.
+ It can feed in more than one gate and CV from the midi device. To modulate the voice from ORCΛ for example

When everything goes well, I'm going to also solder the more interesting part with a Rampage + Muxlicer and something like 2hp hats to spice it up:
2hp hats, befaco RAMPAGE, befaco Muxlicer
+ Get another voice or LFO from Rampage, and generate an envelope for the Bass voice mentioned above
+ Have Muxlicer self trigger some fun multistep sequences in combination with the 2hp hats
+ Let Muxlicer be controlled from midi with clock to sync with the rest of my setup
+ Get funky with Rampage EOC and Muxlicer

The setup after these two steps would look something like this and would leave room for things I've missed/might want later. I have also planned to get some of the befaco passive mults and a bunch of 20cm + 30cm cables 20 in total.
ModularGrid Rack
Yeah, and I might need more Attenuverters and VCAs. (s&h, and lfo or rather the great looking befaco kickall)

Now my question to you all. I've tried to setup a similar system with VCV rack and felt pretty confident that this will workout in real live too. Am I somewhat on track or have I just made a huge mess?

yours

(edit: removed the gigantic images, not necessary for my point)


Update: I ordered the case and first befaco kits!

I'm still thinking of getting either the 2hp VCO or 2hp SINE as a first "debug" voice which should be fine, right out of the box and then look into the even VCO as a stable and interesting main voice.

What would you recommend to get fore a barebones kit: SINE or VCO?

Thank you in advance
Alex


Hi Zuggamasta,

Welcome to modular synthesizers and have fun with your purchased system. My advice is to build up some experience first with what you got now and once you gained experience you will sooner or later yourself notice what's missing or what isn't.

Have fun, enjoy and kind regards, Garfield Modular.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Thank you Garfield Modular,

It is great to have such a warm welcome after Lurking around here for ages. Without building the kit I already spotted the big hole: I havent planed for a nice filter.
But I will take your advice by heart and first get up and running with the most basic setup, so I can judge the further build better.

yours


Hi Zuggamasta,

You are welcome! Filters, yeah you are going to need them :-) There are two filters I would like to recommend, the Doepfer - A-124 Wasp filter (or if that one is "too heavy" for you consider then the Doepfer - A-106-5 SEM filter) these both are lovely filters, affordable and easy to use. The second one I like to recommend and if you are going to look for a dual filter, you might want to have a look into Erica Synths - Black Dual VCF, it's a bit crazy one but I love this one. This filter is just lots of fun to use it and puts a smile on your face while using it.

Naturally there tons of filters but don't start with too expensive filters and too "wild" ones, start easy then look around for the more "adult" stuff ;-) Once you gained more experience on filters, then you might want to look into QPAS from Make Noise, a special filter as I may say so but don't straight away buy that one, it's not recommended for beginners however you could consider to put it on your watch list for later.

Well have fun, enjoy your modular system and good luck! Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Hey Garfield,

thank you for your reccomendations! The A-106 5 is a little deep for my humble skiff. The wasp looks pretty fun but I also got my eyes on the bastl Cinnamon now, to pack a lot of function in 5hp instead of the 8hp of the wasp. I will solder and build everything I bought first and then look into this deeper again.

Just as a kind of status of the Rack right now: We have lift of and are able to create Singal, A*B+C is in the soldering process, MidiThing is waiting and Rampage + Muxlicer are on their way :)


Hi Zuggamasta,

Oh yes, you got a nice sound there :-) With a lot of reverb... what effects-"machine" are you using here?

Have fun and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Hey Garfield,

this is my trusty Reverberation Machine ;) TC Electronic ARENA. I'm not using this for my Guitars too often but I enjoy the diffrent reverb types and colors for all other sound mangling. In the Patch I use the "Mod" color, where there is also some chorus/lfo modulation in the Reverb.
There is also a programmable Slot where you can create a Custom Reverberation Profile. I'm using one that can takes all the attack from your signal and you can build a fat drone from an electric bass for example.

Current diy-build status:
Muxlicer 80% done - but I'm waiting for a missing thonkiconn jack
Rampage 40% done - the mainboard is complete but now there is the control board on the list.


Just some small notes:

You don't always need filters, although they have a habit of creeping in everywhere, FM synthesis is perfectly capable of creating sounds that sound like they are filtered.

You patch 01 sounds great, I like the huygge reverb too!

Please consider using something for blank panels, all it would take is one errant cable and you could create a short and be very unhappy with the result! Even some cardboard will do!

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

Hi Zuggamasta, nice start. I think that build with our hands is very good to understand what using and where put the hands for future experimentations.


Hello Kel,

thank you for your reccomendation around FM synthesis. I also have the Rampage which can use one function generator to also do a lowpassfilter if it's free. The open case was scary as hell so I got a nice strong 3mm foam board to cut my own blank panels. It's not the 2mm like the panels, but close enough!
And thanks frank! I'm really grateful for all the post on here wich tought me to first understand what to do with just little things I I can then expand. I also did my mistakes already as I now see how the 2hp sine might have been a little weird of a choice instead of a basic 2hp vco which would have square saw triangle and FM input. But thats just how it goes.

here is a look at the barebones with the diy blanks
barebones jumpskiff


Annnnnnnnd..... relax :D

That's much better!!! Good idea on the foam board, does the job nicely!

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

Hi Zuggamasta,

Yes! That looks nice and tidy! Good luck with the DIY modules :-)

Enjoy modular and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

It's really GOOD to see someone taking their time and building SLOWLY!!

Really good!!! It's the best way and how it should be done!! In all but the most exceptional of circumstances I don't like it when someone just buys a bunch of euro all in one go or a very short space of time. Grumble... grumble... :D

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

Hey you two :)

The DIY modules where all fun and games, but the Muxlicer was annoying as hell: first a missing part, then a burned in switch due to overheated joints and now I noticed one LED did not sit perfect while soldering...

But it is working a at last. there is still so much to do and learn with this setup but I thought it would be nice to document what I was able to quickly come up with today. And after some tests before hand a Patch that is not controlled by midi this time!

I read a bit into the syncing of the pocket operators again and found the befaco outputs cue really useful to attenuvert the signal. And having a clock divider inside of the Muxlicer is great for converting the clock.

Onto more musical patches! And thank you for your kind words!


Hi Zuggamasta,

He, he, looks like you are enjoying modular synthesizers and the nice thing of all, you made it all by yourself :-)

I noticed you got a Teenage Engineering module too, how is that one, do you like it?

Keep up the good work and thank you very much for sharing this. Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Yes 100% fun support from me too... modular bleeps and bloops and I love your attitude and approach - spot on!!

Right now you have enough to spend some serious time learning... stick with what you have right now and experiment.

Try some tutorials on how to create classic modular patches, I didn't look too closely, but you probably have enough to create a Krell patch - this should be your next video - hint hint ;)

I very rarely shout anyone out for their entry into the world of modular, but you really made me smile :)

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

I think this thread here is a good space for people that want to get into Modular and DIY with Befaco, so I will and some more examples what this thing sounds and feels like.

A Krell patch is not really feasible as of now, without filter and good random source. But this here was at least Krell inspired, main focus: Having really slow clock times for the Muxlicer and sampling from random positions in the sequence:

Now that I built most of this Rack from Kit's I have these on my watch list:
Zlob Entropy: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/zlob-entropy2
Bastl Cinnamon: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/bastl-instruments-cinnamon-aluminum-panel


Cinnamon is a definite recommendation, small footprint for a SVF with built-in distortion and input-related cutoff frequency modulation. I couldn't get my hands on the DIY kit since they were out of stock for months so I invested some of the lock-down time to build my own replica based on their schematics. In addition to that it uses the same IC as the Xone Filters in the A&H Xone 42/92 series. Maybe I'm biased because of that ^^ It's a quite straightforward design if you have some experience with filters.


Nice, what I was trying, and probably failing, to say was...

by trying to do these things you come across stumbling blocks, this does two things:

1) it lets you know what is missing in your system and what to go for next

2) as you have shown very nicely, it makes you think about how you could achieve something similar without the correct tools

2, imho, is a significant portion of what modular is all about for me, it's about thinking laterally and trying things you would not normally do with a classic synth architecture.

I have just built 2 Entropy to sell!! I know you probably want to do this yourself, but if you are interested and in the UK or EU, it would help me out to have a sale - of course absolutely no trouble if not :)

Good choice by the way, I really rate the Zlob stuff!!

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

Thank you warlock016, good to hear that you could make good use of the quarantine time! My Filter building knowledge is limited to solder different kinds of capacitors in electric guitars, but thats it. I will keep my eyes peeled for a new kit.

For starters I'm going to build my own short bus / gate combiner, I found the schematics on the doepfer A-100 DIY page http://www.doepfer.de/DIY/a100_diy.htm and found additional input in a muffwiggler thread. While writing this post I remembered that might still have some parts from a baby 10 sequencer I (failed to) build back in 2013! So now I even have something to measure the fitting for a 5hp version:
diy module

Now I'm checking parts. I really want to get some of the sexy befaco bananuts for any DIY kit thats coming, and I even found a seller here that has black and red in stock! Getting only a few diodes will be annoying tho, so I'll check if I can get myself a good kit of basic resistors caps and diodes again.

@Kel_, Thank you for poiting me to the Krell Patch. It's really a fun exercise to create solutions to these kind of challenges for me. The entropy is a tempting offer, but exploding shed has the kit in stock and I want to order the jacks trough them anyway so I can also save a little bit on shipping.

Coming back to @GarfieldModular I have two of the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators but don't intent do solder them in the rack. I read a bit about it but they don't sound nice enough to waste 12hp. It's still fun to trigger the respective clock in via the cue out on the headphone jack. Right now I'm also using the Teenage Engineering OP-Z to control the rack via midi, but need to setup a computer in between, as it doesn't come with native midi but only with an extension card.

More sonic explorations with the Rack here:


Hi Zuggamasta,

I love the picture you made when you where busy with the front panel. A nice, clear and sharp picture putting exactly the front panel DIY work into focus; love it! :-)

He, he, and your track here above is a lot of fun too. It's nice to see your work is progressing, the case being slowly filled up and I am curious where your DIY modular journeys goes to. I hope you will share more of that. I feel it's very enjoyable!

Thank you very much for sharing this and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

All good, like the diy diy!!!

How about a quantiser? Not necessarily something that would appeal to everyone, but I can se it fitting into what you are doing here :)

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

Quantizer sounds like a doable thing, yep...and if this is DIY, check this one out: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/kassutronics-quantizer Looks like trouble...12 user-definable scales, methods for shifting scales as part of a patch, etc.


Wow... that quantiser looks great!! Nice find, never heard of Kasutronics - thank you again :D

I am taking commissions for synth builds. UK ONLY for now. DM for details :)

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

Oh yes, the quantizer looks super useful! I need to look deeper into surface mount technology though. I know some test/training kits; Which I want to order before. For now I have zlob entropy, and zlob SVF kits on the way due to the small form factor and the bastl cinnamon not being available. Also some thonkiconns to build a little or-combiner to go with the Muxlicer!

I'm having the a lot of fun just noodling with the small skiff without all the other tools and toys I have available.
Here are some more bleeps and bloops, again raw from the headphone jack :)

Thank you all for being so kind and helpful, it is great fun to read all the threads on modularGrid!


Hi Zuggamasta,

You got yourself some nice Befaco modules :-) All DIY, right? Do you have other brand DIY modules as well? There are other DIY brands out there than Befaco, but I guess you knew that already :-)

Have fun with your rack and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Yes! I might just loved the function to hp to price ratio I could get from these starter befaco modules. I’m having my eyes open for a beefy multi VCA and landed at befaco again. So let me know your recommendations 🤘😎


Hi Zuggamasta,

I am myself not so much (not at all ;-) ) into DIY of modules. I solder my own patch cables but that's about it.

However besides Befaco, manufacturers like Erica Synths, Bastl Instruments and Polaxis have DIY sets/kits. Naturally there are many more manufacturers, it's just that I don't have experience with them.

Have fun with the DIY part and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

This has been such an enjoyable thread to read! I've been into modular DIY for a few years now, but this is my first time posting - thanks for pulling me out of lurking!

Zuggamasta - the Zlob SVF filter is great! I built that this summer, and I have to say the resonance mods are insane. I had the jumpers to be at max resonance, and while I love squelching distorting filters, it was a bit much. That said, not having the max resonance jumper in yields a great filter that is still highly resonant. A great choice!

Overall, what are your opinions on the Befaco kits? I've build a number of Erica Synths DIY projects, Random*Source, and other random brands. I've heard the quality on Befaco is hit or miss, so I was hoping your opinion could lend some insight!


Ha, great having you, korpret1!

I enjoyed building the befacos a lot. But I should not have started with the skiff, as that build was the hardest for me -> soldering A LOT of SMT pins for all the power connectors.

My first reaction if somebody asks me about the DIY kits is always positive. The did pack a lot of goodies in my big order from Barcelona HQ with a branded desoldering pump and four good quality 50cm cables (big life saver now).
But I also had some really weird screws in the package of my jump skiff (m5 skink heads, instead of domes) which I then got in a local hardware store. And a missing thonkiconn in my bag from an order with exploding shed. But these guy's where super cool and sent me a replacement next working day, no questions asked!

The quality of the PCBs, and front panel Silkscreen is really neat and clean. I'm happy that the modules are super sturdy. Before diving into this I wondered if it will be as solid and level as a prebuilt module. But it's much cleaner than my 2hp module where the pots sit a little off center from the holes.
The instructions are also well done, every time I might have messed up it was always me not reading the manual first, or not reading the IC names fully ;) But it's also helpful that befaco sent some kits to the usual suspect youtubers, if you want to double check something.
The modules, being hit and miss could still be true, I have yet to find out why sometimes the midi in does not start to receive midi and a minute later everything works as I need it for the full time I use it. I also use the A*B+C as an audio VCA and wondered if it's correct that it's not fully closing, but reading more into this it seems a lot of VCAs have this issue.

Maybe I should flesh this out more but this sums up my experience quite well. Here is another super linear jam while I wait for the zlob entropy to arrive and modulate my muxlicer triggers.


Awesome, thanks so much for your insight! Yes, there are quite a number of great tutorials with Befaco modules. I'm seriously considering the muxlicer and the rampage kits. Got a few other tasks I'm working on ahead of that, but I'll be thinking on it!

And your clips of the jams are awesome! Such a great example of doing a lot of creative things with very few (but powerful) utilities.


The Rampage kit is actually quite easy. It's just A LOT of parts. But the muxlicer was quite the challenge for me with all these close sliders and different sizes of pots jacks and switches when aligning. Still not hard tho.

Here's a snapshot of the Entropy build ;)
next module


Hi Zuggamasta,

Great DIY picture :-)

Keep up the good work and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Thank you Garfield! Here is the new setup and I'm really pleased by the zlob modules, but did some minor beauty/usability adjustments. All befaco bananuts so I'm not going around plugging outs in outs when jamming. I also updated the 2hp module with the same color coding. Also the Output V3 had to be switched for my tight packing.

I tried it all out with a long jam and had a lot of fun and good moments. Afterwards I tried to recreate some moments but with this super basic setup (only the skiff + small Teenage Engineering PO-33) it's all a little fumbly.

I'm not really sure if I want to keep the beefy settings of the SVF or bring it down a notch via the jumpers on the back. We'll see...
Thank all for tuning in and all your great feedback


Hi Zuggamasta,

Oh yes, that's a cool track! Lots of fun sounds to discover in this track, kind of sonic journey through an audio-sonic landscape :-)

Thanks a lot for sharing this and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Christmas came a few days late. Treated myself a disting mk4 and Mutable Instruments Ears.
ModularGrid Rack
After some hours of fiddling with the disting I understand the love and hate for this little module. It is great to take over small jobs in the system but I tend to build my setup around this beast now. But as this thing is for me to have fun, and learn I'm ok with that.

I wish you all a good start into 2021


Hi Zuggamasta,

Ha, ha, lovely track with lots of fun sounds and it's nice to see you at work with your self-built case and tons of DIY modules. So the Disting Mk IV and the Ear are that your first two non-DIY modules? :-)

Well, thanks a lot for sharing this and I wish you and everyone a good start into 2021 too! Happy New Year! Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

My teeny weeny 2hp VCO was already a non DIY module, haha!

More noise from the cave. This little skiff keeps on giving and is a lot of fun. I'm currently planning how to bring in another voice, additional sequencer and vca and and will show you the planning later this week ;)

Anyways here is my jam from last night:


Hi Zuggamasta,

Wow what a nice track is that?! Some real nice and fun sounds you got in there.

I love your video too, nice "night" view with a clear view on your Disting module :-)

I will be honest with you, first I thought: "9 minutes???" now I think: "Why not 19 minutes please!" :-) You keep the tension, enough surprises to keep the listener engaged, that's just my kind of track. Experimental? Yes certainly but all worth it, every second of it :-)

Nicely done and thanks a lot for sharing this! Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Thank you again Garfield,

just in the spirit of sharing my process and journey I'll be showing what a relatively small and basic setup can do. Also showcasing my black tape 6,3mm to 3,6mm jack module


Hi Zuggamasta,

He, he, nice one. Some nice sounds you got there! Just a bit before 07:00 that sounds like one of my synth-frogs out of my pond ;-) Lot's of fun that sound!

Thanks a lot for sharing and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

I recorded another Jam.

I re-ordered the modules in the skiff and added the Antumbra DVCA. Again DAW-less, the Screen is just for atmospheric lighting ;)
And yes, I'll need to build another drum break soon.


So is the PO-33 doing the drum break, and the modular all the rest? Patch notes please :)


Hey @the-erc,

I'm not that good in describing things with words, but i know my way around diagrams. I also took this opportunity to setup the document for later patches. Muxlicer as sequencer, Rampage does the envelopes and the Disting is set to L2 (mono to stereo reverb).

patch016

What is really cool about this patch is that I finally got around facilitating the MIN and MAX outputs of the Rampage. Now I can blend between two different sounds with just one knob. In this case modulating the reverb wetness, and the CV to the filter.

Next cool thing, the Antumbra DVCA can also act as a mixer if the output 1 is not connected. I didn't notice that before, so in the video the two Outs of the DVCA first go to the mixer and then to the SVF.

A bad thing about this: I'm sending (attenuated) triggers to my headphone out, this could potentially harmful if the PO-33 is not connected or not set to a mode that receives a sync signal on the left channel. There is also the possibility to keep the stereo signal. Using the cue of the Output V3, but as I do not have a stereo mixer to connect the two devices to...

Voila: Eurorack and Pocket Operator synced, and no external mixer needed.


Ah cool -- so the sine is your only oscillator! Very impressive.


Thank you, less is more, some might say. But I am currently looking into the noise reap dual oscillator or the tiny instruō ts-l to spice things up 🔥


A bigger more melodic jam?! Plus the pressure of doing it live?! I am getting more and more what I want out of my little box. Currently still looking at the fx Aid to get a bit more hands on with the post processing.

Patchnotes:
Teenage Engineering OP-Z midi over USB
USB from machine back to the MIDI Thing.

OP-Z for drums, additional sounds and the arpeggiator
Sine Oscilator is doing all the hard work
Rampage is providing Envelopes and LFO
Thickness from white noise to Zlob VCF ping
Antumbra DVCA is opening and closing the gates ;)
Ping Pong Delay on the Disting MK

Mixing is just done in OBS for the livestream (did a four track recording of this offline, which I'll try to master a little more)

Thank you for listening


Hello Modulargrid,
Thank you for your support, kind words and reccomendations. I have too much fun with this synth.

Okay, the time marker doenst work: Jump to 40:19 for a lot of fun :)


Hi Zuggamasta,

Wow, nice long track where you take us on your sonic adventures! :-) You got at several spots some real fun and nice melody lines with fun & good sounds. I like that!

Then you have a Leslie effects module on the left bottom turning around for your Leslie effects, great! I guess that's using blue tooth or some other wireless protocol otherwise the wires are getting wrapped up pretty fast ;-) Just kidding! By the way, what module is that?

He, he, I overlooked your video above this one, going to check that one out now, looks like some fun too!

Looks like you got yourself a new toy, the OP-Z ;-) Enjoy and have fun with it and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

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